Chamber Blog

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Orlando Economic Partnership names John F. Davis as new leader of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce

Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) announces the hiring of John F. Davis as the new Executive Vice President of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, a division of the Partnership focused on serving the growing needs of businesses and entrepreneurs. Davis will manage the strategic and operational goals of the Five-Star Chamber beginning in February.

Davis joins the Partnership after serving as the President of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (AACCCF) since 2014. There he led the efforts to amplify AACCCF’s mission and fostered success by advocating on behalf of its members, corporate partners and the community at large. He dramatically expanded the Chamber’s membership while also focusing on training and development of business professionals.

“John Davis has a proven track record as a leader in both the public and private sector, and he will help advance the goals of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “AACCCF has been a long-time partner of ours and Davis’ leadership will continue to serve as a bridge between both organizations.”

Prior to his role at AACCCF, Davis was the External Affairs Director for Florida’s Department of Children and Families. He was also among the top leadership within the Republican Party of Florida and served as the Deputy Executive Director of Operations, the highest-ranking African American in the history of the State Party, prior to starting his own business and serving as the President of JFD Consulting Group, a political consulting agency.

Early in his career, Davis co-founded ProStyle Training, a fitness company designed to give clients the experience of training like a professional athlete. This endeavor was the product of years on the football field, first as a high school All-American player, and later Florida State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science on a full scholarship.

“Davis’ rich background as an entrepreneur, business executive and community leader provides a solid foundation of skills critical to connecting and building our business community so that it can grow and thrive, ultimately generating jobs and boosting our region’s economic potential,” said Angela Alban, president and CEO of Simetri, Inc. and Chair of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“As the organization charged with leading the efforts to foster economic success for African American-owned businesses and the African American business community in Central Florida, we couldn’t be more proud of Davis’ work to further our mission and vision over the past four years,” said Joyce Odongo, vice president of senior community development at Wells Fargo Bank and Chair of the AACCCF Board of Directors. “We will continue to work with John on initiatives and programs that serve to fulfill our vision for a better future.”

Davis also lends his leadership talents to numerous organizations including CareerSource Central Florida, the Commission on Community Service and Heart of Florida United Way.  He also serves on the Chronic Homelessness Committee and is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Florida State University Black Alumni Association and Southside Church of Christ.

About the Orlando Economic Partnership
The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) works to provide the Orlando region with quality jobs, economic growth, broad-based prosperity and a sustainable quality of life. It is a not-for-profit, public/private partnership representing Central Florida's seven counties – Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia – as well as the City of Orlando. The Partnership was formed from the merger of the Central Florida Partnership and the Orlando Economic Development Commission. For more information, visit

About the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida
The African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida is a membership organization serving public, private, and not-for-profit African American-owned businesses and organizations in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties. The chamber is the principal advocate and preeminent leader in fostering economic success for African American-owned businesses and community in Central Florida. For more information, visit

Posted by: Laureen Martinez @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, January 29, 2018
Listening to Leaders - The Art of Turnaround Leadership

Leadership Orlando presented UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White in 2018’s first Listening to Leaders series event of the year.

Since Danny White was named Vice President and Director of Athletics at UCF in the fall of 2015, the UCF Knights have seen great success in competition, in the classroom and in the community.

Under Danny's leadership, many of UCF's sports programs experienced complete turnarounds resulting in winning seasons. Most notably is its football program that went from winless in 2015 to six victories and a bowl game appearance in 2016 to a perfect 13-0 season in 2017, including a Peach Bowl victory over the No. 7 ranked Auburn Tigers. The Knights ended the season as the only undefeated team in the nation.

Football isn’t the only success story since Danny White arrived in Orlando. Last year, based on a number of postseason appearances, 2016-17 was the most successful year in UCF’s NCAA Division I history. Eleven of UCF’s 16 programs made postseason appearances and this year is looking to be just as successful.

The women’s soccer team is ranked in the Top 10, the men’s soccer program reached the American Athletic Conference Championship match in head coach Scott Calabrese’s first season at the helm. The men’s basketball team improved by a dozen victories last year and advanced to the NIT Final Four under head coach Johnny Dawkins; the women’s basketball team advanced to the WNIT under head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson; the men’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2017 for the first time since 2005 under head coach John Roddick; the baseball team won the 2017 American Athletic Conference regular season title and played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 under head coach Greg Lovelady. Each of the aforementioned coaches were hired by Danny White.

Last year, UCF Athletics brought in $17 million in corporate sponsorships and fundraising, setting a university record. According to Danny, “We need to keep breaking that record each year to get to where we need to be.”

When asked about his top priorities, Danny replied, “We are in the business to develop student athletes as people, as students, as athletes. It starts with people first.” He went on to say, “It’s bigger than the individual. It’s bigger than the team. It’s about the UCF brand.”

Danny White was one of Sports Business Journal's 2017 40 Under 40 award winners and was also recognized as one of 2017’s 50 most powerful people in Orlando by Orlando Magazine.

Click here to view photos from this event.

About Listening to Leaders
Listening to Leaders is a series of forums designed to continue the learning experience that started with Leadership Orlando. Speakers will offer insights into the practices that have helped them achieve success in their fields, define the leadership lessons taught in their segments of the community, and offer suggestions on strategies that attendees can use to become better leaders.

About Leadership Orlando
Developing regional leaders is important to the future success of the Central Florida region. That is why regional leadership is a primary line of business for the Orlando Economic Partnership. With proven success since 1975, Leadership Orlando, America's largest community leadership program, continues to recruit, cultivate and encourage emerging and established leaders to better serve the Central Florida Region.

Learn more about Leadership Orlando here, or contact Lisa Winkelbauer for more information.

Posted by: Lisa Winkelbauer @ 12:00:00 pm 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Century 21 Carioti

Friday, February 23, 2018
4 - 7 p.m.
609 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL



Century 21 Carioti is officially in downtown Orlando!
Join them in celebrating the grand opening of its downtown location on February 23rd. at 4 p.m.

Tour the new location, meet their agents, have a chance to win a raffle and enjoy entertainment.

Questions? Contact Monica Phu,

Posted by: Greg Mason @ 12:00:00 am 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - Axiom Bank

Thursday, February 22, 2018
8:30 a.m.
16418 New Independence Pkwy., Suite 100
Winter Garden, FL




Axiom Bank, a leading community bank headquartered in Central Florida, is expanding its presence with a new freestanding branch
at 16418 New Independence Parkway, Suite 100 in Winter Garden’s Hamlin community. The grand opening is scheduled for Feb. 22 at 8:30 a.m.

The nearly 2,000-square-foot, open-design facility features advanced banking technology including teller pods, instant-issue debit cards and tablet software.
In addition, the branch features a community lounge with complimentary Wi-Fi, local premium coffee and a community table available for meet-ups or work space.


“Winter Garden’s tremendous growth in recent years presents an ideal opportunity to reach residents who are seeking new banking options.
We look forward to serving our neighbors with a community-focused, values-oriented approach.”
-- Daniel Davis, President and CEO

“As a Winter Garden resident, I’ve seen our area gain momentum with new commercial and residential
developments and corresponding job growth. We’re eager for Axiom to join this vibrant community.”
-- Jessica V. Ludvigsen, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking 


To RSVP or for more information, please contact Kate Quinones,

Posted by: Joe Horan @ 12:00:00 am 
Friday, January 19, 2018
Member of the Month - Beacon College

Beacon College, a nonprofit liberal arts college in Leesburg, is America’s first college or university accredited to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning differences.

The college will officially open a newly constructed dormitory this year. It is also in the thick of its inaugural season of the Beacon Salon Speaker Series. And, soon Beacon College will bid arrivederci to its second class of students headed to Prato, Italy for what is believed to be the first semester-long global education program for students who learn differently.

Chamber membership has allowed Beacon to share the motivational success stories of its students who struggle with learning differences and educate the region about the school’s unique mission.

Moreover, Beacon College has vigorously leveraged membership to develop relationships and lay foundations for partnerships with a string of regional businesses and organizations.


Orlando Regional Chamber members are the foundation of everything the Chamber does. Members that have exemplified commitment, engagement and outstanding support of the chamber and the community are nominated by the Chamber team for special recognition as our Member of the Month.

Posted by: Kellie Prevost Pinel @ 12:00:00 am 
Welcome New Orlando Chamber Members - November and December 2017

The Orlando Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the following new members for November and December 2017. Members are encouraged to review the following listings for goods and services provided by these new members that may be of value to you and your business. For a complete directory of Orlando Chamber members, click here.


BottomLine Clarity
127 W. Fairbanks Ave.
Suite 365
Winter Park, FL 32789
(844) 422-5327
Mr. Cameron Marsh
Accountants (Agencies/Consultants)
Payroll Services

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
1958 Summit Park Drive
Orlando, FL 32810
(407) 806-6338
Ms. Lisa Mihelich
Financial Provider
Financial (Consultants/Planners/Services)

Events by John Michael
627 Virginia Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 894-6671
Mr. Michael Thomas
Wedding Chapels/Facilities

121 S. Orange Ave.
Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 476-0667
Mr. Keith Walter
Telecommunications (Products/Services)
Internet Services

Holiday Inn Orlando East UCF Area
1724 N. Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32826
(407) 658-9008
Mr. Craig Leysen
Hotels, Motels and Resorts

InstaPhix II, LLC
7777 N. Wickham Road
Suite 20
Melbourne, FL 32940
(321) 300-1475
Mr. Cody Pierson
Cellular Communications and Service

Lion Contracting, LLC
13506 Summerport Village Parkway
Unit 357
Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 630-1212
Mr. Frankie Mitlo
Contractor (Demolition)
Concrete Work



Losey PLLC
450 S. Orange Ave.
Suite 500
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 906-1605
Mr. Adam Losey
Attorneys (Corporations and Business Law)

MEI Civil
964 Lake Baldwin Lane
Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32814
(407) 893-6894
Ms. Glena Morris
Civil Engineering

MSR Holdings, Inc.
234 N. Westmonte Drive
Suite 1040
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
(866) 995-2929
Mr. Pradeep Matharoo
Real Estate (Investment)

Nardella & Nardella PLLC
250 E. Colonial Drive
Suite 102
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 966-2680
Mr. Michael Nardella
Attorneys (Probate/Estate Planning)

Nationwide Roofing
5515 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 773-1323
Mr. Tim Fickes
Contractors (Building/General)

Proshots Photography
191 Drennen Road
Suite 507
Orlando, FL 32806
(407) 925-4880
Mr. Mark Taulbee

Westminster Towers
70 W. Lucerne Circle
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 841-1310
Mr. Kevin Miller
Retirement Homes/Assisted Living
Nursing and Personal Care Facilities
Senior Services


American Audio Visual
9484 American Eagle Way
Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 888-8300
Ms. Linda Bruns

American Sign Language Services, Inc.
3700 Commerce Blvd.
Suite 216
Kissimmee, FL 34741
(407) 518-7900
Ms. Gabrielle Joseph
Translators and Interpreters

Atrium Management Company
3256 W. Lake Mary Blvd.
Suite 1110
Lake Mary, FL 32746
(407) 585-2721
Mr. Alec Touris
Real Estate (Property Management)

AV Matters
7701 Southland Blvd.
Suite 303
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 240-0694
Mr. Rob O'Brien

BlackRain Partners
121 S. Orange Ave.
Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 493-1582
Ms. Wendy Sellers
Business Management (Leadership Consultants)
Training/Development Consultants

Blackstone Security Agency
2501 W. Main St.
Suite 109
Leesburg, FL 34748
(352) 787-1103
Mr. Trini Thomas
Security Guard and Patrol Service

BMC Mattress
1255 La Quinta Drive
Suite 230
Orlando, FL 32809
(321) 319-7569
Mr. Michael Hibbert

Bodhi Aesthetics & Wellness
1517 E. Robinson St.
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 697-7247
Ms. Autumn Norton
Weight Loss and Nutrition



Encore Creations
5132 Oak Island Road
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 812-8753
Mr. Eddie Diaz
Event Planning and Production

Harbor America
6285 Miramonte Drive
Unit 105
Orlando, FL 32835
(321) 200-2850
Ms. Jennifer Menendez
Human Resources (Employee Benefits)

Legacy Chiropractic
230 E. Marks St.
Orlando, FL 32803
(786) 760-2816
Ms. Michelle Chambers

McComas CG Consulting Group
4003 San Sebastian Drive
Unit 101
Kissimmee, FL 34741
(650) 704-9341
Mr. Scott McComas

Orlando Corporate Media, Inc.
7380 W. Sand Lake Road
Suite 500
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 362-9490
Mr. Mike Forrester
Video (Production)
Video Conferencing/Exchange Solutions

Orlando Regional Realty
13538 Village Park Drive
Suite 125
Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 751-2111
Ms. Kristi Rujano
Real Estate
Real Estate (Agents/Brokers/Managers)

Resource Employment Solutions
5900 Lake Ellenor Drive
Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32809
(321) 234-9359
Mr. Eddy Dominguez
Employment Agencies/Services


Crane Roofing and Exteriors
1404 Hamlin Ave.
Suite M
St. Cloud, FL 34771
(407) 957-7663
Mr. Aaron Anders

Maple St. Realty, LLC
542 Mayfair Circle
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 212-0613
Mr. Raul Rodriguez
Real Estate (Agents/Brokers/Managers)

Monegro Productions
5915 Lee Vista Blvd.
Suite 101
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 925-7597
Mr. Jonathan Monegro
Video (Production)

MyCity Social
7065 Westpointe Blvd.
Suite 314
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 414-9044
Mr. Jeremy Honis

Preferred Real Estate Brokers
6965 Piazza Grande Ave.
Suite 401
Orlando, FL 32835
(407) 924-7388
Ms. Lina Herran
Real Estate (Agents/Brokers/Managers)

121 Festive Court
Chuluota, FL 32766
(408) 905-0036
Mr. Santh Sathya



Teak Neighborhood Grill
901 S. Orlando Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 335-4853
Mr. Jon Proechel

Tewes Mortgage
860 N. Orange Ave.
Suite 353
Orlando, FL 32801
(786) 473-5398
Mr. Brian Tewes
Mortgage Bankers or Brokers

Traka USA, LLC
448 Commerce Way
Suite 100
Longwood, FL 32750
(407) 681-4001
Mr. Brian Davidson
Security (Systems/Services)

VJ Publications
1551 W. Marvin St.
Longwood, FL 32750
(321) 439-9722
Mr. Chris Hoffman
Advertising (Direct Mail)

Ygrene Energy Fund
3390 Mary St.
Suite 124
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 796-8730
Mr. Ricardo Rodriguez
Energy Savings Services


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 am 
Monday, January 8, 2018
How to Network at a Chamber Event - 6 Tips from a Chamber Professional

As a Chamber professional for over 10 years, I’ve hosted and attended countless networking events. These events can be a great way to make meaningful connections that if managed appropriately can lead to building quality relationships with potential customers, or at the very least gain you credibility and trust.

Here are a few tips to make your next networking event a more impactful experience.

  1. Have the right mind-set
    It’s frustrating when we hear people say, “I went to that event, but I didn’t get any business from it.” People do business with people that they trust and it’s not likely that you will build that trust in your first interaction. Networking events should be seen as opportunities to make valuable connections – not necessarily sales.
  1. Go in with a plan
    Networking events are generally anywhere from an hour to an hour and half with sometimes over 100 people in attendance. It is unrealistic to assume that you’ll be able to meet and talk with everyone in the room so make a plan and set realistic goals that you want to accomplish while you’re there.
  1. Be a resource
    A great way to establish trust and credibility is to position yourself as a resource. Ask questions to determine how you might be able to help someone you meet. Whether it’s offering business advice or providing them with a referral, if they see you as a trusted advisor, they’re more likely to return the favor.
  1. Don’t be afraid to end a conversation
    It happens all the time. You strike up a conversation and the next thing you know its 20 minutes into the event and you’ve only talked to one person. Everyone is there for the same reason - to meet people, so don’t be afraid to let the person know you enjoyed speaking with them and politely excuse yourself from the conversation.
  1. Follow up!
    There is no point in making new connections if you aren’t going to follow up afterwards. Make sure you do so in a timely manner while your interaction with the person is still fresh in their mind.
  1. Show up and be consistent
    Networking and your Chamber membership is just like anything else: you get out of it what you put into it. Determine which programs and opportunities work best for you and make it a priority to attend on a consistent basis.

Put these tips to use and join us on January 16, 2018 for our Member Mixer. We’re kicking off the new year with an open networking reception. Enjoy hors’deovures and beverages while building relationships with your fellow Orlando Regional Chamber members.

Posted by: Amanda O'Brien @ 8:00:00 am 
Ribbon Cutting Celebration - The Commons Rapid Rehab at Windsor Place


Thursday, February 8, 2018
4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
404 Mariposa Ave., 7th floor
Orlando, FL 32801




To RSVP or for more information, please contact Ordell Reid at 407.467.3230.


Posted by: Greg Mason @ 12:00:00 am 
Discounted Pro Bowl 2018 tickets available for Orlando Chamber Members

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 am 
Remembering John Young (September 24, 1930 January 5, 2018)

Of the billions of people who have walked the Earth, only 12 have left their footprints on the moon. Of those few was astronaut John Young, a longtime Orlando resident. It is with a sad heart that the Orlando region says goodbye to a pioneer and hero whose leadership has been the inspiration for the John Young Spotlight Award.

To honor the man, his achievements and the acclaim to the community, the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce created the John Young Spotlight Award in 1965. The award is given to a person or group that has directed national or international attention to Central Florida. Some of the past recipients of the John Young Spotlight Award include: Arnold Palmer, Joe Kittinger, Shaquille O'Neal, Doc Rivers, Michael Eisner, Roy Disney, Joanie Schirm, Henry Landwirth, Davis Gaines, The Honorable Mel Martinez, George O’Leary and most recently in 2017, The Honorable Buddy Dyer.

A true “hometown hero,” Young flew a record six space missions piloting the first manned Gemini mission in March 1965. He set an altitude record one year later; made two trips to the moon, one on Apollo 10 and the other on Apollo 16; and commanded the very first and the ninth Space Shuttle Missions, in 1981 and 1983. Young’s legacy will continue to inspire future leaders to always reach higher and accomplish more than their dreams could ever imagine.

Posted by: Amanda O'Brien @ 12:00:00 am 
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