May 24, 2019 - 10:02pm
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John Young Spotlight Award
An Interview with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer - 2017 John Young Spotlight Award Honoree

The Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce (Orlando, Inc.), a division of the Orlando Economic Partnership, selects a John Young Spotlight Award honoree when an individual demonstrates outstanding leadership by focusing national or international attention on Central Florida through their efforts and accomplishments.

The 2017 honoree, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, spoke about his experience in the days and months following the Pulse nightclub shooting when the world watched the city cope with the tragedy. Dyer’s leadership helped unify the community during its most difficult time.

  1. Through the Pulse tragedy, there were many lessons learned. What was the top lesson you learned or what lesson can other communities learn from us?

    June 12 was the darkest day in our city’s history. In the face of what happened at Pulse, it would have been easy for our community to turn to anger… to hate. Those 49 beautiful people were taken from us by the worst humanity has to offer … yet our community stood together to show the world the best that humanity has to offer. My hope is that Orlando will be remembered not as the site of a horrible tragedy, but as the city that showed others that love will conquer hate. That Orlando led our country into a new era of embracing diversity, equality, fairness and inclusiveness.

  2. Mayor Dyer, you are now in great company with the past recipients of the John Young Spotlight award – including Arnold Palmer, Roy Disney, Joanie Schirm and many more who did so much to shape our community. What does this award mean to you?

    I am honored to be in great company with the past recipients of the John Young Spotlight award. While we did not ask for the eyes of the world to be bestowed upon Orlando, in the face of tragedy, what the world witnessed from our community was and continues to be nothing short of extraordinary. We embraced and supported one another, no matter one’s religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. We did not let hateful acts define us.

  3. You have guided Orlando through highs and lows. As a leader of our community, what continues to motivate you? Who do you lean on for support?

    I feel fortunate to be Mayor at the most dynamic time in our City’s history. I lean on a wide range of people for support because I value diversity and differing opinions.

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Orlando, Inc. (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce) is an important line of business of the Orlando Economic Partnership and is specifically focused on regional entrepreneurship. We serve the growing needs of businesses and entrepreneurs by Connecting our Members to Success throughout Central Florida.
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