Chamber, Member and Community News & Events
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Chamber Members Master "The Art of Networking"

Approximately 40 Chamber Members attended the February 4 Chamber411 at the City of Winter Garden Commission Chambers. At this session, attendees learned all about "Building Better Business Relationships with the West Orange Chamber of Commerce." The discussion dove into the science of networking, as members discovered ways to make the most of Chamber events and other opportunities to build their business. They learned the benefits of sharing leads and referrals, and how establishing relationships, even if they may not show immediate returns, can pay off down the road. Networking is often approached with a "What's in it for me?" outlook, but taking a "How can I help?" approach instead can be far more successful. Read Full Story

Hit the Links to Network Your Business

What better place to build relationships and spread the word about your business than out on the golf course? We are looking for a few hackers who would like to network while golfing at Member courses. Play a nine-hole round every other Wednesday starting at 4:45pm.

If you are not on the Golf Networking list, please contact group leader Dan Lewis by email or at (407) 905-2704. Click here to check out the group's Facebook page. See you on the links!

News You Can Use

Winter Garden Commissioners Honor Larry Cappleman
Long-time Chamber Member and Winter Garden native Larry Cappleman was honored on January 28 by Winter Garden commissioners for his work on the community redevelopment agency. During Cappleman’s leadership, the CRA funded a variety of projects, including the Downtown Redevelopment and Streetscape project, which restored Winter Garden to what it is today. Full Story

Orange County Holds 2016 Economic Summit
The Chamber was well-represented at this year’s Orange County Economic Summit hosted by Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Stina D’Uva and Krista Carter were on hand to hear about the current and future state of our economy and a new workplace initiative.  The initiative is a challenge for Central Florida, for details, visit Read More

HAPCO Music Foundation hosts Jazz Festival
The Ocoee High auditorium was filled with the sounds of jazz and tributes to Louis Armstrong Feb. 6 during the HAPCO Music Foundation’s Jazz Festival Performance. The Ocoee High Jazz Knights band — directed by Bernie Hendricks — took the stage first, followed by the UF Jazz Band, directed by UF director of jazz studies Scott Wilson. Jazz vocalist LeNard Rutledge also made an appearance during a vocal piece with the Jazz Knights. View Photos

Orlando Ranked as America's Top City to Get Married
To help couples find the most wedding-friendly destinations, WalletHub's analysts compared 150 of the biggest cities across 18 key indicators of a cost-effective, convenient and enjoyable occasion. Our data set ranges from average wedding cost to number of venues and event spaces per capita to availability of hotels. Orlando made No.1. Las Vegas and Atlanta followed in the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. Read more

Community Gathers for Grand Opening of Florida Hospital Winter Garden
People from around the Winter Garden community came out to Florida Hospital Winter Garden’s grand opening Jan. 31 from 1 to 4 p.m. for food, music and fun. The carnival-themed festivities included games, cornhole, face painting, silhouette making and music. View Photos

Tourist Tax Soars Due to Stellar Year
When Orange County released December's Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections this week, the entire leisure and hospitality industry released a collective gasp. Not only did the destination record the highest December TDT total ever, it also surpassed the $20 million benchmark for the first time in Orlando's history. Read More

Paula Deen Visits Winter Garden
Fans flocked to Baer's Furniture last week for the opportunity to meet American celebrity chef Paula Deen. Deen came to the store Winter Garden store as part of her “Paula Deen Cuts the Fat” book tour. Some guests showed up more than two hours before Deen arrived to secure a spot at the front of line. View Photos

New Details Released for Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2016
One of the most anticipated events every spring in Orlando is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. This year, new food, new topiary displays and a new musical play garden will take center stage for this 90-day celebration of all things that bloom, March 2 - May 30, 2016. For highlights of what to expect, Click Here 

Chamber Events

2/10 First Anniversary: Grade Power Learning

2/11 Lead and Feed Networking Lunch

2/17 Wednesday Networking Group

2/17 Fifth Anniversary: Erb and Young Insurance Inc.

2/18 Coffee and Connections

2/19 Friday Networking Group

2/23 Triage Tuesday

2/23 Tuesday Networking Group

2/25 Business After Hours

See All Events

Business Events

2/17 Stewart Title Company Presents Chief Economist Ted C. Jones

2/17 West Orange South Lake Transportation Economic Development Task Force

Community Events

2/13 Winter Garden Blues & BBQ

2/20 Guns 'N' Hoses with Orlando Solar Bears

Join Us February 25 for Business After Hours

Now is the perfect time to connect with fellow West Orange business leaders by attending the February Business After Hours at Toll Brothers' Lakeshore Community! You will enjoy live music & entertainment while being treated to an evening full of networking, complimentary beer & wine, hors d'oeuvres, and fabulous door prizes!

Lakeshore is a luxury community featuring townhomes, executive, and estate homes with exquisite architectural appointments, outstanding included features, and hundreds of options to personalize your dream home. Located in the Horizon West area, Lakeshore is just minutes from any convenience you may need.

The Danniel J. Petro - West Orange Chamber Scholarship

Members, don't forget! The Danniel J. Petro - West Orange Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Application process is underway! All  interested students must complete the online application and return it to the West Orange Chamber of Commerce at 12184 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, FL 34787, Attn: Kelly Carney or via email at In order to qualify, the application and all supporting materials must be received no later than March 18, 2016.

What does RICE and MEAT have to do with Physical Therapy?

From Your Friends at FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers-Orlando

When you hear the words rice and meat, we won't blame you for thinking about food!

In the physical therapy world, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) has long been the recommended treatment for sports injuries. It is a recognized way to handle injuries, but recent reports suggest that ice and complete rest might delay recovery. Complete rest causes the muscles surrounding the injury to tighten, causing the potential for further injury once the activity is resumed. Though ice is useful in the short window immediately after the injury, it can impede the healing process over time. Read full article
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