Chamber, Member and Community News & Events
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WOCC Scholarship Deadline Approaching

The Danniel J. Petro - West Orange Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Application process is underway. Student recipients will be awarded $1000 scholarships; the number of recipients will be dependent upon the amount of money available in the scholarship fund at the time of the award. Two student recipients will be awarded $2500 scholarships from the Petro Family Foundation.

In order to qualify, recipients must be a dependent of a Chamber member business owner or an employee of a Chamber member business, must reside in one of our service area communities (Dr. Phillips, Gotha, Horizon West, Lake Avalon, MetroWest, Oakland, Ocoee, Orlo Vista, Pine Hills, Windermere and Winter Garden), must be a Senior attending a Chamber member high school and is looking to further their education at Valencia College (any campus), Orange Technical College - Westside Campus or the University of Central Florida.

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.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Kelly Carney at 407-656-1304 ext. 5.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce holds first Trustee Luncheon of the Year

The West Orange Chamber held the first Trustee Luncheon of the year, sponsored by Summit Broadband and hosted by The Palm Restaurant.  The private luncheon featured Special Guest Speakers Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd and Alberto Vargas, Orange County Planning Division Manager.  Together, they delivered an update on the progress in the commercial development of Horizon West. 

Pictured: Rob Maphis, WOCC Chairman of the Board; Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd; Charisse Kissenberth, Summit Broadband; Lisa Willis, Summit Broadband; Marisa Mathews, The Palm; Stina D’Uva, WOCC President/CEO; Alberto Vargas and Eric Raasch, Orange County Government

News You Can Use

A Salute to Women Who Mean Business
Quick—can you name the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company? That honor belongs to Katherine Graham, the former head of the Washington Post Company. There are now more than 20 Fortune 500 companies helmed by women, illustrating both how far female executives have come, and how much more needs to be done. We'd like to take advantage of March's designation as Women's History Month to recognize the huge contributions women have made to the world of business, whether it's launching startups, thriving in the C-Suite, or succeeding on Main Street. Read More

West Oaks Mall Hosts Healthy West Orange Expo
Local health-related businesses gathered at the West Oaks Mall Saturday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a Healthy West Orange Expo. The expo, a free community event, featured health and wellness events, activities, an appearance by former NFL player Rogers Beckett and many giveaways. The expo’s purpose was to bring people together in an attempt to make West Orange the healthiest community in the nation. Those interested in taking the Healthy West Orange pledge can visit View Photos

Orange County Steps Up Pedestrian Safety
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs recently launched Walk-Ride-Thrive!, a pedestrian safety initiative that focuses on creating an environment where local residents, businesses and visitors are able to enjoy safer pedestrian and biking options. As Orange County grows and becomes more populated, traffic congestion has spiked, which increases the risk for pedestrian accidents. According to recent statistics, the Metro Orlando region has become one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the country. Full Story

2015 a Record-Breaking Year for Florida Tourism
Did you know Florida welcomed a record 105 million visitors in 2015? Domestic visitors accounted for 85.5% of total overnight visitation, an increase of 8%. International visitation accounted for 14.5% of total overnight visitation, with an estimated 11.2 million overseas visitors and 4.0 million Canadians. Read More

CR 545 Scheduled to be Closed for 10 Days during Spring Break
County Road 545 (Avalon Road) will be closed March 18-27, 2016, between Egret Hammock Drive and 940 Avalon Road (Knox Nursery). This closure is needed to install a temporary bypass necessary to complete a pipe replacement project beneath the section of the road where Johns Lake and Black Lake connect. Full Story

OCPS Partners with 4Rivers on Farm Project
As 4Rivers grows, CEO John Rivers always has felt the responsibility to give back to the community. But he’s never been involved in the world of agriculture — until now. At the start of next school year, the 4Rivers Farm Project Partnership with Orange County Public Schools will launch at Ocoee High School. The program will teach students to test a variety of methods of growing vegetables and produce, including some hydroponics methods. Read More

Visit Orlando Announces Charitable Partners
Through the generosity of its team and member partners, Visit Orlando has provided more than a half a million dollars to organizations that work to make our community a better place to live, work and play. Three locally based organizations have been selected to receive proceeds from Visit Orlando's 2016 events and programs. Read more
Join Us Thursday for Business Before Hours

Join us this Thursday for 2016's first Business Before Hours! This event allows you to learn from an engaging guest speaker, build your brand and sharpen your networking skills. Bring plenty of business cards and be prepared to increase your network, as well as generate leads and create business connections.

Pam Gould, District 4 School Board Member, will be discussing what is happening today in Orange County Public Schools, what is on the horizon and why it matters to business. Click below to RSVP in advance and save $10 off day-of-event rates!

Chamber Events

3/9  First Anniversary: The Salt Place

3/10 Business Before Hours

3/10 Ribbon Cutting: Stewart Title Company

3/15 Tuesday Networking Group

3/16 Kicks & Conversation - Women's Networking Event

3/16 Wednesday Networking Group

3/17 Lead and Feed Networking Lunch

3/18 Friday Networking Group

3/22 Tuesday Networking Group

3/22 Triage Tuesday

3/31 Business After Hours

See All Events


Business Events

3/11 Poker at the Palace

3/12-3/13 OVA/TBVA Volleyball Academy Silent Auction

Community Events

3/12 City of Ocoee Spring Fling

3/12 Saving Young Hearts Preventative Heart Screening

3/12 Birds and Butterflies Hike

3/15 Preparing for Active Shooter Events

3/19 Evening at the Pops

3/19-3/20 Teen Pro-Active Driving School

3/20 Finding the Lost Sheep Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Share Tips and Learn from West Orange's Leading Women at Kicks & Conversation

Eat, drink and build relationships with other business leaders at this exclusive women’s event. Enjoy complimentary appetizers at Dexter's of Windermere, while sharing tips and getting to know several of the most successful and influential women of West Orange. 

Guests will hear from the co-founder of Orlando City Soccer Club and the star goalkeeper of the Orlando Pride, as they prepare for the teams’ upcoming seasons.
Click for more information on Kicks & Conversation!
Leadership West Orange Completes Education Session

The West Orange Chamber’s Leadership West Orange Program, sponsored by Florida Hospital, 2015/2016 Class, “The West Orange Jedi” completed their sixth session focused on Education. 
The Class visited with OCPS School Board Member Pam Gould, toured Windermere Elementary, Orange Technical College -Westside Campus, Valencia College/UCF West Campus, and the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy – a part of the School of Film and Digital Media at the University of Central Florida. For more information on the Chamber’s Leadership West Orange program, contact the Chamber office at 407-656-1304 ext. 6.
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