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West Orange Chamber of Commerce

May offers many reasons to celebrate for WOCC and Members

By Rob Maphis, WOCC Chairman

WOCC Chairman Rob MaphisIt is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the year. I guess the old adage is true, “Time flies when you are having fun.” Just the month of May alone has been very productive. Earlier this month, I was pleased to join the Chamber staff at the West Orange Chamber Education awards. The event honored students for their initiative, good citizenship, commitment and personal growth in the classroom with the presentation of the SOAR (Students of Achievement and Renown) Awards, the announcement of the Danniel J. Petro/ West Orange Chamber of Commerce Scholarship winners and celebration of graduates from the WOPTE (West Orange Program for Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs) program. The event was truly inspirational with hundreds of students, parents and community leaders in attendance. Congratulations to all of the award winners! Also a thank you goes out to our hosts at Dr. Phillips High School for their generous hospitality, along with Presenting Sponsor Orlando Health, Event Sponsors Suzanne's Gifts and Wynn Consulting Group, Award Sponsor Trophies Unlimited and Program Sponsor Minuteman Press. Thank you to our educators, administrators, parents and volunteers from the Chamber’s Education Committee and our Education Committee Chair, Dr. CeCe Rivers. Click here to view photos from the event.

In addition to the WOPTE Graduation, the Chamber’s Adult Leadership Program, Leadership West Orange sponsored by Florida Hospital Winter Garden, recently recognized and celebrated the graduates of the 2015/2016 Session. The graduation was held at the Chamber’s Debate Luncheon on Wednesday, May 11. This year’s 23 participants participated in the eight-month program designed to educate future leaders of West Orange County. Congratulations to the “West Orange Jedi.” See list of graduates here.

It is also my pleasure to announce the two newest West Orange Chamber Board members, Deborah Rios-Barnes and Dr. Kim Hardy. Deborah Rios-Barnes, Market Development Manager of CenturyLink, has been an active member of the West Orange Chamber for the past several years. Her leadership experience, coupled with her “can do” attitude, will prove to be a valuable asset to the Chamber Board of Directors. Dr. Kim Hardy is the Assistant Vice Provost of UCF Valencia West and a recent graduate of the Leadership West Orange program. Dr. Hardy’s knowledge in the realm of higher education, coupled with her expertise will benefit the current Chamber Board. I know that these additions to the Chamber board will help us fulfill our purpose of “Facilitating Opportunity.”


Rob Maphis


May 25       Coffee and Connections (SOLD OUT)
May 25       Ribbon Cutting: The Boutique on Plant
May 26       West Orange Economic & Governmental Advocacy Committee Meeting
May 27       Friday Networking Group
June 1       1st Anniversary: ScribbleSpace
June 1       Wednesday Networking Group
June 2       Chamber411: Putting Chamber Tools to Work for Your Business
June 7       1st Anniversary: Full Circle Cycle
June 7       Ribbon Cutting: Keke's Breakfast Cafe MetroWest
June 7       Tuesday Networking Group
June 8       Golf Networking Group
June 8       Wednesday Networking Group
June 9       Lead and Feed Networking Lunch
June 9       Ribbon Cutting: M/I Summerlake Homes
June 10     Friday Networking Group
June 11     Grand Opening: Pollo Tropical
June 14     Tuesday Networking Group



Build your presence without being present

By Heather Papoulis, Manager of Membership Development

Too busy to get out of the office and no one to send to represent your business at Chamber events?  Understaffed and overworked… this is the situation that most businesses find themselves these days; you want to stay involved, gain exposure and stay in the hearts and minds of your current clients but it can be difficult to get to an event and impossible to do weekly networking! So how do you keep a touch on the business community with no time, how do you use your Chamber benefits to help when you have the weight of your business world on your shoulders?
Communication: Talk with your Chamber team; the membership department is here to help you succeed! With a quick email or phone call you can let someone know your current goals and situation. You aren’t expected to know and/or memorize all of your Chamber benefits but if you communicate with the team we can suggest opportunities coming up that are specifically related to you and your business and even possibly directly refer you to others needing your services! Continue Reading
Build Your Presence Without Being Present
Congratulation to our March CFOs, Sarah Davis and Steve Hingtgen of RLF Architects. They were awarded for their help in creating an improved Chamber office. Our April CFO was awarded to City of Ocoee Mayor Rusty Johnson. Our thanks to Mayor Johnson and the City for making this year's Best Fest the best ever!
Click here to see this month's new and renewed members!

Maximize your investment by taking care of your records

By Art Slowe - Arthur Slowe & Associates, P.A.

Small business owners invest time and money in their business and the value of the business becomes a key part of either their next business, or retirement. Other than solid cash flow, what can be done to maximize the value of the business when it is sold? Besides profitability, the key is risk mitigation using contracts, maintaining clear financial and tax records, and following good corporate governance practices. Read More
M/I Homes at Summerlake: Grand Opening June 9
Get HUGE savings at Office Depot/Office Max just for being a West Orange Chamber Member. Email us to get your loyalty card.


Insight Credit Union partners with Orlando Predators
Insight Credit Union announced that it has partnered with the Orlando Predators Arena Football Team as the presenting sponsor for all networking and business-to-business events during the 2016 season. “We are thrilled to partner with the Orlando Predators and look forward to an exciting season cheering on the team,” said George Davis, president and chief executive officer of Insight Credit Union. Full story

West Orange Political Alliance Announces Early Endorsements
The West Orange Political Alliance (WOPA), the leading voice of support for candidates and issues that positively affect growth and economic development in West Orange County, is pleased to announce early endorsements for the 2016 Primary elections. See endorsements

Tuskegee Airman to Speak at Memorial Day Ceremony
Daniel Keel - Tuskegee AirmanThe City of Ocoee will honor fallen troops at its annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Friday, May 27, at 11:00 am. The ceremony will take place at the Ocoee Lakeshore Center, 125 North Lakeshore Drive.  The public is invited to attend. The city is deeply honored to welcome former Tuskegee Airman Daniel Keel as its keynote speaker. The 93-year-old aviator is one of the last surviving members of the famed group of African-American military pilots who fought in World War II. Read more

Chamber restaurants well represented in 2016 Dining Awards
Orlando Magazine revealed its 2016 Dining Awards, and the list is filled with West Orange Chamber Members! Winners included The Chef's Table and Tasting Room, The Attic Door, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Pio Pio, Thai Blossom and more! To see the full list of winners, Click here

Universal Studios unveils State of the Universe
Universal Studios is excited to debut the first edition of State of the Universe – a new way to keep you up to date on all the latest news and insider info from Universal Orlando Resort. Click for a look at what’s happening around our Universe. Learn more
The Chamber Team is always Out & About! Visit our Facebook page to see which members we've visited lately!
Like discounts? So do we. See what your fellow Chamber members are offering just for you. MEMBER DEALS


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