Week of July 7th, 2014
ON THE GO? READ BELOW TO BE IN THE KNOW
No one is immune to the hectic schedules of Summer! From vacations and summer camps, to visiting relatives and just keeping up with work demands, we know that time is valuable to you now, more than ever. So, we wanted to include a few topics of interest in our opening article for those of you 'on the go'. Below are a few news updates, happenings and opportunities for you, our valued Members.
- Have you ever wanted to serve on the Chamber's Board of Directors? Would you like to be at the epicenter of change and progress in West Orange County? Expression of Interest Forms are now available for download on our website. Complete the form and return it to the Chamber Office no later than August 21st.
- Do you have products or services that you would like to sell to OCPS, UCF, Valenica or Westside Tech? The West Orange Chamber's Education Committee is facilitating an opportunity for you to meet with procurement managers of these large institutions. On July 17th, in the Westside Tech Media Center - 955 E. Story Road in Winter Garden, you will have the opportunity to showcase your products and services to the decision makers. Make sure to bring collateral material and/or samples with you. For further questions and to RSVP, contact Kelly Carney no later than Tuesday, July 15th.
- We are less than 6 months away from the end of 2014! Are your marketing efforts bringing you the return on your investment that you had hoped? Would you rather reach a more targeted and business-minded audience as opposed to mass marketing? Sponsorship opportunities are still available for some of our largest events of the year. Chamber events, such as, the Annual Golf Classic, Business Before Hours, Fall Education Luncheon, Small Business & Wellness Expo and many more still have sponsorship opportunities available. Contact McLean Alley in the Marketing Department for more information.
- You spoke, we listened. As a result of last year's Member survey, many of you wanted the Chamber's website to be responsive to various mobile devices and tablets. We recently completed the update to our entire website and mobile business directory. If you visit wochamber.com from any size smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, the content will scale accordingly to best maximize the user experience. This means that you can easily navigate our Business Directory, Calendar of Events and every other page of our website, from anywhere on any device.
- The West Orange Chamber of Commerce recently signed a resolution in support of the half-penny sales tax. For more information on this resolution and the terrific impact that it will have on the infrastructure of the Orange County Public School system, click here.
Read sections from the latest edition of Orange County Connect from Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs:
Free Download from the American Association of Chamber Executives - Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth from Small-Business Leaders.
VISIT FLORIDA recently rolled out Floridagrams, a tool that lets you upload your Florida vacation photos and select a 15-second celebrity-narrated video slideshow to make their own “blockbuster” hit that is sharable through their social media channels. To get started, go to this website, create a Floridagram share via your social media channels using #Floridagram.
OUT AND ABOUT
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Universal Orlando Resorts recently added two new properties to their plethora of entertainment and lodging options. The Cabana Bay Resort opened in late June and Diagon Alley (phase two of Harry Potter World) opened to the public on July 8th. Couple these new additions to the impressive new options like the revamped Downtown Disney, new shows at SeaWorld, a growing professional soccer team, Orlando City Soccer and the always impressive NBA Orlando Magic and you can see why Orange County is one of the largest vacation destinations in the world.
Pictured above: (Photo #1): Albert Paglialunga, WOCC President/CEO, Stina D'Uva and OC District 1 Commissioner, Scott Boyd. (Photo #2): Michael Paglialunga with WOCC President/CEO, Stina D'Uva
YOU ARE INVITED
Don't miss your chance to meet the 2014 Orange County candidates at the West Orange Chamber's Hob Nob & Straw Poll on July 31st! This is your opportunity to mingle with the candidates vying to represent Central Florida and Orange County. This is THE FINAL STRAW POLL BEFORE THE PRIMARIES, don't miss out.
Presenting Sponsors: Orlando Health and the Walt Disney World Company
Event Sponsors: West Orange Political Alliance with Alarie Design Associates, Inc., University of Central Florida, and The West Orange Times
$26.00 per person in Advance; $31.00 per person At the Door, includes dinner, beverages and a vote in the Straw Poll
$234.00 Corporate Package of 10 tickets
$190.00 Candidate Table - includes Political Display Table & 3 admission tickets
Time and Date: 5:00pm-7:30pm on July 31st
Location: Bella Room
12100 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden
Join us for a casual networking lunch at Stefano's Grill, 7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Ste 80, Orlando.
Cost: Advanced Payment: $15.00 pp includes lunch, drink, dessert, tax and tip Payment at the Door: $20.00 pp includes lunch, drink, dessert, tax and tip. For more information: contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Time and Date: 12:00pm - 1:30pm on July 23rd
Location: Stefano's Grill, 7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Ste 80, Orlando.
- Orange County is the 10th largest school district in the nation, serving 187,000 students.
- Over the past 13 years, the graduation rate in Orange County has risen from 49% to 87% among traditional high schools.
- Orange County was recently named one of two finalists for the esteemed 'Broad Prize'. The "Nobel Prize" of large urban school districts, the Broad honors school districts that have shown success through learning gains and reducing minority learning gaps.
- Since 2002, the percentage of A & B schools in Orange County has risen 12 percent points (from 50% to 62%).
In celebration of July 11th, Cow Appreciation Day, Chick-fil-A will award a FREE Meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to any customer who comes in to our restaurant fully dressed as a cow. Anyone dressed partially like a cow will receive a free entree.
Stop by any participating Panera Bread on July 18th or 19th from 10am - 2pm and show your support by donating $1.00 for a sample of home-style lemonade. All money collected during the month of July will be donated to charity. Click here to read more.
Dr. Pike and the team at All Aspects Dental will be providing free dental services (cleanings, fillings and extractions) to people who may not otherwise receive basic or routine dental care as part of Free Dentistry Day. This event will be held on July 25th at their office at 301 S. Tubb St. in Oakland.
MEMBER SPECIAL OFFERS
Here are just a few of the many Special Offers that you can take advantage of as a West Orange Chamber Member:
Presale pricing for an international tour of Prague and the surrounding countryside, courtesy of JD European Tours. Download Flyer
Every month throughout 2014, we will feature a list of specific keywords that you can search in our Business Directory to help shop for specific items and services. The keywords will change each month and will be geared specifically towards that month's holidays, events or season. Just copy and paste any of the following keywords into our Business Directory to see a list of Member businesses that can fill that need. Remember, you can always access our mobile business directory on your smartphone or tablet.
Keywords to cure those Summertime Blues
Education classes, Summer camps, Parks, Entertainment, Theater, Computers, Tutoring, Tourist attractions, Visitors bureau, Pets, Sports, Recreation, Home, Garden, Décor, Landscaping and Furniture
We would like to express our genuine thanks to everyone that attended our "Legislative Road to West Orange Prosperity” Luncheon. With a turnout of well over 160 Members and guests, this truly was an event that facilitated multiple opportunities for everyone and offered the attendees an opportunity to hear from some of Central Florida's most distinguished elected officials. Some of the topics covered at the event were: the Economic Development & Infrastructure projects currently underway and how they will impact West Orange County, Medicinal Marijuana and its recourse within the Healthcare community and agriculture industry, Home Rule Charters, the positives & negatives of gambling in Central Florida and the creation of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. Many of the attendees commented on how much they learned from the panel and how great it was to gain first hand access to the key political figures of Central Florida.
The event was also a great opportunity for the Chamber to recognize the recent graduates of the Chamber's Leadership West Orange program, sponsored by Florida Hospital - Winter Garden. The graduates were presented with their official certificate of completion and will now join the ranks of other highly recognizable Orange County professionals who have completed the program.
Tunde Afolabi, Duke Energy; Joe Alarie, Alarie Design Associates, Inc.; Rob Berens, BankFIRST; Vanessa Bernal, Winter Garden Smiles; Pamela Brady, University of Central Florida - Southlake Campus; James Caldwell, R.C. Stevens Construction Company; Jay Kimelman, The Digital CPA; Sanj Marosi, Walt Disney World Company; Heidi Maskell, Geosam Veranda; Colleen Monday, Florida Hospital; Heath Nailos of Boyette, Cummins & Nailos; Georgia Parker, Regions Bank; Toni Pennington, Manheim Orlando; Nicole Perezcassar, Accelerate; Ellen Probst, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; David Stokes of Madden, Moorhead & Glunt; Betsy VanderLey, DRMP; Dawn Vaughan, Florida Hospital; David Herring, Herring Appraisal and Christina McGuirk, Health Central Hospital.
We greatly appreciate the support and generosity of our Luncheon Series Sponsor, Florida Hospital-Winter Garden and our Event Sponsor Walt Disney World Resorts. We would also like to express our immense gratitude to our Participating Sponsors - Centurylink, the University of Central Florida and our venue sponsor, Valencia College. For more information on how your business can further promote itself as a Chamber Event Sponsor, contact our Director of Marketing. Sponsorships are available for every business size and at events from 20 - 200+ attendees.
Last, but most certainly not least, we would also like to offer a very special thank you to our Special Guest Facilitator for the event, Fred Kittinger, Associate Vice President of University Relations and Director of State and Local Government Affairs at the University of Central Florida, as well as our expert panel of Central Florida Elected Officials -
Senator Kelli Stargel, District 15
Senator Geraldine Thompson, District 12
Representative Eric Eisnaugle, District 44
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs
Orlando Commissioner Sam Ings
Oakland Commissioner Joseph McMullen
Ocoee Mayor Scott Vandergrift
Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn
Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski
Visit the Chamber's Facebook page for additional photos from the event.
As the leading voice of businesses and residents of West Orange County, we invite you to take a moment and answer a brief question from the office of Congressman Daniel Webster: Do you believe that the three branches of government work in tandem, but should stay within their jurisdictional areas that our founders outlined within the Constitution? Click here to answer the question. For more information from Congressman Webster, read his weekly newsletter and stay on top of current events and opinions.
We'd like to thank Congressman Webster for stopping by the Chamber's Tuesday Networking Group to answer questions and provide an update on current domestic and international issues.