The West Orange Chamber keeps you up to date on the local news and views that affect you and your business.
Week of February 17th, 2014
2014 Discover Magazines

Our annual Discover Magazine should be hitting your mailboxes in the next few days. We highly encourage you to keep your copy handy throughout the year as a resource for facilitating opportunity to all of our Members. The foundation of the West Orange Chamber is Members doing business with other Members. We so fervently support this, that we are one of very few Chamber's that still print an annual directory and resource guide. We feel that their is an overwhelming value in a printed directory that focuses on our Members, the community and all of the resources that West Orange County has to offer. Throughout the publication, you will see the agricultural history, vibrant culture and valuable demographic data that make our greater West Orange community ripe for economic development and business growth. 

We have posted a digital version of our Discover magazine on our website that cab accessed on any tablet, desktop or smartphone. In addition to mailing a copy to each of our nearly 1,000 Members, we also place dozens of copies at physicians’ waiting rooms, apartment complexes, hospitals, municipal offices, libraries, schools, real estate offices and many more locations throughout our service area.  

 We would like to sincerely thank all of the Advertisers for this year's publication.  Alarie Design Associates,All Aspects DentalAllegra Print & ImagingAmeriTechAssociates in DermatologyBenjamin Franklin Plumbing LLCCenturyLinkCity HomesCity of OcoeeCity of Winter GardenCommunity Management ProfessionalsEton Bridge Insurance and Financial Solutions, Florida Hospital - CelebrationFoundation AcademyHealth CentralHigh Line Car SalesLake Apopka Natural Gas DistrictMatthew's Hope Ministries, Inc.NeuroSpine Institute, Panera BreadQuickbooks and MoreStoneybrook West Self StorageSuzi Karr Realty IncThe Eye PlaceThe Original Sign FactoryTodaysOrlando.comVitas Innovative Hospice Care,W.K. Fravel, D.M.D., P.A.Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, West Orange Insurance AgencyWestside Tech,Windermere Pool Services and Windermere Spa Affair

Special thanks also go out to the following Chamber Members for their role in producing this year’s DiscoverVS Media Group, the publisher of Lifestyle Magazine; Alarie Design Associates for the cover design and interior treatments; printing by Central Florida Press, and the editorial content which was provided by our businesses and governmental partners.   

 If you would like more Discover magazines for your lobby, clients or common areas, call the Chamber at 407-656-1304 or email to schedule a pick up or drop off. 

Chamber Events
Feb. 19th
Wednesday Networking Group
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Too Jays
10185 W. Colonial Drive
Ocoee, FL 34761

Feb. 25th
Tuesday Networking Group
8:00am - 9:00am
Mimi's Cafe
3130 Daniels Road
Winter Garden, FL 

Feb. 27th
Business After Hours
5:30pm -7:00pm 
Series Sponsor CenturyLink
Event Sponsor Toll Brothers Inc.
Casabella at Windermere
Toll Brothers’ New Decorated Model Home “The Villa Milano”
4313 Isabella Circle
Windermere, FL 34786

Feb. 28th
Friday Networking Group
7:30am - 9:00am
Location: Pammie's Sammies
5907 Turkey Lake Road, #100
Orlando, FL 32819

Feb. 28th
EGAC Meeting
8:00am - 9:00am 
Topic: Orange County Public Schools CFO about the ½ penny sales tax renewal
Location: West Orange Chamber Boardroom
12184 West Colonial Drive, 
Winter Garden, FL 34787

See All Events

Page Turners

GROWFL's weekly update for February 2014...Read More

Orange County recently held an economic summit. If you were unable to attend, view the photos, presentations and more...Read More

West Orange Healthcare District Awards More Than $1.3M to Four Local Nonprofits...Read More

In case you missed our Big Orange Awards, make sure to read the wonderful write up from The West Orange Times...Read More

Out and About

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The West Orange Chamber President/CEO and Vice President recently attended Capitol Days, presented by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Accompanied by Members of the Economic and Governmental Advocacy Committee, Chamber Staff took time to meet with elected officials, influential business men/women and other Chambers from across the State of Florida. The most important accomplishment of the trip was the delivery of the West Orange Chamber's 2014 Legislative Position paper to key elected officials. This powerful letter shares with elected officials, the positions of the West Orange Chamber, focusing on pro-business initiatives. You can read the Chambers entire 2014 legislative position paper on our website. To become more involved with the Economic and Governmental Advocacy Committee, contact Krista Carter.


You are Invited

Thursday, February 27th 
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Series Sponsor: CenturyLink
Sponsored and Hosted by - 
Toll Brothers, Casabella at Windermere
4326 Isabella Circle, Windermere, FL
Chamber Member Price: $5 in advance
Chamber Member Price: $10 at the door
Non-Member Price: $20

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Lead and Feed Networking Lunch
March 6th, 2014
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm 
Ellie Lou's Brews and BBQ
336 Moore Road
Ocoee, FL 

Cost: $15 includes lunch, drink, dessert, tax and tip (in advance)/ $20 at the door
For more information: contact

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Scholarship Applications

The Danniel J. Petro/West Orange Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Application process has officially opened. In order to qualify, recipient must be a dependent of a Chamber member business owner or of 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 attend a Chamber member high school that is in good standing and must have a current GPA of 2.75 as well as maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25 while attending school. Student recipients will be awarded $1000 scholarships. The West Orange Chamber is proud to contribute $1 from all ticket sales for Chamber events to the scholarship fund. The number of recipients will be dependent upon the amount of money available in the scholarship fund at the time of the award. Any unspent money will be allocated to the following year. Two student recipients will also be awarded $2500 scholarships from the Danniel J. Petro Family Foundation. The Scholarships were established to make it possible for eligible students from Chamber member high schools in good standing to further their education at Valencia College (any campus), Westside Tech, or the University of Central Florida. Download the West Orange Chamber Scholarship Application here. All applications are due by March 20, 2014.

Local Events

Florida Forward Health Care, February 19th...Read More
Reservations Deadline is Februay 21st for Prague Tour Package... Read More
Blues and BBQ Festival February 22nd in Winter Garden...Read More
Bark and Brew Beerfest sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel, March 1st - Read More

Ocoee Spring Fling Event, March 8th...Read More
Rhythm and Roots Music festival, March 8th... Read More
Winter Garden Bikefest, March 8th...Read More

Leadership West Orange

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The West Orange Chamber’s Leadership West Orange Program, sponsored by Florida Hospital, 2013/2014 Class, “Leadership On Fire” completed their sixth session focused on Education.  The Class started the day with a presentation from OCPS School Board Members Christine Moore and Pam Gould.  The class then visited Ocoee High School, Westside Tech, Valencia College, 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.

Ambassadors in Action

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Harbor Freight Tools Ribbon Cutting
Photo Courtesy of Portraits by Laverne

If you have an anniversary, grand opening or recent renovation you would like the Ambassadors to attend and publicize, contact Kelly Carney


Chamber Shopping Keywords

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. 

Appliances, Real Estate, Construction, Bank, Automobile, Accountant, Landscaping, Attorney, Cleaning Service, CPA, Quickbooks

Community Meetings Briefing

A second meeting for the stakeholders in the Tri-cities Partnership was held on Monday, January 13th at the University of Florida IFAS location in Apopka.  The attendees, which numbered nearly 200 and included Chamber board members Lynetta Tipton Steed, Joe Alarie, Falecia Williams, Rob Frank, Rob Berens, David Sylvester and Chamber President Stina D’Uva and Vice President Krista Carter, heard a presentation of the Tri-cities Partnership Strategic Plan by Angelos Angelou of AngelouEconoimcs.  The process of gathering data from residents and businesses within the three city partners of Apopka, Ocoee and Winter Garden was facilitated by AngelouEconomics for several months.  Strengths and challenges were identified for the corridor along the SR 429, that once completed as the Western Beltway, will be a prime location for many industries.  Read more information on the meeting.
Orange County 2014 Economic Summit held on Tuesday, January 21st, hosted by Mayor Teresa Jacobs was attended by Chamber President Stina D’Uva and Vice President Krista Carter.  The morning began with an economic outlook by Dr. Sean Snaith UCF Director of the Institute of Economic Competitiveness.  Dr. Snaith discussed the uncertainties that are delaying a healthier, faster recovery from the Great Recession.  The uncertainties are Health care reform, Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform, the Fiscal Cliff and Monetary Policy.  For more information, visit 

A highlight of the morning was the awaited presentation of the “business brand” that was being developed by a Regional Branding Committee which was established in 2013.  It is a special advisory committee of the Governors Council and the Economic Development Commission.  Its members included Committee Chair Ken Potrock, Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney, Alex Martins of the Magic, John Marzano of Orlando Health and many other industry experts.  They  are tasked with conducting research/analysis, and formulate strategies and plans in support of the development of a new branding strategy and campaign for the Orlando region.  The very memorable, yet simple brand is: Orlando. You don’t know the half of it.  The brand capitalizes on the internationally recognized “Orlando” and our first brand of tourism. The next steps are to develop methods to communicate the brand to site selectors interested in relocating businesses and making Orlando a top choice.  Visit for more information on the brand as it becomes available.

The West Colonial Drive Stakeholder’s Meeting was held on Wednesday, January 22nd at the Holiday Inn Express at West Colonial and facilitated by the West Orange Chamber in partnership with Orange County Commissioners Tiffany Moore Russell, Fred Brummer and Scott Boyd.  The meeting, which drew over 30 business leaders and State Representatives Bruce Antone and Randolph Bracy, was held to identify the challenges for the retail businesses along West Colonial Drive in the area between Hiawassee and Apopka Vineland Roads.  Several issues, solutions and next steps were identified to be worked on by the group. For more information, contact Stina D'Uva.
The West Orange Chamber of Commerce also attended the recent EGAC Meetings and WOAA Meetings. For updates on these meetings, visit the Chamber's News Section.

Facilitating Opportunity

Denise Fisher with Aflac wrote us about the numerous WO Chamber Members that she did business with in the past few weeks and it truly is remarkable how she goes out of her way to work specifically with West Orange Chamber Members. Just in the past week she has provided business for, referrals to, volunteered for or driven new clients to:
Plaudits!Mrs. Bees Popcorn Shoppee, Dani Thacker LMTPanera BreadHypnoteyesWalmartDunkin DonutsMortgage Solutions of Central FloridaRocky's Retreat and DRB Benefits Group


Than you to our other Members that are specifically seeking to utilize the services of fellow Chamber Members. They can be seen on our Chamber CFO page. If you are doing business with fellow Chamber Members, fill out the quick form online, you could be the next Chamber CFO/ Member of the Month. 

2014 Community Trustees

2014 Supporting Trustees


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