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Exciting Developments on the Way in West Orange
By Rob Maphis, WOCC Chairman

There is a lot happening in Orange County, especially in South and West Orange County.  Did you know that Southwest Orange County, which includes Horizon West, leads Central Florida in residential development? As we all know, as the number of rooftops increase, businesses grow.  As such, now is one those most important times to be involved in the business advocate for this region, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce.

At the February WOCC Board of Directors meeting, Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd reported on many exciting developments in our area. These developments include many transportation projects that will serve to further enhance our community’s continued economic development and overall quality of life. For example, the proposed I-4 flyover interchange in the Dr. Phillips area, just south of Dr. Philips Park. If approved, this would help ease some of the congestion at Sand Lake Road. Another roadway project, and one of the focuses of the West Orange South Lake Transportation and Economic Development (WOSL-TED) Task Force, is the proposed East/West Connector – Corridor D known as “Wellness Way.” Construction of this connector road in Horizon West, which could start by the end of the year, will serve as a major relief to SR 50, and will be a direct connection through Horizon West to US 27 in Lake County.  

In addition to transportation, WOSL-TED will begin exploring eco- and agritourism and ways to better connect the various trail systems in West Orange County and South Lake County.  With the upcoming “Coast to Coast Connector,” a multi-use trail system that runs through most of West Orange County as it stretches across the state from St. Petersburg to Titusville, our area is poised to increase our eco- and agritourism market.  Along with our internationally-recognized theme parks, our natural assets and charming communities position this region to further expand the highly successful tourism industry and reap the benefits.

It is truly a wonderful time to be a West Orange resident, business owner or visitor.  Opportunity surrounds us and we are ripe for success, so together we can help one another reach the higher fruit!
Rob Maphis


February 25   Business After Hours



February 25    Focal Point Coaching - Strengthen Your Leadership Skills
March 3           Focal Point Coaching - Strengthen Your Leadership Skills
March 8           Small Business and Entrepreneur Resource Fair
Fix your slice while building business relationships? There's no better combo than that! Join our Golf Networking group to play a nine-hole round every other Wednesday at Member courses, while getting to know fellow West Orange business leaders. On March 23rd, April 13th and April 27th we will be playing at MetroWest Golf Club. Stick around after golf for additional networking at Crafted Block & Brew.

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!

Common Marketing Mistakes
of the Independent Agent

Guest Column by Marc Jablon, Imagine That Promo

You are a proud independent agent. Perhaps you bought a franchise, or you were hired to work for one of the major brokerage firms, real estate agencies, or premier insurance companies. There are major benefits of being an independent agent for a big name firm such as Century 21 or State Farm. Regardless of your actual experience, you get to immediately tout the reputation of your firm; you receive tried and true training with the very best agents in the country, and you have immediate brand recognition courtesy of a multi-million dollar marketing budget.
That sounds great; but don’t forget that as an independent agent you pay for those benefits, so make sure you use them. You need to leverage the considerable resources that a large corporation has developed and avoid making the marketing mistakes below:
Marketing Mistake # 1 – Failure to use your company’s marketing resources.
Perhaps you think, I’m an independent agent, I’m responsible for marketing myself. Well, your company has already spent considerable resources on marketing. They have hired the top advertising agencies and produced great spots. USE THEM! If I was an independent Nationwide Agent, Peyton Manning would be all over my social media pages, mail outs, and other “company approved” advertisements. I would think, "Nationwide already spent the money to hire Peyton Manning, and now I’m going to take advantage of their resources to market my services".

Click to read the full article...
Congratulations to our January CFO, Savanna Westwood of The Savvy Organizer, and December CFO, Apple Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc.! They were honored at the January Business After Hours event.

Best Fest admission wristbands courtesy of Imagine That Promo
Get HUGE savings at Office Depot/Office Max just for being a West Orange Chamber Member. Email us to get your loyalty card.


Greenberg Traurig Names WOCC Board Member Camille Evans Shareholder
International law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. has elevated Camille M. Evans to Shareholder in the Orlando office. Evans, a member of the Public Finance Practice Group at the firm’s Orlando office, focuses her practice on public finance, serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriter’s counsel, bank’s counsel and trustee’s counsel for both publicly and privately offered financings. She received a law degree, cum laude, in 2005 from Florida State University College of Law. Full Story

Publix Ranked as Most-Admired Company in Florida
Publix Supermarkets is the most admired company in Florida, according to a new ranking from Fortune magazine. Publix was the only Florida company to break the top 50 on a list of America's 340 most-admired companies. The grocer ranked 49th. Read More

Ocoee Celebrates Black History Month
In observance of Black History Month, now on its 40th anniversary, a proclamation was read at the February 2 Ocoee City Commission meeting.  The proclamation recognized the significance of black history throughout the American experience and encouraged the citizens of Ocoee to commemorate Black History Month. Read More
OFD, OPD Proving Collaboration Makes Orlando a Safer City
As Mayor of Orlando, my top priority is your safety, so I am always proud to share that overall crime has decreased 21 percent since 2007 and that we have one of the top-rated fire departments in the nation. And I am just as proud when I see Orlando Police Department officers and Orlando Fire Department firefighters strengthening bonds with residents. Their commitment to community involvement and collaboration with residents has been extremely evident this week. - Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando Full Story
Spring Fling to be held March 12
Mark your calendars for the City of Ocoee’s 11th Annual Spring Fling at Bill Breeze Park. Dozens of vendors will showcase community services available throughout the area. The free event will offer food, door prizes and fun activities for families to enjoy.  Several safety-related presentations and demonstrations will be presented throughout the day. Read More

Like discounts? So do we. See what your fellow Chamber members are offering just for you. MEMBER DEALS 


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