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  Many of you are in agreement with me  and are saying, “This year went by way too fast!”  It seems that just yesterday, Debbie Clements our Chairman was accepting the gavel from Lynetta Tipton Steed.  Since then, we have passed the gavel yet again, to Rob Maphis.  Rob will be leading our 2016 Board of Directors and Executive Committee, along with Debbie, Lynetta and other members of the committee; Chairman-elect Keith Bradford, Treasurer Jeff Milhausen, Director of Human Resources Joe Alarie, into another exciting year.  Each year, it appears that we try to outdo ourselves and that is what allows us to repeatedly earn the distinction of State of Florida Chamber of the Year.
It is a pleasure and fun to serve with this business savvy group of leaders and the entire board.  For 2016, our board is joined by three new members, Camille Evans, Pam Thomas and Dawn Willis.   These new members were installed at our Member Appreciation Breakfast, at which we also thanked our outgoing board member, Francine Burruezo.
People like Francine and all the Ambassadors, Committee and Networking Group leaders, Board members, the entire membership, along with the Chamber Team, make my role as President so enjoyable.  It gives me immense pleasure and it fills me with pride each time I hear praise of our Chamber.  We have built a great reputation together over the years because we do what a Chamber should do, and that is “Facilitate Opportunities” for one another.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this great organization and as I enter my 15th year at our Chamber, I am more excited about our future than ever.  I am sure we will outdo ourselves again and 2016 will be fast-paced and momentous.

To start our momentous year, I hope you will join me at our Annual Big Orange Awards at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on Friday, January 29th.  At that time, we will be honoring exceptional people and organizations.  They are:

THE CHAIRMAN’S AWARD:  Apple Air Conditioning and Heating
THE MARY VANDEVENTER AWARD – “The Spirit of West Orange”: Carol Willard

BERT ROPER AWARD:  Bread of Life Fellowship

Congratulations to all these great people and organizations and I look forward to learning who will be our Business Member of the Year for 2015!   Click here to download the nomination form.
Happy holidays and my wish for each of you is to accomplish your personal and business goals and be happy!


December 16    Membership Office Hours
December 17    Ribbon Cutting for Hand & Stone Massage
December 17    Ribbon Cutting for El Inka Grill Peruvian Restaurant
December 18    Friday Networking Group
December 22    Triage Tuesday with the FSBDC
December 22    Tuesday Networking Group
December 29    Tuesday Networking Group
January 4          Deadline to submit Business Member of the Year
January 5          Tuesday Networking Group
January 6          Wednesday Networking Group
January 6          Ribbon Cutting for Winter Garden Athletic Club
January 7          Ribbon Cutting for Southern Stewart Title
January 8          Friday Networking Group

January 13        Lead and Feed Networking Lunch


December 23   Ocoee High vs. Olympia High Basketball at the Amway Center
December 29    A WOCC Night at Solar Bear Game
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Did you know that WOCC Members and potential customers visited the West Orange Chamber website over 86,000 times last year?  This is the perfect month to update your Profile Page to ensure that your company description, location, key words, contact information and other information is correct.
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Get HUGE savings at Office Depot/Office Max just for being a West Orange Chamber Member. Email us to get your loyalty card.


Larry Cappleman Announces Retirement
After over forty years of serving clients in the Winter Garden community, Larry Cappleman will retire effective January 1st, 2016. Mr. Cappleman has handled local insurance coverage through Hillcrest Insurance Agency and his family’s business before that for over 42 years. He will continue to act as Chief Financial Officer of Hillcrest and will continue to be involved with Hillcrest Financial and Business planning through 2018. Learn more

Community Health Centers Announces Chief Medical Officer
Community Health Centers, Inc. (CHC) has announced the promotion of Debra Andree, MD as Vice President/Chief Medical Officer.  Dr. Andree received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Florida and obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Miami.  Andree joined CHC as a Pediatrician in 2002, was promoted to Chief of Pediatrics in 2013 and Associate Medical Director in 2014. Learn more

Colonial West Moves Forward for Positive Impact
The West Orange Chamber in partnership with Orange County government met with stakeholders along West Colonial in between Apopka Vineland Road and Pine Hills Road to talk next steps for the possible creation of a Neighborhood Improvement District.  A tool that could be used by property owners to make improvements that will continue to emphasize economic development opportunities along this roadway. For more details, click here.
Apopka native leads Seacoast in Central Florida
People will start to notice a lot more Seacoast Bank signs throughout Central Florida soon, after two recent acquisitions add more than 25 branches to the bank's local profile.  At the helm locally will be Apopka native Julie Kleffel, Orlando market leader and executive VP of Seacoast.  Learn more


The West Orange Chamber’s Leadership West Orange Program, sponsored by Florida Hospital, completed their fourth session focused on different levels of Government.  Learn more

Stina D'Uva had the opportunity to visit with Charlie and Hector at Vom Fass at Winter Garden Village.

Stina D'Uva, Julie Sanchez of MetroWest Master Assn(MWMA) Jim Drayton of MWMA & Windermere Rotary, Heidi Maskell of MWMA and Beth Monaco of FirstService Residential took a holiday break at Teak Neighborhood Grill. 

The WOCC Leadership West Orange Alumni group participated in the OC Supervisor of Elections Adopt-a-Precinct project for the City of Orlando November election.  The  group donated their earning to S.T.A.R.S. of West Orange and Women in the Arts.  
GOT LEADS? - Click here for a list of NEW & RENEWED Members -
Like discounts? So do we. See what your fellow Chamber members are offering just for you. MEMBER DEALS 


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