The West Orange Chamber keeps you up to date on the local news and views that affect you and your business.
Week of October 1st, 2013
Let's not forget about FUN
Do you know that the fifth core value of  the West Orange Chamber of Commerce is FUN? Fun, that pure and simple social interaction that is just for the sake of having a good time with great people.  Bob Gosselin, co-owner of Gosselin Realty and former Board Member, passed along sage advice that "it is easier to do business with someone that you know socially". The main focus of our upcoming Rising Star Elected Official Sing Off is to connect fellow Chamber Members, Community participants and the elected officials of Orange County in a fun, lively and energetic environment. The event, presented by Universal Orlando and Mears Transportation Group, will feature elected officials from all across Orange County belting out their favorite rock & roll anthems. This is their opportunity to show you a side of their personality that many voters rarely get the chance to see. The event is guaranteed to be a fantastic time had by all. For ticket and rsvp information, visit our online calendar or call 407-656-1304. 

New Individual Rep Member Log In

Starting today, reps will be asked to create a new login ID when logging into the West Orange Chamber Website, if they have not already been assigned one. If you already have an individual login for each rep then your reps will not be prompted to take any new action. Click the image below for  a 2 minute video explaining exactly how to log in with this new system. The reason behind this transition into individual rep logins is multi-faceted. It will allow for easier registration for events and seminars, an easier transition to the social-centric platform that is currently being built by ChamberMaster and more accurate record keeping for the Chamber. Also, once you register as an individual with your organization, you will then be able to register for events using only your email address, as opposed to remembering your username and password each time. Should you have any questions on this new procedure, please feel free to call us at 407-656-1304 x 3 or email Vicki Ferber

Page Turners

View the September OC Connect from Mayor Jacobs...View

Tourism Matters from Visit Orlando...Read More

GrowFL Weekly Update for Sept. 20th...Read More

Florida Department of Financial Services offers Free Employer Seminars and Webinars regarding Compensation laws and Workplace Safety...Read More

Out and About

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Stina D’Uva, President and CEO of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, recently received the “Heart of Central Florida Woman Award” from Rebecca True of the Central Florida Women’s League. Stina was recognized for her substantial contributions to our community through charity, volunteer service and leadership.

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The West Orange Chamber's 2013 - 2014 Leadership West Orange Class, presented by Florida Hospital, recently had their first excursion together. Their inaugural outing was to Camp Wewa for a day of rope climbing, agility testing and team building exercises. The energetic and diversified group worked together to overcome both mental and physical challenges. The Leadership West Orange course Leadership West Orange is a ‘hands on, out of the classroom’ program designed to educate future leaders of West Orange County. Areas of study include: history of the area, prominent businesses, economic initiatives and what to anticipate for the future. Studies are performed one day a month, for 8 months, during which participants will take tours focusing on a specific aspect of West Orange County.

Participate to Facilitate


About: This event is limited to only 40 Members. That means, only one person per industry will be granted access to this exclusive event. Combining this formula with a 'speed dating' style atmosphere allows you to maximize your exposure in a limited amount of time. We believe that making the right “connections” is invaluable to our Members and can lead to multiple opportunities for your business. Our goal with Cocktails & Connections is to challenge those who are interested in growing their business to join us for an evening of fun, fast-paced social connecting. You will be surprised at how introducing yourself to the right person can make all the difference. Be bold! Take the first step! Space is limited to only ONE person per industry. 
Location: MetroWest Golf Club, 2100 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando
When: Thursday, October 3rd ~ 5:30pm - 7:30pm
How Much: $5.00 per person (Exclusive to one person per industry per business)
Cost: Chamber Member Earned Rate: $5.00

About: This once in a lifetime event, presented in partnership with Universal Orlando Resort and sponsored by Universal Orlando and Mears Transportation Group, will allow you to see your favorite elected official - FACE THE MUSIC. Join us for a fantastically fun evening of music, great food & drink and mixing it up with some of Orange County's most beloved elected officials.
When: October 17th 2013 ~ 
5:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Rising Star at Universal CityWalk, 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
How Much: Chamber Member Earned Rate: $51.00 pp / Non-Member Rate: $61.00 pp INCLUDES COMPLIMENTARY VALET PARKING

About: This month's 10 minute presentation is one that you won't want to miss. Eric McGinnis, Benefits Specialist with Visor Benefits, will explain the pertinent information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that applies to almost every employer in the United States. This message is important because regardless of the size of your company, failure to comply with the notification requirements can result in substantial penalties. The ACA open enrollment begins October 1 and lasts until March 31, 2014. 
When: 12:00pm - 1:30pm on October 10th 2013
Location:  Zorba's Greek Taverna, 4898 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando, FL 32811
How Much: $14 all inclusive of lunch, drinks, dessert, tax and tip


Ambassador Events

  • 25TH Anniversary - October 9th @ 5:00pm, Millers Ale House, 7379 West Colonial Drive, Orlando
  • 10TH Anniversary - October 30th@ 5:30pm, Betty J's Florist, 6 S Bluford Ave., Ocoee
Ribbon Cuttings
  • October 15th @ 5:00pm, Casa Mirella Apartment Homes, 101 Casa Mirella Way, Windermere

Member Guest Articles

Body Language Management courtesy of:
The Center for Work Life:

Breaking Bad is one of the hottest shows on television right now. In fact, Ozymandias (the most recent episode) lit up social media conversations and hit Google’s top trends. Viewers can’t get enough of the desolation and desperation. The show is a shining example of creating empathy through body language. In ‘Breaking Bad’ Recap, ‘Confessions’: Going To Extremes, Maureen Ryan describes a scene “we knew how tense everyone at the table was, thanks to their stiff body language and grim expressions, and the perkiness of Trent the waiter highlighted how non-festive everyone was feeling.” But, capturing reaction through body language isn’t just an art for actors. It is equally important for business professionals. Read the rest of the article of their blog - 

Are you and your employees ready?
courtesy of: Visor Benefits

As you may know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment will begin on October 1 and last until March 31, 2014.  Every employer (regardless of size) must notify full and part time employees of the Healthcare exchanges and how to access them. If you do not comply, employees can sue for damages and additional audits will likely occur.  This portion of the ACA is relatively easy to follow. However, the notice directs the employees to ask you for a Summary Plan Description (SPD) if they have questions. This is where employers will face monetary fines if not prepared. Visor Benefits can help you and your employees avoid these liabilities…. to read more click here

Texting Law Begins

A new law banning texting while driving goes into effect here in Florida today. Signs are going up along Central Florida roadways and in front of schools, reminding people not to text and drive. It says police officers can only subpoena phone records of drivers involved in fatal accidents. Police can’t pull you over simply for typing on your phone. You first have to be spotted breaking another traffic law.The law says it’s ok for people to be accessing maps while they are driving, and you can still text behind the wheel, as long as you are at a red light or stuck in traffic. Tickets will cost drivers $30 for a first offense, $60 for their second. (Information courtesy of

Special Offer for Members

As you are probably aware, NCAA® March Madness® is coming to Orlando next year! The 2014 NCAA DI Men's Basketball Tournament, 2nd and 3rd rounds, will be hosted at the Amway Center, March 20-22, by Stetson University and the Central Florida Sports Commission, in partnership with the City of Orlando, Orange County and the University of Central Florida.Tickets for the NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament will go on-sale to the general public October 19th. The NCAA has given us a pre-sale opportunity that will allow our Members the ability to purchase tickets before they are available to the public. The pre-sale window will start on October 15th at 10 am and end on October 17th at midnight. Look for detailed information regarding the ticket sales on our Facebook page and in the next e-publication.

Chamber CFO Page Goes Live

In an effort to continue showcasing our Chamber Members impact on the community through business to business transactions and referrals, we have recently rolled out the Chamber CFO initiative. This 'front of mind' program is a way for you to tell us (and the community) your facilitating opportunity story. Whether it be a referral, lunch at a Chamber business, a purchase of goods and services or a partnership that you have forged, we want to hear about it.  By taking just a few moments of your time to add in your comments on how the Chamber facilitated an opportunity for you or your business, you are gaining exposure for both yourself and the Member you conducted business with. The comments and stories provided will aid the Ambassadors as part of their Member of the Month selection. Each Chamber CFO will be featured on our homepage and on our Facilitating Opportunity page

Ambassadors in Action

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ePrentise Ribbon Cutting

Edgewood Children's Ranch 'We Noticed' 

Community Based Care Ribbon Cutting

Cambridge Home Ideas Ribbon Cutting


R.C. Stevens Construction Company, a Trustee of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, was awarded third place at the Associated Builders and Contractors Expo for their "Around the World in 87 years with R.C. Stevens Construction Company" booth theme, featuring wines and cheeses from around the world. 

Orange County Government - Commissioner Scott Boyd participated in the District 1 episode of Orange County Live! Additional panelists on the show were: PZC Commissioner Betsy VanderLey; OC Chief Planner Wayne Bennett; OCSO LT Hinkey and Master Deputy Spears. Here is a link to the video of the episode

Walt Disney World celebrates 42 years of sharing the magic today!

(photo courtesy of Visit Orlando)

Winter Garden received a four-bloom rating and Special Mention by the judges for its Heritage Preservation.  Tucker Ranch was acknowledged by the judges as a Special Project with its commitment to preserving the natural heritage of the area. Winter Garden was judged on six criteria: overall impression, community involvement, environmental awareness, heritage, urban forestry, landscape, and floral displays, across four sectors: municipal, residential, commercial, and community involvement. Read the Full Press Release here.

Community Events

October 5th - Knox Nursery Garden Center Fall Festival... Read More

October 13th  - Smile for a Lifetime Benefit at The Tasting Room ...Read More

October 14th Heart Screening Event...Read More

October 16th - Winter Garden Heritage Foundation Groundbreaking ... Read More

October 18th  - KRT Art Scholarship Golf Classic VIP Reception ... Read More

October 18th  - Rotary Club of Windermere Golf Tournament ... Read More

October 18th  - Pink Ribbon Bagel Day at Panera Bread ... Read More ... Order Form

October 19th - KRT Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament ... Read More

The issues at hand

Here is what we kept an eye on recently:

West Orange South Lake Transportation and Economic Development Task Force (WOSLTED)

At the monthly meeting of the West Orange South Lake Transportation  Economic Development Task Force, the group heard from Carey Hovey, Director of Planning and Sustainability with Littlejohn Engineering Associates.  She discussed the draft of the Lake County Wellness Way Sector Plan.  Click below to reach the draft and make recommendations to Littlejohn.  This presentation will be made to the Lake County Board of County Commissioners on October 22nd.
DRAFT COPY - Lake County Wellness Way Sector Plan 
The next meeting of WOSL TED will be held on Wednesday, 11/16 at 7:30am at the Winter Garden City Hall.

Lynx held a SR 50/UCF Connector Alternatives Analysis Community Liaisons Group meeting on Thursday, 9/5.
This was the first in a set of meetings to determine alternative/premium transit services along the full length of SR 50 in Orange County. Representatives from the Chamber, cities of Ocoee and Winter Garden and employers such as Health Central participated. To read about this entire project, visit:

The Economic & Governmental Advocacy Committee (EGAC) held its monthly meeting on Thursday, September 25th.  At the meeting, committee members discussed the upcoming events and heard reports from various community partners.  The Legislative Task Force will begin meeting and developing a State Legislative position paper for the 2014 Legislative session.  The next EGAC meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 25, 8:00am at the Chamber office.  

2013 Community Trustees

2013 Supporting Trustees


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