Page 1




UP CLOSE WITH Jerramy Hainline



Orlando's Leadership Connection


Orlando Health’s Business Ready Initiative


AdventHealth Reimagines Care


Gold Standard of Clean $4.95

#MeetingSafel y Today for a Stronger Tomorrow Top 1

5 Reasons


The OCCC is the first to release data-driven guidelines to provide a framework to prevent risk and protect clients, guests and attendees.



Through the Orange County Economic Task Force, Central Florida has launched a measured, careful and safe approach to Orlando’s reopening.



The OCCC successfully hosted the Amateur Athletic Union Junior National Volleyball Championships, Together Again Expo and the Florida Wedding Expo with no reported illnesses or cases.



To Book at the Center of Hospitality


The first of its kind, Orlando Health provides personalized medical services and resources to groups holding events at the OCCC through 2020.


The OCCC maintains a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection and infectious diseases prevention program to control and minimize risk.


is the No. 1 city for meetings and conventions according to Cvent. 1-800-345-9845 | sales@occc.net | occc.net/meetingsafely

Leadership Orlando provides business and community leaders in our sevencounty region with the opportunity to be an active part of the Central Florida region’s priorities while building lasting relationships with professional peers. Our 100th class of graduates will develop and expand their professional network through virtual and in-person connections in an effort to keep our participating leaders healthy and safe.

Continuing to


The largest community leadership program in America.

Enroll today in Class 100. LeadershipOrlando.org A signature program of the Orlando Economic Partnership.



A Focus on Safety


Health Care Reimagined


High-Tech Safety


Continuous Care


Escaping on the Water


Shaping Up



Orlando Health Helps Community Become ‘Business Ready’


BioAssured Certifies ‘Gold Standard of Clean’

WeCare tlc Clinics Stay Open Even Through Pandemic

Freedom Boat Club Helps Members Take a Mental Health Break

Echelon Fitness Opens New Research Facility in Central Florida

Looking Ahead

Long-Term Care Discussion Takes Retirement Planning to Another Level



UP CLOSE WITH Jerramy Hainline



Orlando's Leadership Connection

Photography by Julie Fletcher


Orlando Health’s Business Ready Initiative



AdventHealth Reimagines Care



Gold Standard of Clean $4.95


ON THE COVER Thibaut van Marcke and Dr. Donald Plumley Orlando Health


Cookie Sales

Give Girl Scouts a Taste for Business

We’ll look back, and I’m sure this will be studied in business schools and health care schools for decades because it’s been unprecedented. It has shown the resiliency we have as citizens and as Americans.


Florida Apartment Association Navigates Pandemic Rent Issues, Affordable Housing

AdventHealth Launches New Model with Health Park in Osceola County



Hitting Home

— Dr. Donald Plumley, pg. 10

4BUSiNESS Orlando's Leadership Connection



Bill Shanley

Orlando Production Inc.



The Business of Sports

Special Olympics Leader Shares Vision for Orlando 2022 Games


Up Close with

Jerramy Hainline BEST PRACTICE Guest Expert Columns


Guiding Our Teams This Year With Care


6 Sales Approaches Heading Into a U-Shaped Recovery Bil Reidy | PWRhouse Consulting


The Business of Employment


The Business of Nonprofit

What Work Really Means

Building a Community of Success


Romaine Seguin | UPS Global Freight Forwarding




Appealing to an Audience of Multiple Generations Meaghan Branham | i4 Business



From the Editor and Publisher


Business Briefs


Signs of the Times

William C. Coleman Drive



i4 Business Magazine’s Business Leaders of the Year




Zoom Event Marks 40th Anniversary of Florida Executive Women



Unique Experiences for Your Day Off

Stuff You Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know




4BUSiNESS Orlando's Leadership Connection





same day/next day parts for shipping wherever you same day/next day parts for shipping wherever you OUR FIVE 3DinPRINTING MACHINES can ABS, produce are. Founded 2004, RPS makes parts using are. Founded in 2004, RPS makes parts using ABS, POLYCARBONATE, PC/ABS, ULTEM 1010/9085, same day/next day parts for shipping wherever you POLYCARBONATE, PC/ABS, ULTEM 1010/9085, NYLON-12/CARBON FIBER, are.NYLON-12, Founded in 2004, RPS makes partsPPSF using& ABS, NYLON-12, NYLON-12/CARBON FIBER, PPSF & ANTEROE. We make TOOLING, JIGS, and FIXTURES POLYCARBONATE, PC/ABS, ULTEM 1010/9085, ANTEROE. Wemodified make TOOLING, JIGS, changes. and FIXTURES rapidly, and quickly for design NYLON-12, NYLON-12/CARBON FIBER, PPSF & rapidly, and modified quickly for design changes. Ken Brace, Owner ANTEROE. We make TOOLING, JIGS, and FIXTURES Ken Brace, Owner rapidly, and modified quickly for design changes.


Direct Digital Manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping,

RPS CAN HELP YOU WITH BOTH. Ken Brace, Owner Direct Digital Manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping,

RPS CAN HELP YOU WITH BOTH. Direct Digital Manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping,


710 S. Patrick Dr., Satellite Beach, FL 32937


710 S. Patrick 710Dr., S.Satellite PatrickBeach, Dr., FL 32937

Satellite Beach, FL 32937 321-536-2611

710 S. Patrick Dr., Satellite Beach, FL 32937

321-536-2611 321-536-2611



MANAGING EDITOR Meaghan Branham COPY EDITORS Susan Howard, APR Terry Godbey DIRECTOR OF ENCOURAGEMENT Donna Duda PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Julie Fletcher JulieFletcherPhotography.com ART DIRECTOR Tanya Mutton SidekickCreations.com CONTRIBUTORS Meaghan Branham, Terry Godbey, Key Howard, Keith Landry, Bill Reidy, Shelley Lauten, Lisseth Russa, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin, Jason Siegel DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Keith Landry Keith@i4biz.com i4 Business is a participating member of:

i4 Business Advisory Board This Month's Featured Advisory Board Members

Thank You We’d like to thank our Advisory Board members for keeping their fingers on the pulse of our community and helping us bring you the best stories from around Central Florida. Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises Becca Bides, Visit Orlando Jim Bowie, University of Florida Incubator Program Jackie Brito, HR Asset Partners Cari Coats, Accendo Leadership Advisory Group Andrew Cole, East Orlando Chamber of Commerce John Davis, Orlando Regional Chamber Laura Dorsey, Florida Black Chamber and National Cultural Heritage Society Stina D'Uva, West Orange Chamber of Commerce Carol Ann Dykes Logue, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program Susan Fernandez, Dignitas Technologies Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction Mark Allen Hayes, Stockworth Realty Group Gwen Thompson Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Vicki Jaramillo, Orlando International Airport Shelley Lauten, Consultant Chris Leggett, Central Florida International Trade Office Yolanda Londono, Harvard Group International Catherine Losey, Losey PLLC law firm Laureen Martinez, Orlando Economic Partnership Yog Melwani, Align Commercial Real Estate and Indian American Chamber of Commerce Davia Moss, Next Horizon Hope Edwards Newsome, Triloma Financial Group Rob Panepinto, Florentine Strategies Bill Reidy, PWRhouse Consulting Jerry Ross, National Entrepreneur Center Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Jason Siegel, Greater Orlando Sports Commission Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Robert Utsey, Consultant

Mark Allen Hayes Mark Allen Hayes is an entrepreneur, real estate coach, writer and speaker who is the owner of Stockworth Realty Group in Orlando, which has ties to Nashville and Detroit. In 2015, Hayes led a management buyout of Stockworth Realty from the Tavistock Group and still consults on a variety of projects with Tavistock property Lake Nona Medical City, where he serves as the director of education for the Lake Nona Institute. His real estate accomplishments have been featured on the FOX news show “The Property Man,” and his writings on education were published in a case study by the Harvard Business Review.

Gwen Thompson Hewitt Gwen Thompson Hewitt is the area development director for United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in Central and North Florida, where she plans and implements campaign strategies consistent with UNCF’s national action plan. She serves as an ambassador for UNCF, engaging donors and leveraging key relationships to manage revenue goals. Before joining UNCF, Hewitt served as the president and founder of Thompson Hewitt Consulting and as the key account manager with Ability Plus Inc. in Orlando. She has served on numerous boards and for many causes in her community, with a focus on children, literacy and higher education.

Judi Awsumb

Judi Awsumb is president of Awsumb Enterprises, a strategic business consulting company. She has more than 30 years of experience leading successful growth strategies for both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. She is the founder of WE-Women Entrepreneurs, powered by CEO Nexus, a group of second-stage business owners generating a minimum of $1 million in annual revenues. She has served on various advisory boards including the ATHENA PowerLink board of governors; the Florida Executive Women board of trustees, where she is the programs chair; and the University of Central Florida Town & Gown Council.





Orlando's Leadership Connection


VOLUME 21 - ISSUE 1 SUBSCRIBE Visit i4biz.com or send $24.95 for a one-year (8 issues) or $39.95 for a two-year (16 issues) subscription to: i4 Business, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Please include name, mailing address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email. Please allow 4-6 weeks for subscription to start. DIGITAL EDITION A digital edition of the current issue is available online at i4biz.com. CHANGE OF ADDRESS If you are moving or changing the mailing address for your subscription, send your complete old address (where the magazine is currently being mailed) and your complete new address, including ZIP code, to info@i4biz.com.

The professionals working to create a more sustainable Central Florida across industries are preserving our present and protecting our futures. In our April issue, i4 Business will spotlight your stories: WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO, AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS. Build your relationship with our audience and yours with this special section spotlight.

• • • •

Each profile will be:

Published in our print and digital editions of i4 Business Published on i4biz.com Shared on our social media channels Spotlighted in our Special Sections newsletter

Coming April 2021! i4biz.com Tel: 407.730.2961



BACK ISSUES Back issues may be purchased for $4.95 each by calling 407-730-2961. REPRINTS Reprints and commemorative plaques may be ordered from Meaghan Branham with i4 Business, 407-730-2961. No other companies offering similar products or services are affiliated with i4 Business. CONTRIBUTE Send press releases, article submissions, announcements and images to press@i4biz.com. Please provide 2-3 months advance notice for requests for event announcements and/or coverage. i4 Business® is published eight times a year by i4 Business, LLC, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Tel. 407-730-2961 i4biz.com The contents of i4 Business magazine, i4biz.com and any other media extensions related to the brand, including advertisements, articles, graphics, websites, web postings and all other information (“contents”) published, are for informational purposes only. i4 Business® and all other affiliated brands do not necessarily endorse, verify, or agree with the contents contained in i4 Business. i4 Business makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any information contained or referenced. i4 Business shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions. ©2021. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

From the Editor and Publisher

What Do We Need This Year? A Healthy Dose of Optimism


ealth is something many of us tend to take for granted — until we can’t anymore. The pandemic has changed all of that.

Just keep swimming. — Dory in the film Finding Nemo

Take a look at our i4 Business TV Channel

Every day for the past year, everyone on the planet has been forced to think about what could be on the surface of anything we touch, how long we wash our hands, how often we put our fingers in our faces, what symptoms to watch out for, where to buy toilet paper, where our friends and family members have been, how to properly wear a mask, how and where to get a test, how and where to get a vaccine … and so many other burning questions. In a normal year, this issue of the magazine, which features a theme of Health Care and Finance, would be about high-tech innovative medical breakthroughs being invented in Central Florida. Instead, it’s 2021 and we’re bringing you articles about high-touch health and wellness initiatives that are making our community a better place while we fight the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but even today I sometimes just stop and stare at the television in disbelief. It’s still inconceivable that one virus has so profoundly changed life all over the globe. I’ve had conversations with friends and family about how the pandemic is affecting people’s health. We’ve been dealing with the physical effects — some of us grappling with extra “COVID-19 pounds” even if we’ve been fortunate enough to avoid the virus itself. More and more, we’re hearing about the mental health effects and their complications. When I interviewed one of the health care professionals in our cover story, Dr. Donald Plumley of Orlando Health, we had the same kind of conversation. “If you had told me this would still be going on in December when we heard about it in March … I’m kind of glad we didn’t know,” he told me. “We would’ve been super-depressed.” We talked about how this battle is different from others the world has faced, like World War II, when people not only had to ration food but

also worry about their homes getting bombed or their loved ones not coming home. “This doesn’t compare,” the doctor said. “But in our generation, and especially in my kids’ generation, this is the worst we’ve faced.” That’s why we want to bring you some positive news in this issue. Read about the way Orlando Health has helped local organizations get back to work with its Business Ready program. Learn about the new “health park” concept AdventHealth has rolled out in Osceola County and its plans to expand. Read about WeCare tlc, a local company that operates clinics for progressive employers in 10 states, keeping workers healthy and medical costs lower. And learn about ways businesses in our region are helping people better face health challenges through long-term care planning, at-home exercise equipment and boating for recreation. With a focus on the positive, we will all get through this together ... in our own separate ways.

Have a great month!

Editor and Publisher




Orlando Airport Offers COVID-19 Testing Orlando International Airport has opened a COVID-19 testing clinic for travelers and employees. The pilot program is a collaboration with AdventHealth Centra Care and is located before the security checkpoints on the airport’s third level at the west end of the Main Terminal. “As travel increases, with certain destinations requiring COVID-19 testing prior to arrival, having an on-site clinic will enable us to better serve our customers and the community,” said Phil Brown, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates the airport. Although COVID-19 tests often are issued for free at other locations, those at the airport clinic come with a price of $65 and deliver results within 15 minutes, according to the AdventHealth Centra Care website. Hours are Thursday through Monday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, the airport is testing a crowd density system that uses light detection and heat mapping to detect whether an area has become too crowded. Passengers are informed via red, yellow and green lights atop tall poles so they can choose to await their flights in less crowded areas. The pilot system is being tested at gates 101 through 109.

Direct Flights to Honolulu Are Coming Soon

Starting March 11, Hawaiian Airlines will offer two nonstop flights a week to Honolulu from Orlando International Airport. Orlando will be the only Florida city offering the service. The nine-hour flights will be aboard the airline’s Airbus A330 aircraft, which offers 278 seats, including 18 lie-flat first class seats.




Valencia College Names 1st Female President Kathleen Plinske, Valencia College’s provost and executive vice president, will become the first woman to serve as president of the Orlando-based state college. She was chosen after a search to replace Sandy Shugart, the college’s longtime president, who will retire in June. “Dr. Plinske tipped the scales as the No. 1 candidate with her experience, her drive and her passion, checking all the boxes,” said Tracey Stockwell, chair of the college’s district board of trustees, during the selection meeting in December 2020. Scoring very high on all the qualities sought in the presidential profile, Plinske was chosen unanimously to be the college’s fifth president. Plinske, 40, oversaw the construction of the 83,000-square-foot, three-story, $21.7 million Lake Nona campus, which was completed in 2012, and the creation of the $27 million Poinciana campus in Osceola County in 2017.




Museum of Illusions Opens in Orlando Visitors are invited to wrap their minds around optical illusions at the area’s newest attraction, the Museum of Illusions Orlando at ICON Park on International Drive. Interactive exhibits based on math, science and psychology offer entertaining lessons about tricks of perception and how the brain works when confronted with the incomprehensible. The more than 50 mindboggling exhibits include the Ames Room, where people appear giant and then miniature as they walk about, and the Infinity Room, where visitors see many versions of themselves. Visitors can

defy the laws of gravity in the Reverse Room and appear to float in the Symmetry Room. For social media fans, the museum’s stunning visual tricks offer plenty of Instagrammable moments. Opportunities to snap and share inexplicable photos — including some backdrops created just for Central Florida — have added to the museum’s popularity, said George Youngdahl, general manager of the Orlando museum. “Many international guests are familiar with our concept through social networking,” he said. The Central Florida museum, a franchise of a Croatian company, is the 20th location in the world.

Executive Studio Debuts at Convention Center The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) has launched a digital broadcast center to help event planners host successful hybrid conventions and trade shows during the pandemic. The Executive Studio features classroom-style seating, customizable lighting, and audiovisual and digital solutions. “Our expertise in leading safe conventions, combined with our customer service excellence and innovative technology offerings, makes the OCCC Executive Studio an ideal venue for hybrid events,” Executive Director Mark Tester said. The studio will allow clients to host events ranging from extensive conferences to board meetings remotely using flexible tools that integrate new and familiar technologies.

Awards Honor Hispanic Business Leaders Several community members have been recognized with 2020 Don Quijote Awards from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and the nonprofit Prospera USA. The awards honor Hispanic businesses and individuals for exemplifying vision, courage and community impact — all qualities of the classic Don Quijote literary character. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Betty Martinez Lowery, who retired in November 2020 after 16 years at Walt Disney World, most recently as senior manager of corporate citizenship. Other recipients included Ybeth Bruzual, Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter at Spectrum News 13, for Professional of the Year; Graciela Noriega Jacoby, chief operating officer at Heart of Florida United Way, for Excellence; and Lui Damiani, executive

Betty Martinez Lowery

director of the Victim Service Center of Central Florida, for Hispanic Community Champion. The Hispanic Business of the Year was not awarded because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative effects on small businesses.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR NEWS? Do you have some news you’d like us to share with the community? Please be aware that we work two to three months in advance of our publication date. Submit press releases and announcements to press@i4biz.com. ADVENTHEALTH



Inspiration i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY



Orlando Health Helps Community Become ‘Business Ready’ BY DIANE SEARS


t this time last year, medical professionals around the world were watching news reports from China about a coronavirus that looked serious. It was on the distant radar at Orlando Health and its facilities all over Central Florida. Then the first local cases showed up.

“At first I was concerned, but I don’t think anybody sensed the scope we were going to be facing. I had no idea,” said Dr. Donald Plumley, a pediatric surgeon with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children for 26 years. Plumley also serves as the hospital’s trauma medical director and its chief quality officer.

“Once it started, I was like everyone else who said, ‘This is going to be a few months.’ … By mid-March, we were on board and knew this was serious and we were going to have to make some tough decisions. Do we keep working, do we stop working? Difficult decisions that had far-reaching consequences, not only for our own practices but for our patients and their livelihood.”



What happened next was a testament to the hospital system’s deep ties to the community. CEO David Strong and the senior leadership team appointed committees to specialize in different aspects of handling the pandemic. They focused internally on protecting and mobilizing the hospital’s team so everyone could work safely. And then they looked externally. Plumley was tapped to co-lead a committee that would help local businesses bring their employees back to work safely. His partner on the project was Thibaut van Marcke, president of Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in the Sand Lake area and senior vice president of the hospital system’s southeast region. The team developed Business Ready, a program that has since been adapted into a similar plan for schools. The initiative represented good foresight by the hospital’s senior leadership team, Plumley said. “We had been in the pandemic about six weeks when this came about. We realized we had gotten through the worst of our first wave and had not only treated hundreds of patients but had kept 20,000 team

We realized we couldn’t be in a holding pattern for months on end. We had learned there was a safe way to take care of our patients and of our business, and we felt strongly we could take our learnings and share them with small, midsize and large businesses. – Thibaut van Marcke

COVER STORY members safe. We also kept over 100,000 visitors safe. We thought the practices we had developed internally on the fly, with no help from anybody, should be passed on to businesses in our community.” He applauds the way Orlando Health tends to pair administrators with doctors on special projects. Plumley and van Marcke complemented each other. “There’s a mutual respect,” Plumley said. “I bring something to the table an administrator can’t. I’m a surgeon, so I’m not well-versed in Rotary Clubs or chambers of commerce, but I bring health knowledge.”

Sharing Lessons Learned

Van Marcke remembers the CEO giving him and Plumley a directive: “We need to figure out a way to help our local economy and our local businesses come back. Can you guys take this on and figure out a way we might be able to do that?”

“With our community being so dependent on tourism and our local economy being supported by folks visiting us, we realized we had an opportunity — if not a responsibility, really — to be a resource for the business community to help them come back,” said van Marcke, whose hospital near the theme park areas often treats tourists and convention visitors. “We realized we couldn’t be in a holding pattern for months on end. We had learned there was a safe way to take care of our patients and of our business, and we felt strongly we could take our learnings and share them with small, midsize and large businesses.” Handling an infectious disease was not a new experience for Orlando Health. In May 2014, the hospital treated one of only two patients in the U.S. who tested

Dr. Donald Plumley and Thibaut van Marcke



COVER STORY positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, known as MERS. While the hospital was on alert for signs of COVID-19, the region held its breath when the National Basketball Association stopped all games, including the Orlando Magic’s activities at the Amway Center. Within days, first Walt Disney World and then the other theme parks announced they were closing. Local schools shifted to remote learning, and all public gatherings were put on hold. Then Orlando Health confirmed its first case. “March 15, on a Sunday, was the first confirmed case we had here at Dr. Phillips Hospital, and that’s really when things escalated very rapidly,” van Marcke said. “We experienced what everyone else experienced, which was a rapid pace of learning about this new disease. Obviously, there was a lot of fear among health care professionals. We deal with infectious diseases, but this was new.” The first step was to make sure the employees and physicians were educated about the virus and had what they needed to keep themselves safe, including personal protective equipment or PPE — all while handling an increasing workload of patients worried they were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. “Those last couple weeks in March were pretty intense, pretty fast-paced,” van Marcke said. “While the rest of the community was shutting down and retreating home, we were still showing up to work every day. We’ve used the term ‘health care heroes’ a lot in the past several months. I consider our doctors, nurses, physical therapists, radiology techs, housekeepers and everybody along the way to be heroes. They never stopped showing up to work.”

Ever-Changing Information

In those early days, one thing kept Plumley awake at night: the accuracy and timing of the information the medical professionals were sharing with their teams and the public. “I look back at some of our first recommendations, and they’re completely different now,” he said. “Our role was to help evolve this and to stay current. Everybody was learning this on the fly, from the government to health care workers to industry.” He had to be the bad guy and tell people even in his own family that they couldn’t have a wedding shower or even a wedding. They couldn’t fly in family members for a big dinner with Grandma, who might be more susceptible to COVID-19 because of her age or a compromised immune system. That diligence extended to the business community, too.

“We had to make some hard decisions,” Plumley said. “There would be a big event, like maybe a chamber mixer, and we said, ‘You really shouldn’t do this.’ Or you would meet with a business venue and they wanted to start back up with 50% occupancy, and we said to maybe do 25%. The business owners were very respectful. They were eager for the information.” It became apparent early on there were some basic tenets everyone had to follow to keep safe: Wear a mask, selfdistance and wash your hands.

“We’ll look back, and I’m sure this will be studied in business schools and health care schools for decades because it’s been unprecedented. It has shown the resiliency we have as citizens and as Americans.”

A Plan for Businesses

Within 24 hours of getting their assignment from the CEO, Plumley and van Marcke assembled an in-house task force that included colleagues in clinical fields but also in marketing, branding and communication. They worked closely with Andy Gardiner, Orlando Health’s senior vice president of external affairs and community relations. It was important to present information that was sometimes complicated and clinical in a way the general public would understand. “Using our community relationships, we had a number of calls over the next couple days with contacts in the community, with business, industry and education, to try to understand what they were thinking through,” van Marcke said. Team members developed a series of educational videos in multiple languages. They made themselves available to speak to different groups virtually, including chambers of commerce and company leadership teams. They launched an appbased virtual visit platform that allowed people to connect with a physician or a nurse practitioner.

Orlando Health ‘Business Ready’ resource flyers are available in English, Haitian/ Creole, Spanish and Vietnamese



COVER STORY “We branded the initiative Business Ready, and around May 1 we rolled out our website,” van Marcke said. “We described it as a toolkit or a resource guide. Whether you were a business that had five employees or 500, it could be useful to you.” Most businesses have adapted by now, he said, but some have ongoing needs as they continue to reopen operations. For instance, in a partnership with Visit Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Health reviews outlines from event planners and recommends how to adjust meetings to be more pandemic-safe.

We were able to help a lot of big entities, but for me the best part was we were helping a lot of small businesses. – Dr. Donald Plumley

“We make our virtual visit platform available for conventiongoers, and we have the ability to embed a link to our app in their convention app,” van Marcke said. “For people who are traveling, there’s a sense of, ‘Hey, if I go to Orlando, there’s a local health system that’s available to me and there are pathways should I feel I’m getting ill or if I have questions.’”

Leadership in Crisis

The hospital’s senior leadership gave Business Ready team members access to any resources they needed, van Marcke said. “We were told this was important to us not only for the

health of the population we serve, but for the economy of our entire area.” It was important that an open, collaborative style of leadership come from the top and continue throughout the different branches of the hospital’s operations, he said. “As leaders, our job is to be a stabilizing force, to guide our teams through difficult times,” van Marcke said. “I’m certainly not suggesting that fear doesn’t factor in at times, but that can’t be what’s driving our decision-making.” One of the most gratifying aspects of the Business Ready program has been helping other local leaders get their teams through a frightening and stressful time, Plumley said. “We were able to help a lot of big entities, but for me the best part was we were helping a lot of small businesses. Big corporations have the resources to figure out the best way to do this, but a laundromat, a barber shop, a restaurant, those kinds of companies have no resources.” The Business Ready website, pamphlets, signage, coaching and other tools also helped nonprofits, colleges, schools and other entities, Plumley said. “They would send us their protocols, and we would have a physician read through them and say, ‘This makes sense’ or ‘This doesn’t follow CDC guidelines.’” One unexpected bonus: Battling COVID-19 together has helped strengthen the hospital’s internal team, he said. “Orlando Health puts out a COVID-19 update every single day to all 20,000some team members,” Plumley said. “It’s super-transparent, and it’s about how we’re doing financially, how we’re doing with PPE, how many patients are ‘in hospital,’ how many are on ventilators and how many have died. It’s all common knowledge throughout the organization. Every nurse, every cafeteria worker, everyone gets a copy. There are no secrets. So there’s been this camaraderie of, ‘We’re in this together and we’re going to get through this together.’” ▯

FOR MORE INFORMATION www.orlandohealth.com/businessready




AdventHealth Launches NEW Model with Health Park in Osceola County



et’s say your knee hurts. It’s swollen and painful, and you’re having a hard time walking, driving, standing, sitting and even sleeping. You make an appointment with your family doctor, who sends you to a specialist. You make an appointment for later that week, and that specialist writes you a prescription for an X-ray, which eventually leads to a physical therapy appointment, all at separate locations on different dates with clipboards of registration forms at each visit.

It’s situations like these that led AdventHealth to build what it calls a “health park” in Kissimmee, one of several it plans to construct throughout Central Florida. The AdventHealth Partin Settlement Health Park and Emergency Room, which opened in August 2020, pairs the latest technology with concierge-level services, delivering convenient and connected health care all on one campus with personal guides, known as engagement specialists, and one set of records that accompany the patient throughout the process. “This kind of one-stop-shop concept is something we started formulating about three years ago, with a desire to take care of the majority of patients’ needs outside the hospital,” said Brad Hillmon, vice president and chief operating officer of AdventHealth Orlando. “Most folks only visit the hospital a few times in their lives, if they’re lucky and they’re healthy. We wanted to make sure we had a one-stop-shop model where patients could get the majority of their health care, whether it’s primary care, imaging, labs or specialist care.”



AdventHealth, a nonprofit national hospital system based in Altamonte Springs, chose Osceola County after realizing there was a market in areas of Central Florida not located near its flagship hospital in downtown Orlando. “There’s a need to take care out to the community where people live and work,” Hillmon said. “How do we take a model that can take care of all those needs and put it where the consumer is, rather than forcing the consumer to come to us at these central hubs when they need care? We started working on that model, and then about two years ago we started looking at places in the community we felt needed it.” Construction has started on a health park scheduled to open in Clermont in September, and AdventHealth is looking at other areas as well. “The response we’ve seen from this one tells us we might be on to something, and consumers are really responding to it,” Hillmon said. “We’ve got plans for several more.”

“When you spend time from the outset training people on how to be kind and loving and to care for the patients, the way we did, and the patients respond well to that, it energizes the staff to do more of that. The staff and the patients feed off each other as they have positive interactions.” – Brad Hillmon


Consumer Focus The health park concept is all about convenience for the consumer, said Jake McKelvy, vice president of retail services for the Central Florida division of AdventHealth. McKelvy, who also leads the hospital chain’s Primary Care+ and eCare telemedicine services in Central Florida, recently took over the role of overseeing the health park concept from Hillmon, who has been developing it.

“For far too long, accessing care and navigating it has been complicated and cumbersome,” McKelvy said. “Oftentimes it’s left up to the patients to figure out on their own. The health park is striving to put the patient in the middle of the entire experience, making it easy, friendly and accessible, and allowing patients to get everything they need in one visit.”

He spoke about the “magic” of the health park, which consists of a twostory medical office building and a 24bed freestanding emergency department. “You see other buildings around that have doctors’ offices and imaging centers in one place, but those are often minibusinesses within one building. The magic of the health park is it functions as one business. There is a team of engagement specialists who greet and facilitate the visit of every patient who walks in the door. Regardless of where you’re going in the health park, you’re greeted and escorted by the same team. “The whole vision is to choreograph visits and personalize the experience for the patient. It’s been really fun to watch over the first few months, with patients remarking on how unique an experience it is compared to what they’ve seen before in health care.” Health park employees have been specifically trained in hospitality-type

customer service for this project. The Osceola health park and ER is expected to create a total of 150 jobs. “Historically, when you walk into a medical office building, you have to search the hallways looking for the office you’re visiting,” Hillmon said. “Instead, think of it like the Apple store. People are there to greet you. They’re not sitting behind a desk. They have a tablet and they’re greeting you as you walk in, and they’ll walk you to wherever you need to go. There is no place at the health park where I’m sitting at a desk looking up at you. We’ve removed the barriers to working directly with a patient. What that has meant is tremendous response.” In fact, Hillmon shared the story about a day he was at the health park observing the new operation. A patient who was walking downstairs to get lab work was so enthusiastic about the process that he praised the team out loud. He said, “You’re the Ritz-Carlton of



FEATURE health care. I’ve got to tell all my friends about this because this is unbelievable.”

“He couldn’t believe how assisted he felt,” Hillmon said. “He was having his hand held through the process, and he felt good about that. When you witness things like that, it validates the work we did to bring it up, and it energizes you to improve and continue changing the landscape of health care. It was really awesome to hear that sentiment from a patient.”

Convenience and Connection

AdventHealth incorporated several factors to make patient visits more convenient. One is using electronic records that follow the patient from one medical service to another. “Electronic health records are pretty common in health care, especially in health systems,” Hillmon said. “What has made this unique is our ability to tie it with our front-end registration system and our patient flow management tool that allows us to seamlessly connect with their record and their schedule.

We know them by name when they come in, and we know why they’re there. We can easily connect them with other services.” Another advantage is the patient’s ability to register virtually via computer or smartphone before they arrive at the health park. “You can sit on your couch at home and register for your appointment,” Hillmon said. “You can take a picture of your insurance card, fill out your consent to treat, and tell the office why you’re coming. Normally when you go to a doctor’s office, they say ‘Here’s a clipboard’ and you get 10 pieces of paper. … This makes it a lot more convenient.” It was good timing that the health park was preparing to open as COVID-19 was taking hold in Central Florida, Hillmon said. The rest of the AdventHealth system was able to benefit from the work that had been put into setting up the health park, such as the touchless registration process. Another benefit of the health park is getting the patient from one appointment to another on the same day — and on time, McKelvy said. “One of the hallmarks of the health park is we have these big, beautiful waiting rooms, but by nature of this contactless registration process and a focus on the overall experience, you don’t see many people in them. By design, it’s about

“From a clinical perspective, our physicians and care team feel like this model is equipping them to provide the best possible care they can for their patients. Our care team has been absolutely thrilled.” – Jake McKelvy



getting people into their appointments when they’re scheduled, whether that’s for imaging or primary care or specialists’ offices. We’re focusing on ontime starts and bringing people through as efficiently as possible.” The health park is also designed to cater to the hours of people who commute to work and take care of families, Hillmon said. “Giving people access to low-cost, high-quality care close to their home and close to their commute, where they work, will serve to keep people healthier at a lower cost over time. The other thing about the health park we’re really proud of is our hours. Every service in the health park is open at minimum 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday.

“Health care has been relatively inconvenient to get, and that has prevented people from staying healthy longer and at a lower cost. We believe that by making it easy to get these low-cost services, not just easy to go to an emergency room, but easy to actually see your doctor, that might be able to keep you out of the hospital. That’s where we’re hoping this is going to move the needle on improving the health of people long term.” ▯


Don’t Do It Without This Book! Author Nancy G. Allen

With over 20 years experience coaching leaders on business growth, Nancy G. Allen is your go-to resource. – Diane Sears

The Decision to Scale is a resource for all business leaders.

The book focuses on three key areas: personal, business, and company development. AMONG THE TOPICS COVERED: • Understanding what makes a successful president • Using mind mapping to generate new ideas • Identifying new business trends • Creating an excellent capabilities statement

• Forging strategic alliances • Embracing the power of delegating • Crafting a strategic plan • Using action plans for success

Nancy G. Allen is the President & CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council of Florida and is an international speaker, coach, and consultant. www.wbecflorida.org i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY





BioAssured Certifies ‘Gold Standard of Clean’ BY MEAGHAN BRANHAM


o you remember what it felt like to walk into a restaurant a year ago? Chances are you weren’t thinking about how far apart the tables were, how many hand sanitizing stations were available, or whether the menus would be on paper or a QR code. In dining rooms, stores and parks, the pandemic has changed the way we view cleanliness, the way we hold others accountable, and the way we view the relationship between businesses and their responsibility to keep us safe.

The entrepreneurs and scientists behind Central Florida-based BioAssured saw potential in this new normal. The company has brought together scientifically proven methods of disinfection and sanitization to create a proprietary process and certification that shows a building or space has reached what it calls a “gold standard of clean” from germs. “This is the first time in history we have expected entrepreneurs and business leaders to understand things like the differences between cleaning and sanitizing and disinfecting,” CEO Angela Robbins said. “So we set out to bring together established scientific methods for disinfection, helping cut through the

clutter of what was available and what is actually working.” Those methods include not only traditional disinfection and training but also durable, long-lasting biostatic coating, 222 nanometer UVC (FAR-UVC) light, and thorough compliance testing of surfaces and air. The company is marketing its solution to large public spaces, event venues, government buildings, offices, schools, airports, factories and other places where people work or gather.

Stumbling Upon a Solution

“At the beginning of this, everyone was overwhelmed, and it led to a lot of inaction,” Robbins said. “I saw a lot of living in the short term as opposed to finding a long-term solution. Companies could hire disinfecting experts to clean everything, fog chemicals into the space, get the entire building disinfected, but the second people walk in, all bets are off. A surface is only clean until the first person contaminates it. So we had to find continuous protection and looked toward a technology that could provide

that, while also being conscientious of the long-term effects of excessive chemical dumping into an environment.” She also cites the all-too-familiar “cleaning fatigue” that many believe has contributed to a spike in cases as people began to get lax about safety protocols or use products incorrectly. Robbins began to consider a more sustainable solution after she was asked by several small gyms to research their reopening plans. Although her current career is in marketing strategy and brand consulting at Moxie Brands, Robbins has a passion for dance, along with a history in the female sports space, which has helped her foster relationships with sports organizations. She was also enlisted by a cheerleading and dance industry professionals group to create online classes and guides for gym owners who needed to navigate potential closures and reopenings. As March came around and it became apparent that students would not be going back to school, new worries kept her up at night. Students were suddenly pulled from their favorite sports and activities because of the possibility they could contract COVID-19 at places they normally would frequent. As an advocate for child safety and an active member of the Orlando-based nonprofit United i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY


FEATURE She called her neighbor and friend Dr. Jason Eichenholz, co-founder of Luminar Technologies and a well-known technology leader in Central Florida. He connected her with retired Navy Capt. Dr. Wes Naylor, who was then interim director of the University of Central Florida Institute for Simulation and Training and was working on a white paper for the Navy on how to keep personnel safe, looking for solutions just as Robbins had been. The three spent several days of uninterrupted work in April putting together a business.

How It Works

Angela Robbins

Abolitionists, Robbins knew that for some students, time away from school and sports might expose them to a different kind of danger: domestic violence, which increases when families are experiencing the stress of economic hardship, or the threat of being targeted online by dangerous adults. “I was feeling so anxious about all of this,” Robbins said. “It was like all my worlds were colliding and calling to me to help.” This led to helping dance studios and nearly 200 gymnastics and cheerleading gyms reopen from March until May by teaching online classes to 50 to 75 gym owners at a time, communicating protocols to members of various trade groups, and then helping source materials like cleaning products and surface protectants to implement the new guidelines. She dove into the search for solutions and stumbled upon the use of nanotechnology and biostatics. “The history of this actually started in the textile industry,” Robbins explained. “If you remember Odor-Eaters insoles from the ’90s, it’s the same technology used in textiles to control odor by controlling bacterial growth rather than by masking it.”



They soon established a scientific advisory board and put the technologies through a rigorous vetting process, but it was partnerships with local companies Massey Services of Orlando and Healthe of Cocoa Beach that would round out the trademarked BioAssured process that launched in June 2020.

“We offer different levels, depending on what the client is looking for,” Robbins said. “Some choose to employ our two-step cleaning process, which can be deployed by the company or by our service provider partner Massey Services. Step one involves disinfecting the building with products registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as effective against viruses including COVID-19. This step prepares surfaces for the application of the biostatic and is necessary for the finish to do its job effectively.” “Without that first step, applying the biostatic is like applying wax to a dirty car,” she said. “The finish wouldn’t be able to bond properly to the surface where it’s applied. Once a biostatic is in place on a surface, it essentially becomes a self-sanitizing surface.” If you were to look at the finish under a microscope, she said, it would look

like a bed of positively charged spikes or “microscopic swords” — polymers chemically bonded to the material. Those swords are positively charged, which means bacteria and viruses that have cell walls with a negative charge will be drawn into them. The swords can deactivate harmful microorganisms continually, 24/7, for a minimum of 30 days. Beyond the two-step disinfecting process, BioAssured’s partnership with Healthe gives clients access to a suite of products that use far-ultraviolet C (UVC) light, a frequency of light that naturally kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including corona viruses, and is safe where people are present. “This is a different nanometer of light, one that is safe for our shared spaces because it can’t penetrate past the top layer of your eye or into your skin,” Robbins said. “It kills pathogens in a matter of seconds, it’s chemical free and it’s continuous.” BioAssured also offers its clients training for employees on hygiene intervention protocols as well as regular compliance testing to be sure the buildings given the BioAssured certification and the people working within them are staying safe.

Building Trust

The BioAssured seal has already been issued to clients including Osceola Heritage Park, where more than 100,000 people attended events in recent months. The venue went to BioAssured for guidance when coordinating the Mecum Auto Auction held in August 2020 and has used the process for other events such as the All Out Championships Season Showcase, which took place in December. Mecum came back to Osceola Heritage Park in January 2021. “They took us up on all of our services, so we were able to provide content for their reopening guide, train their staff on the process and install signage throughout the venue, all steps to build the public’s trust and instill confidence by communicating what we are doing to keep them safe,” Robbins said. “Our commitment is to the public — we aren’t exclusively tied to any product or solution,” she said. “We will be constantly sourcing the most effective methods for continuous protection and addressing all those vectors to be the best partners we can be.” ▯






Awards Luncheon Honoring women who are leading the way in Central Florida


March 11, 2021 www.i4business.com


WeCare tlc Clinics Stay Open Even Through Pandemic


hen COVID-19 hit the U.S., many people put their routine health care visits on the back burner. Businesses went on lockdown to prevent spread of the pandemic. Medical professionals who remained at work were too busy handling suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus to deal with anything less serious than, say, a heart condition. The risks of going into public places weighed heavy on the minds of patients, who decided to just wait. In some workplaces, however, health care visits have continued as usual because of the services of WeCare tlc, a family-owned company based in Lake Mary that operates on-site and near-site wellness centers for more than 100 employers in 10 states. The company had to make adjustments at first to secure additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for



BY DIANE SEARS its employees and adapt to the effects of the pandemic, but it prides itself on its swift response to keep patients healthy. “When access was shut down in other places, we still did outreach disease management calls,” said Raegan Garber Le Douaron, president of WeCare tlc. “We were able to quickly pivot to telehealth because we had those systems built in. And while we were ensuring proper PPE supplies, we were still dispensing medication and monitoring those chronic conditions.

“Our clinicians realized how valuable they are. Our clients did, too, because they saw very clearly what everyone else didn’t have and what they were able to have.” Le Douaron became president of the company in 2018 after working there for 12 years with her mother and stepfather, Judy Garber and Lynn Jennings, who founded the company in 2005 as

a complement to health care and medical insurance businesses they were operating. She brought on Chief of Clinical Services Fayshonda Cooks, DrPH, RN, BSN — a move that proved to be fortuitous when COVID-19 broke out soon after. The two joke today about how neither of them slept much in the early days of the pandemic, when they were working nonstop to keep up with breaking developments about the illness and protocols for handling it. “Fay and I talked about ‘hashtag no sleep’ for weeks,” Le Douaron said. “We were managing health centers in all these states, with things changing by the hour. Every morning, Fay would write an update to send to our clients, and she had to revise it twice by 10 a.m. By the end of the day, it wouldn’t be relevant any longer because things were changing that fast. But it allowed us the opportunity to define how and what to share with our clients and be closer with them.”

Raegan Garber Le Douaron

Dr. Fayshonda Cooks

A Growing Need

WeCare tlc was formed as a way to proactively bring down the cost of health care for employers through what the company calls medical risk management. It started providing wellness clinics inside large employment hubs, such as manufacturing sites, in regions that were too small to have major clusters of hospitals and medical offices. “Two things happened simultaneously that made our business grow in directions we weren’t necessarily expecting,” Le Douaron said. “Usually there’s a large employer in a small or medium-size town that everyone knows. Other business leaders and the whole community look to them as leaders. When we started doing this, other employers would call and ask if they could use that employer’s health center.” WeCare tlc facilitated those conversations, which led to collaborative clinics that now make up half of the company’s business. “At the same time, the other major company we owned was underwriting

Caring Clinicians health care plans for employers, so we saw how and why their health care costs were rising,” she said. “We saw that employers were at a disadvantage.” The company built its own system to produce data about costs, health outcomes and other factors. It noticed a trend. “These larger employers were the higher-paying employers of the area, so you would have people driving 60-plus miles to come to work. The health center was fine when they were at work. But what happened when they were not at work, or to their families, who never came to their place of employment? They still needed health care and were acquiring it in a way that didn’t work for the patients or for the employers who were paying the bills.” The answer: Set up satellite locations closer to where clusters of workers lived. That turned into the company’s near-site business and made wellness care more convenient for employees, while still holding down costs for employers.

Today, WeCare tlc employs about 250 people in its clinics nationwide, with about 30 people in Central Florida. As a nurse for almost 30 years, with a doctorate in public health leadership, Cooks knows the importance of keeping the clinicians, as workers, happy and safe. She and Le Douaron said they received numerous thank-you’s from clinical team members for keeping the health centers open so they could continue to feed their families, and for ensuring they had PPE and policies to keep them safe from COVID-19 infection. The clinicians form bonds with the workers and families they serve, and it was important to them to keep those patients healthy.

“It’s important that we understand how much we impact the patients’ safety and care,” Cooks said. “It’s been such a blessing to see our patients benefit from having a team focused on making sure they get quality services at this time.” ▯ i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY




Freedom Boat Club Helps Members Take a Mental Health Break


s the COVID-19 pandemic restricted activities and raised stress levels in 2020, many people in Central Florida found freedom by escaping on the water. They set sail, fished or simply basked in the isolation of a sandbar.

For some, this Florida-style social distancing was made possible by boat reservations through the Freedom Boat Club Central Florida. The company’s owner and president, Bobby Parker, marveled at how the pandemic’s constraints opened a new world of possibilities for his clients and his business.



“When the pandemic took hold in Florida, it’s crazy that some businesses thrived — boating, RVs and pet shops, to name a few,” Parker said. “Our new members started pouring in. We had to find another location and buy as many boats as we could to keep up with demand. Our existing members who used to go out once a month went out two times a week. The usage went up sharply. Folks were grateful to have the chance to

escape and get out of their houses while things were shut down.” Throughout 2020, Central Floridians continued to seek refuge on alluring, wide-open waterways. “It is the whole social distancing factor,” Parker said. “You can take your family out for the day and be by yourself on the boat or on a sandbar. You get out of the house and enjoy some quality time for the day without worrying about whatever else is going on in the world. The boating industry is skyrocketing during the pandemic. It’s a way to recreate in a safe way.” Parker is no stranger to the water or the boating business. His grandfather



started Parker Boat Co. in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1927 and moved the family business to Orlando in 1939. MarineMax bought Parker Boat Co. in 2013. That’s when Bobby Parker bought Freedom Boat Club Central Florida. His franchise locations offer club members their choice of 70 boats, anchored at marinas in Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach and Sanford. Most years, Parker said, club members have enjoyed 7,000 boat outings a year, but the numbers climbed last year. The club offers boat reservations from coast to coast, Parker said. “Our members can use more than 250 locations across the United States and Canada. That allows them to enjoy different waterways and places of the country they could not see if they had their own boat. They get to experience different places.” New club members pay an initiation fee and $329 per month to use the boats seven days a week. There are also memberships for taking the boats out less frequently. Newbies get two hours of training in the classroom and then two hours of training on a boat with a captain. Navigating the waters of Ponce Inlet and some other waterways can be challenging, so the captain helps make sure boaters are ready to have safe outings.

Parker says members find peace on the water in different ways. “Many of our members take the boat out for a day of fishing. Some members will take the boat for an hour for lunch or take their dog out to a sandbar for an hour. Others will take a boat up to St. Augustine and stay the night and come back the next day.” Many of the club members used to own boats, but they joined the club for its convenience. They can escape for a few hours without the worries of maintaining a boat or paying to repair a broken engine. “It’s a shared boating experience,” Parker said. “We find our members boat four or five times more now than when they owned a boat because of the simplicity our club offers.”

The club also caters to individuals who are thinking about buying a boat. By joining for a year, they can try out a variety of vessels to make sure they buy the right boat for them. Even during the holiday season, demand for days on the water did not go down, Parker said. To keep up with customer requests, the company opened its Ponce Inlet location in November 2020 and is working to build a new marina in New Smyrna Beach this year. Parker is setting his company’s course for 2021 with a plan that includes adding many more boats. And on a personal note, he intends to enjoy some rest and relaxation himself. “I am going to enjoy spending some time with my children and having fun with them and just enjoy life as best I can.” Parker hopes Central Florida residents will find tranquil waters in their lives as they navigate the new year, and he invites people to make time to escape on the water.

“We don’t know what the future will bring,” he said. “It’s like making an investment in yourself and your family — and in good quality time. Getting out on the water is always great for your mental health.” ▯




Echelon Fitness Opens New Research Facility in Central Florida BY MEAGHAN BRANHAM


etween March and April of 2020, sales of fitness equipment online jumped to 20 times what they had been during the same time frame in 2019, according to an article on themonitor.com. Most people who hear that statistic aren’t surprised. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to stay home, people found themselves in need of new hobbies, new outlets for their energy and new ways to stay in shape as gyms closed. The solution for many, whether devoted couch potatoes or workout fanatics, was to bring the gym to them. Echelon Fitness, a company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that specializes in accessible internet-connected fitness equipment and technology, found itself swept up in this trend, said John Santo, the company’s chief technology officer. “For us, every day has been like Black Friday. Our priority was working



tirelessly with all of our partners to fulfill orders and reduce delays. All day and night, we worked with our factories to make sure we kept up with the demand.” The company had to keep up with more than just orders — it also had to stay current with trends in the industry, Santo said. While Echelon Fitness expects the home gym trend to continue well after the pandemic, increased competition has led the company to diversify and find new ways to keep people in shape.

“Apple just joined the at-home fitness market,” he said. “It’s becoming more apparent that this is here to stay. We need to not only innovate new technology, but innovate on ways to keep our customers engaged and give our instructors the tools to build a long-lasting, real relationship with our customers.”


The Right Fit

Echelon Fitness turned to the Research Park Innovation District at the University of Central Florida (UCF), launching a new testing facility in Orlando in October 2020. The company’s ties to UCF are not new. Both Santo and the company’s CEO, Lou Lentine, are UCF alumni, and Santo has called Central Florida home for 25 years. Echelon Fitness began as the result of a relationship between Lentine’s company, Viatek Consumer Products Group, and Santo’s media company, Santo Design Group. In 2016, the two set out to develop one of the first connected exercise bikes. “We quickly realized there is a significant market for these types of connected equipment that was not being reached by higher-priced companies,” Santo said in an October press release. Opening the new research facility felt like a given, Santo said, because of Central Florida’s interconnected

community of people and organizations devoted to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

“Orlando is No. 1 in STEM jobs, passing cities including Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Austin and San Jose,” he said. “If you look at the top business magazines and analytics, the numbers don’t lie. Forbes estimates that Orlando has the highest STEM job growth in the country.” He also cited research by labor market data company Emsi, which has ranked Orlando as the third highest among large U.S. metropolitan statistical areas in the STEM job growth category over the past five years. “If we couple that with affordable, high-quality living,” Santo said, “we can truly build an amazing company around amazing talent in the area.”

The company is in the process of hiring 24 developers locally and plans to hire as many as 200 over the next couple of years, taking advantage of the area’s broad talent pipeline. “We are making this our tech hub,” Santo said. “All of our new technology, as well as relationships with UCF and Full Sail University, will be managed and fostered from this location.”

Staying Ahead

Work at the Orlando facility will involve developing additional products and services, Santo said. Echelon Fitness clients will be invited to test some of the new equipment there before it’s launched. With research, feedback and a market that doesn’t seem to stop growing, the company is set to continue being

competitive in the fitness world. In December, it announced the completion of a $65 million infusion of capital led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, which invests in growth stage and technologydriven companies. Since its founding, Echelon Fitness has brought more than a dozen connected fitness products to market including bicycles, rowers, fitness mirrors and a treadmill. With in-person classes at its studios in Chattanooga and Miami, and an integrated app that includes live virtual classes, leaderboards, progress tracking and more, the company’s goal is to make fitness accessible, affordable and attainable, Santo said. “We are dedicated to changing the fitness category through smart innovation at affordable prices.” ▯ i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY



Looking Ahead BY MEAGHAN BRANHAM Photography by Julie Fletcher


he hardest part of uncomfortable conversations, Christina Pinto knows, is starting them. The phrase long-term care planning — which refers to preparation for any event that results in the need for long-term assistance, whether that be part-time in-home care, live-in caregivers, or care outside the home in a nursing home or assisted living facility — is often associated with a conversation that can be daunting.

Pinto, a Certified Financial Planner at MPC Wealth Management, believes it doesn’t have to be, and after all, “Someone has to start it.” When the prospect of long-term care planning came up in her conversations with her own mother, Pinto felt the uncertainty often described by the people she helps each day:



Long-Term Care Discussion Takes Retirement Planning to Another Level

“I think that as their children, we make the mistake of thinking no one can take care of them better than us,” she said. “But I learned that’s not the case all of the time.” She wanted to give her mother the care she deserved and needed, but Pinto knew she couldn’t be a full-time caregiver while juggling the responsibilities of her own household and the demands of her career. Pinto and her team soon realized these worries are extremely common among both retirees planning for their future and people who want to help their parents. “When we sit down to review their financial plan, most clients are ready to talk about retirement and rarely consider how a longterm care event may impact their family and their life savings,” Pinto said. “If their plan does not include long-term care, that may be an issue. We focus on the long-term

care conversation to address a potential retirement income gap and discuss different strategies based on their individual financial situation.” For people 65 and older, there is a 70% chance of needing care, Pinto explained. According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care report care in a nursing home can cost as much as $12,000 a month, while at-home help can range between $6,000 and $7,000 a month depending on the patient’s needs. In their planning, Pinto and her clients take these statistics into account to prevent such costs from making difficult decisions even more taxing. “It’s about asking how much they can set aside today to co-insure the risk of long-term care costs, let the insurance company leverage the money for them and possibly avoid self-insuring 100% of the risk.” Because of that planning, Pinto’s mother, Xiomara

When asked, ‘What is the best time to consider a longterm care policy?’ I always say, ‘You are never as young or as healthy as you are today.’ The best time is when you have the money and good health to qualify.

– Christina Pinto

FEATURE Cuellar, was able to have a caregiver by her side for 10 hours a day, overseeing medications, medical visits, meals and daily activities. “She had insurance that reimbursed her when she needed care, so we could determine what was really best. Her plan and her policy allowed us to make choices,” Pinto said. “Years later, my mom realized her policy was not only a great benefit to her but benefiting me as well. It allowed me to just love her and be her daughter, and she could just be my mom again.” Now, in her work as a Certified Financial Planner, she wants to give that same peace of mind to her clients, a passion she feels blessed to have found in her profession.

“Financial planners are known for wanting to be everything to everyone,” Pinto said. “However, here at our firm, we are lucky to have found a way to follow our passion. It’s a great feeling to be part of a team where we each bring of own set of skills to help our clients. I enjoy working with clients to provide not only the professional side of long-term care planning, but also the personal and emotional side.” The through line of her compassion and passion for her work always leads back to her mother, whose own kindness echoes through Pinto’s work: “The one thing I remember and loved about her the most was her compassion. She was always very conscientious about helping others.” ▯

Christina Pinto

Securities offered through IFP Securities, LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through IFP Advisors, LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a Registered Investment Adviser. IFP and MPC are not affiliated.


Long-term care solutions are now as unique as the individual person. There are different types of policies, and there’s a wide variety of ways to pay for these policies as well as many different insurance companies to choose from. Having so many choices can make this an overwhelming task. Speak to your financial advisor or seek out a financial professional to guide you through this process and present options based on your financial situation. Rates depend on a variety of factors including:

AGE AND HEALTH Policies become more expensive as a person ages and develops health issues.

GENDER Women tend to live longer, so their policies usually cost more than men’s.

MARITAL STATUS Premiums are lower for married people than for singles.

INSURANCE PROVIDER Prices vary among carriers.

DETAILS OF COVERAGE People pay more for a larger set of choices and benefits.

Source: NerdWallet



Nothing Beats The Feel of a



and Get Your Copy Delivered to Your Door www.i4biz.com/subscriptions

One Year | $24.95 Two Year | $39.95


HITTING HOME Florida Apartment Association Navigates Pandemic Rent Issues, Affordable Housing






Photography by Julie Fletcher

hen COVID-19 shut down some of Central Florida’s largest employers, including the theme parks, it caused a ripple effect that has left other businesses struggling — including those that house workers who lost their jobs temporarily or permanently. Managers of multifamily communities have seen apartment home residents struggle to pay rent, creating challenges on a scale no one could have predicted. The Orlando-based Florida Apartment Association (FAA), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has been monitoring the situation — and offering help. “A lot of our housing providers, a lot of our members, are creating payment programs and various inventive ways to keep their residents within their communities and speak to the concerns people currently have about paying their rent,” said Josh Gold, the organization’s executive vice president. As a federation of 10 local affiliate organizations across the state, and part of the National Apartment Association, the FAA provides tools, education and advocacy for people who own, operate and manage apartment communities. The organization has been especially busy since the outbreak hit Florida in March 2020. “At the start of the pandemic, one of the largest concerns was this sort of patchwork quilt of legislation that existed across not just the country but within the state, dialing down to individual cities and regions,” Gold said. “It became very difficult for our members to keep up with what was allowable or permissible in each city or county. We served as a clearinghouse for that information, and we continue to do so. We produced a chart and documents for our members to reference in determining how to best comply with the local ordinances in effect in their area.

“Specifically, as it applies to amenities within individual communities, it was important to determine how best to operate safely and whether to open your workout facility, your pool or your playground. But more importantly, apartment communities provide housing, which is an essential service. Housing providers take the responsibility of providing safe and quality housing very seriously. At the onset of the pandemic, as essential workers, FAA members were faced with many time-sensitive and important decisions to ensure the residents who were going to be spending more time at home than ever before were safely housed.” Apartment managers have also had to determine how and when to notify residents if a neighbor becomes ill with COVID-19, Gold said. But by far, most of the questions have been about rent. While the association and its national counterpart fight for legislative relief for renters, many communities have been working with residents to find workable solutions. “Our members have been doing everything from offering payment flexibility to rent deferment until people get their unemployment checks or rent assistance at the local level,” said Amanda Gill, the FAA’s government affairs director. “Many of our members have been helping residents go through the application process for rental assistance. FF




Josh Gold and Amanda Gill

Sometimes the families or individuals who need the most help don’t have access to a computer or a printer.” The FAA has conducted monthly surveys to gauge how members are dealing with the pandemic. Among the findings: Nearly 90% of the properties surveyed have some or many residents who are unresponsive or unwilling to work with the housing provider on an alternative payment arrangement.

members, who manage about 800,000 apartment homes statewide.

“One interesting thing we’ve seen is an increase in the number of people skipping,” Gill said. “That means they owe past-due rent, and rather than try to work something out with the housing provider or wait to be removed from the apartment, they just basically ‘ghost’ the housing provider. They leave and relocate to a different address, where oftentimes the housing provider can’t contact them or locate them.”

The association offers other benefits, including a political action committee that contributes to local and state candidates who support the industry; an annual convention with educational sessions and a vendor trade show; the award-winning quarterly magazine Multifamily Florida; and leadership development opportunities through its FAA Leadership Lyceum program, which teaches members about better governance in their jobs as well as in their careers and the association. The FAA also has two signature initiatives. One is part of a public/private partnership with Tobacco Free Florida that educates apartment communities about the benefits of banning smoking and then certifies communities as smoke-

Member Education

Before the pandemic, the FAA had a full agenda planned for 2020 to help its



“What we provide on the state level, most importantly, is state advocacy,” Gold said. “We protect the organization from proposed laws and regulations we feel would be detrimental to the industry, and we support those we think will be helpful.”

free at three different levels. The basic “blue” level requires communities to have residents sign a lease or a lease addendum agreeing they won’t smoke in their apartment homes, including on balconies and patios. At the second “silver” level, residents agree not to smoke within 25 feet of shared amenities. At the highest or “gold” level, communities and residents commit to a no-smoking policy that covers the entire property. The FAA keeps a current list of smoke-free properties on its website and shares it with the Florida Department of Health. Of the communities certified through the program, 64% are at the gold level, 19% at silver and 17% at blue. The other signature initiative is the FAA’s “Click and Lease Program,” which provides members with electronic lease forms that are continually updated. “The reason they join the Click and Lease Program is it serves as a layer of protection,” Gold said. “We have constantly changing state and local laws that apply to leasing apartments, and this way they get a team of attorneys who are reviewing and updating the lease language within the documents as changes are happening. Many of

FEATURE these management companies are multistate organizations — some of them might operate communities in 25 or 30 states — so they would have a difficult time keeping up with all the state and municipal laws as they apply to leasing.”

Affordable Housing

As part of its advocacy work, the FAA published a 40-page study in September 2020 examining apartment home prices and factors affecting them. Titled Drivers of Multifamily Housing Costs and Affordability in Florida, the report asserts that COVID-19 has underscored the importance of access to stable, affordable housing — a need that will remain critical even after the pandemic.

Florida needs to build as many as 48,000 new apartments each year to meet growing demand, and rents are determined by the costs of constructing and operating the properties, the report said. With demand and costs going up, rents increased 47% between 2010 and 2019.

“We went down this path of starting a research study because we saw that housing affordability was a major problem here in Florida,” said Gill, who works with state and local governments on the issue. “We saw there were a lot of local governments trying to determine how to best address this growing problem across the state. We also noticed a lot of the solutions that were bubbling up were not friendly toward the housing industry and were making housing affordability worse in many cases. So we wanted to get out there and get some data that could be helpful to our partners in local government who are trying to address housing affordability.”

One of the most notable findings from the report is that local policies enacted by cities and counties, when compounded, can drive up the cost of rent by 12% to 17%, Gill said. “That essentially makes housing that would be affordable for a family making something like $64,000 a year to require $76,000 a year to live in that same apartment.” The FAA partnered on the study with research firm HR&A Advisors and has already heard positive feedback from partners in local governments who said it is helping them understand the results of raising impact fees imposed on new development, Gill said. “Many of them are saying, ‘We really did not have any idea.’ They obviously knew it was impacting rent, but it was hard to quantify just how much.” During the Florida Legislature’s 2021 session, which begins March 2, the FAA plans to push for a property tax incentive for affordable housing, one of the solutions underscored in the report. But with the

pandemic continuing, the association will also urge the Legislature to offer statewide rental relief funds. “We know there are so many people who need help paying their rent right now, and we understand Florida’s economy is going to take some time to recover,” Gill said. “It’s going to be important for the Legislature to allocate additional state resources to help with that need.”

Long-Term Changes

Central Florida also is home to the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando, one of the FAA’s 10 affiliates throughout the state, which represents multifamily operations in five counties. With more than 196,000 units, it accounts for about 24% of the FAA’s total membership. It’s the third-largest affiliate in the state behind its counterparts in the Tampa Bay area, which represents about 25% of the FAA’s membership, and Southeast Florida, with more than 24%. The local and state apartment associations have worked together to help members assist their residents through the pandemic, said Chip Tatum, CEO of the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando.

“For our core members — apartment communities and housing providers — this year has been challenging on a number of fronts,” he said. “Our members had to learn how to function in an entirely new operational environment that impacted leasing, apartment maintenance, resident engagement and, of course, rent collection. The industry innovated and adapted quickly to these pandemic-fueled operational challenges, and did so with a great deal of success.” One example Tatum cited is the way leasing offices moved from traditional inperson practices to a virtual experience. “Members were able to conduct personal virtual tours with prospects and still provide a high level of customer service. Many of our members have reported that while traffic was down, the number of leases secured was on pace with the previous year or better. They might have had fewer prospects, but their closing ratios were much higher. We expect that this new virtual leasing option will be one of the innovations that will endure beyond the pandemic.” ▯ i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY




Photography by Julie Fletcher


irl Scout Alexis Sells is one smart cookie, and she’s not the only one. While customers are chowing down on Peanut Butter Sandwiches and wondering where all the Thin Mints went, the Girl Scouts are learning business skills through their annual cookie sales.

“I learned how to run a business,” said Sells, 16. “You have to market your cookies and get the word out, create a sales strategy and sell your cookies, manage and budget your finances and manage your inventory all while providing excellent customer service.” These skills could not be more relevant to Sells, who intends to become a businesswoman. She has been involved in Scouting since kindergarten, when she joined the organization as a Daisy, and said she’s amazed at what she has learned. “Girl Scouts has prepared me for my future career more than anything else,” she said. “When it comes to business, what I’ve learned in the Girl Scouts far surpasses what I’ve learned in school.” Her mother, Crystal Jones, is equally dedicated to the Girl Scouts and their mission, which is to build girls



of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Jones is chief operating officer of the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, which is helping to mold about 12,000 Girl Scouts in Central Florida, including her daughter.

“I think the consistency of Girl Scouts and how it encourages the girls to put themselves out there really helps them gain confidence,” Jones said. “We’ve seen so many girls flourish, and it’s exciting to watch them as they grow up, overcome their shyness and bloom.” In the United States, more than 1.7 million young women are Girl Scouts. Sells said her Girl Scouts experience has provided

leadership skills she’ll be able to use to launch her career. “Even though some girls tend to leave Scouting after a few years, it’s well worth it to stay because you get so many opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise.” She participated in a leadership program where she learned how to work with younger girls at a summer camp and relished the experience. “I was leading and assisting the adult employees and the girls,” she said. Even more impressively, she was chosen last year for an internship with the organization’s national office, the GSUSA. She was one of about 25 girls chosen out of 700 applicants based on accomplishments. The interns were supposed to work on the program of the annual Girl Scouts convention, which was planned for Orlando in October 2020. When the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the girls changed direction and worked on projects to help Girl Scouts stay connected while they were physically apart. Sells worked on Clean the Coast, an educational resource to help her fellow Scouts learn about the plastic debris that winds up in the ocean and its harmful effects on the environment. The pandemic has also changed Girl Scout cookie sales, which take place Jan. 24 through Feb. 28. Virtual sales are expected to increase this year because of innovations the Girl Scouts are introducing in their sales techniques.

FEATURE “If you want to have customers who will come back repeatedly, you have to be nice. You have to be polite when you ask someone if they would like to buy some cookies. And you have to make sure you deliver the cookies on time so you can build great relationships.”

– Alexis Sells

Sells said she and her troop won’t go door to door but will drop off flyers or door hangers at their neighbors’ homes. Each will include a link so people can order and pay online and have their treats delivered. “Every girl will have her own personal website and link,” Sells said. The Girl Scouts are also partnering with Grubhub, an online and mobile food delivery platform. Beginning Feb. 5, customers can order their favorite cookies through the Grubhub website or app. That doesn’t mean you won’t see Girl Scouts selling cookies outside grocery stores. “We will still have booths, but the girls will be following social distancing rules and selling with as little contact as possible,” Jones said. The girls in each troop decide how their cookie proceeds will be spent. Sometimes the money might go toward a trip and other times it might be donated to a nonprofit that caught the girls’ attention.

Being a Girl Scout is a lot of fun, Sells said. “You make friends from different schools and different states, and these friends will last a lifetime.” She values the array of activities and programs that let Scouts explore their interests, both as a troop and as individuals. “I really like dance,” she said, “and I got to dance with the Orlando Magic Dancers. It was an incredible experience.” If she had to pick her most valuable lesson, the budding businesswoman said it would be the importance of excellent service. “If you want to have customers who will come back repeatedly, you have to be nice. You have to be polite when you ask someone if they would like to buy some cookies. And you have to make sure you deliver the cookies on time so you can build great relationships.” ▯





Bill Shanley

Founder and CEO

Orlando Production Inc.

GOING LIVE FBy Keith LandryH Photography by Julie Fletcher


f 2020 were a livestreamed event, not many of us would want to watch the replay. COVID-19, with all the pain and disruption it brought last year, took a toll on small businesses across Central Florida and the nation. One Longwood business managed to pivot and push through the pandemic by adapting its approach to producing live events. Bill Shanley has been livestreaming events and masterminding video productions since 2003, and he founded Orlando Production Inc. in 2006. He had a hunch livestreaming would grow in popularity, and he wanted to be ready. “I felt that was going to be a big future industry,” he said. “It was harder back then to convince people to see a need for it. It’s one of those things people don’t think they need until they utilize it. We got so much experience perfecting livestreaming before the demand was there.” The CEO reflected on his company’s pandemic pivot during the past year: “The biggest challenge of 2020 was that COVID-19 canceled 95% of our corporate



in-person events. Thank goodness our business model is diversified. We are very strong in film and video production at the same time as audiovisual services. We worked on three feature films during 2020. We shifted our business focus during part of the year to do postproduction for those films. It was a real blessing that we were involved in those.” As many small-business owners struggled to adapt to a constantly shifting landscape during 2020, Shanley’s crew found its sweet spot in the livestreamed hybrid event.

“We’ve been doing hybrid events for a long time. That’s when you have an in-person audience and a large viewing audience on the internet. With COVID-19, a lot of companies shifted to small inperson audiences with a majority of viewers watching an event online at the same time.” Shanley points out that these hybrid events help businesses and

nonprofits stay connected with clients and constituents while putting a strong emphasis on keeping everyone safe. His clients tell him they like the livestreamed hybrid events. “We are averaging five to six livestream events per month right now, and it’s been like that throughout the entire pandemic. The clients realize doing this enables them to stay in touch with their customer base. They’ve found it can be very engaging for their audiences, especially using the visuals, graphics and production quality we offer.” Shanley recalls a 2020 hybrid highlight. His team produced a livestreamed event for a nonprofit group in Ohio that advocates for people who have multiple sclerosis. “The live, inperson event combined with the hybrid livestream helped these advocates continue to deliver their message in a safe, socially distanced way by using our technologies. That felt rewarding, to help those patients.” Orlando Production is pressing the fast-forward button toward a more


stable business environment in 2021. Shanley believes the outlook will improve for his clients by the middle of the year. He also thinks many of them will stick with livestreamed hybrid events in a world where Zoom and webinars are now normal.

Shanley has his 2021 game plan in place. “We are going to continue to offer and enhance the hybrid and in-studio events. We feel there will be a combination of hybrid events and more on-location events this year, but hybrid with the livestreaming will still play a strong part throughout 2021. In the second half of the year, I believe we will see more corporate in-person events again.”

Shanley said his team and technologies are well positioned to create memorable events this year. “We have a whole studio set up for livestreaming hybrid events. We offer a 33-foot-by-10-foot video wall. Our crew can use up to 10 cameras at the same time with a jib. Our engineers set up an intelligent lighting system and full audio system, ready to go, in the studio. It creates an atmosphere that has a live-audience event feel to it, but it’s in a safe studio.” He said his team’s pandemic pivot brought useful lessons for the years ahead. “I learned that our own company’s diversity has been a huge benefit for us because we focus on multiple areas of production,” he said. “Our forward thinking from back in 2003 to offer livestreaming services benefited us

very well when changes in the market happened during the pandemic. “We will continue to invest in new technologies. We have invested more than $1 million in equipment through the years. We believe our team has the tools to deliver the right services and technologies so our clients can create live events their customers will not forget.” ▯







Jerramy Hainline With

By Terry Godbey

Jerramy Hainline is senior vice president and general manager of GolfNow, an Orlando-based technology company that serves golfers and golf courses through its bestselling golf course management software and services. Hainline, who started working in golf at age 12, has played professional golf and has been promoted eight times during his 10 years at GolfNow. He is guided by his love of golf and a drive to excel, and he always raises his hand when an opportunity arises. He said the company will move ahead on strategies to drive innovation and help golf courses succeed in challenging times. GolfNow is part of the NBC Sports Group’s digital portfolio, along with Golf Channel, which recently moved from Orlando to Stamford, Connecticut. What did you want to be growing up?

First it was a doctor, then a lawyer when my mom said I argued better than anyone else. Those professions, however, required a lot of school — not my favorite activity. Book learning drove me nuts. I loved growing from life skills and using street smarts, and I sought stories about people who charted their own paths. After discovering I also liked numbers, I settled on finance. But whatever I would become, I knew I wanted to be in control of the decision-making.

When did you fall in love with golf?

I played my first round of golf at age 8 in Fairbanks, Alaska, where I lived as a kid. The course featured sand greens that required players to drag/roll their line for each putt. I hit a sawed-off driver everywhere — I mean everywhere — except when putting, of course. Those two clubs were all I needed. Maybe that’s why driving and putting remain my best skills. I started to play a lot when my family moved back to Seattle when I was around 11. People would say how difficult golf was or how much time it took to be good. I was always motivated by a challenge. All I wanted to do then was show everyone I could be good. I would stand in a deep greenside bunker and hit hundreds — no, thousands — of golf balls until I was the best bunker player around. Practicing is awesome. Golf requires a lot of practice to be just average and an extraordinary number of hours to be good. That chase is something I still love today.

What was your first job? What did you learn from it? It’s no surprise that my first job was at a golf course. I was 12 and cleaned golf clubs for $2 an hour. Minimum wage at the time was $3.35, so the first thing I learned was that all 12-year-olds were underpaid! Cleaning golf clubs isn’t glamorous, but it was how I developed people skills. I figured tips were my pathway to making money, and

since the club members had that money, my strategy was simple: I would talk with adults about their kids, their jobs and, especially, their golf games, and they, in turn, would want to talk to me. Developing these skills set me up for what I do today.

GolfNow serves recreational golfers as well as golf courses “at the intersection of golf and technology.” For those of us who might not equate golf with technology, what does that mean?

When we talk about golf course technology, we are referring to the electronic tee sheet and the point-of-sale system that golf courses use. The electronic tee sheet is a fancy Excel sheet where golfers and information about them are tracked. Think of the point-of-sale as a cash register where cash and credit card payments are processed. GolfNow is the largest provider of that technology to golf courses in the world. We also create digital tools to supplement the sale of tee times online, including automated pricing tools, social media management and email marketing. Traditionally, most tee times have been booked over the phone or in person, but in the last 10 years that has slowly shifted to online. 2020 accelerated this, and we don’t see it changing. GolfNow provides technology to seamlessly guide a golfer from booking a tee time online through the entire golfing experience — and it’s the reason we lead the industry.

You’ve been promoted eight times during your 10 years at GolfNow. To what do you attribute this success?

I raise my hand when opportunity presents itself with no expectation of anything in return. It is that simple. There’s no magic formula. I have accepted challenges and opportunities to learn and grow. Fortunately, I have been pretty good at many of those tasks and have been rewarded.




What makes you an effective leader? In a nutshell, what does your current role as senior vice president and general manager entail, and what do you love best about it?

I am not above any person or any task in this business. I would never ask someone to do something I have not already done or would be unwilling to do myself. Having eight jobs and 10 years of experience at GolfNow affords me the ability to understand what I am asking of people. You can’t have empathy if you haven’t been there. My current role is all about shaping the culture at GolfNow, and it’s important. Helping people find focus and success will build a business where people will beg to work. I want a diverse group of people who teach me as much as I teach them. That’s what I love about my job, finding ways to make people the best versions of themselves.

How have you and members of your sales team partnered with golf courses during the COVID-19 pandemic? What has been the biggest challenge and what were the solutions?

There were many questions when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Although golf was deemed safe, courses still had to make major operational changes to ensure that golfers and staff stayed safe. Technology helped provide a seamless,



contact-free experience, and many golf courses that initially were forced to lock down would not have been able to reopen without help from GolfNow. We feel fortunate that we were able to help through our products and services. Because of the pandemic, it’s fair to say that the demand for golf has changed, the golfer has changed, the way a golfer interacts with a golf course has changed — and the list goes on. We have a great opportunity to position ourselves in a way that perhaps no other company in the golf space has been able. Taking responsibility for leading those efforts is a tremendous opportunity, and focusing on the new golf climate is of paramount importance. You will see GolfNow become even more focused on strategies to drive innovation and help our golf course partners succeed.

How has your company helped provide access to golf among select groups such as the military and youth?

We have been blessed with a successful business, and we are always looking for ways to give back to important groups and organizations. We started MilitaryTeeTimes.com with the purpose of providing a 10% discount to all members of the military, past and present. My family served, as did my wife’s. We don’t know of a larger sacrifice, and it’s a small thing we can do for servicemen and women. We also have a national partnership

with Youth on Course, which provides kids with affordable access to golf courses. Locally, we support the Orlando Minority Youth Golf Association and First Tee of Central Florida, where I serve on the board of directors.

When was the last time you golfed? What was your score?

I played over the holidays, and I’m happy to say I broke 80 every time! My scores are ranging from 72 to 78, depending on how many phone calls I take during the round.

What are you most proud of?

No question, it’s my marriage of 23 years to Kassandra. We met in college and got married young. Our journey started in a motor home as we traveled around the country playing golf, with Kassandra as my caddie. We had nothing and built it all together. We have four beautiful daughters: Skias (16), Evanthea (14), Elektra (12) and Vasi (10). When I look at all that I have achieved professionally, it pales in comparison to what the six of us have achieved together.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Character is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room, and at the end of the day your name is all you have. What are people saying about you and your name when you aren’t around? ▯

Attain new skills.

You’re invited to join the World of Girl Scouts!



“The girls set the goal for what they want to achieve… They set it, figure out how to measure it, how they want to sell. They do customer research, work with the competition, work with the markets. It really is a remarkable exercise.”


Romaine Seguin

is president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, where she oversees air, ocean and rail freight forwarding, as well as brokerage and supplier management, for the 220 countries and territories UPS serves around the world. She can be reached at rseguin@ups.com.



Now it’s 2021, and we are starting to see a bit of glimmer at the end of the tunnel. But we still need to ensure our families, communities and employees are in a safe and healthy environment. — Romaine Seguin


hat a topic to discuss from a leadership perspective for the theme of this month’s magazine: health. It’s a topic we all dealt with throughout 2020, when we started battling the COVID-19 pandemic while still leading families and employees. We helped children with schoolwork, took on new projects at home and kept businesses going. Going into 2020, I had really thought it was going to be a roaring year for prosperity — very similar to the Roaring ’20s in the 1900s. Who would have thought the world would come to a halt and we’d still be coping with the COVID-19 virus almost a year later. Now it’s 2021, and we are starting to see a bit of glimmer at the end of the tunnel. But we still need to ensure our families, communities and employees are in a safe and healthy environment. Yes, the vaccine has arrived in the U.S. But it will take time for enough of us to get the vaccine to be able to develop a “herd immunity” in our society so we can feel comfortable going back to our normal lives. Now more than ever, we have to lead our families, communities and employees with care and knowledge. We cannot deviate from the best practices and communications that have gotten us this far in battling COVID-19.


In my opinion, this will be tougher than what we went through in 2020. That means we all need to be on our A game. I have some recommendations to help us get through this as leaders:

CONTINUE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE. There is no rush to bring employees together in person. Continue to work remotely unless you have to be with the general public to do your job. There are many front-line workers who still have to report to workplaces, including medical professionals, grocery store employees and delivery drivers. They have to follow mask requirements and other safety measures. They are all protecting us while they’re serving us. If your employees are working remotely, stay in touch with them from all aspects, personally and professionally. As a leader, you must be known as the one who constantly follows the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EDUCATE YOURSELF, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE VACCINE. I am not saying we should all become medical experts, but we should know basic information about each pharmaceutical company that is supplying a vaccine so we can help our employees understand what’s happening. Each company’s product will vary in the way it has to be stored and administered. The days required between administration of the first and second doses of the vaccine are slightly different, according to the websites of suppliers Pfizer and Moderna. My sister is a health care professional, and she has received the vaccine. Her hospital is following strict guidelines, and everyone there knows the rules for the followup second vaccine. There is concern about people who are receiving the first dose of the vaccine. Will there be strict adherence to the required follow-up shots? It is up to us as leaders to advocate the guidelines and encourage our employees to follow through with treatment. Personally, this concerns me because some of us might fall a little ill after taking the first dose, just as some people do after they receive a flu shot. However, most who have received the first dose say they experienced little more than slight discomfort from the needle insertion itself. Here is the big ask for all of you: Please, in a positive way, encourage the second dose with family members, community individuals and employees. This is critical. I am thanking you in advance for your leadership.

want to stand out from the crowd?

hire a


COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE AND COMMUNICATE. You can never remind your kids enough to wash their hands often and for 20 seconds. In the same way, you can keep a positive future top of mind by making your employees aware of success stories about people who have received the vaccine. My sister the health care professional received the vaccine on Dec. 12, and I invited her to be on a global call days later with all the folks who have been moving the vaccine for my company. She explained the process and thanked the team. You will be able to find your own real stories to support your work and your employees over the next few months. I still envision a Roaring ’20s ahead of us with the rest of the 2020 decade. The tough part will be getting through this year. But we’re finally seeing a glimmer of light, and we have to be sure to not let our guard down. As leaders, we have to stay healthy and keep others safe. We can do this together — and together we can create stronger families, communities and workplaces. ▯

Working behind the scenes to make you look good!

sidekickcreations.com | 307.202.3920 i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY



Bill Reidy

is president of PWRhouse Consulting, an authorized Sandler Training center and sales force development company in Orlando. He can be reached at: www.pwrhouse.sandler.com, bill.reidy@sandler.com or 443-418-6033.


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. — Martin Luther King Jr.



o 2020 was supposed to be the year your company would experience exponential growth. You outlined the plans, meticulously prepared the data, and presented the projections to board members or company leaders. Everyone felt the excitement about potential growth, but nobody could have predicted what 2020 would bring. Now that we’re in the first quarter of 2021 and have seen the entire sales landscape change, you might be asking yourself, Is any growth strategy relevant during these turbulent times? The short answer to that question is YES. The longer answer is, You should be able to scale up or down your current process to make it work regardless of market conditions by using these approaches:


1 2

ESTABLISH A SUCCESSFUL CADENCE. This is where operational discipline meets sales execution. When a successful cadence is established, it supports any business at any time if the right framework is in place. DO NOT CHASE REVENUE SIMPLY TO MAKE THIS QUARTER’S NUMBERS. In the Sandler Research Center report “The Hunt for New Clients,” it was discovered that only 43% of sales professionals thought their organizations were effective at deciding which opportunities to pursue. In this case, your sales team may be burning up time and energy chasing deals that might not be worth the effort. It is important to remember that net revenue retention, on balance, is more valuable than one-time wins. A successful growth approach must be repeatable and scalable.

3 4 5 6

THE SALES TEAM MUST UNDERSTAND HOW TO PROPERLY LAND IN THE CRITICAL PATH OF PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS. According to the same Sandler report, only 72% of sales professionals said they understand a typical prospect’s journey. However, landing in the prospect’s critical path means your selling process is aligned with a corporate initiative that is meaningful to the prospect. In other words, unless you are selling something critical to your prospect’s ability to grow business, reduce risk or cut operating costs, it’s unimportant to that prospect in this environment. If you are only selling into discretionary budgets, then your growth strategy is not going to survive.

Experienced M&A and Corporate Counsel Solutions for Entrepreneurs

TIGHTLY ALIGN SALES AND THE ORGANIZATION. This is backed by an entire belief system, and not just a onetime implementation. It is an ongoing and shared responsibility to build sustainable and repeatable growth. Don’t ask people on your sales team to close deals, ask them to help build the business. SUSTAINED OPERATIONAL DISCIPLINE STEMS FROM CONTINUOUS LEARNING. We know from our research that 43% of sales managers do not feel they receive effective training for their roles. Everyone is a student in this new environment, including the leadership team. In these uncertain times, the boss can’t possibly know it all or even foster an environment where everyone believes they know it all. Everyone, including leadership, must be willing and able to commit to the continuous evolution of knowledge and skills. And if you can’t learn something, be prepared to hire to fill gaps. IF YOU GO TOO FAST, YOU WILL GET ELIMINATED. Don’t push sales for speed. That only satisfies a short-term need. By pushing sales, the organization will simply continue to run into the same problems, only faster.

We’re at the onset of radical change, without knowing exactly what that entails. But that doesn’t mean rapid growth is off the table. Some predict a U-shaped recovery ahead. In order for your growth strategy to succeed, no matter what the market conditions, you will need a repeatable process that is either defined or continuously refined by the organization. Landing in the critical path of your prospect takes time, discipline, process and cadence. But the ability to do so will be rewarded with sustainable growth and long-term value. ▯

Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel offers the strength and resources of attorneys and professional staff with experience in a range of services to meet all the legal needs of a growing company. Then, when you are ready to exit, Nelson Mullins has the experience to guide you through your acquisition.

For general business or acquisition questions, call: Doug Starcher 407-839-4208 Pete Schoemann 407- 839-4225 Matt Armstrong 407-839-4258 In Florida, known as Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel, Attorneys and Counselors at Law 390 North Orange Avenue | Suite 1400 Orlando, FL 32801 nelsonmullins.com | 407.839.4200




Meaghan Branham

is the managing editor for i4 Business, where she oversees the company’s digital media strategy, handles client relationship marketing for the print and digital magazines, and serves as one of the publication’s lead writers. A native of Brevard County, she splits her time between Central Florida and Nashville, Tennessee.


L The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing. — Seth Godin

everaging the power of generational differences makes for more diverse and creative workplaces, interesting content and increased empathy. It also can be a powerful marketing tool. Market segmentation, or the practice of dividing your audience into groups based on certain identifiers, allows for more finely tailored and ultimately successful campaigns. One of the most common ways of defining these segments is by generation.

Once you have an idea which generations dominate your buyer persona, you need to understand what those generations are looking for. While there is plenty of diversity within a generation, there are certain events and trends that do have a wide impact on these groups. Let’s explore three of the most talked-about generations of consumers today, who they are, and how to fine-tune your strategy to be more effective for each.

Millennials: The Largest Generation

Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996. According to data from the Census Bureau, they have surpassed baby boomers



as the largest generation, so it will probably come as no surprise that they also make up the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Coming of age in a time of unprecedented technological innovations and advancements in communication, this generation is creative, ambitious, progressive and drawn to diversity. Many millennials have been shaped by experiences like 9/11, the Great Recession, climate change and social unrest, which means they are more likely to prioritize affordability, accountability, sustainability, and diversity and inclusion. There is no shortage of information on how to market to millennials. The tricky part is that millennials are hyper-aware of when they are being marketed to. Being trendy or striking a sarcastic tone might have caught their attention before, but it’s more likely to come off as overdone and might even elicit an eye roll now. Millennials are more likely to respond to marketing that gets to the point. Appeal to their desire for accountability with a higher emphasis on brand trust, often fostered through third-party endorsements and reviews. Authenticity is also key in brand identity for these buyers, who are likely to be drawn to companies that share their values and demonstrate consistency.

Some things to keep in mind about millennials:

Ɏ 83% find online content useful in making purchasing decisions. (SocialToaster.com) Ɏ 71% regularly shop online via mobile devices. (AdWeek.com)

Ɏ 49% follow their favorite brands on social media. (Appliedpsychologydegrees.usc.edu)

Gen X: The Forgotten Generation

Born between 1965 and 1980, this generation serves as a kind of bridge between the millennial and baby boomer generations. This can make them a bit trickier to market to because some fall more into the stereotypical boomer description and others lean more toward the typical millennial. There are still key defining traits, though: Gen Xers value flexibility and self-reliance, technology and connection. In their lifetimes, they have witnessed events like the Cold War, the Watergate scandal and the Iranian hostage crisis. Because of this, they tend to favor risk aversion and security, especially since many of them are well into establishing families and homes of their own. They want to know they are making smart financial decisions and investing wisely. Communicating quality is key with members of Gen X. They also value escapism in their entertainment, something to keep in mind when crafting content for your audience.

Some things to keep in mind about Gen X:

Ɏ Despite being the smallest of these three generations, they make up 31% of total U.S. income. (Revlocal.com) Ɏ 54% are frustrated that brands ignore them. (BigCommerce.com)

Ɏ Gen Xers are the heaviest social media users of any demographic group, with 34% of this demographic using it. (Herosmyth.com)

Baby Boomers: The ‘Me’ Generation

Born between 1946 and 1964, this generation still makes up a huge percentage of the workforce and decision-makers. People in this group grew up after World War II in a time of prosperity and important civil rights movements, but they also bore witness to the Vietnam War and the Cuban missile crisis. They value reliability, consistency and structure, and they tend to be loyal to specific brands. They also tend to be self-starters and hard workers. They have been the drivers of a lot of economic growth, and they account for the majority of spending in it. They are known as the “me” generation because of their more individualistic attitudes. In marketing, that translates to looking for independence to have their role as self-starters reinforced. Marketing in ways that appeal to this attitude is key to capturing their attention.

Some things to keep in mind about baby boomers:

Ɏ They are the biggest consumers of traditional media like television and newspapers. (Kasasa.com) Ɏ They account for $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods such as coffee, diet soft drinks and magazines. (Nielsen) Ɏ About 49% say they strongly prefer Facebook over other social media outlets such as Twitter. (Centro.net) ▯




The Business of

SPORTS By Jason Siegel

JASON SIEGEL is president and CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. Longtime Orlando sportswriter George Diaz contributed to this article.


t’s difficult to stay focused on the future when the present is so unsettling. An international pandemic will do that to your psyche. But here’s a great pick-me-up for the future, Orlando.

We will be the host city for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. The event is set to be the biggest games in history, with more than 5,500 athletes and coaches, 21,000 volunteer shifts and 125,000 spectators descending on nine competition venues. There will be six new sports, including triathlon and surfing, and ESPN has signed on as the global broadcast partner. In recent years, the opening ceremonies have been broadcast on ABC. An A-list roster of celebrity ambassadors will be promoting the games and cheering on the athletes. They include Lin Manuel-Miranda, Tiffany Haddish, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres, Grant Hill and Chris Evert. It’s significant that the games will be held in Orlando, the No. 1 travel destination in the United States. They will take place June 5-12, with ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World serving as the hub of activity. “We continue to push boundaries and raise the bar,” said Joe Dzaluk, 2022 Special Olympics USA Games



Special Olympics Leader Shares Vision for Orlando 2022 Games

president and CEO. “There is no doubt about it, this is going to be big!” This is his baby. Of course, there are many others who have devoted time, energy and resources to make this event happen and add that spice of Orlando magic and hospitality. But Dzaluk is leading the pack. Previously, he had spent more than three decades as a senior executive for IBM, supervising the activities of thousands of employees while delivering a full range of strategic outsourcing services. He gets to step up his game with this endeavor. “For over a decade, I have been volunteering for Special Olympics,” he said. “Two years ago, Special Olympics Florida made the decision to bid on hosting the 2022 Games. I worked on the bid committee, and after we won the bid, I jumped at the chance to lead our efforts on the planning and execution of the largest humanitarian effort in Florida’s history.

“I love Special Olympics because it is about transforming lives, including my own. It’s about a spirit of giving and teamwork. It’s about making our community and country a more welcoming and accepting place for people of all abilities.”

Joe Dzaluk

INDUSTRY INSIGHT Dzaluk is inspired by athletes like Chris Nikic, a Special Olympics Florida athlete who recently made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon. It was quite the challenge. He had to complete a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile run within 17 hours. Nikic, a 21-year-old from Maitland, crossed the finish line at Panama City Beach in just a hair over 16 hours and 46 minutes. “You worry if he’s going to be able to take care of himself, to live life without you here,” his father, Nik Nikic, told USA TODAY.

“The feeling of him completing an Ironman, it means more than the finish line. It’s everything along the way with the training, the community he has supporting him, that tells me he’s always going to be OK when I’m gone. He’s showing he can do anything he sets his mind to.” Amen, Dzaluk said.“People with intellectual disabilities are always underestimated,” Dzaluk said. “People assume what they can and can’t achieve. It’s people like Chris and accomplishments like his that shatter these notions and allow people to see intellectual disability differently. This

is a huge win not just for the Special Olympics community but for the whole world. It is a huge leap forward for inclusivity.” As Dzaluk and his team fast-forward to 2022, the focus is on every detail, including the logo. “One of our core values is to be an ‘athlete-driven’ games,” he said. “We have learned that when we lose sight of this, everything suffers.” That was the case with the logo development. We partnered with a world-class creative agency and they developed a nice logo, but there was

something missing. We quickly realized we were missing the input of our athletes. “After all, this logo represents them — their life experiences, triumphs and challenges. We scrapped the first logo and brought together a group of talented athletes who also had artistic skills, and together we created the logo that you see today. A logo that represents our athletes’ vision for the USA Games and embodies inclusion.” Orlando can’t wait. Not only for the projected local economic impact of as much as $61 million but for the inspiring stories these athletes have to share. There could be no greater pick-me-up as America turns the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic. “Nothing makes me happier than knowing we are giving our athletes the time of their lives,” Dzaluk said. “I’m also

excited for Greater Orlando and Florida. It’s an unusual time in the world, and our region can bring the country together around the message of inclusion.” There will be strong support from all partners involved, from presenting partner Jersey Mike’s Subs and host Walt Disney World to local leaders, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who are both on the board of directors. “From elected officials to business leaders, the community has rallied around the games and is committed to making them the best in history,” Dzaluk said.

Let the games begin, Orlando!

Want to get involved? CONTACT AMY WISE AT AMYW@2022USAGAMES.ORG to talk about supporting the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games through sponsorships, fundraising and donations.

WWW.2022SPECIALOLYMPICSUSAGAMES.ORG to sign up as a volunteer.




The Business of

EMPLOYMENT By Lisseth Russa

LISSETH RUSSA is director of workforce development for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida.

Goodwill Helps People Find Stability, Skills and Self-Confidence


illions of Americans have experienced unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as of September 2020 about 12.6 million were still searching for a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many more have lost income, hours or health benefits their families relied on to make ends meet.

For some, it will be a brief, stressful detour before returning to the workplace. But for others it will be far more consequential. People from every age, background or skill level can encounter challenges that make it difficult to find employment: a single mother who can’t schedule an interview because she doesn’t have child care, a veteran who struggles to return to the job market, a firstgeneration college graduate who needs advice about networking and relationship-building. Unemployment can mean far more than the loss of a paycheck. It’s also an erosion



of confidence and stability. But the reverse is also true: Once someone is connected to meaningful work, the benefits extend far beyond the income that person earns. Consider Lajonda Rose Mack, a Navy veteran who served for 11 years. She loved her career, which allowed her to travel and support her family. But shortly after the birth of her second child, her husband passed away unexpectedly. Left to raise a family on her own, Mack made the difficult decision to resign from military service. She became certified as a pharmacy technician and spent more than two years in the pharmacology field but struggled to find a position that suited her. A career counselor connected her to Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. Today, Mack is a full-time member of Goodwill’s e-commerce team. She’s supporting her family, learning new skills and — just as important — she looks forward to a brighter future.

What Work Really Means For families like Mack’s, a job offers: STABILITY

A stable salary represents fresh groceries, school supplies and car repairs. It’s a chance to budget for life’s expenses, from college tuition to retirement. When families have a steady income stream, they can move past the stress and expense of making ends meet and start planning for the future.


Over time, unemployment takes a toll on an individual’s marketable talents. That’s true of social skills, like the ability to collaborate with colleagues or interact with customers, as well as technical competencies like computer skills. Goodwill training programs can help people overcome initial barriers — and once employed, they have the chance to polish old skills, learn new ones and develop a resume that can further their career.


For those who can’t support themselves financially, the world can seem hopeless. Many who seek job assistance and counseling at Goodwill say they felt powerless to take control of their lives. But finding a job is proof that those obstacles can be overcome – which inspires dignity, purpose and optimism for the future.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT It takes a team of caring people and a diverse array of services to help neighbors in need. Take, for example, Ronald Hargis, another veteran who struggled after a long period of unemployment. He was in financial trouble and only able to pay rent with help from the nonprofit Supportive Services for Veteran Families. But funds were due to run out in mid-October. Like Mack, Hargis was connected with Goodwill and was offered a position at one of the organization’s

stores. Without a car and money for new workplace attire, he worried about making it to his first day. The Goodwill team stepped in to help, securing Hargis a one-week bus pass and a voucher for clothing. A team member even drove to his house to drop them off. Now Hargis is employed and looking forward to building a new career. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we turn our attention to helping our most vulnerable friends, relatives and community members. You can

support Florida families who struggle with unemployment by shopping at or donating to your local Goodwill. Ninety percent of Goodwill’s revenue goes directly to nonprofit services, including career counseling, vocational training, language classes and placement programs. This system creates local jobs and supports resources that help people like Mack, Hargis and many others find work each year. For more information or to find a store near you, visit: www.goodwillcfl.org. ▯

Top, left to right: Damaris Moraza, a Goodwill virtual job connection team member; Goodwill employee at the jewelry counter; Goodwill employee in the store Bottom, left to right: Goodwill employee processing donations; Goodwill employee at check-out; Jesus Amaro, a Goodwill virtual job connection team member




The Business of

NONPROFITS By Shelley Lauten


SHELLEY LAUTEN is a longtime Central Florida advocate, most recently serving as the CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. She’s been a small-business owner, a regional convener and a corporate leader.

Building a Community of Success

s most leaders have experienced, building a corporate culture of success is hard work. It requires an almost obsessive drive to ensure everyone in the organization understands a shared vision and that these habits of success are encouraged, reinforced and rewarded daily, even by the minute.

When you think of successful organizations, which ones come to mind? Maybe The Walt Disney Company? Nike? Publix? Each of us knows organizations, both nationally and locally, that build cultures of success, delivering quality products and services to their customers. Let me introduce you to two local organizations that are working together to not only build a culture of success but also to build a community that changes people’s lives. Warley Park is a $19 million apartment community in Sanford, completed in April 2020 — yep, well into the COVID-19 pandemic — and is currently 100% occupied. Its mission? To break the cycle of homelessness for residents who previously had no permanent housing: 156 men, women and children — including many of our community’s veterans — previously living in cars or homeless shelters, doubled up with family or living in the woods or on the streets of Central Florida. How is it different from other housing complexes? What makes it unique? The complex has adopted the permanent supportive housing model (PSH), which means it has contracted with the nationally recognized mental health agency Step Up on Second, whose staff, together with the staff of Warley Park, work passionately and obsessively to provide



residents with the support and services they need to break the cycle of homelessness. Nationally, Step Up on Second has a housing retention rate of more than 93%. As Aliya Bloodworth, Warley Park’s property manager, puts it: “We are not just an apartment complex. You’re not just a resident. It’s our goal to establish village connections with our residents. You’re my neighbor, my sister, my friend. For example, every Friday, residents are invited to attend a village meeting where staff and residents alike discuss challenges we all face: parenting, finances, job searches. How can we help and support one another in this village of success?” It really does take a village, and Warley Park is putting that concept into action. Consider this: These families and individuals have experienced homelessness for anywhere from a few months to more than 30 years. Let that sink in … 30 years living on the streets of Central Florida. By having trained case managers and support people on site, each individual, every family, is provided opportunities to maintain housing.


Jobs? The staff can help with vocational training and connect residents with local agencies. Been living in the woods for 10 or 20 years? The staff can help with the smallest need, from how to pay a light bill to coaching on the “social rules” of living in one’s own home. Every resident has a story to tell. Some have suffered from mental illness. Some lost a job and then lost their housing. Others have sustained a work injury or are battling drug abuse. Many have gone through long cycles of homelessness. Some have built a community with others living in the woods or on the streets. The team at Warley Park wants to help build a new community of success and a sense of pride within each resident. Keisha Thomas, life skills manager and PSH case manager, tells this story: “One day, I spot Mr. X, a 64-year-old resident, who had been living here for about a week after living in the woods for more than 30 years. He’s skipping … skipping down the sidewalk. I ask him, ‘Why are you so joyful?’ He responds with his mailbox key in hand, ‘I’m going to get my mail. … Girl, I’ve never had a mailbox before!’” This local example supports the importance of the “Housing First” approach. Research has shown that housing people first and then providing permanent supportive services costs significantly less than the services used by people living in the streets, including emergency room visits and government assistance. In a pilot study conducted in Central Florida, the cost of housing plus care averaged about $30,000 annually for someone living on the street,

You’re not just a resident. It’s our goal to establish village connections with our residents.” — Aliya Bloodworth

and that figure dropped to about $12,000 a year when the person was placed in housing and provided individual care. Not only is this the human thing to do … it’s the fiscally responsible thing to do. And that brings me to the second organization: Wendover Housing Partners of Altamonte Springs, which developed the Warley Park community. “This is a model for the rest of the country on how to successfully break the cycle of homelessness,” said Jonathan Wolf, the developer’s president and founder. “This combination of private enterprise, supportive services and government support is the recipe for enacting long-lasting, meaningful change that benefits everyone involved. Warley Park shows how this can be a true solution to the issue of homelessness.” How is it being paid for? The housing costs are covered with a combination of tax credit financing, federal and state funding, and community support. If you are interested in making a charitable contribution to cover the cost of the ongoing supportive services, the $5 million Housing First Florida Endowment Fund has been established at the Central Florida Foundation for this purpose. You can visit www.cffound.org for more information about contributing. With luck, and a whole lot of support from the community, this new model of breaking the cycle of homelessness will expand. In fact, Wendover Housing Partners has had such success in Seminole County that it’s currently working to bring this same concept to Orange County. ▯ i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY




i4 BUSINESS MAGAZINE BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR AWARDS Diane Sears i4 Business editor and publisher, co-emcee

Tanya Mutton Art director of i4 introduces Gary Lovini

Gary Lovini Performs on the violin to welcome the audience

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Introduces Alex Martins

Alex Martins, CEO of Orlando Magic recipient in the Economic Development category

Gwen Hewitt, Area Development Director United Negro College Fund, introduces Garry Jones

Garry Jones Full Sail University president, recipient in the Arts category

Glen Gilzean, CEO and President Central Florida Urban League, introduces Sandra Fatmi-Hall

Sandra Fatmi-Hall Founder of United Foundation of Central Florida, recipient in the Education category

Jason Siegel, CEO Greater Orlando Sports Commission, introduces Alex Leitao




In a lively Zoom event on December 10, 2020, i4 Business magazine enlisted community leaders to help present awards to 11 recipients of the Business Leaders of the Year Awards. The event started and ended with electric violin performances by British musician Gary Lovini and included live presentations and acceptance speeches from people’s living rooms, kitchens and offices, complete with the occasional barking dog, running baby and reminder to mute or unmute a microphone. A live audience watched in Zoom meeting mode to clap, cheer and post congratulations in the chat function. To watch a full video of the event, visit the i4 Business TV channel on YouTube. Meaghan Branham Managing editor of i4 Business, co-hosts the presentation

Alex Leitao, CEO of Orlando City Soccer Club recipient in the Sports & Entertainment category

Tanya Easterling Florida Blue market leader introduces Lourdes Mola

Lourdes Mola Lourdes Mola Solutions, recipient in the Entrepreneurship category

Tim Giuliani CEO of Orlando Economic Partnership introduces Tony Jenkins

Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue market president recipient in the Health and Wellness category

Mark Tester, Executive Director Orange County Convention Center, introduces Chris Jaskiewicz

Chris Jaskiewicz, President and CEO, ICON Park recipient in the Tourism category

Russell Slappey, CEO and managing partner Nperspective introduces Jason Eichenholz

Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and CTO Luminar Techonolgies, recipient in the Industry category i4Biz.com | JANUARY | FEBRUARY



Maryann Barry, CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus Council introduces Pamela Landwirth

Pamela Landwirth, CEO Give Kids The World, recipient in the Nonprofit category

State Rep. Anna Eskamani introduces Sarah Grafton

Sarah Grafton, Grafton Wealth Management recipient in the Professional Services category

Alex Cartwright, President of UCF introduces Bev Seay



Bev Seay Chair of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees, recipient of 2020 Business Leader of the Year Award


e n o y r e Ev







ANNIVERSARY OF FLORIDA EXECUTIVE WOMEN Cindy Price and Dyan Goodman delivering box lunches and gifts commemorating FEW’s 40th anniversary

Florida Executive Women (FEW) celebrated the organization’s 40th anniversary with a unique Zoom event featuring many members, scholarship winners and past presidents including founding member Shirley Pickford, Ph.D. Former Orange County Comptroller Martha “Marty” Haynie, the 1997 FEW president, served as master of ceremonies. In addition to live comments, a video connected the past, present and future of FEW in supporting the inclusion of women in decision-making positions. Lunch was prepared and delivered at locations convenient to members attending the virtual event. “It was a joyful lunch full of great storytelling, giving life to the mission and vision of FEW and setting the stage for many more years of great leadership in the Central Florida community,” said Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson, current FEW president and owner of Oxford Eyes. In 2020, FEW members positively impacted the community through as many as 250 nonprofit organizations, contributing over $500,000 and volunteering more than 7,400 hours. FEW annually awards scholarships to four exceptional women, each attending one of Orlando’s four institutions for higher education: University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Valencia College and Seminole State College.

Members of the 2020 FEW Board of Directors appear pre-pandemic with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer: from left, Michelle Zink; Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson; Beth Mock LeBlanc; Dyan Goodman; 2020 President Beverly Paulk; Mayor Dyer; Carol Felsing; Ava Doppelt; Judi Awsumb; and Amy Pennock.



Shirley Pickford around 1979 when the young executive founded and incorporated FEW


William C. Coleman Drive conveniently connects Valencia College Lane and Chickasaw Trail. So who was “Bill” Coleman, and what did he contribute to the growth of Orlando sufficient to garner a street sign in his name? Born in Tennessee in 1925, Coleman frequently visited his grandparents in the Lancaster Park neighborhood of Orlando when he was a child. He was convinced that a move to Florida would help him accomplish many things, including enlistment in the Army soon after his graduation from high school so he could serve during World War II. Coleman was assigned to the 101st Airborne as a paratrooper participating in night drops over France and Germany. He was captured and spent the final years of combat in prisoner of war


Times of the

William C. Coleman Drive

labor camps. He survived and received the Purple Star, the Bronze Star and the Prisoner of War Medal. From humble beginnings, he became a national hero. Later, he would continue parachuting out of airplanes well into his 70s, including over Normandy during the 50th and 60th anniversaries of D-Day. As a civilian, Coleman was successful at almost everything he touched. One of his first projects was to earn a real estate license and become involved in the growth of Orlando. He became so engrossed in the subject that he often taught classes at Rollins College. Another of his early accomplishments was a successful run for the Florida Legislature, where he became the first Republican representative elected from Orange County. He was dedicated to public service and served as Florida’s first secretary of transportation. He was a charter member of the Orlando Tiger Bay Club, served as chairman of the Orange County and Orlando Mayor’s Advisory Council, and was president of the Central Florida Veterans Council. Through his tireless efforts, Coleman was instrumental in securing the Veterans Affairs Hospital complex in Orlando. He ended his active career in the public sector by accepting an appointment by former President George W. Bush to the position of U.S. Commissioner of Public Buildings, responsible for all federally owned and operated buildings in the country. I was honored to know him personally as a fellow member of the Kiwanis Club of Central Orlando, which he co-founded. Coleman died in December 2012 at age 87. So next time you find yourself on this small stretch of highway, offer a “tip of the hat” to a true American hero who asked for little and gave so much. ▯

FBy Key HowardH

Photography by Julie Fletcher Image courtesy of Orlando Sentinel





SANFORD Henry’s Depot

for your day off

Opened in 2019, Henry’s Depot Culinary Collective is a new take on a food hall that has something for everyone. Located on the site of Sanford’s original rail tracks, one of Florida’s first railroads dating back to 1880, Henry’s Depot pays tribute to Florida’s unique past while serving up modern dishes. Restaurants include Oak Flame Pizza, Dharma Fine Vittles, Salvatore’s Prime Sandwiches, Mahogany Coffee and more. Once you’ve had your fill of great food, grab a cocktail at The Basin, a cozy craft cocktail bar that also offers wine and beer.


ORLANDO AND WINTER PARK Tabla Indian Restaurant

It may be a while before we get to travel like we used to, but some good international cuisine can transport you to a whole new world, even if you’re only up the street. Tabla Indian Restaurant serves up authentic Indian dishes, along with Chinese and Thai selections. With locations near Universal Orlando and in Winter Park, Tabla offers vegetarian, vegan and glutenfree options. Dishes including Thai Red Curry, Lamb Biryani, Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Chicken are sure to keep you warm on a chilly winter night.





INTERNATIONAL DRIVE Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Take a trip back in time in this museum tucked away on International Drive in Orlando. The collection is made up of nearly 200 artifacts recovered from the RMS Titanic over the course of eight research and recovery expeditions. The twohour, self-guided tour includes access to those artifacts, recreations of rooms on the ship, and interactive experiences with costumed actors to fully transport you to the deck of the famous ship in 1912. Tickets start at $21.95. EPhoto Credit: E/M Group, LLCF


Sports fans don’t have to travel far to see professional hockey. The Orlando Solar Bears are back in action. Orlando’s East Coast Hockey League team, which is affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning, kicked off the 2020 season in December. Games are held at the Amway Center, with COVID-19 protocols in place to keep players and fans safe. Single-game and season tickets are available.


MIAMI Vizcaya Museum & Gardens


To scan the QR Codes, point the camera app on your smartphone toward the page and follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.


Formerly the estate of James Deering, a wealthy industrial executive and socialite on Biscayne Bay, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens offers 10 acres of Italian Renaissance gardens accentuating the museum’s beautiful early 20th century architecture. From native landscapes to a mangrove shoreline, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is a breathtaking journey through the history and natural beauty of Florida. The property has been the backdrop for many films, including Any Given Sunday and Iron Man 3. In keeping with safety protocols, tickets can be reserved online to monitor capacity, and masks are required for entry.




Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know


Students who graduated with bachelor’s degrees from the University of Central Florida in 2019-20, including 3,359 from the College of Sciences, 1,757 from the College of Community Innovation and Education, and 1,717 from the College of Business Administration



Total number of bachelor’s degrees UCF had awarded as of August 2020



— National Basketball Association player Joel Embiid about former Orlando Magic Coach Doc Rivers, now with the Philadelphia 76ers Source: Orlando Sentinel


Orlando’s ranking out of 180 cities nationwide for best places to find a job in light of the pandemic. Top-ranking U.S. areas: South Burlington, Vermont; Columbia, Maryland; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Top-ranking Florida city: St. Petersburg, ranked 51. Source: WalletHub




“MACKENZIE SCOTT IS TRYING TO CHANGE THE FACE OF PHILANTHROPY.” — Jeff Hayward, Heart of Florida United Way president and CEO, of the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who donated $4.2 billion in pandemic aid to 384 organizations including Hayward’s and the YMCA of Central Florida Source: Orlando Sentinel

31 Number of successful launches from Florida in 2020 – the largest number since 1966, when there were 29


“The space program, whether it was commercial exploration or national security, kept working. We kept launching even through the pandemic.”

— Sean Snaith, Ph.D., executive director, UCF Institute for Economic Forecasting

— Dale Ketcham, vice president of Space Florida

Source: Orlando Business Journal

Source: Orlando Sentinel

F i n d & H i re Talent Let us streamline your hiring process and connect you to qualified talent at no cost. Contact us today for your free business consultation.

CareerSource ďż˝




careersourcecentralflorida.com | 1-800-757-4598 CareerSource Central Florida is an equal opportunity employer/program. Call 407.531.1222 for more information. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. Disponible en Espanol.

“ I LOV E T H OS E DAYS W H E N M Y O N LY D E C I S I O N I S WINDOW OR AISLE” Missing that feeling of freedom and exploration you can only access through air travel? As Your Florida Airport of Choice®, Orlando International Airport hears you loud and clear. Quite honestly, we are in the same boat as you. But we’d rather be on the same plane.




MCO. We’re Better Together. For Travel Safety Tips Visit orlandoairports.net/coronavirus *Service starts 3/13 **Service starts 2/4

P U N TA C A N A * *


Profile for i4 Business Magazine

Health Care and Finance