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2020 Tourism Capital Projects

Golf Channel Turns 25

Up Close with Cliff Long

Christian HELP Job Assistance



NO LIMITS RUSH Construction


Covers Land, Sea, Sky









MARCH 5th, 2020 at The Country Club of Orlando




Leadership institute

LEARN TODAY, LEAD TOMORROW. Start your political career here.

The Central Florida Political Leadership Institute, a no-cost, nonpartisan program managed through the Orlando Economic Partnership, is designed for business-minded leaders who have an interest in exploring future public leadership opportunities – either as a political candidate or appointee to a government board or commission – and discovering how their experience and talent could address critical public-policy issues. Graduates have gone on to serve as mayors, council members, commissioners, legislators, school board members and appointees.






CALL FOR APPLICATIONS ATHENAPowerLink is an advisory program which guides women business owners, whose companies are poised for growth, in defining and achieving tangible goals by providing them with access to a panel of business advisors. Visit athenaorlando.com/how-to-apply.

Learn more at athenaorlando.com



by Se a


Payn e,


sy of Skans ka

 500-acre technology district located in Osceola County, less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and within a mile of Florida’s Turnpike  100,000 square feet of Class A office space


 Entitled for up to 11 million GSF of mixed-used spaces  Home to BRIDG, imec and future companies to come  Featuring NeoCity Academy high school, a new project based, inquiryfocused STEM learning environment


4 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

BRIDG  Not-for-proďŹ t, public-private partnership for advanced sensors and next-generation nanoscale electronic systems  ITAR-certiďŹ ed, DMEA trust-enabled versatile 200mm fabrication facility for the development and lowvolume production of microelectronic devices  Nearly 60,000 square feet of cleanroom/laboratory manufacturing space with space to accommodate a variety of partner-funded activities  Offers process technologies and R&D capabilities for system miniaturization, device integration, hardware security and product development key to aerospace, defense and the IoT/ AI revolution





How RUSH Construction is Covering More Land, Sea and Sky



Integrated Services Firm Collaborates on Unique Projects


A Pictorial Overview of Interesting Projects


SPORTS PROSE Golf Channel Celebrates 25 Years in Orlando

6 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

i4 Business Advisory Board

This Month's Featured Advisory Board Members


Thank You

Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises

Karen Keene Karen Keene is the director of marketing and business development at Dean Mead, a law firm with 60 attorneys and five offices statewide. She serves on the board of ATHENA International and is president of ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership Inc., which she co-founded in 2012. Keene leads the ATHENA NextGen program, a Central Florida initiative that empowers emerging women leaders to reach their full potential and has become a global pilot program.

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 Harry Ellis, Next Horizon Susan Fernandez, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction Mark Allen Hayes, Stockworth Realty Group

Laureen Martinez

Laureen Martinez is the senior director of marketing and communications at the Orlando Economic Partnership, where she leads media relations and all digital and traditional marketing and communications strategies. She began her career as a television reporter covering major events including the attacks of 9/11 and the Beltway sniper shootings, and interviewed personalities of note including former President Jimmy Carter. Prior to joining the Partnership, she developed and implemented internal and external communications campaigns for Orange County Government and the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region.

Gwen Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Karen Keene, ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership and Dean Mead Attorneys at Law Shelley Lauten, Consultant 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 Hope Edwards Newsome, Triloma Financial Group Rob Panepinto, Florentine Strategies Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)

Yog Melwani

Yog Melwani is principal of Alig n Commercial Real Estate and is a licensed agent and commercial real estate developer with more than 17 years of experience in Central Florida. He has been involved in the development of more than 320,000 square feet of space. Melwani combines his knowledge of private industry and the public and not-for-profit sectors to help the community as chair of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s inaugural Multicultural Affairs Committee, chairman of the Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission, a member of the BB&T Advisory Board and president of the Indian American Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 7







LaSonia Landry Girl Scouts of Citrus Women of Distinction

Publisher’s Perspective



From the Editor

Up Close With Cliff Long


Business Briefs


Take 5 with Visit Orlando Transforming Orlando Tourism in 2020 - 6 Capital Projects




There’s More than One Way to a Great Career From the Desk of Dr. Michael Armbruster, Orange Technical College


Fostering a Results-Only Work Environment


Cherise Czaban | i4 Business


CEO Leadership Forums and CEO Nexus The Control Tower

Unleashing Your Greatest Resource: People


Bill “Roto” Reuter | R-Squared Solutions

Social Entrepreneur Safe and Sound: Christian HELP Offers Job Search Assistance and Much More


Downtime Unique Experiences for Your Day Off


Business Seens



ON THE COVER 2020 Tourism Capital Projects

Golf Channel Turns 25

Up Close with Cliff Long

Christian HELP Job Assistance





NO LIMITS RUSH Construction


Covers Land, Sea, Sky





8 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com



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Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship


LEGAL PROFESSIONALS The July 2020 edition will include a special marketing section spotlighting the achievements and offerings of legal professionals throughout the Orlando region.



Reprints and commemorative plaques may be ordered from Meaghan Branham with i4 Business, 321-7598977. 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 monthly 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. © 2020. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.


ur firm was establ ished in 1976. With over 130 combined exper years of ience our attorn eys have the know the law and of the ledge of legal system to assist matter. Mario, Gund you with your legal e, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley has been in the courtrooms practicing of Brevard Coun ty and before the County judges Circuit and here for over 41 years. A full service firm, we primarily practi ce in the areas of Criminal Law, Perso Family Law, nal Injury, Wills, Probate, Civil Litiga Appeals. Our attorn tion, and eys have litigat ed tough death heartbreaking child penalty cases, custody cases, dog bites, and prope They have also represented client rty rights. s in evictions, patern matters, bankruptcie ity, criminal s, elder matters, estate planning, personal injury probate, and cases. As attorneys and counselors at law part of our job with not just the is to help you cold law and facts of your case but case affects your also how your life as a whole. Aggressive repres compassion are entation and provided to every client we repres ent. Our seven attorn eys are David Gund e, Barbara Helm Rhoden, Micha Peters, Kenneth el J. Kelley, Bonn ie Klein Rhoden, Christina Farley 48]JULY2017 SpaceCoastB

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i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 9



iNNOVATORS | iNFLUENCERS | iNDUSTRY LEADERS Do you have or are you a rising influencer or innovator? i4 Business is looking to share the stories of individuals making an impact, including: Ɇ Ɇ Ɇ Ɇ

Recent Promotions Milestones Anniversaries Awards and Recognition




GEORGE TATE III Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, expanded its litigation bench in Orlando with Construction Law Florida Bar Certified Attorney George “Trey” Tate III. Tate is skilled in complex construction litigation and spearheaded the multiparty project agreements to begin construction of Medical City at Lake Nona.

JONATHAN PIERCE Pulte Group’s North Florida division has announced that Jonathan Pierce has been named vice president of construction. In this new role, Pierce will be responsible for overseeing construction operations, including construction, customer care and support teams for the North Florida division. The division closes on more than 1,500 homes annually.

MATTHEW DETZEL Litigation attorney Matthew Detzel has joined Holland & Knight’s Orlando office as a partner. Detzel focuses his practice on helping institutional clients detect, respond to and resolve complex fraud schemes, routinely serving as advisor, investigator and an advocate in litigation and appeals. Detzel earned a J.D. degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a B.A. degree from the University of Florida.

ELISHA GONZÁLEZ BONNEWITZ FAIRWINDS Credit Union, one of the largest locally owned and operated financial institutions in Central Florida, has added Elisha González Bonnewitz as a new vice president of community relations and government affairs. Skilled in philanthropy, constituent outreach and issues management, she will oversee activities in Brevard, Volusia and Tampaarea markets.

CATHERINE NORRIS Catherine Norris has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin as an associate. A member of the casualty department, she focuses her practice on automobile negligence and premises liability matters. A graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, she worked for U.S. Congressman Bill Posey on Capitol Hill and the Brevard County Attorney's Office.

SARA BERNARD Real estate attorney Sara Bernard has joined Holland & Knight’s Orlando office as a partner. Bernard handles a wide range of transactions as counsel for developers, builders, institutional lenders, and public and private entities. She serves on the University of Central Florida Foundation board of directors and is an executive committee member of the University of Central Florida Alumni Association.

MATT RUSSO Matt Russo has rejoined RMC Group as vice president of operations. He will be responsible for providing direction and assistance to each division head in connection with the placement of business. He brings over 14 years of experience to the agency, with a diverse background in risk management and engineering. Russo graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a civil engineering degree.

ROSANGELA PARKER Restaurant Managers LLC acquired exclusive rights to the Salata Salad Kitchen brand for the state of Florida and has recruited Rosangela Parker as its marketing manager to assist with the rollout of a projected 35 locations statewide. Parker has more than 10 years of experience in tourism, marketing and brand development.

ON THE RISE features individuals in your organization who have been promoted, new team members, board appointments or other employee announcements.



Board Appointments Leadership Appointments Community Involvement Partnerships/Expansions

Our On The Rise listings will appear in print, on our website, and in our digital edition, as well as in our monthly eNewsletter, allowing you to expand your reach to: Ɇ

31,000+ i4 Business Readers


14,000 Monthly Website Page Views


4,800+ eNewsletter Subscribers

16 | JUNE 2019 | i4Biz.com

SUBMIT YOUR LISTINGS ONLINE AT i4biz.com/leadersontherise

For more information, contact Cherise Czaban Cherise@i4biz.com 10 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

CEO | PUBLISHER Cherise Czaban EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Diane Sears DIRECTOR OF ENCOURAGEMENT Donna Duda COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Meaghan Branham PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Julie Fletcher ART DIRECTOR Tanya Mutton - SidekickCreations.com COPY EDITOR Susan Howard, APR CONTRIBUTORS Meaghan Branham, Cherise Czaban, Ryan Randall, Bill 'Roto' Reuter, Diane Sears ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban - 321.848.3530

i4 Business is a participating member of:

Publisher's Perspective


“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” — Winston Churchill


ision, culture, ownership, people. These are just a few of the common threads in many of our features this month.

The companies we highlight often share aspects of their company culture, including being people-centric, valuing people who take ownership of a responsibility or a team, and staying true to the vision of the organization. There is no doubt that the success of any company can be attributed to the people. That’s because people are our greatest asset, and they help us share our organizational values and communicate our commitment to our clients. Building a culture is similar to constructing a building. Both involve planning and building upon a strong foundation before the structure actually begins to take shape. But it’s also about responsibility — and that responsibility lies with everyone from the owner of the company to the newest hire. Taking responsibility can create positive momentum, and allowing others to take it builds them up.

was referring to rebuilding the House of Commons after World War II. Over time, people take on the quality of the buildings or companies where they spend time. Living intentionally and seeking to positively impact others while being focused on growth affects the landscape of not only our environment but also our communities. We have the ability to positively impact others, just as an architect has the ability to shape a structure. And others, in turn, will shape us. To your success,

CEO and Publisher

Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” The quote is memorable because he

Favorite quotes from this issue

“If our newer employees see us doing the right thing, living up to our core values, it speaks louder than anything we could ever tell them.” — William Chivers, Page 21

“It’s important to create an atmosphere of ownership and a real opportunity for growth to see a business thrive beyond the life of the founder.” — Brian Walsh, Page 24

“Steve Jobs said it best: ‘We don’t hire smart people so we can tell them what to do, we hire them so they can tell us what to do.’” — Alonzo Williams, Page 27

“At the end of the day, people don’t remember many facts, they remember more how they felt. So for us, caring about the experience of the person we’re serving is paramount.” — Vickie Martin, Page 54

i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 11

SIDEKICK Creations

sidekickcreations.com 907.545.4939




From the Editor

The Region’s Growth

Leads to Big Wins


hen Golf Channel was formed in 1995 in an office park near International Drive, the Orlando Magic were headed to the playoffs as the top team in the NBA Atlantic Division with a 57-25 record. Brian Hill was the coach, and the player roster included Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Horace Grant, Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott, as well as Jeff Turner, who became the Magic’s color commentator on Fox Sports Florida. It was the Magic’s sixth season, and the team’s owner, the late Rich DeVos, famously said at the time, “Why not us? Why not now?” Orlando had just hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer games, bringing in fans from all over the world, and today Central Florida is being considered as a venue for 2026. The annual PGA golf tournament at Bay Hill, now known as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, was preparing to celebrate its 30th year in 1996. Orlando was all about sports at the time, but it was also all about community pride and growth, with construction cranes popping up in all corners of the greater metro area. I thought a trip down memory lane would be fun for this issue on Construction and Commercial Real Estate. In 1995, the Magic played at the Amway O-Rena on property that is now the location of the new shared downtown campus of the University of Central Florida and Valencia College. The team started talking about the need for a larger facility, and today the Amway Center, which turns 10 this year, is one of the most technologically advanced in the nation. Universal Studios Florida had been open for five years and was starting construction on a $2.6 billion expansion that would include a second theme park called Islands of Adventure, as well as Universal CityWalk and three luxury hotels. Today Universal is planning a third theme park. Nearby, the International Drive Master Transit and Improvement District had been created in 1992 as a publicprivate initiative that represented businesses in the I-Drive resort area. It was busy in 1995, although it would be 20 years before a massive Ferris wheel now known as ICON Orlando would dramatically change the district’s landscape. The Orange County Convention Center was under expansion with projects that would grow its exhibit space to more than 1 million square feet. Plans in the works today will expand the complex to more than 2.3 million square feet.

In 1995, Orange County had just approved Horizon West as a master planned community with five mixed-use villages and a town center. The development would help accommodate a growing Central Florida population that was more than 1.2 million at the time. Today’s estimated population for Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties is almost 2.6 million and increasing by about 1,000 a week. When golf legend Arnold Palmer and his business partner, entrepreneur Joe Gibbs, took a chance on starting a 24-hour network about golf in a region known for sunshine and tourism instead of broadcasting, they began with a handful of dedicated employees. Today Golf Channel employs about 1,000. Its original office has expanded across roads and parking lots into other buildings. And like Orlando, it shows no signs of slowing down. Publisher Cherise Czaban and I toured the Golf Channel facilities in November with Dan Higgins, Golf Channel’s communications editor. We were fortunate to bump into Gibbs, who was visiting with staffers and checking out the latest innovations in video equipment. He seemed pleased to see that his original vision for the company is still very much alive. Maybe it has even gone beyond his wildest expectations. I believe the same could be said for Orlando. Who would have thought in 1995 we’d be where we are today? Have a great month!

Editor-in-Chief i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 13

Business Briefs

Design Work to Begin on Convention Center Expansion With approval from the Orange County Commission, the Orange County Convention Center is moving forward with a contract of more than $38 million for architectural and engineering design services for expanding its facilities to more than 2.3 million square feet. The design work will be handled by a joint venture between global firm Populous and Orlando-based firm C.T. Hsu + Associates. The work will be on the convention center’s North-South Building and is part of a $605 million capital improvement project. One project involves expanding the Multipurpose Venue in the South Building, adding 200,000 square feet to bring the total exhibit space there to 675,141 square feet and also connecting the North and South concourses. The second project involves expanding the Convention Way Grand Concourse with 60,000 square feet of additional meeting space and an 80,000-square-foot ballroom along with a new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. Both projects are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023. Populous, which started in Kansas, has offices worldwide and has designed venues for Olympic

and Paralympic Games, World Cup soccer, Super Bowls, and other major events. Its services include designing urban centers, interiors, landscaping, brands and products. C.T. Hsu’s projects include the Amway Center,

Exploria Stadium, Give Kids the World Town Center, and numerous Central Florida school and municipal designs and renovations, as well as expansions at the convention center and Orlando International Airport.

Expanding City National Bank to Rename Landmark Building City National Bank of Florida, one of the largest financial institutions based in the state, has signed a lease for 13,500 square feet in the former Bank of America Center at 390 North Orange Avenue and has secured naming rights to the landmark building. Bank of America moved out of the tower at Livingston Street to a new high-rise at 300 South Orange Avenue last year. City National, which has more than $15 billion in assets, has also expanded its workforce in Central Florida, adding six senior-level professionals in Orlando. Those include Market President Erik Weiner, who is

Business 14 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

spearheading the growth plans. The bank’s commercial leasing subsidiary, BciCapital, launched in the Central Florida market three years ago and will join City National in the office tower. “Central Florida is among the largest and fastest-growing markets in the state, and it’s only fitting we expand our presence in the I-4 corridor,” City National Bank President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez said. “We’re putting the pieces in place to be a significant player in the region. Our vision is to build Florida’s Iconic Bank and a strong presence in Central Florida is essential to accomplishing that milestone.”



Business Briefs

Regions Bank Tower Has New Owner Miami-based Black Salmon Capital LLC purchased the Regions Bank tower in downtown Orlando for $67.8 million in December. The sale reportedly marks the first Florida acquisition for the firm, which has properties in San Francisco, Phoenix, Indianapolis and other city centers across the U.S. It also marks the highest price per square foot paid for a property in downtown Orlando at $275. The building is 94% leased with tenants that include Regions Bank, UBS, Geico and Regus. Black Salmon looks for stable properties in high-growth markets with an educated workforce and a robust technology industry. Other factors that helped in the decision were the upcoming addition of rail service between Orlando and Miami, Orlando’s growing international airport, and the presence of the University of Central Florida and Central Florida Research Park, an article in GlobeSt.com reported. “Downtown Orlando has been on our radar since the firm’s inception, and we are so pleased to have identified this rare opportunity to own a landmark office tower in the area,” said Grant Peterson, Black Salmon’s vice president of acquisitions.

UCF Scholarship Honors Memory of Wendy Chioji A scholarship at the University of Central Florida (UCF) is now fully endowed in memory of former WESH-TV Channel 2 newscaster Wendy Chioji, who died in October at age 57 after a long battle with cancer. The fund received more than $25,000 in donations. The Wendy Chioji Memorial Scholarship initially will award two $500 scholarships annually to students studying at the UCF’s Nicholson School of Communications and Media. The plan is to continue growing the fund.

UF Health Acquires Hospitals in Leesburg and The Villages The University of Florida’s healthcare system acquired Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages Regional Hospital in January from Central Florida Health. Leesburg Regional has become UF Health Leesburg Hospital, and The Villages Regional Hospital is now UF Health The Villages Hospital. The region’s population is growing rapidly as The Villages, known for its 55-plus adult community living, seeks to become America’s “healthiest hometown.” The new relationship with UF Health will allow residents access to teaching and research alliances with UF colleges including dentistry; health and human performance; medicine; nursing; pharmacy; public health and health professions; and veterinary medicine.

“UF Health is at the forefront of a variety of clinical and research advances, and the University of Florida ranks among the top public universities in the country,” said Don Henderson, CEO of Central Florida Health. “We’re looking forward to being able to offer additional depth and new alternatives for local residents requiring specialized care in areas where there is a growing community need, while also ensuring they are able to easily obtain primary care.”

GuideWell Accelerator Program Focuses on Aging in Place The GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City has been hosting a program that fosters health technology start-ups that support aging in place. The twomonth technology scale-up accelerator program includes a two-day kickoff boot camp, weekly mentoring sessions, a virtual workshop curriculum and an investor matchmaking summit. Activities started in January and wrap up in March. GuideWell brought in companies from across the United States to participate. The goal is to find more solutions that focus on helping older adults age in place, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the ability for people to live in their own homes and communities safely, independently and

comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.

“We launched the GuideWell Scale-Up Accelerator to identify innovative health technology startups that are moving the needle toward enabling seniors to age in their homes,” said Kirstie McCool, executive director of GuideWell Innovation. “This is a unique opportunity that engages the entire health care ecosystem in a focused approach to accelerating the growth trajectory of these promising companies.”

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.



Inspiration i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 15

NOLIMITS How RUSH Construction is Covering More Land, Sea and Sky >> By Meaghan BRANHAM


hat happens when relationships are matched with opportunities? According to RUSH Construction President and CEO William Chivers, that would be growth.

In more than 35 years of service, RUSH has steadily built both a sturdy company and a staunch reputation. With sizeable contracts awarded and completed, RUSH has served the government, aerospace, medical and education sectors to become one of Central Florida’s most sought-after construction companies. Championed by the company's business and industry partners with a direct response to their needs, RUSH saw an opportunity to expand its service line with the creation of RUSH Marine LLC and RUSH Facilities LLC. “This expansion grew out of relationships matched with opportunities,” Chivers said. He named two industry professionals RUSH had worked with on previous projects and decided to tap for its expansion plans. “Our team actually started talking to them at about the same time.”

RUSH Marine “I asked him, ‘Ever thought of starting a marine division?’” Tony Landry, president of RUSH Marine, recalled about one of his first conversations with Chivers before he joined the team. It was 2017, and Landry was the operations manager for a large marine construction company with decades of experience. When his then-employer began to make organizational changes, Landry made changes of his own. A few months and several conversations later, 16 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

Space Florida Launch and Landing Facility

Cruise Terminal 3 at Port Canaveral

Landry accepted the position to spearhead the RUSH Marine division, a specialized firm for marine construction, diving, shoreline restoration, deep-water structure construction and more. In its first year, RUSH Marine secured $42 million in projects. A big part of that number came from the much-anticipated Cruise Terminal 3 at Port Canaveral, which will be home to Carnival Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship. Other projects included a $2.5 million shoreline restoration in Jacksonville, a boat launch repair in St. Augustine, and seawall installation at Cape Canaveral Hospital. With bids submitted throughout the state and even some beyond Florida’s borders, Landry is always on the lookout for new opportunities. “We’re well suited to work in fresh water and saltwater, inland, and even on land,” he said. “From shoreline restoration

to bridges to bulkheads to marinas, we have the team and the tools to do it.”

RUSH Facilities The year 2017 didn’t just see the beginning of one new division. That same year, another expansion was well underway: the creation of RUSH Facilities.


"When we finish building a project, we would love to continue serving that client and maintaining what we’ve built for them,” Chivers said. “It felt like a natural part of that ‘cradle to grave’ service commitment we strive to provide.” When Chivers’ team was working on a project to provide construction and maintenance of Space Florida’s launch and landing facility, Bob Dillow came to mind. Previously the director of facilities for Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Dillow had worked with RUSH on several i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 17

Bob Dillow, William Chivers, Tony Landry key projects. He recalled the company’s impressive reputation, values, ethics and commitment to quality work. The retired U.S. Navy commander promptly accepted the offer to lead the RUSH Facilities division. The division’s inaugural project, the launch and landing facility, included maintaining the runway, runway lighting and support buildings. The firm has also taken on contracts at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) with Boeing, Delaware North and the Astronauts Hall of Fame, as well as health care facilities previously built by RUSH Construction, including the Dr. Ditz Medical Office Building in Brevard County. Having a facilities division has proved to be a valuable asset for RUSH. In the early phases of one project set to break ground in 2020, Chivers described why. “Bob Dillow is at the table with the client in the pre-construction 18 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

South Orlando YMCA

conversations, so when construction is completed his team can take over the maintenance of the facility. Having him there early on is a big help, because he knows what’s going into the project and can make recommendations while it’s still in design.” Dillow agreed. "I can look at a project and say, ‘You don’t want to build it that way because long term that’s going to cost a client more to maintain and operate years down the line.’”

Maintaining Core Values Chivers remembers one moment very clearly that summarizes his feelings about the quick but steady growth of RUSH: "For years and years, we would have our Christmas party at the same venue. That venue’s maximum capacity was 70 people,” he said. “We have now had to move to a new venue, one that holds 120 people. As everyone gathered in the main room, my wife and I were in the lobby greeting guests. Suddenly, I turned and looked into that room. That’s when it really hit me. When I saw all three divisions at one time in one place, I looked at my wife and said, ‘How did this happen?’ It was an ‘Aha!’ moment.”

standard from everyone else on the team,” Landry said. “Even though all three teams are made up of very different people and teams, the end result is consistent because we all try to lead by example.” Being an employee-owned company means many members of each team are even more dedicated to upholding the standard set over the last 35 years. “I often tell clients, ‘You may not know it, but chances are the people working on your site are both employees and owners,’” Chivers said.

On the Horizon In just two years, with the support of RUSH Construction, RUSH Marine and RUSH Facilities have set the bar high for years to come, but there’s no limit to the projects they hope to work on in the future. From Orlando to the Space Coast, Jacksonville to Tampa, and even into Georgia, RUSH continues to explore opportunities to build things that matter. “It’s about making it possible for other people to do their jobs,” Dillow said. “Whether that’s building safe structures to educate our children, helping critical parts arrive to launch rockets, moving travelers in and out of a busy seaport, or providing quality healthcare services, we get to make sure other people can be successful. That’s kind of neat.” T

A common question that surfaced with the company’s growth: How would the company maintain the qualities that sustained RUSH’s growth over the past 35 years and enabled it Orlando Health Imaging Center in downtown Orlando Rendering By: Gresham Smith to expand?


“We have a very set culture that we have developed over the years,” Chivers said. “We had to make sure our core values were not just at a management level, but were drilled down as far as they could go throughout the organization. If our newer employees see us doing the right thing, living up to our core values, it speaks louder than anything we could ever tell them.” All three leaders agree that actions speak louder than words. “We don’t hold ourselves to a different i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 19

Hyatt Place at Vilano Beach in St. Augustine

Holiday Inn Express in New Smyrna Beach Home2 Suites by Hilton in Sanford

20 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

Calypso Cay Resort in Kissimmee

Florida Department of Transportation regional center

Boynton Harbor Marina in Boynton Beach


Integrated Services Firm Collaborates on Unique Projects


tories of world-renowned architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, aren’t usually on a fourth-grader’s summer reading list. But for Brian Walsh, president and CEO of The Collage Companies, their stories were the groundwork for his own. “My passion for design and building started when I was a young boy, redesigning the floor plans in the Sunday newspaper and reading books on construction or great architects,” Walsh said. In 1982, Walsh’s homework paid off. He founded The Collage Companies, a Lake Mary designbuild firm where he could deliver both design and construction to his clients. From concept to completion, the firm teams with architects and engineers to provide turnkey services

>> By Meaghan BRANHAM

that bring to life both the form and function of a project. “We felt strongly that an integrated process incorporating all key individuals of the design-build process provided the best solution for the project and best value for the client,” Walsh said. That integrated process and all the key individuals come together in Walsh’s vision to create a collage, combining creativity and technical skills across industries that make the most unique projects possible. The collage also refers to the firm’s diverse portfolio of clients and projects. With completed builds in nearly every sector — including commercial, religious, transportation, education, hospitality, and parks and sports — Collage recently earned the recognition of being named one of GrowFL’s Companies to Watch.

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A Family Affair

The Result

After so many projects and more than 35 years of service, keeping the passion of that young boy scrawling new designs in the Sunday newspaper might be attributed to the company’s steady focus on family. Walsh’s daughter, a photographer, handles Collage’s photography and imaging, and his son works as a preconstruction engineer and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in real estate development. But they aren’t the only people he includes in his definition of family at Collage.

Trust, adaptability, communication and due diligence in the industries they work across are the cornerstones of the work, but the heart of it is Collage’s mission statement: “To build projects that strengthen the foundation and fabric of our community.”

“We are not a typical family-owned business,” Walsh said. “Collage has current and future leadership that has been with the company for many years, and we are serious about treating our employees as family. In fact, we are beginning the process to transition to an employee-owned business in 2020. It’s important to create an atmosphere of ownership and a real opportunity for growth to see a business thrive beyond the life of the founder.”

While the firm’s work across sectors boasts impressive projects that include the Lynx Central Station and the Florida Municipal Power Agency building, both in Orlando, and Northland Church in Longwood, it is the firm’s work in hospitality that has been making the biggest splashes lately. The firm provided design build services for a new multi-story Hyatt Place on Vilano Beach in St. Augustine in an Art Deco architectural style that features two levels of underground parking, a full banquet facility, a rooftop lounge, a pool and an entertainment level. Collage’s portfolio also includes another hospitality complex in downtown St. Augustine, three new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Central Florida, the Aloft by Marriott Lake Buena Vista near Walt Disney World, and projects with Hilton, IHG and Wyndham.

Strengthening the Fabric In 1955, the first integrated Little League baseball game in the South was played at Lake Lorna Doone, with the all-black Pensacola Jaycees and all-white Orlando Kiwanis stepping onto the field. The fabric of the community is woven by stories like this one, so it was only natural that Collage would find itself working on the revitalization efforts for the 12-acre Lake Lorna Doone Park near Camping World Stadium and an iconic fountain that stands at its center.


The fountain will “forever be a symbol of the vibrant spirit of the people living in the Communities of West Lakes,” said Walsh, who has committed to funding the estimated $50,000 needed to design, build and install the fountain. The revitalization, which started in June 2019, has been spearheaded by the West Lake Partnership, which represents the West Lakes neighborhoods, along with residents, the City of Orlando and Florida Citrus Sports. “We realize that as a company we have been blessed to grow and build our history in Central Florida and to be able to live out our mission ‘to build projects that strengthen the foundation and fabric of our community,’” Walsh said. “We have been able to walk alongside and help many great organizations and ministries do great work. We also realize it’s our responsibility to give back to the people in Central Florida and to those organizations that help and empower those people.” ■

Rob Maphis and Brian Walsh accept award from GrowFL

Construction at Lake Lorna Doone Park

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Women of Distinction





fter LaSonia Landry relocated to Orlando from South Florida with her family, she was approached about applying for a new position within the American Heart Association, where she was serving as community health director. Landry saw the potential in this new opportunity as the role of executive director — and in her new city. “I did a lot of research, and realized I wanted to be a part of the action and solution in re-energizing the Orlando market.” Landry credits her accomplishments to hard work and perseverance, two traits that her time as a Girl Scout encouraged early on. She fondly recalls her days of cookie selling and annual camping trips as part of Troop 126 in Pass Christian, Mississippi, along with the lessons she learned. "Don’t just sit back and watch,” she said. “Always be a part of the action and the solution.” Those aren’t the only things that stay with her from her

days as a Girl Scout. From confidence and cooperation to fundraising, parts of the experience still play a role in her career and her character. She even still finds herself at camp now and again. “No two days are the same at the American Heart Association,” she said. “I can meet with a CEO one day, a cardiologist the next, and by the end of the week spend time visiting our smallest heart survivors at Camp Boggy Creek.” Now, in her work as both a mother and a woman in business, she continues to demonstrate by example just what the Girl Scouts stand for: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for girls to become engaged in their communities, learn leadership skills, practice public speaking and make lifelong friends. I truly hope my daughter, when old enough, is not only a Girl Scout, but loves and cherishes the experience as much as I still do today.” P

Women of Distinction are recognized leaders known for their courage, confidence and character. Girl Scouts of Citrus Council shapes young leaders in our community and is proud to recognize these women. 24 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com


Central Florida



2 1. Universal Orlando’s brand new theme park, Epic Universe 2. Pulse Memorial i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 25


3. Sanford Heritage Park 4. Sanford Riverwalk Expansion

4 5 5

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5. Glasshouse at O-Town West



6. EA Sports headquarters in downtown Orlando 7. 4Rivers Farm Complex in Packing District 8. AdventHealth Winter Park 9. The Boardwalk at O-Town West

8 9

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11 10. X Orlando apartment project in downtown Orlando 11. Ecco on Orange in Orlando’s SODO District

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12. The Drake at Midtown in Lake Mary 13. Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Orlando Restaurant 14. Epcot Play Pavilion and Epcot Experience




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with Official tourism association for America’s most-visited destination.

TRANSFORMING ORLANDO TOURISM IN u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u



Our destination is always growing, always evolving to meet and exceed visitors’ expectations. Here are some of the areas where tourism’s impact will be felt the most, this year and beyond. ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER:

Boosting Our Competitive Advantage Slated to break ground this year, the Orange County Convention Center’s $605 million Capital Improvement Plan will offer groups more connectivity and flexibility for their events. The Convention Way Grand Concourse will add 60,000 square feet in meeting space and an 80,000-square-foot ballroom. A new multipurpose venue will provide 200,000 square feet for up to 20,000 guests, including a retractable floor with flexible seating options to accommodate a wide range of on-site events.


OCCC Ballroom


OIA South Terminal


Transforming EPCOT and Adding New Thrills Elsewhere Reimagined into four neighborhoods — World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery — Epcot is being transformed to feature nearly 20 new experiences and attractions, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (2021) and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (summer 2020). At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is slated to open in March, a Tron roller coaster (2021) is under construction at Magic Kingdom Park, and the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel will host its first guests next year. 30 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com


Lengthening the Runway for Visitation Growth Recently crossing 50 million annual passengers (70% of whom are visitors), Orlando International Airport continues expanding to meet traveler demand. Crews are working on the South Terminal, which is slated to open in late 2021 with 19 new gates that can accommodate at least 24 aircraft. Next door are the South Airport Automated People Mover Complex and Intermodal Terminal Facility, bringing highspeed rail to our destination. Also this year, Orlando Sanford International Airport is set to conclude its $60 million expansion, following three-fold passenger growth between 2012 and 2018.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind


JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa


Adding More Places for Visitors to Stay Between 2019 and 2020, Orlando will have added nearly 9,000 hotel rooms, our largest expansion in two decades. One of the most-anticipated projects is the high-end, $350 million JW Marriott Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa. Slated to open this year, it will feature 16 stories, 516 rooms, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, a rooftop bar, restaurants and numerous amenities.


GEORGE AGUEL President and CEO of Visit Orlando

ON THE VERGE OF A DYNAMIC DECADE FOR ORLANDO TOURISM Innovation, evolution will define our destination in the 2020s


s we embark on a new decade, there’s never been a more dynamic time to welcome visitors to Orlando. The evidence is right here in these highlights of our robust tourism industry, which continues to evolve, invest in the future, create jobs and generate taxes that benefit our entire region.

Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites


Opening a Giant Hotel and Building an Epic Theme Park Universal will open its 2,050-room Dockside Inn and Suites this spring, offering affordable lodging options that enhance Orlando’s value proposition for family vacations. And even though its newest theme park, Epic Universe, is still a few years off, work is underway on the 700-acre site that will house multiple themed lands, rides, hotels, restaurants, an entertainment center and shops.

Steinmetz Hall



Raising Orlando’s Star Potential Phase 2 of construction at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will conclude with two all-new performance spaces opening in 2020. Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat multiform theater, will feature state-ofthe-art acoustics and a wide range of configuration options. The Green Room will offer a large rehearsal and performance space well-suited for corporate events. When complete, the nearly 700,000-square-foot facility in the heart of downtown will further elevate our destination’s cultural profile, enticing residents, leisure and business travelers alike.

You’ve probably heard that Orlando is America’s most visited destination year after year — and this achievement doesn’t happen by accident. Our ever-growing roster of engaging attractions at our theme parks and beyond, coupled with strong global marketing and world-class hospitality, keeps visitors coming back in record number. Sustaining Orlando’s popularity and momentum requires strategically promoting our destination, and Visit Orlando is focusing on this in a big way in 2020, rolling out bold new campaigns targeting leisure and business travel. Tapping into the spirit of innovation that defines our region, we will also continue to find new ways to partner with our member companies to drive visitation and share the story of our destination. The coming decade offers tremendous promise for Orlando’s $75 billion tourism industry, spanning every sector of our economy while supporting our community’s way of life. Here’s to our destination’s ongoing success in the 2020s!

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From the Desk of

Dr. Michael Armbruster

Orange Technical College


CTE Month!

You may not know it, but February 1 marks the beginning of Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, a public awareness campaign celebrating the value of CTE and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. For us, however, every month is CTE Month at Orange Technical College. The work of educating students, and helping guide them to a prosperous future and career, is a responsibility we are honored to have. As the demand increases for highly skilled, highly trained employees in the region, our role in the area’s unique educational ecosystem is more important than ever. And while we are proud of our more-than-85-year history of changing lives through education, it is time to take the next step in our evolution.

That step is what we call

"VISION 2024" VISION 2024 is a comprehensive restructuring and rebuilding plan for OTC’s five technical college campuses in an effort to more strategically align campus programs with regional workforce demands by the year 2024. The plan is built around an “anchor tenant” model with individual campuses representing schools of specialty in key high-growth industries as identified by the State of Florida and regional workforce partners like CareerSource Central Florida. Those include construction; health care; hospitality and tourism; manufacturing; transportation; and IT/modeling, simulation and training (MS&T). Design is currently underway for the new Orange Technical College – West Campus in Ocoee, and the first shovel will enter the dirt in the coming months. This will begin the transition that will sweep across our campuses as we enter the new decade. It is truly an exciting time! Of course, this plan would not be possible without the tremendous support we have garnered throughout the business and industry community, philanthropic partners and neighboring educational institutions. Continuous collaboration is already underway, engaging with industry through workforce councils, advisory boards, industry showcases, and more — all designed to bring awareness to the skilled trades and shatter decades-old perceptions of what career and technical education “looks like.” Throughout my 30-plus years in education, I saw a focus on traditional college as the destination and decided we needed to shift that focus to a career as the destination and college as just one way to get there.

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The Truth is..... THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO A GREAT CAREER. The path to prosperity through industry certifications and licensures is bright in the new economy. At OTC, we are equipping students with the skills and work-based learning experiences to succeed in this new, more connected world. Our students are prepared to enter the workforce immediately after graduating and, better yet, with little to no student debt. Many are heading to college after completing a career certificate program as well, taking articulated credit with them — proving higher education is no longer an either/or proposition. We invite you to join us in celebrating CTE Month and encourage you to get involved with OTC as we prepare for an exciting future. Have a great CTE year!

Dr. Michael Armbruster Dr. Michael Armbruster Associate Superintendent OCPS Career and Technical Education

Rafael F. Fine Dining General Manager, OTC Alumnus i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 33


PROSE Golf Channel Celebrates 25 Years in Orlando By Diane Sears


It was September 25, 2016, and Rich Lerner had just arrived in Minnesota to cover the Ryder Cup as a television journalist for Golf Channel. He was having dinner with a colleague, and they got the word that golf legend Arnold Palmer had died. Lerner ran back to his hotel room to shave, grab a coat and tie, and head to the golf course, where he would be on-air within three minutes of arriving. It would be another 12 hours before he’d be free to deal with his own emotions. Years earlier, Palmer had agreed to partner with entrepreneur Joe Gibbs to take the risky move of starting a 24-hour cable television channel devoted solely to a sport they both loved. Today, 25 years after it first went on the air January 17, 1995, the enterprise continues to grow in popularity worldwide. Golf Channel’s main office building in its Orlando headquarters near International Drive contains state-of-the-art studios and a grand entrance that sports the NBC logo, showing its ownership by the NBC Sports Group, a division of Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal. A cluster of surrounding office buildings holds part of the growing team of more than 1,000. Covering Palmer’s death has been one of the highlights of Lerner’s career to date. “For that night, Golf Channel was akin to when someone passes and you open your home,” Lerner said. “People would come in and pay their respects to the bereaved. In this case, everyone in golf was the family. … That was a very poignant, emotional night and morning.” He got back to his room at 2 a.m. to prepare to be back on-air by 8 a.m. “I got up the next morning and was sort of a wreck,” Lerner said. “I looked in the mirror and started crying.” Lerner had grown up in what he calls a golf family. Lerner’s parents were both avid golfers, and pros like Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were on the family’s television every weekend. Lerner and his three brothers worked for their family’s driving range and miniature golf course in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

34 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

“My father had this idea early on that he would approach this rising star from the other side of the state, and that would be Arnold Palmer, who was becoming quite famous,” Lerner said. “He would get him to put his name on this new center and they would create

ANNUAL REVENUE $20.5 MILLION a string of Arnold Palmer golf centers across the country.” When his father found out Palmer’s asking price, he changed his mind. As it turned out, though, Lerner would go on to work for the network Palmer co-founded, and Palmer would honor Lerner’s father’s memory on a plaque in the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, named after Palmer’s wife.




MORE THAN 736,000

MORE THAN 732,000

to report a story on his warehouse of memorabilia that included a pool cue given to him by Jackie Gleason from the movie The Hustler. It was two days before Christmas, there was snow on the ground, and Palmer, 82, stood up and said, "If there's anything going on

tonight, give me a call.” “Arnold was a man of maximum action,” Lerner said. “He loved to be on the move, and he loved people. He didn’t want to miss out on anything. … He had such a great love for life, and you felt it and knew it when you were in his company.”

Golf Channel had come about because of a chance meeting. When Palmer was playing on the PGA Tour, it was customary for locals to host players to stay at their homes. Palmer stayed with Gibbs and his wife, and the two men became friends and later business partners. Gibbs, who is now retired, stayed active in the business for years and still pops in for a visit from time to time. Lerner had spent some time with the golf legend in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania,

Arnold Palmer and Rich Lerner


— Rich Lerner

Arnold Palmer i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 35

Damon Hack

Tiger Woods and Steve Sands

From Print to TV Damon Hack grew up in Los Angeles in a house where golf was never on the TV unless someone was waiting for a football or basketball game to start. None of his friends or family members played golf. It wasn’t until he was in college at the University of California at Berkeley in the mid-1990s that a hotshot golfer from another California school, Stanford University, caught his eye. As a young black man who became a sports reporter for the Sacramento Bee newspaper, Hack had not seen someone who looked like him play golf before. Now he was intrigued, and he started playing with fellow graduate students and journalists. Hack went on to become one of the senior writers for Sports Illustrated, living in New York and flying around the country covering professional golf and football. His articles often appeared on the cover. 36 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

But the magazine was downsizing, and Hack was offered a buyout. Friends at Golf Channel asked him to try out for a new show called “Morning Drive.” After four days on the set, the channel offered him a job and he switched from print to TV. “I’d previously found myself thinking, ‘TV can’t be that hard, you just get up there up and run your mouth a little bit.’ But then I realized there are all these other mechanics to it. Going to commercial, hearing a producer count down, 10, 9, 8 all the way to 1. You’ve got to put makeup on. I was like, ‘Wow, there’s a little more to this TV medium than I had previously given it credit for.’” Hack soon stood face to face with the man who had inspired him to learn about golf. He interviewed Tiger Woods for the first time in 2013. He now interviews players all the time, including Rory McIlroy, who visited the Orlando studio

in December and joked around with the “Morning Drive” crew. Hack, the father of 8-year-old triplet boys, has been working with First Tee of Central Florida, part of a national organization that introduces youths to the sport. He helped bring a charter bus of boys and girls from Sanford to the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. “A lot of these kids had never been on a golf course before,” Hack said. “That doesn’t mean they’ll end up as the next Tiger Woods, but maybe they’ll find the peace and tranquility of a golf course that I enjoy. Or maybe they’ll want to be a golf course superintendent, or a golf writer or broadcaster, or a teaching pro. It was one more aspect or avenue to the game of golf that these young people otherwise wouldn’t have.”

WE’RE FAMILY FOR THE GOLFERS AROUND THE WORLD, AROUND THE COUNTRY, BUT IT FEELS LIKE WE’RE PART OF THEIR LIVES. IF YOU LOVE GOLF, YOU HAVE THIS CHANNEL ON IN YOUR HOME FOR SOME PART OF THE DAY. — Rich Lerner weather comes before you, traffic comes before you, and sports is always the last thing. If there is a thunderstorm, sports is going to lose its time.” In 19 years, Sands has reported some groundbreaking stories. He was the first journalist to interview Tiger Woods when the golfer won his 80th PGA Tour event after a five-year career lull. He was in the recording booth doing the play-by-play when Woods tied Sam Snead’s record with 82 victories. But one event sticks out as one of his best at Golf Channel. It was in the mid-2000s, when Woods was the No. 1 player in the world in golf and Roger Federer was No. 1 in tennis. The two athletes, who were friends, were playing in tournaments in South Florida the same week, and Federer came out to watch Woods in a practice round.

Groundbreaking Stories Steve Sands grew up in Washington, D.C., and didn’t play golf until a friend in his dorm at Colorado State University encouraged him to come out and play with a bunch of guys on the college team. Sands watched everything they did, and they taught him the game. They’re all still good friends to this day. Sands was a sports reporter for NBC affiliate WESH-TV Channel 2 in Orlando when he was offered a job with Golf Channel as a reporter on the “Golf Central” program. His start date was memorable: 01/01/01. “The first time I was on the set doing ‘Golf Central,’ I almost got sick. I was so nervous, I guess because it was so new,” Sands said. “The thing I thought was the coolest about working there was that when you’re doing sports at 6 and 11 p.m. on the local news, the news comes first,

At the end of the round, Sands asked Woods whether they could chat for a second and then casually asked Federer whether he’d like to join them. “Roger couldn’t have been more gentlemanly or graceful, he couldn’t have been kinder,” Sands said. “He said, ‘Sure, I’d love to.’ We were going back and forth talking about one another, talking about this sport and that sport, motivation and different kinds of things. Both of the guys were great – they were feeding off each other.” Instead of the typical two-minute interview, it was more than 15 minutes — and it was the first time the two athletes had been interviewed together. “By the time the interview ended, there were probably 40 reporters around us taping the conversation, and there had to be a thousand people around us trying to get autographs and screaming to Roger and Tiger,” Sands said. “It was a really cool moment.”

Woods started calling Sands “Sandsie” on air, and the name has caught on among Golf Channel fans. “Whether I’m in an airport or a restaurant or a bar or a gym, it doesn’t matter where I am, somebody always comes up and says that to me and makes me laugh,” he said. “By the way, that doesn’t speak to anything about me. That speaks about the power of Tiger’s reach.” There’s another thing people shout to Sands at airports: “La Cheeserie!” That’s the name of a cheese shop inside the wine and liquor store his family has owned for more than 50 years in Washington, D.C. Sands’ friend and longtime Washington sports radio broadcaster Tony Kornheiser started encouraging listeners to yell the phrase at golf tournaments after someone hit a good shot. It has since found its way to the “Survivor” TV show, the Olympics, and even a state dinner at the White House — and, of course, anywhere Sands happens to be. Golf Channel has formed a virtual community for people who love the sport. Lerner, who felt that during his time covering Palmer’s death, said there’s a kinship and connection that spreads from Orlando to the rest of the world. “I hear it and feel it when I’m out on the road at tournaments,” Lerner said. “We’re family for the golfers around the world, around the country, but it feels like we’re part of their lives. If you love golf, you have this channel on in your home for some part of the day. “The reason Golf Channel works is that in his heart, what Arnold understood when he took the risk with Joe Gibbs to do this is that while average golfers — those with a 20 or 25 handicap — could never play the game the way he did, they absolutely love the sport as much as he did. … Most of us who work here love the game the way people who watch us love it. I hope that comes through in the way we cover it.” T i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 37



>> By Meaghan BRANHAM


ou’re piloting a plane, already halfway through a trip thousands of feet above the Earth, when suddenly you’re engulfed by a thick fog. Unable to leave the cockpit, unable to land, and tasked with keeping each of your passengers safe, you might find yourself beginning to panic — but then you hear the voice of a control tower, a lifeline in the dark.

New Coaches Serving as a kind of control tower for the pilots of business, the CEO Leadership Forums have helped their members figure out that the way to clear the right path for themselves and their businesses is to keep learning. With each new member who joins as the forums expand, a new facet of the support network is added or strengthened. “Having the ability to reach out to people who share common issues and have those discussions gives you the perspective to tell you if you are heading down the right path or if you need to correct,” said Roy Richardson, CTO and vice president of Central Florida cybersecurity firm Aurora InfoTech, and a member of one of the forums. “If you’re going to be a coach, you have to be coached,” he said, describing the selfsustaining cycle that starts once these connections are made. Alonzo Williams, president of software consulting firm Zerion360, whose partnership with SAP software has reached more than 65,000 companies globally, joined about a year ago when a colleague recommended him. “What I 38 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

Dr Nassar see is a lot of CEOs needing something like therapy. Because when you’re the guy or girl sitting in the seat, you need that guidance,” he said. “It’s a delicate balance, to stay focused on your vertical industry, but at the same time to have to develop all these other relationships on the other side of it and develop an understanding of these other industries you interact with.” Richardson agreed that those relationships help sustain not just their own companies, but the connections that are necessary to keep them growing. Richardson joined the forums around the same time as Williams a year ago, and earlier this year he participated as a presenter on cybersecurity with Aurora InfoTech at one of the forum events. The presentation was aimed at educating fellow business owners on the importance of protecting their business assets from cybercriminals. Over the course of the past few months, new members have offered more valuable insight than ever. Lee Zerivitz, managing partner and co-founder of CITY Commercial, a boutique commercial real estate firm in Central Florida, brings his expertise in everything from investments to tenant representation. Jessica Matthews, an account executive for Paylocity, a business-tobusiness software solution company specializing in payroll and human

Alonzo Williams


capital management, is familiar with the goals and anxieties revolving around retention and the talent pipeline for many business owners.

The Future of Leadership For all of these new coaches, a sense of the future is an underlying theme in their idea of leadership, and one of the reasons they each joined the forums in the first place. Another is the program’s close partnership with Valencia College.

Lee Zerivitz

“The largest component for me was giving back to Valencia — being able to foster those community ties between businesses and the incoming workforce,” Matthews said. Forum events are hosted at Valencia, sometimes with students in attendance hearing directly from their potential future employers. The forums and their partners have provided internships and scholarships for students, bringing tuition for the recipients to as low as $2,500 a year. “It is very important that we maintain strong relationships with our regional business leaders to keep the talent pipeline ready,” said Dr. Nasser Hedayat, assistant vice president of career and workforce education at Valencia. “And our students know what they are looking for in their leaders. The power to influence others, to gain their trust, to demonstrate competence, to see that these companies are diverse and care about their employees. They want to know they will be able to grow in this environment.” In fact, each of the new members, when asked what they believed to be the most important quality in a leader, agreed on one thing: a vision for the future founded in empathy for the teams they lead and the ability to coach and be coached by those teams. “To see leaders at the C-Suite level getting involved in education, from internships to potential hires, is inspiring,” Zerivitz said of the importance of working closely with those just entering the talent pipeline. “As those guiding our companies, we set the tone for company culture and a key leadership quality is empathy toward bettering our employees’ futures.” Matthews quickly agreed, adding that the ability to think of what is coming next is the most valued quality in both leaders and teams alike. Williams explained: “Steve Jobs said it best, ‘We don’t hire smart people so we can tell them what to do, we hire them so they can tell us what to do.’” With their control tower out front and their teams backing them, these CEOs look forward to more growth for all. ■

Jessica Matthews

Roy Richardson

ORLANDO’S CEO LEADERSHIP FORUMS CONSIST OF TWO GROUPS, WITH GROUP 2 INCLUDING THESE LOCAL BUSINESS LEADERS: Geoffrey Gallo, senior vice president of marketing and strategic consulting with Grennan Fender, who has led the charge since its inception Jed Grennan, managing partner of Grennan Fender Tim Bach, president of Patterson/Bach Communications Inc. Russell Slappey, CEO and managing partner of Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services Sean Meder, vice president for business development and sales for BciCapital, a subsidiary of City National Bank Kevin Slezak, senior vice president and Orlando regional director of City National Bank Chris Bordner, CEO and managing partner of Synergy Wealth Alliance Michael Roman, human capital management advisor at ADP Nicole McMurray, regional manager of AppleOne Lauren Arevalo, senior manager of AppleOne Bernie Piekarski, managing partner of Piekarski Consulting LLC Casey Fernandez, client executive with HYLANT Insurance Steve Quello, president of CEO Nexus Ray Watson, principal of CEO Nexus Eric Shulman, owner of Sandler Training Institute Ron Wilkinson, principal with Nperspective CFO & Strategic Services Jessica Matthews, account executive for Paylocity Roy Richardson, chief technology officer for Aurora InfoTech Alonzo Williams, president of Zerion360 Lee Zerivitz, managing partner and co-founder of CITY Commercial Jon Molayem, president with Acquivest Financial Group Brian Fatigati, President ARX Payment Services i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 39

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UP CLOSE Cliff Long With

By Meaghan Branham

Cliff Long, CEO at Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association, came to real estate by way of politics. It was his previous role with the State of Florida a few years before he entered his current field that would lead him to a position as governmental affairs director for a local Realtor association. As Long learned during his time in both fields, the potential to make a positive difference and work closely with policy can be a huge part of the job of a Realtor. “Seeing how NAR and Florida Realtors administered government affairs and advocacy initiatives fascinated me,” Long said. He would go on to build a strong presence in his field in both Alabama and Florida before coming to his current role with the ORRA, a nonprofit working across counties in Florida with real estate professionals to provide resources, effect change and empower those in both the commercial and residential sectors. Here he discusses his own path to fulfillment, Orlando’s vibrant landscape, and what he hopes for the future.

What did you want to be growing up?

As a child, I wanted to be a professional football player. Seeing “Mean” Joe Greene and Tony Dorsett inspired me. I loved sports then and still do today.

What was your first job, and what did it teach you?

My first job was as a roofer. A local roofing company allowed both myself and my next-door neighbor to work for cash one summer. They offered us $10 per hour, which was more than we had ever made at the time. I learned that they were getting the better end of that deal. Standing on 110-degree shingles in the middle of a hot Alabama summer and carrying 50-pound bundles of shingles on my shoulders up a ladder taught me that I did not want to be a roofer. I traded in my work boots for a briefcase and never looked back.

What brought you to your current role as CEO of ORRA? When the REALTOR® Association CEO who hired me for my first governmental affairs position left to work closer to his hometown, the board of directors asked me to step in as interim CEO. The bug bit me from there. I developed a passion for serving and still have that fire.

What is a typical day like for you in your role? What kinds of things do you oversee?

Today I am focused on ORRA’s strategic plan and making sure all Realtors in Orlando know they are loved by their association, literally. I also know that my staff is a gift to me, so I focus on helping them achieve their personal goals. Lastly, I spend a lot of time within the realm of community affairs, both locally and globally speaking.

How would you describe the current state of the Orlando commercial real estate market? How does it differ from others you have worked in?

Orlando’s commercial real estate market is very strong. We have some of the most professional practitioners around, and our economy is great. I encourage everyone to count the number of construction cranes that have sprouted up in downtown Orlando. Our growth is visible. Orlando is growing both up, with regards to multistory buildings, and outwards. Our future looks great. We are unique from other markets in that our economic drivers are distinctly different. We are the most visited city on Earth, and our airport is now the busiest in Florida. These resources help to guarantee a strong commercial market even in the midst of downturns in other geographical areas.

What trends have you observed in the Orlando market? What do you hope for the future?

Mixed-use buildings and neighborhoods seem to be the flavor of the day. Endeavors such as LIFT Orlando are helping to spread the notion of broad-based prosperity, and that in itself is the hope for our future. My hope is that Orlando continues its current renaissance and lives up to the name of The City Beautiful. I desire a city that is an inclusive community where residents can live affordably and where businesses can prosper.

What kinds of classes/resources does ORRA offer for commercial Realtors? The Orlando Regional Commercial Council regularly provides classes for real estate professionals who seek

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an introduction to commercial real estate and its many aspects. ORRA also partners with commercial entities such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute to ensure that a higher level of professionalism is taught and promulgated into our commercial real estate community.

Can you tell me more about RPAC? What are some of the legislative actions and proposals that would interest the organization?

RPAC is the Realtors Political Action Committee. It promotes the election of pro-Realtor candidates and supports pro-Realtor policies and interests. RPAC accepts voluntary contributions 42 | FEBRUARY 2020 | i4Biz.com

from Realtors who understand the importance of campaign fundraising and politics. Politics influence zoning policies and regulations that directly affect commercial development and leasing. RPAC is very influential in local government and commercial-related policy. For example, the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee recently passed HB 469. This bill repealed a requirement of two subscribing witnesses for leases longer than one year. Florida is one of five states that require certain commercial lease agreements to be witnessed. A few more RPAC victories include

reduction of the business rent tax (lowered for commercial leases by 0.2%), approval of online remote notaries, and reauthorization of the 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Provision.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

My mother told me, “Son, Orlando didn’t make you, so don’t you let Orlando break you.” What she meant was that I was to never compromise my morals and beliefs for anyone and to never bow down to any system or authority. My past and present were forged with prayer, sacrifice and hard work, and I am to never forget that. ■

Social Entrepreneur



By Ryan Randall

i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 43

Social Entrepreneur


hen Vickie Martin entered Christian HELP some 20 years ago, she was looking for a place to assist with food and Christmas gifts for her children, as well as help with bill payments. The organization helped her get back on her feet. Over time, she became a volunteer and served as a board member, secretary and chair. Today, as the executive director for Christian HELP, Martin looks to continue to deliver the quality assistance that was given to her. Dick and Madge Wilson founded Christian HELP in 1992. The Casselberrybased nonprofit’s first client was having trouble making rent, so the organization helped out. As the years progressed, the organization’s services expanded. Today, Christian HELP provides job search assistance in multiple ways, has an extensive food pantry and offers a yearly Christmas program that provides toys for families in need. When looking back on her time in the program, Martin credits Christian HELP’s ability to assist her in the

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WE CAN OFTEN INJECT TRUTH AND LOVE INTO A STRANGER’S LIFE BECAUSE WE’RE A SAFE PLACE, WE’RE OBJECTIVE AND OUR ULTIMATE DESIRE IS TO HELP PEOPLE MOVE FORWARD WITH NO JUDGMENT.” — Vickie Martin process of getting back on her feet, but not enable her to the point where she became dependent and returned back to the program. It is a process the organization still abides by today, partnering with people willing to work hard to find a way forward so they can move past their circumstances and live the independent lives they desire. Martin’s desire to find a permanent solution motivated her while she was receiving services. “I think that’s what really did it for me, realizing there’s another way,” Martin said. “You don’t have to permanently live in crisis mode, but you’ve got to have a part in the solution. You have to work hard and make better decisions

consistently, even if they take time to bring about change.”

Relationship-Driven Service

One of Christian HELP’s features in assisting clients goes beyond the material goods, food items and career aid the organization offers. Instead, the organization takes pride in the time spent with clients as they look to get back on their feet. There are many different people who come looking for assistance, ranging from single mothers to senior adults who are out of money. With each individual possessing different skillsets and needs, Christian HELP looks to find permanent solutions, sitting down with the client and developing a plan of action. Once the plan is put into motion, Christian HELP is there, regardless of timetable. The organization’s lasting dedication has

Social Entrepreneur allowed it to display a commitment to those looking for assistance in a way that leaves a lasting impact on those in the program. “Even though it’s great to hear they have a job, the thing we’re most moved by is when people say we’re like family to them, we care about them and we saw them as individuals,” Martin said. “When they say they don’t know where else they would’ve gone, we literally saved their lives, and gave them hope when they were at the end of their rope, this says we’re getting it done in a way that works. At the end of the day, people don’t remember many facts, they remember more how they felt. So for us, caring about the experience of the person we’re serving is paramount.”

Even though it’s great to hear they have a job, the thing we’re most moved by is when people say we’re like family to them, we care about them and we saw them as individuals. — Vickie Martin

An example of Christian HELP’s dedication to its clients comes from a young woman who entered the facility a while back. While she was relatively debt-free and living at home with her parents, she longed to be independent, so she bought a car and found a place to live. However, the costs of the car and living on her own caused her expenses to exceed her income. She came to Christian HELP seeking

food assistance, relegating herself to the fact she would always come there when she came up short on money. However, Martin worked with the woman to find better financial solutions, and eventually she worked her way up at her job and earned a promotion. “We can often inject truth and love into a stranger’s life,” Martin said, “because we’re a safe place, we’re objective and our ultimate desire is to help people move forward with no judgment.”

Future Goals

In addition to staying true to the organization’s mission of assisting people with finding jobs, Martin said, Christian HELP wants to expand its reach to as many populations facing unemployment and under-employment as possible. She is working with the Orange County jail system to assist people who are about to be released with jobs and resources for their future. However, to be successful in expanding its reach, the nonprofit would also like to increase its staff and facilities. With the same relationshipdriven approach that came to Martin’s aid during her time in the program, Christian HELP continues to be more than an assistance program. It is an organization driven to make a permanent, positive change in people’s lives. ■

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Best Practice

Workforce Development Fostering a Results-Only Work Environment How we work is changing. The trends have long been shifting toward remote work, the gig economy and work-life balance. Many are finding that along with this shift, there must come a change in how work is managed.

Cherise Czaban

is the publisher and CEO of i4 Business. She can be reached at cherise@i4biz.com.

This is the central idea of the resultsonly work environment (ROWE). First introduced as a management approach by Jodi Thompson and Cali Ressler, two managers who immortalized the approach in their first book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution, ROWE is exactly what the name implies: a workplace that measures success mainly by the substance and quality of the work getting done. To manage work, not people — an important distinction for ROWE — means focusing on the what of the work, not the where and when of the people doing it. In

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine. — David Ogilvy

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other words, outline the goals, tasks and expectations and assign them clearly. Then the when and where no longer matter, as long as the work gets done. Whether at a desk in a cubicle for eight strictly defined hours, at a home office at 2 a.m., or from a cafe early in the morning in another time zone, the measurement of success is that the work gets done. “Butts in seats doesn’t create good work,” Greg Watt, CEO of Watt Global Media, said in a 2019 CNN Business article. “It gives you the perception, but it doesn't necessarily drive excellent performance.” The results-only work environment takes flexibility to a new level and gives employees a sense of ownership and accountability, made all the more empowering by the trust their employers have in them.

As Thompson and Ressler concluded in a 2013 Forbes magazine interview: “Companies do not need to manage their people better, they need to manage the work better. So many people do not have a clue as to what constitutes measurable success — no matter where they’re working from. We’ve become complacent, believing that if people show up, put in effort, and put in their time, then that’s what good looks like.

“It's the 21st century, we don’t need to watch people do work anymore. We need to take a big step back and ask ourselves the question, ‘Do I understand the work that needs to get done, and how to identify if that work is steering us toward achieving our measurable outcomes?’”

Experienced M&A Solutions for Central Florida

How to Implement ROWE •

Communication. Once you have clearly outlined goals, projects, tasks and assignments, you must clearly communicate them to your team. To sustain a workplace focused on results, everyone must understand what those results are. In addition, make sure the members of your team are aware of how and when to best communicate with each other and understand the value of clearly communicating what they will need from other members of the team to accomplish their own goals. Weekly check-ins, project management software, and email can be used to maintain clarity and consistency.

Measurements and metrics. After goals are defined, a way of measuring progress toward them must be defined so both employee and employer can celebrate successes and keep on track. This will be different according to your industry and the nature of the job, but it may look like weekly check-ins, clear deadlines, meeting a set quota, or using a project management software.

Trust. It can be difficult for some leaders to let go of the traditional management or work environment norms. It can feel like they are losing control. But by trusting employees to do their work as capable and motivated adults, leaders can make the work more manageable and encourage autonomy and ownership. In the words of Thompson, “What people need is to be trusted like the adults they are, with the ability to take complete control over their time. Then, and only then, will they have the opportunity to be intrinsically motivated to not only do work, but own the work — really be accountable for what they were hired to do.” No judgment (of yourself or others). The traditional workplace defines productivity by hours spent in an office. While initially it may be hard to let go of the guilt or self-judgment that often accompanies leaving early, or taking a personal appointment in the middle of a traditional work day, try to keep in mind that all that matters is that you actually are being productive, not that you “look” productive. Extend that same attitude toward others in your workplace. ■

Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel offers the strength and resources of attorneys and professional staff with experience in a range of services. Nelson Mullins provides advice in litigation, corporate, economic development, securities, finance, intellectual property, government relations, regulatory, and other business needs of clients ranging from private individuals to large businesses.

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

i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 47

Best Practice

Productivity Unleashing Your Greatest Resource: People Whether you are a business leader, government official, mentor, teacher, spouse or parent, the common denominator in any relationship is people. We must learn to relate, interact and connect with others and rely on them to fulfill our roles and purposes in life.

Bill “Roto” Reuter served for nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy as a test pilot and as commander for its premier training and development organization. He is now the president of R-Squared Solutions, where he and his team facilitate dynamic workshops that empower organizations to reach greater success. He can be reached at roto@r-squaredsolutions.net.

Good leadership isn't about advancing yourself. It's about advancing your team. — John C. Maxwell

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The Carnegie Foundation released a study revealing that 85% of a person’s success in life is based on his or her ability to relate well with others. When we accept another person’s perspective in order to build healthy relationships or establish mutual trust, we’re more likely to encounter success. That’s possible when we understand the priorities and patterns of other people, when we develop the right attitude toward them, and when we show we value them. Having a common language we can use to discuss our needs, motivators and communication styles empowers us to do just that. The DiSC models of behavior, illustrated by the DiSC assessment, provide a starting point for you to better understand others and the chance to

reflect on your own personality and work style. Based on a series of questions in the assessment, you can determine which combination of the four DiSC personality types applies most to you: dominance, influence, steadiness or conscientiousness. These types can explain whether someone works best alone or with others, on one task at a time or several, quickly or slowly. When awareness of this information is enhanced, understanding and communication become that much clearer, thereby accelerating execution.

People-Oriented vs. Task-Oriented

The DiSC personalities can be divided into two priority types: those that are “task-oriented” and those that are “people-oriented.” Those who are task-oriented, the D and C types, are driven by results, actions and to-do lists. They develop trust and respect for others based on accountability and the results of their work. They are direct, determined, focused and proactive. Those who are task-oriented may find it helpful








to go out of their way — and their comfort zone — to ask others how they are and get to know those they work with. While it may not be directly related to the task at hand, it may be exactly the kind of interaction those who are more “people-oriented” need to do their best work and feel valued. Those who are people-oriented, the I and S types, are driven by relationships, interactions and harmony. They are focused on the feelings of others. They develop trust and respect for others based on demeanor and consideration for others in their workplace. They are optimistic, energetic, loyal and supportive. In order to keep that harmony they value so much, those who are people-oriented should be sure to check in once in while with themselves to be sure they are not overcommitting or stretching themselves too thin in order to appear more amiable. Taking on tasks they can complete, being honest about expectations and focusing on the truth as much as they focus on feelings can make their interactions with task-oriented people much more rewarding.

Outgoing vs. Reserved

The DiSC types work at two different paces: outgoing and reserved. Outgoing individuals, the D and I types, are fast-paced, talkative, quick to respond and animated. Those who don’t share this trait may read this as aggressive or even reckless, but they are often just excited about a project or idea and want to engage others with it. Reserved personality types, the C and S types, are more reflective, take more time to process information, speak more quietly and may seem more guarded. To others they may seem too cautious or inactive when they are weighing the pros, cons and possible outcomes of a situation.

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Since 1984

These two types can greatly complement each other with careful attention to communication. Outgoing individuals can benefit from slowing down a bit to look at the details of something, while those who are reserved may find that those who are more outgoing can provide much-needed motivation to take action.

Accept and Embrace

Whether it be through nature or nurture, we all have different ways of approaching a situation and conducting ourselves in the world. None of these viewpoints is right or wrong. They are just different, and those differences can be an incredible asset to a team when everyone takes the time to understand and acknowledge them. Through curiosity, understanding and trust, your team can listen, learn and work together more effectively. At the end of the day, it’s important to get things accomplished, but it is twice as important to build healthy relationships in the process. T

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Unique experiences for your day off ORLANDO Epcot International Festival of the Arts From January 17 to February 24, the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort will host its International Festival of the Arts. The festival is a diverse celebration of art and includes culinary, performing and visual arts. The Disney on Broadway concert series features live performances of favorite Disney musical tunes in the World Showcase. The weekend creative workshops give guests a chance to craft unique pieces and learn techniques from Disney artists, while galleries showcase curated collections. While you take it all in, enjoy one of Epcot’s famous dishes, with creative new twists and additions inspired by art and culture throughout the world.


WINTER GARDEN Plant Street Market Along the charming brick streets of downtown Winter Garden sits the 20,000-square-foot Plant Street Market. This local indoor artisan market features 20 vendors, including Crooked Can, the awardwinning craft beer brewery. Other vendors include restaurants like Mac’d Out and Jodo Sushi, shops stocked with locally sourced products like Wild Florida Honey and Local Butcher and Market, as well as tea and coffee from Axum Coffee and AntiquiTEAs. With an outdoor patio and live music performances often, Plant Street Market has something for everyone.


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

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SANFORD St Johns Riverboat Cruise All along the meandering St. Johns River, some of Florida’s most beautiful flora and fauna make their home. Cypress and oak trees grow along the shores and shade the cool water of Blue Springs State Park, where manatees and alligators swim while osprey and eagles can be seen above the branches of the great trees. Excursions with St. Johns River Cruises and Tours allow nature lovers to get closer to this beauty during daily two-hour trips led by captains excited to share their knowledge of the history and wildlife of the river.


ORLANDO Ace Cafe Originally opened in 1938 in London, Ace Cafe has become synonymous with the culture of of rock ’n’ roll and motorcycles. The first North American location opened in downtown Orlando in 2017 and has quickly stood out as a unique spot to grab a drink and a bite to eat, listen to some live music, and talk shop with employees, professionals and hobbyists. Each month, Ace Cafe hosts regular Bike Nights, as well as events dedicated to classic makes and models, from Corvettes to Porsches to Volkswagens and more. Check the calendar for the next classic car show or the latest live music announcements.

http://bit.ly/2FBQvT2 MOUNT DORA Renninger’s Flea Market Treasures can be found at every turn among the stalls stocked by a variety of vendors that line the buildings of the Renninger’s Twin Markets in Mount Dora. Antiques, collectibles, clothing, produce, records and crafts practically spill out into the aisles of the market, giving you a chance to find one-of-a-kind pieces, meet one-ofa-kind people, and support local business on a lazy Saturday afternoon or a sunny Sunday morning. The market’s Antiques Center and street of shops are open Friday through Sunday every weekend, while the Flea and Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Business Seen

CFHLA 2019 HOSPITALITY GALA The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association held its 2019 Hospitality Gala on December 14. This annual black tie celebration featured 1,200 industry professionals and community leaders and was held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. CFHLA officially honored the several professionals for their service: Jackie Bozzuto, Allied Member of the Year; Joe Friends, Engineer of the Year; Dave Bartek, Lodging Member of the Year; and George Kalogridis, Charles Andrews Memorial Hospitality Awardee.

CFHLA 2019 Chair Jesse Martinez, general manager of the Alfond Inn at Rollins College; CFHLA President and CEO Rich Maladecki; Jackie Bozzuto of Lowndes; and CFHLA 2020 Chair Brian Comes, area vice president of Hyatt Regency Orlando.

Jesse Martinez; George Kalogridis, president of Disney Segment Development and Enrichment for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; and Brian Comes

Rich Maladecki; Jesse Martinez; Joe Friends, director of engineering, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate; and Brian Comes

Rich Maladecki; Jesse Martinez; Dave Bartek, vice president of operations, Loews Hotels; and Brian Comes

Jesse Martinez, Congresswoman Val Demings, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Brian Comes

Past CFHLA Chair Fred Sawyers and Jayme Sawyers

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Business Seen

Jeff and Dawn Swirsky

John and Sara Lamont

Jay Leonard, chair of the CFHLA political action committee; Santa Claus; and Ron Silveira

Ana Stanfield and 2019 gala host Robert Stanfield

Rich Maladecki, Jesse Martinez and Brian Comes

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Business Seen

GROWFL 2019 FLORIDA COMPANIES TO WATCH GrowFL, in association with the Edward Lowe Foundation, recently honored the top 50 second-stage companies throughout the state at the 9th Annual GrowFL 2019 Florida Companies to Watch awards program. The honorees are expected to see significant growth over the next several years. Selected from more than 500 nominees, the honorees generated nearly $1 billion in revenue and added more than 900 jobs between 2015 and 2018.

Kelly Hill from Sales Advisors of Florida; award recipient Dena Jalbert, founder and CEO of Align Business Advisory Services; and Dr. Tom O'Neal, GrowFL executive director

Stuart Rogel from Graylan Ventures; award recipient Leo Cannyn, principal project manager of Beryl Project Engineering; and Dr. Tom O'Neal

GrowFL Advisory Board Chair Jennifer Barrows from Withum with honorees Trey Bowmar, CEO of Express Freight Inc., and Gwen Griggs and Whitney Harper, co-CEOs of ADVOS Legal

Bradley Lunz, president of the Lunz Group, with his team

Award recipients Jorge Lopez and Katrina Gonzalez from Waypoint Contracting

Helena Cowley from Captozyme; award recipient Betsy Pepine, broker owner of Pepine Reality; and Dr. Tom O'Neal

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Business Seen

Award recipient Chris Woodruff from Raider Outboards

Award recipient Dr. Julia Harper, CEO and clinical director of TheraPeeds Family Center; Barbara Stankowski

Kevin Carr from FloridaMakes; award recipient Lourdes McAgy, owner and CEO of Total Nutrition Technology; and Dr. Tom O'Neal

Award recipient Brian Butler, CEO and president of Vistra Communications

Adam Steinhoff, CEO of DedicatedIT, with fellow honorees

Award recipients Sarah Laroque and Cristine Borowski from EarthBalance; and Mel Thomas (middle) from the City of North Port

SUBMIT YOUR EVENT to press@ i4Biz.com The team from MAGICAL accepts an award

i4Biz.com | FEBRUARY 2020 | 55


Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know

13,310 Residential units in downtown Orlando, including houses, townhomes, apartments and student housing for the University of Central Florida



Florida’s ranking on U-Haul’s list of fastest-growing states, based on how many moving trucks go into a state versus out. Kissimmee was among the cities with the most arrivals, along with Bradenton, Sarasota, Ocala, West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie.

Tons of steel used in the

Source: Tampa Bay Times


Occupancy rate for downtown Orlando apartments

$1,766 Average rental rate in downtown Orlando Source: City of Orlando

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North-South Building at the Orange County Convention Center. That compares with 5,199 tons used in construction of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.



last expansion of the

SETS THE EXAMPLE FOR MY PEERS. — Devon Newsome, a junior at Eustis High School who was named the Youth of the Year at the Northeast Lake County branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida and spoke at a recent fund-raiser, one of seven that raised a total of more than $870,000 for the program


Square footage of a new Ruth’s Chris Steak House that will replace the current one in Winter Park Village, which was built in 1999 and measures 11,200 square feet. Source: Orlando Business Journal

“We view this as a critical service. As fellow citizens, we want to be able to help each other in times of crisis.” — Carmen Torres, chair of the Orange County Citizens’ Corp Council, a ninemember advisory board that helps educate the public about safety, including crime prevention and disaster preparedness

“Whether our students are just down the street or across the country, we strive to ensure that they receive the same highquality education online that they would on campus.” —Thomas Cavanagh, vice provost for digital learning at the University of Central Florida, where the online programs have been ranked among the top 20 in the nation for the third year in a row by U.S. News and World Report

THE POWER OF A COOKIE When you buy Girl Scout Cookies, you help power amazing experiences and life-changing opportunities for girls year-round. Girls build essential skills through the Cookie program that help them think like entrepreneurs. They’ll learn to work with others, set goals and interact with you, the cookie customer! A cookie booth today, can lead to the boardroom tomorrow!


January 12 – March 1, 2020

Download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder App to find cookie booths near you!

To learn more about your local Girl Scout Council and how to get involved, call us at 407-896-4475 or visit us at www.Citrus-GS.org.

© 2015 Southwest Airlines Co.

Without a Heart, it’s just a machine. So in 1971, a little Heart built a different kind of airline—one that made sure everyone could fly. Everyone has important places to go. So we invented low-fares to help them get there. To us, you’re not 1A or 17B. You’re a person with a name, like Steve. Here, we think everyone deserves to feel special, no matter where you sit or how much you fly. And with all the places we’re going next, we’ll always put you first, because our love of People is still our most powerful fuel. Some say we do things differently. We say, why would we do things any other way? Without a Heart, it’s just a machine.

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