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Links Tech, Manufacturing




Are you on the outside looking in? Are you ready to use your expertise and passion to advance a cause that will change and strengthen our region? Do you want to step inside the circle of decision-making that is shaping the future? Are you ready to raise your hand in service to our family of communities?

ENRICH Our Family of Communities EXPAND Personal and Professional Networks ENHANCE Your Knowledge of Central Florida EXPLORE Regional Issues and Assets ENGAGE with Established and Emerging Leaders

Through this one-of-a-kind experiential curriculum, you will learn the most important aspect of leadership – you can follow a leader or BE ONE! See for yourself how, since 1975, Leadership Orlando recruits, cultivates and encourages established and emerging leaders to better serve the Central Florida region.

Pamela Landwirth



Chair, Leadership Orlando Class 97 President & CEO Give Kids the World Village

@LeadershipORL #LO97

Team Building at Give Kids The World Village — Members of Leadership Orlando Class 97 see the global impact of philanthropy in Central Florida.

Jeff Aaron Associate GrayRobinson, P.A.

Jari Alvarez VP of Sales Services Hilton Grand Vacations

Tajiana AncoraBrown Director of External Affairs Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Karim Arja Client Advisor Seaside National Bank & Trust

Kim Belardinelli Vice President, Commercial Relationship Management TD Bank

Rod Bitterling Senior Solutions Consultant North American Office Solutions/Dex Imaging

JB Boonstra Director of Community Health AdventHealth

Taylor Bousfield Exceptional Student Education Teacher Orange County Public Schools

Kevin Brown Booking Department Manager City of Orlando

Kristin Caborn Senior Planning Manager GAI Consultants, Inc.

John J. Callahan Vice President of Technology BRIDG

Ledian Cama Tax Manager CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

Karen Case Human Resources Director LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Dana Casey Communications & Public Affairs Lockheed Martin

Allyson Chiappa Executive Vice President Epoch Residential

James Christie Vice President, Hospitality & Parking Bags Inc.

Erika Cooper Vice President, Advertising Orlando Sentinel

James Cooper Mission Support Division Chief Air Force Agency for Modeling & Simulation

Dan Covelli Executive Officer Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division

Molly Crouch Director of Sustainability Centerplate

Sam Curro Director of Capital Projects/Construction Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando

Earnest DeLoach, Jr. Division Counsel Balfour Beatty Construction

Christie Hyde DeNave Senior Media Relations Consultant Florida Blue

Marie Dennis Assistant Director of Finance Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Sean DeVaney Sales Engineer Innovative Support Systems, Inc.

Rachel Dobbs Client Executive Hylant

Paul Drayton Vice President, Commercial Banker JPMorgan Chase

Kristina Duncan Managing Director Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Ronny Edwards, Jr. Shareholder Lowndes

Brad Ehrhardt NAWCTSD 6.0 Logistics Site Lead/ Director Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division

Derek Frederickson Territory General Manager Coca-Cola Beverages Florida

Manuel Garcia Vice President of Operations ZAZA New Cuban Diner

Peggy Givens Associate Director for Patient Care Services VA Medical Center Orlando

Claire Goodwin Consultant, Value Based Care - Strategy Orlando Health

Carolyn Haslam Attorney Akerman, LLP

Gary Lee Heath Director of Business Analysis Massey Services, Inc

Michelle Heatherly Director of Operations, Strategic Development Demetree Global

Kate Henry Vice President, Mktg. & Strategic Communications Seminole State College of Florida

Lindsay Hodges Director, Reputation Management Wyndham Destinations

Erika Hughes Entitlements Manager VHB

Jason Human Client Manager PFM Asset Management, LLC

Veronica Jhon Audit Manager Withum

Ed Kania VP, Business & Finance/ Treasurer Rollins College

Darren L’Appanna Asst. Manager, Business & Air Service Development Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Chuck Lichty Director, Season Ticket & Plan Sales Orlando Magic

Esteban Lopez Director of Corporate & Academic Outreach Beacon College

Jacob Lucky Project Executive FINFROCK

Loren Luedeman Senior Project Manager Barton Malow Company

Johnny Lynaugh Vice President Regions Bank

Mike Manuchia Manager of Consulting Services Restaurant Partners Inc.

Lindsay Spartz Mason Regional Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Florida Realtors

Mary Beth McAliley Senior Project Manager Interior Contract Services Inc.

Mike McFadden Coordinator, LEAD Scholars Academy University of Central Florida

Tajuan Mills Sr. VP - Wealth Team Director BB&T - Branch Banking & Trust Co.

Khalid Muneer President Jupiter Properties, Inc.

Tanya Naylor-Molea Security & Emergency Manager Reedy Creek Improvement District

Marta Negron Senior Vice President, Orlando Regional Manager MIDFLORIDA Credit Union

Paul Oppedisano VP, Premium Services Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Logan Opsahl Attorney Callan Law Firm, P.A.

Jason Passley Treasury Management Consultant PNC

Pete Pelletier Assistant IT Director Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Michael Quinn Partner Shutts & Bowen LLP

Janet Ray Vice President, Marketing Give Kids The World Village

Donnette Reid-King Head of Team Member Services ZIO

Rafael Restrepo Regional Sales Director Kavaliro

Frances Rios Founder & CEO Frances Rios International

Jordan Ross Preconstruction Manager Hoar Construction, LLC

Brad Runyan Senior Preconstruction Manager Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC

Scott Shedek Senior Project Manager Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Heather Shubirg Executive VP Team Volusia EDC

Abby Silverman Operations Director Hope and Help Center of Central Florida, Inc.

Candice Simmons Community Relations Sr. Consultant Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations Wells Fargo

Brian Stensrud Senior Scientist SoarTech

Alisha Stokes RN - Corporate Chest Pain Coordinator Orlando Health

Dianne Thomas-Roberts President Redd Ash Technologies Co.

Rebecca Toolsie Finance Team Leader Redd Ash Technologies Co.

Tim Traver Director, Strategic Planning Orlando Health

Linda Valenti Business Unit Controller Gilbane Building Company

Mandy Weitknecht VP, Business Development Skanska USA Building, Inc.

Chris Whitney Vice President Huitt-Zollars

Kelsey Will Account Executive Clear Channel Outdoor

Justin Williams COO Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

Haley Winston Assistant Director University of Central Florida

William Wold ENG Manager CenturyLink

Steve Wortman VP, Middle Market Relationship Manager Fifth Third Bank

Falecia D. Williams, Ed.D.

Chair, Leadership Orlando Class 99 Campus President, West and Downtown Campus Valencia College

Now Accepting Enrollment for Class 99 – Class Begins March 10, 2020 Contact Danielle Permenter at 407.835.2444 or visit to reserve your space! 4 | OCTOBER 2019 |


Thank You

Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises

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

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 Gwen Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Karen Keene, ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership and Dean Mead Attorneys at Law Shelley Lauten, Consultant Lisa Lochridge, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association 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

Yog Melwani Yog Melwani is principal of Align Commercial Real Estate, a licensed agent and commercial real estate developer, with 17+ years of experience in Central Florida. He learned the CRE industry from the ground up and has been involved in the development of over 320,000 square feet of space. Melwani combines private industry knowledge with involvement in the public and notfor-profit sectors to help the community as chair of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s inaugural Multicultural Affairs Committee, chairman of the Orange County P&Z Commission, member of Orlando’s Nominating Board, president of the Indian American Chamber of Commerce, and member of the BB&T Advisory Board.

Robert Utsey Robert Utsey is senior vice president of business development and strategy at Coastal Construction Group of Central Florida, a 30-year-old f irm with a portfolio of some of the most iconic hospitality, condominium, multifamily and commercial projects in the state. Utsey has held leadership roles on many community nonprofit boards, including founding cochair of the Orlando Economic Partnership. At Coastal, he works closely with his colleagues to collaborate and bring value to clients, architects and consultants to develop a diversified portfolio of projects and support the growth of the Central Florida region.

Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction | OCTOBER 2019 | 5


Features 18

Correct Craft: Making Life Better Through Manufacturing


Siemens Links Technology and Manufacturing


A Growing High-Tech Workforce


Out of the Box

Water Sports Boat Company Expands Its Reach — and Its Mission

Digital Twin Concept Goes from ‘Nice to Have’ to ‘Must Have’

Manufacturers Find Ready Talent Pool in Central Florida

Dusobox Continues to Get it Right 3 Generations Later

6 | OCTOBER 2019 |


Each year we recognize and honor business leaders in the Central Florida area who are making a positive impact in the region or have achieved superior growth in their company or organization over the past three years.

JOIN US Wednesday, December 10, 2019 5:30PM - 8:30PM Country Club of Orlando 1601 Country Club Drive, Orlando, FL To Register Reception Sponsor

Dessert Sponsor



Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship



First Day



UCF and Valencia College Open Joint Campus in Downtown Orlando

Publisher’s Perspective


From the Editor



Gently Guiding Your Team Through a Terminal Illness Romaine Seguin | UPS International


How to Create and Leverage User-Generated Content Cherise Czaban | i4 Business


How to Choose the Right IT Strategy Davia Moss | Next Horizon


Standing Out Through Community Service Nancy Allen | Women’s Business Development Council of Florida



Marilyn Laboy and Yari Fumero | National Real Estate


Business Briefs


Take 5 with Visit Orlando Promoting the Orlando Brand Year-Round


Social Entrepreneur Food with a Purpose How Tijuana Flats is Serving More Than Just Tacos


Downtime Unique Experiences for Your Day Off


Business Seens



and Shelter Mortgage








Maryann Barry | Girl Scouts of Citrus


Steph McFee | Connections Curator LLC


Thomas Cira | BciCapital


Up Close | With Beverly Seay

8 | OCTOBER 2019 |






Links Tech, Manufacturing


ON THE COVER Bill Yeargin CEO of Correct Craft PHOTOGRAPHY BY John Lipscomb

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BACK ISSUES Back issues may be purchased for $5.00 each by calling 407-730-2961.

REPRINTS 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 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 | The contents of i4 Business magazine, 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. © 2019. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

This invaluable marketing tool will spotlight many of the top Commercial Construction and Real Estate Professionals in Central Florida through comprehensive full-gloss color profiles in our print and digital editions. The spotlight will also be published online at and promoted through our social media channels, in addition to our Special Edition newsletter.

Secure your spot! | OCTOBER 2019 | 9





COPY EDITOR Susan Howard, APR CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Nancy Allen, Meaghan Branham, Alisha Crabtree, Cherise Czaban, Davia Moss, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban - 321.848.3530 Timothy Blomstrom - 321.328.5883

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Publisher's Perspective

SHARING YOUR STORIES AS WE CREATE OUR OWN “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” — Simon Sinek

At startups, people typically work closely together and handle cross-over responsibilities. It’s “all hands on deck” as everyone pitches in to get the job done. The founders usually wear more than one hat as the company ramps up. Everyone is clear about the purpose of the organization and what it’s trying to accomplish, and they’re passionate about being a part of something new and exciting. Here at i4 Business, we have the privilege of telling stories about organizations that have gotten past that first stage and are continuing to grow. In the years and decades that follow the startup phase, the close-knit team that was involved at the beginning has dispersed. Roles are better defined, and there’s usually some distance between the founders and the various departments. With each new hire, the story that’s shared about the organization’s history becomes a little bit more watered down. That’s how we can help. We capture those stories, share them with the community and preserve them in print and digital formats. We show where some of Central Florida’s most interesting people and organizations have been — and, more importantly, how and why they got started on their individual paths.

ownership. Although the magazine is over 6 years old, our new team has been in place only since the summer of 2018. We continue to look for ways to help build and bond the Central Florida community. Collectively, our team has more than 125 years invested here, and that number will only keep growing. We look forward to publishing many more issues that share your positive success stories and celebrate your accomplishments. To your success,

CEO and Publisher

In the meantime, we are living through the same experiences we write about. It’s hard to believe we’ve passed the first anniversary of i4 Business magazine’s new

Favorite quotes from this issue “We appeal to sellers who want to sell to someone with a long-term strategy who will protect their employees, brand and legacy.”

“By leveraging a growing list of industry partners and the existing strengths of academic partners, BRIDG strengthens Florida as a global leader in innovation.”

“It was my grandfather’s and father’s philosophy that yes, you’re providing for your individual family, but you’re also providing for every family you employ.”

“Giving back is at the foundation of our culture. It’s something we prioritized from day one — by celebrating new restaurant openings with a ‘Give Back Day.’”

— Bill Yeargin, Page 21

— Gloria LeQuang, Page 27

— John Kelley, Page 32

— Brian Wright, Page 54 | OCTOBER 2019 | 11



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

Learn more at

From the Editor

Processes Have Changed, But the Thrill is the Same I remember the first time I ever encountered a typesetting machine. I was in a high school program in St. Petersburg at the Poynter Institute, which is still today an esteemed research and training institution for journalists. An instructor sat each of us at a keyboard and said, “Whatever you do, don’t touch the key with the bell symbol on it.” To this day, I don’t recall what that key was for, but I remember being nervous that if I hit it, the entire system would shut down. It would be the equivalent of yelling, “Stop the presses!” — something every journalist longs to do at some rare point in life when there’s major “breaking news” and you need to pull back pages for revisions.

store inserts for the Sunday paper so I could look at my last name over and over. It sounded like a simple job, but it was difficult. You might remember that scene from “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel are working in a factory and the chocolate candies come along so fast on the conveyor belt that they can’t keep up. You get the picture.

After that, I always loved being in the press room and went every chance I got. There’s nothing like the sound of the printing presses and the smell of fresh ink. When I worked at the Orlando Sentinel, I would pop downstairs to learn how things operated. With each modernization of equipment, my coworkers would tell me how their jobs had My next encounter with a typesetting machine changed. My relationship with the press operators was at what is now St. Petersburg College. During came in handy because there was one time they my first week on the school newspaper staff, I was had my back when I actually had to call out, “Stop introduced to a machine about the size of a golf the presses!” cart. I asked why it was nicknamed Lucille, and It was a Saturday night, and I was in charge everyone said, “Oh, you’ll find out soon enough.” It turns out the machine often stopped working, of the newsroom for the last hour of the shift. usually when we were on deadline. The staffers Most people had gone home except a few of us would channel their inner Kenny Rogers and sing, on the news and sports desks. Right about then, Mike Tyson bit off the top of Evander Holyfield’s “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.” right ear during a highly publicized boxing match Printing newspapers is a lot like working in a in Las Vegas. The sports world exploded. No one factory that manufactures products we’ve written had ever seen anything like it. I thought, “Oh yes, about in this issue, including boats, computer we will need to get that on Page A1” and called components, microchips and boxes. Every piece the press room. of the operation is dependent on every other piece Today, so much of manufacturing, just like of the operation. Every job is just as important as newspaper and magazine production, involves the next. digitization. If you’re in manufacturing, I know In my first job after college, at what is now you have your own stories about how technology Florida Today newspaper, the printing press crew has changed the jobs in your industry over the in the Cocoa plant went on strike one night. As years. I hope you’ll share those with me. Thanks a junior editor, I was assigned to go to the press for walking with me down memory lane. room and help out. My job was to load inserts into Have a great month! a carousel type of sorting machine. My coworkers thought it would be funny to give me the Sears

Editor-in-Chief | OCTOBER 2019 | 13

Business Briefs

Trustees Begin Search for New UCF President The University of Central Florida is officially searching for a new president. Its Board of Trustees voted unanimously to conduct a national search with the goal of having the new leader take office in the summer of 2020. The committee leading the search will include representatives from faculty, staff, students and the community, and it will be assisted by an outside search firm that specializes in higher education. Dr. Thad Seymour, who has served as interim president since February, has said he will stay in his current role as long as needed but will not be a candidate in the search. He was appointed after former President Dale Whittaker resigned. “This is an incredible institution,” Seymour said. “You have my commitment to work as hard as I can to put us in the right position for the next person to take over.”

Dr. Thad Seymour

Lake Nona Wave Hotel to Open in 2021 Lake Nona developers have announced the name of a new ultramodern hotel under construction in the town center area: the Lake Nona Wave Hotel. Part of the Tavistock Hotel Collection owned by Tavistock Development Group, the resort is being designed by architectural firm Arquitectonica and will have a sleek exterior, more than 200 guest rooms, meeting and event space, and a variety of food, beverage and retail options. A cornerstone of Lake Nona’s growing shopping and entertainment district, Lake Nona Wave Hotel is expected to open in 2021.

Orlando Magic Dedicate Court to Late Rich and Helen DeVos

The Orlando Magic’s home parquet basketball court will permanently feature a memorial insignia dedicated to the National Basketball Association franchise’s late senior chairman, Rich DeVos, and his late wife, Helen DeVos. He died in September 2018 at age 92, and his wife died in October 2017 at age 90. “What a perfect way to honor all that Mr. and Mrs. DeVos brought to the Orlando Magic organization and the Central Florida community," said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. "From the beginning, Mr. and Mrs. DeVos’ vision was that the team and organization would serve as a platform to improve the Central Florida community. That legacy will certainly live on, both in the Orlando Magic's community efforts and philanthropic contributions, as well as in the way we strive to play the game with passion, a strong work ethic and integrity, while also bringing people together from all walks of life. Our court will now forever commemorate Mr. and Mrs. DeVos, who made that vision a reality."

Business 14 | OCTOBER 2019 |



Community Health Centers Helping in NIH Data Project

Duke Energy Pledges to Lower Carbon Emissions to Net-Zero

Winter Garden-based Community Health Centers Inc. is participating in a national effort to gather data from 1 million U.S. residents to accelerate research and improve overall health. The “All of Us” program by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) takes into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, biology and other factors.

Duke Energy, a power company based in North Carolina with presence in Central Florida, has pledged to lower its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The company has already reduced its carbon emissions 31% since 2005 and has a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Community Health Centers serves about 70,000 patients a year. Most of these are within historically underserved communities, which makes it a vital part of the All of Us program, its leaders say. “As an organization, we are proud to provide this voluntary opportunity to members of our community who may not have been able to participate in such valuable research programs previously,” said Margaret Brennan, president and CEO of Community Health Centers. “Having a strong local community presence within a larger national research program is absolutely vital for inclusion and diversity purposes.”

“We are making a cleaner energy future a reality for our customers and communities,” said Lynn Good, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “A diverse mix of renewables, nuclear, natural gas, hydro and energy efficiency are all part of this vision, and we’ll take advantage of economical solutions to continue that progress. In the longer-term, innovation and new technologies will be critical to a netzero carbon future.”

The company has said its netzero goal represents one of the most significant commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. power sector. The Fortune 150 company, which employs 30,000 people, is committed to investing in the research and development of new technologies that will help further the goal. “Getting to net-zero carbon emissions, while ensuring energy remains reliable and affordable, will require new technologies. That’s the very reason we need to act now,” Good said. “We must continue leveraging today’s technologies while sustaining investment in innovation for this vision to become reality.”

Lockheed Martin Plans National Air Show for 2020 in Sanford Plans are in the works for a new Lockheed Martin Space and Air Show to be held in the fall of 2020 at Orlando Sanford International Airport. It marks a first for Lockheed Martin, which has been in business 106 years and has never title-sponsored this kind of event. The show will be October 31 through November 1 and will feature the iconic U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as the headline act. "We look forward to giving visitors from Central Florida and from across the nation a firsthand glimpse into the exciting technologies and capabilities we provide our military and our allies to help them protect lives and liberties around the world," said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chairman, president and CEO.

The space and air show is produced by event management company B. Lilley Productions, which also has air shows planned for 2020 in New York, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Ocean City, Maryland. "Our entire organization is extremely honored to work with Lockheed Martin in creating this signature North American aerospace event," said the company’s CEO, Bryan Lilley. "Showcasing Lockheed Martin’s vast portfolio brings together an unprecedented display of air, ground and space assets." The dedicated website for the event is Tickets go on sale in November.

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



Inspiration | OCTOBER 2019 | 15


16 | OCTOBER 2019 |

UCF and Valencia College Open Joint Campus in Downtown Orlando >> By Diane SEARS >>Photography: Steven SOBEL The first day of school is always a time to celebrate — but this semester it was especially exciting for college students in downtown Orlando. The new joint campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia College opened its doors August 26 in what is being called a transformative project that will kick-start Orlando’s Creative Village. The 15-acre campus hosts 7,000-plus students in more than 70 classes, along with about 300 faculty and staff members. It is home to more than 20 UCF undergraduate and graduate programs, including digital media and communication, health care informatics, legal studies, nonprofit management, public administration, interactive entertainment and others. Valencia College has located some of its associate in arts and associate in science degree programs there, including its Walt Disney World Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality. The campus puts students within walking distance of internships and jobs. Classes are held in three locations: Dr. Phillips Academic Commons; the Communications and Media Building, formerly the UCF Center for Emerging Media; and UnionWest at Creative Village, a 15-story building with the top 10 floors dedicated to student housing and the rest to classroom space, offices and restaurants. How big an impact is the new campus expected to make? Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said it’s about the equivalent of bringing the entire student populations of Stetson University in DeLand and Rollins College in Winter Park to downtown Orlando. P | OCTOBER 2019 | 17



Making Life Better Through Manufacturing



hen Correct Craft was founded in 1925, the world was just starting to learn how mass production could improve the way people live. On assembly lines all over America, workers used mechanized equipment and standardized parts to increase the number of products manufacturers turned out. Each piece would be as reliably the same as the one built before and after it. Manufacturing facilities started cranking out vacuum cleaners, washing machines, refrigerators, automobiles, airplanes and other technological wonders. Walter C. Meloon started his boat manufacturing company on South Orange Avenue in Pine Castle, just south of Orlando, where workers built a variety of craft ranging from powerboats to race boats to sailboats. He named it the Florida Variety Boat Company. By 1936, he changed the name to Correct Craft after hearing a shoe advertisement on the radio about “the correct heel for your shoe” and thinking, why not “the correct craft for you”? In 94 years, the company has been through two recessions, a world war, a near-bankruptcy and, more recently, global expansion of its facilities, operations and distribution. Today, it remains at the forefront of innovation as a manufacturer of boats used for water sports, including fishing, skiing, kneeboarding, wakesurfing and wakeboarding. Correct Craft’s brands include its flagship Nautique

18 | OCTOBER 2019 |

>> By Diane SEARS


line, founded in Central Florida, as well as other brands the company has continued to accumulate through acquisitions that have put it past the $600 million mark in annual revenue. “Correct Craft has a wonderful history, but 2001 to 2006 was a rough time for the company,” said President and CEO Bill Yeargin. “When I started in 2006, I was the fifth CEO in five years. The family who owned Correct Craft felt like my values aligned closely with theirs and that I was the person to turn the company around.” The founding family gave up Correct Craft in 2008 when Meloon’s descendants sold it to its current owner, Ambassador Enterprises. Yeargin and his team continue to tout the company’s rich history, which is memorialized on its website and in countless news articles published through the years. There’s the story about how the company made a name for itself during World War II. In 1945, General George Patton and his forces in the U.S. Army were running out of ammunition and supplies. Thousands of lives were at risk, and they needed a delivery that would require 600 storm boats to cross the Rhine River in Germany. Correct Craft was asked to become one of several suppliers and manufacture 400 storm boats. The company ramped up its workforce and worked around the clock to produce them in 15 days, three days earlier than the deadline — in a period when it normally would have been able to build 48 vessels. Meloon called the feat a miracle and attributed it to divine inspiration. Then there was the story about how the company received a U.S. government contract for 3,000 boats in 1957. It delivered hundreds of them, but the deal went sideways and the company was left in debt and holding a warehouse full of vessels when the payments fell through. Correct Craft was able to secure a contract with the government of Pakistan for some of the boats in inventory plus the construction of several larger boats. A local auto dealer granted a 10-year loan on the factory property, and a shipping company loaned Correct Craft enough money to pay off its debt. The company came out of Chapter 11 in 1965. There were happier stories, too. Correct Craft released the world’s first tournament inboard ski boat in 1961, a Ski Nautique vessel constructed with fiberglass. In 1986, the company signed a contract to supply Ski Nautique boats for the ski shows in SeaWorld’s marine parks. In 1995, the company made a deal with Suzuki to become an exclusive distributor of Correct Craft boats in Japan. In June 2006, the company moved to a new 217,000-square-foot manufacturing plant. Yeargin joined Correct Craft three months later, and the company took off in a new strategic direction. | OCTOBER 2019 | 19

Expansion and Recognition One of the company’s challenges has been to maintain its entrepreneurial roots and small-company feel while expanding from 230 people in Orlando in 1999 to now more than 1,700 employees. The company has operations at 14 sites today and has expanded its distribution into more than 70 countries. When Yeargin joined Correct Craft, he brought a unique combination of business experience and industry knowledge. A former CPA, he had added MBA to his credentials and was working in the marine industry when he was hired to turn around South Florida yacht builder Rybovich. Then the publisher of an industry magazine asked him to write a monthly column on management and leadership, which led to speaking engagements all over the world. Since he took the helm, Correct Craft has won numerous industry awards, including Boat of the Year and Most Innovative Product. It was recognized as Florida’s Manufacturer of the Year in 2014. Boating Industry magazine named Yeargin its Mover & Shaker of the Year in 2016, saying he was chosen for not only his work at Correct Craft, but also for his tireless advocacy of the boating industry. In May, the Foundation for Recreational Boating Safety, Education and Environmental Awareness recognized Yeargin with the 2019 Hammond Marine Industry Leadership Award. Yeargin has served on boards of directors and advisory groups for several organizations, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the University of Central Florida (UCF). He has served on Cabinet-level councils for both the Obama and Trump administrations to advocate for industry priorities. He has testified before the International Trade Commission and has met with top government officials in Washington, D.C. 20 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Growth Strategy What does the future hold for Correct Craft? Yeargin recently outlined his three-part growth strategy for keeping the company at the top of the industry: 1.

Optimization of its current companies through strategic planning and building premium brands. Correct Craft now owns Centurion Boats and Supreme Boats in Merced, California; SeaArk Boats in Monticello, Arkansas; Yar-Craft and Bass Cat in Mountain Home, Arkansas; Pleasurecraft Engine Group in Little Mountain, South Carolina; Bryant Boats in Sweetwater, Tennessee; Parker Boats in Beaufort, North Carolina; and Aktion Water Parks in Orlando, Miami and Auburndale, Florida. The company will continue looking for new brands to acquire as it grows its footprint in the boat manufacturing space, Yeargin said. “I fully expect us to keep making acquisitions. Because we have a track record of creating immediate positive results in the companies we have acquired, we believe we have a model that can continue

to impact new companies and build on our success. We will soon be pushing $700 million in annual sales, and I expect that through optimizing our current companies and new acquisitions, we can double that over the next several years.” 2.


Acquisitions of companies by appealing to owners who don’t want to sell to a traditional buyer. “We appeal to sellers who want to sell to someone with a long-term strategy who will protect their employees, brand and legacy,” Yeargin says. In Boating Industry, he explained the strategy this way: “There are many people in our industry who have owned their company for decades and would like an exit opportunity but have also seen what can happen when a company is sold to a private equity firm. They want no part of that for their ‘baby.’” Investment in Watershed Innovation, a subsidiary launched in February 2018. The initiative’s goal is to identify, evaluate and implement new technologies for Correct Craft and its other subsidiaries, as well as the entire marine industry. It’s doing this by bringing together talent from all of Correct Craft’s entities to find innovative solutions. In July 2018, Watershed Innovation announced a partnership with UCF’s Senior Engineering Design Program to develop a quiet aluminum fishing boat with electric propulsion. In May of this year, Correct Craft acquired Merritt Precision, a Merritt Island company that manufactures highly sophisticated plugs for the marine, automotive and aerospace industries. Two months later, Correct Craft announced Merritt Precision will expand to a new five-acre facility in Titusville. “We are spending nearly $10 million to identify, research and implement exponential technologies at our Correct Craft companies,” Yeargin said. “Robotics and 3D printing are two types of significant advances that are changing manufacturing. Our innovation entity is reviewing how we can implement both of these.”

Talent Pipeline Like other members of the Manufacturers Association of Central Florida (MACF), Correct Craft and its local Nautique brand face challenges in finding and keeping workers. Manufacturers throughout the U.S. are keeping an eye on global trade discussions and tariffs, which affect their comfort level about hiring. They are also concerned about the pipeline of talent coming out of schools and how to convince young people to go into manufacturing. “If you get 20 CEOs in a room and ask them what their biggest problem is, more than 15 of them will say finding good people,” Yeargin says. “We have a great reputation in the community and get many of our employees through referral. We offer competitive pay and great benefits, but most of all, we have a great culture. As part of our culture we invest heavily in employee development, which is something that also attracts and helps us retain good employees.” He has said the company’s foundation has three pillars: people, performance and philanthropy. That third pillar keeps employees tied to the company’s values and rich history. The company’s tagline and motto is “Making Life Better.” Employees from Correct Craft have traveled to Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Uganda, Kenya, the Caribbean and other locations to build houses for homeless families, serve schools and orphanages, feed the hungry, fight human trafficking and support other organizations. Even outside the philanthropic efforts, Yeargin’s job involves traveling around the world — and trying out the products. When he’s in Orlando, Yeargin can often be found wakeboarding at Orlando Watersports Complex, a Correct Craft subsidiary. But ask him what he enjoys the most about his job and he’ll say it’s the people. “We can help ‘make life better’ for employees, customers, business partners and people who benefit from our philanthropy, and that is exciting,” he says. “When we are successful, almost all our nearly 1,700 employees get financial bonuses, which I love. Our platform gives us lots of opportunities to make life better, and that highly motivates me.” P | OCTOBER 2019 | 21


Digital Twin Concept Goes from ‘Nice to Have’ to ‘Must Have’


Digital twin technology has helped make the research and development process easier and more affordable for manufacturers, said Fram Akiki, vice president of electronics and semiconductors for Siemens Digital Industries Software. The concept involves creating a model that replicates what the product is going to do and then tests it for safety, functionality, interoperability and quality — all digitally via technology, before anyone installs the first nuts and bolts.

While technological advancements have improved lives over the past 40 years, they’ve also complicated design and manufacturing processes, even when it comes to products outside the consumer realm. Everyone has grown used to a “build your own” mentality and the instant gratification of overnight shipping. Today, companies have to anticipate what their buyers will want and then manufacture part of the product to allow for the rest to be customized — and do that with a quick turnaround and regular pricing. They also need to be continuously preparing for “the next big thing.”

“In the past, when you talked about computers, it was an IT or techie discussion,” Akiki said. “But today, everyone from my parents to young kids to friends all ask me about anything from smartphones to 5G to autonomous vehicles. That is proving very challenging for the electronics and semiconductor industry. As consumers start to demand all of this technology in all of the products and services they’re using, those products and services become subject to consumer trends.”

>> By Diane SEARS

onsumer electronics have come a long way since the 1980s, when modernizing your equipment meant walking into a retail store and selecting a stereo system in either black or silver. Today consumers are much more tech savvy. Whether you’re purchasing a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone, you can choose the size of the screen, amount of internal memory, speed of the processor, external color, carrying case, accessories and add-on devices.

22 | OCTOBER 2019 |


Siemens Digital Industries Software, part of the multinational conglomerate Siemens AG headquartered in Munich, Germany, has been helping companies address today’s challenges. “One way is to help companies better simulate their manufacturing line before they build it out,” Akiki said. “Or if they want to change their manufacturing line, then before they physically go and do something, they’re able to simulate it with a high degree of reliability so they know, when they make these changes, this is the type of output and productivity they can expect. When they’re actually running the manufacturing line, and they need to keep it running at its optimal point for productivity and cycle time, we have software that helps them do that.” The software also allows companies to gather and use the data generated

by equipment on the manufacturing line. With this information, they can better optimize their processes and predict when equipment needs to be repaired or replaced before it goes down unexpectedly and causes a disruption in production. “All of this is fundamentally based on the concept of the digital twin,” Akiki said. “It involves developing a digital model that essentially mimics what happens in the physical world and being able to use that model to conduct some what-if situations so that when you go back to the physical world with changes or optimizations, you have a high degree of confidence you’re going to be successful.”

3 Eras of Growth Akiki is based in San Diego, but his team has been working in Central

Florida with organizations including BRIDG, a not-for-profit publicprivate partnership that operates a microelectronics fabrication facility in Osceola County’s emerging NeoCity. He has been in the technology industry for about 35 years, through what he calls three “eras” of development. He started off working with IBM in the “compute” era. IBM computers were massive machines that took up specially made rooms that had hollow floors to hold their cabling underneath and very chilly temperatures to keep them from overheating. Akiki moved to Qualcomm during the “connectivity” era, when computers shrunk to desktop and then laptop size and could now connect to each other through the Internet. The first mobile phones were attached to power packs carried in bags. Then everything | OCTOBER 2019 | 23

changed with the invention of the smartphone, which allowed people to carry around a mini-computer embedded into a portable telephone.

have not typically been integrated or working with each other,” Akiki said. For example, electronics companies typically have had the mechanical and electrical engineering teams work separately. The mechanical engineers determine what the product looks like on the outside, and the electrical engineers design the inner workings.

Today, the third phase is the “digital transformation” era. With the Internet of Things (IoT), people can control all kinds of devices through voice commands and telephone apps. In manufacturing, an industrial IoT is leading to Industry 4.0 factories.

Another example is in the development of autonomous vehicles. Getting to the top level of safety through test-driving them would take decades if not a century, he said. Through high-powered simulation work, vehicles that operate without drivers are already emerging onto roadways today.


Closer Collaboration

— Fram Akiki

“Technology is not slowing down,” Akiki said. He points to digital twin technology, which has gone from being something that is “nice to have” to being a “must-have” for survival in design and manufacturing. One example is the semiconductor industry, which has been using digital twin technology for decades, he said. “It was a necessity to be able to model and simulate how a chip would perform before you built the chip. That has only become more important because to build the chip, it costs tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to develop and design, so you do want to make sure you get it right the first time.”

Akiki’s team offers solutions that fall into three “buckets”: design and development, or ideation; manufacturing, or realization; and long-term product use, or utilization. “One of the areas we’re focused on is how we integrate these various solutions in a smart way across disciplines that

24 | OCTOBER 2019 |

“They would maybe get together at the start of the project, at the middle and at the end,” he said. “The mechanical engineer would map out an enclosure, send it to the electrical engineer and say, ‘This is your enclosure. You’ve got to fit everything in there. Figure it out.’” Smartphone manufacturers are striving to get all of the electronic elements they need into a case as thin as 7 millimeters and still have the device be used as a high-definition camera as well as a GPS tracker, a music player, a health monitor, a weather predictor, a banking assistant and, of course, a telephone. “To get it to market quickly, there has to be a much closer collaboration between the people designing the board and electronics inside the device and the people designing the case and worrying about things like whether it will survive a fall onto the ground or get too hot,” Akiki said. “We’ve developed solutions that have a strong collaboration between electronic and mechanical CAD tools so they can communicate with each other and share data. So even though these disciplines might be in different parts of the world, they can collaborate in real time. When a design gets changed on the mechanical side, the electrical folks can know instantly and be able to react.” In the end, the electronics and semiconductor industry is all about improving lives, Akiki said. “Those are some of the things that make me feel proud to be an engineer and be in this industry, when you see your technology making a difference in the improvement of human life and the human condition, not just for the sake of ‘I’ve got a faster computer.’” P


A GROWING HIGH-TECH WORKFORCE Manufacturers Find Ready Talent Pool in Central Florida >> By Alisha CRABTREE While many people may think of Florida as “Vacation Central” with its abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and tourist attractions, technology insiders know better. With a talent pipeline of more than 500,000 students within a 100-mile radius, Central Florida is one of the nation’s fastest-growing employment markets, ensuring an increasing labor pool well into the future. The Orlando region welcomes about 1,000 new residents a week and has one of the youngest median ages in the state at just below 37 years old. These residents are highly educated and diverse, contributing to Florida’s long, unique and vibrant history as a diversified, high-tech hub that 26 | OCTOBER 2019 |

continues to compete as a world leader in innovation.

High-Tech Talent Pipeline Among the most efficient and effective economies in the nation, Central Florida understands its business climate, workforce and success trajectory. From probusiness tax structures and sound infrastructures to skilled talent pools and a high quality of life, the region often ranks among the most desirable locations in the world. Forbes magazine ranked the Orlando region at the top for manufacturing and STEM job growth, and at No. 2 for high-wage job growth in the nation.

“Central Florida has longstanding and world-recognized strength in high-tech industries including optics, photonics, simulation, aerospace, and defense,” said Gloria LeQuang, director of marketing and community relations for BRIDG. “It is definitely ‘the other half’ of the Orlando region that many are starting to realize.” Florida retains the third-largest workforce nationally, delivering more opportunities, prospects and experiences for those seeking employment or people who want to start a business, expand a company or relocate a corporation. With more than one-third of the state’s total talent pool based in Central Florida, the region’s high-tech industries have attracted, established and sustained a skilled workforce since the days of the space race. As the number of innovative companies continues to grow in step with increased demand for high-tech talent, efforts to maintain a sustainable pipeline of affordable, educated, highly skilled workers will be key.

Impact of BRIDG Demonstrated in other technology and innovation clusters across the United States, BRIDG presents Florida with opportunities to diversify its economy and foster innovation on a global scale through its state-of-the-art infrastructure and R&D capabilities for microelectronics fabrication.

BY LEVERAGING A GROWING LIST OF INDUSTRY PARTNERS AND THE EXISTING STRENGTHS OF ACADEMIC PARTNERS, BRIDG STRENGTHENS FLORIDA AS A GLOBAL LEADER IN INNOVATION. — Gloria LeQuang Located at NeoCity — a 500-acre master-planned intuitive community of innovation in Osceola County — BRIDG is a unique public-private partnership that is at the heart of a technology-based economic transformation currently taking place in Central Florida and positively impacting the entire region and state. BRIDG was enabled by investments from founding visionary partners — Osceola County, the University of Central Florida, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council and other partners — in efforts to strengthen the nation’s innovative initiatives and cutting-edge research advancements. Employment opportunities generated directly and

indirectly by BRIDG include high-wage, high-skill jobs ranging from positions for employees with technical certificates up to advanced degrees, offering substantial potential for multiple career paths. “By leveraging a growing list of industry partners and the existing strengths of academic partners, BRIDG strengthens Florida as a global leader of innovation,” LeQuang said. As NeoCity develops its technology district into a hub for nanotechnology, photonics and smart sensor innovation in Osceola County, increased access to technological markets, enhanced workforce development opportunities, and boosted high-pay industry jobs will continue to become more prevalent. P NeoCity: A 500-acre technology district in Osceola County | OCTOBER 2019 | 27

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Few indicators signal the health of a region like construction. Learn about developers, contractors and architects leading the way.

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One of the largest employment sectors, it is also one of the highest-paying and is bringing national recognition to Central Florida.











The legal system is made up of dedicated law firms, lawyers and paralegals working to represent and defend our community.

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OUT BOX of the

Dusobox Continues to Get it Right 3 Generations Later >> By Meaghan BRANHAM


t’s what’s on the outside that counts — or at least, it shouldn’t be discounted. A lot can be learned from the process of putting together a perfect package. Just ask the Kelley family, founders and owners of Dusobox Corporation since its beginnings in 1951. Three generations have seen it through every aspect of its evolution: from the beginning as a way for nowpresident John Kelley’s grandfather to exercise his entrepreneurial skills through a simple distribution model, to its current status as a onestop shop for consulting, designing, manufacturing and distribution. Kelley recalls the company’s beginnings in Massachusetts, when his grandfather, Jack Dusseault, saw an opportunity in the extra boxes his thenemployer’s clients had no use for: “He would have them shipped to his barn at home, and he and my mother and her four sisters would help load and unload the trucks as needed.” Purchasing the boxes and reselling them, he eventually set up his own small manufacturing company near Boston. In the 1950s, he retired to Florida, where it took him six months

30 | OCTOBER 2019 |


to realize that “playing golf every day wasn’t actually what he wanted to do,” Kelley said. So he started again in Florida. Soon he had a 27,000-squarefoot building and clients across the many booming industries that call Florida home — including a partnership with Martin Marietta designing missile interior packaging systems.

New Technology Systems like those require more than just the basic box, and soon Kelley’s father, Dick Kelley, and later John Kelley himself, began to not only expand the manufacturing possibilities but to consider the impact of adding design to their repertoire. Soon both form and function were top of mind. In 1977, when purchasing from big box companies was proving to be a huge capital expenditure, his father bought a used box-making machine, bringing more capabilities in-house. In the early 1990s, when new technology was needed to not only offer more design options to clients but to quicken speed-to-market time, Kelley and his team had a solution. “When I was growing up in the business, we measured with a tape

Dick Kelley (center) with sons Richard Kelley, vice president of sales, and John Kelley, president | OCTOBER 2019 | 31

measure, a straight edge and an X-ACTO knife, all by hand,” he said. “We were the first company in Florida to put in a CAD/CAM system and an automated computerdriven table to do all that. What would take a designer an hour or two by hand takes 10 minutes now.”

Kelley said. “We then are able to guide the client toward a plan that will make them successful with that retailer.”

Growing Together

There’s a popular saying in that 150,000-square-foot building: “Right first time, right every time.” Through every iteration, each generation has credited a work ethic that echoes its rural roots.

As the company adapted to meet new needs, its client base expanded and now includes some of the top brands in the country. Dusobox worked with Publix to create what it affectionately termed “the chicken barn,” a box that held 20 pieces of fried chicken and helped the grocery chain become one of the major sellers of fried chicken in the country. The company also partnered with a cosmetologist looking to build his own brand, and he sold products packaged by Dusobox with such success that $20,000 of business in the first year has reached millions in sales in the past 15 years. Dusobox has become one of the largest privately held companies in Central Florida, with revenues of more than $23.2 million in 2017. It appeared on the Orlando Business Journal’s Fast 50 list in 2017 and 2018. Partnerships and memberships with organizations like the Manufacturing Association of Central Florida (MACF) keep Dusobox involved in the community. Along the way, the company expanded its space from 27,000 square feet to 60,000, but even that wasn’t enough to contain its growth. In 2016, it moved to a new 150,000-square-foot building in the same area code where the teams, both old and new, could work together in a collaborative and creative space. There, its designers, manufacturers, consultants and owners foster a checks-and-balances system for each other, ensuring quality control and boosting team morale. From its experience to its capabilities, Dusobox approaches each client with an eye on the target, often partnering with marketing firms that are representing major retail companies. “We ask, ‘What is the channel you’re going to be selling to?’ We’re experienced with all the major retailers and what their requirements are,”

32 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Lasting Work Ethic


“I did a myriad of jobs when I was in college,” Kelley said. “I lived and worked on a dairy farm, worked on a commercial fishing boat. I learned very quickly how hard you have to work to be successful in very difficult industries. The dynamics of our company are very different, but the foundation is still there. It was my grandfather’s and father’s philosophy that yes, you’re providing for your individual family, but you’re also providing for every family you employ.” Even now, as the company continues to serve its clients, Dusobox is pushing for ways to make its own processes and its industry more innovative. Working with an international company to streamline the manufacturing process even further through digital printing, Kelley described his excitement about “leveraging the strengths of digital and combining it with the strengths of analog. We are looking at a product offering that puts us at the leading edge.” Getting it right not just once, but for so many years requires careful attention to both the past and the future. Kelley described it this way: “It’s learning from your history, but not being limited by it.” P


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

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom® Park

© Disney

PROMOTING THE ORLANDO BRAND YEAR-ROUND Fall events deliver fresh experiences to sustain Orlando's tourism momentum GEORGE AGUEL President & CEO of Visit Orlando


fter the kids return to school and summer crowds dissipate, a different, more seasonal side of Orlando emerges. The cooler fall months are chock full of events designed to draw visitors from nearby drive markets, and Visit Orlando works closely with our member companies to promote activities such as dining, Halloween and outdoor festivals.

34 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights

Mark Your Calendar Upcoming fall events at the parks & beyond Spooky Thrills

The Halloween Vacation Capital® is entering an especially spooky season, with new immersive experiences on select nights through early November. Those seeking a milder thrill can also find plenty of mellow Halloween fun. • Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights: The ’80s return with a vengeance in 10 haunted houses, five scare zones and live entertainment. (Through Nov. 2)

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival

Doing so helps boost the traditionally slower fall season, sustaining our momentum on the heels of heavy summer visitation. The fall season doesn’t just appeal to locals, though. It’s also a big hit with visitors, especially those who live within driving distance. Visit Orlando strategically targets travelers in southeastern “drive markets” like Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, who typically want a shorter, yet always memorable, trip to Orlando. These visitors appreciate the valueoriented hotel packages and attraction tickets available this time of year. They also boost our hospitality industry through events such as Visit Orlando Magical Dining, which is just wrapping up with a record 120-plus restaurants.

Visit Orlando strategically targets travelers in southeastern “drive markets” like Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, who typically want a shorter, yet always memorable, trip to Orlando.

By keeping interest in Orlando strong as seasonal visitation naturally ebbs and flows, our tourism industry generates the jobs and revenue that help support our economy. Promoting Orlando’s brand is a year-round effort, and our strategies change with the seasons, ensuring that our destination stays a perennial favorite for visitors near and far.

• SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular: Families can enjoy trick-or-treating, live shows, whimsical sea creatures, playtime fun with favorite Sesame Street friends and more. (Weekends through Oct. 27) • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Magic Kingdom® Park comes alive with jacko-lanterns, trick-or-treaters, characters and entertainment, including an all-new fireworks spectacular. (Through Nov. 1) • LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Brick or Treat: The park spooks visitors with LEGO Halloween character models, a scavenger hunt, trick-ortreating, a pirate-themed fireworks show and more. (Weekends, Oct. 5-27)

Foodie-Focused Fun

This fall’s dining events offer something to satisfy every appetite, boasting the longest-ever Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, along with other top-notch returning favorites. • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Come sip, savor and stroll at more than 30 delicious destinations. And discover even more tasty delights with chef demonstrations, seminars and more separately priced special events. (Through Nov. 23) • Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek: Enjoy a tasting dinner at signature restaurants Bull & Bear, La Luce and Zeta Asia, then indulge in complimentary cocktail creation classes, a gourmet popsicle bar and other treats. (Through Nov. 23)

SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular

• Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic: This street festival features unlimited tastings, culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants, wine from around the world and live entertainment. (Nov. 8-9) | OCTOBER 2019 | 35



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

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 accomodate 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 loT/ Al revolution

Partner Spotlight

Marilyn Laboy

Yari Fumero, Marilyn Laboy


National Real Estate

Yari Fumero Loan Officer

Shelter Mortgage


I’m inspired by the excitement and shared knowledge of the group of investors and developers I work with, and the endless opportunities that we have as professionals to make a difference. — Marilyn Laboy

A Sense of Community


arilyn Laboy, a Realtor with National Real Estate, has always been drawn to the innovation that defines Central Florida.

“Real estate offered me the opportunity to push through professional barriers and be a part of that change,” she said. “Learning about neighborhood development, realizing how much of an impact you can have on your community, is not only rewarding, it’s exciting.” Creativity and problem-solving have always been a winning combination for Laboy, who describes wanting to be a Publix cake decorator as a child for just that reason. “It seemed they could really take charge and show creativity.” Now, in her days dealing with acquisitions, developments and contracts, getting creative to deliver for clients also requires the structure of clarifying goals, analyzing the market and deciding on the next steps.

“Figuring out market niches and community and housing needs,” she said, “and watching how developers and investors figure out positive ways to fulfill those needs all while working together with other local professionals — it’s the sense of community and future impact that makes my job so great.” That sense of community is made stronger by National Real Estate’s partnership with Shelter Mortgage’s Orlando branch, where Laboy works with loan officers like Yari Fumero to deliver exceptional results. “Since we tend to focus on a particular area of investment at a time, the neighbors really get to know us,” Laboy said. “With upcoming projects, we tend to get a lot of calls from buyers and investors who are interested in purchasing. Shelter Mortgage has always been so incredibly efficient, knowledgeable and professional. When dealing with multiple transactions, it becomes important to have people on your team who have the process laid out so that our deals become seamless and effortless.” P

© 2019 Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC |4000 W. Brown Deer Road, Brown Deer, WI 53209 | Corp NMLS#431223 ( Equal Housing Lender. Yaresmi Fumero, Mortgage Loan Specialist, NMLS ID: 552492 |408 East Ridgewood Street |Orlando, FL 32803 | (407) 897-6656 x16908 |

38 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Executive Spotlight

Maryann Barry CEO

Girl Scouts of Citrus


There is nothing more inspiring than seeing the future unfold through the eyes of a girl as she creates her vision of a better world. Having a front row seat and being there to cheer our girls on to great things is truly the best part of my job. — Maryann Barry

Courage, Confidence and Character


he possibilities that hard work and collaboration could bring were never in question for Maryann Barry, CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus. As the daughter of an engineer and a journalist raised on Florida’s Space Coast in the 1960s, she “was immersed in the worlds of science and community relationships.” Thanks to that immersion, her list of dream careers at that age included both pediatrician and astronaut — anything she could think of that would allow her, as she recalls saying as a child, “to do science and do good.” In 2011 she took on her current role, continuing her focus to make a difference in the lives of children and families, a passion that has driven her career for decades. Her work with the Girl Scouts of Citrus allows her to serve 21,000 Central Floridians, leading her team through education programs, advocacy, food distribution, volunteer management and more. With the resources and legacy of the Girl Scouts on hand, “doing good” comes more naturally than ever. “Rooting yourself in kindness leads to positive and productive action, allowing you to make the world a better place in ways big and small,” she

said. “Our greatest value to our community and our country is that we build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.” One experience at a time, she does just that. On a behind-the-scenes tour one of the organization’s teams took to Kennedy Space Center, Barry recalled entering the prep area where the space shuttle Endeavor was being processed for permanent display. The reaction of one of the girls made a lasting impact on her. “This normally quiet and shy young lady transformed right before my eyes into a bubbling fountain of energy and excitement,” Barry said. “You could see her imagination in overdrive. I will never forget the look on her face when she turned to me and said, ‘I could do this!?’” Those kinds of experiences with the Girl Scouts are constant reminders to girls and women that they can, and they will. Recently, Barry signed on with Virgin Galactic as a future pioneer commercial astronaut. She’s looking forward to making a childhood dream come true, as well as the possibilities new worlds might bring — and how she can share them with others. P | OCTOBER 2019 | 39


Steph McFee

Life and Strategic Connection Coach

Connections Curator LLC


Every day, I have the opportunity to connect with humans on a level where I get to see the beauty within. I am fortunate to get to ‘see’ people and to know what drives them. — Steph McFee

Meaningful Connections


teph McFee describes her mother and grandmother as women who were both born ahead of their time. “My grandmother went to college to become a teacher and pushed the boundaries of how to educate in the state of Alabama early on,” she says. “My mother pushed against the status quo, getting a men’s-only club to not only accept female members but to eventually put her on the board and establish its own Women’s Executive Club.” After working in education in both Australia and the U.S., McFee decided to take up the family mantle, dedicating her talents to helping women. She worked at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where she focused on the women’s market and partnered with organizations that advanced women in business. She went on to become the director of membership for Women Impacting Public Policy, and then to a position with the Network of Executive Women. In 2018, McFee founded Connections Curator, a coaching business designed to help create and nurture connections for businesses and individuals. Within six months, she discovered that the business owners she was working with needed to have a different connection with themselves before building a connection strategy. That led her to create her one-on-one coaching

40 | OCTOBER 2019 |

program, Curate YOU! “There is no part of my day that isn’t filled with the joys of making meaningful connections,” she says. Embarking on this new journey was intimidating, McFee admits. “I found myself having to dig into areas where I didn’t have expertise and either educate myself through online courses, coaches and programs or find and hire someone who could help me. But I’ve discovered I haven’t lost my passion for learning.” Instead, McFee faces each new challenge as an opportunity to better serve her clients, and to pass on what she gathers as she goes. Her new venture has also allowed her to continue her lifelong love of “service to women in all capacities,” which includes a partnership with the Women’s Business Development Council of Florida, a nonprofit that certifies companies as women-owned for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Together, she and the WBDC-FL launched the HER Community membership to provide women business owners with resources and education. “I love teaching! Workshops or speaking to an audience are what fire me up inside,” she says. “There is nothing like seeing the smiles, the headnods and the looks of connection.” P


Tom Cira President



The challenge and the thrill of being part of an organization that is consistently building keeps me young and motivated. — Tom Cira

Investment and Commitment


very winning team has a few things in common: a dedicated coach, a proven playbook and committed teammates. Tom Cira, president of BciCapital, has spent more than 30 years applying those well-established rules of playing fields to his professional endeavors. Since graduating from the University of Central Florida, Cira has spent 34 years in the banking industry with the last 15 years in an executive role. He was hired in 2015 by City National Bank to build a national commercial lending platform called BciCapital, which launched in 2016 and is headquartered in Orlando. “City National Bank has a reputation of consistently delivering best-in-class services to its clients and a deep commitment to the communities it serves,” Cira said. “CNB has supported our vision to build a culture and company we can truly be proud of. It extends far beyond banking — we are neighbors, friends and mutually committed to the success of Central Florida. Achieving success in the I-4 corridor is paramount for CNB to become Florida’s Iconic Bank.”

Being Florida’s Iconic Bank means working alongside the community, according to Cira, who has always been a proponent of the power of connection. “Over the years, I have learned to surround myself with forward-thinking, talented people who have the ability to adapt in this changing marketplace,” he said. With this in mind, he established one of these connections on behalf of BciCapital with CEO Leadership Forums, an organization providing guidance and engaging advisors to create a support network for second-stage, lower-middlemarket companies. Cira said he liked what CEO Leadership Forums stood for, which was helping not only growing companies but also emerging leaders from a local college: “Their commitment to facilitating strategic partnerships between Valencia College, its students and local businesses fosters mutually beneficial relationships in a neighborhood environment.” P | OCTOBER 2019 | 41

UP CLOSE Bev Seay With

By Meaghan Branham

As an inductee into the National Center for Simulation Hall of Fame and one of Florida’s most influential business leaders as chosen by Florida Trend magazine, Bev Seay has established herself as a standout in both the STEM and business fields. In her work at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), she built the modeling and simulation systems business unit from the ground up — but it was the ripple effect of the program, established through partnerships and innovation, that made the biggest impact on her. “I’m most proud of the opportunities we created for people,” Seay says. “I really believe the close collaboration between the University of Central Florida, industry, government and our community partners is the reason Central Florida is the global center of excellence for modeling and simulation.” Now, as the chair of the UCF Board of Trustees, she has proved to be a champion for that collaboration.

What brought you to your work with SAIC? Science Applications International Corporation, an entrepreneurial high-tech company headquartered in San Diego, had built a model of supporting hightech entrepreneurial leaders in growing businesses critical to national defense. The founder moved me to Orlando in 1990 to develop the modeling and simulation business. It was an exciting time with a lot of on-thejob training. I’m proud that we had the opportunity to work with and help develop many of the companies in the Central Florida Research Park, which today supports a modeling, simulation and training market in excess of $5 billion. But I’m most proud of the opportunities we created for people, both employees and students, because I really believe that the close collaboration between UCF, industry, government and our community partners is the reason Central Florida is the global center of excellence for modeling and simulation.

What about your work with SAIC inspired you to pursue a role in education? When I was in industry, I saw the value of being close to the university, whether we were funding research, hiring graduates, working with the faculty or doing community projects together. It was natural for me to become involved. Once my daughters were in college, I was asked by the universities to be more involved, which is how I became a donor. Donors are investors, and I’ve decided to invest a lot of my hard-earned money into my daughters’ universities, UCF and Georgia Tech, because I believe in the mission of higher education and leaving a legacy of giving. Being a member of the board of the Association of Governing Boards also offers me the opportunity to understand the challenges in the higher education industry and work with trustees and presidents across the country to find solutions.

As chair of the UCF Board of Trustees, you’ve spoken about how the board’s choices have to align with a strategic plan. What are some of the things that plan will entail? Our strategic plans need to be closely tied to the strategic needs of Central Florida and the broader Florida community. Being here for our citizens at every stage of their lives is really what we’re about and why we’re here. Our board of trustees understands our mission, and we’re looking into the challenges facing higher education to ensure we are addressing their relevance to UCF. Inevitably, our plans must focus around student success, which encompasses a number of factors, such as the use of digital learning to keep current with the manner in which today’s students learn; providing curriculum and academic advising for retention, on-time graduation and debt reduction; ensuring our faculty are well supported for teaching and research so they can offer our students the best research experience; and providing students internship opportunities that prepare them for the workforce.

Can you tell us a bit more about your work with Girls Excel in Math and Science and the WISE mentorship program at UCF? What does it mean to you to give these opportunities to girls? How have you seen it make a difference locally? My daughters graduated with undergraduate degrees in computing and master’s degrees in engineering management. If I hadn’t been their mother, they probably wouldn’t have STEM careers. The bottom line is if girls and women don’t have role models or guidance, if they don’t understand how to navigate the challenges in their field of choice, it’s difficult and STEM may lose them. What are the career opportunities in computing? It’s not always evident in high school | OCTOBER 2019 | 43


or middle school, but we know in today’s environment, computing and information management are critical functions in many careers and across diverse industries. I’m a big advocate of teaching girls about computing when they’re younger, so we can eliminate the problem of taking courses that for them are an introduction to the subject alongside boys who’ve been coding as a hobby since grade school. That’s the challenge they’re up against. It’s why my granddaughters attend programming camps every summer. They’re in middle school now and they just learned Python to program robots, and the younger one built her own laptop and brought it home. I think we need to do a better job of creating awareness at a very early age, making opportunities available, and making these jobs interesting to women.

How is Central Florida uniquely positioned to make the most of the connection between industry and the talent pipeline? How have you seen Central Florida Research Park grow along with the community? In a sense, I feel like we’ve grown together — Orlando, UCF and the Central Florida Research Park. We are uniquely positioned because we have access to one of the largest talent pools in the nation, with more than 16,000 students graduating from UCF each year, along with graduates coming to Central Florida from universities both in-state and out-of-state. The strong connection between the universities and industry drives this. For example, our community hires a significant number of UCF grads. Nearly 80 percent of UCF’s computer 44 | OCTOBER 2019 |

science graduates work in Florida and 30 percent of the employees at Kennedy Space Center are UCF alumni. Since 2015, the Orange County mayor’s office has worked with the National Center for Simulation to host the Florida Simulation Summit. I’ve been fortunate to chair this summit, working with volunteers from the Research Park community to demonstrate modeling and simulation technologies and applications derived from our important work in the defense industry. Each year, we focus on a variety of modeling and simulation technologies and their application in Florida industries including health care, entertainment, education, transportation, energy, manufacturing and smart cities.

What is missing in higher education when it comes to preparing students for the workforce? How are you working to change that? As the partnership university, many of our colleges have deans’ advisory boards with industry members. The boards provide a channel for industry to give us feedback on skills our graduates need to possess for early career success. They then work with us to provide input for activities to prepare our students for the work environment by combining coursework with experiential learning, such as internships and soft-skill training in areas such as leadership, communications, team participation, professionalism, empathy and career management. We also need to instill the value of lifelong learning because you need continuous improvement to remain marketable. A unique way our students are preparing for their futures stems

from our student organizations, where students work with each other and faculty advisors to compete in national and global competitions. I’ve personally become involved with the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), where over 500 universities across the nation compete annually in regional competitions to determine which teams will go to the ICPC global finals in varying locations across the world. UCF’s programming, cyber and sales engineering teams have all won national championships in their respective competitions. Why is this important? These students must demonstrate competence, teamwork, leadership, creativity and performance under pressure. These are the skills our industry partners tell us they prefer in their new employees.

What are you most excited about for the future? I’m most excited about what we’ll see at UCF over the next 10 years. Ten years isn’t very far away; that’s only two-anda-half graduation cycles. But I think the community will see us better define our distinctive excellence in industry areas such as space, entertainment and health care, where we will be recognized for our interdisciplinary strengths in pervasive technologies, such as simulation, cybersecurity, data analytics, photonics, biomedical, computing and our understanding of their social impact. An example of our interdisciplinary prowess is our game design graduate program, which combines art, science and computing and is ranked fifth in the world. With our commitment to partnership, together with our community, we can reach for the stars! P


Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Celebrate the entrepreneural spirit that thrives in the Central Florida region


Best Practice

Leadership Gently Guiding Your Team Through a Terminal Illness

Romaine Seguin is president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, based in Atlanta. She can be reached at

I discussed in this column several months ago that my executive assistant was in a fight for her life with colon cancer. The fight is over. Tania Marie Harris passed away on September 9, 2019. As a leader, how do you support the family and coworkers when an employee is battling a potentially terminal illness? I thought about five ways you can help everyone cope with this painful situation. 1.

Understand what the individual is going through and how willing that employee is to share with you and others. This can be accomplished with different approaches. Who is the employee closest to at work? Can that coworker be the point person to distribute news and handle questions? Would the employee prefer to communicate with the direct supervisor or

someone in human resources? Once you understand the employee’s wishes, then you can start with a plan. In my case, Tania was very transparent with what was going on with her, so the team developed a plan when she was first diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer on September 13, 2013. When I was transferred to the division as the supervisor, I helped with that plan. 2.

What resources does the team have to aid and assist? Tania had to go to the MD Anderson Center at the University of Texas every two weeks for treatment with experimental drugs for her last two years. The team at work donated miles on Delta Air Lines and hotel loyalty program points with Hilton and Marriott to help her get there.

What coworkers said about Tania: “If I wanted my day to be cheered up, I went and talked to Tania. No matter the subject you discussed with Tania, you always left with a positive attitude and a pop in your step. She was the most positive person I have ever met in my life.” “Tania was the ultimate optimist. On many days in the past year, she had so many negative things going on with her health and life. She could have let these drag her down, but she chose to focus on all of the positive things happening around her. And she chose to spread that outlook to the rest of us.” “The one word I think of when I hear Tania’s name is ‘kind.’ She always had a positive attitude and was concerned more about others than herself. She was kind to those she just met. Kind to those she loved. Kind in stressful situations and kind through and through. Her smile could brighten even the worst of days.”

46 | OCTOBER 2019 |


Get involved with the cause when it works for all parties. Tania and I did a live telecast from the American Cancer Society in March 2019 during Colorectal Cancer Month. We discussed how an employee and an employer work together to get through their days at work and messages we wanted to give to the viewers and listeners. Tania’s message was to be transparent with what you face day in and day out and you would be surprised by the outpouring you received from your organization and your fellow employees. My message was to get screened for colorectal cancer based on your family history and age.

4. Understand what is needed from the family perspective. When Tania started the experimental chemotherapy, she could not stand the smell of food, so she could not cook for her family. Her coworkers and their families took turns preparing and delivering meals for the week for 10 weeks. I love to cook, but I travel quite a bit, so I asked whether I could contribute restaurant gift cards, and she said that would be a nice change. This activity brought us all so much closer as a staff. 5.

Be very transparent with your team members about what is going on. Tania went out on short-term disability on May 17 for 90 days. During that time, she was paid 100% of her salary and full benefits. At one point, she asked whether she could use some of my points to take her family to Walt Disney World. I said absolutely. I was sad and shared with my staff that I didn’t know whether her soul was telling her something I did not understand. On August 14, I received a call from her husband that Tania had a few months to live. I called my staff into a conference room and shared the news. I visited her at home once a week, and one day I asked her to tell me her favorite food. She said pepperoni pizza, which is also my favorite. I challenged her to take a picture when she ate a piece. I never received the picture.

I received two more calls. One was on September 7. Her lungs were failing and she had days to live. I called each of my folks and then sent out a message. The last call I received was early on September 9, and again I called everyone. It was a very somber day. I asked to speak at her funeral on behalf of the company, and I sent a message out to the team. I asked, “When you hear Tania’s name, what do you think of?” Beautiful words and sentiments came pouring in, and it truly was my honor to share them with her family and everyone who was gathered to remember her. I ended by asking Tania to please find the best pepperoni pizza in heaven so that when I join her, I will know right where to go. P | OCTOBER 2019 | 47

Best Practice

Marketing How to Create and Leverage User-Generated Content

Cherise Czaban

is the publisher and CEO of i4 Business. She can be reached at

On July 24, 2010, about 80,000 people in 192 countries turned on their video cameras to tell the story of one day in their lives. They uploaded these “windows into their experiences” to YouTube, and a year later a film compilation containing some of those clips was released under the title Life in a Day. The film was a unique celebration of the human experience, sure; but for the video-uploading platform and the film’s producers, the project was also a testament to the power of a new kind of content — that created by an unpaid contributor, to be used to promote a brand and increase profit. Aptly named, this “user-generated content” is quickly becoming one of the most popular parts of a content marketing strategy, and for good reason. Not all user-generated content needs to involve a global effort like that incited by Life in a Day. Most of it is easy to gather and easy to share, including: ɡɡSubmitted blog content.

Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like. — Brian Chesky, cofounder of Airbnb

48 | OCTOBER 2019 |

ɡɡContest submissions. ɡɡPolls/ballot votes. ɡɡHashtags and mentions on social media platforms. ɡɡTestimonials and reviews.

In addition to convenience, a campaign that employs the user-generated approach touches on the most powerful aspects of marketing: engagement, trust, audience insights and shareable content.


In order to get your audience members to supply content, you have to first ask them. Asking for submissions, for opinions through a poll, or for use of your campaign’s hashtag on social media means starting a conversation. Once you have asked, they respond and you can share. Before you know it, that conversation is happening in real time, increasing brand loyalty, defining your voice and building trust.


It’s nothing personal, but people are far more likely to trust another person than to trust a company. Companies have used testimonials and reviews to build brand trust for centuries. The difference today is that digital platforms make it easier than ever for customers to say what’s on their minds and for companies to listen. The voice of the consumer has increased in value and power. Spotlighting customers’ voices by sharing their content means higher visibility for you and a stronger relationship with your audience. By creating a reciprocal relationship that ensures your audience feels heard, you get to build a

content-based campaign and create a brand that feels more authentic because its voice is, in part, that of real customers.

Audience Insights That same conversation created in the process of gathering user-generated content can help you better understand your audience members as you interact directly with them. Seeing what they vote for, what they write about and which of your posts they share the most can be easily tracked with the right digital tools. That insight can then inform your next campaign for user-generated content, making sure with each attempt that you are getting more interaction with them and more content to share as you hone in on their interests.

Shareable Content

te n e w cultiva rk o t le b o I wa s a h i p s # N e t w s n relatio

Typically, content created by customers is easy to digest, engaging, entertaining or informative. This makes it perfect to share on your own company’s social media or website. This also means building a portfolio of content that you can pull from quickly with little labor or time on your team’s part, making it one of the most efficient strategies out there.

Creating a Campaign When thinking about how you want to go about creating your own user-generated content campaign, it’s important to examine what you want that content to say about your organization and how you go about implementing it. ɡɡConsider the platform. As with every aspect of a multiplatform marketing strategy, catering the content to each medium is the secret to success. For example, on Instagram, one of the most popular platforms for usergenerated content, encourage your audience to share photos related to your campaign, and increase visibility with a specific hashtag. On Twitter, where the volume of content can easily get lost in the crowd, engaging with a contest they can enter once a day with your hashtag increases visibility for your organization and keeps them checking in on the channel.

We k s t re n o w t h e re ngth is # Co m m i n com mun unit ySu pp o i t y rt

of b l e to a p ca ind I’m my m d e t z se ali I re h i n g I a l s t y a n t u re G o # Fu

ɡɡGive back. Using your position to give voice to a good cause is an opportunity for you to give back, and it increases the likelihood that your audience will engage. Many companies take this approach, offering a donation of a certain dollar amount for every post with their hashtag. The most important part of user-generated content is that it reflects your brand identity while increasing your connection with your audience. Stay open, be creative and get ready to listen in ways you may not have thought to before. P

Join Girl Scouts today! Visit | OCTOBER 2019 | 49

Best Practice

Technology How to Choose the Right IT Strategy

Davia Moss is vice president of operations and client services at Next Horizon, an IT and digital marketing agency that provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity.

Large brands aren’t the only ones benefiting from ongoing IT innovation. With the right IT infrastructure, small and midsize businesses can reduce overhead, increase efficiency and even develop more streamlined customer engagement. — Harry Ellis, CIO, Next Horizon

50 | OCTOBER 2019 |

The boundary between sales and manufacturing is blurring. Through technology and innovation, manufacturers are being pressured to increase speed of delivery to market and, in some cases, build to order. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies like Casper Mattress, Dollar Shave Club and Bonobos are sprouting up left and right. All of these companies share a common strength: reliable IT infrastructure that has supported their continuous growth and empowered them to flourish.

Reliable Support

To maintain a reliable support infrastructure for your organization’s computers and networking systems, you need professionals who are trained, certified and experienced. If you are a business owner, for instance, the last

thing you want is to have ransomware infecting your servers or an outdated backup crippling the rest of your business operations. You can hire full- or part-time employees who are in charge of working on and maintaining your company’s computers and networks. The downside to hiring a full-time IT staff for many businesses is the additional payroll incurred. While it’s great having IT support at all times, you are essentially paying for IT insurance. You have the necessary support at a moment’s notice if anything were to happen to your system; however, with today’s technology, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need IT support eight hours a day, 40 hours a week. This is where managed IT services come into play.

"Our business requires the highest level of support from our IT systems. We deliver on-demand design and a rapid turnaround for our customers. As a manufacturer of radiation therapy devices used to treat cancer patients, it is vitally important that our IT infrastructure remains 100% reliable. " — .decimal

The West Orange ChamberÂ’s

Managed IT Services

Truth is, nearly every facet of your business relies heavily on IT infrastructure every day to be successful. For maximum benefit, ensure that the architecture, hardware, software and network planning follow industry standards and best practices. Not doing so may force you to answer this very real question: Can my company effectively operate and provide services without technology? For most, the answer is a resounding no. Partnering with a managed IT services company ensures you never have to. Your employees can enjoy full access to computer systems, with real-time monitoring and proper security measures, so your network remains stable and you stay in control of your business, resources and productivity. Managed IT services offer an alternative solution to hiring full-time IT support staff. You can get the same level of professional support for your organization’s computer network when you need it, thus providing a flexible, more cost-effective solution in the long run. Most third-party managed IT services companies can also provide your business with secure platforms for data security, increased performance in speed and storage, and data recovery if anything were to happen. All of this support is usually backed by a 24/7 support help desk that you can depend on anytime, should you need its services.

Steps for SUCCESS Become a West Orange Chamber Member Seize the Opportunities Get Results Repeat Daily

Improvements for Manufacturers

With supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other tools, manufacturing companies are constantly using technology to track their product pipeline from start to finish. These tools are critical in assuring that costs are controlled and minimized whenever possible. If any of your systems go down, it can hold up the manufacturing process, reducing profitability and time to market. A managed IT service will maintain that infrastructure, reduce down time and optimize the performance of your system, ensuring business continuity. It also allows your engineers and development team more computing power for large-scale development simulations. Think of it as an Ă la carte menu for IT support that you can increase or decrease as situations arise.

Stability and Growth

Whether you operate an internet-based company or you have a traditional office setup, you most likely have computers and networks that hold and transfer important data on a dayto-day basis. Invest in the right IT plan and your business will reap the benefits. P

Facilitating Opportunity for Over 45 Years

(407) 656-1304 Dr. Phillips | Gotha | Horizon West | Lake Avalon MetroWest | Oakland | Ocoee | Orlo Vista Pine Hills | Windermere | Winter Garden | OCTOBER 2019 | 51

Best Practice

Small Business Standing Out Through Community Service

Nancy Allen is an international speaker, coach, consultant and expert on women’s business issues with more than 30 years of experience helping small business owners at all stages of growth. She is president and CEO of the nonprofit Women’s Business Development Council of Florida/Her Company Inc., the Florida regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, which certifies companies as woman-owned.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth. — Muhammad Ali

52 | OCTOBER 2019 |

I love "Returning the Favor," a web television series on Facebook Watch hosted by Mike Rowe. The show follows incredible everyday people who perform community service acts that have a tremendous impact. I’m a firm believer that to become a business leader, you have to participate in community service projects. There are a lot of benefits to doing this, but here are four that stand out: 1.

Establishing yourself as part of a team. Community service projects help people see you as a vital part of the community if you roll up your sleeves and work alongside them.

2. Getting your staff involved. Getting everyone on staff to discuss, create and implement a project can make each person feel appreciated and valued. 3. Public and community recognition. Send out a press release and post photos and videos from an event on social media. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Let your community know who you are and what you care about.

4. Set yourself apart from your competition. Putting together community service projects is a lot of work, so very few small business owners take the time to do it. Yours will stand out. Need some ideas? Here are 12 community service ideas to get your creative juices flowing: 1.

Host a “Socktoberfest.” Collect warm socks of all sizes and donate to homeless shelters during October.

2. Host a blood drive. Contact the Red Cross or the local blood bank in your area to coordinate a mobile blood drive bus. Announce this and you will likely get the general public to participate. Give out T-shirts that say “I donated” and add your name as a sponsor. 3. Sponsor high school, middle school and community sports teams. Chances are some of your employees have school-age children you can sponsor.








4. Help a soup kitchen or food bank. Every year my mom has a big birthday party with 75 to 80 guests. Each guest brings a bag of non-perishable food items as a gift. Every year, my mom donates about 200 pounds of food to her church pantry. You can do the same. Let your clients know, and you can even give the food in the name of your top 10 clients. They will appreciate the publicity and marketing. 5. Volunteer at a local nonprofit organization. You can send your employees to help train people or start new programs, or you can do hands-on work to help out. 6. Collect, create or write holiday cards and packages for men and women in the service. Our military members who are spending the holidays away from home, sometimes in dangerous situations, appreciate the gesture. 7. Adopt a neighborhood and offer to do beautification projects. There are even grants available through your local community government for these kinds of projects. Going out as a team to clean litter off the roadsides or a beach area is a great bonding experience. Sending a landscaper to tidy up a median can make you proud to be part of the community, and some cities post signs showing which company donated the services. 8. Hold a voter registration drive. Coordinate with your local supervisor of elections office to get the paperwork and some tips for doing this. 9. Support the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Give employees time off to spend with their little brothers or sisters.

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Since 1984

10. Create “Birthday Parties in a Box.” Collect party items such as plates, balloons, streamers, cookies, cake mix and party favors. Put these in boxes and donate them to shelters. Also, consider “Baby Shower in a Box” projects for local hospitals, especially those that serve lower-income populations. 11. Pack or sponsor weekend lunch boxes for school kids. Coordinate with your local school district to determine where students might most benefit from this and set it up. 12. Create instructional videos using staff expertise. Share with local schools and senior centers. These can be on basics like how to use cell phone apps, repair household items, research topics on the internet or build something. Community service tells the world you’re interested in more than profits. It helps establish your company as a good corporate citizen. Most of all, it helps you feel good about the work you and your company are doing. P | OCTOBER 2019 | 53

Social Entrepreneur


How Tijuana Flats is Serving More Than Just Tacos


t the heart of every Tijuana Flats restaurant is a hot sauce bar stocked with bold sauces that add an extra layer of flavor to the Orlando-based chain’s Tex-Mex fare. But if you go a little deeper, you’ll find at the heart of every Tijuana Flats is an unwavering commitment to giving back to the community. 54 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Established in 1995 in Winter Park, Tijuana Flats has grown to 135 locations in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia and more than 2,800 employees and boasts a menu full of Tex-Mex classics from tacos, burritos and tostados to cookie dough flautas for dessert. “Giving back is at the foundation of our culture,” said Brian Wright, CEO of Tijuana Flats. “It’s something we prioritize from day one — by celebrating new restaurant openings with a ‘Give Back Day,’ where proceeds from that day’s sales are donated to a local charity.” With one-of-a-kind (literally) graffiti-like murals in each of its restaurants and a call-to-action for “death to tiny tacos,” Tijuana Flats’ dynamic brand is far from shy, and it doesn’t believe people

Social Entrepreneur should have to be when they need a little extra help. It was this line of thinking that inspired its aptly named nonprofit arm, the Just in Queso Foundation. Founded in 2007, the Just in Queso Foundation has a mission of providing a helping hand to children, the military and the local communities that are home to the chain’s restaurants. “We encourage managers and our franchise partners at individual stores to seek out locals and help them with anything they may need — medical bills, food or even staffing for fundraising events,” Wright said. “Truly serving and connecting with our guests goes beyond food, so you can often find us outside our restaurants partnering with local sports teams and attending hyper-local events.”

Heart and Hustle

The restaurant and food industry works to make our everyday lives easier — cooking our meals while handling the cleanup for us and even delivering groceries and curated recipes right to our door. But even with the speed and efficiency of on-demand meal delivery, today’s consumer wants more from food retailers and restaurants. In fact, according to a Clutch survey, 70% think social responsibility should be a central part of a brand’s purpose.


Everyone knows things can get pretty heated with our hot sauces, but we also turn up the heat with our community efforts.

Bringing the Heat

“We’re passionate about a lot of things at Tijuana Flats,” Wright said. “Everyone knows things can get pretty heated with our hot sauces, but we also turn up the heat with our community efforts. We always embrace our neighbors and quickly lend our support in times of need.” Hot sauce doesn’t just help kick things up a notch with the company’s tacos. Proceeds from sales of certain

— Brian Wright bottles of hot sauce boost community efforts as well, with 100% of the proceeds from bottles of one of the chain’s extensive hot sauce offerings, Jason’s Mom’s Sauce, donated to the Just in Queso Foundation to support a variety of efforts. Despite its growing presence across the Southeast and beyond, Tijuana Flats hasn’t forgotten its roots. One of Wright’s favorite contributions has been adding a little Tijuana Flats flare to a local children’s hospital.

Finding that purpose has been easy for Tijuana Flats. From distributing free bags of ice to its customers prepping for a hurricane to paying off medical debt for residents in its community, lending a helping hand to its neighbors is all in a day’s work. The Just in Queso Foundation works in tandem with its parent company to also support Tijuana Flats employees. Through its “Hot Scholar” program, the company provides college scholarships to 10 employees each year. Funds from the Just in Queso Foundation are secured through campaigns, public donations and fundraising events, including annual events in two of its target markets — a casino night in Tampa and a gala with live entertainment and silent auction in Orlando. Additionally, Tijuana Flats employees may elect to donate directly to the foundation from their paychecks. | OCTOBER 2019 | 55

Social Entrepreneur

“Every year, Central Florida welcomes millions of visitors,” he said. “Many of them are families traveling to experience the area’s theme parks, but many are also families traveling to receive specialized health care from AdventHealth for Children hospital. We brought in a muralist to add superhero murals to the hospital’s walls to help make the trip to the hospital a little more fun and friendly.” In addition to the murals, Tijuana Flats provided its biggest contribution of the year to AdventHealth for Children hospital: a $250,000 donation. The donation was partially funded from proceeds from the Just in Queso Foundation’s annual cancer research fundraiser, which takes place each fall at every Tijuana Flats restaurant. Since its inception, the Just in Queso Foundation has distributed more than $4 million in support of various causes while Tijuana Flats employees have volunteered more than 17,000 hours with the foundation. According to Wright, Tijuana Flats’ ultimate goal is to provide guests with over-the-top service both in and out of its locations. “You can’t find it on the menu,” he said, “but the impact we have through our community efforts is at the center of every one of our restaurants.” P 56 | OCTOBER 2019 |


You can’t find it on the menu, but the impact we have through our community efforts is at the center of every one of our restaurants. — Brian Wright




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: •

Recent Promotions

Leadership Appointments

Milestones and Anniversaries

Community Involvement

Awards and Recognition


Board Appointments




GEORGE TATE III Akerman LLP, aJennie top 100 U.S. law Brown is firm clients flutistserving and artistic across theofAmericas, director Picosa expanded its litigation bench in Orlando and recording artist with Construction Law Florida Bar with Innova Recordings. Her album Certified Attorney George “Trey” ofTate the music ofisJoseph III. Tate skilledSchwantner in complex was released inlitigation 2015. She teaches at construction and spearheaded Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges and the multiparty project agreements tois begin construction of Medical at director and faculty member ofCity Credo Lake DMA/MM/PC Nona. Flute. Eastman, BM

Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.

JONATHAN PIERCE AIRUSH Pulte Group’s North Florida division Jennie Brown isthat has announced Jonathan flutist andPierce artistic has been named vice president of director of Picosa construction. In this role, Pierce andnew recording artist willInnova be responsible for overseeing with Recordings. Her album including of construction the music of operations, Joseph Schwantner construction, customer care and was released in 2015. She teaches at support teams for the North Florida Elmhurst Colleges and is division.and TheWheaton division closes on more director and homes facultyannually. member of Credo than 1,500

Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.

MATTHEW DETZEL Litigation attorney Matthew Detzel has joined Holland & Knight’s Orlando office Jennie Brown is as a partner. Detzel focuses his practice flutist and artistic on helping institutional clients detect, director of Picosa respond to and resolve complex fraud recording artist schemes, routinelyand serving as advisor, with Innova Recordings. Her album investigator and an advocate in litigation a J.D. degree of and the appeals. music ofDetzel Josephearned Schwantner from the University Florida Levin was released in 2015. ofShe teaches at College of Law and a B.A. degree and fromis Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges the University of Florida. director and faculty member of Credo

Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM 16 | JUNE 2019 | Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.

V.i.d.a Securities ELISHA GONZÁLEZ BONNEWITZ Jennie Brown is

flutist and artistic FAIRWINDS Credit director Union, oneofofPicosa the largest locally owned and operatedartist and recording financial institutions in Central Florida, with Innova Recordings. Her album González Bonnewitz ofhas theadded musicElisha of Joseph Schwantner as a new vice president of community was released 2015. She teaches at relations andingovernment affairs. Skilled Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges and is in philanthropy, constituent outreach and issues she will oversee director andmanagement, faculty member of Credo activities in Brevard, Volusia andBM TampaFlute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, area markets. Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad. CATHERINE NORRIS Cinokyo technologies Catherine Norris has joined Marshall Dennehey Warner Jennie Brown is Coleman & Goggin flutist and artistic as an associate. A director of Picosa member of the casualty department, and recording artist she focuses her practice on automobile with Innovaand Recordings. album negligence premises Her liability ofmatters. the music of JosephofSchwantner A graduate the University of Florida College Law, she was releasedLevin in 2015. Sheofteaches at worked for Congressman Billand Posey Elmhurst andU.S. Wheaton Colleges is on Capitol and the Brevard County director andHill faculty member of Credo Attorney's Office.

Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad. SARA BERNARD

Real estate attorney Sara Bernard has joined Holland & Knight’s Orlando Jennie Brown is office as a partner. Bernard handles a flutist and artistic wide range of transactions as counsel director of Picosa for developers, builders, institutional artist lenders, and public and and recording private entities. with Recordings. Herofalbum She Innova serves on the University Central Foundation board of directors ofFlorida the music of Joseph Schwantner andreleased is an executive member was in 2015.committee She teaches at of the University of Central Florida Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges and is Alumni and Association. director faculty member of Credo

Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.


Jennie Brown is

Matt has flutistRusso and artistic rejoined RMC Group director of Picosa as vice president of operations. He will and recording artist be responsible for providing direction withassistance Innova Recordings. Her album and to each division head in with the placement of of connection the music of Joseph Schwantner business. He brings over 14 teaches years ofat was released in 2015. She experience to the agency, with a diverse Elmhurst and Collegesand and is background in Wheaton risk management director andRusso facultygraduated member from of Credo engineering. the Florida Institute of Technology with Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BMa civil engineeringHS degree. Northwestern, Interlochen Arts


Our Leaders 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:

PinTalk ROSANGELA PARKER COMMUNICATIONS Restaurant Managers LLC acquired exclusive Jennie Brown is rights to and the Salata flutist artistic Salad Kitchen branddirector for the state of of Picosa Florida and has recruited Rosangela and recording artist Parker as its marketing manager to with Recordings. album35 assistInnova with the rollout of a Her projected of the music of Joseph Schwantner locations statewide. Parker has more was She teaches at thanreleased 10 yearsin of 2015. experience in tourism, Elmhurst Colleges and is marketingand and Wheaton brand development.

director and faculty member of Credo Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.

ON THE RISE features individuals in your organization who have been promoted, new team members, Jennie Brown is flutist andorartistic board appointments other of Picosa employeedirector announcements.

31,000+ i4 Business Print Readers

2,400 Monthly Website Visitors

3,800+ eNewsletter Subscribers

and recording artist with Innova Recordings. Her album ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AT: of the music of Joseph Schwantner WWW.I4BIZ.COM/ONTHERISE was released in 2015. She teaches at Elmhurst and Wheaton Colleges and is director and faculty member of Credo Flute. DMA/MM/PC Eastman, BM Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad.


For more information, contact For more information, contact Cherise Czaban Cherise Czaban


Unique experiences for your day off GOTHA Nehrling Gardens Nehrling Gardens is a Florida Heritage Landmark home and garden nestled in the rural community of Gotha, 15 minutes southwest of downtown Orlando. The home of renowned horticulturist and ornithologist Dr. Henry Nehrling, the authentic 1880s Florida vernacular wood frame house is set among historic trees and bamboos. The garden offers meandering trails throughout the six-acre property where visitors can enjoy subtropical plants as well as birds that visit the property’s natural shoreline. Educational classes are available for children and adults, and other events are held throughout the year, including the Holiday Amaryllis Festival on Saturday, December 14.

MOUNT DORA Scott’s Maze Adventures at Long & Scott Farms Enjoy some old-fashioned fun this fall in Scott’s Maze Adventures park. It’s a maze, it’s a game, it’s educational and it’s fun for the whole family. Every year, mazes are created in one-acre and six-acre cornfields. Each maze has a unique design with twisting pathways, questions to answer, and picture rubbings to create. The Adventures park also has a tree maze, a rope maze, a jumping pillow, a zip line for small children, a mist maze for those hot days, a super-slide in a huge fort-like playground, plus fishing and hay rides. Check out the farmer’s market featuring fresh and local produce including Scott’s Zellwood triple-sweet gourmet corn, and the café, with food that includes freshmade corn chowder.

Follow us on Facebook and share some of your favorite local places to visit: 58 | OCTOBER 2019 |


ORLANDO SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology on International Drive is the newest science museum and the only natural history museum in Orlando. With every specimen donated by accredited zoos, aquariums or nature preserves, SKELETONS is the largest collection of animal skeletons in the world. Its mission is to cultivate excitement and appreciation for the natural world by providing a deeper understanding of vertebrate life. See more than 500 skeletons ranging from tiny 2-inch shrews to a 22-foot Orca. More than 40 exhibits invite visitors to journey through an African safari or a Florida swamp, or learn about the pathology or locomotion of a specific animal. They may also discover a live colony of flesh-eating beetles. Interactive, hands-on stations and scavenger hunts aid museum explorers. MELBOURNE Brevard Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo

CLERMONT Fall Festival at Southern Hill Farms With the cool fall air and the thrill of holidays waiting to be celebrated, there’s nothing quite like the magic of a fall festival at the farm. Every weekend in October, Southern Hills Farms provides the community a place to gather and create a lifetime of memories with family and friends. Think hot, fresh apple cider, donuts, craft beer, s’mores for roasting over fire pits, and a wide variety of pumpkins in all colors, shapes and sizes. Children will delight at the sight of festival rides, bounce houses and a petting zoo. The aroma of lunch or dinner served from one of many food trucks will make mouths water. Fall sports enthusiasts — don’t worry, big-screen TVs are available to catch the games.

Visit the Brevard Zoo in October to experience this familyfavorite Halloween activity featuring more than 30 treat stations each weekend. Once you’ve had your fill of candy, you can rock out with the DJ or channel your creative spirit with creepy crafts. And don’t miss the Boo Choo Train, haunted swamp (recommended for ages 8 and up), games in Paws On, and the costume contest in Lands of Change. Since Boo at the Zoo is an evening event, most animals are not on exhibit. Last admission is one hour prior to the event’s closing time. The Brevard Zoo is located on Wickham Road, just east of Interstate 95 Exit 191. | OCTOBER 2019 | 59

Business Seen

CITY YEAR ORLANDO’S 8TH ANNUAL OPENING DAY RECEPTION Community members celebrated 80 City Year Orlando AmeriCorps members at the Opening Day Reception on August 23, 2019. The event kicked off City Year Orlando’s eighth school year of service to students in eight Title I partner schools in the Orange County Public Schools district. AmeriCorps members are serving students alongside partner teachers all day, every day, all year. PHOTOGRAPHY: Brion Price

AmeriCorps members serving on the Wells Fargo team at Judson B. Walker Middle School: Lori Jean-Baptiste, Diamond Cosby, Nathalie Perez, Nishae Simmons

Chev Lovett, Organize Florida; Dr. Eugene Pringle Jr., Bethune-Cookman University; Kelly Astro, Valencia Horizon Scholars Program

Paul and Stacy Stewart with their daughter, Lizzy Stewart, who is serving students at Memorial Middle School as a City Year AmeriCorps member

Catalina Elementary School staff Meagan Dolan, Abby Collins and Principal Seth Daub

Jordan Plante, City Year; Melissa Rowker, City Year; Debi Pedraza, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools; Dr. Jarrad Plante, Heirloom Realty International

Kat Daniel-Jimenez, AmeriCorps member; Kelly Astro, Valencia Horizon Scholars Program; Rebekah Ball, City Year; Chante Nelson, SeaWorld Orlando

60 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Business Seen

Michelle Velasquez, City Year; Elaine Martinez, Palmetto Elementary School

University of Central Florida’s Brenda Thompson, Ed.D., and Sissi Carroll with Kelly Astro, Valencia Horizon Scholars Program

Donna Mirus Bates with Universal Parks and Resorts shares remarks on behalf of Comcast NBCUniversal

Crane Holland, Regions Financial; Jared Billings, City Year; Hank Emerson, Decision Lens

Ralph Tejada, Chase for Business, and daughter; Regina O’Hara, City Year; Shaloni Prine, Orange County Public Schools

City Year’s Sheslie Canales-Miranda with Meadowbrook Middle School Principal Dr. David Hardrick

City Year Orlando Board Chair Craig Schneider, Starbucks Coffee Company; Meaghan Schneider, AmeriCorps member; John Pisan, Wells Fargo; Catherine Losey, Losey PLLC

Debi Pedraza, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools; Shaloni Prine, Orange County Public Schools | OCTOBER 2019 | 61

Business Seen

ANNUAL IACC/CAPI AUGUST BUSINESS AFTER HOURS The 4th Annual IACC/CAPI August Business After Hours was held Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, with nearly 100 people in attendance. The Indian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) is focused on “Connecting People and Fostering Business” and is widely recognized as the business organization for the Indian American community, as well as others who want to do business with Indian Americans in Central Florida and/or India. The event is held in partnership with the Central Florida Association of Physicians from the Indian Subcontinent (CAPI).

Event host Thibaut van Marcke, president, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital

Yog Melwani, IACC President; Thibaut van Marcke

Yog Melwani; Chanta Miller, IACC Executive Director; Dr. Amish Parikh, IACC Leadership Committee; Omar Vanjaria, IACC Leadership Committee; Kashap Sheth, IACC Leadership Committee; Dr. Tejal Patel, CAPI vice president

Dr. Tejal Patel, Thibaut van Marcke, Vijay Patel

Osman Gruhonjic, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital CFO; Thibaut van Marcke, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital president; Ohme Entin, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital COO; Kelly Edmondson, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital CNO; Dr. Tejal Patel, CAPI vice president; Yog Melwani, IACC president; Elcy Hernandez; Reggie Riley, Ph.D., Orlando Health 62 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Kashap Sheth, IACC Leadership Committee; Bobby Bridges; two guests

Business Seen

Top row: Thibaut van Marcke; guest; Dr. Nikita Shah; Dr. Amish Parikh, IACC Leadership Committee. Second row: Dr. Tejal Patel; Beena Parikh, Ph.D., IACC past president; Yog Melwani. Bottom Row: Varesh Patel, IACC immediate past president; Sanjay Srinivasan, IACC past president; Jay Shah, IACC vice president; Tino Patel, IACC past president; Chanta Miller, IACC executive director; Anjali Sivakumaran, IACC secretary; Omar Vanjaria, IACC Leadership Committee; Kashap Sheth, IACC Leadership Committee; Dr. Vijay Patange, CAPI past president.

Vijay Patel, Shiv Kumar, guest

BP Sodhi; Tino Patel, IACC Past President; Guillermo Barthelmes

Sanjay Parekh, Jay Shah, Mandeep Narula

Vijay Patel, Kashap Sheth | OCTOBER 2019 | 63


Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know

80.2% Households in Florida that mailed back their 2010 U.S. census questionnaires, while 19.8% required inperson follow-up. The 2020 census will take place in March through May. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Florida Nonprofit Alliance

75% People who read text messages in two minutes or less, according to a new survey from Orlando-based Lunar. About 25% of respondents said they reply in less than one minute, and 66% in less than two minutes.

Average GPA of the University of Central Florida’s fall class of first-year students, a number that breaks university records. The 2018 average for new freshmen was 4.11.

48% Minority enrollment at the University of Central Florida for 2019, an all-time high since the institution opened in 1968.

64 | OCTOBER 2019 |

Number of jobs Orlando added for the year ending in July 2019, leading the state with an increase of almost 4%. That compares with Miami (31,700 jobs, up 2.7 percent) and Tampa Bay (31,500 jobs, up 2.4 percent). Source: Tampa Bay Times




“Central Florida is the new bread basket for the state in terms of job creation


and economic growth. If


you look at Tampa (Bay)


and Orlando combined,

IS A SPORT FAN’S DREAM. — Excerpt from a Newsweek magazine article titled “Orlando, Florida: Beyond the Theme Parks."

“I started here as a freelance cameraman 19 years ago, and I immediately saw it had the makings of something special. We were doing important work.”

there’s more than 80,000 jobs created.” —Sean Snaith, economist at the University of Central Florida Source: Tampa Bay Times

22 million

— Mike Seif, station manager of Orange TV, a local government access operation that celebrates 25 years on the air in 2020 and has won more than 50 Telly Awards since 2004.

The projected population of Florida by 2022.


Source: Demographic Estimating Conference

47th Annual

Women's Achievement Awards Celebrating forty-seven years of honoring women who make a difference in our Central Florida community. Join us for an inspirational evening as we recognize community leaders and award scholarships to women attending local colleges and universities.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2019 Citrus Club Networking / Silent Auction starts at 6:00 pm Dinner / Awards Program will begin at 7:00 pm

recognize. inspire. serve. Tickets On Sale: Member Pricing: $100 per person Non-Member Early Bird: $125 per person (Use coupon code: earlywaa19) After September 30: $150 per person Corporate Table (10 Tickets): $1,750 Includes hors d'oeuvres, open bar from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm, dinner and dessert

For information regarding event sponsor packets and silent auction donations email or visit The Women's Achievement Awards benefits the 501(c)(3) Women's Executive Council Scholarship & Endowment Fund.


© 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.

Profile for i4 Business Magazine

i4 Business - Manufacturing  

Promoting Entrepreneurship throughout Central Florida. i4 Business Magazine is a fresh voice for Orlando businesses’ economic corridor, int...

i4 Business - Manufacturing  

Promoting Entrepreneurship throughout Central Florida. i4 Business Magazine is a fresh voice for Orlando businesses’ economic corridor, int...