Page 1

Rise of The Rest

Harris Rosen’s Crystal Ball

Social Entrepreneur: Girl Scouts

Up Close with Georgia Lorenz

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JULY 2019

REGIONAL PRIORITIES

TOMORROW'S TECHNOLOGY

BRIDG and NeoCity SPACE COAST

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INCUBATION INNOVATION


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Creating a Roadmap to Her Future Success The Girl Scout Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. ☙ The Gold Award makes a difference in the college admission process. ☙ Gold Award recipients have a stronger positive attitude about themselves and the lives they lead. ☙ Gold Award recipients are more likely to see themselves as leaders and to have had a leadership experience.

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


i4 Business Advisory Board WE’D LIKE TO THANK OUR ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS FOR KEEPING THEIR FINGERS ON THE PULSE OF OUR COMMUNITY AND HELPING US BRING YOU THE BEST STORIES FROM AROUND CENTRAL FLORIDA.

Thank You

This Month's Featured Advisory Board Members Hope Edwards Newsome Hope Edwards Newsome serves as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Triloma Financial Group, where she monitors and translates the language of changing policies and regulations in order to best serve the team. She has provided guidance to firms throughout Central Florida for more than 15 years. She also serves as secretary and general counsel for ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership, which allows her to offer her expertise to professionals throughout the community.

Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises Jim Bowie, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program Jackie Brito, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College Elaine Brouca, Consulate General of Canada Office in Miami 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

Catherine Losey The founder of Losey PLLC, Catherine Losey represents companies from a diverse range of industries on workplace topics. In both her experience with Losey PLLC and previous work as counsel and a commercial litigator, Losey has worked to use her knowledge to help her clients understand and navigate policies and potential risks. Her knowledge of legal, compliance and technology issues lends itself to an invaluable skill set for businesses and their leadership.

Harry Ellis, Next Horizon Susan Fernandez, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction Mark Allen Hayes, Stockworth Studios Gwen Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Karen Keene, ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership and Dean Mead Attorneys at Law Shelley Lauten, Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Lisa Lochridge, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Catherine Losey, Losey PLLC law firm Laureen Martinez, Orlando Economic Partnership Hope Edwards Newsome, Triloma Financial Group Rob Panepinto, Florentine Strategies

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

Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 5


JULY 2019

Features 18

Tomorrow’s Technology

22

The Silicon Valley of Space

26

Incubation Innovation

30

Rise of the Rest

BRIDG Helps NeoCity Take Shape in Osceola County

Elon and Jeff’s Excellent Adventure

Dream Team Retools Local Economic Engine

Fostering Growth Revolution for Startups

34 Planes, Trains & Automobiles UES Helps Move Florida into the Future

37 A Crystal Ball

Rosen’s Vision Predicted Growth of I-Drive Tourism

Rise of The Rest

Harris Rosen’s Crystal Ball

Social Entrepreneur: Girl Scouts

ON THE COVER

Up Close with Georgia Lorenz

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Dr. Debra Pace and Chester Kennedyman

PHOTOGRAPHY BY REGIONAL PRIORITIES

TOMORROW'S TECHNOLOGY

BRIDG and NeoCity SPACE COAST

THE NEXT SILICON VALLEY

INCUBATION INNOVATION

6 | JUNE 2019 | i4Biz.com

Julie Fletcher


ÂŽ

Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the Central Florida region

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JULY 2019

Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

EDITORIAL

DEPARTMENTS

A Visible Difference

11

42

Fiddler’s Roofing Has Florida Covered

BEST PRACTICES GUEST EXPERT COLUMNS

48

Celebrating What’s Great About Living in the USA Romaine Seguin | UPS International

50

How Internal Branding Can Increase Employee Retention Cherise Czaban | i4 Business

52

You Agree with Me, Right? Persuasive Communications Jim Bowie | UCF Business Incubator

Publisher’s Perspective

13

From the Editor

14

Business Briefs

40

Take 5 with Visit Orlando Representing Our Entire Destination

54

Social Entrepreneur Building Brighter Futures: Girl Scouts of Citrus Council Shapes Young Leaders

58

Downtime

SPOTLIGHTS

42

Up Close | With Georgia Lorenz

47

ATHENAPowerLink | Christi Lawson | Foley & Lardner

8 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Unique Experiences for Your Day Off

60

Business Seens

64

Watercooler


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CEO | PUBLISHER Cherise Czaban

Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Diane Sears DIRECTOR OF ENCOURAGEMENT Donna Duda COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Meaghan Branham PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Julie Fletcher ART DIRECTOR Tanya Mutton - Sidekick Creations COPY EDITOR Susan Howard, APR CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Jim Bowie, Meaghan Branham, Justin Braun, Elyssa Coultas, Cherise Czaban, Todd Persons, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin, Eric Wright Photography: Revolution® Graphic Design:: Evelyn Sutton ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban - 321.848.3530 i4 Business is a participating member of:

SPECIAL SECTION

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS The invaluable marketing tool will spotlight many of the top Young Professionals in Central Florida through comprehensive full-gloss color profiles in our print and digital editions. The spotlight will also be published online at i4biz.com and promoted through our social media channels, in addition to our Special Edition YP newsletter.

Daniel Haddad

YOUNG PROFE

SSIONALS

Manager of Power Plan t Engineering

Orlando Utilities

yp

Commission

"

Creating an atmosphere whe re my team has the ability to succ eed is my favorite part of what I do. — Daniel Hadd

ad

Setting an Example

Long before Danie l Haddad began his engin This stayed with eering career, him, and he was learning the while earning ins and outs a mechanical of the industry engineering degre from his father e at the , who worked at University of the Orlando Central Florid Utilities Comm a, Hadd ad became an ission (OUC – OUC coThe Reliable One) op student, a throu role ghout that led Haddad’s childh to a position as ood. a full-time seized opportuniti “He always engineer upon es to teach his graduation. me about ‘how things work’ in all areas of life, “Every role I’ve but held has in terms of engin especially prepared me in some way eering and problem solvin for my curren g,” said Haddad. t one,” he said. “There are oppor tunities to Those learning grow your abiliti opportunities es in every role, led to an intere and taking those st in the field opportunities of engineering will prepare you , and in OUC for something as an employer. else someday “[My father] that you will often spoke about never be able to predict.” fortunate he was how to work for a company that That “something valued his commitment out to be his curren else” turned to his family above t position his job,” recall as manager of ed Haddad. power engineering, where plant he leads his

team through empowerment. “I want them to be their absolu te best, and it’s my job to provide them with the opportunity to do that,” Hadd ad said. Now, in his 11th year at OUC, and with three children of his own, he works to keep the company movin g forward, all while upholding the same respe ct for employees and their famili es that his father valued so much . “We are alway s striving to improve and adapt to changing times, but we remain steadf ast in the sense that employees are valued over the bottom line,” said Haddad. “I don’t see that changing anytim e soon.” ◆ i4Biz.com | OCTO

BER 2018 | 33

COMING September 2019! i4Biz.com Tel: 407.730.2961 i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 9


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Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

SPOTLIGHTING FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS The November 2019 edition will include a special marketing section spotlighting the achievements and offerings of financial professionals throughout the Orlando region.

SUBSCRIBE Visit i4biz.com or send $24.95 for a one-year (12 issues) or $39.95 for a two-year (24 issues) subscription to: i4 Business, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Please include name, mailing address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number and email. Please allow 4-6 weeks for subscription to start.

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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 press@i4biz.com. Please provide 2-3 months advance notice for requests for event announcements and/or coverage. i4 Business® is published monthly by i4 Business, LLC, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Tel. 407-730-2961 | i4biz.com

This invaluable marketing tool will spotlight many of the top financial professionals in Central Florida through comprehensive full-gloss color profiles in our print and digital editions. The spotlight will also be published online at i4biz.com and promoted through our social media channels, in addition to our Special Edition FP newsletter.

| FINANCIAL

ALS

Trisha Delatte TITLE: VP Treasur y Sales Manage r COMPANY: Axiom Bank YEARS IN AREA:

7

YEARS IN INDUST RY: 24 WEBSITE: www.Ax iomBan

T

king.com

risha started at Axiom Bank in May 2016, responsibilities where her primary are growing and deposit relations maintaining commer hips. She has deposit cial tailored to the relationship experien individual needs ce of the business clients. This includes deposito commercial and small to electronic treasury ry accounts in addition services. She began career as a teller her 24-year banking at a small bank on the Naval Air Pensacola, FL. Since then, she Station in has held several increasing responsi positions with bility at various banks and credit The best advice she ever received unions. — you can be you want to be whomever — has influenc ed her entire professio Because her top priority is to be nal life. a difference maker, pride in demonst she takes rating a positive spirit and helping achieve their goals. people ◆

42]NOVEMBER

i4biz.com Tel: 407.730.2961 10 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

PROFESSION

2017 i4Biz.com

The contents of i4 Business magazine, i4biz.com and any other media extensions related to the brand, including advertisements, articles, graphics, websites, web postings and all other information (“contents”) published, are for informational purposes only. i4 Business® and all other affiliated brands do not necessarily endorse, verify, or agree with the contents contained in i4 Business. i4 Business makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any information contained or referenced. i4 Business shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions. © 2019. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.


Publisher's Perspective

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS FOR CONTINUED GROWTH

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” — William James

R

egional Priorities is a broad topic, and it was difficult for our team to finalize exactly what we would feature this year. There is so much happening that is impacting the region and, interestingly enough, there are quite a few connections among the various industry segments. Vision, innovation, partnerships and investments in technology are impacting advanced manufacturing, transportation, tourism, life sciences and aerospace, just to name a few industries. All of these industries have a major impact on our entrepreneurial ecosystem and our talent pipeline. The more each industry grows, the more businesses are created or expanded, and the more people we need to fill jobs. The need to recruit and retain top talent is leading to the conclusion that an even more important priority is to develop a high-tech workforce, while creating opportunities for exciting high-wage jobs for the next generation.

that traditionally led and defined our region for so many years — agriculture and tourism — the local economy will continue to become more diverse as we approach 2030. These connections will only continue to increase and make our community stronger. To your success,

CEO and Publisher

Central Florida has led the nation in job creation for the last four consecutive years, but in addition to job creation, strengthening resources for growing businesses is also vitally important. There are numerous programs and organizations that support businesses along their journey, but in this issue you’ll read about programs being better aligned to support different groups of entrepreneurs. All of this sets the stage for unprecedented growth in our community. Instead of expanding in just a couple of industries

Favorite quotes from this issue

“Growing up in the I-4 corridor, they will help build a different future, not just from a direct economic standpoint, but for the next generation of citizens.”

“If you’re talking about transforming an economy and diversifying it, you need to think in terms of high-growthpotential companies ”

— Chester Kennedy, Page 21

— Dr. Thad Seymour Jr., Page 26

“We believed that with our incredible weather, proximity to Walt Disney World and myriad other hotels and attractions, we would develop this corridor into its own resort and convention destination.” — Harris Rosen, Page 38

i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 11


Communicat ion and deliver y platforms continually change and evolve. The constant in that change is the power of story. Print or digital, whatever platform you use, we have a way for you to connect to that story.

Connect with us on our social media channels: Facebook

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From the Editor

Proximity Matters: A Sense of Place

I

was speaking with a scientist who moved to Central Florida this year from Pennsylvania. She’s the founder and CEO of a company that develops pharmaceuticals for hay fever and allergies, and her team works virtually. She could choose to live anywhere in the world. I asked how she had selected Lake Nona Medical City. It just seemed like a good place to be, she said. She’s near the airport, where she can easily catch a flight to her manufacturing plant. Her condominium is surrounded by hospitals and medical research facilities. And as she meets more people in the neighborhood, she’s discovering they are scientists and medical professionals like her. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to work. That was the thought process behind Lake Nona Medical City, and it’s a concept we’ll see more of in Central Florida. Downtown Orlando is creating this with the Creative Village and joint campus of the University of Central Florida and Valencia College opening in August. We’ll see it with UCF’s retooled incubator programs, the emerging NeoCity scientific community, and the Space Coast’s growing aerospace manufacturing sector, which are all highlighted in this issue. Proximity matters. That’s what Dr. Thad Seymour, long-term interim president of UCF, told me during our interview for this month’s Regional Priorities issue. “Random collisions” lead to collaboration. We can do all kinds of things with buildings, park space, events, sports teams, artwork and culinary experiences, but there’s one thing that creates a sense of place: people. Think about how you feel when you go to a restaurant and there’s no one there. Now think about what it’s like when you’re dining among other people who are enjoying the same experience you are.

from New York was talking about “The City of Tomorrow: Getting Better as They Get Bigger.” What can we expect to see in the future? How about downtown public space that can become waterproof with a giant raincoat protruding from a building and hexagonal walkway tiles that are flipped over by robots to become rubber? How about mobility-as-a-service, where you pay a flat monthly rate for public transportation, just as you do for phone service, so you can leave your car at home and commune with others during your commute? How about cowork centers that include co-live spaces available with a monthly membership? As I listened, I realized I was thinking, “Yes, I could see all of these things in Central Florida” and so much more. We are already ahead of many other communities when it comes to creating a sense of place and to using technology to improve our quality of life. This is a community where rockets are launched, theme parks are born, science is invented, tourism is perfected and creativity is cultivated. We can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a place with no imagination. I’ve lived in Central Florida for almost 35 years, and it still hits me every day how lucky we all are to be here. Enjoy your month!

Editor-in-Chief

The Urban Land Institute examined this sense of place in several sessions at its 2019 Florida Summit in June at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. I sat in on a keynote where futurist and journalist Greg Lindsay

i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 13


Business Briefs

Disney Cruise Line Expands at Port Canaveral The Canaveral Port Authority has reached a 20-year agreement with Disney Cruise Line for expanded cruise operations. Disney has also agreed to make Port Canaveral the home of two of the company’s new ships. The new agreement, which began June 1, replaced an existing contract that would have expired at the end of 2027. “For decades we have worked with Disney Cruise Line building a partnership based on our mutual commitment to excellence,” said Canaveral Port Authority Port Director and CEO Capt. John Murray. “We are tremendously proud of our joint success and looking ahead at growing an even more exciting future with Disney Cruise Line and Port Canaveral as the homeport for its newest class of vessels.” The cruise line’s two biggest ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, are currently homeported at Port Canaveral year-round, while the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder rotate home ports. New Disney ships are expected to be delivered in 2021, 2022 and 2023, with two of them homeporting in Port Canaveral for at least their first five years of operation. “Port Canaveral was the inaugural homeport for our first ship and has served as a gateway for magical cruise vacations ever since,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. “We value our longstanding relationship with Port Canaveral and look forward to expanding our presence there as we introduce new ships and new family cruise experiences.”

Exploria Resorts Buys Naming Rights to Soccer Stadium Exploria Resorts has become the first naming rights partner for the Orlando City Soccer Club’s new 25,500-seat soccer-specific stadium located in downtown Orlando. The venue’s new name is Exploria Stadium, and it is home to the Orlando City Lions men’s team and the Orlando Pride women’s team. “As a club based in the most visited city in the world, and one that has fans who support our teams around the globe, we are excited to partner with a Central Florida-based company that provides world-class travel and hospitality experiences to its visitors,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão said. “We are looking forward to creating memorable experiences for our fans both at Exploria Resorts and here at Exploria Stadium.” Founded in 1995, the Clermont-based company takes pride in its philanthropic endeavors. It will partner with the soccer club to give back to the Orlando area.

Business 14 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Innovation

Education


Pointe Orlando to Undergo $32M Redevelopment The property owner of the Pointe Orlando outdoor dining and entertainment destination on International Drive is investing $32 million for a 12-month redevelopment project that begins this fall. Brixmor Property Group is constructing a 100-foot passageway known as The Link through the center of the project to improve first-floor connectivity from the Blue Martini valet entrance on International Drive to Main Event Entertainment. The Link will feature lighted ceilings, artistic floor patterns and retail storefronts that will pull guests through a visually captivating pathway. An escalator will be added near The Link entrance that further enhances access to restaurants, Regal Cinemas, Improv Comedy Club and nightlife options on the second level. The two valet areas along International Drive will be upgraded to create a sense of arrival with an elegant valet canopy featuring a glass overhang. Adjacent to the Capital Grille valet area, a new gathering space will be created in the courtyard by replacing an existing pond with colorful seating, shade structures and upscale lighting. “Since 1998, Pointe Orlando has been the Convention Center District’s premier dining and entertainment complex,” said Luann Brooks, executive director of the I-Drive Business Improvement District. “This transformation project joins nearly $2 billion worth of new development investment within the I-Drive District.”

Plastic Food Service Items Banned in City's Commitment to Sustainability Orlando has banned single-use plastics and polystyrenes by the city and its contractors. Those include plastic straws, bags and cutlery as well as Styrofoam containers, which will no longer be available at Amway Center and other city-owned parks, facilities, venues and permitted events. The move is expected to reduce millions of pieces of waste from flowing into landfills and waterways. It was proposed in the city's Community Sustainability Action Plan in 2018 and approved in June by the City Commission. Small gatherings with fewer than 100 participants, such as family picnics, will be exempt but encouraged to comply. Orlando says it is the first city in Florida to ban all three: plastic bags, straws and polystyrene.

Study Ranks Orlando Top City for Millennials Orlando is the best city in the United States for millennials to call home, according to a study by Homes.com. The study focused on factors such as median home price, number of entry-level jobs and the population share of the age group. Orlando has more than 500 entrylevel jobs per 100,000 people and a relatively low median home price compared with other cities. Minneapolis and Salt Lake ranked second and third. For Generation X, Orlando was ranked the seventhbest city in the U.S. Factors important to this generation were school quality, the number of management-level jobs per 100,000 people and the population share of the age group. Miami was ranked No. 1 with this age group, followed by Atlanta and San Francisco.

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

Tourism

Growth

Inspiration i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 15


ON THE

RISE ®

iNNOVATORS | iNFLUENCERS | iNDUSTRY LEADERS

Do you have or are you a rising influencer or innovator? i4 Business is looking to share the stories of individuals making an impact, including: •

Recent Promotions

Leadership Appointments

Milestones and Anniversaries

Community Involvement

Awards and Recognition

Partnerships/Expansions

Board Appointments

ON THE

RISE

iNNOVATORS | iNFLUENCERS | iNDUSTRY LEADERS

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. JennieBrownFlute.com

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. JennieBrownFlute.com

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 | i4Biz.com Northwestern, HS Interlochen Arts Acad. JennieBrownFlute.com

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. JennieBrownFlute.com

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. JennieBrownFlute.com 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. JennieBrownFlute.com

MATT RUSSO

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

Acad. JennieBrownFlute.com

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. JennieBrownFlute.com

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 was WWW.I4BIZ.COM/ONTHERISE 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. JennieBrownFlute.com

SUBMIT YOUR LISTING ONLINE AT i4biz.com/leadersontherise

For more information, contact Cherise Czaban Cherise Czaban Cherise@i4biz.com cherise@scbmarketing.com

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TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY BRIDG Helps NeoCity Take Shape in Osceola County By Diane Sears

18 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com


When a group of ninth-graders from the new NeoCity Academy in Osceola County toured a “cleanroom” this year at the microelectronics fabrication facility BRIDG, it marked a significant milestone for both organizations. It also offered a hint of what’s to come for a part of Central Florida that is starting to become world-renowned. The students got to experience something most people will never go through: putting on full cleanroom gear, layer by layer, coached by a scientist on why the garments were important — not to protect the students from the environment, but to avoid human contamination of the highly sensitive equipment and the semiconductor wafers being processed. No one is allowed into the “fab” with makeup, cologne, powder or other products that could leave behind particles that damage the wafers or equipment. Located at NeoCity, a new and emerging 500-acre masterplanned technology district in Osceola County, BRIDG is a notfor-profit, public-private partnership for advanced sensors and other next-generation nanoscale systems. In October 2018, the BRIDG team celebrated the production of its first lot of 200mm (8-inch) wafers, silicon platforms that hold microelectronic devices comprised of features that are as small as one-onethousandth of the diameter of a human hair. This particular batch was produced for a small defense contractor to support the U.S. Air Force. If it all sounds very scientific, that’s because BRIDG is handling some of the newest and most sensitive technology in the world. The facility offers a high level of security for

the manufacturing of components used in everything from financial networks to traffic control systems and electrical grids, and from lifesaving medical devices to critical U.S. defense systems. Because of the nature of the work being done at the facility and the fact that BRIDG has been granted a facility clearance through the U.S. Defense Security Services, an agency under the U.S. Department of Defense, BRIDG works hard to ensure good stewardship for the technology and information contained in the building. “If you think about the complexity of the devices we have today, the ability to embed additional functions and features into these electronic devices is very real and can occur late in the manufacturing process,” BRIDG CEO Chester Kennedy said. “If a particular wafer of microchips is being produced in an offshore location, it’s pretty easy to embed functions and features that the original designers didn’t intend to be included in that product. If you were the original designer, you would run all your electrical and performance tests on the device and it would still meet your window of performance, but it might have extra features and functions that can be exploited in ways unintended. “That’s one of the reasons it’s important to have devices manufactured in a trusted and domestically controlled environment, an environment where you know it’s U.S. citizens building U.S. products going into U.S. infrastructure.” BRIDG eventually will be part of a cluster of high-tech businesses in NeoCity, along with restaurants, retail shops and residences to support them. With the slogan “Ideate, create,

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innovate without limits,” NeoCity is designed as a place that will go beyond the traditional research park and connect people within a walkable urban center surrounded by a natural landscape of lakes and trees. Osceola County is already seeing an increase in property values and growth in its workforce as new projects break ground, including an electrical substation that Kissimmee Utilities Authority opened in June. Kennedy said his team is excited about BRIDG’s contribution: “Seeing the vision of our microelectronics fab being used in ways that contribute to national security while building the foundation to expand the number of high-wage jobs in Central Florida is very rewarding.”

The Science

BRIDG and NeoCity are emerging at just the right time in history, Kennedy said. He points to a May 15 edict from the federal administration to secure the U.S. pipeline for microelectronics that are critical to national infrastructure and the enabling of the incoming 5G wireless network that will connect mobile phones and the Internet of Things. In addition, organizations including Microsoft and Intel are grappling with vulnerabilities in their software and hardware, and there’s a growing list of companies and government agencies that have fallen victim to malicious hacking. “People are starting to realize how dependent we are on the cyber network for everything in our lives and how vulnerable that network is,” Kennedy said. “It’s critically important to maintain layers of software protection, but with the sophistication of the threat, you also need to bring elements into the hardware.” Those elements include “physically unclonable function” cells, which assign a unique fingerprint-quality identity to each component of a wafer. This allows BRIDG as a manufacturer to integrate hardware security into microchips to assure that no other devices can intercept communications and decode instructions being sent to them. “We like to think we were that visionary, but you can attribute some of it to fate and luck,” Kennedy said. “The interest in that capability since we started producing wafers at the end of last year has just exploded.” When Kennedy started his career in electrical engineering more than three decades ago, the technology consisted of transistors that were individual electronic switches, each one a separate device. The technology quickly developed into integrated circuits that included a few hundred transistors in a single device. Today devices routinely have more than 10 billion transistors available in a single integrated circuit. The next step is to stack multiple integrated circuits in layers in a single package — a process called “three-dimensional heterogenous integration” that will accommodate 100 billion transistor equivalent functions. Another piece of science BRIDG is exploring is digital twin technology, a previously little-known concept that is gaining popularity in modern science. In aeronautics, digital twin technology can help scientists build a computer model of a plane, piece by piece, so it can examine the lifecycle of each mechanical part under certain conditions, such as heavy salt environments like ocean air, before a piece of metal is ever cut to create a physical aircraft. Working with global technology leader Siemens, BRIDG is developing a digital twin for semiconductors. “The concept of implementing a high-fidelity digital model of a realworld system and being able to use that ‘twin’ to predict a wide variety of performance attributes isn’t new if you’re talking about it for a car 20 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Chester Kennedy or an airplane or an assembly line,” Kennedy said. “The exciting part about what we’re doing now is that we’re taking it to a whole new level, through our partnership with Siemens, to predict how molecules are going to form and how atoms are going to come together.” Digital twin technology can also be used in cybersecurity defense to help avoid intrusions in microelectronics and ensure no additional features are embedded. “You’re comparing what the model said should be in the device to what is actually there and being able to do that at the atomic and molecular level,” Kennedy said. “It is a bold vision, and together with Siemens and several other partners, there will be a lot of work to do over the next three to five years to perfect the level of scaling of this concept.”

Attracting Partners

This summer, BRIDG will expand into a brand new 100,000-square-foot office building next-door to its current facility that will be one of the first of a growing collection of Class A office spaces in Osceola County. The move will allow for more laboratory space in the fab building. Global nonprofit research-and-development institute imec will also be transitioning its U.S. office into the new building. Based in Belgium, the organization handles smart application areas spanning health care, transportation, smart cities, manufacturing, energy and aerospace. When imec was looking for a place to establish its U.S. headquarters, it chose Kissimmee, and there was a reason for that. Central Florida is a unique location because it’s home to the development of so many different types of emerging technologies, Kennedy said. Those include the optics and photonics industry and the simulation and training industry, both based at the Central Florida Research Park near the University of Central Florida; the development taking shape in Medical City at Lake Nona that is attracting global leaders in health care research; the U.S. Special


NeoCity rendering

Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, which is exploring new technology in warfighting; and the SunTrax test facility for autonomous vehicles in Auburndale set to open next year. “I tell folks from outside the area all the time, I challenge you to find a hundred-mile stretch anywhere in the world where there is more happening than there is across the I-4 corridor right now from a technology standpoint,” Kennedy said.

NeoCity Academy students

Having an emerging microelectronics fab alone probably wouldn’t have attracted imec, he said. “That in and of itself would not have been enough to necessarily bring them to Central Florida. They could have gone to New York, Texas or other places that could have given them access to a fab. But there was a fab in the heart of all these other exciting things going on — and a fab that’s non-captive, meaning we are open to doing things for a wide variety of customers and clients.”

Future Talent

All of that emerging technology is going to require a growing and highly specialized workforce. That’s why the visit by the students from NeoCity Academy was so special, Kennedy said. BRIDG has forged a strong bond with the School District of Osceola County to develop a unique STEM-based magnet program where its engineers and scientists engage in the students’ education. With an inaugural freshman class that launched last year, students from all over the county have applied to attend the school. NeoCity Academy held classes offsite but is on schedule to move into its new school building next to BRIDG this fall. “NeoCity Academy is building the foundation of talent that, 10 years down the road, will be the scientists and engineers

shaping the next wave of capability,” Kennedy said. “It’s pretty exciting to hear parents in the community talk about their kids asking what they have to do to be competitive to get into NeoCity Academy. It’s a cool place.” Soon after the $15 million project received a funding commitment from Osceola County in 2017, Osceola County Schools Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace explained why it has become such a priority. "Everything that we're doing is really trying to look toward the jobs 2030 report, and the kind of high-tech workforce that envisions," she said in an article in the Orlando Sentinel. "The talent pipeline is a critical piece of that economic development.” The budding scientists who graduate from NeoCity Academy will mature in their careers and have an impact with their work, not only on Osceola County and Central Florida, but on the world, he said. The key is to train them and maintain enough cuttingedge, exciting, high-wage jobs to keep them in the region. “Growing up in the I-4 corridor, they will help build a different future,” Kennedy said, “not just from a direct economic standpoint, but for the next generation of citizens.” P i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 21


I THINK IT WOULD BE GREAT TO BE BORN ON EARTH AND TO DIE ON MARS. JUST HOPEFULLY NOT AT THE POINT OF IMPACT. — Elon Musk

THE SILICON VALLEY OF SPACE Elon and Jeff’s Excellent Adventure By Eric Wright

22 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com


“Y

ou see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” That statement by George Bernard Shaw captures the past, the present and the future of Florida’s Space Coast: a place with a storied legacy, where aspiration and vision seem to be in the DNA, but also a place where the future seems to be at a tipping point.

Like no other time in history, innovation and challenging limits are the expected norm. We are in an era where computers have moved from the size of a Coke machine, to a deck of cards and now a postage stamp. And the internet, which has not even turned 30 yet, has changed the way the world communicates as much as the introduction of the phonetic alphabet. Like England, Holland, Spain and Portugal in the 15th and 16th centuries — which saw maritime ventures as their future — once again humanity is looking skyward and seeing endless possibilities.

Silicon Valley became the epicenter of consumer technology by catching the wave, or rather the tsunami, created by the fortuitous convergence of computer-savvy entrepreneurs, the silicon chip and the internet. Is it possible that the next great advances will turn our focus from the terrestrial use of cybertechnology to the frontiers of space? From computer chips to spaceships?

Above: Elon Musk. Top right: Jeff Bezos. Bottom right: Mars, the next frontier. Photos provided by: NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin

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According to J.D. Vance, the managing partner of the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, investors are beginning to look beyond the next innovative app or internet consumerism toward transformative projects. Projects, he says, that have the potential to change the world and the future, like Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’ ongoing efforts with SpaceX and Blue Origin, respectively. Dr. Tom Markusic, CEO of industry up-andcomer Firefly, said in a press release announcing new operations on the Space Coast, “The space industry is expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the worldwide economy in the coming decades, with analysts predicting a global market of over a trillion dollars a year by 2040.”

Why Here, Why Now? Steve Case, the former CEO and chairman of AOL and now CEO and chairman of Revolution, recently brought his venture capital roadshow, Rise of the Rest, to Brevard County. They made only four stops in the state: Tampa, Orlando, Miami and the Space Coast. This begs the question, “why here?”

sites like space.com, universetoday.com and spaceflightnow.com are also gaining a wide following. The mission of Rise of the Rest is to spread the wealth, as 75% of venture capital investment goes to only three states: California, New York and Massachusetts. Of the nearly $131 billion in VC investments in 2018, which was a new record, over 50% went to California alone, and Florida garnered a mere $1.7 billion. There is good news. Private investors poured $3.9 billion into commercial space companies in 2018, a record, according to a report from the investment firm Space Angels. The sum accounts for a sixth of all the money invested in the last nine years. Not only is money flowing in, the last eight years have seen around $25 billion in exits, as acquisitions and public offerings take venture capital investments from start-ups to the next level. In addition, 120 firms made investments in space last year, topping a peak of 89 in 2015.

If Case and his colleagues are correct, the Space Coast will be the area where the next wave of entrepreneurial efforts and investment could be focused.

“THE SPACE INDUSTRY IS EXPECTED TO BE THE FASTESTGROWING SEGMENT OF THE WORLDWIDE ECONOMY IN THE COMING DECADES, WITH ANALYSTS PREDICTING A GLOBAL MARKET OF OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR BY 2040.” — Dr. Tom Markusic

Interestingly, the moderator of the discussion Case and Vance shared, before their pitch competition began, was Kim Hart. She is the managing editor of Axios, a wildly successful new digital news platform that recently introduced an outlet that may confirm our assumptions: Axios Space. Other

The Quest for Space

1926

1903 The Wright Brothers - First to fly 24 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Robert Goddard First rocket launch

1969 1947 Chuck Yeager

Neil Armstrong

First pilot to exceed the speed of sound.

First man on the moon


Beyond Risk to Reward A passionate but mild-mannered evangelist for entrepreneurialism, Case declared the key to entrepreneurial success was not focusing on the potential risks, though he fully understands due diligence, but instead zeroing in on the limitless potential. “All major corporations started as small ventures,” he said. “And across the nation, economic development experts are realizing the best way to create job growth is not to convince companies to relocate, but to grow companies locally.” The project Rise of the Rest chose to fund was Atomos Nuclear and Space. This company uses what its CEO Vanessa Clark described as, “High-powered electric propulsion tugs to move satellites to any orbit beyond low Earth orbit.” Basically, its spacecraft can deploy satellites into higher orbits, dispose of defunct satellites, recover satellites that have gone astray or provide a propulsion option that, unlike chemical rockets that fire and then coast, are able to provide continuous acceleration. A kind of tortoise-versus-thehare approach to space travel. For the first time in history, the Space Coast is not just the launch site, the last step in putting people and payloads into space. Now it is where these projects begin. Also, for the first time in history, the creativity and the drive of entrepreneurialism is propelling U.S. space efforts. Like the convergence that happened 35 years ago in Silicon Valley, Brevard could become the Silicon Valley of space. If this seems improbable, pause for a moment and call to mind two images that are etched in our collective memory. One is of Orville Wright making his first flight across the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The craft looks almost comically fragile, and it was, but in less than 50 years, Chuck Yeager flew his Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound. The second is Robert Goddard, standing next to his first liquidfueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts. His missile contraption looks more like the frame of an artificial Christmas tree. It flew to an altitude of 41 feet in a two-second burn. Again, in less than 50 years, humans traveled from Earth to the moon and back. Goddard is well remembered for his response to a 1920 New York Times editorial, bearing the title “A Severe Strain on Credulity,” which challenged his theories on spaceflight. Part of his now famous reply was, “Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized,

it becomes commonplace.” How true: Spaceflight is so commonplace that failures garner more press than successes. One is also reminded of Steve Wozniak’s story about going to the leadership of Hewlett Packard five times to demonstrate his Apple 1 personal computer. His employer, to whom he wanted to give the technology, turned him down each time. Like a launch window, windows of opportunity do not remain open long.

The Excellent Adventure Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk did not capture the world’s imagination with the limitless possibilities of space. That was something Jules Verne, Gene Roddenberry and Wernher von Braun did. What Bezos and Musk have accomplished is to put space travel and space utilization on the same footing as other monumental projects, like the transcontinental railroad.

In truth, it has been their willingness to put their money where their mouth is, or their passion is, that has garnered so much attention. But who knows, perhaps the next Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of space are working in their parents’ garage or pondering possibilities in their college dorm. As Musk said in a CNBC interview, “I really believe in the future of space, and I think it’s important that we become a space-faring civilization and get out there among the stars. And I think that’s one of the things that, you know, makes people excited about the future. We want the things that are in science fiction novels and movies not to be science fiction forever. We want them to be real one day.” We also want them to be realized right here on the Space Coast. 

The railroad, which, along with abundant land, did more to make America the envy and driver of the modern world, was a public/private partnership. The government contributed land rights, but the project was built and funded largely by the private sector. For the first time, space utilization and exploration is taking a similar track. Strangely, it is not the pilots of these technological wonders who are capturing people’s imaginations. The ones with “the right stuff” are the daring individuals risking their fortunes to make it happen. They are the rock stars of space.

“WE WANT THE THINGS THAT ARE IN SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS AND MOVIES NOT TO BE SCIENCE FICTION FOREVER. WE WANT THEM TO BE REAL ONE DAY.” — Elon Musk i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 25


INCUBATION INNOVATION Dream Team Retools Local Economic Engine By Diane Sears

W

hen Carol Ann Dykes Logue, Jerry Ross and Rob Panepinto get in the same room, the conversation flows naturally from one topic to another to another. These are people whose connections run wide and deep in business, government, academic and nonprofit organizations all over Central Florida and beyond. They have front-row seats to some of the most innovative work taking place in the region. And they are up to something. They help lead an entrepreneurial support system that has been quietly undergoing a metamorphosis. It’s all part of a plan to strengthen the resources available for small businesses and at the same time create an ecosystem that propels high-growth innovation companies toward rapid expansion. The key was in recognizing that those are two different groups of entrepreneurs with two distinct sets of needs, says Thad Seymour Jr., who became the long-term interim president of the University of Central Florida in March. Seymour had been serving since July 2018 as the university’s vice president of partnerships and chief innovation officer, a position that had him diving deeper into the region’s business community to discover what makes it tick. He had already learned quite a bit about that in his 30 years as a business leader in Central Florida, including a stint as senior vice president at Tavistock Development Company, where he was one of the masterminds behind Lake Nona Medical City. What he’s discovered has spurred him to appoint Logue, Ross and Panepinto to create a program designed to grow not just companies and jobs, but also ideas, talent and capital. Seymour explains it this way: “A huge number of jobs get created through small businesses. Many of those will grow from one or two employees to 10 to 20 if they’re really successful. There’s a set of resources and work and focus to support those businesses.

26 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT TRANSFORMING AN ECONOMY AND DIVERSIFYING IT, YOU NEED TO THINK IN TERMS OF HIGHGROWTH-POTENTIAL COMPANIES. — Thad Seymour Jr. “But if you’re talking about transforming an economy and diversifying it, you need to think in terms of high-growth-potential companies. The vast majority are either tech companies or tech-enabled in some way, and they have different needs. They have different talent needs, they’re funded differently, they need different kinds of mentors, different types of partnerships. We needed to align our programs to support those two different sectors.” The strategy calls for expanding UCF’s eight-site business incubator program and dividing it by specialty. Logue and Panepinto are leading three “innovation districts” while Ross is linking several incubator sites and high-profile programs in a “regional entrepreneur network.” The project has had the three of them spending a lot of time together, which they say has infused new energy into their work. “There’s so much symbiosis between us,” Logue said. “There’s a core of things we all know, but we are so complementary in what we know and who we know, and our backgrounds and experience, that the composite makes up an amazing team.”

Research Park Innovation District Logue, who has served as a UCF incubator site manager for 17 years, will continue to oversee the Central Florida Research Park incubator as well as the photonics incubator. She is now the director of the Research Park Innovation District, which includes the industry clusters of aviation and aerospace; modeling, simulation and training; defense; optics and


Rob Panepinto , Carol Ann Dykes Logue and Jerry Ross photonics; advanced materials research; cybersecurity; robotics; machine learning and artificial intelligence; virtual and augmented reality; and solar power and energy. The district also incorporates the Space Coast, where she is already at work strengthening ties to the companies and economic development organizations there. It’s a natural fit given UCF’s history with the space industry. “A lot of people don’t remember that one of the reasons this university was even created back in the mid-1960s by the state Legislature was to support NASA in its original quest to meet President Kennedy’s mandate that we were going to send men to the moon, and NASA needing so much more scientific and technical talent,” she said. The innovation districts will be looking to add programming that has not always been part of incubator offerings. For instance, they will foster “first customer” relationships that encourage larger

organizations to adopt the products and services of emerging companies to give them a boost into commercial success. Many of the existing companies at the Research Park incubator are funded by government contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and similar organizations, Logue said. “Those agencies are very eager to get engaged with a broader segment of early stage companies,” she said. “Many of those companies have never thought of doing business with a government agency. They don’t know the first thing about it. They can’t even understand the language. “One of the things I’m looking at putting in place is a boot camp that would help those companies, those that don’t have experience working in this sector, equipping them to have conversations with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and NASA in particular.”

Downtown Innovation District Seymour had brought in Panepinto to help with some of the broader strategy around the project and now has hired him to oversee a new Downtown Innovation District that is evolving along with the new joint UCF and Valencia College campus opening in downtown Orlando in August. The district will focus on industries that include digital media, gaming, simulation, smart cities, hospitality and financial technology. Panepinto plans to hit the ground running in building the new downtown district, which includes the existing incubator on Colonial Drive. Later this year, there are plans to open an incubator in the core downtown area within StarterStudio, where UCF has an existing partnership. There are also discussions with several major corporations about opening “innovation centers” that would create opportunities for early stage companies, student interns and faculty members. i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 27


Panepinto is the president of Florentine Strategies, which provides board support, strategic consulting and investment capital for healthcare, social enterprise and technology companies. He is the CEO of Entrepreneurs in Action, which manages the EIA Social Venture Fund that invests in forprofit social enterprises. For almost 18 years, he was part of the management team that helped lead Orlando-based healthcare technology and service company Connextions from start-up to its acquisition in 2011 by OptumHealth, a UnitedHealth Group company. Panepinto had served with Seymour on boards including that of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “We had conversations about how we create more high-wage jobs in our community, how we diversify our economy and how we create more opportunity for growth,” Panepinto said. “We’ve both long recognized that growing technology-driven early stage companies is an important part of solving that longstanding problem.”

Lake Nona Innovation District Logue and Panepinto share responsibility for the Lake Nona Innovation District for now, which includes emerging clusters in health care, biosciences and medical technology. They are working closely with Tavistock and the Florida Blue-owned GuideWell Innovation Center, which offers office and meeting space for small businesses and houses UCF’s health sciences incubator. They are planning a challenge event with GuideWell that involves using virtual and augmented reality to solve industry needs. A key goal of the challenge is to start linking the innovation districts to bring talent and customers across all of them together. 28 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

“It’s a way for us to immediately begin engaging the Lake Nona community as well as the other districts,” Logue said. “And begin to build bridges across the three innovation districts.”

Regional Entrepreneur Network As president of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando for the past 12 years, Ross has fostered relationships among groups that help small businesses start, grow and thrive. The NEC, located at Fashion Square Mall, houses 13 partner groups that include minority chambers of commerce, the Central Florida International Trade Office, small business counselors SCORE and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ross, an employee of UCF through the university’s sponsorship of the NEC, is helping to launch the Regional Entrepreneur Network, which includes mixed-use incubators in Apopka, Winter Springs, Kissimmee and Daytona Beach. The new strategy folds into the network the UCF-run Small Business Development Centers and GrowFL, which counsels second-stage companies. “When you look at Central Florida,” he said, “we have led the nation in job creation for the last four years in a row. I speak all over the country, and people say, ‘What a surprise!’ and I say, ‘It’s not a surprise, it’s a strategy.’” Ross says his background as an entrepreneur has helped him identify with the needs of people who are growing businesses in Central Florida. Putting all of the resources under one umbrella will help. “There is no wrong door for someone to walk in. They can walk into the SBDC and get connected to the incubator, or they can walk into the incubator and get connected to GrowFL. Many times, while that was available before, it wasn’t as accessible because all of them had different reporting structures.

THERE IS NO WRONG DOOR FOR SOMEONE TO WALK IN. THEY CAN WALK INTO THE SBDC AND GET CONNECTED TO THE INCUBATOR, OR THEY CAN WALK INTO THE INCUBATOR AND GET CONNECTED TO GROWFL. — Jerry Ross


“This is going to keep us at the front of the innovation economy,” Ross said. “We take this for granted because we’re here. When you go outside of Central Florida, they don’t talk to each other. It took the thought leadership of Dr. Seymour. He could have done nothing and we’d be OK. But to step forward and say ‘What’s the next step?’ takes us into innovation.”

The Next Steps Creating places for entrepreneurs to work side by side is important because proximity matters, Seymour said. When they meet in “random collisions” and learn how they can work together, innovation happens. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but over time we start to build this,” Seymour said. “If we were in Detroit or Pittsburgh or Cleveland, which all have pretty good innovation centers now, this would be easier. If you want to diversify your economy in the direction of tech-based or innovationbased companies, it’s easier to do there because there are declining markets in other sectors. Here, we have to outpace tourism, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down any.

Thad Seymour Jr.

“If you think of an economy as a pie chart, and innovation or tech as a slice of that, while the pie chart keeps growing because tourism and land development and other things will continue to grow here, it puts more pressure on us to do this well, which means we have to be smarter and deliberate and focused on the strategy.” Seymour has a theory that Orlando is poised to lead the next big revolution, and UCF is in a perfect position to help make that happen. “I’m a historian by training, so I can’t help but look back a little bit to look ahead,” he said. “If you look at the 19th century, that was New York’s century, with the rise of big cities, the industrial revolution, Atlantic migration and trade. It resulted in some incredible economic engines in dense cities like New York and Boston. New York dominated. “The 20th century became California’s century. It was originally driven by agriculture but ultimately by technology at the end of the century.

Rendering of The Commons at UCF/Valencia College downtown campus

“The question is, whose century is this one? I like Florida’s chances, and I believe Central Florida will lead us there.” P i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 29


Medical technology developed right here in Central Florida is about to disrupt the billion-dollar respiratory care device market. Startup company AireHealth has created a connected nebulizer with the potential to provide patient care and treatment for the 6 million children in the United

FOSTERING GROWTH REVOLUTION FOR STARTUPS By Justin Braun

Photography provided by RevolutionÂŽ

Suneera Madhani of Fattmerchant and Steve Case of Revolution 30 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

States who have asthma, helping them to breathe easier.


“This summer, children will have this in their hands,” AireHealth Co-Founder and CEO Stacie Ruth said. “The current devices on the market are very large and loud, and you have to plug them into the wall. Our device is very small and not tethered in any way. It will be connected to a mobile app, and that allows us to focus less on the technology and more on the engagement of the patient.” The technology empowers caregivers with insight into the child’s treatment, enabling them to see how much medication was delivered and when. It won’t be long before the device is prescribed by doctors because it has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “That

Stacie Ruth of AireHealth

is the biggest hurdle of any medical device. We also have a reimbursement policy in place,” Ruth said. “When you have those two things together, what you really focus on is getting it in the hands of patients.” Startup stories like that of AireHealth can be found all over Central Florida. The region’s richness in transformational opportunity driven by new technology and trends is what caught the eye of internationally renowned Rise of the Rest® venture capital investors. Led by AOL Co-Founder and Revolution Chairman and CEO Steve Case, the Rise of the Rest Road Trip brought its tour to Orlando on April 29, with subsequent stops on the Space Coast and in Tampa, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Rise of the Rest operates on the belief that high-growth companies can start and scale anywhere. Each bus tour visits five cities in emerging startup ecosystems located outside of Silicon Valley, Boston and New York City. While in Orlando, the tour visited local startups, heard directly from entrepreneurs and culminated in a pitch competition during which AireHealth took home a $100,000 investment from the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Compared to the multimillion-dollar investments startups receive in the Bay Area of California, $100,000 can seem somewhat insignificant. But according to Terry Berland, Orlando-based managing partner of early stage venture capital firm Kirenaga Partners, that amount can go a long way for a local startup. “The cost structure in this region gives startups a tremendous advantage,” Berland said. “That’s especially true in terms of affordable Class A office space, a deep pool of talented software designers and housing

THE COST STRUCTURE IN THIS REGION GIVES STARTUPS A TREMENDOUS ADVANTAGE. WHAT WE REALLY NEED IS EARLY STAGE MONEY, WHICH GIVES LOCAL COMPANIES THE ABILITY TO BUILD TEAMS, PROTOTYPES AND MARKET FIT. WE ARE CAPITAL SHORT, NOT IDEA SHORT. — Terry Berland availability. What we really need is early stage money, which gives local companies the ability to build teams, prototypes and market fit. We are capital short, not idea short.” Looking at the distribution of venture capital across the nation, it would be easy to conclude entrepreneurial innovation is only concentrated in Silicon Valley, Boston and New York City. According to financial data and software company Pitchbook, the Southeast received 1.5% of the total venture capital deal value in the first quarter of 2019. An investment report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights found Florida received $511 million in venture capital funding in 2018, representing 2.6 percent of the total venture capital awarded that year. For reference, California, Massachusetts and New York received $11.5 billion, $2.6 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively.

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This uneven distribution of venture capital is the problem Rise of the Rest is trying to solve. “As a city and region, it hurts us,” Berland said. “Look at the depth of intellectual property generated in the region just from its higher education ecosystem. Our VC community should be roaring with investment at different stages in the ecosystem. Just look at our competitive cities. There’s a much deeper and threaded-together VC community there than what we have here.” Donna Mackenzie, executive director of local entrepreneurial incubator StarterStudio, has followed Rise of the Rest and has seen the impact it brings to other communities. “Having worked with more than 500 startups in the Orlando region, this is an incredible opportunity to amplify our companies to new heights,” she said. Following the announcement that Rise of the Rest would kick off its eighth annual tour in Orlando, regional entrepreneurs submitted 152 pitches for the competition, more applications than any city in the tour’s history. Berland sees that as potentially the inflection point that changes the region’s trajectory.

ecosystem. “It speaks to the region and state’s strength in technology,” he said. “Orlando’s selection as a Rise of the Rest city confirms the region is part of the future of American startups. It also says a lot about our city to have this ready-togo-to-market, FDA-cleared product that will help kids like mine who’ve had to use a nebulizer.”

look at the entrepreneurial landscape, they look for Orlando-based and -focused startup capital investments. The people who have money here aren’t investing in the VC space here. The people who are closest to that marketplace need to be willing to put money into local companies. If you want to build a cluster where capital follows you, you must do it locally.”

Companies that participated in the competition are also benefitting. Chance Glasco, co-founder and chief creative officer of Doghead Simulations, said he scheduled several follow-up meetings with other entrepreneurs and investors he met during the tour and competition.

It’s also one of the reasons entrepreneurs seek investment from outside markets like Atlanta. The downside is that those companies then feel pressure to relocate to those markets. “That’s exactly what happens if we, as a community, don’t rally around this idea,” Berland said.

“I just made my pitch but have already made connections,” Glasco said. “These connections are making this even more valuable than winning.” Rise of the Rest not only shined a spotlight on the region’s entrepreneurs but also worked to further foster the spirit of innovation throughout the local startup community. But as in any revolution, momentum must continue for it to be successful.

“The mere fact that Rise of the Rest could pick any city, put us on the list and received more submissions from us than any other city tells me they saw the caliber of ideas here are every bit as robust as those pitched in San Francisco competitions,” Berland said.

“The Orlando Economic Partnership is taking proactive steps to make sure that future becomes a reality, to help make today’s Orlando startups become tomorrow’s Fortune 500 companies,” Giuliani said. “But in the most successful startup cities, these initiatives are not done alone — collaboration among economic development, local leaders, entrepreneurs and employers is key.”

For Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani, the success of Rise of the Rest illustrates the strength of the region’s entrepreneurial

A lack of local buy-in is one of the biggest issues Berland runs into when raising money for Orlando startups. “When investors from outside the region

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“We’ll end up with a long string of great ideas that started here and either died or moved.” The wealth creation that occurs from venture capital investment in local startups can have broad-based impact for a region. And Berland wants to make sure the wealth effect doesn’t leave the community because the capital left the community. “If a company goes big and moves to Atlanta, it gives Atlanta more firepower for the next idea as opposed to us,” he said. But Berland is confident companies stay and support the communities that support them and help them grow. “That impact on an early stage company is tremendous. Local validation breeds growth. There is an amazing set of first customer opportunities in this region for so many ideas. The amount of runway companies have to validate ideas in Orlando is very large.” P


PLANES, TRAINS

& Automobiles BY TODD PERSONS

UES HELPS MOVE FLORIDA INTO THE FUTURE

T

he walls at the sprawling corporate headquarters of Universal Engineering Sciences Inc. (UES) in Orlando are not covered with fancy art, but rather company mission statements and mottos like Founder and Chairman Seymour “Sy” Israel’s favorite: “Whatever it takes.” There are also handmade displays commemorating the geotechnical consulting firm’s 20 branch offices participating in community events throughout Florida and the Southeast U.S. A notable exception to the homey displays hangs along a narrow hallway behind the brightly lit reception area. Stretching some 20 feet is a trail of 8-by-12-inch aerial maps taped together. While the maps will never be considered art, the linked sheets tracing the path of the proposed high-speed rail line from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport (OIA) paint an exciting picture of the future, both for UES and for Central Florida. “I get excited every time I walk by the route map,” said Christiane Nelson, a UES engineer whose office is at the end of a nearby hallway. “It represents the future of connectivity for Florida, especially for the tourism industry. Imagine tourists getting from OIA to Miami in less than three hours.” While the growth of UES as a company has been traveling fast, business wasn’t always so high speed. The firm literally took root underground more than a half-century ago when the founder and his oneman drill rig were hired to clean out a clogged septic system on Merritt Island. Fast-forward to 2019, when UES can lay claim as the largest family-owned company of its kind in the United States, with more than 800 employees offering clients an ever-increasing array of engineering services as it closes in on $90 million in annual revenues. The founder’s son, Mark Israel, is now the firm’s president and CEO, with his dad at age 86 still an important daily presence at corporate headquarters. One of the firm’s fastest-growing service areas is the transportation segment, where UES offers consulting services that touch almost every mode

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of moving Florida’s burgeoning population from one place to another. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rail titans Henry B. Plant and Henry Flagler strung train tracks up and down both Florida coasts — lines that would drive a golden economic spike into the Sunshine State’s fledgling tourism and snowbird industries. Today, developing and executing new methods of moving people around Florida for business and pleasure are major money-makers for farsighted companies like UES. During the last decade, the firm has assisted in building highways and bridges in Tampa, airports in the Panhandle, a tunnel in Miami and the first section of a high-speed rail system in South Florida that will eventually connect with a multimodal “planes, trains and automobiles” complex at OIA, another UES project. “UES has carved out a major niche in transportation,” Mark Israel said. “This sector continues to increase in importance and has evolved onto numerous platforms.” An increase in toll roads as well as public/private partnerships in transportation have created new opportunities for UES to increase and diversify its projects. “The exciting thing is that we’ve been able to move easily between roads, rail and airports,” Israel said. Standing squarely at the intersection of the firm’s growth and its growing menu of people-mover services is Nelson, one of an increasing cadre of female civil engineers in a profession historically inhabited by men. Initially hired by UES 14 years ago as a young engineering intern, Nelson worked in a variety of jobs as the company began to expand beyond its core of geotechnical engineering, environmental, materials testing and threshold inspection, services that were primarily offered to private land development clients. Transportation was becoming one of those new growth drivers for the company, and Nelson was ready to jump on board. She began earning her transportation credentials working as the firm’s project manager on the new SunRail system, Central


THIS SECTOR CONTINUES TO INCREASE IN IMPORTANCE AND HAS EVOLVED ONTO NUMEROUS PLATFORMS. Christiane Nelson and Mark Israel

Florida’s first commuter train, which runs on a north-south path from Volusia to Osceola counties with stops throughout the metro Orlando area. With active encouragement from the Israels, Nelson continued managing the SunRail project while she earned her civil engineering degree from the University of Central Florida and balanced a family life with husband Scot, an engineer designer, and 6-year-old son Cooper, who was convinced his mom was learning how to become a real train engineer who could operate a SunRail locomotive. Sorry, Cooper, Mom has had to settle for being an integral member of the increasingly busy transportation team at UES, a group that also consists of John Barker, Jeff Pruett and Josh Adams. In addition to SunRail, the team has worked on the initial South Florida leg of Virgin Trains USA, formerly Brightline, the high-speed rail line that will make tracks up the east coast to Cocoa at 125 miles per hour before taking a dog leg left and ending up at OIA’s South Terminal in the airport’s new multimodal center. If, as anticipated, UES is tapped to work as a subcontractor under Granite Construction on the 40-mile east-west Virgin Trains extension from Cocoa to the outskirts of OIA, the company will continue to play an integral role in the $3 billionplus rail project for the next three years or more.

— Mark Israel

Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard has said plans include future stops at Walt Disney World, a tie-in with SunRail, and another rapid ride from Orlando to Tampa. UES will also continue to have a presence at OIA’s South Terminal complex as an owner’s representative overseeing structural inspections. “Universal’s transportation team is unique,” Nelson said, “as are the challenges of a growing population in Florida that wants to travel safely as well as quickly. Engineers have to consider the effects and changes in planning life safety on both transportation and infrastructure.” In her position of addressing these special transportation challenges, Nelson gives special thanks for the support she has received from Mark Israel and his father. “I’ve had many wonderful mentors here,” she said. “Hopefully, I can pass it forward by motivating other young women to pursue engineering careers and have confidence in themselves.” “Christiane has earned it,” Mark Israel insists. UES continues to reap growth benefits from its extensive transportation work throughout Florida. The company has expanded its office in Atlanta and recently opened a new DC Metro branch outside of Washington. UES is currently listed No. 197 in the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms in the U.S. P i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 35


VP

Contact us to learn more about how FloridaMakes can help your business unlock growth opportunities and cost savings.


A CRYSTAL BALL

Rosen’s Vision Predicted Growth of I-Drive Tourism

Orlando was recently recognized for annual visitor counts in excess of 75 million. The vibrant and burgeoning local economy is significantly tied to this phenomenon. Anyone interested in securing a portion of these valuable dollars should look no further than the International Drive resort area, where one player in particular stands tall in a crowded field. During the course of the past half-century, his crystal ball has proven invaluable.

Modern-day International Drive is a strip of land paved by resilient entrepreneurs. Spanning the last 40-plus years, these visionaries transformed what was once referred to as “Orlando’s Wild West” into what now represents one of the premier resort and convention destinations in the world. F

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I-Drive Chamber Visionary Wall unveiling at the Orange County Convention Center Nov. 9, 2018. Maria Triscari, Harris Rosen, Kelly Smith, Jim Brown, Dr. Abe Pizam, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla, Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin, Orange County Commissioner Christine Moore, Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe, former Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke.

Rosen Centre Skywalk

Early on in the initial phases of what was calculated speculation on his behalf, Harris Rosen chose to forge what is now his 45-year-old company, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, squarely into the framework of the I-Drive equation. In 1974, he purchased his first property, the Rosen Inn International, formerly Quality Inn International, at 7600 International Drive.

to Rosen. In the early-to-mid-1970s, he and Jim Brown, president of Martin Marietta’s land sales group Orlando Central Property, worked arduously to pass a referendum to create a tourist development tax in Orange County. They, in unison with a select group, knew that this funding source was imperative to launch the area’s momentum.

“We were people who had faith,” Rosen says today. “We believed that with our incredible weather, proximity to Walt Disney World and myriad other hotels and attractions, we would develop this corridor into its own resort and convention destination. While many were in disagreement with us, we held firm in this belief. Our conviction remained that we could offer everyone from families to convention and trade show attendees a complete package in this one area.”

“I made a lot of speeches,” Rosen said. “We passed the tax in 1978.”

Maria Triscari, president/CEO of the International Drive Resort Area Chamber of Commerce since its inception 31 years ago, says of Rosen: “He is an extraordinary businessman, with an innate skill for forecasting our area’s future. Without his vision, I-Drive would not be where it is today. There are currently 40 new projects totaling some $2 billion in planned economic development on the way, most notably the expansion of the Orange County Convention Center.” The promise of a world-class, multifaceted convention center has always remained of paramount importance 38 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

To build the convention center, three sites were offered. The City of Orlando offered a site near Lake Eola, Major Realty offered the Court of Flags off Kirkman Road, and Martin Marietta offered the I-Drive site. Subsequent to a referendum, the public voted and selected the Martin Marietta site. On February 27, 1983, much to the amazement of most of Orlando, the Orange County Convention Center opened its doors to an open house of 14,000 guests. By this time, Rosen had three I-Drive hotels in the works, one with land purchased from Brown. Rosen approached him about another purchase, namely the land contiguous to the convention center. Unfortunately, Brown had to decline, explaining that for this, Martin preferred a well-known brand, like a Hilton, Hyatt or Marriott. Rosen was disappointed but understood this premise.

A year later, an unexpected phone call proved to be a game changer for Rosen. “Jim called and said there hadn’t been any interest in the land contiguous to the convention center. He said if I could deliver a $7 million check to him by 5 p.m. that day, the parcel was mine.” Further cementing his presence on the growing strip, Rosen made that delivery, purchasing the land on September 1, 1988, for $9.6 million. Three years later, on September 13, 1991, the 800-guestroom Clarion Plaza — now the Rosen Plaza — opened its doors directly adjacent to the convention center. After the Rosen Plaza land purchase, but before its opening, Brown invited Rosen to Martin Marietta headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. Rosen brought along his real estate attorney, Kelly Smith. “We went to Bethesda and had no idea what they were going to talk about,” Rosen said. “They asked me if I would be interested in selling all of their nondefense-related land along International Drive. I started saying no and Kelly kicked me under the table. He said we’d be interested based on the conditions. Brown said they would tell us what they wanted for the land and any money above and beyond that would be ours. If we didn’t sell all of the property, we would have to pay for the unsold parcels. We had one year to do this.” With one month to go, Rosen sold the third-to-last parcel. “We kept back two


Maria Triscari and Harris Rosen

parcels that we wanted and did not need to sell in full in order to pay the total we owed,” Rosen said. “These are where Rosen Centre and our helicopter site are today. I was able to purchase these two parcels at a great discount, $4.56 million for the 20-acre Rosen Centre and $369,200 for the three-acre helicopter site.” The Omni Rosen, currently Rosen Centre, opened on October 31, 1995. Rosen then owned two hotels that straddled the convention center. Another small hotel company, the Peabody Hotel, was positioned across the street. “At the company, we always refer to Harris’ uncanny vision,” said Frank Santos, who has held the post as CFO for Rosen Hotels & Resorts for 33 years. “It’s taken years for others to see the value in the land. Without those hotels to house convention attendees, the center would not have flourished. This is why his team never doubts his future plans.” With an eye on the continued evolution of I-Drive, Rosen has no plans to let up. At the 1,334-room Rosen Centre, which with sister property Rosen Plaza now provides a covered pedestrian skybridge to the convention center, enhancement plans are underway. Those include a new wing featuring an additional 400 guestrooms and 150,000 square feet of function space, which will double the hotel's total meeting and event space. A 50,000-square-foot grand ballroom above a new level of meeting rooms will connect with an air-conditioned walkway to the present second level of the property. A lap pool will complement the hotel’s current Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool, and a parking garage will be incorporated into the project. Expansion plans are in the works for the popular Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill, and additional food and beverage outlets will enhance the current Rosen Centre offerings. Nearby on Universal Boulevard, the AAA Four Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek will be adding a luxurious 14-story tower with 400 guestrooms offering premium one- and two-bedroom grand and

WHILE MANY WERE IN DISAGREEMENT WITH US, WE HELD FIRM IN THIS BELIEF. OUR CONVICTION REMAINED THAT WE COULD OFFER EVERYONE FROM FAMILIES TO CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW ATTENDEES A COMPLETE PACKAGE IN THIS ONE AREA. — Harris Rosen executive suite upgrades and a signature presidential suite. In addition, 150,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space will be added to the existing footprint of 524,000 square feet and will include an 85,000-square-foot column-free ballroom, 30 breakout rooms and two specialty multipurpose rooms. A dynamic rooftop venue will be showcased atop the new tower, featuring panoramic views of the region. Refurbishments and enhancements will be made to Cat-Tails Poolside Bar & Grille and 18 Monroe Street that will serve to completely transform their current offerings. And yet another new Rosen venture is on the horizon as if he’s peering back into a crystal ball. “One day I envision us creating a huge convention property on International Drive which could include as much as 3,000 guestrooms and close to a million square feet of meeting space,” Rosen said. “We would transform 33 acres, from the helicopter site to the Rosen Inn Pointe Orlando, with this incredible hotel next to the Rosen Plaza, creating quite a presence.” P i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 39


TAKE

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

Representing Our Entire Destination How Visit Orlando works to strenghten our region’s No. 1 industry . . . and our community as a whole. Q&A with George Aguel President & CEO, Visit Orlando

Y

ou’ve probably seen where Orlando set another tourism record in 2018, welcoming 75 million people to remain America’s most visited destination, well ahead of iconic cities such as New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But how much do you know about the only organization tasked with promoting the entire Orlando destination on a global scale? Here, Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel answers some commonly asked questions about our destination’s official tourism association.

What is Visit Orlando’s role in growing and supporting our tourism industry? Our job is to brand, market and sell Orlando as the No. 1 destination for a vacation or business event. As a not-for-profit trade association, we have a diverse membership base of companies that span every sector of the tourism industry. We also serve as the voice of Orlando’s tourism industry, providing research, insights and timely communications to members and our community leaders.

Celebrating another record year for visitation, Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel (right) soaks in the moment with Visit Orlando Board Chair Adrian Jones (left) and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

40 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Why is increasing visitation important for our community? Simply put, the more people visit Orlando, the more jobs we create and the more money flows into our community. Tourism supports 41% of our workforce, generates $70 billion in annual economic impact and provides $5.5 billion in local and state taxes. It also provides our residents access to an abundance of amenities like shopping, dining, sports and


cultural venues, and a world-class airport. So, by growing visitation, we further enrich our quality of life and make Orlando even more appealing as a place to work and live. In what ways do you work to grow business travel to the area? We position Orlando as America’s top destination to hold a convention and conduct business. We promote this message in a major way to media, meeting planners and corporate clients. We also have a team dedicated to securing events at the Orange County Convention Center, as well as the area’s many convention hotels. Our results continue to pay off, as the Convention Center had one of its best years for total attendance (1.45 million people) in 2018. This year, we’re working to augment business travel even further by promoting the Convention Center’s $605 million capital improvement plan. How do you market Orlando to leisure consumers? We engage people to choose us for their next vacation by running campaigns that integrate advertising, promotions, publicity, social media and direct marketing. This helps us keep Orlando top of mind among consumers in our core international markets of Canada, the UK and Brazil, as well as the primary U.S. markets.

The Power of Business Travel:

In 2018, Visit Orlando booked convention groups that will bring 2.1 million attendees to our destination in future years. That represents $3.93 billion in economic impact.

Do Visit Orlando’s campaigns go beyond the theme parks? Absolutely! There are more than 100 attractions and 200 hotels we represent across Orlando, and we make it a point to highlight them in our promotional efforts. Along those lines, we also include downtown Orlando and communities throughout the area, from Winter Park to Winter Garden. For example, our public relations team generates national media coverage of our unique dining options, smaller attractions, boutique hotels, outdoor adventures, museums and cultural offerings. And by leveraging that approach with social media influencers, we can further showcase Orlando’s lesser-known attractions and venues to millions more people across the globe. What’s at the heart of your marketing strategy? Every one of our campaigns is unique, but they all focus on the emotional touchpoints that inspire visitors to say, “There’s something special about Orlando.” Travelers make incredible memories here, like nowhere else. It’s a privilege for us to be responsible for telling that story.

Visit Orlando is… • The official tourism association for Orlando representing every segment of the tourism industry. • A 501(c)(6), not-for-profit trade association with 1,200 member companies. • Commissioned by Orange County to brand, market and sell the Orlando destination globally for leisure and convention business. • Primarily funded by monies collected from visitors through the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) and non-TDT funds from cooperative member and industry activities.

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A Visible Difference

FIDDLER’S ROOFING HAS FLORIDA COVERED BY ERIC WRIGHT

The Forever Roof “metal that looks like shingles” www.fiddlersroofing.com 42 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com


I

t is probably the most important feature of a home and, unlike the foundation, one of the first things people see. The roof is both a functional and an aesthetic architectural element, and in Florida, roofs must be able to withstand brutal conditions, and not just in hurricane season. Though some might consider economizing on other parts of their home, a defective roof will show its weakness at the worst possible moment, with devastating impact. Hans Schaffnit leads the Fiddler’s Roofing office in Orlando. The company’s other office is in Panama City and is led by Kevin Daus, general manager and owner. The damage there is still clearly evident in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael; and Fiddler's Roofing continues to work to restore the community. Schaffnit started working in the construction industry for his uncle while in high school. After graduating from Ohio State University, he gravitated to home renovation and eventually made roofing his focus. Surprisingly, it was finding an opportunity on Craigslist for Fiddler’s Roofing that brought him to Florida, where he and his partners took over the company.

Unique for Florida

aesthetic qualities of a tile roof, but is more durable, rated to 150 mph winds, is more energy efficient, and carries a fully transferrable warranty that is good for 50 years. Additionally, Fiddler’s has the exclusive installation rights for the “Forever Roof” for all of Central Florida. Isaiah Industries, which produces all of its products domestically, notes that now, more than ever, it is seeing real issues with people buying substandard metal roofs. This, of course, leads to major problems down the road. It appears that low-quality and perhaps even dangerouslyproduced products are being “dumped” into the United States from foreign manufacturers. While tariffs on foreignproduced metals have impacted U.S. manufacturers, fabricated products are coming into the United States tarifffree and at very low prices, presumably to make up for the decline in metal coil being shipped into the U.S. According to Isaiah Industries, the best way to determine the quality of a product is to carefully examine the warranty from the manufacturer. Warranties should contain a product warranty from the manufacturer and an installation workmanship warranty from the contractor.

“Florida is unique in its construction codes for roofs,” Schaffnit said. “Because of weather conditions and storm damage in the past, the codes are much more exact and require a higher level of expertise than in other parts of the nation.”

Lasting Value

Fiddler’s high customer satisfaction record and ability to help clients through what may seem like a labyrinth to get insurance companies to cover the full extent of the damage has built the company’s reputation across the state.

“One of the things we take a lot of pride in is how long many of our people have been with us, which is very unusual in this industry,” Schaffnit said. The job can be grueling, working on a roof that might be 30 degrees hotter than the temperature at ground level.

“Insurance claims and getting estimates that cover the complete cost of replacement or repairs can be challenging for the typical homeowner,” Schaffnit said. “Plus, they are already dealing with a very stressful, disruptive series of events. This is something Fiddler’s has built its reputation on.” It is also one of the reasons Fiddler’s Roofing is always on the lookout for innovative solutions for Florida homeowners.

Forever Roof Schaffnit went back to his native Ohio to find a product that he felt was the best solution for the Florida market. Isaiah Industries produces a metal roof that has all the

Experience has taught Schaffnit that no matter how good a product is, it is the individuals doing the installation who make the real difference.

“First,” he said, “we pay our people really, really well. It is tough work and we are only as good as those individuals who are up on the roof. “Secondly, we want to make sure they are able to take regular breaks and maintain proper hydration. Healthy, happy workers are what produces a high-quality end product, and we do everything we can to ensure that.” It is the combination of happy workers and quality products that allows Fiddler’s to continue to gain market share and garner rave reviews from satisfied customers across the regions it serves. P

Fiddler's Roofing charity of choice Proud to re-roof the homes of Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 43


UP CLOSE GeorgiaLorenz With

By Meaghan Branham

Education forges paths. Some grit their teeth and hack their way through while others follow a gilded yellow brick road, but anyone who makes it to the finish line finds a world of opportunity — and a lasting love of learning. Seminole State College President Georgia Lorenz wasn’t sure exactly where her own path would lead, although a guidance counselor’s premonition sparked an idea of what was to come: “She told me that I would major in English and then go into education. I resisted for a while, but ultimately, she was right,” Lorenz recalled. And it’s a good thing she was. Lorenz went on to serve as the vice president for academic affairs at Santa Monica College for several years, where a partnership with Arizona State University helped her implement a “guided pathways” model that helps colleges and universities implement clearer paths to students’ goals with embedded support and assistance. After 13 years at Santa Monica College, she found herself wondering about a new road: pursuing a college presidency. A job posting for Seminole State College guided her to Central Florida, where she now works to carve paths to education for anyone with the desire to learn. What new opportunities has Central Florida presented?

Central Florida is ripe with all sorts of opportunities for the college and the students we serve. This region has great aspirations and ambitions to grow economically, which is exciting. But even more important than that is a genuine commitment to broad-based economic prosperity for all. That is core to the mission of Seminole State College — bringing about socio-economic mobility for students and families through excellence in education. I have seen this commitment in action from the Orlando Economic Partnership, the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Chamber, University of Central Florida, Career Source Central Florida, the National Entrepreneur Center and its affiliated organizations, Florida Citrus Sports, LIFT Orlando, and many other organizations that serve the area.

What are you and your team keeping in mind in building and continuing a legacy for Seminole State?

At Seminole State, we continue to focus on academic excellence, affordability, open access and equipping our graduates with the skills and capabilities to “Go Far” at a university or in the workplace. The recent Florida 2030 jobs report produced by the Florida Chamber Foundation indicates that the information students learn in college now has a shelf life of about five years. Our role is to enable students to succeed in their chosen professions at the outset but also to have the skills to pivot and adapt as industries and jobs evolve in our rapidly changing economy. We are also focused on relationship building — providing more options for students by developing a range of partners while continuing our close association with Seminole County Public Schools and UCF. The majority of our associate in arts (AA)/university transfer graduates go on to attend UCF via DirectConnect™. We are also partnering with UF Online from the University of Florida and with Complete Florida. Both of these programs are targeted at

serving nontraditional, adult students who are returning to college to complete their degrees.

Central Florida is home to so many universities and growing industries. What do you find exciting about the talent here, and what do you hope for the future?

The talent in higher education and in the business community here is amazing. I have been particularly impressed by the quality of our faculty and staff at the college, the majority of whom have advanced degrees. Many of our faculty also bring real-world industry experience and are licensed professionals in their fields. The college also supports our next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, providing opportunities for work experience and internships, which often lead to jobs. For example, Betsy Prokes, a recent bachelor’s in interior design graduate, interned first for Universal Studios and will be working for the company in Beijing starting this summer. And she is one of many alumni who stay here in Central Florida or find work with Central Florida organizations. Getting to know our current students stokes my hope for the future. Our students are incredibly talented and ambitious. You will be impressed when they become your employees!

What kinds of steps can students take while still in school to ready themselves for the professional world? Are there any programs Seminole State has implemented to help with this?

I recommend students visit the Career Development Center at the start of their academic experience. Traditionally this is something students were advised to do as they approached graduation. That is too late. Students should start with the end in mind and have some idea of the career they want to pursue, which will inform their choice of academic major. The career center also offers workshops in many critical skill areas.

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UP CLOSE

Students should also seek out internship and work opportunities related to their field. During each term, we have hundreds of students completing internships and cooperative assignments with area employers, giving our students relevant work experience before they enter the workforce full time. The internships provide students the opportunity to explore career paths and options, experience a professional work environment, connect with professionals in their career field of interest, and observe skills and job tasks related to their career field. Informational interviews with leaders in that field are also very valuable. In fact, I did that with the dean of students when I was figuring out what to do with my life, and he helped me decide that a career in higher education was for me.

What do the prevalent areas of interest for students tell you about the future of Central Florida? How do the leaders of tomorrow impact regional priorities?

I think the prevalent areas of interest for students are reflective of the future of Central Florida and tend to be in areas that are considered regional priorities. Cybersecurity, for example, is in high demand both in the workforce and among our students who are pursuing IT and computer programming degrees. Seminole State offers 200 programs, and the college is responsive to our community and industry partners for workforce needs. We don’t maintain programs that do not lead to careers and competitive salaries in Central Florida. We closely watch the Targeted Occupations list and other data sources to ensure our programs align with regional priorities. The fact that over the past 10 years we initiated 48 new programs and terminated 53 programs serves as evidence of our commitment to that alignment.

What factors do you consider when developing the curriculum?

The most important consideration when our faculty develops the curriculum for any course or program is ensuring that it prepares students to excel in their chosen field, whether that’s anthropology or construction management. The college works with more than 300 business and industry leaders who serve on the advisory boards for each of our career-oriented programs. Our advisory board members keep us up to date on industry trends, provide key competencies our graduates need, advise us on curriculum changes, and give our students those important internship opportunities. The Seminole State Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning engages our faculty members in professional development to implement innovative and effective instructional strategies that also impact curriculum development. 46 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Seminole State College curriculum is an increasing focus on problem-based and experiential learning. For example, business students completing a bachelor’s degree act as consultants to local companies and help them solve an identified business problem as part of their capstone projects.

What are some developments or trends in higher education that you are most excited about? What areas do you think need more attention?

One of the national trends in higher education is redesigning the student experience using a “guided pathways” approach. This research-based methodology has been promoted and implemented nationally by the American Association of Community Colleges. Simply put, the idea is to create a more structured educational experience, which helps students make informed decisions that accelerate progress to their academic goal, saving them time and money. It also anchors the student experience in their career interests. This is an exciting and promising development in higher education. It shifts the focus to how colleges and universities can become more “student ready” rather than only focusing on getting students “college ready.” I think the needs of part-time students and returning adult students should be getting more attention, and these are two areas that we will be focusing on at Seminole State College. The majority of the students who attend one of the Florida State Colleges are attending part-time. There are many reasons for this, including financial resources and family and work obligations. There is little we can do to change those conditions for thousands of students. I want to think strategically about what we can do as an institution to become the best college for part-time students. In addition, we know there are many adults who have earned some college units but never completed a college degree. What can Seminole State College do to effectively and efficiently serve that student population and get them to that finish line?

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Be your genuine self and bring your whole self to the work. This means allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the workplace, which can be uncomfortable. I am not sure anyone ever really sat down and explained this to me, but I have observed this behavior in those leaders I respect and admire the most. I remember this lesson particularly when I am in new situations and feeling tentative about how I might be perceived. I have never gone wrong by being true to myself, my values and my commitments. P


ATHENAPowerLink® Spotlight

Asking and Answering

T

o keep answering questions, you have to keep asking them. As a trusted legal advisor and a lifelong learner, Christi Lawson of Foley & Lardner LLP is a testament to the power of embracing both.

Christi Lawson Legal Advisor

Foley & Lardner LLP

"

I find that businesses need the most help in having the confidence to step back and work on their business, rather than in it. — Christi Lawson

As an advisor, Lawson is an obvious choice: Her list of accomplishments is miles long, with credits that include partner and litigation lawyer at her firm, adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law, and chair of the board for New Image Youth Center. But it is as a lifelong learner, constantly curating her curiosity, that she knows she will keep herself and those she mentors reaching toward new knowledge, new experiences and new perspectives. In her work at Foley’s Orlando office, her main area of practice is consumer financial services litigation. As a partner, she works to maintain a culture of appreciation for the opportunity to help clients and to learn from each new case. “We work hard to understand our clients’ issues and forge longterm relationships with them to help them achieve successful outcomes and solve their legal issues through practical business advice and cutting-edge legal insight,” Lawson said. “Our clients view us as trusted business advisors because we understand that great legal service is valuable only if it is relevant, practical, and beneficial to their businesses.”

To stay relevant, practical, and beneficial, Lawson and her firm look for work in the community that will keep them engaged and allow them to truly give back. Foley & Lardner LLP served as a founding sponsor when the ATHENAPowerLink program’s Central Florida chapter began, and Lawson co-chairs the governing body today. “We were proud to support an organization that supported the growth of women-owned businesses, and we are proud to continue our support of ATHENAPowerLink,” she said. “We are inspired by the sheer grit and determination of each of the ATHENAPowerLink clients.” The program works to foster the growth of women-owned businesses by providing their leaders with a customized board of advisors for their specific needs. Lawson’s work with ATHENAPowerLink speaks to her belief in the power of women using their voices to share their ideas and ask their questions so that all continue learning. “At Foley, diversity is both a moral imperative and a competitive advantage,” Lawson said. “Drawing on diverse perspectives, we can uncover innovative legal solutions for the most challenging business problems. Foley has established and supports a variety of initiatives that are designed to continue our commitment to the advancement of women, including our involvement in ATHENAPowerLink.” P

ATHENAPowerLink® guides women business owners in defining and achieving tangible goals to accelerate growth and profitability. To apply, visit www.athenaorlando.com. i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 47


Best Practice

Leadership Celebrating What’s Great About Living in the USA

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

"

If you think about it, the amount of opportunity one or a group of individuals can have to create a service or product is unparalleled in this country compared with others around the world. — Romaine Seguin

48 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

My job often takes me abroad to some faraway places. This most recent time, returning from a 10-day trip to Europe, I saw the American flag as I walked through the U.S. Customs hall at the airport and it gave me a feeling of honor. I fought back tears of pride.

So as leaders, how do we promote the goodness of our country? Even when things go tragically wrong, we still live in a great place. Here are some key thoughts I like to share, especially with the next generations, to help others understand why I feel so fortunate to call the United States home:

Why do we hear so many negative words about our country? I know a big part of it is politics, media coverage, and some unexplainable horrible events that we all hear about. We’ve had politics since our founding fathers created this country. Media has been around in some form or another for centuries. Devastating wars have been taking place since the beginning of mankind, and they led to even more deaths than the horrific tragedies that have taken place in more recent years in schools, workplaces and houses of worship.

Get all the facts. Educate yourself and base your opinions on information that is factual, whether you agree or disagree with it. Facts cannot be disputed. They are black and white. This first point is, by far, the toughest to push across the line because people believe their method of finding out facts is a hundred percent accurate and we all get our news from various sources these days, whether it’s Google, Facebook, Twitter, television, radio, newspapers, magazines or many other forms of media. Facts are powerful.


I listened to news reports about a recent alarming concern about an outbreak of measles in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. I really had no opinion and had not conducted any research. Radio stations were having parents call in, and newspapers were soliciting views from the general population on this topic. Some parents said they strongly believed the measles vaccine caused autism, so they were not allowing their children to receive the shot. On May 1, I watched a CBS Sunday Morning segment titled “Teaching Anti-Vax Parents to Trust Science and the MMR Vaccine,” which quoted scientific research showing there is no link between the vaccine and autism. The disparity comes from the fact that the parties involved in the debate get their news from vastly different sources. Stay away from advocating controversial topics in the workplace. American values and different views must be respected. This country is built on freedom of speech, and civil protest is how we got here today. The nation just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, which are etched into the history books of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community. No matter whether you support the LGBTQ movement or not, this is a part of U.S. history. Travel to different parts of the country, and spend time abroad if you can. If you aren’t able to travel, then subscribe to different newspapers, journal publications or magazines from around the U.S. or the world. Seeing and hearing various perspectives will educate you on different views and movements. Support small businesses in your community and throughout the United States. Think about all the great companies that started off as small businesses. Some started out in garages, dorm rooms or think tanks. Look how Uber and Lyft have made transportation so easy for young and older generations. Both are start-ups that have been around less than a decade. Michael Dell started his company in a dorm room. Who would have thought today he’d be the 29th-richest person in the world? How about the Brown Derby liquor store chain founded in Springfield, Missouri, that carried fishing lures and spun off the Bass Pro Shops outdoor retail stores in 1972 that number more than 200 today. Or how about Vat19, an e-commerce store that sells “curiously awesome gifts” by promoting them with hilarious YouTube videos that rack up millions of views to sell their unusual candy products. We can all point to our favorite companies and how they got started. If you think about it, the amount of opportunity one or a group of individuals can have to create a service or product is unparalleled in this country compared with others around the world. My greatest wish is that after reading this piece, you smile and reflect when you see “Old Glory” and salute our flag no matter where in the world your travels take you. We live in a great country. Happy Fourth of July. P

i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 49


Best Practice

Marketing How Internal Branding Can Increase Employee Retention

Cherise Czaban

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

"

It is the meaning and the promise that lie behind their daily efforts that give their jobs a deeper resonance and compel commitment ... you offer them this meaning and promise through branding. — Libby Sartain

50 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Have you ever had a teacher try to explain a concept to you that he or she didn’t completely understand? Have you ever tried to keep up with a hobby you didn’t find fulfilling? It’s hard to answer questions about something you yourself are still questioning, and it’s hard to advocate for something you don’t feel strongly about.

requires you to clearly communicate your brand story the same way you do to your customers, but to go beyond that and express how it impacts your values and service. By making sure your employees understand that story, and that you yourself are living and working by the values you uphold, not only can you retain talent, you can appeal to new potential employees.

The same principle applies to your brand story and your employees. They need to know, understand and care about what your company does so they can know, understand and care about what they do day to day in their work.

Creating a strong brand identity with your internal team builds a solid foundation for all of your external marketing and brand projects. After all, if your team members better understand your goal, they are more likely to meet customers’ needs. Studies over the past few years have supported this approach to branding as well.

Internal branding is the process of building, incorporating and communicating your story and values to your internal team. Conveying what your brand is about to your employees will not only keep them engaged and passionate, but also provide you with the peace of mind that your brand ambassadors on the ground are communicating your message to your customers.

Why is It Important?

The importance of company culture is often spoken about, but it can be difficult to know how to build and reinforce it in general terms. Internal branding is a vital part of developing that culture. It

According to Jim Stengel, author of the book GROW: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies, a study of more than 50,000 brands around the world demonstrated that companies with a higher sense of purpose, like improving people’s quality of life, outperformed others by 400%. In another study, published in the Personnel Review, results revealed that establishing an internal brand had a positive effect on attitudes, commitment and brand identification.


The West Orange Chamber’s

These results lend themselves to a workplace where employees are more excited, engaged, proud and collaborative. In turn, they will help build and maintain a self-sustaining, positive company culture.

Maintaining Strong Employees

Most companies make a point to explain their company culture on the first day, during orientation, or even during the interview process. In order for your internal branding to be effective in retaining and inspiring your team, however, it needs to be a part of daily life for your employees. Here are a few ideas for reinforcing your internal brand: •

Establish a rewards program. Most companies have a mission statement or set of values at their core, and often they make it a point to communicate it to customers. It’s just as important to reinforce it within your company as well, so consider starting a rewards system. Not only will this keep employees engaged and excited about the core values, it will serve as a daily reminder of what you are trying to uphold for both your team and your customers. This may mean recognition at a company meeting, a monetary prize like a gift card, or even recognition on one of the many apps that have recently been released like Tap My Back, where employees and employers can quickly give credit for important contributions by team members.

Be consistent with external branding. The brand message you are trying to convey to your customers, and the one you are reinforcing within your team, must match up with each other. For instance, if your company’s values include “giving back to the community,” implementing a paid day off for volunteer work can reinforce that in each team member in a personal way. Otherwise, your employees will always have a sense of disillusionment and confusion about their team’s goals, decreasing employee loyalty and collaboration. When your company is committed to its values and carries those across every audience, your team is more likely to represent you authentically and with enthusiasm.

Encourage engagement. Building an internal brand is a process that involves participation from both employers and employees. It is vital to listen to your team members and what they feel is lacking or in need of extra attention in your corporate culture. An environment in which they feel safe to express their needs and hopes for the future is one where they feel they can grow themselves and their careers. P

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

Facilitating Opportunity for Over 45 Years

(407) 656-1304 wochamber.com Dr. Phillips | Gotha | Horizon West | Lake Avalon MetroWest | Oakland | Ocoee | Orlo Vista Pine Hills | Windermere | Winter Garden i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 51


Best Practice

Communication You Agree with Me, Right? Persuasive Communications

Jim Bowie

is the site manager for the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program in Kissimmee. He can be reached at jim.bowie@ucf.edu.

OK, I am just going to come out and say it. I am so tired of sitting in event meetings listening to speakers who lecture me, read the slides and take more time than they were given to speak. Where is the escape pod? Oh, I just got an important text from my boss, I need to step outside and make a call. If you are one of those speakers, please read the rest of this Best Practice. It applies to public speaking as well as team meetings, family settings and one-on-one selling. Each of us should constantly work on improving our professional persuasive communication skills. This is the best asset you can have to advance your relationships, make friends and influence people. How many times a day do you want someone to agree with what you believe in? From customers and coworkers to family members and friends, you want them to see things the way you do. You can control their perception and how they perceive your point of view. Successful people are professional persuasive communicators! Some of them don’t know they are — they

52 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

just practice the techniques that make them very convincing people. The 3 E’s result in persuasive communication. They are education, entertainment and engagement. No longer can you lecture someone on the industry, product features/benefits, pricing and deals. People don’t want to be sold, they want to be led down a path to discover for themselves the positive benefits of your subject, product or service. You have to entertain them with humor, photos, videos, stories and testimonials. You also have to engage them in the discussions with questions, puzzles, games or social media involvement. To get them to buy into your line of thinking, you can persuade them using the 3 E’s!

My tips for better interpersonal communication skills: 1.

Be brief and to the point. What do you think when a person in a team meeting dominates the conversation and has to embellish on everything? This person goes on and on and on. Don’t be that person! You lose


East Orlando Chamber credibility after the first minute or two. I am going to use a cell phone manufacturer as an example to show you a technique that you can use to be persuasive: •

Make your one statement on the topic. (I believe most of our customers buy our cell phone because it is so easy to use.)

Make one statement to support your position. (We have designed the phone so people can maneuver from application to application with ease.)

Make a summary conclusion to reinforce your statement. (Customers have said they like the color, the price and the support; but for long-term satisfaction and repeat customers, it is the day-to-day ease of use that keeps us in the lead for cell phone sales.)

In one minute or less, you can make your point and then be quiet. People will respect you for your concise and to-the-point communication skills. 2.

Express empathy and really listen. Some of the biggest complaints come from the fact that we don’t really look at someone and pay attention to the person speaking. Whether it is a co-worker, a boss, a customer or your spouse, look at that person with sincere interest in what he or she has to say. People will respect someone who shows real interest and expresses empathy for their opinions.

3.

Respond to the issue and not the person. If you are going to respond to issues that you disagree with in a group, don’t target the person who voiced the opinion. Talk to the group as a whole. You don’t want the impression that you are attacking the person who voiced the original opinion.

4. Be positive. Make it so co-workers, bosses, customers, family members and friends want to be around you because of your positive aura. Yes, aura! Are you the one they want to make sure is in attendance for the meeting, the party or the gathering in the kitchen talking about what happened today with the spouse and kids? It doesn’t mean you can’t bring up issues and conflicts, but discuss them in a manner that conveys you are looking for a positive resolution. Show empathy, and then try to find positive results that may result in the future. I hope you implement some of the proven techniques that elevate people in their professional career and can also make a happy home. Whether you are in sales, management, operations, customer service, research or any department, you can be a persuasive, engaging professional communicator when interacting with all people. P

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Social Entrepreneur

Ginni Rometty Condoleezza Rice

Barbara Walters

Venus and Serena Williams

BUILDING BRIGHTER FUTURES Girl Scouts of Citrus Council Shapes Young Leaders By Elyssa Coultas Corporate CEOs Ginni Rometty of IBM and Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, performance artists Queen Latifah and Taylor Swift, broadcast journalist and author Barbara Walters, tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, and former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton all have something formative in common. These leaders were once members of Girl Scouts of the United States of America. They are all known for their courage, confidence and character. 54 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

The Girl Scouts organization has a legacy of supporting female change-makers and preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success and adventure. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is the largest leadership organization for girls in the world. Currently, there are more than 2.5 million youth and adult members worldwide — yet on a national level, Girl Scouts serves only 8% to 10% of the female youth population. In the United States, Girl Scout alums make up 80% of women business owners, 52% of female business leaders, 72% of current female U.S. senators and 100% of former female secretaries of state. “Take those 8% to 10% of women who have had more than one year of Girl Scout experience and layer that against these


Social Entrepreneur other numbers,” said Maryann Barry, CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, which covers Brevard, Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Lake counties. “The statistics speak volumes about the power of this program to build women leaders.”

Recipe for Success

An active Girl Scout since age 7, Susan Ennis, chief of external affairs at Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, knows firsthand the confidence the program instills in young girls. “Anyone who knows me knows that I am an introvert at heart. As a young girl, my hand would never go up in a classroom setting. I even felt uncomfortable talking to other kids my age.” Her mother enrolled her in Girl Scouts and volunteered to be a troop leader in support of her daughter. “I quickly got involved in activities that forced me to speak to groups and to make decisions. To actually find a group of people I could speak to and learn how to interact with was monumental for me. And then, of course, the cookie sales — oh my gosh!” Ennis recalled her first experiences approaching customers as a young child, nervously grasping boxes of baked goods. She remembers her fear of rejection, but she persevered with the support of her troop. “That taught me how to sell, and the skills I learned then I still carry with me today.” To this day, Ennis is an advocate of the program and thinks more people should know about its benefits. “Most people just think of the three C’s when they picture the Girl Scouts — cookies, camping and crafts — but it’s so much more.”

"

The business model is fascinating. These little girls do better than most retail stores. — Maryann Barry

a less than 1% loss ratio,” Barry said. “The business model is fascinating. These little girls do better than most retail stores. We're invested in the entrepreneurial aspect of the cookie program and what it teaches the girls.”

Gold Award

The foundation of Girl Scouts is empowerment: to equip young women with the knowledge and confidence that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest possible achievement in the program. It recognizes young

women who demonstrate leadership through action projects that have a sustainable local or global impact. Barry recalled a young girl from Honduras who made a great impact on her life. This young woman had been brought into the country through human trafficking by her parents. She had been living in a homeless shelter when she learned about the Girl Scouts. “She became engaged and so committed to the point that she would take a bus from the shelter to get to where the meetings were,” Barry said. With her self-confidence and self-worth

For just eight weeks out of the year across America, thousands of Girl Scouts gather in front of grocery stores and at local events, and they trek door-to-door, to sell seven flavors of cookies. Thin Mints, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties and other trademark treats are nearly synonymous with the name Girl Scouts. But there’s more than what’s in the box. Each transaction comes with a lifetime of lessons in confidence, goal setting, money management and people skills — qualities essential to leadership and success. “We put $7.5 million of our product, the cookies, out into the hands of girls and volunteers without charging them for it, and we consistently end up with

CEO Maryann Barry with local Girl Scouts i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 55


Social Entrepreneur

rebuilt because of the program, the young woman excelled in school and progressed within the Girl Scouts. The young woman achieved her Gold Award while in high school by arranging to have a library built at her homeless shelter with both English and Spanish literature. “Even after everything she went through, she said the greatest barrier for her when she came to this country was not being able to fully take advantage of her education because of the language barrier.” The outreach specialist at the homeless shelter, the same woman who originally identified the young girl in the homeless shelter and connected her to the Girl Scouts, was so moved by the girl’s story that she adopted her. “That tells you something about the character of the people who choose to be Girl Scout employees or volunteers,” Barry said. “It tells you something about the power of the program that can take 56 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

someone who has been completely deconstructed through life events and help them reconstruct themselves and become a self-determined, productive, happy member of society.” Another Gold Award winner raised funds to rebuild a school and playground in Haiti after a natural disaster laid waste to the small town’s only school. She knew that Royal Caribbean Cruises often sailed to Haiti, so she recruited the cruise line to transport the building equipment for free. From constructing libraries and homeless medical clinics to enacting global change through the legislative process, the young women achieved the award by demonstrating the ingenuity, confidence and grit necessary to enact change.

Redefining the Three C’s

Participating in Girl Scouts builds intangible leadership qualities that enable young girls to become capable, confident

"

The power of the program is incredible. It delivers on the promise of making the world a better place by building up girls and teaching them to be the strong female leaders of the next generation. — Maryann Barry and committed women. Girl Scouts are taught values that stick with them for life. “I was an adult when I finally became a Girl Scout, but I made sure my daughters experienced it when they were young,” Barry said. “The power of the program is incredible. It delivers on the promise of making the world a better place by building up girls and teaching them to be the strong female leaders of the next generation.” P


Think you know everything there is to know about Orlando? Land for expansion, manpower to empower and forward-thinking infrastructure investments that top $10 billion. Orlando has evolved from a university town built to win the space race to one of the most imaginative cities in America. The evolution didn’t happen overnight; the region has been preparing for the future for quite some time. Ready to learn more?

Orlando.org


Downtime

Unique experiences for your day off TITUSVILLE Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex July 16, 2019, marks 50 years since the Apollo 11 mission launched from Kennedy Space Center for its historic journey to the moon. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun, inspiration and educational activities. Learn about the fascinating stories that led up to the Apollo 11 accomplishment at the reimagined Apollo/ Saturn V Center, and view the actual launchpad of the historic mission while on the KSC bus tour. Stand nose-to-nose with space shuttle Atlantis as only astronauts have seen it before — with payload bay doors open. Guests can also interact with veteran NASA astronauts and much more.

www.KennedySpaceCenter.com

WINTER PARK Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (18481933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows. Visitors can also see Tiffany’s chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, as well as art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. The museum’s holdings include American art pottery and late 19th and early 20th century American paintings, graphics and decorative art.

www.morsemuseum.org

Follow us on Facebook and share some of your favorite local places to visit: @i4biz.com 58 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com


Downtime

WINTER GARDEN Winter Garden Heritage Foundation The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation is an integral part of the preservation and revitalization of historic downtown Winter Garden located on Lake Apopka about 30 minutes west of Orlando. The foundation operates three locations: the Heritage Museum, which displays the rich history of Winter Garden and West Orange County; the History Research and Education Center and Visitors’ Center, which houses an extensive archive documenting the area’s past; and the Central Florida Railroad Museum, which showcases the influence the railroad has had in the development of Florida.

www.wghf.org

ORLANDO SEA LIFE Aquarium Come face-to-fin with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles and more at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. Orlando’s only aquarium offers an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience that brings you to a magical world beneath the oceans with interactive touch pools, floor-to-ceiling displays, a rock pool with sea stars and anemones, and Orlando’s only 360-degree tunnel, featuring Chely the rescued Green Sea Turtle. At ICON Park on International Drive the 25,000-square-foot aquarium attraction offers a wave of underwater adventures with amazing sea creatures from around the world.

www.visitsealife.com/orlando i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 59


Business Seen

HISPANIC BUSINESS CONFERENCE The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando celebrated its ninth annual Hispanic Business Conference on May 22 and 23 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel to a packed house of more than 350 attendees representing over 100 companies. The event featured celebrity speakers, workshops and networking sessions to educate, motivate and build business opportunities. This theme was the use of technology to help bring more Hispanic businesses into the 21st century and improve profitability. Keynote speakers included leadership expert Anthony López, entrepreneur Kevin Harrington of “Shark Tank” and marketing expert James Smiley.

60 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Chamber Ambassadors

Orange County Commissioner Maribel Gomez with Gaby Ortigoni, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Keynote speaker Frances Rios

Keynote speaker James Smiley

Legislative Update

Marisol Romany, keynote speaker Kevin Harrington, and Dr. Benjamin Service


Business Seen

Keynote speaker Jorge Cruz

Former HCCMO Chair Jose Nido

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Gaby Ortigoni, keynote speaker Tony Lopez

Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith

Florida State Senator Victor Torres Jr.

Ribbon cutting to kick off the conference

i4Biz.com | JULY 2019 | 61


Business Seen

2019 MAKE MORE MANUFACTURING SUMMIT Associated Industries of Florida, CareerSource Florida Inc., the Florida Chamber Foundation, FloridaMakes and the Florida Manufacturing and Logistics Council co-hosted the 2019 MAKE MORE Manufacturing Summit on May 31 in Orlando. The summit serves as an annual platform to exchange ideas around how state resources are addressing the impact of market dynamics, economic trends and policies, and new technologies in Florida’s manufacturing sector. The organizers are committed to building a roadmap to strengthen and advance Florida’s economy through innovation, talent development and leveraging resources to accelerate the productivity and technological performance of the state’s manufacturing sector.

Marilyn Barger, Eric Owens, Dehryl McCall, Michelle Dennard, Bill Wydra, Bayne Beecher and Abe Alangadan

Tony Carvajal, executive vice president, Florida Chamber Foundation

Ken Lawson, director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Luis Benavides, partner, McKinsey & Company, delivers keynote address on The Future of Manufacturing: Impact of Technology in the Industry

Tom Feeney, Associated Industries of Florida, and Bob Ward, Florida Council of 100

Zoraida Velasco, vice president, external affairs, FloridaMakes

62 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com


Business Seen

Michelle Dennard, president and CEO, CareerSource Florida Inc.

Jerry D. Parrish, Ph.D., chief economist and director of research, Florida Chamber Foundation

Ray Aguerrevere, vice president, Custom Metal Designs

Kevin Carr, chief executive officer, FloridaMakes

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Watercooler

Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know

10.7% 1.3 billion Record-breaking number of media impressions recorded by Visit Orlando for recent announcement of record-breaking 75 million visitor mark for 2018.

41% Percentage of the Central Florida workforce supported by the $70 billion tourism industry. Source: Visit Orlando

Increase for 2019 in Osceola County tax roll, compared with 9.2% for Orange County, 8.2% for Seminole County and 7.3% for Lake County. Source: Orlando Sentinel

New area code that debuted in June for Central Florida mobile or landline users, joining 407 and 321.

64 | JULY 2019 | i4Biz.com

Orlando’s ranking among best cities for a “staycation,” just behind Honolulu. Rounding out the top 10: Chicago, San Diego, Portland, Charleston, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and San Francisco. Source: WalletHub

“We

WE’VE PLAYED ON THE STEPS OF THE CAPITOL IN THE U.S. WE’VE TAKEN THE JAZZ BAND TO HIROSHIMA, JAPAN, BUT WE’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING THAT’S GOING TO BE SO SIGNIFICANT AND REPRESENT OUR GOVERNMENT. — Phillip Malcolm, director of the 140-member Seminole County High School marching band, invited to play in Normandy, France, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Source: Fox 35

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#2

need people who can think for themselves and who can ask questions in the right way and deal with things that are complicated. So, our hope is that they'll be well equipped for living in the 21st century.” — Erik Kenyon, Rollins College philosophy professor, about an undergrad program that goes into preschools to teach young children to be big thinkers Source: WKMG News 6

75,000 Record-breaking number of attendees in May at 28th annual Orlando Fringe Festival, a 14-day theater event that is the oldest of its kind in the U.S.


Versatile, stateof-the-art 200mm microelectronics fabrication facility

Nearly 60,000 square feet of total cleanroom/laboratory manufacturing space

Infrastructure and R&D capabilities for semiconductor manufacturing processes and lowvolume production, with space to accommodate a variety of partner-funded activities

Strategically positioned for manufacturing development with industry and university collaboration Learn more at GoBRIDG.com

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, available summer 2019

Entitled for up to 11 million GSF of mixedused spaces

Home to BRIDG, imec, NeoCity Academy, and future companies to come NeoCityFL.com


© 2015 Southwest Airlines Co.

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

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