Page 1



MARCH 2019






HONOREES IDignity Recovers IDs

Housing is Healthcare

Career Path In Tourism

The Benefits of Competition

On March 1st, 2019, we proudly celebrate Central Florida’s outstanding women in business. TM



Thank you to all of the attendees and sponsors of our 2019 Women’s Inspired Leadership Luncheon. SPONSORED BY

Orlando’s Tech Community Converges •••••••••••••••••••••••

Digital Orlando 2019 will explore how technology and innovation will shape our culture, companies, and community.

APRIL 10, 2019 Learn More & Register at

Thursday, April 11, 2019 | 5:00pm - Starke Lake, Ocoee Indulge in a variety of beer, wine and spirits from some of your favorite local restaurants along with scrumptious samples, including your favorite French, Italian, American and BBQ dishes! Best Fest is a street party-style event that is open to the public. Bring your friends and enjoy all the best of West Orange! All for one admission price!

Sponsorship and Vendor Registration Open Now Showcase the BEST aspects of your restaurant or business to well over 1,000 potential customers at Best Fest! To sponsor this event and for vendor registration, please visit or call 407-656-1304 today!


Thank You

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 John Davis, Orlando Regional Chamber Laura Dorsey, African American Chamber of Commerce Stina D'Uva, West Orange Chamber of Commerce Carol Ann Dykes Logue, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program Harry Ellis, Next Horizon Susan Fernandez, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction 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 Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction

This Month's Featured Advisory Board Members Marni Spence Marni Spence is a tax principal at CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Orlando, a wealth advisory, outsourcing, audit, tax and consulting services firm with more than 6,100 people, 120 U.S. locations and a global aff iliat ion. With more than 29 years of tax experience in public accounting, focusing on closely held businesses, Spence leads the firm’s manufacturing and distribution practice in Florida. Spence serves as co-chair of the ATHENAPowerlink board of advisors and is a board member for the National Center for Simulation. She sits on the executive committee of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Elaine Brouca

Elaine Brouca serves as a consul and senior trade commissioner with the Consulate General of Canada office in Miami, which represents Canada’s interests in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She joined the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2004 and has since served abroad in India as vice consul and trade commissioner and in Singapore as consul and trade commissioner. At headquarters in Ottawa, she held a variety of positions, including deputy director in the Office of the Deputy Minister of International Trade, deputy director for Trade Strategy and Analysis and trade commissioner in both the Asia Commercial Relations division and the Overseas Operations division.

Jackie Brito Jac q u el i ne B r it o i s t he a s s i s t a nt dean of admissions at the Crummer Graduate School of Business, home of the No. 1 MBA in Flor ida and the No. 1 MBA for leadership in the United States. She is responsible for recr uit ing candidates f rom diverse r e g i o n s o f t h e w o r l d t o t h e c o l l e g e ’s M B A a n d e x e c u t iv e d o c t o r a t e i n b u s i n e s s administration (EDBA) programs. Her prior experience includes human resources consulting at the Orlando Sentinel, a multimedia communications company; and internal audit and planning for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and the Birmingham International Airport Authority. | MARCH 2019 | 5




Features 18

Spirit of Innovation


Spirit of Advocacy


Spirit of Collaboration


Spirit of Engagement


Spirit of Entrepreneurship


Spirit of Mentorship


Spirit of Progress


Consulate General of Canada Global Business Leader


ATHENA NextGen Emerging Leader

Suneera Madhani Fattmerchant

Shelley Lauten Central Florida Commission on Homelessness

Davia Moss Next Horizon

Catherine Steck McManus Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County

Dena Jalbert Align Business Advisory Services

Pamela Rogan Rogan Marketing and Communications

Avani Desai Schellman & Company

Maria Grulich Florida Association of Realtors

Alyse Quinn Big Vision


Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the Central Florida region



MARCH 2019

Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship



Women’s Inspired Leadership Nominees


Publisher’s Perspective



From the Editor



Time: Friend or Foe? Just Something to Manage Romaine Seguin | UPS International


How to Use Storytelling to Appeal to Your Audience Cherise Czaban | i4 Business


How to Align Culture to Support Your Strategy Ronald Recardo | Catalyst Consulting Group LLC

Business Briefs


Central Florida Commission on Homelessness - Delivering Results Housing is Healthcare


Take 5 with Visit Orlando Loving the Journey



Judi Awsumb | Awsumb Enterprises Inc.

Keeping It Competitive: 4 Benefits of

Terri Friel | Shelter Mortgage





TREP TALK Competition and One Major Threat

Social Entrepreneur

Dalia Cantor, CPA, CVA | CPA Solutions


Trapped in Limbo: IDignity Helps People Recover Proof of Identification

Marni Mullikin | Fattmerchant


Downtime ®


MARCH 2019





Hannah Glogower 2019 WOMEN’S INSPIRED




HONOREES IDignity Recovers IDs

Housing is Healthcare

Career Path In Tourism

8 | MARCH 2019 |

The Benefits of Competition

Local Places to Visit on Your Day Off


Business Seens



CEO | PUBLISHER Cherise Czaban




Donna Duda






Tanya Mutton - Sidekick Creations


Susan Howard, APR


Meaghan Branham, Elyssa Coultas, Cherise Czaban, Jeff Piersall, Ronald Recardo, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin, Eric Wright

The June 2019 edition will focus on the area’s healthcare professionals that are dedicated to the wellbeing of our community. In our June issue, i4 Business® will include a special marketing section spotlighting the achievements and breakthroughs of these dedicated healthcare professionals throughout the Central Florida region.

Photography: Julie Fletcher, Jason Hook, Hannah Glogower

ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban 321.848.3530

tiorinda oCvea n n tral Flo i n O END wn Roots in

a Cabot by Jessic ls used of the too -made majority the is American nist, t realize fully licensed, ed machi ny do no are by one gift What ma al procedures in industry can the der t . to lea t ugh in roo Heath global mber tools bro reneur Derek rida, the orary me growing rep precision ntral Flo instruments is and an hon l Society, has and ent d in Ce patients. ovation nta innovator ow locate innovation for ety for dental ENDOinn tional Honor De rvels for use in tic saf father of n Na ma requires endodon ile increasing Heath, the n Kappa Upsilo se technological ited States from cedures, wh icro the Un iques g red pro Om the hn fea pin globally the to st tec elo of world of ved mo sitive career dev en he first mo ced to the panies people’s with nts, sen s introdu spent his Wh al, one of instrume dental procedure s cedures. Heath wa machines to com spirit A root can have precision plex in 1970, gical file dental pro ial ing to Kingdom It is a com cations. The sur severe less grind repreneur a dentist g pli the United ile selling center Focusing his ent develop dental ned skills. sin ho com cau s ely th, . wh to and fin th but numerou in a too truments dentistry ortunity the too tial for separate dental ins he saw an opp tists t only in the poten procedure can that made ments. t skills, endodon s blems no tal and tru nis ls, the me pro ins in chi too g d of ht me use ducin and ma odontic m e a piece ng the rig ive outco and pro and end ent, fro t can tak lth. By usi inc rease po sit equipm dental damage machines t safety. machinis piece of a l oral hea ure patien trained ntists can aginable as intricate as for overal and ens se and de “A highly almost any im ess of the ething o usn som int ulo to it nd as ton metic turn backgrou tic obile pis h the surgical my om aut lize on an od wit to uti ntified wanted tion of end file. I ide odontists and t genera p the nex skilled end t to help develo en, an nis McSpadd sted . a machi d to John ere ath shared s introduce see, who was int tools,” He Heath nes Heath wa trument. ly 1980’s, n City, Ten In the ear living in Johnso lity for a new ins “McSpadden st the rea roduce endodonti his vision into a way to g ted to int nt that created in turnin dden collabora gaining me d, tru pte ins ado Spa ting-edge gy was quickly and Mc or,” a cut olo Compact als. This techn ry. can the indust fill root ity across lar pu po and dway on e Trea innovati rs Stev of ENDO Owne Father ath, the

g Do Puttin

i4 Business is a participating member of:

COMING June 2019!




Tel: 407.730.2961 | MARCH 2019 | 9

Publisher's Perspective

CELEBRATING EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS AND TEAMWORK “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”” — Vince Lombardi


his month we are recognizing nine incredible leaders. Their commitment, perseverance, determination and passion are truly an inspiration, and there is much we can all learn from these exceptional women. We hope you enjoy reading their stories along with our Women in Business spotlights in this month’s edition.

This is the first year the awards were opened to nominations. Many of our advisory board members rated each of the nominations, and the numbers were so close. It’s only fitting that we included all of the nominees in this month’s issue. It’s an honor to be able to celebrate our honorees this year at our 4th Annual Women’s Inspired Leadership Awards Luncheon. To your success,

CEO and Publisher

Favorite quotes from this issue “When we invest in the careers of those who power tourism, we’re not only doing right by employees, we’re making Orlando an even more appealing destination to live, work and play.” — George Aguel, Page 45

“It helps to plan three days out by writing down day by day what you absolutely must complete. Include what you want to finish and what you want to start.” — Romaine Sequin, Page 46

10 | MARCH 2019 |

P.S. In the spirit of recognition and celebration, I’d like to introduce our team of talented women. We could not do what we do each month without these amazing professionals:

Meaghan Branham is our communications manager. She started an internship with the magazine within days of graduating from the University of Central Florida, and I have had the pleasure of working with her ever since. She is one our writers and also works with our clients and partners in addition to overseeing production and outgoing communications. She is a talented young professional with a strong work ethic.

Elyssa Coultas is our digital brand manager. She joined our team almost a year ago. She is one of our writers and also manages our digital content and social media. She is passionate about giving back to the community. She previously operated her own companies, and her entrepreneurial spirit along with her creativity and collaborative energy bring much to the team.

Donna Duda is our director of encouragement. She was an initial silent investor in i4 Business when the magazine was launched in 2013. She has taken on a more active role with planning, creative direction and proofreading the publication in this past year. She’s currently director of corporate communications and family relations at DUDA and an incredible leader, and we are blessed to have her as a partner. Julie Fletcher is our fabulous photographer. As with many members of our team, we often hear how great she is to work with and everyone loves her photography. She’s been a photographer for 25 years covering everything from breaking news to corporate needs, events, portraits and family moments. We are so fortunate she joined our team just under a year ago.

SUBSCRIBE Visit 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.

DIGITAL EDITION A digital edition of the current edition is available online at

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you are moving or changing the mailing address for your subscription, send your complete old address (where the magazine is currently being mailed) and your complete new address, including ZIP code, to

BACK ISSUES Susan Howard, APR, is our copy editor. She is a key part of our editorial team and ensures our articles are concise, consistent and grammatically correct — a very important role in the publication industry. She takes pride in our publication and is passionate about sharing our magazine with more people in the business community.

Tanya Mutton is our talented art director. I have had the pleasure of working with her for close to three years now, and I was very excited when she expressed an interest in working with us as we were forming our new team. She brings our stories in the magazine to life with her remarkable design capabilities. Her loyalty, initiative and talent are such an asset to the team.

Diane Sears is our editor-in-chief. She is co-chair and co-founder of Go for the Greens, a local nonprofit, and also serves on the board of ATHENAPowerLink, which is where we met four years ago. As a talented journalist and experienced editor, she was the first person I thought of when we looked into purchasing this business. She has truly brought something special to our publication.

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

REPRINTS Reprints and commemorative plaques may be ordered from Meaghan Branham with i4 Business, 321-7598977. No other companies offering similar products or services are affiliated with i4 Business.

CONTRIBUTE Send press releases, article submissions, announcements and images to Please provide 2-3 months advance notice for requests for event announcements and/or coverage. i4 Business® is published monthly by i4 Business, LLC, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Tel. 407-730-2961 | The contents of i4 Business magazine, and any other media extensions related to the brand, including advertisements, articles, graphics, websites, web postings and all other information (“contents”) published, are for informational purposes only. i4 Business® and all other affiliated brands do not necessarily endorse, verify, or agree with the contents contained in i4 Business. i4 Business makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any information contained or referenced. i4 Business shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions. © 2019. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. | MARCH 2019 | 11

Communication and delivery 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

to see where we are today

Connect With Us


to join us in daily experiences


for breaking news on us and our partners


for our background and latest articles

From the Editor

Strong Women Leaders Can Inspire All of Us


spend a lot of time in the company of powerful women. As a small business advocate, an entrepreneur, a journalist and the leader of a nonprofit, I attend so many conferences and events every year that I have an enormous collection of name badges hanging in my office, which makes my friends laugh. So the women we’ve profiled in this month’s issue featuring our i4 Business Women’s Inspired Leadership Awards are especially inspiring to me. Reading the nominations we received for our nine honorees and 42 other women was invigorating. They are all making a difference in our community and in their circles of influence. They also represent where we’re headed on a global scale. That’s because as a society, we haven’t yet achieved gender parity, but women and men around the world are working toward that goal. It’s important to showcase those who are helping us get there. A 2018 study by think tank the Pew Research Center shows 59 percent of respondents believe there aren’t enough women in top executive business positions and high political offices — including 48 percent of men and more than 69 percent of women. The 2018 Fortune 500 list included only 24 women CEOs — a number that had actually decreased from a record-breaking 32 in 2017. The 116th U.S. Congress represents the largest jump in women members since the 1990s, although the 106 of 441 members make up only 24 percent of the total. What’s preventing women from reaching that level playing field? Some say we could be holding ourselves back. A recent Forbes article outlined the 15 biggest challenges women leaders face and what we have to do better to overcome them. Some of those challenges have to do with how we think: being confident, dealing with negative

thoughts, tackling imposter syndrome and trusting our own voice. Some have to do with how we act: speaking up, standing in our success and overcoming perfectionism. Others have to do with how we interact with people: building a sisterhood, building alliances with decision-makers, generating revenue, asking for money and shifting our word choice. And others have to do with how we adapt to external forces: being treated equally, becoming a member of the C-suite and re-entering the paid workforce after caring for children or aging parents. Several of my friends like to quote the theory that women read the qualifications for a job — or public office or a volunteer position — and if they are missing two or three out of 10, they figure they’re not qualified and they don’t bother to apply. Men have a different mindset. If they have two or three of the qualifications, they figure they can learn the rest as they go, and they put their hats in the ring. Women can learn a lot from our male counterparts. I know I do every day. I can’t thank my male friends and mentors enough for their perspective and their support. It’s fun and always enlightening to discover how our differences combine to create something stronger. For now, I will continue to champion women I believe are ready for equal pay, C-suite positions and elected office. I will continue to do what I can to make a difference in my own sphere of influence. And I will continue to spend time in the company of powerful women — and powerful men. Eventually we will all get there together. Have a great month!

Editor-in-Chief | MARCH 2019 | 13

Business Briefs

Army Simulation and Training Group Moves to Research Park

Lighthouse Appoints New President and CEO

UCF President Dale Whittaker, U.S. Army Lieutenant General James Richardson, U.S. Army Major General Maria Gervais and National Center for Simulation COO George Cheros cut the ribbon at the Partnership IV building. The U.S. Army is moving a state-of-the-art training program for soldiers to Central Florida Research Park, nationally known as a hub for research and development in simulation and training. The Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Team (STE-CFT) will share space in a building owned by the University of Central Florida (UCF). The program is spearheading the Army’s efforts to modernize training using stateof-the-art technology to bring together virtual and real-world environments that will better prepare and protect soldiers. It’s relocating its lab, operations and 35 technical and administrative employees from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The move will allow the STE-CFT to operate alongside the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation,

Training and Instrumentation (PEO-STRI) as well as researchers from UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training. “The longstanding partnership between UCF and the U.S. military grew stronger today,” said UCF President Dale Whittaker. “Together, this research will contribute to our nation’s welfare and the safety and success of the men and women who defend our country.” The announcement was celebrated in late January at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 28 at the Partnership IV building, part of the John C. Hitt Partnership Complex of four buildings UCF owns in Research Park. Guest speakers included Whittaker, Army Lieutenant General James Richardson, and Chief Operating Officer George Cheros of the National Center for Simulation.

Ky l e Jo h n s o n h a s b e e n named president and CEO of Lighthouse Central Florida, a nonprofit that provides visionsp e cif ic rehabilitat ion for residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties who live with blindness or vision loss. He will also oversee Lighthouse Works, a revenue-generating subsidiar y comp any that forwards Lighthouse’s mission. Johnson started volunteering with the organization in 2012 and became it s director of resource development and communications in 2013. He steps into the shoes of Lee Nasehi, who had held the post since 2000. She is the new president and CEO of VisionServe Alliance, a national consortium of nonprofits that provide vision rehabilitation services.

SeaWorld Names New CEO, COO and Board Chair Gustavo “Gus” Antorcha has been named CEO of Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment and a member of the board of directors, and interim CEO John T. Reilly has been appointed COO. Antorcha replaces Joel Manby, who stepped down in 2018 after three years at the helm of the theme park company.

Carnival, he was a partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, where he specialized in the travel and leisure industries.

Antorcha previously served as COO at Carnival Cruise Lines, where he worked for more than eight years. Prior to joining

“We are thrilled to welcome Gus to the SeaWorld team,” Maruyama said. “Gus is a proven leader with broad experiences

Business 14 | MARCH 2019 |

The company has also named Yoshikazu Maruyama the chair of its board of directors. He previously served as interim executive chairman.


in the travel and leisure industries. His unique combination of strategy, operations and leadership skills make him the right person to lead SeaWorld through its next phase of growth. Gus helped deliver strong financial results and improved guest satisfaction at Carnival by leading efforts to optimize pricing, improve onboard marketing and communications, introduce new guest experiences and drive capital and cost efficiencies — all core to SeaWorld’s current strategy.”


Business Briefs

Local Business to Feature First Dog Park with a Bar Boozehounds Dog Bar, which will be Central Florida’s first dog park with a bar, is scheduled to open midyear on South Orange Avenue in the Edgewood Central District of Orlando. Similar to spaces in Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver, the business will provide an off-leash dog park on one-third of an acre with agility equipment, a water splash pad and seating in the shade and the sun. It will have a 2,000-square-foot bar area constructed of converted shipping containers, with large-screen TVs, local craft beers and a rooftop area for private events. The business is the concept of co-owners Lainie Pekich and Paul Jaszczenski, who are Florida natives and University of Central Florida graduates.

Mayor Buddy Dyer Receives ULI Trendsetter Award ULI Central Florida, a nonprofit that promotes responsible land use and creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide, presented Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer with its 2019 Trendsetter Award. The honor re co g nizes projects, initiatives and individuals for demonstrating forward-thinking ideas and practices. The presentat ion took place at the D r. Phillips Per for ming Arts Center in February during ULI Central Florida’s Real Estate Trends Conference. The annual

event provides an outlook on real estate investment and development trends, real estate f inance and capital markets, property sectors, and other real estate issues relevant to Central Florida. “I am humbled to be named the recipient of the 2019 ULI Central Florida Trendsetter Award,” Dyer said. “I accept this award on behalf of our public- and private-sector partners and our residents who have dedicated themselves to ensuring our city is growing smarter, investing in infrastructure and further diversifying

our economy so that Orlando continues to thrive while providing our residents with an unmatched quality of life.”

Becky Wilson, chair of the Urban Land Institute of Central Florida District Council, presents Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer with the 2019 Trendsetter Award.

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



Inspiration | MARCH 2019 | 15

Business Briefs

CenterState Bank’s Andrew Hebert Named Chair of the Board for Quest

Andrew Hebert

CenterState Bank is excited to announce Senior Vice President Andrew Hebert, the Orlando Commercial Group team leader, has been elected chairman of the Quest Inc. Board of Directors. Quest is a not-for-profit organization with primary operations and programs support in Orlando. The organization serves children and adults with developmental disabilities throughout Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area. A veteran banker in Central Florida with more than 19 years of experience, Hebert is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking. “I’m proud to work for an institution with strong core values like CenterState Bank, which supports and promotes its employees to give back to the community we serve. I’m looking forward to my new role with the Quest organization.”

Through quality and innovation, Quest builds communities where people with disabilities achieve their goals. The organization provides opportunities and choices for individuals with disabilities to thrive. As Central Florida’s premier service provider, Quest makes a difference in the lives of more than 1,000 individuals every day. CenterState Bank is a Florida-based community bank and one of Florida’s largest publicly traded banks providing online banking, commercial lending, residential mortgages and investment services. CenterState has a history of quality service and community focus. The bank’s core values focus on themes of sustainability, a longterm horizon and the career development of team members. CenterState believes local ownership and local management translate into a better bank.

Dean Mead Law Firm Expands Government Relations Practice Dean Mead has welcomed Marc W. Dunbar, Christopher Moya and Jennifer P. Ungru into its statewide government relations and lobbying practice. Hailing from the Tallahassee office of national law firm Jones Walker LLP, the three political insiders bring three additional team members: Daniel Russell, Will D. Hall and Angela Bonds. The strategic alliance between the two firms bolsters Dean Mead’s footprint, making it one of the largest groups of legislative and executive branch lobbyists in Florida. “Marc, Chris and Jenn will blend their keen insight and political prowess with the exceptional talent of our firm’s lobbying and advocacy team led by Marc’s dad, Pete Dunbar,” said Dean Mead President Marc Chapman.

Finance 16 | MARCH 2019 |

Christopher Moya

Jennifer Ungru

In just five years, Dean Mead has grown its Tallahassee office to 14 attorneys and three government relations professionals. The expanded team collectively represents regional and national companies in a variety of industries including insurance; healthcare; agribusiness; hospitality; education; regulated industries such as gambling, alcohol and cannabis; t e l e c o m mu n i c a t i o n s ; e n e r g y ; and utilities. “Combining our resources greatly benef its both f irms,” Chapman said. “With the addition of these


Marc Dunbar

p r o f e s s i o n a l s t o D e a n M e ad’s roster, we begin a strategic alliance with Jones Walker that effectively leverages the talents of each firm and creates several unique partnership opportunities to meet the growing needs of the clients we serve.” Dean Mead is a business law f irm providing full-service legal representation, government relations and lobbying throughout Florida. The f irm has six off ices with 62 attorneys and three government relations professionals in multiple practice areas.


Meet Your New Business Partner “Whether you are new to the Orlando region or an established business professional in the community, the Orlando Regional Chamber is your strategic partner for success.” John Davis, Executive Vice President, Orlando Regional Chamber

Learn how we’re connecting our members to success! Call 407.425.1234 or visit The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is a public-private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization. The Partnership represents seven counties in Central Florida, including the City of Orlando, and hundreds of the region’s top private businesses. For more information, visit




Suneera Madhani Founder and CEO Fattmerchant


nyone who hasn’t heard of Suneera Madhani might just be living under a rock. The CEO of Orlandobased Fattmerchant has been featured everywhere from Fast Company, Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines to Huffington Post, National Public Radio and even a sign on the side of a taxicab. Fattmerchant has so shaken up the merchant payment processing space that Madhani has spent much of the past four years sharing secrets of success that have taken the company from two employees to 100. It all started with an idea. Madhani was working for a Fortune 100 consumer goods company when she thought of a way to help small and midsize merchants save on credit card processing fees. By charging a flat monthly subscription price, instead of a percentage per transaction, a company could capitalize on volume sales rather than “nickel-and-dime” the merchants, she said. In 2015, the University of Florida graduate launched Fattmerchant with her brother, Sal Rehmetullah, who now serves as president. The company name is an acronym that represents what it offers merchants: fast and affordable transaction technology. The company has been adding to its offerings, including a first-of-its-kind integrated payment platform called Omni that allows business owners to manage their payments through processing and data analytics. “The biggest thing missing from most payment platforms was simplicity, which is what our technology offers,” Madhani said. “Omni provides business owners the simplicity of having all of their most vital business solutions in one place, coupled with the power and reliability of Fattmerchant’s processing tools. … We are

18 | MARCH 2019 |

By Diane Sears

providing merchants with a unified payment experience unlike anything else on the market.” Fattmerchant has processed more than $2 billion in payments. In the meantime, the company has raised nearly $20 million through three consecutive rounds of funding. Madhani is handling it all with her usual enthusiasm. “It’s been fun to experience the challenge of growing as a leader, particularly in terms of the journey from startup to small business,” she said. “My role has changed significantly since the first day we opened. … The most difficult challenge is learning to balance. I’ve had to balance vision with budget, protocol with creativity, growth with scaling. I have learned, alongside my team, that balance is everything when building your business. I’ve handled it through mentorships, networking, and never being afraid to ask for help when I need it.” She is also balancing her personal life. Madhani gave birth to her second child in January. She shared her experience of being a mom and the leader of a fast-growth business in a column in Entrepreneur in September 2018: “Many days juggling life, investors, team members, board, shareholders and your screaming 2-year-old (with another on the way) can seem daunting — but it’s not impossible.” Madhani talks about how she manages her busy life: “I have every day scheduled in advance, allowing me to be as efficient as possible without making major sacrifices. Even if it seems like something that would be counterintuitive to schedule, add it to your calendar regardless. My schedule includes everything from getting ready for work to designated times for me to spend time with my husband and daughters.”



The company’s modern, open-space office in downtown Orlando and the orange piggy bank in its logo reflect a playful spirit that has given the company a reputation for approachability as well as collaboration. “I love walking into the doors of Fattmerchant and enjoying the culture we’ve built,” Madhani said. “Getting to roam the office and seeing meetings happen that you have absolutely no clue what is being discussed gives a sense of pride and enjoyment to me. “We work hard to make sure we have a healthy culture that makes coming to work an enjoyable experience. I know it’s cheesy to say that we love coming to work and it’s like our family, but it really is. Everyone here trusts each other to get the work done and to hold each other accountable, and it’s a really collaborative environment.” Madhani guides her team to focus on making a difference not only in their industry but also in the realm of small business. “In the early stages of founding Fattmerchant, we got on any and all stages we could to get our story out there,” she wrote in the Entrepreneur article. “Every pitch competition, networking event or meetup I could find, we were there. I credit a lot of our early success to simply being visible and showing up.” P



By Diane Sears




Shelley Lauten CEO Central Florida Commission on Homelessness


f Shelley Lauten were to write the Great American Novel she had envisioned herself authoring when she was a child, the protagonist might be a self-professed book nerd who grew up to get a job at the Happiest Place on Earth and later work with people shaping the future of the City Beautiful. But instead of fiction, it would be an autobiography.

But the human cost of the region’s success has not been fully addressed, she said. “How can we be a prosperous region when 46 percent of us don’t have $400 in cash or credit to get out of a catastrophe? In the blink of an eye, they could be homeless even for a short period of time. There’s something not working in our community if we have that large a population barely hanging on.”

Lauten has long been known for rallying community leaders around causes that improve the quality of life in Central Florida — from her early days as a business seminar leader at Walt Disney World to her work over the years sparking conversations at the helm of Leadership Orlando,, the Urban Land Institute and triSect, a consultancy she formed with former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood. Today she’s taking on one of the most challenging issues yet: homelessness.

Lauten became the commission’s CEO in 2016 and has advocated a comprehensive, coordinated system of care. She has approached the issue the same way she’s tackled other causes: by engaging leaders to create long-term solutions. She did this for 13 years as the president of, a business unit of what has merged under the umbrella of the Orlando Economic Partnership. Under her leadership, the organization created a strategic framework for the region’s seven counties and 86 cities to work together on issues such as quality of life, transportation and water use.

In fact, it was her work as a consultant for the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness in 2014 where she learned how the practice of serving those who were homeless had become siloed. More than 100 organizations in the region were helping people who lived on the streets, doubled up on the sofas of friends and family members, slept in their cars or permanently lived in low-budget motels. But the organizations weren’t coordinating with each other. That meant people were falling through the cracks, and there was an unintended competition for funding. “I’ve been a community advocate for 30 years, always seeking ways to make Orlando and Central Florida a better place to live,” Lauten said. “I tended to focus on the ‘simple’ things, like how we more effectively grow our economy and build our transportation systems.” 20 | MARCH 2019 |

In a pilot program that began in 2015, the commission advocated for a new initiative called Housing First, which was seeing positive results in communities around the United States. The approach focuses on stabilizing a person’s living conditions before addressing issues such as healthcare and employment. So far, the region’s organizations have housed nearly 400 of the most chronically homeless — people who had been on the streets for an average of eight years — and 96 percent have stayed in their homes. “We’ve made progress on creating that coordinated system of care for people who are on the streets chronically homeless, but we’ve only made a dent in it,” Lauten said. “I’m really proud of starting that process, but

Shelley LAUTEN

it’s very fragile and it’s in its infancy. We now have to scale what we’ve learned from our initial pilot into a system that’s regionwide.” Today, Lauten is turning more of her advocacy work toward one of the root causes of homelessness: a lack of housing that meets the needs of the working population. The average two-bedroom rental property in Central Florida costs $1,200 to $1,400 a month — a financial stretch for many. “It takes $21 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Central Florida,” Lauten said. “Even if you have two people in a household making $10 an hour, which is above minimum wage, they can’t afford the average two-bedroom apartment. We have to get government and the for-profit developers thinking of new and different ways to provide housing for all income levels.” She has no doubt the region will continue to improve its approach to homelessness: “I'm so proud of our progress. Nobody’s better at problem solving and innovating than Central Florida leaders. When we put our minds to something — whether it’s a beautiful venue, an Interstate 4 that is going to be state-of-the-art someday, or now a social issue like homelessness — we can and will figure out how to get things done for the better.” P






Davia Moss Vice President of Operations and Client Services Next Horizon


n just six years as executive director of The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Davia Moss facilitated the growth of annual revenue from $1 million to $7.5 million. In that same time, she oversaw a 320 percent increase in private support for students and teachers, facilitating an increase in contributions from $1.4 million to $4.6 million.

Her approach to each goal she tackles is undeniable, and she gladly shares her secret to success: “I am a firm believer that great accomplishments can only be attained by leveraging the strengths of a team — better than any new development created by an individual,” Moss said. “I feel that the strength of a community lies in the strength of its individuals.”

When she joined Sanford-based information technology company Next Horizon as vice president of operations and client services in 2017, President and Founder Harry Ellis knew he was partnering with the right person. He was looking for someone who could make a difference not only inside the company, but in the way the organization interacted with the community. He needed a master of collaboration.

In Next Horizon, she found a company and a team that echoed this spirit of teamwork — both inside and outside of the office. Moss, a seasoned marketing professional in her own right, found herself facing a new set of goals: to dive into the world of digital marketing, IT and application development services in ways that challenged her, but with people who inspired her.

“I knew I needed a leader with the unique ability to work across business functions to transform business friction into energy, all directed toward the company’s continued growth,” Ellis said. True to form, Moss began to develop protocols and procedures designed to assist the company’s marketing and business development programs in realizing the 100 percent growth target projected for Next Horizon. In order to lead her new team as best she could, she took on the task of expanding her digital and technical expertise so she would have the same type of technical knowledge as her team. “I had to be more focused on digital marketing technology that I had outsourced in the past. It takes a deep technical understanding of the latest technology, emerging platforms and current best practices,” she said. In the first 90 days, she earned her Google certificate in digital marketing and Scrum project management certification. 22 | MARCH 2019 |

“I have learned and continue to learn a lot from the experts on staff, who all have a deep understanding in their particular subject areas,” Moss said of her coworkers. Outside of the office, the team finds opportunities to collaborate with the community. “All employees at Next Horizon are encouraged to participate in charitable giving,” Moss said. “The company culture is focused on giving back to the community, and employees have the option to take a paid day off to volunteer.” Moss brings her strengths in organization, marketing and team building to each of these efforts. One of her latest projects is her work as a member of the Seminole Action Board, a 28-member task force in Seminole County that was created in 2016 to lead government and business partnerships to address homelessness locally. The task force, aligned with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, is charged with serving as a catalyst to uplift the most fragile members of the community: families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Davia MOSS

“Her commitment to the community has been expressed in a variety of involvements in Seminole, and that has made her an invaluable contributor to our strategic action approach,” said Philip Mangano, president and CEO of the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness. Giving to the community and working with others in reciprocal partnerships has always been at the heart of Moss’s philosophy, both professionally and personally. She serves on the alumni board for her alma mater, the University of Central Florida. Moss also holds the position of public relations director on the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Lake Mary, and she’s especially proud of the organization’s work — as well as its philosophy of “service above self,” which mirrors her own. “Our local club members are part of a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem solvers who see a world where people unite,” Moss said. Through her willingness to learn, compassion for her community, and excitement for the future, Moss helps those same neighbors, friends and leaders come together every day. “I personally aspire to the values of service above self … he who serves best profits most,” Moss said. “I truly feel blessed and fulfilled to be a contributing member of my hometown and region.” P



By Elyssa Coultas




Catherine Steck McManus President and CEO Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County


he wind and sunshine waltzed around Catherine Steck McManus as she drove home with the car windows rolled down, sunroof open and music blaring. As she left her final interview with the board of Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County, she could not help but sing along with the song “All My Life” by the Foo Fighters. With deep roots in nonprofit work and leadership development, previously working with WMFE, PBS and NPR as the senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer and at Camp Boggy Creek as the chief development officer, McManus was never one to shy away from a new challenge. In fact, she often sought out problems to solve and goals to conquer. When she learned about the open CEO position at Habitat for Humanity, she decided to apply. As she sat at her desk and wrote a stack of “Thank You” notes after the interview with the board search committee, she received a call from the headhunter. “He told me the board was so impressed with my interview and were offering me the position,” said McManus, still clearly moved by the sentiment. “I got goosebumps and I laughed this strange laugh that I had never heard before. I was elated.” McManus recently celebrated her fourth year as president and CEO. “I think I fell in love with the board and the mission during the interview process, and I’ve stayed in love over the past four years.” Today, that passion resonates throughout Central Florida. Under McManus’ leadership, the organization’s board, employees, donors and volunteers have built and 24 | MARCH 2019 |

repaired hundreds of homes and communities, touching thousands of lives. McManus has expanded the geographic service area to include Osceola County. She has also continued the Builders Blitz, which unites communities by assembling professional homebuilders, project managers, volunteers and members of the Habitat program to build safe and affordable housing for those in need. “It takes a village to do pretty much anything,” she said. “It takes a village to make Habitat successful and allow us to make an impact in the affordable housing spectrum.” The organization is part of a global nonprofit that works throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 other countries to build or renovate affordable homes for adults and families in need. Engagement and community contribution are built into the DNA of Habitat for Humanity. “Each benefactor of the program has 200 to 400 hours of sweat equity that they have to do before we will start building their homes, which means they’re empowered and involved in the process,” McManus said. “Engagement with our homeowners helps us and helps them become better community citizens.” With an average of 5,000 volunteers and donors who contribute their efforts to the local Habitat group’s mission every year, McManus notes the need for continued interaction and community support. “Financial support is key, but it’s also with creative connections, it’s with time and talent. That’s why engagement is so important. There’s no hierarchy. There’s no one we as an organization want to exclude. We need everyone. It’s about adding more people to our village.”

Catherine STECK


McManus recalls being a young girl and wanting to be a leader. She would often play with her father’s office supplies and pretend she was the CEO of an organization. “I still have that heavy metal stapler I used to play with sitting on my desk at home,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to be a leader, purely because I wanted to make a positive impact in people’s lives.” She learned lessons in leadership through watching her father lead and manage his employees. She learned leadership from her mother who actively raised her and her brother while teaching them to persevere. “I’ve seen aspects of leadership in everyone, because everyone is a leader in one way or another,” McManus said. “It’s not about position or authority or responsibility. It’s about whether or not you are doing the best you can to make the world better in your own way. It’s not just handling projects or managing people; it’s being a person who can make an impact. “Winning this award, to me, means that the hard work of our homeowners and my amazing colleagues are making a significant impact in our community. I’m not winning the Spirit of Engagement award alone. I just happen to be the face of an amazing organization.” P







Dena Jalbert Owner and CEO Align Business Advisory Services


ena Jalbert knows entrepreneurs tend to suffer from “shiny light syndrome,” turning to the next big project that catches their eye. Sometimes they say yes too quickly to a contract that might not be right for them at that point in time. It happened to her, and it changed her outlook as a business owner.

One of the biggest lessons Jalbert had to learn was how and when to turn down business. Early on, her company took on a contract it shouldn’t have. “We had a client we didn’t have the bandwidth to service the way we should,” Jalbert said. “It was tough owning up to that. We had spread ourselves too thin.”

As the CEO of Align Business Advisory Services in Winter Park, which she purchased in 2017, Jalbert leads a team that advises small and midsize businesses through the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape. She had to adjust to the volatility of running a business instead of earning a steady paycheck as a longtime finance professional.

The client spoke up and said her company wasn’t ready to handle his case yet. “I’m so thankful to him for seeing it in a positive way and serving as a touchstone for us,” Jalbert said. “Most clients wouldn’t be so forgiving. I think he saw in us a bit of what he once was, so he had some empathy there, which I also like to model.”

“It’s very much peaks and valleys,” she said. “When you read all the business books, the gurus say it takes a certain fortitude to plow through that, and they’re right. I didn’t know what it meant until I was a business owner. To keep an emotional cool through all of those peaks and valleys can be difficult.”

Jalbert has been building her company to be the kind of place where she’s always wanted to work. She tells the story about a former supervisor who scolded salaried professionals if they arrived at the office even one minute later than their start time. “I remember that made me feel so small, and it was so demotivating,” she said. “I vowed that if I ever had a business, I would never do that to someone.”

Jalbert’s persistence has been paying off. Align’s revenues increased 250 percent in 2018. Her employee roster has grown, too, with 11 associates strategically located in not only Central Florida but also Denver, Tempe, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and soon Austin, Atlanta and Boston. “I’m really starting to see the value we create in the M&A marketplace,” she said. “In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a huge shift where investors are now reaching out to us proactively because they know the value we bring to them.” 26 | MARCH 2019 |

She has structured Align around the philosophy that people work to live, instead of vice versa. She tells her employees her job is to make their jobs easier. That means providing them tools and technology, registering them for educational events, or joining them on a phone call to help close a deal. The company allows people to work remotely when they choose to, and it doesn’t limit personal time off. “If you’re sick, you’re sick,” Jalbert said. “You shouldn’t be worried about, ‘Do I have the time left



to take off sick?’ Absolutely you do. Go get better. … That’s the empathy in me. I have small kids, and I know that feeling of dread when the phone rings at 2 in the afternoon, and it’s the school calling to say, ‘Your kid is sick, come get him.’” The company also offers 12 weeks of paid family leave for both women and men after they become parents. “If you don’t support people in life,” she said, “why are they going to support you in business?” Jalbert subscribes to the theory that anyone can have it all — but maybe not at one time. “I can’t hold investor meetings and volunteer for school lunch and sit on a board and do all those things in one day — and go to the gym and eat a fresh, healthy, organic lunch I packed for myself. I always say, ‘Here’s your list. Pick three for today.’”


She credits her husband, who is in telecom sales, with being her biggest supporter. “He’s my true partner,” Jalbert said. “He keeps me cool. When the opportunity presented itself for me to buy the business, he was the first one to say, ‘Do it. Don’t even think about it. You absolutely can do this.’”P | MARCH 2019 | 27


By Elyssa Coultas




Pamela Rogan President and CEO Rogan Marketing and Communications


pproaching an empty stage and a live microphone, Pamela Rogan looked out upon a vast audience. Business leaders, government officials, community volunteers and others gaped in wonder as she started rapping, laying down licks so slick it’d make any rapper pick tricks from her spit. The scene said it all about Rogan’s philosophy in life and in business: Accomplish goals while having fun. “I’ve been asked to do quick raps at all kinds of business events. It’s a unique way to break the ice,” said Rogan, also known by her rap name, P-Roe. “I think fun has really set me apart in a lot of the things I’ve done, and it has drawn attention because we get more engaged clients, committee members and board members.” Rogan got her start in marketing at the beginning of the digital marketing revolution. She ran her own marketing studio in New York, servicing a small selection of high-profile clients. “It was before social media, back when we had AOL,” she said. “Remember those screeching sounds?” Endlessly looking for new opportunities to adapt and improve, Rogan purchased a small advertising agency that enabled her business to provide full-service design capabilities. But she wanted more. Rogan sold her business and moved to Atlanta with her husband, Chris Rogan. She briefly worked as the vice president of marketing for Flex HR Inc., but she wasn’t fulfilled. “I missed having my own business,” she said, “so I talked to the CEO about outsourcing their marketing department because it made more fiscal sense. They agreed.” Today, she serves as president and CEO of Rogan Marketing and Communications, a digital marketing, design and business consulting firm. She’s proud that her firm has been a pioneer of the modern digital marketing model.

28 | MARCH 2019 |

As a young girl, Rogan lived in a neighborhood that, like many others, had a paperboy. She approached the local newspaper, asking for her own route. “They wouldn’t hire me. They said the job was too tough for a girl.” Defiantly inspired, she rode her bike alongside the paperboy for days, carrying jugs of water strapped to her bike to simulate the extra weight of the newspapers. She walked into City Hall carrying photos of herself on the makeshift paper route. “I said, ‘Look. I can do this.’” Rogan became the first papergirl in Waterloo, Iowa. Since then, she has been exploring entrepreneurial endeavors and sharing her experiences with friends, clients and mentees. In 2010, a promotion for Rogan’s husband brought the couple to Orlando. Rogan was able to maintain the relationships with her digital clients across state lines, but she knew the importance of getting involved with her new community. “I started out at the National Entrepreneur Center and got involved with NAWBO,” she said, referring to the National Association of Women Business Owners. “I became the president of NAWBO for four years, and in that time, started working with ATHENAPowerLink.” She now serves in leadership positions with several organizations, including: ATHENAPowerLink Orlando and the Go for the Greens Foundation, which help mentor women business owners; the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, which represents Central Florida’s Hispanic community; and the Florida Abolitionist, which fights to end human trafficking. Through networking, building her business and leaving lasting impressions, Rogan has become sought after in

Pamela ROGAN

Central Florida by people, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations focused on mentorship. “Rollins College approached me and asked if I would like to be involved with their mentorship program,” she said. “I was connected with a young woman who’s attending school full time while starting her own franchise. I’m also mentoring a number of other entrepreneurs, because I was once there. Mentorship makes a difference.” And mentorship works two ways, she said. One of her clients, who is now operating her own successful business in California, has maintained a mutually beneficial friendship with Rogan. “What’s cool,” Rogan said, “is that after so many years, she’s turned around and now helps mentor me.” Rogan encourages everyone she meets to get involved and get connected with their community and clients, because cultivating long-term, real relationships can make all the difference. “It's not about going to events and getting as many business cards as you can get,” she said. “It’s about building connections so you actually have a relationship. It’s not about the quantity, it’s the quality of your relationships that matters.”P





Avani Desai President Schellman & Company LLC


n just two years’ time, the deficit of jobs in the cybersecurity industry is projected to hit 2 million. Despite the promising uptick in programs aimed at engaging young women to tackle technology, the projected demographics for those jobs is a shocking one: Only 6 percent of these positions are set to be filled by women. Avani Desai recites these statistics with defiance because she has not resigned herself to them. Desai has good reason to be hopeful about the future. When she was announced as president of Schellman & Company in May 2018, it marked not only her own personal and professional achievement, but the shattering of a glass ceiling. Desai is now the only minority leader of a top 100 CPA firm, as well as one of the only female presidents in her profession. “What’s even more exciting,” she said, “is that young women, and young minority women, hopefully can look up and say, ‘This is something I can do.’” The former University of Florida computer science major has always had a passion for the constantly evolving field of technology but never considered its role in the world of finance and accounting until a career fair in 2002. KPMG Information Risk Management group was looking for candidates familiar with the latest advances in technology to help the firm’s financial auditors. A lot changed in her life in the decade she spent working with KPMG. She married, then gave birth to her first son, and something didn’t feel right. “I realized I was traveling five days a week and trying to do it all,” she said. Desai decided to leave KPMG, but in her last few days at the firm she received an unexpected phone call from Chris

30 | MARCH 2019 |

By Meaghan Branham

Schellman, founder of Schellman & Company in Tampa. He had heard Desai was “on the market,” and he asked her to meet with him and discuss a position as chief marketing officer — someone who could tell the firm’s story with a thorough understanding of the technical perspective. “I was like, ‘No way, it’s not happening. I’ve made my mind up. I'm going to spend some time with my family, I’m going to take my son to swim lessons, I’m going to have brunch with my girlfriends — I’m very excited about it,’” Desai laughed. Ultimately, curiosity got the best of her and she met Schellman to hear him out. “He told me about his strategic vision, and about where he wanted to take the company next,” she said. “It was just so exciting that I couldn’t pass it up and I knew I wanted to be part of this unique organization that was setting the pace of compliance.” She started 12 weeks later, after spending the summer with her family. Two years later, she became executive vice president. Last year she was named president. The path that led her to where she is today wasn’t always easy, but it was formative for Desai. “It shaped the values I wanted as a working mom,” she said. “Now I can really understand and empathize that careers aren’t always a straight line from A to B.” Her approach to her own progress has served as a mirror image of her approach to progress on a broader scale. While she is passionate about the dynamic technology that’s moving her profession and others forward, she feels the true spirit of progress can only be found in qualities that are uniquely human.



“People have something technology doesn’t: passion and creativity and the desire to learn,” she said. “Humans possess unique traits of creativity, emotion and inspiration that are boundless and don’t require rules or structure — that’s why we can write persuasive arguments, diagnose a new disease, provide personal and empathetic customer service or dream up an invention. I hope I can pass on that thinking to the next generation.” Desai has made it her philanthropic mission to help the community solve source problems, from getting more women into technology to increasing literacy in third-graders. She serves on the boards of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the Central Florida Foundation, the Orlando Technology Association and The Women’s Collective Giving Network (now called Catalist), and as co-chair of Central Florida’s 100 Women Strong. She encourages people to keep moving forward. “You can tinker and you can break and you can fail,” she said, “and when you fail, know that humans have kickstarted and dreamed up every new milestone society has marked. So we can’t stop dreaming. We must push past the norm because progress doesn’t stop. Change is constant, and we must work hard to push ourselves and our ideas forward.” P








Maria Grulich Director of Global Business Florida Association of Realtors

ost people would never guess Maria Grulich is an introvert. She’s seen as a “connector” who exudes enthusiasm, positivity and a desire to meet new people and learn what makes them tick.

She has long been known in Florida’s economic development circles because of her previous positions with Osceola and Brevard counties, where she oversaw efforts to forge partnerships and bring businesses into the region. Today, as the director of global business for the Florida Association of Realtors since October 2017, she gets to do the same thing: apply her creativity to build relationships that ultimately lead to more economic prosperity in Florida. This time, she’s just working with a different audience, connecting the association’s 187,000 real estate professionals with their peers in other parts of the world through tradeshows, trade missions, educational events and personal connections. “It’s such a fit,” she said. “The similarities between this position and economic development are that neither one has something you can hold in your hand and say, ‘I sell this.’ You are really building relationships. I build relationships so our members have connections in other countries like Canada.” It was this mission that led her to Susan Harper, the consul general of Canada in Miami, whose office serves Canadian interests in Florida and the Caribbean. Canadians are the top foreign purchasers of residential real estate in Florida, holding an estimated $50 billion in properties, according to the consul general’s office. That means Canadians are contributing almost $600 million annually in Florida property taxes. “We need a relationship on both sides of the border,” Grulich said. “The Canadians need to connect with our members, and our members need to connect with the Canadians — for referrals, for learning, for opportunities.” Grulich’s career is quite different from what she thought she might become when she was a young girl working day and night

32 | MARCH 2019 |

to become a ballerina, taking lessons for the first 18 years of her life with a singular focus. She also thought she might become a flight attendant. “I took French in middle school because I thought I needed a third language like French to travel, and I wanted to travel,” she said. Born in Cuba, with Spanish as her first language, Grulich learned to speak English the hard way as a child, through immersion into English-speaking classrooms. Today, she likes to say there is one universal language in the world: the smile. With a willingness to learn and a friendly outlook, people can go anywhere they choose. “I love, love, learning,” she said. “I love connecting with people, and I also love learning about their cultures and sharing that knowledge with others. A lot of people think you have to know every single thing about another country or language when you go to a place like Japan, and you don’t. You’d be surprised at how willing they are to teach you about their culture.” As a single mom of two daughters who are in college, Grulich has to force herself to focus on finding balance in her life. She doesn’t let a day go by without telling her daughters she loves them, either by voice or by text. “That work and personal life balance is hard because mine is intertwined,” she said. “Sometimes it’s hard to turn that work mode off. … I’m trying to learn to shut down my work side a little bit and let the ‘me’ side come out a little bit. I’m working very diligently on this.” Her job puts her in the international arena, and occasionally she’ll receive a 3 a.m. phone call — something that can set off alarm bells in any parent’s heart — only to find an apologetic colleague from another time zone on the other end of the line.



To date, the association has memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with seven other real estate associations worldwide: three in France and one each in Panama, Germany, Canada and Belgium. She is starting to see ripple effects from that. “Now we’re connecting the people we’re doing MOUs with,” Grulich said. “Panama is saying, ‘We want to connect with Canada.’ France is saying, ‘We want to connect with Panama.’


“We are more similar than not,” she said. “If people were to step outside their comfort zone and we were to learn about each other and see what their cultures are about, we’d have a little bit of a different world.”P | MARCH 2019 | 33



By Meaghan Branham




Alyse Quinn, MBA Partnerships Director and Co-Founder Big Vision


lyse Quinn always knew she belonged in the driver’s seat of her own career. “Before I even got to college, I knew I wanted to start my own agency. So everywhere I went, everything I did, it was always with this plan in mind.” After graduating with her MBA, Quinn quickly set to work in a marketing and sales career at premier agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi NYC and RedSquare. It was ultimately a move to Central Florida that created the perfect opportunity to put that preparation into action. “Having lived in other large cities, I have never experienced a community like the one here in Orlando,” she said. “We love the creative community here. I feel like we’re on this cusp of big things, and I can feel this wave coming over Orlando building this creative momentum.” On the crest of that wave, she co-founded the creative agency Big Vision in 2014 with her husband, Joe Quinn. In the five years since, both Big Vision and Central Florida have continued to grow — and so has the agency’s team. Big Vision now has 20 team members, and Alyse Quinn serves as its partnerships director, connecting businesses with the right solutions: strategic communications, corporate rebranding, websites, videos and digital marketing. The magnitude and speed of that growth has required Quinn to adapt quickly and learn as she leads — a balance she credits to those around her as much as

34 | MARCH 2019 |

herself, whether that be her coworkers, her client partners, or the members of her community. The relationships that make up her life also make up the core of her leadership philosophy. As the founder of Women in Communications, as well as a member of ATHENA NextGen, the Junior Achievement of Central Florida board, the Women United steering committee of Heart of Florida United Way, City Year Orlando, and the Junior League of Greater Orlando, she has cultivated these connections with the help of other emerging and established women leaders. “I’m always inspired by the power of one relationship,” Quinn said. “From just one introduction, I have seen incredible impact ripple across the community. It often starts from working together side by side in fundraising or philanthropic projects. To see these deeply rooted friendships grow from one opportunity to work together has been inspiring. We all get further when we work together.” And that includes not just her fellow leaders, but a new generation. Quinn has worked with the Junior League’s MAGIC Committee, which stands for Mentoring Adolescent Girls to Inspire Change. Through this program, she mentors young incarcerated women at the Orange Regional Juvenile Detention Center who are awaiting sentencing or admission into treatment. It is the only comprehensive initiative of its kind in the state of Florida.


“We bring in speakers like gynecologists, victim abuse counselors, attorneys and human trafficking survivors to help them better understand themselves — to not just be more educated, but to be more empowered as females to know how to make the right choices,” she said. As a graduate and now a leader of ATHENA NextGen, Quinn is part of a program that helps young women enhance their professional development skills through a series of eight leadership development sessions. The sessions are facilitated by prominent women leaders in Orlando and are based on the guiding principles ATHENA International Founder Martha Mertz outlined in her book ATHENA: Eight Principles of Enlightened Leadership. Quinn is forging her own brand of leadership, reaching out to everyone in her community and walking side by side with them toward the future. “We’re leaders because we’ve been bestowed with the honor of guiding people, and it’s all in how we do it,” she said. “My motto in life has always been to be a leader in service to others. That’s the essence of leadership. It’s not about serving ourselves, or about power and influence. We all leave a mark, and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do — we all leave a lasting impact. Make it a good one.” P



Maria Alfano COO FloridaMakes

Karen Arnon Executive Vice President Hernon Manufacturing



Debbie Berry Sr. BD Staff Analyst Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions

Tina Craft Strategic Solutions Architect Fringe Benefit Plans Inc.

Diane Crews President Orlando Sanford International Airport

Yvonne Baker Regional Managing Partner Franklin Street

Michelle Berglund-Harper Attorney Murphy & Berglund PLLC

Dr. Deborah Crown Dean Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College

Anita Ekambaram Chief Quality Officer Orlando Health

Amber Folk CEO Clark Clinic

Elizabeth Forrest Founder/Legal Administrator Dancing for Diabetes/ Dan Newlin Law

Susan Fortini Senior Director of Operations Florida Citrus Sports

Karen Fray Program Manager AISG Inc.

Betsy Gardner Eckbert CEO/President Winter Park Chamber of Commerce

Lillyann Gonzalez Executive Vice President Entravision Communications

Sarah Grafton Senior Financial Advisor, VP Grafton Wealth Management

Leslie Hartog Principal Minga Advisors LLC

Dana Hechavarria Assistant Professor University of South Florida

Leslie Heimer Branch Agent/Owner American Liberty Mortgage

36 | MARCH 2019 |

Isis Jones CIO/Executive Director of Education Full Sail University

Catherine Losey Managing Partner Losey PLLC

Vickie Martin Executive Director Christian HELP

Julie Matthews Vice President National Entrepreneur Center

Jodi Murphy Attorney Murphy & Berglund PLLC

Kelli Murray Founder and CEO MedSpeaks

Amy Pennock Owner Pennock Consulting Group

Angela Pilkington Executive VP/ Chief of Staff Correct Craft

Mary Beth Plank-Mezo VP, Staff and Cultural Development Full Sail University

Lisa Portelli Director of Homelessness City of Orlando

Sibille Pritchard President Hart Communications

Dr. Irma Rosa-Caines Senior Director of Therapy Practices UCP of Central Florida

Jeanette Schutz Supplier Diversity Manager Florida Turnpike/FDOT

Lynn Sedwick Partner RSM

Cyndi Shifrel Co-Owner Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals

Bernadette Spong CFO Orlando Health

Tammy Sweet Director GrowFL

Kelly Trace Chief Strategist/ Founder REACH

Brandi Waelti President Profit First Accounting and Consulting

Alison Walsh VP of Business Development Advanced Recovery Systems

Kristin Weissman Owner/CEO Studio K

Karen Willis CEO Early Learning Coalition of Orange County

Caroline Yachan President TS Skin Care | MARCH 2019 | 37



Judi Awsumb President

Awsumb Enterprises Inc.

Living Her Passion


Every experience has led me to where I am today. — Judi Awsumb

Judi Awsumb started her career selling facsimile machines for Exxon Office Systems. Today she changes the lives of women business owners across Central Florida through her Women Entrepreneurs (WE) powered by CEO Nexus roundtable groups. During the course of her career, she found that the road to discovering her passion was full of unexpected turns along with many learning experiences. “If I were to do it all over again, I would not change anything,” Awsumb said. “Every experience has led me to where I am today.” When the global oil company departed from the emerging office automation space, Awsumb took a job with another company as vice president of sales and marketing. During her 19 years there, the company’s revenues in Florida grew from $16 million to more $200 million. Awsumb learned that with each

38 | MARCH 2019 |

threshold of growth, business leaders need to examine all facets of the organization to take it to the next level.

confidential, supportive and professionally facilitated environment where they can learn from each other. CEO Nexus President Steve In 2003, she established Quello provides a proven Awsumb Enterprises and process of problem-solving launched two companies to developed by the Edward national prominence. Both Lowe Foundation, along with are still in business, with connections to community Awsumb as an investor. Along partners including University the way, she shifted her focus of Central Florida’s GrowFL to help other women grow program, the Rollins College their companies. Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship and The Part of her journey was Florida High Tech Corridor. to join ATHENA Powerlink Orlando, a mentoring Nationally, only 20 program for high-potential percent of all women-owned women business owners. businesses generate $1 million She has served on the or more in annual revenue. governing board for almost Awsumb is determined to 10 years, working with the change that statistic. program’s clients to develop “My journey continues their business plans and to evolve as I am living my hold them accountable for passion with an incredible achieving revenue and net group of women I’m so income goals. honored to work with,” she In 2018, Awsumb said. “It inspires me every founded WE, which helps day. Finding your passion and women accelerate the the meaning of your work growth of their secondmakes the journey stage companies in a so worthwhile.” P



Terri Friel

Loan Officer Assistant Shelter Mortgage


Each member of this team is so supportive of each other and constantly brainstorming ways of being more efficient and streamlined. I cannot even begin to express how much I love being a part of it. — Terri Friel

Making Dreams Come True For some, Hawaii conjures up images of tropical landscapes and perfect vacations. For Terri Friel, a loan officer assistant with Shelter Mortgage, Hawaii is where her mortgage career began. “After working in retail banking for over 20 years, I began my interest in mortgages at the start of 2000 when I landed a job as a mortgage office manager in a busy office,” Friel said. After a decade of living in Hawaii, Friel returned to Orlando and briefly delved back into banking. But, she said, “I missed working on the mortgage side, so I began

researching companies I could grow with and just happened to come across this job posting. I was hired with Shelter Mortgage and love that I get to be a part of making people’s dreams of owning a home come true right from the start.” Friel sees her role as an opportunity to make the process of getting a mortgage loan as seamless as possible for the borrower. She works with borrowers to get all of their documentation up front so she can to submit a complete and clean file to the underwriter. “Our team has proven time and time again that we

are all dedicated to Shelter’s culture of reliability and open communication,” Friel said. “I truly love what I do, and I am so inspired by the wonderful team I work with. I learn something new every day. And when needed, we all have each other’s backs. One thing I know for certain is that this is not just a job — we are family.” This will continue to be a year of new beginnings for Friel as she prepares to sell her current home and purchase a new one. Friel said, “You can bet on who will be helping me every step of the way!” P

© 2019 Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC |4000 W. Brown Deer Road, Brown Deer, WI 53209 | Corp NMLS#431223 ( Equal Housing Lender. Terri Friel, Loan Officer Assistant, NMLS ID: #1283087 |408 East Ridgewood Street |Orlando, FL 32803 | (407) 897-6656 x16905 | Terri.Friel@ | MARCH 2019 | 39



Dalia Cantor CPA, CVA


CPA Solutions

Embracing Change


Balance in life is what we all strive for. Health and fitness, family, business and social responsibility are all key ingredients to success. — Dalia Cantor

40 | MARCH 2019 |

Long gone are the days of handwritten accounting journals and paper tax returns. The accounting profession, which had not changed for many decades, today is facing the technological challenges that come with data automation, blockchain and artificial intelligence. Dalia Cantor, CPA, CVA, the founder of CPA Solutions in Orlando, has seen this shift firsthand. After working in accounting in the public and private sectors for nearly 10 years, she started her own practice in 2008. “I went totally paperless, which raised an eyebrow with many clients,” she said. “Five years later, I transitioned my firm to the cloud and thought I was ahead of the game. Perhaps I was at that time, but lately the bar has been raised, driven by the expectations of our clients.”

It can be unsettling to know that your own service is going to be obsolete if it’s not transformed to meet the needs of clients who are used to the modern conveniences of technology, Cantor said. She suggests being open to these innovations. “All small and mediumsized CPA firms nationwide should perform a SWOT analysis and re-evaluate where they are,” she said. “Status quo will not work.” Through a SWOT analysis, a firm looks at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What is CPA Solutions doing about this disruptive change to the profession? The firm is spending significantly more time on advisory services, such as reviewing clients’ internal systems and procedures, recommending IT systems, handling tax planning, and consulting about business development plans. Rather than wait for a paradigm shift,

the firm is energized to adapt to changing technology and improve services in real time. “I am in the middle of the baby boomer and millennial generations,” Cantor said. “They call that Generation X. We grew up with strong IT skills. However, I will need to reinvent myself, learn new skills and stay on top of New World technology in order to stay competitive. I accept the challenge — you are either growing or you’re dying.” After coming to the United States from Lithuania in 1997, Cantor was quick to embrace the spirit of opportunity she saw here, carrying that with her as she built her own company. “It took a lot of hard work and determination to get to where I am today,” she said. “My willpower and competitiveness continue to be staples of my character, even outside my work.” P



Marni Mullikin

Head of Underwriting Fattmerchant

Secret to Success: Gut Instinct


Don’t take the path most people take. You can learn from everything and everyone. — Marni Mullikin

We are most open to learning about ourselves and the world around us when we cultivate every aspect of our health, from emotional to physical to spiritual. Marni Mullikin learned just how essential each can be in both her personal and professional life from her favorite pastime. “I love yoga,” Mullikin said. “I apply that to my everyday life — being present, being in the moment, keeping myself motivated. It’s a practice that lends itself to taking a step out of my comfort zone, to taking a leap.” It can be hard to listen to your intuition, especially when it’s saying to take that leap, but as Mullikin proves, it pays off. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in communications, she became a social media and marketing intern for Orlando-

based Fattmerchant, which provides flat-rate, month-tomonth credit card processing for merchants. Mullikin had little firsthand experience in the financial industry, so she had a lot to learn. As the company grew, she found herself continuously inspired by the vision and passion of founder and CEO Suneera Madhani and inspired to explore her own vision within the company. “I found myself drawn toward the operational side,” Mullikin said. With support from Madhani and the rest of the team, Mullikin found herself feeling at home. “I always say that working here has been my MBA,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from them. At first it was a lot of new information and experiences, but the team is extremely smart and collaborative. And I really

believed in their core values of transparency and honesty.” Nearly five years later, Mullikin now works as Fattmerchant’s head of underwriting. Her job is to ensure that the customer experience in onboarding is frictionless, internal processes are optimized for “10x scalability,” and the company is maintaining risk and compliance standards in a constantly evolving industry. In both her yoga and in her time at Fattmerchant, she has learned to cultivate her instincts — both how to listen to them and how to follow them. “I’ve learned so much, including how to trust your gut,” she said. “And my gut told me that this company was going to be big, and I wanted to be a big part of it.” P | MARCH 2019 | 41

Housing is Healthcare


oy Donberg shivered as he zipped up his tent, laid down on the cold tarp and listened to crickets chirping outside. He had been homeless for 18 years and had recently suffered two heart attacks and a stroke. He stared up at the night sky through a hole in the cloth ceiling, wondering whether he’d ever be able to afford medical care or if there was any hope. An estimated 2,053 individuals were identified as homeless in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties during a 2018 “Point-in-Time” count organized by the Homeless Services Network and staffed with hundreds of community volunteers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities across America to conduct an annual count on a single night to assess the reality of the local homeless population. The count includes those who are chronically homeless, meaning they are suffering from physical or mental disabilities while being homeless for one or more years. Without connections to proper healthcare or a stable address to receive federal benefits or consistent care, they filter in and out of emergency rooms at public expense. To address this, the Central Florida region shifted to a new model of care called Housing First. When Kristy Lukaszewski, policy and programs director at the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, was asked how the Housing First initiative works to break the cycle of homelessness, she replied simply: “Homes end homelessness.”

Ron Donberg



Formerly homeless people in Housing First initiative 42 | MARCH 2019 |


Decrease in emergency room visits by Housing First participants


Money saved per person on medical care, reduced from $31,000 to $18,000

98% Those who have remained housed

DELIVERING RESULTS AdventHealth Gift Helps Housing First By Shelley Lauten, CEO

Central Florida Commission on Homelessness

Through the Housing First effort, service providers across the region have housed 339 chronically homeless individuals in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties since 2014. Of those, 98 percent have remained in permanent, stable housing. “It sounds absurd, but it costs over $31,000 per person per year to let individuals stay on the street,” said Janine Summers, lead Orange County case manager at Health Care Center for the Homeless, one of many organizations providing case managers, physicians and specialist care through Housing First. “The Housing First model shows a 60 percent reduction in emergency room visits, bringing that annual cost to less than $18,000 per person per year. That translates to millions of dollars saved for the community.” Lukaszewski addresses the silent fiscal drain: “Since many of these folks have a chronic disability, they are legally able to receive federal benefits but aren’t able to access those benefits because they don’t have a permanent address. So if they go into an ER with no insurance, they won’t be turned away. The ER becomes their primary care — which is expensive care. Who is going to pay for that? We are.” Anna Ashie, a housing specialist at Health Care Center for the Homeless, acknowledges the fiscal and moral implications that are built into Housing First model: “How often does the right thing mean the cheaper thing? The cost to do nothing is not nothing,” she said. “Our unofficial slogan is, ‘Housing is healthcare.’ With the Housing First program, we often see drastic turnaround with our clients. Once they’re in permanent housing, medical conditions can be stabilized, controlled or sometimes eradicated.” What may be a serious health issue in the woods or on the streets often can be solved with a consistent diet of nutrientrich foods. The Housing First model allows for an entirely different and healthier lifestyle. Donberg, a client of Healthcare Center for the Homeless, is one of hundreds who can attest to the impact of the model.

In 2014, Central Florida made a fundamental shift in the way we serve the chronically homeless individuals in our region. No longer would they have a laundry list of prerequisites before receiving a safe space to sleep at night, but they would be placed in permanent housing and surrounded by services to help them thrive while in their new homes. Since then, 3 39 for merly homeless individuals suffering with severe mental or physical disabilities are being housed and supported by a coordinated network of organizations that use the same approach to our most vulnerable neighbors. This Housing First network can now collectively monitor and measure not only how many people move from the streets to housing, but how many people stay in housing and how much this new, innovative model of care is saving our community. This system change to the Housing First approach did not occur overnight, nor without generous support of our local jurisdictions and numerous community partners. AdventHealth continues to be a leader in the implementation of a coordinated Housing First strategy. With its initial investment of $6 million, community leaders were able build a coordinated regional system of care — one where hundreds of organizations are working together to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time. AdventHealth’s most recent gift of $500,000 to sustain and grow the Housing First system shows its dedication and commitment to serving the most vulnerable in our community. Learn more about how you can help by visiting

“Now that I’ve gotten involved with a program that puts you in an apartment, life is totally different,” he said. “I’m not in and out of the emergency room. I’m trying to get a job and I’d like to go to school. That makes a big difference because you're able to get something established.” P | MARCH 2019 | 43


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

Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Poised for Growth Lodging Expansion at Universal Orlando



Hotel rooms at Loews’ properties at Universal Orlando

Rooms after Universal’s Endless Summer Resort properties open in 2019 and 2020



Two-bedroom suites available by 2020 at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, to accommodate guests traveling with extended families

MARCH | 44 | MARCH 2019 2019 |

Square feet of meeting space at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Loving the Journey

How tourism provided a career path for a college student with big dreams. Q&A with Barb Bowden, Complex Managing Director of Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando


ourism is Orlando’s No. 1 employer, and those jobs are filled with opportunities for career advancement. Barb Bowden is one of myriad examples. More than 30 years ago, she started as a front desk supervisor at The Peabody Orlando — today, she’s in charge of two spectacular Loews hotels at Universal Orlando Resort. We recently spoke with Bowden to explore everything from her personal story to the importance of employee development.

What brought you to Orlando? As a student at Missouri State University, I was recruited for the Disney College Program. I absolutely fell in love with the hospitality community, and I knew without a doubt I’d return and begin my career in the hotel industry. If there were a theme to your career arc, what would it be? I’d call it “love the journey.” Every assignment is a chance to learn, to be challenged and to contribute. I’ve been fortunate to work with leaders who’ve supported my growth. Now I’m paying it forward. I have four mentees, and I learn as much from them as they do from me. How do tourism jobs benefit our region’s workforce? Our industry offers tremendous opportunities for career advancement, which benefits our region as we recruit and retain talent. Loews provides management training classes and tuition reimbursement to help team members grow into their next position. Investing in our team is the most important thing we do. What are you most proud of achieving at Loews Hotels? I’m proud of creating a cohesive, successful complex operation by connecting Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Most of all, I’m proud of the service culture we’ve created. It starts with caring for our internal team and empowering them to take care of guests. What trends are you seeing in terms of luxury hotel guests? Our guests expect us to know their preferences and provide personalized service. They appreciate our “Chat Your Service” platform, where they can text a question to our hotel team and get an immediate response. They also love to learn and have new adventures, like our rum-tasting experience at Loews Sapphire Falls. What are you most looking forward to at your resorts? We opened our sixth Orlando property, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, in August 2018. Now we’re looking forward to opening Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites this summer, and Dockside Inn and Suites in 2020. These properties are our first value product at Universal Orlando. No matter a guest’s budget, style or preference, we’ll have the right hotel for them. Why team up with Visit Orlando? As we promote our hotel openings, Visit Orlando is an incredibly valued partner. With other markets emerging as tourist and meeting destinations, Visit Orlando’s mission to market Orlando to the entire world is vitally important. P

GEORGE AGUEL President and CEO of Visit Orlando

ABUNDANT OPPORTUNITIES Career growth is a staple of the tourism industry


he success of Loews hotel executive Barb Bowden (profiled at left) reminds us of the abundant, life-changing opportunities available in tourism.

With a drive to excel and a strong support network, Barb and countless other industry leaders have climbed the ranks to build meaningful, rewarding careers here in Orlando. Today, they’re helping the next generation reach their potential through mentorship programs, management training, tuition reimbursement and other workplace initiatives. As someone who has spent a lifetime in hospitality, including nearly three decades in Orlando, I too have benefited from the generosity of people in our industry. But it’s not just altruism that inspires career growth — on a larger scale, our tourism community has a vested interest in grooming talented employees to take on bigger roles and fill jobs constantly being created through our ongoing expansion. The reality is that tourism is Central Florida’s economic engine, supporting 41 percent of the workforce and contributing to our wonderful quality of life. When we invest in the careers of those who power tourism, we’re not only doing right by employees, we’re making Orlando an even more appealing destination to live, work and play.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort | MARCH 2019 | MARCH 2019 | 45

Best Practice

Leadership Time: Friend or Foe? Just Something to Manage

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

This is my favorite time of the year, when the sun stays up a little longer each day, March Madness begins its journey to one college basketball champion, and children start making plans for the summer. Do you remember when you used to count down the days until you were free from the school bell? I often now find myself saying, “If I just had two more hours in the day…” How do we manage time today in a world that is so fast-paced and demanding? Here are some ways I’ve learned to make the most of each day’s hours: Get up an hour earlier. I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse, but I’m able to get up extremely early. I believe this is a key to step one of managing time. You do


When you finish some items on your list, or one particularly daunting task, take a break and reward yourself. — Romaine Seguin

46 | MARCH 2019 |

not have to be a morning person to be able to get up early. Some people need more time to get motivated or to get the mind to start ticking. I get so much done from 6 to 8 a.m. Why? Because there are fewer interruptions at that time of day. It’s a new start, and you can frame the activities in a more concentrated effort. These two hours set the tone for the day. The more productive I am in these two hours, the more productive day I will have all the way around. Look three days ahead. It helps to plan three days out by writing down day by day what you absolutely must complete. Include what you want to finish and what you want to start. I use a Franklin Planner, and I know others who use a calendar or just a notebook. I am a firm believer that what

is written is what gets done. There is something rewarding about checking off a task from your list. Don’t procrastinate. Remember, don’t put off what you can complete today. It’s so easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” but it’s worth the effort to complete that task today. The key here is prioritization for the three days ahead of you. Ask for help when you need it. This is probably my weakest area. Whether it’s family, friends or people at work, think about opportunities to get help with some of the items on your list. This can make you much more efficient. Chances are, people have been asking you how they can help. I recently started to ask for help from a good friend. I didn’t realize it, but this has turned out to be a win-win situation. The person who helps me feels really good, too. It made me think back to when I lent a helping hand and how good I felt. The key here is knowing what to ask for help with and when, being careful not to make too many demands of the same individual. Recognize your accomplishments. When you finish some items on your list, or one particularly daunting task, take a break and reward yourself with something special — maybe a smoothie or a cappuccino. During the week at work, this is a little more difficult. All you want to do is to keep pushing yourself until the project, spreadsheet or evaluation gets completed. If it’s a long project or task, make milestones and recognize them as you accomplish them. For example, I had 26 employee evaluations to complete in one week as I transitioned into a new position at work. I organized my days into sections to complete the reviews and go over them with each person. Once I completed a section, I would have a coffee with my favorite marshmallows that would float and eventually melt. The taste and smell of my reward made the work worth completing on schedule. My most enjoyable lists and rewards are on the weekends. There is a school of thought that we’re supposed to have a day of rest. On some Sundays after Mass, I typically have a shorter list of items — usually chores, bills and maybe even packing for travel. Although they are not the most exciting items to check off, sitting and admiring a nice clean kitchen is so fulfilling. And the reward is a sip of a nice Chardonnay. It really is possible to make doing chores and paying bills part of a pleasant weekend. Oh, how I like to think back to my younger years, when it seemed like forever for two days to go by, and I couldn’t wait to run through the halls and celebrate school being out for the summer. Now I just ask for two more hours in a day and smile that I can master the simple art of time management. P


of U.S. adults read magazines

Americans of all ages read magazines — especially younger adults.

91% of adults 94% of those under 30 95% of those under 25

Source: MPA – The Association of Magazine Media | MARCH 2019 | 47

Best Practice

Marketing Strategy How to Use Storytelling to Appeal to Your Audience

Cherise Czaban Cherise Czaban

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


Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. — Seth Godin

48 | MARCH 2019 |

Storytelling has long been the most efficient and reliable method for conjuring up empathy and making connections with those around us. When we catch up with our friends, we present our experiences in the familiar framework of a story, often as the main character navigating the world around us. This is how we forge connections: through familiar struggles, characters and archetypes. Companies are realizing how powerful this tool can be in their marketing efforts. Where traditional marketing fails consistently in truly connecting to an audience, content marketing that tells a story has been proven to make a lasting impact. When combined with other research-based insights, such as the strong memory recall associated with print, stories become integral to the success of a campaign.

Making an Impression

The evidence of the power of storytelling is more than just anecdotal. In a 2014 study published in the Harvard Business Review, Paul J. Zak found that a characterdriven story can cause the brain to produce oxytocin, a chemical that enhances an individual’s ability to empathize with

others. Your audience members are more likely to have this reaction if your story holds their attention and creates tension. The results of the study demonstrated that stories fitting these criteria lead to a more thorough understanding of the message and an ability to remember the message even weeks later. Similarly, psychologist Jerome Bruner discovered that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts when shared with an audience. Stories appeal to the emotions, imagination and humanity of audience members in familiar and provoking ways. When we frame facts, figures and arguments in this way, we create connections.

Telling a Good Story

A good content marketing story needs to follow the basics of storytelling. At the center of the story, you need a hero. Your first inclination might be to make this you or your brand, and in some cases this may be appropriate. In most cases, however, it is far more effective to frame your audience as your main character. When we see ourselves reflected in a story, we are immediately more invested, and most likely more empathetic.

After establishing your main character, you can move on to the tension mentioned in Zak’s research. Most stories, ones that truly create interest, involve a conflict. Consider what situation your hero might be put in to create tension. How can that conflict then be resolved with your product or service? Once you are able to demonstrate in an interesting, engaging way how your product can lead to a release of tension in the lives of both your characters and your audience, you are likely to have made an impact.

How to Share Your Story

Once you have an idea of what story you want to tell, you’ll need to determine which medium is best for you: ɕɕ

Print: According to a study by Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making, seeing a message through a physical medium, such as print, led to a stronger memory of the message itself. Numerous studies on the differences between the impact of digital and print media have led to the same conclusion: Print is powerful. In addition to producing stronger memory recall, print is seen by audiences as more reliable and trustworthy. Telling your story in the form of an article, brochure or pamphlet combines the empathy-inducing power of a narrative with the proven impact of print.


Video: This can be especially powerful in storytelling and content marketing. Video can take the form of anything from a commercial to a testimonial to a brief YouTube video. It can also have an even stronger emotional impact than other media because you have the opportunity to use music, visuals and editing. However, it will be costlier and more time-consuming than other types of media.


Radio: Typically reserved for very short versions of storytelling, radio advertisements can have a big impact if you can keep your story brief but clear.


Blog: For a more conversational and even sometimes confessional tone, blogging offers an opportunity to approach your story from a testimonial standpoint, rather than the narrative or third-person formats that are more suited to other media.


Email: Newsletters are often informative, but consider including customer stories or brief videos in your client communications to grab their attention and make an impact.

In all of these cases, you have the opportunity to use your imagination alongside your expert knowledge. Storytelling gives you the chance to go beyond facts and figures, bridging the gap between the head and the heart and helping your audience understand not only what you do, but why that matters to them. P


Consumers immerse themselves in magazine content both in print and digital editions.

51.5 minutes

48.3 minutes

*primary print readers

*digital edition readers

*Subscribers/newsstand buyers and other members of their households. Source: MPA – The Association of Magazine Media | MARCH 2019 | 49

Best Practice

Business Strategy How to Align Culture to Support Your Strategy

Ronald J. Recardo

is the managing partner of The Catalyst Consulting Group LLC. He can be reached at

Over the years, much has been written about culture. All too often, publications have left the reader with a very academic or “touchy feely” perspective on the topic. Culture is comprised of 1) a set of characteristics, such as centralized or decentralized decision-making; 2) values: a set of beliefs that shape our view of reality, such as integrity, respect and empowerment; and 3) behaviors: observable actions that shape the way people act and react, such as demonstrating initiative and taking risks.

understand the implications of your business strategy on the culture of your organization. The key areas of focus include your vision/mission, enterprisewide scorecard, and planned/ongoing strategic initiatives. ɕɕ Step 2: Determine future state culture. Translate the business strategy into a short list of futurestate cultural characteristics, values and behaviors. This step is usually an iterative process that requires several meetings to incorporate feedback from a diverse population of stakeholders, including your executive leadership team, employees, suppliers, customers and channel partners.

This article discusses five steps for transforming an organization’s culture: ɕɕ Step 1: Understand your business strategy. The starting place is to develop a formal plan and fully Figure 1

COMPANY ORIENTATION Loyalty is client focused





Very few unnecessary procedures, policies and business rules


Service and quality driven


Innovation is not encouraged

50 | MARCH 2019 |

Results focused D



Mistakes are punished


People don't feel appreciated and valued


High stress environment


Strategically focused


Calculated risk taking encouraged


Innovation is encouraged


Mistakes used as lessons learned


People feel appreciated and valued Low stress environment



There is clarity around vision, mission and goals



Risk averse

Roles and responsibilites unclear

Loyalty is consumer focused D

Task focused

Workforce strives to maintain status quo



Procedures, policies and business rules used to guide employee behavior

Operationally or crisis focused

4 D


There is ambiguity around vision, mission and goals

Cost and control driven



Workforce embraces change Roles and responsibilities clearly understood

ɕɕ Step 3: Map current culture. Our firm has developed a proprietary database of more than 500 different cultural characteristics we use to customize surveys, interviews and focus groups to map the current-state cultural characteristics, values and behaviors. Figure 1 includes an excerpt of a culture map that details how you can visually depict the similarities and differences between your current and desired cultural characteristics. You can visually depict the current characteristics (C) and the desired characteristics (D) to note areas of convergence and divergence. ɕɕ Step 4: Identify culture gaps. Conduct a gap analysis to identify the disparity between the desired and currentstate cultures. Specifically, a number of structured meetings are facilitated to identify and prioritize gaps between the current cultural characteristics, values and behaviors, and those that are future-state. Pay careful attention to those that must evolve to be successful in the future. The focus is to not change everything, which is impossible, but to focus on a finite list of cultural characteristics, values and behaviors that MUST change to successfully deploy your strategy! ɕɕ Step 5: Create and execute culture alignment plan. Most leaders and business owners don’t understand that an

organization’s culture is an output of your organization’s business model. A number of factors ultimately determine your organization’s culture, such as the amount/type of technology you use, the leadership styles of your management team, performance management practices, and compensation and hiring practices. Therefore, culture can be modified over time by minimizing undesired characteristics, values and behaviors and enhancing desired ones. An example of a high-level culture alignment plan appears below. By modifying specific attributes of your organization, you can evolve the culture over time. The key is to understand the link between inputs and outputs. If you modify such factors as your recognition, compensation, metrics and performance management practices, then cultural characteristics, values and behaviors will change over time. Culture serves as a semi-permeable boundary in terms of what an organization can achieve. Cultural characteristics, values and behaviors drive organizational outcomes. Organizations that are able to align their culture to closely support their strategy are better able to transform themselves when market conditions dictate and will typically outperform their competitors. P

Strategic Thrusts

Key Gaps

ɕɕ Increase revenue by 18% ɕɕ Increase market share in XXX segment to 30% ɕɕ Reduce operating costs by $10MM

Key Value/Behavioral Gaps

Value: ɕɕ Performance —Use effective judgment Behavior: ɕɕ Create an environment where there is no fear


Culture Alignment Activities ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ

Identify business drivers Create predictive metrics Incorporate metrics into performance management process Differentiate rewards and create forced ranking Institute up or out

ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ ɕɕ

Reduce job classifications by 50% Implement team recognition system Re-enigineer order fulfillment process Redesign physical layouts to promote teamwork Outsource nonstrategic process | MARCH 2019 | 51



KEEPING IT COMPETITIVE By Jeff Piersall and Eric Wright

4 Benefits of Competition and One Major Threat Jeff Piersall


veryone likes to win. However, one thing all winners understand is that by competing against those who are better than you, your game improves. It is universally acknowledged, from the classroom, to the playing field, to the marketplace, healthy competition tends to make things better for everyone.

How Does Competition Make Us Better?

Eric Wright

Competition spurs innovation. Though we long for blue ocean markets, it is the crowded market that forces businesses to differentiate themselves by not doing what everyone else does or by simply doing it better. Competition jolts us out of complacency. Where companies are striving to be innovative, employees are encouraged, if not forced, to come up with new ideas and better solutions. The cliché “If you snooze, you lose” is the innovator’s mantra. Competition drives learning. Competitors are students of themselves and the opposition. As the philosopher general Sun Tzu said, “If you

52 | MARCH 2019 |

know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Competition inspires customer service. Most companies are competing against other companies offering a similar product. Therefore, we are forced to compete for customers by making their experience, not the cost of our product, the main thing.

Protecting the Competitive Balance Since Adam Smith, we have understood in a competitive economy the pursuit of private interests leads to the best outcomes for all.* The asterisk* is for the important factor of “in a competitive economy.” Spirited competition forces businesses to strive to lower their prices and improve the quality of their products and services. Competition forces companies to reduce their

own costs and run their businesses as efficiently as possible to maintain their edge. But what happens when competition is restricted? What is the outcome when one company or a group of companies acquires most of its competitors or reaches agreements on prices with other competitors? Prices are likely to increase and quality is also likely to suffer. This is why anti-trust laws were passed over a century ago. Today, some thought leaders are raising similar questions about Big Tech, the handful of companies that control the internet and social media. According to Jonathan Haskel and Stian Weslake in Capitalism without Capital, this economy is dominated by intangible assets like research and development, marketing and software — commodities that defy traditional regulatory controls.

New World, New Rules Google now controls 86 percent of the search engine market in the United States. If you combine it with the next runner up, it climbs to 93 percent and with the top four, 99 percent. Expressing the concern many have felt, but few understood, University of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales wrote in Imprimis, “Not only does this data concentration represent an insurmountable barrier

for new entrants into the market, it also represents a threat to individual privacy and can even be a threat — as recent data mining and censorship scandals suggest — to the functioning of democracy.” In fact, Zingales describes de-ranking as “a subtle form of censorship.” He goes on to say, “Google and Facebook know more about us than our spouses or closest friends — and sometimes even more than we know about ourselves. They predict what we’re going to do, how we’re going to vote and what products we’re going to buy.” Then he identified the real specter: “Do we want to risk having these private monopolies grant information about us to the government in exchange for protection of their monopoly power?” We realize this all may sound rather Orwellian, but it is often by recognizing an existential threat that we avoid the dire consequences that can follow. P

Trep Talk is the educational platform of Jeff Piersall and Eric Wright; for more information visit | MARCH 2019 | 53

Social Entrepreneur


Helps People Recover Proof of Identification By Elyssa Coultas

In her wallet, a 92-year-old woman carries family photographs and an expired credit card, merely distant remnants of an identity. Suffering from dementia and aware of her worsening condition, she knew she would soon need the round-the-clock care and attention of an assisted living facility. But she had lost her state license and birth certificate in a move months earlier, and she was stuck. She had been married twice but could not recall where her first marriage took place. The inability to trace her name from birth disqualified her from obtaining a state-issued driver's license. Her daughter spent months sifting through mountains of paperwork, looking for any legally binding trace of her mother’s past. Without enough credible evidence to present to government agencies, the mother remained without identification, meaning she could not be admitted into a home. A daughter’s dedication to her mother’s need left them in a state of despair, chasing government agencies, seeking help and stacking new mountains of documents on an already crowded desktop. Without identification, citizens cannot apply for a job, get an education from a higher learning institution or trade school, receive benefits, cash checks, secure housing, open a bank account, and the list goes on. There is power in a name and the ability to prove it’s yours.

54 | MARCH 2019 |

Social Entrepreneur One local nonprofit advocates on behalf of individuals who are in need of identification. “We chart the path of least resistance for these members of our community so they can embark on a new, productive journey,” said Michael Dippy, executive director and a co-founder of IDignity. “Sometimes certain cases can take years to navigate, but we've proven that we can solve pretty much any case as long as the client stays with us.” He and the IDignity team were able to track down the mother’s marriage license, assist in obtaining her state ID card, and secure a spot for her in a local home. “The most important thing for everyone to realize is that identification has to be hard to obtain. It makes sense that she couldn’t get her mom into a nursing home without a a state-issued driver's license. It’s not that these establishments don’t want to help,” Dippy said. Over the course of five years, IDignity has assisted more than 20,000 individuals in acquiring identification in Orange County alone. These are citizens who are now functioning members of society and are able to apply for jobs, enroll in school or secure housing.


Many of these agencies don’t cross-pollinate well ‘out in the wild,’ but with our system, they’re all present in one place, ready to help. — Michael Dippy

They are also individuals who can now be admitted into nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities or homeless shelters — safe places to call home or to start anew.

A Shared Vision

Each month, IDignity hosts an event in Orange County where more than 100 volunteers gather in one location to work with attorneys, the Social Security Administration, the Florida Department

of Motor Vehicles, the Orange County Health Department, the Orange County Tax Collector and other government agencies to help local residents track down their history and obtain their legal identity. The IDignity staff and volunteers act as advocates for the clients who come to the event seeking help. “The beautiful part about that is if there is an issue between the different government agencies, they can usually | MARCH 2019 | 55

Social Entrepreneur


Our clients often say they feel like ghosts of our society. — Michael Dippy work it out right there,” Dippy said. “Many of these agencies don’t crosspollinate well ‘out in the wild,’ but with our system, they’re all present in one place, ready to help.” What could take weeks, months or even years can take a matter of hours or days with the help of IDignity. “All of these individuals who are showing up for help, every single one of them has tried to get an ID on their own and failed. It's not the first stop. And it’s often not their fault.”

The Ghosts of Society

The Adams family returned from an afternoon outing to find that their house had been broken into. The burglars completely destroyed the home and stole everything — including paperwork, appliances, the bathtub and doorknobs. This wife, husband and their four children were stripped of most of their belongings, including their identification. The Adamses were living in Flint, Michigan, at the time. To them, that was the last straw. They packed up what few belongings were left and headed for Florida. Once in Orlando, they still had yet another series of uphill battles. Unable to apply for jobs, secure housing or enroll the children in the school system, the family was stuck. The parents learned about IDignity and sought help after weeks of struggling. Paige and Kevin Adams now are both employed, they have a home and their children are happily adjusted to their new schools. “Our clients often say they feel like the ghosts of our society,” Dippy said. “They wake up every morning stuck in a powerless existence. Identification is the foundational piece of being a functioning citizen. “This could happen to anyone. And it’s not a problem you can solve by just making the regulations easier, because if there's no credibility to identification, anyone could claim to be you and access your assets,” he said. “The right track is supporting an organization that can help those members of society who can’t overcome these barriers on their own.” P 56 | MARCH 2019 |


Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Rosen Shingle Creek WWW.CATTLEBARONSBALLORLANDO.COM

Presented by


Unique experiences for your day off ORLANDO Timucua White House A one-of-a-kind organization that offers a fusion of culture, education and experience, the Timucua Arts Foundation attracts performers and spectators alike. In an effort to inspire music, art and connection in the Central Florida community through performance and education, the Timucua White House hosts a plethora of unique experiences. World-renowned and local artists gather there for performances ranging from classical acts to interactive works of art. Enjoy an afternoon of spritely jazz scats or an evening of cultural immersion among friends in this local gem.

UMATILLA Florida Farm Distillery The pastures of an 80-acre cattle farm hide a mouthwatering secret nestled inside a 10-stall horse stable. Florida Farm Distillery, a micro-distillery located in Central Florida, produces a selection of premium handmade micro-batch whiskey. Inside a converted horse stable, Palm Ridge Reserve, its most popular small-batch whiskey, ages in charred oak barrels, giving it toasted orange and oak woods character. Visitors can sample the whiskey as they tour the farm, enjoy live music on select nights, and soak in the sights, sounds and tastes of a Florida family-owned farm and distillery. Reservations are required.

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


WINTER PARK Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens Located just off the tranquil waters of Lake Osceola sits the Mediterranean-style home of the late sculptor and artist Albin Polasek. Converted into a gallery, museum and sculpture garden, the home and property display Polasek’s permanent collection, which features classical busts and ornate paintings among various pieces that focus on his idea of the true representation of nature. A separate gallery adjacent to the main home exhibits a variety of local and international guest showcases. Polasek’s goal was to depict the unity of form and the beauty of movement, and pieces throughout the grounds of the museum unite nature and art.

LONGWOOD Wekiva Island Wekiva Island is an environmentally prized recreation area nestled along the Wekiva River. Visitors can cool down and experience the “real Florida,” where the water is a refreshing 72 degrees, and enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, volleyball, cornhole toss and other recreational pursuits. Guests can rent private cabanas and refuel at the Without a Paddle Cafe or Tooting Otter Bar. The island is also home to the only Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum classroom in Seminole County, which regularly hosts environmental learning events in the Mike Barr Education Center.

ORLANDO Orlando Shakespeare Theater Get your tickets at the box office and settle into your seat. Well into its 30th season, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, a local professional Equity theater, produces classic Shakespeare, presents modern spins on familiar tales, performs neverbefore-seen plays, and directs children’s performances. With ambitious productions such as Shakespeare In Love, West Side Story and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, the theater provides high-caliber theatrical experiences to guests of all ages. During intermission, spectators can enjoy a snack or beverage from Harriett’s Bar, visit the courtyard to relax among charming bistro tables, or pay homage to a bronze bust of William Shakespeare. | MARCH 2019 | 59

Business Seen |

AFRICAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EAGLE AWARDS The 2019 Eagle Awards were presented January 19, 2019 by the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and Walt Disney World at the chamber’s most prestigious annual event. The awards showcase Central Florida's thriving entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporations and individuals who share the chamber's commitment to the growth and advancement of minority- and women-owned businesses while embracing diversity and inclusion.

John Davis, executive vice president, Orlando Regional Chamber; and Derek Jones, Central Florida Region president, Wells Fargo

Rhonda Howard, David Watson and Dee Parker with Mickey and Minnie

Chamber board member Irving Matthews; Chamber President Tanisha Nunn Gary; Val Demings, U.S. Congress; and Tiffany Moore Russell, Orange County Clerk of Courts

Chamber board members Al Callier and Monica Riley

Leticia Adams, chair-elect of the chamber

Joyce Odongo, immediate past board chair

60 | MARCH 2019 |

| Business Seen

Tanisha Nunn Gary; Michael Baisden; Latricia Graham Leak; Summer Knowles; and Kendall Moore, chamber board chair.

Tanisha Nunn Gary, Brenda March, Regina Hill, Maritza Martinez and Tony Jenkins

Chevalier Lovett, Andrea Green and the Jones High School Opus

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

Catherine Steck mcmanus

2019 Spirit of EngagEmEnt I4 Business Magazine recognizes your engaging spirit, and so do we! We are inspired by your leadership on a daily basis. Your commitment to empowering families through shelter raises the bar and establishes you as a trailblazer in affordable housing. Thank you for sharing your ideas and encouraging a vibrant, creative environment in which to make a difference in our community! We are lucky to have you leading our team! | MARCH 2019 | 61

Business Seen |

EAST ORLANDO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL LUNCHEON The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce kicked off 2019 with its annual board installation and member recognition luncheon on January 16 at Bonefish Grill in Waterford Park. The Honorable Eric Dubois conducted the installation ceremony swearing in 18 dynamic community leaders representing the 440 square miles of East Orlando. The program ended with the recognition of outstanding chamber members exceeding expectations in 2018.

Joe Genovesi, Martha Santoni, Bradley Collor, Heather Frebe, Karen Jensen, Barbara Bombalier, Jennifer Englert, Evelyn Cardenas, Dorothy Hardee. (back) Dennis Ferrero, Terry Sible, Rob Hynes, Eric Gray, Andrew Cole Ron Randolph, Chris Luczywo and Julio Aviles.

2019 Board of Directors installed into office by the Honorable Eric Dubois, Orange County Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida

Guests at the January 16, 2019, East Orlando Chamber Board Installation and 2018 Member Recognition Luncheon

Chris Luczywo, immediate past chair; Andrew Cole, president and CEO; and Rob Hynes, 2018 Ambassador of the Year

Chris Luczywo, Andrew Cole and Barbara Bombalier, 2018 Board Member MVP

62 | MARCH 2019 |

| Business Seen

Chris Luczywo, Andrew Cole and Rich Simonton, 2018 Most Engaged Member

Chris Luczywo, Andrew Cole and Lora Miller, 2018 Chamber Member of the Year

Chris Luczywo, Andrew Cole and Josh Baker, 2018 Chamber Partners of the Year

Don Whyte, Karen Jensen, Sylvester Terry and Ron Randolph




- marketing - recruiting

Working behind the scenes to make you look good! | 321.704.2393 | MARCH 2019 | 63


Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know


Houses sold in 2018 in The Villages, according to the annual Top-Selling MasterPlanned Communities list from RCLCO. Other Central Florida communities that made the list: Lake Nona (507), Viera (463) and Latitude Margaritaville (412).

76 The number of Olympicsized swimming pools it would require to hold the cubic yards of dirt moved to build the KPMG Global Training Center in Lake Nona. Source: Orlando Business Journal

“Central Florida has been growing like crazy over the past few years. There is a desire to take hold of that.” — Hotel analyst John Wijtenburg, vice president of the Colliers Hotels group, on why South Florida developers are launching numerous hotel projects in Central Florida. Source: Orlando Sentinel

500,000 3 Orlando’s ranking as a “Hot Job Hub” in the 2019 CEO Guide to Site Selection, with 3.2 percent job growth in 2016-17. Only Nashville and Austin ranked slightly higher.


million A federal grant secured in January by U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto to help Orange County residents living with HIV/AIDS access medical care and critical support services.

64 | MARCH 2019 |


Number of college students within a 100-mile radius in Central Florida. Source: Orlando Economic Partnership

THE WEATHER. — John Meisenheimer, a meteorologist who worked at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 1958 and had to call off a launch for weather when the U.S. was in a tense space race with Russia. He was recently awarded a medal for his performance 60 years ago. Source: Orlando Sentinel

“When you’re on vacation, you’re not thinking about conservation. You’re staying up later, taking longer showers, using more energy. We have to think of that.” — Chris Castro, director of sustainability for the City of Orlando, in addressing an audience at The Canada-Florida Smart City Roadshow in Orlando in January about one challenge of instituting “green” best practices in Orlando.

35 Number of post-secondary institutions in Central Florida, either main campuses or satellites. These include the University of Central Florida, Rollins College, the Florida A&M School of Law, Full Sail University, and Ana G. Mendez University.



Friday March 29, 2019

Hosted by Rachael Harris, Cheryl Hines, & RJ Mitte

Cigars & Scotch Tasting ALSO AVAILABLE Blackjack & Roulette




Saturday March 30, 2019 Hosted by Rachael Harris, Cheryl Hines, & RJ Mitte with special guest Dan Aykroyd






Don Asher & Associates, Inc.

Jackie Bailes Legacy Award

RD Michaels, Inc.

Jack Holloway Star of Gratitude

Proceeds Benefit the children and families of

For sponsorship opportunities or event details, visit

© 2015 Southwest Airlines Co.

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

Profile for i4 Business Magazine

i4 Business March 2019 | Women In Business edition