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42ND ANNUAL MID-FLORIDA BUSINESS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Rosen Centre Hotel Join us at the 42nd Annual Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame, as we honor forward-thinking entrepreneurs and accomplished community leaders for their contributions to our region’s economic development and their commitment to business excellence. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SPONSORING OR PURCHASING TABLES AND TICKETS PLEASE VISIT WWW.JACENTRALFL.ORG OR CONTACT Courtney Parker cparker@jacentralfl.org | 407-270-4973



100 YEARS. 100% READY.

This year marks Junior Achievement’s 100th anniversary celebrating 100 years of educating young people on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness.


Thank You

This Month's Featured Advisory Board Members Romaine Seguin Romaine Seguin is president of Global Freight Forwarding at UPS, where she oversees air, ocean and rail freight forwarding as well as brokerage and supplier management throughout the global UPS network. She previously served as president of the UPS Americas Region, where she oversaw operations in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Seguin has held a variety of operational and managerial roles with UPS since joining the company as a part-time hub supervisor in 1983.

Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises Jim Bowie, University of Florida Incubator Program Jackie Brito, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College Cari Coats, Accendo Leadership Advisory Group Andrew Cole, East Orlando Chamber of Commerce John Davis, Orlando Regional Chamber Laura Dorsey, Florida Black Chamber and National Cultural Heritage Society Stina D'Uva, West Orange Chamber of Commerce Carol Ann Dykes Logue, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program Harry Ellis, Next Horizon Susan Fernandez, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems

Stina D’Uva For nearly 30 years, Stina D’Uva has been an integral leader in the Orlando community. As the president/CEO of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce for 18 years, she has helped grow the organization into a driving force of business that earned the coveted Chamber of the Year award from the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals in 2009, 2012 and 2015. D’Uva served as chair of the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, and in 2014 she was elected and continues to serve as vice president of the MetroWest Master Association.

Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction Mark Allen Hayes, Stockworth Realty Group Gwen Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Karen Keene, ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership and Dean Mead Attorneys at Law Shelley Lauten, Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Lisa Lochridge, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Catherine Losey, Losey PLLC law firm Laureen Martinez, Orlando Economic Partnership Hope Edwards Newsome, Triloma Financial Group Rob Panepinto, Florentine Strategies Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction

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 iliation. 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 cochair 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.

i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 9




From Preservation to Innovation

Tupperware Brands Evolves into a True Space-Age Company






Managed IT

David Kusuma, Vice President 



Building from the Inside Out

How Next Horizon’s Managed IT Increases Productivity through Proactivity


Women in STEM


Beyond the Grocery Store

4 Scientists from imec Share Their Journeys

How Central Florida Store Services Keeps It Fresh No Matter What

10 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com


ON THE COVER David Kusuma of Tupperware Brands



Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship



A Home for Wellness



Community Health Centers



4 Key Points for Coaching Your Own Winning Team Romaine Seguin | UPS International


What Everyone Can Learn from Nonprofit Marketing Cherise Czaban | i4 Business


3 Steps For Growing Your Business

Publisher’s Perspective


From the Editor


Business Briefs


Take 5 with Visit Orlando Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Continues to Grow in Popularity


Social Entrepreneur Connecting Culture and Technology

Ray Watson | Executive Leadership Resources Inc.

Nonprofit Synapse Accelerates Innovation in Florida



36 Rolando Garcia | Shelter Mortgage 37 Mandy Wilcox | BRIDG 38 Chantal Aybar | BB&T 39 Jason Schmidt | Stockworth Realty Group 40 Meaghan Branham | i4 Business SPOTLIGHTS


Shalyn Dever | ATHENAPowerlink


Brianna Barry | Girl Scouts of Citrus


Up Close | Sheena Fowler

12 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

Downtime Unique Experiences for Your Day Off


Business Seens



® CEO | PUBLISHER Cherise Czaban EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Diane Sears DIRECTOR OF ENCOURAGEMENT Donna Duda COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Meaghan Branham PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR Julie Fletcher ART DIRECTOR Tanya Mutton Sidekick Creations COPY EDITOR Susan Howard, APR CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Meaghan Branham, Justin Braun, Cherise Czaban, Davia Moss, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin, Ray Watson

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

ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban - 321.848.3530 Timothy Blomstrom - 321.328.5883

i4 Business is a participating member of:

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




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





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


2017 i4Biz.com

www.i4biz.com/financial-professionals advertising@i4Biz.com i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 13



Want to know “who’s who” in the Central Florida Commercial Construction and Real Estate industry? That question will be answered in February’s 2020 upcoming special section of i4 Business magazine, the region’s premier business publication.

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

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you are moving or changing the mailing address for your subscription, send your complete old address (where the magazine is currently being mailed) and your complete new address, including ZIP code, to info@i4biz.com.

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

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

CONTRIBUTE Send press releases, article submissions, announcements and images to press@i4biz.com. Please provide 2-3 months advance notice for requests for event announcements and/or coverage.

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

Secure your spot! advertising@i4Biz.com i4Biz.com

14 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

i4 Business® is published monthly by i4 Business, LLC, 121 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1500, Orlando, FL 32801. Tel. 407-730-2961 | i4biz.com The contents of i4 Business magazine, i4biz.com and any other media extensions related to the brand, including advertisements, articles, graphics, websites, web postings and all other information (“contents”) published, are for informational purposes only. i4 Business® and all other affiliated brands do not necessarily endorse, verify, or agree with the contents contained in i4 Business. i4 Business makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness, timeliness, or usefulness of any information contained or referenced. i4 Business shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions. © 2019. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

Publisher's Perspective

THE POWER AND IMPACT OF POSITIVE THINKING “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi

I’ve heard many teach on this quote — John C. Maxwell, Tony Robbins and Mark Victor Hansen, just to name a few. All are respected speakers and authors. Since the majority of my time is spent out in the community and not in an office, needless to say, I spend many hours in my car. I learned long ago that I can maximize that time by using it to be a student... listening to podcasts, audio books and recorded trainings. If you listen to some of the abovementioned speakers, you’ll hear them share stories of others. They share how some persevered even in the face of adversity, and how others believed in the power of their dreams. Recently I have been listening to some trainings by Tony Robbins, and he reminded the audience that Thomas Edison could be considered the definition of perseverance. Many people thought he “failed,” while he would say he simply found more than 1,000 ways not to build a light bulb.

Oftentimes when things don’t go as we planned or expected, we can become discouraged — perhaps sometimes give up or let doubt creep in. But I love the saying on this page from Mahatma Gandhi because it’s true: Once we allow that belief or thought to take root, it begins to influence our actions and inevitably it affects the outcome or our destiny. To your success.

CEO and Publisher

The lesson Tony Robbins shared was, “Don’t change the goal, change the approach.” But another important lesson was Edison’s thoughts – he didn’t believe or think those initial ways he approached his inventions were failures. You’ll read about some people in this month’s magazine who have lived and worked by this same kind of belief.

Favorite quotes from this issue “I think people still are a little bit surprised when they hear Tupperware is now considered, at least in NASA circles, a space-related company. We don’t know where we can take it from here, but it’s exciting that a number of aerospace companies are interested in working with Tupperware, especially on food-related projects” — David Kusuma, Page 18

“When you do something you’re passionate about, you are sure to get great outcomes because you put your heart into it. My advice? Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you are passionate about. There’s no better feeling than when I see that satisfied smile on a client’s face when they see our finished work”

“We believe Orlando is a place of creativity and innovation … (it) truly is a uniquely collaborative city, and I’m proud of our community for reaching across industry lines to create meaningful experiences for residents and visitors. The more we work together, the more we thrive. And this partnership is one more example of our collaborative spirit.”

— Brian Horine, Page 31

— Cole NeSmith, Page 56 i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 15

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

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From the Editor

Despite All Its Faults, We Love Technology I’ve always been a nut about the space program. I grew up in Baltimore in the 1960s, and one of my neighbors sent me a postcard from his trip to Florida: a three-dimensional picture of an Apollo astronaut in a spacesuit floating near the moon. I cherished it for a long time. Years later, I was thrilled when my first job out of college was working as an editor at Today newspaper in Brevard County, where I could watch space shuttle launches up close.

You know what I mean. You take a day off, or spend an afternoon at a conference, or travel on a long-distance flight, and you end up with a giant pileup in your email inbox. Some of these emails are really important and require a reply or action — and sadly, these often get lost in an avalanche. Others are just to let you know something was received, or to keep you updated on an issue or project.

How about the ones that reply simply “I’ll be there” or “Thank you,” and the recipient has hit “Reply All” so now 20 people are all replying to all and you have a big mass of clutter. Or how about those people who send you eight one-liners in a row such as “What’s the status of this?” or “Did you see this?” or “Can you please handle?” They’re basically checking tasks off their lists and putting them onto the six people they’re copying. And now One of the most fascinating parts of all the all six people on the email string are responding space research that has taken place since the back with, “I don’t know,” “Yes” or “Should I do 1960s is the way it comes back to be applied here that, or should so-and-so?” I’d much rather have on Earth. The latest Tupperware products in a person compose a useful email saying, “I’m space might be mass-produced someday to help checking in on the status of these eight things, and people grow fruits and vegetables, even if they here are updates from me on four more.” don’t have a yard. I lamented one day that I had 360 emails in my I started thinking about technology, the theme of inbox after taking a break for lunch and a walk. this month’s issue, and how it’s designed to improve Why do people have to send so many emails? My our lives. Today we can measure our heart rhythm boyfriend said, “They wouldn’t be doing that if they on a wristwatch. We can view programs we record had to put 360 stamps on them.” on our home TV from anywhere in the world on Ah yes. So true! That took me back to the simple a laptop or tablet. We can speak commands into a box to play music for us or look up the distance days, when receiving a postcard from Kennedy from Earth to the moon. We can control burglar Space Center was such a joy. Thank you for alarms, temperature gauges and bill payments with listening to my rant. apps on our cell phones. Have a great month! Technology is making our lives better in so many ways. So why does it sometimes feel like it’s holding us hostage? So, when I was interviewing David Kusuma of Tupperware Brands for this month’s cover story, it was fun to hear his excitement about working on projects with NASA. Not many of us get to send something into orbit that will actually be touched by astronauts on the International Space Station. That’s pretty cool stuff.


i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 17

Business Briefs

Athletes Help Create Logo for 2022 Special Olympics USA In anticipation of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games that will take place in Central Florida, a group of nine athletes gathered in Orlando in August for a very special assignment. For the first time in the history of the Games, the athletes had been chosen from across the nation to help create an event logo, and they unveiled it at a celebration Aug. 8 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The athletes worked with national advertising agency partner Publicis Seattle, and a mini-documentary on their three-day workshop in May was directed by filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, best known for her 2018 Academy Awardwinning documentary short “Period. End of Sentence.” “This logo tells a story of how a combined passion for

sports, perseverance and art can literally come to life on a blank canvas,” said Joe Dzaluk, president and CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. “These incredible athletes used their unique talents to inspire and design an iconic image for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games brand, and it proved to be more meaningful than any of us could have ever imagined.” The event on June 5-11, 2022, will bring more than 4,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, 1,500 coaches and 125,000 fans from all over the U.S. It will be hosted at venues across the Orlando area. Walt Disney World has been announced as the official host and Jersey Mike’s Subs as the presenting partner. Orlando Health and Orange County have committed as Platinum Partners of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

Translational Research Institute Research May Help the Elderly

AdventHealth Rated Top Hospital in Florida

Research conducted in Central Florida has unveiled a new class of chemical compounds with the potential to revitalize metabolic health in the elderly population. The pioneering pharmacological approach for healthy aging was the result of a drug discovery initiative conducted by the Translational Research Institute in Orlando, part of the AdventHealth Research Institute.

In its latest Best Hospitals rankings, U.S. News & World Report magazine has named AdventHealth the No. 1 hospital in Florida. It was recognized as having seven nationally ranked specialty programs: diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; and urology. Additionally, AdventHealth was recognized for having four “highperforming” programs: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; orthopedics; and pulmonary and lung surgery. The rankings cover more than 4,500 medical centers across the country.

The research, led by Dr. Stephen Gardell from AdventHealth and published in Nature Communications, was conducted in partnership with the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California, and Daiichi-Sankyo Co. in Tokyo. It involves using specific chemical compounds to raise the body’s levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a crucial natural substance that promotes health. Tissue levels of NAD decrease as people age, which is believed to contribute to muscle weakness and neurodegeneration.

Business 18 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com


Silver Spurs Arena to Host Brand-New Basketball Event The Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee will host the inaugural Sunshine Slam, a men’s collegiate basketball tournament that will take place Nov. 8-10. Four teams have been announced to participate in a sixgame round-robin format, with each team playing each other during the three-day event. The teams are the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware; Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan; Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois; and the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Lake Nona Plans Linear Park as Alternative to Stormwater Management A planned seven-acre linear park in Lake Nona is being designed to serve as a green space for residents and visitors as well as an alternative for stormwater management. The park will feature multiple trails and activity spaces along a 100-foot-wide, half-mile path from Lake Nona Town Center to the heart of the community’s Laureate Park neighborhood. Construction is set to start in 2020. “In Lake Nona, we’re always looking for ways to do things better,” said Tavistock Development Company President Jim Zboril. “We could have gone the traditional route of building a road and the infrastructure to manage stormwater underground, but instead we challenged our team to be resourceful and think differently. Creative thinking

led to this linear park that not only provides a solution for stormwater, but creates an amenity our residents and visitors can benefit from.” Designed by Longwood landscape architect Dix.Hite + Partners, the park will link to 44 miles of planned trails in the 17-square-mile

master-planned Lake Nona community in east Orlando and will include transportation lanes to support a multimodal network of paths for walking, running, biking and autonomous shuttles. A two-acre communal area will provide a new space to host community events with a large lawn, playground and shaded recreational areas.

Multicultural Affairs Committee to Help Foster Collaboration Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has put together a new Committee on Multicultural Affairs to foster continued, ongoing collaboration in the community. Chaired by Indian American Chamber of Commerce President Yog Melwani, the group is made up of 17 appointed leaders who represent the area’s diversity in race, gender, age, religious beliefs, national origin, cultural background, profession, sexual orientation and gender identity. The committee held its first

meeting July 31, and its mission is to help the city with these goals: explore ideas and identify new opportunities to continue enhancing the engagement and strengthening the relationship between minority communities and city government; ensure greater integration and collaboration with multicultural communities; further ensure, as a community, that the diverse needs of residents continue to be met; and ensure all residents feel welcomed, respected and accepted.

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



Inspiration i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 19



by Se a


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>> By Diane SEARS

Tupperware Brands Evolves into a True Space-Age Company


avid Kusuma was listed as a speaker at the 2017 International Space Station Research & Development conference in Washington, D.C., and attendees were wondering why. As a vice president of Tupperware Brands, he represents a company known for plastic food storage containers used in the kitchen — not on rockets carrying astronauts. But it all made sense when he gave his presentation. “Tupperware is a brand not normally associated with the space industry,” Kusuma told the audience. “But I want to tell you about how technology and advanced materials have become part of our modern-day DNA.” The $2.3 billion global corporation based in Kissimmee has become one of hundreds of suppliers that contribute to experiments in space. In fact, when Kusuma returned to the conference this July after not attending

18 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

the event in 2018, people asked where he had been. Since his presentation, Tupperware Brands has been fielding inquiries from at least eight companies interested in partnering on aerospace projects. The company has become part of the club. “I don’t know where this will go,” said Kusuma, who oversees research and product innovation for the publicly held company. “I think people still are a little bit surprised when they hear Tupperware is now considered, at least in NASA circles, a spacerelated company. We don’t know where we can take it from here, but it’s exciting that a number of aerospace companies are interested in working with Tupperware, especially on food related projects.” The focus on aerospace is just one of the ways Tupperware Brands is staying current and has

remained a technology and innovation company in addition to a household goods manufacturer.

Preserving the Planet Kusuma was on stage at the 2017 conference with commercial R&D experts to discuss activities that were taking place in low Earth orbit and insights on the future of space travel. But to put Tupperware’s venture into space contracting into perspective, he began with a little history about the company. Founded in 1948 by inventor Earl Tupper in Leominster, Massachusetts, the company became famous for its innovative sales techniques involving home sales parties where housewives and mothers invited friends to play games and, incidentally, buy pastel-colored containers that would keep food fresh in their refrigerators. Each container had a lid — or seal as Tupperware


i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 19

Founded in 1948 by inventor Earl Tupper, the brand is still going strong with constant new designs

enthusiasts call it — that fit snugly and could be “burped” to let out air before sealing.

Today, more than 3 million independent sales people represent the direct-selling company worldwide — meaning about every 1.3 seconds there is a Tupperware party starting somewhere in the world, Kusuma told the audience. The company is still focused on improving the kitchen experience: It has been introducing technologies that let people use their microwave ovens to cook complete meals instead of just reheating food — even devices that allow for microwave grilling.

By the nature of its products, Tupperware products have always been a leader in sustainability because they can be reused for years and even generations. But the company has stepped up its efforts to help the planet by developing containers that preserve fresh food longer. That’s because about 40 percent of food ends up in landfills in the United States, Kusuma said. Worldwide, people waste about 1.3 billion tons of food. Working with university researchers, Tupperware Brands has designed containers to hold specific fruits and vegetables with varying degrees of breathability that extend the life of each type of produce by as much as two or three weeks. It has also developed special containers with a membrane that regulates moisture to keep cheese fresh, and similar containers for bread. The company also has tackled another global issue. About 1.8 million people worldwide live without access to safe drinking water. Tupperware Brands focused on water filtration technologies by working with industry experts, including former U.S. astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave. The result was the development of a personal water filtration system that uses a NASA technology: a ceramic shell with nanopores that remove pathogens from the liquid. Today it’s one of the company’s bestselling products.

NASA Astronaut Christina H. Koch works with the PONDS by Tupperware

20 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

From Earth to Space About three years ago, NASA asked Tupperware Brands to work with the space agency on a project that optimizes the germination and growth of seeds into fresh fruits and vegetables in space. The goal is increasingly important because current and future space travel involve more astronauts staying away from Earth for longer periods of time, and fresh food in their diets has become more and more important. The engineering for growing fresh food in space is tricky because plants require light and water — two elements difficult to provide in an enclosed space capsule in zero gravity. Astronauts aboard the ISS had already been growing leafy vegetables and flowers inside the Vegetable Production System, known as the “Veggie” facility. To reduce the frequency of watering plants in space, Dr. Howard Levine and a group at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) started exploring concepts for a “plant pillow” that would hold the root structure of the plants. It evolved into a semi-hydroponic design called the Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS). NASA’s website explains the project this way: “Organisms grow differently in space, from

One of the team’s biggest thrills, Kusuma said, was sitting in with NASA personnel as they spoke with the astronauts on the space station

single-celled bacteria to plants and humans. Future long-duration space missions will require crew members to grow their own food. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating the reliable vegetable production on-orbit are important steps toward that goal. Veggie PONDS uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens, which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis.” At Tupperware Brands, a team of four led by Kusuma was assigned to work with Techshot, an aerospace solutions provider based in Greenville, Indiana, that guides numerous contractors through the processes of getting their research and products into space. “We were asked to work with them because of our long-term focus on food preservation and food-safe materials,” Kusuma said. “It was an opportunity to do something new and highlight the fact that we are cutting-edge.” The team visited the space kitchen at Johnson Space Center, which brings in astronauts prior to their launch, and gathers information from them about their favorite meals

before putting together recipes with proper nutrition that will work in space. The food is then prepared for the space station and launched from KSC. Together, the Tupperware Brands and Techshot team further developed Levine’s rough prototype into a new device that consists of as few parts and components as possible — a requirement for industrialization and manufacturing. Up to six of the devices can be installed in Veggie at one time. “Like the plant pillows, the PONDS devices are single-use items, which can be discarded after the plants are grown and harvested on-orbit,” according to a press release about the project. “However, unlike the plant pillows, PONDS can also be returned, refurbished, and reflown in space.” The first batch, launched in April 2018, achieved 100 percent germination of the seeds, but the devices were using more water than the plants required. NASA asked the team to refine the function. Version 2.0 consisted of not one but three different solutions, so NASA sent four of each, for a total of 12 units, on the next mission to the ISS, launched in April 2019. All of those seeds also germinated, but the soil was left too dry. Version

Above: Dr. Howard Levine Below: Tupperware PONDS


multiply in weightlessness, looking forward to long-term spaceflight. Kusuma looked through Tupperware’s master database of about 10,000 molds and found a match. The normal Tupperware materials would not be hardy enough to withstand the rigors of space travel, so the company customized a special one for the ESA.

“It was the first time we had ever been connected to a spaceflight operation,” Kusuma said. “Every time the Tupperware container moved, I got an email like, ‘The TMA-6 has docked with the International Space Station, and the Tupperware container has been moved into the Aquarius Incubator aboard ISS!’”

David Kusuma

3.0, to be launched in early 2020, produced tomatoes in about 90 days and is being tested with other seeds. One of the team’s biggest thrills, Kusuma said, was sitting in with NASA personnel as they spoke with the astronauts on the space station. The Tupperware team was not able to ask direct questions but could have those questions relayed to the astronauts, whose answers were beamed back to Earth via video on a screen at KSC. “Tupperware had great interactions with both Techshot and NASA,” Kusuma said. One of the measures NASA uses to determine whether a project is successful is the ability for it to be commercialized to improve life on Earth. The space agency focuses on developing technologies that are for space use and research. The PONDS project could someday turn into a future line of products for Tupperware. “The greater opportunity is that we have a chance to look at how to use this technology in people’s homes,” Kusuma said. “People want fresh vegetables all the time but don’t necessarily 22 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

have a lot of space for growing them, especially in urban kitchens.”

A Long Journey This isn’t the first time Tupperware Brands has worked with NASA. The journey started about 15 years ago, when the company was invited to work with aerospace company Boeing to create storage systems inside Orion, the successor to the space shuttle, and new spacecraft designed to carry astronauts and cargo to the ISS and beyond. There was a cylindrical-shaped storage space below the floor of the crew cabin, and containers had to be pie-shaped to be lifted in and out of the vehicle through an airlock, Kusuma said. Boeing wasn’t selected for that project, so Tupperware’s role as a subcontractor partner was cut short. The next opportunity came in 2005 when the European Space Agency contacted Kusuma about a project involving the University of Udine in Italy. The ESA wanted a container that fit a very specific set of dimensions, and it would be going to the ISS aboard a Russian TMA-6 rocket. The container was to be used in stem cell research to determine how cells

The container’s mission lasted 10 days, and Kusuma recalls his phone ringing about two weeks later: “I actually got a call from the project administrator from the ESA. He said, ‘I’ve got your container here. Everything went well. Would you like it back, or can I sell it on eBay?’” Today the container sits in a display case in a hallway at the Tupperware Brands headquarters. Will a PONDS container also be on display there someday? It might be too early to say. For now, Tupperware continues to launch new innovations on Earth as well as in space. “Tupperware products have included smart technology features for nearly 70 years,” Kusuma said in a press release announcing the PONDS project. “Our product evolution goals have always been to meet today’s needs for consumers, whether that includes microwaveable grills or food processors that require no electricity; we are proud to now say that this includes sustainable vegetation growth in space. This has been one of our most exciting and unique collaborations, and we are honored to have worked alongside NASA and Techshot on the advancement and success of the PONDS project.” P




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How Next Horizon’s Managed IT Increases Productivity through Proactivity


>> By Meaghan BRANHAM

icture it: You’re running a bit behind one day, just about to print out that project overview you promised for a meeting so you can race into the conference room with seconds to spare. You need to pull one last thing from your email to add into the overview. Suddenly, you find yourself locked out of your inbox, with an error message on the screen in front of you and a pit of frustration building in your gut. It’s only in moments like these, when technology turns on you, that you realize how much you rely on your office infrastructure and how much you take for granted that it will run smoothly.

“When managed services are delivered effectively, it works like an insurance policy. If we’re doing our job properly, you should never have to call us for anything other than functional support,” said Harry Ellis, CIO and president of Sanford-based Next Horizon. “We’re there proactively maintaining your infrastructure and security, as well as being ready for those functional calls.” Next Horizon, a managed IT services provider, works hard behind the scenes for companies ranging from local to national, professional services to healthcare, putting in the effort necessary to make technology effortless for their clients and their clients’ customers. Everyone needs technology, but most people are not technology experts. So it just makes sense that when the (micro)chips are down, you have a team that has already put in the work and has the knowledge that can save you the time, money and patience you often don’t have to spare. 24 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

Defining Managed IT What exactly do managed services entail, and what sets them apart from traditional IT services? Ellis explained it this way: “We’re taking full ownership of whatever we’re performing for the client. We’re giving the client the full gamut of support. On the managed side, we become more proactive than reactive, so we’re constantly working with clients to ensure they’re using the latest versions of software and hardware.”





Based on each client’s unique needs, Next Horizon provides services that fall into three categories:


Think of this as a much friendlier form of consulting the product manual. If you’re wondering how to perform a specific function, a managed IT team can walk you through it. Team members can even turn the support over to a specialized consultant and work with that person to provide answers.

“We become the front line of support for any issues regarding a specific platform,” Ellis said. From handling email issues within a platform like Office 365, to working with distribution lists and groups, managed IT allows all software within a platform to be seamlessly integrated. The platform is monitored to ensure the team is alerted about any problems as soon as they are detected, meaning quicker, more proactive fixes with less loss of productivity.

The Effort Behind Effortless Staying on top of broader industry changes, software and platform developments, local trends, and a company’s specific needs takes a lot of careful attention — and can mean the difference between a smoothly running IT system and one that feels more like a series of fires in need of being put out. “It’s a balance between continuing education and service to the customer, and that’s what we do,” said Ellis, whose team regularly attends seminars with vendors and security experts, as well as team compliance and certification courses. Through vetting processes that include beta-testing or using the software in their own offices, they also make sure to get as much firsthand experience with new technologies as possible before recommending them to clients. That level of proactively staying on top of new technology is a standard Next Horizon has upheld since it was founded almost 20 years ago. The company also prides itself on its high level of customer service — a trait that keeps customers coming back again and again for trusted advice that is hard to find in the ever-changing world of IT. It’s not surprising that Next Horizon’s new customers typically find their way to the company through referrals by other customers. “Our industry isn’t regulated, so the problem sometimes is knowing who might be giving bad advice,” Ellis said. “That’s where trust and references really are key.” P


INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT This refers to the support of the actual hardware, whether that involves a physical workstation or a virtual server like the cloud. From choosing the right hardware, to maintenance and updates, to integration, careful examination of the building blocks of a company’s technology systems means a more sustainable infrastructure. i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 25

WOMEN OF 4 Scientists from imec Share Their Journeys >> By Diane SEARS

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omen are underrepresented in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), making up only 29% of all people in science research and development globally, according to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Europe and North America are slightly above average with 32% of women in STEM compared to the lowest numbers of 19% in South and West Asia and the highest at 48% in Central Asia. In the U.S., 80% of all STEM jobs are in engineering and computer science, but women make up only 12% of engineers and 26% of computer scientists, an article in the Global Policy Journal reported earlier this year. They face three main challenges: redefining what a scientist looks like because they

Dr. Sabine O'Neal

lack female role models; a “leaky” pipeline because women drop out of STEM fields during their educational and career journeys, leaving their female peers in STEM feeling isolated; and gender biases that face women in the workplace, in other fields as well. Promoting women in STEM careers has been a goal of imec, an international hub for research and development as well as innovation. Based in Belgium, imec opened an operation in Kissimmee in 2016 and is now part of the growing NeoCity project that includes BRIDG, a state-of-the-art facility that fabricates 200-millimeter microelectronics. Four imec scientists who are based in Central Florida talk about why they chose their careers and what keeps them motivated day-to-day.

ALL SORTS OF THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU’RE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS AND PLAYING AROUND WITH THINGS. — Stephanie Kwolek Chemist who invented Kevlar and winner of the Lavoisier Medal for technical achievements

As an imec USA assignee who is on the faculty of the University of Central Florida, Sabine O’Neal works in imec’s nanoelectronics design center. Her role is to help identify and develop new and improved laser technologies for active imaging systems. O’Neal attended the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany, where she obtained a master’s degree in physics, and then went on to the Netherlands, where she completed her doctorate in physics at Leiden University. After graduating, she worked in academic publishing as an editor for five years before moving on to positions that included consultant, expert witness, and research scientist or director for several institutions, including UCF.

1. What’s your big “why” for choosing to go into STEM?

I always liked to figure out how things work. Take things apart, put them back together, improve them. And while I also really liked to learn languages, speak them and get to know other cultures, I felt that I had better career chances in STEM.

2. Who or what was your inspiration for going into STEM?

My dad. He was an architect, but in his free time he would read physics and astronomy books and he would tell me about the fascinating things he learned. He was always interested in learning new things.

3. What keeps you motivated day to day?

Curiosity. The desire to understand things at a deeper level and to improve them. The fun-to-do experiments and to make things work.

4. Why did you choose imec?

I enjoy working on a great team, being encouraged and enabled to explore ideas and to help others with experiments to test out their ideas.

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Dr. Veerle Reumers

An R&D manager in the imec Florida office, Dr. Veerle Reumers initiates new collaborations and research projects in imaging and space health. She obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical sciences from the University of Leuven. Before joining imec, she performed her postdoctoral research on molecular imaging techniques in neurosciences at Harvard Medical School. In the life sciences department at imec, she explored different applications of imec technology blocks in the field of cell biology with a main focus on lens-free imaging and multi-electrode array electrophysiology. As R&D team leader, she was in charge of research and development projects ranging from public-funded academic collaborations to industry-driven bilateral projects.

1. What’s your big “why” for choosing to go into STEM?

In elementary school, I was fascinated by how the human body works, and I asked for my first anatomy kit with a miniature human skeleton and all major organs. I initially aspired to become a surgeon, but in middle school I wrote my thesis about gene therapy and during my literature research I found my passion for learning all about the molecular aspect of that complex field. I couldn’t stop digging deeper into all the research that was being done at the time to push that field toward clinical trials. At that point, I decided I wanted to go into medical research to ultimately heal so many more people than I would be able to affect as a practicing clinician.

2. Who or what was your inspiration for going into STEM?

My parents have always been the two smartest people I had ever met. Although we didn’t have a surgeon or academic professor in my family or circle of friends, they have always supported me to chase my dreams and gave me the confidence to believe I could become whatever I wanted to be.

3. What keeps you motivated day to day?

When I was in more basic research in the academic world, it certainly came with a lot of frustrations when the research results were not what we had hoped for or when we realized that even the promising results would take decades to translate to improvements in patients’ lives. However, I would always feel the drive to keep going when meeting patients and being confronted with the absence of an adequate cure — or even more when the diseases I was working on were affecting people close to me.

4. Why did you choose imec?

I feel imec is filling this gap, and I have the opportunity to work toward concrete technology solutions that will translate much faster to patients’ lives. I have been part of projects with both academic partners and industry collaborators, from exploratory feasibility work to specific organon-chip demonstrators. What keeps me motivated is the feeling I get when we are all working together as a team, aiming to achieve great things.

THERE IS ONLY ONE THING WORSE THAN COMING HOME FROM THE LAB TO A SINK FULL OF DIRTY DISHES, AND THAT IS NOT GOING TO THE LAB AT ALL! — Chien-Shiung Wu, First Lady of Physics Often called the First Lady of Physics, Wu left her native China in 1936 to study at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her doctorate. She is most notable for conducting the Wu experiment, which contradicted the hypothetical law of conservation of parity. Although she was not recognized for the Nobel Prize along with her colleagues, she later went on to earn the inaugural Wolf Prize in Physics.

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Dr. Galia Ghazi

Born in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Galia Ghazi studied for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in Iran at KNT University and the University of Tehran. Then she moved to the United States to earn her doctorate degree, graduating from Northeastern University in Boston. While pursuing her doctorate, she conducted research on millimeter wave imaging for anomaly detection in security screening systems such as the ones that are currently used in airports. She joined imec as part of the computational imaging team and now works on developing the system and algorithms for millimeter wave imaging issues such as automotive driving with radar.

1. What’s your big “why” for choosing to go into STEM?

My father is a medical doctor, but he had studied mathematics and was always passionate about math and physics. I got acquainted with these subjects through him and I loved them, which continued throughout my studies because of great teachers I had. I always wanted to be able to help solve problems, so I went into STEM.

2. Who or what was your inspiration for going into STEM?

My father and all of my great math and physics teachers in school inspired me when they answered every one of my questions with patience and encouragement.

3. What keeps you motivated day to day?

I enjoy working on problems and getting one step closer to the solutions.

4. Why did you choose imec?

Because imec is a research-based company which does state-of-the-art work, and that is very interesting for me.

Jennifer Hewitt

As a doctoral student in the optics and photonics program at the University of Central Florida, Jennifer Hewitt is specializing in hyperspectral imaging. She is an awardee of the U.S. Department of Defense SMART scholarship, with sponsorship from the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, Ohio. She works part-time with the imaging systems group at imec and is currently working to develop a system that will help address the issue of finding invasive Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades.

1. What’s your big “why” for choosing to go into STEM?

I grew up with a family that does puzzle games and problem-solving at the dinner table for fun. With a career in STEM, I get to do that as my job.

2. Who or what was your inspiration for going into STEM?

My mother is my biggest inspiration for going into STEM. She is an electrical engineer, and she taught me a lot of the concepts that I use today.

3. What keeps you motivated day to day?

An engineer’s job is to explore existing problems and come up with solutions. There is always work to be done.

4. Why did you choose imec?

The organization is well-equipped for the type of work I want to do, and everyone is supportive of each other here.

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How Central Florida Store Services Keeps It Fresh No Matter What >> By Davia MOSS

A frequent visitor to the state of Florida, the hurricane tends to be an existing threat to our power grid. When the power goes out, everything gets a little more uncomfortable. In our homes, we worry about our comfort. We have no air conditioning, TV or sometimes running water. We also have to worry about how much food might spoil depending on the length of the power outage. Losing a hundred dollars’ worth of food is really an inconvenience for us. Now think about grocery stores, convenience stores and any other establishment tasked with keeping food and drink cold for us, the consumer. When disaster strikes, companies like Central Florida Store Services make sure that when your refrigerator goes out, you can drive to your local grocery or convenience store for something cold and refreshing to drink.

for brick-and-mortar businesses. Over the next few years, he added refrigeration services as the company expanded to 35 employees and brought in its first big client: Albertsons grocery store. Through steady leadership and quality work, Central Florida Store Services grew to become a successful enterprise. Sometimes, however, life throws you a curve ball.

Central Florida Store Services was started in 2003 by Eric Horine. Taking his experience and knowledge from Orlando Refrigeration, a company that was acquired twice during his tenure, Horine started out by building cabinets

The Collapse

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In 2007-08, the economy took a major hit, leaving many businesses with the unfortunate task of reducing costs to keep the doors open. Central Florida

Store Services was no exception, and Horine was forced to get creative. He expanded services to include general construction, as well as air conditioning and heating. This innovative pivot helped him land some pretty renowned clients, including Winn-Dixie, Sweetbay Supermarket, Burger King, NASA and the University of Central Florida Science Lab. Not all businesses were able to pivot so quickly and gain success. Many had to lay off staff to stay afloat. Horine had a different philosophy to maintaining and growing success: The people who helped your company grow during the successful times will weather the storm

“When you do something you’re passionate about, you are sure to get great outcomes because you put your heart into it,” Brian Horine said. “My advice? Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you are passionate about. There’s no better feeling than when I see that satisfied smile on a client’s face when they see our finished work.” with you when times are tough. Central Florida Store Services kept its employees on salary even when the company wasn’t making a profit. Horine hired his son, Brian, and together they dug themselves out of the hole.

The Next Generation Brian Horine had always been a part of his father’s business. When he was growing up, he ran around with his father on various jobs, soaking up as much knowledge as he could. He went on to work in every facet of the store services industry, in jobs from service technician to client management to project manager, at companies including Orlando Refrigeration, Hussmann and Ingersoll Rand. He entered his father’s company as an industry veteran and an asset to the organization. In 2015, Eric Horine retired and passed the baton to his son. Since then, Brian Horine has continued to grow the company with the same philosophy of quality work, steady leadership and a passion for the industry.

Under his leadership, the company has netted even more brand-name clients, including Subway, Gator’s Dockside, Heathrow Country Club and others. He has a continued commitment to his employees, striving for a fun, familyfriendly work environment. “I feel it’s critical to get to know not only your employees, but their families, too,” he said. “If you show you care about them, their loyalty to you and the company will be there. It’s been inspiring to see how much we can achieve when many team members feel a sense of ownership in our continued success.”

A Bright Future Simply stating that the future will be great is not the same as taking the steps to accomplish the feat. Brian Horine attained his mechanical license, as well as national incident management and fire inspection certifications, so he and his employees can be ready for any client need or problem that arises. Central Florida Store Services has also introduced a refreshed brand

WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT, YOU ARE SURE TO GET GREAT OUTCOMES BECAUSE YOU PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT. — Brian Horine look complete with a new website and reimagined logo. With his eye on the entire Southeast, Brian Horine wanted to develop a look and feel that could put Central Florida Store Services’ best foot forward with any client in any location. Today, the company makes sure the infrastructure of our retail food sources is always in place to sustain our way of life. So the next time your power goes out at home or you’re searching for the milk jug with the latest possible expiration date, know that businesses like Central Florida Store Services make it possible for your favorite grocery to be ready to serve you. P i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 31

A HOME FOR WELLNESS: Community Health Centers

40% of Americans are just one unexpected $400 health expense from a financial crisis

According to a 2018 report by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board


of Floridians were uninsured as of 2017 As reported by the Florida Policy Institute

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orty percent of Americans are just one unexpected $400 health expense from a financial crisis, according to a 2018 report by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. About 13% of Floridians were uninsured as of 2017, as reported by the Florida Policy Institute. The story those numbers tell is a harsh reality in the current conversation about health care, already not an easy one to have — but there is a bright spot to be found in Central Florida’s fourth-largest nonprofit, Community Health Centers. Working since 1972 to keep the humanity in health care, CHC has always been in tune with these hard truths. But its story, and the one it has helped write for Central Florida, is about solving those challenges one person at a time. Beginning with just one office in partnership with the Farmworkers Association, CHC has worked to bring compassionate health care to those who have limited access to medical services, whether it is because of a lack of insurance, prejudices of the time or socioeconomic class. At the core of a complicated conversation, CHC keeps it simple: Providing health care means providing comfort, patience and family to all.

The Whole Patient, the Whole Treatment Now operating 13 centers throughout Central Florida, CHC continues its original mission of bringing health care to all, including those without insurance, people on Medicaid and people on traditional health care plans. The centers often offer co-located services with family medicine, dental care, optometry, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine, behavioral health and a pharmacy in one building. “We don’t differentiate. Health centers serve everyone, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status,” said Margaret Brennan, CEO of Community Health Centers. “They increase access to healthcare and provide integrated services based on the unique needs of the communities they serve. It’s about caring for the whole person, making sure people know they are respected.” And caring for people, for Brennan and her team, means understanding their lives. No one exists in a vacuum, and there are countless factors contributing to people’s physical, mental and emotional health. Beyond just diagnosing

and treating a patient, CHC’s holistic approach goes beyond the services offered and extends to how each person is treated. To reinforce this, CHC has long been making use of electronic storage of all the patients’ records — including the very first integrated medical and dental electronic health records in the nation. Previous ailments, diagnoses and other records are available to better inform the doctor and better treat the patient. “Our centers are truly places where the patient can access care across a spectrum of services,” Brennan said. “Dental, eye care, primary care, behavioral and pharmacy services being available without leaving the center is perhaps the most holistic offering in Central Florida. We know there are many other factors that impact health status such as employment, housing, transportation, food insecurities and family support. Closing medical care gaps and implementing programs to enhance the wellness of our patients is mission-critical.” Brennan, who will retire in January 2020 after over 30 years of experience in management in health care, has found her own kind of home with CHC thanks to her team — and she has faith that those team members will continue to instill that same trust with every patient.

“Every day, someone tells me about a patient story or something positive within our organization, and it brings so much joy to my heart to hear about the impact we make in our patients’ lives,” Brennan said. “I cannot succeed alone, and our workforce is amazing — a leadership team that is extremely talented and team members who are passionate and loyal.”

Working with Neighbors Creative collaboration and integration have led to remarkable ideas with CHC’s partners as well. Brennan points to a unique program that encourages diabetic patients to come in for a baseline lab and then gives them vouchers to a food bank for a family of four. They are then encouraged to come back for a follow-up, where they can receive another voucher. “It encourages patients to come to us to talk about their health status,” Brennan said. “The food bank is making sure the clients are going to a location where they have access to nutritious food to sustain their progress.” Social service agencies provide assistance as

Above: Margaret Brennan, CEO of Community Health Centers Left: The team at CHC is dedicated to treating the whole patient


well, such as county government programs that are equipped to step in with resources or pay a home visit to alleviate issues that may be one of the root causes of the diagnosis. Other partnerships include Orlando Health and AdventHealth, which both have provided funding and collaborated with CHC to place a nurse in their hospitals who can follow up with patients and direct them to resources at the center to sustain treatment. Programs in partnerships with the University of Florida and Valencia College allow nursing and dental students to learn in the clinics. “We believe in not only taking care of the patients who come into our door, but of those outside of us as well,” Brennan said. “That is an important part of caring about your community — inside of and outside of your own walls.” P i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 33


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

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® Continues to Grow in Popularity

Culinary event features record number of gourmet restaurants


rlando’s gourmet dining scene steals the show during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining®, running Aug. 23 through Sept. 30. Now in its 14th year, the highly anticipated culinary event features its widest variety of cuisines yet. More than 120 Orlando-area restaurants are offering three-course, prix-fixe dinner menus for just $35 per person. With 11 restaurant newcomers this year, there are plenty of fresh flavors to savor. And there’s something for everyone, with a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

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Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining celebrates our region's dynamic culinary landscape, inviting the community to revisit local favorites and try some of our hottest new venues. The icing on the cake? Diners get to support a great cause, with $1 from each meal benefiting deserving local charities. Over the years, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining has raised more than $1 million for area nonprofits that benefit children and families. Visit OrlandoMagicalDining.com for more details, including menus, OpenTable reservation options and a full list of this year’s participants.

GEORGE AGUEL President & CEO of Visit Orlando

NEW RESTAURANTS Bring More Flavors to Savor

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining continues to raise the bar. The event expands its roster of restaurants this year with 11 newcomers, including two celebrity chef venues: The H Cuisine (Sand Lake Road) “Restaurant Row” destination in Dr. Phillips, featuring a diverse Mediterranean menu prepared by internationally trained chefs. Mia’s Italian Kitchen (I-Drive) Eatery with warm hospitality and entrees big on Italian flavor, including rigatoni alla calabrese, chicken parmesan and more. Bella Tuscany Italian Restaurant (Windermere) Family-owned eatery offering daily chef-prepared dishes, an award-winning wine list, full bar and live music on select days. The Edison (Disney Springs) Restaurant and nightlife hotspot designed to look like a converted power plant, offering a full range of handcrafted cocktails. Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant (Disney Springs) Speakeasy-style lounge and eatery specializing in Prohibition-era cocktails and hearty, Roman-style dishes. Jaleo (Disney Springs) Featuring flavors of Spain from world-famous, James Beard-winning Chef José Andrés. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (Disney Springs) Brand-new Disney Springs concept featuring the legendary master chef’s signature creations amid California elegance. Euphoria (Margaritaville Resort) Featuring seasonal favorites served from an open-air kitchen and a lively lounge that’s perfect for romantic dinners. The Back Room Steakhouse (Apopka) Apopka venue featuring signature black angus 10-ounce New York strip steak, wild caught Pacific Coho salmon and herb-crusted prime pork chop.



t’s no secret that Orlando’s culinary star continues to rise, with established venues and exciting new additions attracting global attention. From celebrity chefs to home-grown venues, our fine dining experiences are both fresh and diverse. There’s no better time to enjoy a memorable meal than during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® program. Since we launched it 14 years ago, this annual event has exploded in popularity and now features a record number of restaurants.

This season’s expanding options reflect the thriving food scene found across our destination, from the tourism corridor and Restaurant Row to downtown, Winter Park and points beyond. Tourism is a key ingredient in culinary innovation, offering access to award-winning chefs and bringing fresh concepts to the table. Our diverse dining options also elevate Orlando’s brand and increase visitor spending, which in turn generates jobs and revenue to enhance our local quality of life. With tourism supporting 41% of Orlando’s workforce, the restaurant industry plays a big role in generating positive economic impact. And Visit Orlando is proud to partner with our member restaurants on a high-impact program that further stimulates our economy, while at the same time giving back to local nonprofits that benefit our community. Bon appétit, everyone!

Bites & Bubbles (Downtown) New restaurant in Orlando’s Mills 50 District serving gourmet American fare with French flair. Menagerie Eatery & Bar (Downtown) Eclectic social eatery in Thornton Park that creates playful dishes in partnership with local farmers, fishermen and micro-vendors. i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 35



Rolando Garcia Senior Loan Officer Shelter Mortgage


My background in various types of lending products also allows me to further understand the full scope of the clients’ credit and budget to help them strengthen their home-buying capacity. — Rolando Garcia

Making Dreams Come True Rolando Garcia joined Shelter Mortgage with six years as a loan officer already under his belt. Now a senior loan officer with nearly a decade of experience, he’s prepared and motivated to get clients into their dream home.

“My background in various types of lending products also allows me to further understand the full scope of the clients’ credit and budget to help them strengthen their home-buying capacity,” Garcia says.

are always in good hands,” Lopez says of the partnership. “Rolando and I work very well together because our goal is always our clients’ best interest. We strive for a professional and seamless process.”

Buying a home, Garcia says, is one of the most important decisions financially and emotionally that anyone can make. To ensure that decision is made the right way for every client, Garcia leverages his years of experience as a loan officer, Shelter’s many partnerships, and his team’s knowledge to carefully match his borrowers with the right loan for them.

For both Garcia and Shelter, the relationships built through careful and honest communication and hard work are the most rewarding part of each day. That includes their buyers as well as their partners, such as Lydia Lopez of RE/MAX Realty.

While days can be hectic and unpredictable, seeing his borrowers handed their keys at closing, turning homebuyers’ dreams into a reality, keeps Garcia always working, learning and growing. Creating a network of trusted resources with Shelter’s values in mind, Garcia hopes that by the end of every transaction, his borrowers feel like part of the Shelter Mortgage family. P

“With Rolando’s expertise and knowledge in the mortgage industry, I know my clients

©️ 2019 Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Shelter Mortgage Company, LLC |4000 W. Brown Deer Road, Brown Deer, WI 53209 | Corp NMLS#431223 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess. org).Equal Housing Lender. Rolando Garcia, Senior Loan Officer NMLS ID: 476625 |408 East Ridgewood Street |Orlando, FL 32803 | (407) 897-6656 x16910 | Rolando.Garcia@ sheltermortgage.com

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Mandy Wilcox


Contracts and Trade Compliance Manager BRIDG


Listen to your gut. I have had a lot of conversations about the pros and cons of a decision, and it always comes back to, ‘What is your gut telling you?’… That’s the direction you need to follow. — Mandy Wilcox

A True Career Fit Mandy Wilcox has always loved science. “When I was a child, I wanted to be a vet,” she says. “That was all I ever talked about.” That aspiration evolved into a broader focus on the sciences and STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It eventually would lead her to the right place at the right time: working as contracts and trade compliance manager at BRIDG, a state-of-the-art microelectronics fabrication facility in Kissimmee. After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Central Florida, Wilcox found another passion. She began working in the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization — the role that led to her recruitment at BRIDG.

“I found I really enjoy the mix of science, innovation and compliance,” she says. “Sometimes you don’t know what the right fit truly is until you fall into it like I did.” Falling into it isn’t without its share of effort, however. Each day at the ever-expanding innovation center offers a new set of challenges and triumphs. “I arrive at the office with an open mind, knowing that my to-do list may get checked off seamlessly or nothing may get checked off at all due to more pressing priorities,” Wilcox says. “Staying inspired and light on my feet has allowed me the ability to be flexible and ready for change at a moment’s notice. Plus, not a day goes by that I

don’t interact with many of the brilliant minds we have working on the team, and that is worth its weight in gold.” She credits those brilliant minds, the guidance of mentors, and her own intuition for her ability to balance adaptability, stability and innovation in each day in her role. Whether implementing compliance in new areas or managing the day-to-day of existing contracts, “perseverance, patience, and a strong work ethic are the most important things to possess working at a startup,” she says. “Nothing is out of reach.” P

i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 37



Chantal Aybar

Commercial Banker BB&T


My parents’ words come full circle here reminding me that, while not everyone is going to like me, genuine, authentic relationships will be created if I focus my energy on those who do like me for who I am. — Chantal Aybar

An Entrepreneur at Heart When she was growing up in the Dominican Republic, Chantal Aybar started a lemonade stand and then began designing and crafting jewelry. Today, as a commercial banker for BB&T, she looks back at how her parents encouraged her entrepreneurial spirit and instilled in her a desire to strive for success while showing kindness and compassion toward others. “My father is the ambitious go-getter with a warm and fuzzy heart, and my mom is the emotionally intelligent, supportive parent with the less-affectionate exterior,” she said. Her father encouraged her to shoot for the stars, and she was accepted at the University of Virginia in 38 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

Charlottesville. During those formative college years, she transitioned from a Latin culture to an American one. “I am both Dominican and American, and I am proud to not fit into one generic box,” she says. When Aybar was starting her childhood businesses, her grandfather taught her a lesson that led her into appreciation for the banking industry. He said, “The only money you have is the one you don’t spend.” Today she jokingly says she shakes hands for a living. “A good portion of my time is spent meeting new people and connecting with both clients and prospects,” she says. “I enjoy

hearing people’s stories and how they got to where they are, and it is fascinating to encounter so many diverse backgrounds in the Central Florida community.” After graduating from BB&T’s Leadership Development Program in 2015, Aybar moved to Orlando for a position she was offered. She chose to stay because she fell in love with the community and made great friends. Then she joined the Leadership Orlando program, which helped her learn more about the seven-county region while forming these connections and friendships. “Central Florida has given me incredible coworkers, an amazing tennis community, a foodie family and a young professional circle of trust.” P


Jason Schmidt, CCIM


Broker and COO

Stockworth Realty Group


My business drive is to elevate the status and professional recognition of those within our organization so they are viewed as leaders in their field. — Jason Schmidt, CCIM

Complicated Issues, Creative Solutions Creativity shouldn’t be reserved for the “creative industries.” As Stockworth Realty Group’s chief operating officer and broker, Jason Schmidt says inventiveness has been the key to his success in an industry where imagination might sometimes go unrecognized.

and has earned him one of real estate’s highest professional designations, a spot on the Forbes Real Estate Council, and more than $1 billion in real estate sales and equity placement.

While pursuing a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Central Florida, Schmidt was working as a musician when he began a part-time job as a real estate researcher. In real estate, he saw the potential to put his talents and drive to use.

In an industry that changes with as much regularity and speed as his, Schmidt credits adaptability for allowing him to balance the creative and the corporate. His mornings, which typically begin in the office around 6 a.m., are reserved for his corporate duties so he is able to be fully present during the balance of the day for those in his organization and Stockworth’s clients.

“Being able to see something born out of nothing excited me into wanting to explore business and real estate further,” he says. “Every day is about developing creative solutions to complicated problems.” So began a career that has now spanned 15 years

Schmidt, who still pursues music and video production in his free time when not spending it with family, sums up his philosophy simply: “Work as hard as you can and strive to live a life that is genuine and inspires others. In life, your habits become your reputation.” P i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 39



Meaghan Branham

Communications Manager i4 Business


The part of my job that I love most is the opportunity to talk to people in so many different industries who are doing amazing things in Central Florida. I learn something new from every person I talk to. — Meaghan Branham

The Art of Storytelling Meaghan Branham has always had a flair for telling a compelling story. She was drawn to film, theater and literature as a child and still wraps herself in culture and fine arts as she continues to hone her craft. Today, as the communications manager for i4 Business magazine, she brings other people’s stories to life every day through her writing. Branham joined the magazine in 2017 under the previous ownership after graduating from the University of Central Florida, and she was asked to stay on when its current leaders took over the publication in mid-2018. Today, she is an essential part of the team led by Publisher Cherise Czaban and Editor-in-Chief Diane Sears. Her 40 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

job involves not only extensive writing but also project management and sales support — two tasks that require skills in collaboration and persuasion. “I’ve learned so much about the value of communication and teamwork,” she says. “Everyone on our team is so ready to help and talk through ideas. I think that’s been our strength from the beginning. I’ve also learned a lot about persistence and follow-through.” Long-term, she says, she will continue to practice the art of storytelling in all of its forms. One of the keys to that is getting out of the day-to-day routine to explore new places and ideas. In recent years, Branham has traveled throughout the

Southeast U.S. as well as to Greece, France and Spain. “Even small road trips with friends just for a change of scenery can get you out of a rut you might not know you’re in,” she says. “I love the beach and try to go as often as possible.” Branham draws inspiration and creativity from her teammates at i4 Business, her friends and mostly her mother, who retired last year as a deputy sheriff in Brevard County. “My mom is the hardest-working and strongest person I have ever known, so she has always been my biggest role model,” Branham says. “My best friends are all incredibly kind, talented, self-assured women. Just being around them is inspiring.” P


and be part of a unique environment that provides C-Level Executives with new and fresh insights into Corporate Leadership at the highest level. Exchange ideas with experts in Corporate Governance, Finance, Tax, Risk Management, Marketing, Long Range Planning and much, much, more.

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ATHENAPowerlink Spotlight

Engineer to Entrepreneur

I Shalyn Dever

Chatter Buzz Media CEO

With ATHENA, we are each other’s support. Whenever there is a connection we need, support or advice we seek, they are there. — Shalyn Dever

t may not seem a natural progression to some: engineer to entrepreneur. For Shalyn Dever, CEO and founder of Chatter Buzz Media, her calling is in both.

Even during her time in school, Dever was seeking new ways to use her skillset in other areas. After earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, she enrolled in the business administration program to earn a second master’s degree. After all, in her work as a program manager and a project engineer at companies like DRS Technologies and Rockwell Collins in her years before this new venture, Dever had already demonstrated all the skills necessary for a promising entrepreneur: a firm grasp on starting complicated projects from the ground up, the ability to understand potential strengths and weaknesses, and a knack for communicating thoroughly with a team to see a goal through. In 2012, she co-founded Chatter Buzz, a tech creative digital marketing and advertising agency. Here, her unique skill set has served as the model for the company itself: a unique approach to brand marketing where technology is leveraged in ways others may never imagine, and where innovation is the core of their strategy.

Dever’s eye for detail also meant she knew where more guidance was needed. She turned to ATHENAPowerLink, a program designed to guide women business owners by providing resources including a specialized panel of hand-selected business advisors. Dever’s panel was selected to focus on the areas of sales, operations, and human resources and recruiting. “I was introduced to many business methods, tools, services and networks that I officially adopted and use today,” Dever said. “It has leaped our company forward and has given me a very optimistic look on the years to come. There is a clear vision and clear path on how to get there, and this gives me excitement each day.” With the guidance of her panel and continued support of the ATHENA program backing her, Dever has led Chatter Buzz since 2012 with eyes wide open, ready to face challenges, celebrate victories and learn along the way with her community. “As a CEO, I have my own homework. There is accountability within the program — it is not just a networking group. The group means business and support.” P

ATHENAPowerLink® guides women business owners in defining and achieving tangible goals to accelerate growth and profitability. To apply, visit www.athenaorlando.com. 42 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com


HIGH-TECH + NATURE Since the first iteration of the iPhone, it seems that one argument keeps resurfacing against technology: Staring at a screen is keeping us from connecting with what’s right in front of us. Brianna Barry, a Girl Scouts of Citrus 2019 Gold Award recipient, captured the attention of the community with a project that offered a new way of leveraging technology to make us more in tune with the world around us.

“From the beginning, I knew I wanted to do something naturerelated,” she says. With


the help of park rangers at Wekiwa Springs State Park, Barry set out to create a self-guided hiking trail with a high-tech twist. On each of the 14 marking posts that make up the trail, a QR code allows hikers to use their phones to scan the image, unlocking historical and biological information about the spot right in the palm of their hand.

Barry, who has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and is now entering her first year as a student at the University of Central Florida, had previously earned the Girl Scouts Silver Award for a project with her troop. With more than a decade of Girl Scouting experience under her belt, she embarked on this project ready to get people out into nature. Setting her goal, working closely with her community including park officials, and raising the money for materials through cookie sales and a car wash, Barry spearheaded everything from beginning to end. The response was overwhelmingly positive and continues to attract hikers excited to learn more about Florida’s wildlife. To Barry, that is the measure of success: “The most rewarding part was hearing about people going to it — that it’s making people want to get out on the trail into nature.”

The Girl Scouts Gold Award is one of the highest distinctions in the world for girls, and the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Gold Award winners are inspiring leaders who have identified an issue and taken action in the community to educate, inspire and unite those around them for a better world. i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 43

UP CLOSE Sheena Fowler With

By Meaghan Branham

Through innovations like the Vitaphone, Technicolor and computer-generated imagery (CGI) automation, film has been leveraging technology to tell stories differently since the industry began. Sheena Fowler, who serves as both Orlando Economic Partnership vice president of innovation and Orlando’s film commissioner, has been doing the same in Central Florida for years. She has been on an arc of creative evolution ever since she was a child. “At first, I wanted to be in the movies. I loved classic movies. But what I loved more was the concept of exploring possibilities to create something new. I followed my heart and found a career that has kept my love of the creative and the technical alive.” Following her heart has taken her on a journey that has led to incredible opportunities, from cementing the Orlando region as a popular production location for film and television, to showcasing Orlando’s innovation ecosystem on the world’s stage through events like Rise of the Rest and Synapse Orlando. Fowler has spent her career advocating for the wealth of creative potential in Central Florida in both the arts and technology. In the process, she has encouraged a community culture that is sustained by innovation. In your current role at the Orlando Economic Partnership, what are some of the things you oversee? I’m beyond honored to have been recently named the Partnership’s vice president of innovation. In this new role, I oversee the Partnership’s efforts toward expanding the regional innovation economy, leading an innovation team focused on accelerating the pace of growth of new ideas through the implementation of new opportunities and programs throughout the Orlando region.

In addition to helping bring Rise of the Rest to Orlando, I also played a role in making a strong case for why Orlando is poised to become the hub for the autonomous vehicle industry during the Automated Vehicles Symposium. The three-day symposium, which hosted more than 1,000 thought leaders from around the world, focused on highlighting the Orlando region’s friendly AV regulations, history in space exploration, cluster of defense and aerospace contractors, specialized university research and unified government buy-in. A testament to the strength of Orlando’s experience economy, regional entrepreneurs submitted 152 pitches for the Rise of the Rest pitch competition — the most received in the tour’s history — following the announcement that the Road Trip would kick off its eighth annual tour in Orlando. Of the eight finalists chosen to compete, several pitched products were developed directly from experience technology unique to Orlando.

How does our economy benefit from film and other industries tied to innovation? Orlando is home to dreamers and doers, and this is ever-present in the residents who create the innovation that powers our economy. Whether it’s using simulation to better train our nation’s military or finding new ways

to preserve our water sources, there are no boundaries on the ideas of those who choose to call Orlando home. This kind of creativity is contagious and is palpable throughout the community, continuously inspiring new ways of doing and seeing things. Evidence of our confluence of technology, innovation and film is a new, scripted television series, set to air on National Geographic in 2020 and currently filming in the Orlando region. Headquartered at Universal Studios Florida Production Group (USFPG), “The Right Stuff” is based on the book and movie of the same name and follows the early days of the American space program, specifically Project Mercury and the Mercury Seven. The series, produced by Warner Horizon and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, is the highest-profile production project the region has seen in decades. This project is made possible by the efforts of USFPG, the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment and our Orlando Film Commission team who worked diligently for months to win this project over other locations across the country. Orlando has always been a great place to visit. But I want to make sure the world knows this is also a great place to call home because it is a region born on the idea that we can accomplish anything when we all work together.

You previously volunteered with Orlando’s Downtown Arts District. How would you describe the state of the arts in the area? What do you see for the future, and what about it do you try to communicate in your work? The state of the arts in Orlando is and always has been strong. You can see that through an event like Creative City Project’s IMMERSE, an annual citywide performing

i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 45


and interactive arts experience. Taking place in the streets and public spaces throughout downtown Orlando, IMMERSE is the ultimate showcase of the breadth and strength of the creativity and talent that’s been in this community for decades. It’s a massive public platform for more than 1,000 artists and arts organizations in the region. Those who have been involved know the level of talent in this region. We just never had the visibility. This year, Orlando’s creative culture takes center stage by incorporating technological innovation thanks to a strategic alignment between IMMERSE and Synapse Orlando, a daylong symposium of entrepreneurship and thought leadership highlighting the region’s innovation ecosystem, from experience technology to digital wellness and smart city initiatives. I’m proud to play a role in amplifying the success of the collective art and culture community in this region.

What was it like to be inducted into the Full Sail University Hall of Fame? What was your time there like? It’s an honor. It’s the coolest club I never knew I wanted to be a part of. I had no idea how collaborative and inclusive this group would be, and all my intimidations have been checked at the door since meeting this new family. The capacity for a communal approach to

46 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

new work, the cooperative spirit among the group and its willingness to share advice is the most rewarding aspect. My time at Full Sail pushed me to new levels. It helped me understand what I’m capable of. It’s a 24-hour schedule that stretched me to find ways to overcome all excuses.

What drew you to film, and how has it influenced your life? It was my environment. My parents were artists. My dad is a mixed media artist and photographer, and my mom is a cosmetologist, which is a form of artistry in itself. My parents shaped my passion for film and made me watch “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Rosemary’s Baby” maybe a little too young. But it inspired me. My dad and I watched a lot of Alfred Hitchcock together. They were an incredible exposure to the film industry for me.

The production industry as a whole is highly collaborative. It takes hundreds of people to work on a single project, and that was what drew me to the industry. That collaborative spirit is what drives me. I fell in love with the non-traditional routes to success. You just have to work hard and see the bigger picture. I also came from a family of automotive dealership owners. As a result, from the time I was born I was involved in community organizations, sat

in on board meetings and even attended Rotary Club events. It was the No. 1 priority of my family, to be involved in the community. That’s why it comes so naturally to me. That’s what you do in my family — work with the community.

What are some of your favorite movies, and how did they inspire you to pursue your work in the industry? “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Casablanca,” “Holiday” — all of my favorite films focus on a young woman’s journey and experience. These characters are faced with an onslaught of obstacles both big and small while having to find their way in a new, changing, confusing and sometimes frightening world — all while still staying true to themselves. This really spoke to me. I saw a lot of myself in them, and their experiences helped guide my own as I embarked on my own journey.

What is the best piece of advice you have received? The pace at which life moves, if you don’t define it, you get lost really quick. The core values you pick are something that should evolve but remain something you can point back to and say, “This is my reality check. This is who I am.” All that evolution will take place on the path you want. That little reality check is important to staying on track as you keep growing and evolving through life. P


Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the Central Florida region



i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 47

Best Practice

Leadership 4 Key Points for Coaching Your Own Winning Team

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

Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results. — Pat Summitt

48 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

I was coming home in a Lyft ride from one of my business trips and had the best conversation with the driver. I noticed he was wearing an Auburn University hat and I inquired, “Are you a fan or a graduate?” He replied, “Both.” We had a 45-minute lively discussion about college football. As this article goes to print, we will know the outcome of a much-anticipated contest, the University of Miami vs. University of Florida game at Camping World Stadium. With students venturing back into classrooms at this time of year, there is chat of how the football season will unfold on any given campus. I am just finishing a book called The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. A couple days after my Lyft ride, I thought about this book and how it relates to college football. The book is business-focused for top team performance, and there are some critical points leaders in any industry can use, just like football coaches rely on winning strategies to get to the championship game. Cooperation and teamwork among all players are essential

for a winning season and a continued successful journey. I would like to discuss four points from the book for coaching your own winning team: 1.

Tear down silos. This will help your team be more focused. The offense needs to know if an unusual play will be run on special teams or defense that could turn the ball over and create an opportunity for the offense to come back on the field. “In great teams, managers aim their people at regular, small-scale milestones to get to the big one, and they praise every positive step taken along the way — including valiant efforts that don’t work out,” the book reads. What gets recognized is what gets repeated.

2. Maintain a transparent environment with ample feedback. Players should never be surprised from any perspective. For example, if you as the head coach sign on the No. 1 recruit at quarterback position, your current starting quarterback should not hear

about it in the parking lot or, even worse, read it in the newspaper. Move your organization from a culture of “need to know” to a culture of “need to share.” 3. Pay attention to the individual team members. Each player was recruited for a special talent. A head coach and the coaching team should know each player’s end goals. Some might want to enjoy the experience, others want their education paid for and yes, some want to make it to the NFL draft. Within your organization, consult with each member of your team and make sure you are crystal-clear on that person’s career goals. 4. Recognize players and employees. The book discusses seven best practices for recognition. Sure, when a touchdown is scored, you see many forms of celebration and recognition — hugs, high-fives and standing ovations. But that’s easy when you are winning the game. What if you’re losing the game by a big margin and there are 42 seconds left? Or you missed the profit plan and did not beat last year’s numbers? This is where you can rely on these best practices: •

Appreciate good tries. A kicker misses a 54-yard field goal. The game was not won, but the head coach needs to put his arm around the kicker and say, “Heck of a try!”

Say thanks right now. A sales professional just landed a top account. Do not wait to see that person at an event. Pick up the phone and make the call. I personally like mailing a handwritten note.

Praise often. No matter what happens on the field or in the office, praise each player during or after each game. Praise each employee once a week.

Share details. Let the employees know the big picture and the “why” behind the big picture.

Build on important values. Notice the players who embody or support the organization’s values and point out their actions approvingly.

Celebrate great results. Match the rewards with what matters to the person you are praising, such as an award, a possible promotion or appointment to lead a project.

Take a step. When formally recognizing an individual, tell a story, make it personal and have it come from the heart. This is my favorite.

As college football season begins, make it a point to notice whether any of the four points are demonstrated on the field. And, as a business leader, be sure to review and implement them with your own team. Game on, and may the best team win! P

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

i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 49

Best Practice

Marketing What Everyone Can Learn from Nonprofit Marketing

Cherise Czaban

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

Throughout our lives, we are faced with a variety of challenges. It is in these moments that the wisdom of others who have walked the same dark valleys, but have overcome, prove to be invaluable and sometimes the catalyst for our own personal triumphs and victories. — Russell and Sam Evans

50 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

It’s been the same for as long as any of us can remember: Nearly every traditional marketing campaign has relied on the formula of identifying a problem and then determining how it can be solved. This basic equation is tried and true, but in recent years nonprofits in particular have stepped up their messaging and storytelling, fine-tuning and building an approach that is not only more effective, but more ethical. They go beyond the hypothetical, the what and the how, and fearlessly into the reality of the who, the why and the result.

Putting the Humanity Back in Marketing

Humanity is not a word typically associated with sales and marketing, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t belong there. Nonprofits know that better than any other business. Because they are dealing with real and sensitive stories, they have developed a knack for understanding other points of view, which involves carefully considering the experiences of those whose stories are being told. More than just treating these stories as vehicles for publicity or proof of their own

effectiveness, nonprofits show their audiences how they help by telling the stories of who they help with compassion and sensitivity. This means carefully considering both the privacy and perspective of their subjects: how much are they OK with sharing, what they want to be known, and how their truth can be conveyed. That practice, in turn, makes these campaigns not only more ethical, but also more likely to make an impact on those listening.

Understanding the Whole Experience

Just as you can’t ignore the nuances of how you tell stories, you also can’t ignore the nuances of the stories themselves. If you present a problem and only how you can solve it, rather than presenting the issue as simply one facet of the whole experience of the audience, your messaging will come across as one-dimensional and inauthentic, and ultimately ineffective. Your readers are multidimensional people, so it follows that they will best relate to the realistic and multidimensional experiences of others. The stories you are telling have to reflect the unique perspective and experience of the individual, how your product or service solves the problem, and how that resolution fits into the greater story of the person’s life. This will help audiences understand how your product or service is realistic and its use sustainable. In turn, by telling these types of holistic stories about your customers, you develop a better understanding of who your audience members really are and what they need. This not only helps the stories be accurate and appeal to compassion, but it allows them to reflect a better understanding of the people being served. Focusing on just the circumstances can dehumanize the person with the problem to be solved, but seeing that person as real makes it much easier for the audience to relate to the person’s situation and understand how to help.

Authenticity and Listening

In order to tell these stories, you will have to really listen. Remember to not go in with an idea already fully formed. This will prevent you from hearing your audience’s perspective. Be open to the realities. This can be difficult because the realities may not fit in with what you already know, or what you would hope to be true, but they will keep you in touch with the real needs of your audience — and keep your organization from stagnating. By always listening for these stories, you will become better adept at hearing the perspectives and needs of all the people in your audience. P

i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 51

Best Practice

Communication 3 Steps for Growing Your Small Business

Ray Watson

is the CEO of Executive Leadership Resources Inc., a member of the board of directors of Fidelity Bank of Florida, and a group facilitator for the University of Central Florida’s GrowFL initiative.

We are fortunate to live in the Sunshine State, with powerful solar energy, vast citrus groves, teeming oceans and amazing wildlife. Florida is a paradise, especially for those with the knowledge and skill to harness its energy and work with its abundant resources. Florida’s small business owners have a similarly powerful environment for achieving success, driven by the commitment of local initiatives, banks and communities to supporting their growth. Sometimes it just takes the right conditions in place to truly shine: a team of partners that offer guidance, financial support and further opportunities when the time is right. Here are three ways you can leverage the tools available to you to grow your small business in your community and begin to scale:

The right business coach or mentorship group can act as a compass of sorts to help you overcome challenges by providing research, feedback and advice and fostering your development as a leader. — Ray Watson

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1) Find Your Compass

Over the past decade in my work as a CEO group facilitator with the University of Central Florida’s GrowFL/CEO Nexus program, I have been able to help CEO roundtable members develop as leaders, refine their strengths, build a culture of excellence and assist in achieving a successful exit when the time is right. Look for community organizations and initiatives that connect business leaders to each other to share strategies, resources and support. The right business coach or mentorship group can act as a compass of sorts to help you overcome challenges by providing research, feedback and advice and fostering your development as a leader as you navigate the waters of growth and change. All of these steps are paramount to leadership of a small or midsize business. Whether you, as the CEO, see yourself as the face of the company or the driving force behind it, it is your ship, and as you go, so it goes.

2) Make It Rain Nothing grows in nature without some water. Likewise, businesses do not develop without funding. Find an investment partner who believes in your organization, your leadership and your future. I have been on the board of directors of Fidelity Bank of Florida for five years, which has allowed me to do what I am most passionate about – help small businesses succeed.


As a community bank, Fidelity Bank of Florida has the ability to build relationships with all customers, understand their unique needs, and help fulfill their dreams by providing a personal banking relationship and financial support for their growth. Find a bank or investment partner with a solid history of commitment to community businesses, the capacity to fund what you as a CEO are trying to build, and the tools and expertise to support that growth successfully. Your investor should be a driving force in the local economy.

3) Plant a Seed for the Future As your business grows, be sure you appropriately plan for tomorrow and give back to the community as well. Part of any good leadership approach is recognizing that someone else must lead a company that is built to last into the future, planning for that transition, ideally identifying that person, and facilitating the change. Be comfortable with change. I was privileged to begin my career serving as an officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces, then brought that leadership training to my business career as an executive in Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies. As an entrepreneur, I have owned companies in the IT, medical, manufacturing and construction industries before transitioning into my current role working with business owners as a coach, facilitator and board member. Invest time in your community, too. I serve as a member of the board of directors for the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, act as a volunteer on the advisory boards at both Seminole State and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and partner with the CEO Leadership Forum, a group of Central Florida professionals working with Valencia College to support its business program and provide content briefings to CEOs. Give of your time and talent to others, and you will reap what you sow. P

The audience for print and digital magazines increased by 3.3 million adults from 2016 to 2017.

65% of readers take action after seeing a print magazine ad

Source: MPA – The Association of Magazine Media

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Social Entrepreneur

Blue Man Group


Nonprofit Synapse Accelerates Innovation in Florida By Justin Braun


n the nervous system, a synapse is a structure that allows neurons to pass electrical and chemical signals to each other. It is a connection point that facilitates the flow of energy throughout the body, essential to all living things. Similarly, within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the synapse is just as vital. Taking the form of relationships and networks, connections within a business community enable the flow of ideas and capital that foster innovation and breed 54 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

growth. But, unlike neuronal synapses, social connection points between entrepreneurs are often entirely circumstantial rather than naturally occurring. Unfortunately, serendipity doesn’t scale. “A strong innovation community needs more than luck to be successful. It needs intentionality,” says Brian Kornfeld, president of Synapse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to accelerate innovation throughout the state. “Synapse was founded by entrepreneurs and investors looking to create a framework to connect Florida’s dynamic innovation communities more efficiently and effectively. Synapse is a place for business leaders to find what they need and share what they have so they can more easily succeed.”

The organization brings visibility and opportunity to entrepreneurs, startups, investors, talent, corporations, entrepreneur support organizations, service providers and government leaders that make Florida the center of innovation in the Southeast. Synapse’s goal is to unite Florida’s innovation community — an entrepreneurial ecosystem rich with resources and assets that produce an abundance of promising technologies, but one that has been historically disjointed and underserved by the investment community. “There’s a lot more discussion about building the next generation of great companies here,” says Terry Berland, managing partner of Kirenaga Partners, an early stage investment firm focused on finding promising companies in Florida. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm about the entrepreneurial community and a lot more coordination. The region’s resources are becoming more connected, which is critical.” A catalyst for these connections is the Synapse Summit, a celebration and showcase of Florida’s most innovative people, companies, organizations and technologies. The 2019 symposium took place in Tampa’s Amalie Arena in January, with two days featuring 111 breakout sessions, 415 speakers, 334 exhibiting companies and 5,542 attendees who gathered for workshops, panel discussions, demos and keynotes by top business and thought leaders. On the heels of Tampa’s success, Synapse will debut its first regional business event, Synapse Orlando, in downtown Orlando on October 18, 2019, in collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership). “We are thrilled to be bringing the excitement of Synapse to Orlando,” Kornfeld says. "Synapse is all about getting connected to the right people. We believe that by hosting Synapse Orlando in collaboration with the Orlando Economic Partnership, we can create synergistic and intentional connections


Social Entrepreneur

There’s a lot of enthusiasm about the entrepreneurial community and a lot more coordination. The region’s resources are becoming more connected, which is critical. — Brian Kornfeld

across the state, making Florida an even better place to start a business, scale a business and innovate.” The daylong symposium of entrepreneurship and thought leadership will showcase the region’s innovation ecosystem from experience technology to digital wellness and smart city initiatives while also offering opportunities for the startup community to learn about the latest

transformational innovations impacting Florida’s overall business community. With Synapse’s first event in Orlando, regional entrepreneurs also gain access to Synapse Connect, an online platform that allows innovators to easily and quickly connect with the resources they need to accelerate success. Additionally, the organization seeks to spur innovation through community action in the form of Synapse Challenges, a crowdsourcing

Architects of Air interior i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 55

Social Entrepreneur


We believe Orlando is a place of creativity and innovation. — Cole NeSmith

solution for organizations to solve real-world problems and create new opportunities for forward-thinking businesses and people. “Synapse’s decision to launch its first regional event in Orlando further builds on the momentum of our entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as our technology-focused industries that have been vital to our economic growth,” says Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Partnership. “The depth of talent and expertise the summit brings to our startup community will propel the pace of innovation throughout the region by connecting our entrepreneurs with the ideas, talent, resources, tools and capital they need to grow.” To showcase the strength of Orlando’s creative culture, Synapse Orlando is strategically aligned with Creative City Project’s IMMERSE, an annual city-wide performing and interactive arts experience made possible, in part, by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s event, taking place in the streets and public spaces throughout downtown Orlando on October 18 and 19, provides a massive public platform for 1,000-plus artists from more than 100 organizations with performances and interactive installations by Blue Man Group, The Architects of Air, Diavolo, Orlando Ballet, Opera Orlando, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras, Corkcicle and Orlando Utilities Commission.

partners to develop and forge new alliances to connect the region’s tech and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

“We believe Orlando is a place of creativity and innovation,” says Creative City Project Founder and CEO Cole NeSmith. “Each year, Creative City Project is working to promote that on a global scale through our annual event, IMMERSE. The partnership with Synapse just makes sense as we work to achieve this vision together. Orlando truly is a uniquely collaborative city, and I’m proud of our community for reaching across industry lines to create meaningful experiences for residents and visitors. The more we work together, the more we thrive. And this partnership is one more example of our collaborative spirit.”

When the Rise of the Rest Road Trip announced it would start its eighth tour in Orlando, regional entrepreneurs submitted 152 pitches for the competition, the most received from any U.S. startup market in the tour’s history. Rise of the Rest shone a spotlight on local entrepreneurs and worked to foster the spirit of innovation throughout the region’s startup community.

The connection between Synapse and IMMERSE was facilitated by the Partnership, and its vice president of innovation, Sheena Fowler, has been working with public 56 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | i4Biz.com

“The partnership between the two events presents the opportunity for a creative collision between Orlando’s innovation and experience economy,” Fowler said. “It also builds on our momentum of the Rise of the Rest tour with AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, whose venture capital firm, Revolution, chose Orlando for its kickoff to this year’s tour.”

“There’s incredible momentum building in our community right now,” Fowler said. “Synapse is one of the keys to unlock our future potential and continue to accelerate the success of our businesses. It is a resource that can bridge our entrepreneurs to the larger business community.” P



Unique experiences for your day off ORANGE CITY Blue Spring State Park Known as a great place to see manatees, which numbered 485 as of 2018, Blue Spring State Park in Volusia County is a gem along the St. Johns River that also attracts a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfishers. Visitors can hike along the spring run or on the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail. The park offers canoe and kayak rentals as well as guided river boat cruises and Segway tours. The most popular activity is swimming, and the concession shop rents goggles, snorkels, inner tubes and lockers. The park also has 51 campsites equipped with water and electricity hook-ups, a picnic table, a grill and two bathhouses.


ORLANDO S’mores at Bigfire Take a brief retreat to a two-story restaurant that feels like a lakeside summer house, with an atmosphere reminiscent of relaxed evenings spent at the water’s edge. At Universal Orlando’s newest original concept, Bigfire, you can step out of CityWalk and into a venue that features modern inspiration drawn from the nostalgia of cooking over open flames during memorable family vacations. Natural design elements of mix-and-matched fabrics and seating, cast iron, twinkling lights and camp lanterns complete the outdoor ambience inside the restaurant. Enjoy one of the most popular fireside treats: s’mores, which you can prepare right at your table.


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


WINTER PARK The Cornell Fine Arts Museum Located on the campus of Rollins College, The Cornell Fine Arts Museum features rotating exhibitions, ongoing programs and an extensive permanent collection of more than 5,600 objects spanning centuries, from examples of ancient art and artifacts to contemporary pieces. In addition to works at the museum, you can explore art from the museum’s collection nearby at the college’s philanthropic boutique hotel, The Alfond Inn. The inn is a oneof-its-kind in the nation, serving as a satellite location for an art museum. Admission, tours, lectures and family programs are free for everyone year-round thanks to donor and member support.


LAKE BUENA VISTA Characters in Flight Balloon at Disney Springs For a different view of Disney Springs, try a trip aboard the Characters in Flight tethered balloon, which lifts visitors about 400 feet above the shopping, dining and entertainment complex for a 360-degree view of the Walt Disney World Resort for about eight minutes. The balloon features a fresh design inspired by the springs and the element of water. Custom-built for Disney by Paris-based company Aérophile S.A., the Aéro30 is filled with 210,000 cubic feet of helium. The balloon’s 19-foot-diameter basket holds up to 29 people, plus one Aérophile-certified pilot. Daily operations are 8:30 a.m. to midnight, weather permitting. Photography: David Roark


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Business Seen

MLS ALL-STAR WELCOME RECEPTION Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Orlando City Soccer owner Flávio Augusto da Silva, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins and Greater Orlando Sports Commission CEO Jason Siegel welcomed the MLS delegation and members of the 2019 MLS All-Star and Atlético de Madrid teams to Orlando for MLS All-Star Week, which took place July 27 to 31. More than 200 community leaders gathered at a reception in the DeVos Room at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to support MLS and the sport of soccer.

MLS player Graham Zusi, Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Congresswoman Val Demings, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, MLS player Bastian Schweinsteiger, and GO Sports CEO Jason Siegel.

Front Row: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Congresswoman Val Demings, Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins. Back Row: Luciana Diniz Da Silva; Flavio Augusto da Silva, owner, Orlando City Soccer Club; Susie Shields; Tiffany Hawkins; Sarah Grafton; CEO Jason Siegel of GO Sports; and MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Emcee Miguel Gallardo of the Orlando City Soccer Club, GO Sports CEO Jason Siegel, MLS All-Star coach James O’Connor, Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins, Flavio Augusto da Silva of the Orlando City Soccer Club, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

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Business Seen

MLS All-Star Players.

AtlĂŠtico de Madrid Players.

Crowd attends welcome reception.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Logan Michael, City of Orlando junior reporter. i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 61

Business Seen

WOMEN IN DEFENSE 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION The Central Florida Chapter of Women in Defense held a special event on July 25, 2019, to commemorate its 10-year anniversary. To celebrate a decade of “butterfly effects,” the celebration included a panel discussion on how individuals and small teams can take actions that lead to significant impacts on training, innovation and national security. Held at the University Club in downtown Orlando, the event also included a networking reception. PHOTOGRAPHY: Oscar Peoples and Wendy Cowan

The 2019 special guest panel: General Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle; General Lori Robinson, U.S. Air Force retired; Lisa Sanders; and Florida Representative Anna Eskamani, moderator

The “Butterfly Effect” cake, sponsored by Cogent Bank and created by Virgo Bakery

Women in Defense Central Florida Chapter Vice President Dr. Elizabeth Biddle, Kelly Neville and guest

Tiffany Sanders, Central Florida chapter president, National Defense Industrial Association; Karen Fray, president, Women in Defense Central Florida Chapter; Marnita Harris, programs chair, Association of the U.S. Army Sunshine Chapter; and Daila Espeut-Jones, president, Association of the U.S. Army Sunshine Chapter

State Representative Anna Eskamani; Tiffany Sanders; Karen Fray; Debbie Berry, past chapter president and member of WID National Council; Dr. Elizabeth Biddle, chapter vice president

General Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle; General Lori Robinson, U.S. Air Force retired; Daila Jones, Marsha Tim; State Representative Anna Eskamani; and Lisa Sanders

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Business Seen

2019 WID Central Florida 10-year anniversary guest speaker panel and the Cubic staff WID Central Florida board and 2019 10-year anniversary panel: Christina Corbet, Sondra Chambers, Lisa Sanders, General Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle, Julie Kent, Debbie Berry, Lorie Ingraham, Karen Fray, State Representative Anna Eskamani, General Lori Robinson, General David Robinson, Kristen Mills, Dr. Elizabeth Biddle, Tiffany Sanders and Krissy Stewart

WID Central Florida board of directors: Christina Corbet, special projects; Julie Kent, secretary; Debbie Berry, past chapter president and member of WID National Council; Karen Fray, chapter president; Sondra Chambers, sponsorships; Tiffany Sanders, past chapter president and NDIA Central Florida president; Dr. Elizabeth Biddle, chapter vice president; Kristen Mills, special projects; and Krissy Stewart




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Working behind the scenes to make you look good!

sidekickcreations.com | 321.704.2393 i4Biz.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 63


Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know

$1 billion


Economic impact of manufacturing companies in the FloridaMakes network.

Number of consecutive years Orlando will have hosted the National Football League Pro Bowl when it returns to Camping World Stadium on Jan. 26, 2020.

$1 billion Cost of construction for new Star Wars land at Walt Disney World, which created 5,500 construction jobs.

WE’RE SENDING SLIME WHERE IT’S NEVER GONE BEFORE, TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION! — Nickelodeon on Twitter about its mission to send the green substance up for a science experiment.


$60 million Projected costs for planned upgrades to Camping World Stadium, paid for by short-term lodging taxes. Source: Visit Orlando


1,700 Number of “cast members” Disney has brought in for the new Star Wars land. About 60% are transfers from other positions and 40% are new hires. Source: Visit Orlando

— Alex Leitao, about superstar Orlando City Soccer Club forward Nani, who played in the MLS All-Star Game in July. Source: Pro Soccer USA

“It’ll be an eclectic bunch of buyers for an eclectic bunch of stuff.” — Auctioneer Alan Frenkel about the Fabulous Floridiana Auction, an event the Orange County Regional History Center held Aug. 10 to clear out some of its artifacts. Source: Orlando Sentinel

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78% Central Florida nonprofits optimistically responding in a recent survey that they plan to increase employee salaries in the current fiscal year. Source: Annual Compensation & Benefits Report issued by Crummer’s Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College

2019 SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION NOW! http://bit.ly/2019BLOY Nominations close September 15

i4 BUSINESS invites you to celebrate your company’s success or that of your clients by submitting your nomination for the 2019 Business Leaders of the Year Awards. Each year we recognize and honor business leaders in the Central Florida area who are making a positive impact in the region or have achieved superior growth in their company or organization over the past three years.

SAVE THE DATE Event held on December 10th, 2019 i4Biz.com

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

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