Page 1

Up Close Mayanne Downs

Laura Kelley CFX

Eunice Choi FSBDC & UCF

Pamela Nabors CareerSource


MARCH 2018









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

Learn more at



From Lake Nona’s Medical City to downtown Orlando’s growing skyline, including the soon-to-becompleted Church Street Plaza, OUC’s chilled water solution helps businesses across the area keep customers cool and comfortable. The innovative, reliable service allows commercial property owners to reduce capital costs with its hassle-free air conditioning option, both enhancing efficiency and supporting the environment at the same time. The advanced A/C technology even helps facilities like Amway Center achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a true stamp of sustainability.





MARCH 7, 2018 COUNTRY CLUB OF ORLANDO 11:00 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.




Central Florida Regional Hospital

Central Florida Expressway Authority

Anuvia Plant Nutrients




Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF

Akerman’s Land Use and Development Practice

CareerSource Central Florida

Wendy Brandon, CEO

Eunice Choi, Regional Director

Laura Kelley, Executive Director

Cecelia Bonifay, Chair

Amy Yoder, CEO

Pamela Nabors, President/CEO




powered by

FROM IDEA TO INDUSTRY At UCF, we turn bold ideas into big solutions. Our researchers have a fast track from the lab to the market, resulting in new inventions, intellectual property and startup businesses that drive economic growth and improve lives across Central Florida and the world. That’s why UCF is ranked by the Milken Institute alongside MIT, Stanford and Columbia as one of the nation’s top 25 technology transfer universities and is named a top 25 patent-producing U.S. public university by the National Academy of Inventors. Bright ideas brought to life create global impact. Now that’s big.






© 2015 Southwest Airlines Co.

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





14 Wendy Brandon

72 Purpose Leads to Profit

Spirit of Advocacy

18 Eunice Choi

Spirit of Mentorship

74 Alliances of the Mind

20 Laura Kelley

Spirit of Progress

Spirit of Engagement

Simser Law | Alex R. Simser

78 Getting The Most Out of Social Media Marketing

24 Amy Yoder

Strategic Business Solutions, Inc. Brian J. Klink

76 What’s In a Name?

22 Cecelia Bonifay

Purpose Pioneers Thomas Waterman

Spirit of Innovation

SCB Marketing | Cherise Czaban

26 Pam Nabors


Spirit of Collaboration

42 Building Our Momentum

12 Publisher’s Highlight

Jim Thomas, Orlando Tech Association

44 Visit Orlando

66 Advancing Women in Business

70 Coach’s Corner with Jeff Piersall


68 Workplace Wellness

80 Up Close with Mayanne Downs

Kristine Thomas

84 Social Entrepreneur 86 Business Seen


88 Wright Angle

31 Women In Business Profiles

Up Close Mayanne Downs

Laura Kelley CFX

Eunice Choi FSBDC & UCF

Pamela Nabors CareerSource

49 The Corridor


MARCH 2018

COMPANY & EXECUTIVE PROFILES 46 Goodwill Industries of Central Florida 47 Beacon College 48 The Salvation Army Orlando Metropolitan Area Command MARCH 2018 6]MARCH2018







Cover Photo By Jason Hook


Visit Orlando


NOW AVAILABLE “This book delivers useful insights from highly successful business leaders who had the courage to face the barking dogs. This is a must-read for those who desire to succeed and lead. I have read many books on success and business management and have found none that captured my interest like this one. Just read it and see!” Joseph Duda, CEO and Chairman, A. Duda & Sons (Retired)

The Corridor


“This book is about more than entrepreneurship and business - it is about life and life’s lessons. So, read, reflect, and apply. But mostly, simply enjoy.” J. Stanley “Stan” Payne C-Level Executive, Attorney and Corporate Strategist



Workplace Wellness


ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! Up Close with Mayanne Downs




George Aguel, Cherise Czaban, Brian J. Klink, Jeff Piersall, Ryan Randall, Jack Roth, Christa K. Santos, Alex R. Simser, Jim Thomas, Kristine Thomas, Thomas Waterman, Eric Wright PHOTOGRAPHERS:


SCB Marketing is a Participating Member of:


Connect With Us

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


Making Your Move: wendy BRANDON

CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL HOSPITAL here are many executives who immediately impress you with their business acumen and leadership skills, but a rare few add to these qualities a sense of grace and approachability that engenders a culture of openness in their organizations. Such is the case with Wendy Brandon, the CEO of Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. She speaks openly about the foundation laid early in her life, a nurturing blend of love, lavish encouragement and clear expectations that helped shape her values, as well as the drive that has accelerated her success. Her eyes sparkle as she describes her father’s passion for drag racing and the exhilaration she felt going to the track and feeling the ground-trembling, ear-ringing thunder of her father’s super stock car fly down the quarter-mile track. Brandon’s is an interesting journey from life in a small town, just north of Nashville, to hospital CEO. As she reflects on her career, she concedes that with her penchant for math and science, if she could do it over, she may have become a physician. Instead, she has become a facilitator who directs the efforts of scores of doctors and healthcare providers as part of a network, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), that includes 177 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers.

Finding Her Calling

Brandon’s career in healthcare happened pretty much by chance. While working in the financial services industry, a woman who was part of a group she regularly went to lunch with heard about a job opening through her husband. Referring to Brandon, she told him, “I think I know just the person you’re describing.”

Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.

Brandon recalls, “Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.” She cut her teeth setting up cost-accounting systems in rural hospitals, which gave her an in-depth understanding of hospital operations, as well as the right questions to ask and the data needed to provide the right answers. In the process, a career track opened to her that she could only describe as “a passion.” She went back to school at night to earn her MBA and began to advance in her new field.


“Once I got in, I knew I wanted to lead a hospital,” she shared. “I enjoy almost every aspect of leadership and motivating other people. For the first time I knew this was something I could do for the rest of my life. I never thought a profession could be so consuming to someone like me or that I would enjoy it so much.” ▸

Up Close | YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Mayanne Downs

Laura Kelley CFX

Eunice Choi FSBDC & UCF


Pamela Nabors CareerSource

NAME: Yari Fumero TITLE: Junior Loan Officer



Up Close | YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Mayanne Downs

Laura Kelley CFX

Eunice Choi FSBDC & UCF

TITLE: Junior Loan Officer


COMPANY: Shelter Mortgage




Brevard County resident since 2004, Yari Fumero is a native Floridian, born and raised. Working in the mortgage industry since she was very young, she started her career at Shelter Mortgage nearly a decade ago as a Loan Officer Assistant. After taking a break to start a family, she worked in the title industry where she expanded her knowledge to include the title and closing aspect of the home buying experience. Returning to Shelter Mortgage in early 2016, she arrived as a well-rounded and knowledgeable Junior Loan Officer.


Yari truly enjoys what she does and it fuels her passion to help individuals and families get into their new homes. She also understands the importance of the huge financial decision that her clients are making, because as she says, “They aren’t just buying houses; they’re buying homes for themselves and their families to enjoy for a lifetime.”




Yari truly enjoys what she does and it fuels her passion to help individuals and families get into their new homes. She also understands the importance of the huge financial decision that her clients are making, because as she says, “They aren’t just buying houses; they’re buying homes for themselves and their families to enjoy for a lifetime.”



Over the years, Yari has worked closely with realtors and homebuilders all over the east coast of Florida and has built many long lasting relationships and partnerships that have served her well. Bilingual, she has used this to her advantage while working with both her English and Spanish speaking clients. Having grown up in a primarily Spanish speaking home and seeing her parents struggle to communicate helped her understand the need for bilingual loan officers. These skills combined with her extensive knowledge of many different mortgage loan programs has allowed her to help hundreds of families finance their dream homes with little to no money out of their pockets. Se Habla Español. ◆


Over the years, Yari has worked closely with realtors and homebuilders all over the east coast of Florida and has built many long lasting relationships and partnerships that have served her well. Bilingual, she has used this to her advantage while working with both her English and Spanish speaking clients. Having grown up in a primarily Spanish speaking home and seeing her parents struggle to communicate helped her understand the need for bilingual loan officers. These skills combined with her extensive knowledge of many different mortgage loan programs has allowed her to help hundreds of families finance their dream homes with little to no money out of their pockets. Se Habla Español. ◆



Vinod Philip, Chief Technology Officer


Yari Fumero Yaresmi Fumero -- NMLS#552492 Shelter Mortgage Company LLC-- NMLS#431223


MARCH 2018


Brevard County resident since 2004, Yari Fumero is a native Floridian, born and raised. Working in the mortgage industry since she was very young, she started her career at Shelter Mortgage nearly a decade ago as a Loan Officer Assistant. After taking a break to start a family, she worked in the title industry where she expanded her knowledge to include the title and closing aspect of the home buying experience. Returning to Shelter Mortgage in early 2016, she arrived as a well-rounded and knowledgeable Junior Loan Officer.

Pamela Nabors CareerSource

NAME: Yari Fumero


Yari Fumero

Vinod Philip, Chief Technology Officer

Yaresmi Fumero -- NMLS#552492 Shelter Mortgage Company LLC-- NMLS#431223





CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL HOSPITAL here are many executives who immediately impress you with their business acumen and leadership skills, but a rare few add to these qualities a sense of grace and approachability that engenders a culture of openness in their organizations. Such is the case with Wendy Brandon, the CEO of Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. She speaks openly about the foundation laid early in her life, a nurturing blend of love, lavish encouragement and clear expectations that helped shape her values, as well as the drive that has accelerated her success. Her eyes sparkle as she describes her father’s passion for drag racing and the exhilaration she felt going to the track and feeling the ground-trembling, ear-ringing thunder of her father’s super stock car fly down the quarter-mile track.

Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.


Brandon’s is an interesting journey from life in a small town, just north of Nashville, to hospital CEO. As she reflects on her career, she concedes that with her penchant for math and science, if she could do it over, she may have become a physician. Instead, she has become a facilitator who directs the efforts of scores of doctors and healthcare providers as part of a network, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), that includes 177 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers.

Finding Her Calling

Brandon’s career in healthcare happened pretty much by chance. While working in the financial services industry, a woman who was part of a group she regularly went to lunch with heard about a job opening through her husband. Referring to Brandon, she told him, “I think I know just the person you’re describing.” Brandon recalls, “Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.” She cut her teeth setting up cost-accounting systems in rural hospitals, which gave her an in-depth understanding of hospital operations, as well as the right questions to ask and the data needed to provide the right answers. In the process, a career track opened to her that she could only describe as “a passion.” She went back to school at night to earn her MBA and began to advance in her new field. “Once I got in, I knew I wanted to lead a hospital,” she shared. “I enjoy almost every aspect of leadership and motivating other people. For the first time I knew this was something I could do for the rest of my life. I never thought a profession could be so consuming to someone like me or that I would enjoy it so much.” ▸


Pick Your Platform You are busy. We know because

we are too. That is why we make sure this powerful content is easy for you to access. Our digital editions and exclusive updates keep you connected.


APRIL - MAY 2017

ivating & Inspiring, Mot Business Connecting the Community



CONNECTING in the CLOUD LeanSwift’s

Fall 2016


Johan Axelson


Thinking Big with thea Extremely Small

Sc a le U P Finding Balance


in Life



The Starters

k Matthew Ganza



+ CIETicaY SO Kane elle Crawford & Jess Mich

Visit,, or send $24.95 for a one-year (12 issues) or $39.95 for a twoyear (24 issues) subscription to: i4 Business or SpaceCoast Business, P.O. Box 410901, Melbourne, FL 32941. Please include name, mailing address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email. Please allow 4-6 weeks for subscription to start.

DIGITAL EDITION A digital edition of the current and archived copies from three previous months are available online at by clicking on the “CURRENT ISSUE” tab.


The Official Publication of GrowFL There is a word for what happens when vision is linked to a plan and an unwavering commitment: “enTREPreneurialism.” TREPs are the best hope for a brighter, more promising future, solving today’s problems as well as tomorrow’s.

Reprints and commemorative plaques may be ordered from SCB Marketing. No other companies offering similar products or services are affiliated with SCB Marketing or any of its brands, including i4 Business. To order yours contact Alyssa Anelli at - (321)-499-1557.

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


$10 each. To purchase call (321) 622-5986.


As the official publication of GrowFL, Florida TREP proudly recognizes the hard work, dedication, commitment, entrepreneurial journey, and positive economic impact second-stage companies have generated throughout the state. Read about the state’s most innovative TREPs in the latest edition of Florida TREP.


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

i4 Business® and SpaceCoast Business® are published monthly by SCB Marketing 5131 Industry Dr., Ste. 107, Melbourne, FL 32940 Office: 321-622-5986 • The contents of i4 Business & SpaceCoast Business magazine,, and any other media extensions related to the brand, including advertisements, articles, graphics, websites, web postings and all other information (“contents”) published, are for informational purposes only. Space Coast Business, LLC, SCB Marketing, i4 Business® SpaceCoast Business® and all other affiliated brands do not necessarily endorse, verify, or agree with the contents contained in i4 Business or SpaceCoast Business. i4 Business and SpaceCoast 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 and SpaceCoast Business shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions.

The Largest Food Tasting & Business Expo in West Orange!

Indulge in a variety of beer, wine and spirits from some of your favorite local restaurants along with scrumptious samples, including your favorite French, Italian, American and BBQ dishes! All for one admission price!

Thursday, March 8th, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm 150 N. Lakeshore Dr. Rain or Shine

$46 advance, $56 at the door, save 10% when you purchase 10 wristbands. To purchase wristbands and for vendor information, visit

Along the shore of Starke Lake in Ocoee

FEATURING 4Rivers Smokehouse • Bates New England Seafood & Steakhouse • Black Rock Bar & Grill • Cathee Brady Catering • Chick-fil-A Ocoee & Winter Garden • Crooked Can Brewing • Cracker Barrel Walt Disney World Food Truck • Ellie Lou’s Brews & BBQ • Hagan O'Reilly's • House Blend Café • Jeremiah's Italian Ice • Ms. Bee's Popcorn & Candy Shoppe • Pammie's Sammies • Pilars Martini Orange Technical College Culinary Team • Table Top Catering • The Vineyard Wine Bar & Healthy Bistro • TooJay's Restaurant and Deli • Uno Chicago Grill • Westerly’s at Metro West Golf Club New restaurants added each week!

Sponsorship and Vendor Registration Open Now To sponsor this event and for vendor registration, please visit or call 407-656-1304 today!

Presenting Sponsor: Media Sponsors:

Premium Sponsor:

Premier Sponsor:

Participating Sponsors: Event Sponsors:

Critical Intervention Services, Inc. Reed Nissan



very year our organization internally debates whether we should have a Women in Business issue or simply continue to highlight the brilliant women business leaders and entrepreneurs in the region in every issue. The conclusion is we should do both. The achievements and advances of women in the workforce impact every theme we try to unpack monthly for our readers.

Empowerment [Eric Wright]

To demonstrate the power women wield on both sides of the economic transaction, consider these statistics Dale Burrus wrote about in BigThink. In family purchases that involve two adults (a woman and a man), women make: • 94% of the purchase decision on home furnishings • 92% of the purchase decision on family vacations • 91% of the purchase decision on home purchases • 80% of the purchase decision on health care • 60% of the purchase decision on family cars • 51% of the purchase decision on consumer electronics I believe the only purchase decisions men take the lead on are for tools, video games and outdoor barbecues. Since women are the key purchasers, more and more they are also at the helm of companies making the products women are buying for themselves and their families. With 865 million women poised to enter the working world by 2020, competitive countries will have to rely on the strength of their female CEOs (and those in other top roles) to keep up. ◆

i4 Business Production Team Jack Roth (Managing Editor) Ryan Randall (Assistant Editor) Tracy Conner (Production Manager) Jason Hook (Photo Editor) Nevin Flinchbaugh (Art Director)

Favorite Quotes From This this Issue: Issue: “Once I got in, I knew I wanted to lead a hospital. For the first time I knew this was something I could do for the rest of my life.”

— Wendy Brandon [Pg 14]


“We have some exciting projects underway in Central Florida, which not only are creating great places to live, work and play, but also creating jobs and enhancing the region’s economic growth.”

— Cecelia Bonifay [Pg 22]

“This is truly my dream job. I work with highly intelligent, motivated and innovative individuals who enjoy connecting people to businesses.”

— Pamela Nabors [Pg 26]




CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL HOSPITAL here are many executives who immediately impress you with their business acumen and leadership skills, but a rare few add to these qualities a sense of grace and approachability that engenders a culture of openness in their organizations. Such is the case with Wendy Brandon, the CEO of Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. She speaks openly about the foundation laid early in her life, a nurturing blend of love, lavish encouragement and clear expectations that helped shape her values, as well as the drive that has accelerated her success. Her eyes sparkle as she describes her father’s passion for drag racing and the exhilaration she felt going to the track and feeling the ground-trembling, ear-ringing thunder of her father’s super stock car fly down the quarter-mile track.

Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.

Brandon’s is an interesting journey from life in a small town, just north of Nashville, to hospital CEO. As she reflects on her career, she concedes that with her penchant for math and science, if she could do it over, she may have become a physician. Instead, she has become a facilitator who directs the efforts of scores of doctors and healthcare providers as part of a network, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), that includes 177 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery centers.

Finding Her Calling

Brandon’s career in healthcare happened pretty much by chance. While working in the financial services industry, a woman who was part of a group she regularly went to lunch with heard about a job opening through her husband. Referring to Brandon, she told him, “I think I know just the person you’re describing.” Brandon recalls, “Someone took a chance on me. I had the financial background, but no experience in the healthcare industry. But I wasn’t afraid of challenges or to ask questions, and that was my first step into healthcare.” She cut her teeth setting up cost-accounting systems in rural hospitals, which gave her an in-depth understanding of hospital operations, as well as the right questions to ask and the data needed to provide the right answers. In the process, a career track opened to her that she could only describe as “a passion.” She went back to school at night to earn her MBA and began to advance in her new field. “Once I got in, I knew I wanted to lead a hospital,” she shared. “I enjoy almost every aspect of leadership and motivating other people. For the first time I knew this was something I could do for the rest of my life. I never thought a profession could be so consuming to someone like me or that I would enjoy it so much.” ▸


SPIRIT OF ADVOCACY Brandon stressed that in a hospital, people entrust you with their lives, and those life-saving efforts can only happen when a team of very talented and dedicated people are working together. “No matter how great a doctor is, and we have some remarkable ones, they can’t do it without others,” she said. “Helping to build, motivate and focus those teams and working with people who have such diverse skills has a very special appeal to me. When we work together to come up with a solution, whether it’s in healthcare delivery or in improving an administrative process, the results are almost immediate and make a noticeable difference.”

All in the Family

In a field where executives move from one hospital system to another Brandon recently celebrated her 23rd anniversary with HCA. It is a date etched in her mind because she started with the company on her husband’s birthday. According to Brandon, the values that guide the organization are the glue that has held her to it. A pair of father/son Nashville physicians and a businessman, Jack (J.C.) Massey, who also built Kentucky Fried Chicken into a brand now recognized globally, founded the company. Their goal was simple: make hospital care better. Speaking of Thomas Frist Sr., M.D., a co-founder, Brandon said, “Dr. Frist retired by the time I came to work for HCA, but he was still involved. People enjoy working with certain individuals, but everyone adored Dr. Frist. Plus, my husband grew up with his kids, so I knew they were quality people.” From the moment she started at HCA, Brandon noticed how much the company cared about its people. As a result, staff members come to work every day excited to be there and motivated to give their best because they themselves feel cared for. When she was just a few months into her first CEO position, Brandon went to her new boss about needing some family leave. To her astonishment, he said, “There are so many things in life more important than running this hospital; this is one of them. Call me when you come up for air.”

wendy BRANDON Value-Added and Regional Impact

Because HCA is a for-profit hospital, sometimes people view it differently. Yet, from a management and leadership structure, the company is, by necessity, extremely thoughtful about processes and resource management, which ultimately benefits patients. In addition, the company’s size and connection to such a large network of hospitals has some distinct advantages. “I have the support system and expertise of 170 hospitals across the country, and that economy of scale has some tremendous benefits,” she said. “The best practices in one and the physician expertise in another can be accessed and shared by all the hospitals in our network. Our competitive advantage in purchasing power, lowering back office administrative costs, and utilizing shared IT resources can all be leveraged by our hospitals.” These assets became a factor in HCA’s profile rising sharply in the region when they were chosen to build a 100-bed (which can grow to 500 beds) teaching hospital adjacent to the University of Central Florida College of Medicine campus in Lake Nona. According to Brandon, it all started when she reached out to the school’s dean and vice president for Medical Affairs, Deborah German, M.D., about some of its doctors serving as adjunct faculty. “After that brief initial meeting, Dr. German drove all the way to Sanford to meet with us,” she said. “We wanted to get to know each other and talk about how we might be able to collaborate.” To Brandon, meaningful connections and good fortune are not simply coincidences. She did not, however, foresee that arranging for German to meet with her division leader would result in a partnership to build the teaching hospital in Lake Nona. “Both Dr. German and I believe in the significance of investing in relationships,” she said. “She was willing to come to my hospital and get to know me, and that meant so much. I’ve learned a great deal from her. When you make that type of investment, you never know where it will lead.” Investing in relationships, in her staff and in her community, is one of the many things that sets Wendy Brandon apart and is why she is one of our 2018 Women’s Inspired Leadership honorees. ◆

“When we work together to come up with a solution, whether it’s in healthcare delivery or in improving an administrative process, the results are almost immediate and make a noticeable difference.” – Wendy Brandon 16]MARCH2018


LARGE PART 3D PRINTING UP TO 36X24X36” 710 South Patrick Drive Satellite Beach, FL, 32937 (P) 321.536.2611 (E)





Proudly serving clients in Brevard and Central Florida 3845 W. Eau Gallie Blvd, Suite 101 Melbourne, FL 32934 321.757.7383

Jennifer Parkerson

V.P. of Operations

Ken Welsh

President and CEO



eunice CHOI


he trajectory of a career can take some unexpected and surprisingly fulfilling turns, which not only bring a sense of accomplishment to the one who makes the discovery, but in the case of Eunice Choi, to the thousands of lives she has touched through the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC). Choi came to the area with her husband, Yoon Choi Ph.D., an associate professor at the UCF College of Business,


and hoped for a similar position in academia. But on the recommendation of a friend, she joined FSBDC, which is hosted at UCF, as a part-time consultant.

“I wasn’t planning on staying this long,” she admitted. “I started to fall in love with my job because I was helping people and able to witness their growth and success.”

That was in 1998. Today, she not only leads the staff in Orlando, but oversees the organization’s vital work through regional offices in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.

For those who have stepped into the arena of starting their own business, the professional acumen of Choi, her staff and volunteer team is the difference between success and failure, and for our region, scaling job creation or job loss.

FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER AT UCF she explained. “As the Small Business Administration better defined its goals and expectations, we were able to become a more performance-oriented organization.” As a result, the FSBDC began actively seeking clients under Choi’s leadership by demonstrating and delivering its unique value proposition to potential clients. Choi has also honed the services the FSBDC offers in providing certified business professionals who can bring in-depth analysis and consultative skills to help businesses grow and succeed. “This is one-on-one consulting, provided at no cost, by a growing team of certified business professionals with a very diverse background,” Choi said. One company that kept her in this arena was Pegasus Transportation, which referred to her as its guardian angel. When the organization started with Pegasus, the transportation company had a 100-sq.-ft. office, one driver and a 15-passenger van. Today, it operates the largest fleet of 61 passenger luxury buses in the state, with offices in Orlando, Miami and Canada.

Choi became the regional director of the center in 2006 and began expanding its reach while also garnering recognition from numerous quarters. These include the prestigious Excalibur Award, the CBA Impact Award for economic development and the State’s Star Performer Award, which is the highest recognition in the field. “When I started, I was shown to my office and basically waited for the phone to ring,”

The list of additional companies it has helped nurture into multi-milliondollar corporations is equally impressive, including Dignitas Technologies, LLC and Power Grid Engineering. “Our consultants aren’t compensated up to the market value they could earn elsewhere,” Choi said. “But they are passionate about helping people, so their job satisfaction is extremely high. “Our primary target customer is one with five or more employees and over three years in business,” she continued, “with about 40 percent startups and 60 percent small to medium size existing businesses with growth potential. We take companies with potential for growth to the next level.

But it is not just one company. According to a recent study, the annual impact of the FSBDC on the Central Florida region in 2016 was 6,696 jobs created, retained or saved; the generation of $980.4 million in sales; $92.7 million in capital formation acquired; $154.6 million in contract awards; and 120 new businesses launched. According to one study, statewide, for every dollar invested in the FSBDC program, $57 is returned to the state in tax revenue. Thanks to Choi’s leadership, not only has the FSBDC become a source of help, encouragement and skill generation to countless businesses, it has also become part of the economic development and community relations arm of UCF, along with Eastern Florida State College, Seminole State College and Daytona State College, where they have subcenter locations. ◆

Did You Know? Favorite band? I love ABBA, but I also enjoy classical and Christian music.

Favorite book? Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Favorite quote? “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” - Margaret Thatcher



laura KELLEY


aura Kelley, executive director of the Central Florida Expressway Authority, has a lot on her plate. After all, her agency is actively planning for the future of connected, autonomous vehicles, connecting local communities with alternative modes of transportation in addition to expressways, and working with emerging technologies that drive efficiency, safety and productivity.


“With so much to achieve, staying focused on the needs of our customers is imperative,” said Kelley. “The explosive growth in Central Florida has created a very strong demand for additional capacity improvements on our existing system and ne w t ransp or t at ion corridors that improve connectivity between our communities.”

Kelley noted that CFX will be adding lanes to 60 percent of regional expressways over the next few years and has viability studies underway on eight new transportation corridors. “Our robust economy,” she added, “has also created a need for modern, world-class transportation options in addition to expressways to provide additional connectivity. That’s why we’re preserving right of way for

CENTRAL FLORIDA EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY It is also partnering with the Florida Highway Patrol for a Construction Z one Safety Campaign that will educate drivers on what to do if they find themselves stranded or in an accident in a construction zone. The campaign will emphasize safe speeds in construction areas. In an effort to enhance the visitor transportation experience, the agency is piloting a toll program at Orlando International Airport that will cost considerably less than most rental car customers pay today.

“Gene Figg, the president of the company, believed ever y employee should appreciate the beauty and complexity of their bridges, so he would regularly take us on project site tours,” she remembered. “My first tour was Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which was inspiring and breathtaking. That experience began my lifelong passion for transportation.” Thank you, Gene Figg, for inspiring a future transportation leader who is making a significant impact on the Central Florida region. ◆

Rolling with the Changes

Transportation has evolved significantly during Kelley’s distinguished career, but she has managed to adjust extremely well to this evolution. “The biggest difference over the span of 30 years has been the focus on traditional roadways to a much broader approach of providing a variety of transportation options for people and freight,” she explained. “Technology has made it possible to improve almost every aspect of our business.”

other types of transportation along all of our expressways as we add capacity.” CFX has several initiatives in the works currently having an impact in Central Florida. The agency’s Wrong Way Driving and Prevention Program is saving lives, and, in partnership with UCF, the agency continues to research ways to improve the program.

Throughout all of the planning and execution of transportation enhancements and initiatives, Kelley most enj oys work ing w it h CFX customers, the business community and transportation partners. Planning and building a world-class transportation network in partnership with other transportation agencies that will serve the Central Florida region for many generations to come inspires her more than anything else. Kelley began her career working as a contract administrator with Figg and Mueller Engineers. She remembers experiencing one thing in particular during that time she believes played a significant role in her career path choice.

Did You Know? Favorite book?

One book that sticks out in my memory is Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. Brilliant observations of universal truths.

Most inspirational historic figure? No one person stands out, but characteristics I admire include positivity, optimism, compassion and honesty.

Favorite quote?

How about two? “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” – Martin Luther King, Jr. … and …“Do not fall in love with your solution, fall in love with the problem.”– Uri Levine, Waze co-founder



cecelia BONIFAY


om mu n i c at i n g a n d s t ay i n g engaged with the firm’s attorneys and consultants around the country is both the greatest opportunity and biggest challenge for Cecelia Bonifay, chairman of Akerman’s Land Use and Development Practice. Although many view land use and development as being a local practice, what she has found in leading the practice group is that issues and trends transcend


various localities and geographic markets. The firm also shares clients, and although the specific services it provides may vary from market to market, the issue or subject matter is the same.

the outcome was the same — have local legislation adopted which allowed the client to develop micro units either as very small single family units in Miami or an apartment product in Chicago.”

“We have one client for whom we’re doing work in Miami and New York,” she explained. “The process to achieve the client’s goal was different in each locale given the state and local law, but

Although there are obvious challenges in her job, Bonifay is crystal clear about one thing: She absolutely loves what she does. The fact her practice group is involved in all sectors of the real estate

AKERMAN LLP to purchase a property. We represent clients that vary in size — from the individual owner to large corporations.” Bonifay always looks forward to new projects and solving issues for clients. As part of the Firm Management team, she enjoys seeing how far they have come over the years in terms of growth and the ability to hire some of the best and brightest legal talent. Many of her clients are engaged in organizations, such as the Urban Land Institute, in which she has participated for many years and that has as its mission the wise and productive use of land and the creation of sustainable communities. “By understanding best management practices in the various areas of development, we’re helping our clients create interesting and lasting elements of the community,” she said. “We have some exciting projects underway in Central Florida, which not only are creating great places to live, work and play, but also creating jobs and enhancing the region’s economic growth.” Bonifay believes being a woman helps her to be more empathetic with clients, as well as the many other professionals, consultants and government officials one encounters in the development process. Having grown up in the panhandle of Florida, she learned early on that to get along with the good ole boys, you better know how to be a good ole girl! market — residential (both single and multi-family) as well as office, retail and industrial — means they get to work on projects that constantly change. “Many times we’re part of a larger team of attorneys and stay engaged throughout the life of the deal. In some instances, we’re doing the land use and entitlement due diligence for a potential buyer so they can determine whether or not they want

She credits having had the benefit of employers who were not only great individuals, but also great mentors who gave her the ability to utilize her skills and be rewarded for exhibiting initiative. “Yet they were supportive and had my back when things didn’t always go as planned,” she added. “A supportive husband and partner has allowed me to work long hours, travel for my job and avoid learning how to cook!” ◆

Did You Know? Favorite movie?

I still like to watch some of the old classics and have always been a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I guess my taste is very eclectic, but I especially enjoy movies at the Enzian Theater.

Favorite book?

I just finished The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and am struggling through Grant, by Ron Chernow. I enjoyed The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham. Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann, which dealt with the murders of the Osage Indians and the birth of the FBI, was well written and gave great insights on the treatment of the American Indian.

Most inspirational historic figure?

Winston Churchill was one of the most important figures of his time for his ability to persevere against overwhelming odds and command the support of Britain's citizens through their darkest days. Without his leadership and courage, we might be facing a very different world today.

Favorite quote?

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill





my Yoder can be hard to find. One week, she may be visiting potential international expansion, the next, she may be with fertilizer distributors in the Mississippi Delta. In between, she might be participating in a show horse jumping competition. She loves the pace, and as CEO of Anuvia Plant Nutrients, she understands the need to reach across the globe to grow her company.


Anuvia products start with biological waste from a wide variety of sources, primarily agricultural waste. At full capacity, the facility removes 200 tons of waste daily from landfills. After running through the Anuvia process, the organic waste is turned into approximately 200 tons of environmentally-friendly fertilizer for use in the agriculture, golf and turf industries. The company’s product releases nutrients evenly over the growing season,

resulting in less leaching of nutrients into the environment as well as adding important organic matter to the soil, which feeds microbes and enhances soil health. Yoder’s journey with Anuvia started in 2015, when she was named CEO. Her first task was to open the company’s first manufacturing plant in Zellwood. After raising $100 million from private capital and bonds to build the plant, she opened the facility in 2016, and the company

ANUVIA PLANT NUTRIENTS with access to raw materials, an excellent transportation system and a customer base,” Yoder said. “This area presented the best opportunity to showcase our product.” Yoder has been relentless in growing the company’s presence and is a firm believer in partnerships. The company is currently partnering with Southern States, the largest farming cooperative in the country with more than 1,000 locations along the eastern seaboard. This partnership takes Anuvia’s products to crops — such as cotton, soybean and corn — from Virginia to Georgia. As more agricultural users embrace the company’s product, Yoder has spearheaded expanding locations to build plants similar to the one in Central Florida. She is currently negotiating agreements with large agricultural companies in Europe, Brazil and New Zealand to test products there. If the tests are successful, the company will build facilities in these countries. Yoder is also working on expanding the company’s production footprint across the United States, and her background in agriculture helps close these deals.

began producing the professional turf product known as Greentrx. The company has since added two new products: Symtrx, for the agricultural markets of corn, cotton, rice and sugarcane; and AnuGreen, for the home and garden consumer segment. The facility was built without government incentives, and the location was chosen because of the unique agricultural aspects of Central Florida. “We needed a place

Yoder is one of the few women in leadership in the agriculture industry and focuses much of her time increasing opportunities for other women. She is the former president of the Sigma Alpha Sorority Foundation, whose sole mission is to increase the number of women in this sector. Under her leadership, the foundation increased its revenues by 200 percent. She is also a member of Clemson University Foundation Board, where she actively supports and promotes scholarships and development among youth. She is an active participant in International Women in Agriculture, a group that serves as a think-tank and

discussion group on how to increase the number of women in agricultural careers. Yoder is also an active member in Field to Market, which is a coalition of companies from all aspects of the agricultural industry actively supporting sustainability across the industry. She serves on the board of directors for Compass Minerals and Arcadia Bio Sciences. ◆

Did You Know? Favorite book? Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It's a story about the U.S. gold medal team of rowing from Washington state that overcame tremendous odds to win gold during Hitler's Olympics.

Favorite movie? Steel Magnolias, because of strong women, perseverance, family and great movie quotes, “Like two pigs fighting under a blanket.”

Most inspirational historic figure? Alexander Hamilton - from nothing to a founding father and provided the vision for the republic we function in today, as well as a singular monetary system and a central government.

What Inspires You? Doing what people say I can't.





am Nabors has a laser-focused professional vision: Make Central Florida the best destination for talent. To accomplish this, she is leading CareerSource Central Florida through a corporate cultural renaissance, championing regional partnerships and tailoring service delivery through a structured approach that meets the talent needs of local businesses. At this point,


her greatest challenge is maintaining the positive momentum she has created since starting at the organization in 2012.

order to find good jobs. This is a dynamic region with a lot of niche markets, which makes it that much more exciting.”

“This is truly my dream job,” said Nabors. “I work with highly intelligent, motivated and innovative individuals who enjoy connecting people to businesses. A great deal of job satisfaction comes with helping people identify and obtain job skills in

With more than 20 years of experience in workforce development and leadership, Nabors’ career progression spans roles from college career counselor, industry trainer, and training manager to planning director. Over the years, she

CAREERSOURCE CENTRAL FLORIDA Achieving workforce goals for an entire region can be difficult, but Nabors looks to data to determine how to proceed with strategies and initiatives. For example, there are a large number of 22-44 year olds with skill sets and decent experience who want to move into middle-skill opportunities in growing sectors such as construction and manufacturing. This type of talent is in demand, so it becomes a matter of getting people ready to move into these jobs. “You can have a degree, but you may need some additional technical skills or certifications that can tremendously impact your ability to make a higher wage,” said Nabors. “It’s not just about four-year degrees anymore; the goal is to find good fits and opportunities for people to make good livings, and this may best be accomplished with a two-year degree, one-year degree or a certification.” One thing that has affected change in workforce development in recent years is technology. Today, social media platforms support the entire talent exchange process, transforming how Nabors and her team do their jobs. “Technology has been a good thing for workforce development. Job seekers can network from anywhere and set themselves up with the right job. This also applies to businesses looking for talent. It’s our job to offer services that embrace these technologies.” has seen a growing number of women executives in workforce development. “Women have an intuitiveness about relationships, and building relationships with businesses, business sector leaders, and clients is critical in this field,” she explained. “This has fostered female leadership in the community, which bodes well for the future.”

CareerSource Central Florida covers five counties in the region and staffs approximately 250 people. Nabors relishes working with such a large team of what she describes as trusting, highintegrity individuals. “Building relationships is something that comes naturally to me,” she said. “I’ve moved from one labor market to another during the course of my career,

and I’ve had to put myself in front of businesses and organizations I knew very little about, which forced me to work hard on relationship building from scratch. It was a similar situation when I came to Orlando, but I love the process.” ◆

Did You Know? Favorite book? Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst. She talks about losses in your life that make you grow. It speaks to aging and validates what you feel at different points in your life.

Favorite movie? When Harry Met Sally. It’s a great story and one I can watch over and over again.

Most inspirational historic figure? Elizabeth II. This woman has been through tremendous changes in her life, and she has always been gracious and inspiring.

Favorite quote? “Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda, to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back



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










ickie Martin is the executive director at Christian HELP Employment & Resource Center, a 26-year-old non-profit whose mission is to prevent homelessness by helping people find jobs while also providing for them materially and spiritually. A former client of Christian HELP 20 years ago, Martin knows how it feels to be in a desperate and anxious place and what it takes to get out. “It takes more than just a job; it takes accountability, someone encouraging you, bringing out the best in you and helping you make good decisions repeatedly,” she said. “That’s why I like our holistic approach to a family’s situation. We want to teach a job seeker how to get and keep a job or how to be upwardly mobile if that’s what’s needed, but we also want to care for them and provide even more resources. How can we talk about their job needs if they can’t provide dinner for their family, or if they’re so broken emotionally they can’t think straight?” Christian HELP takes a personal approach, as well as a practical one. The organization strives to empower people and treat them with dignity and respect while also delivering truth in love along with our services. “I think I’m so passionate about the work we do because I believe every life has value, and I want to be a part of something that propels people forward and brings them joy,” said Martin. “The collaboration we do in the writing of people’s stories does just that.” ◆ CHRISTIAN HELP EMPLOYMENT & RESOURCE CENTER 450 Seminola Boulevard Casselberry, FL 32707 (407) 834-4022


hope | encouragement |love | prayer





ernadette Spong is chief financial officer of Orlando Health, a $3.8 billion not-for-profit healthcare organization with a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. Spong oversees all facets of financial and population health services for Orlando Health that includes finance, revenue cycle, supply chain, care coordination, information technology and physician networks. What does Spong like best about her job that may sound daunting to some? “It is never dull,” she said. “Every day I get to work with 23,000 team members who do amazing things like delivering babies and saving lives. They’re engaged and energized about the work they do and go to extraordinary lengths for our patients. Seeing their successes and innovations help make my job at Orlando Health an exciting one.” Spong is a licensed CPA who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MBA from Elon University in North Carolina. Prior to joining Orlando Health in 2015, she served as senior vice president of finance/chief financial officer of network hospitals for the University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care based in Chapel Hill. She held the same position for the 665-bed Rex Healthcare, one of UNC Health Care’s member systems. Spong serves on the board of directors for Quest, Inc. and the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. Among her numerous honors and awards are the Becker’s Hospital Review 2016 and 2017 “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” and Becker’s Hospital Review 2017 “150 Hospital and Health System Chief Financial Officers to Know.” ◆

ORLANDO HEALTH 1414 Kuhl Avenue Orlando, FL 32806 (321) 843-7000




RSM US LLP Hilary Marx, director of risk advisory services, helps clients

identify, assess and monitor risks that can be mitigated by processes or internal controls. Marx enjoys her job because it allows her to apply a creative approach to business challenges while working within the bounds of a structured methodology. Marx’s other professional passion is identifying talent in employees who might be overlooked at other corporate firms. "I encourage my team to retain their individuality while achieving a high-level of professionalism," said Marx. "Many clients mention how refreshing it is to work with a team that has personality ." Personally, she enjoys spending time with her husband, an attorney, and two active little boys. Marx is a board member and treasurer of the Historical Society of Central Florida, which operates the Orange County Regional History Center. Her family is also active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

Lynn Sedwick , tax partner, leads RSM’s tax practice

in Orlando and is the southeast leader of the firm’s STAR (Stewardship and Teamwork for the Advancement and Retention of Women) employee network group. She is motivated to help talented women stay in the public accounting profession and to move up in the ranks. "Public accounting is seen as a career where working moms cannot flourish," said Sedwick, "but that isn't a valid perception. The field is very demanding, but it allows for a great deal of flexibility." To support female colleagues, STAR hosts programs to highlight topics of interest to professional women, such as work/life integration, delegation and networking. Sedwick met her husband two months after moving to Orlando in 2013. She has two stepdaughters (19 and 16) and two golden retrievers. Sedwick is also an avid kickboxer. “A morning workout kick-starts my day better than caffeine,” she said.

Stephanie Gardner, senior tax manager, has more than

14 years of public accounting experience. She works closely with businesses and focuses on real estate, commercial construction and professional services industries. “Being in public accounting means no two days are the same,” said Gardner. Her daily activities range from working with her

staff to meet tax deadlines, to connecting with clients to discuss tax planning, to attending community events and making new connections. Gardner is the treasurer for ATHENA Orlando Women’s Leadership. As a former NextGen participant, she saw the impact ATHENA has on the community and is excited to give back by serving on the board. She also runs half-marathons and enjoys cheering on the Florida Gators.

Mari Chumley, senior tax manager, serves corporate tax clients in the middle market. She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and never lived outside the country until she attended the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida. She still remembers arriving at the small airport in Gainesville at midnight with two suitcases, which is the moment she says changed her forever. Throughout her career, she has always taken steps to move forward, from discussing tax planning ideas with clients and prospects, to learning new tax regulations and changes in the law. “Even though some steps may seem small, they add up over time and can lead you to a place where you truly enjoy what you do,” she said. Chumley loves spending time with her husband, an assistant county attorney for Volusia County, and her 6-year-old twin daughters. As a Florida Gator, she also looks forward to supporting her alma mater on game day.

Katrina Rote, assurance senior manager, started her career

with RSM straight out of college. The most exciting aspects of her work include relationship-building and mentoring others. Rote helps lead the firm’s STAR network and is honored to work with influential women within the company and across the community. "RSM has given me a platform to embrace what I value in life: faith, family, travel, work and giving back," said Rote. "I'm fortunate to have a successful career and to have mentors who have helped guide me." When she is not working, Rote is outside, on the water, spending time with her 7-year-old daughter. As a mother, Rote tries to teach her the importance of hard work and discipline, as well as donating time and resources to help those in need. ◆

RSM US LLP 800 N Magnolia Ave., #1700 | Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 898-2727 |


Mari Chumley and Katrina Rote Hilary Marx, Lynn Sedwick, Stephanie Gardner





r i c i a He n s o n j o i n e d Pe g a s u s Transportation in January 2017 in a strategic partnership role. Her position covers three areas: new business development, domestic sales and community outreach. Pegasus Transportation has the largest fleet of 61 passenger motor coaches in Florida and services groups of any type, including corporate, convention, sports, tour and travel, and schools. Henson touts the amazing leadership at Pegasus and points to their hard work, vision and creativity as what sets the company apart. An exceptional support team also continues to enhance the business. In her role, Henson especially enjoys meeting new people and the opportunity to tell the Pegasus story. The most fulfilling part of her job is the immense support she receives from the ownership. When asked who has inspired her in a business capacity, she credits two great mentors very early in her career who helped pave the way for her success and promotions. Henson also acknowledges her parents, who have instilled the characteristics of hard work, integrity, kindness and patience that have served her well in both personal and professional settings. Henson graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, and still considers Michigan home. She resides in southwest Orlando with her husband and three children. She enjoys watching her daughters dance and her son play all of his seasonal sports. She is an active volunteer in their schools and activities. Henson also serves on the Member Relations Committee for Visit Orlando and the Industry Relations Committee for Visit Florida. â—† PEGASUS TRANSPORTATION 10747 Rocket Boulevard Orlando, FL 32824 (407) 812-8812






da Reneau joined Fidelity Bank of Florida in June 2017 as a commercial lender. Her role includes developing and servicing businesses in the Central Florida area by providing a variety of commercial, real estate and small business administration loan products. She has more than 20 years of banking and lending experience working with both nationwide and community banks. Her knowledge and proficiency in commercial lending, treasury services and analyzing commercial accounts provides her clients a variety of options to help them meet their financial goals. When communicating business strategies to new and existing clients, her goal is to help them maximize revenue, grow their profit margins and watch their business succeed. Being privately owned, having a supportive board of directors and fielding a leadership team that cares and leads by example give Fidelity Bank of Florida the flexibility to customize loans to fit client needs. Fidelity’s ultimate goal is to build lasting and successful relationships with its clients. Reneau’s passion for connecting with people combined with the drive to serve her community has led her to volunteer on several advisory boards and as president of a local rotary. She is currently on the board of directors for The Foundation for Florida Virtual Schools, is an alumni of Leadership Seminole Class 21, a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and sits on the Economic Development Committee for the Greater Seminole County Chamber. Currently, Reneau resides with her family in Seminole County, where she has lived for 18 years. She enjoys traveling, golfing and watching her kids’ sporting events. “We’re an extremely active family, but what we enjoy most of all is spending time on the beach talking about our dreams and plans for the future,” she said.◆

FIDELITY BANK OF FLORIDA 901 E State Rd 434 Longwood, FL 32750 (407) 830-4404






andy Wilcox plays an integral role in contracts and trade compliance initiatives at BRIDG. As the Contracts & Trade Compliance manager, Wilcox manages the company’s many levels of contracts, from local to federal, and spearheads BRIDG’s efforts in export control compliance and procurement activities. During her time with the company, Wilcox has established organizational protocols and procedures focused on vendor selection, subrecipient forms and purchase orders. She also set up systems to monitor vendor and contractor invoices against contract values. Prior to joining BRIDG, Wilcox worked for the University of Central Florida Office of Research and Commercialization. Her institutional knowledge in working within the UCF contracts framework makes her a key member of the BRIDG team. When asked what she enjoys the most about her profession, Wilcox cited the versatility her position provides. She also developed an ability to improve upon policy implementation early in her career and was able to cultivate that into success at her position. “I’ve been doing this long enough that I know what makes sense and where the rules are to help ensure policies are palatable and intuitive as possible,” she said. In her spare time, Wilcox enjoys going to live music and comedy events and being active outdoors. ◆


200 NeoCity Way Kissimmee, FL 34744 (407) 742-4253






loria LeQuang has spent her career developing ideas to advance the competitive advantage of the companies and organizations where she has worked. With 20 years’ experience in international and domestic marketing and economic development — including project management and sector marketing initiatives for advanced technologies and digital media; diplomatic relations; export counseling; events and tradeshow planning; market research; lead tracking; and project qualification, LeQuang’s efforts have successfully advanced strategic initiatives at the local, national and global levels. And those roles have positioned her to lead the marketing and communications efforts in her role as director of Marketing and Community Relations for BRIDG. Located in NeoCity, a 500-acre technology district in Osceola County, Fla., BRIDG is a not-for-profit, industry-led public-private partnership for advanced sensors, optics, photonics and advanced manufacturing devices. Led by visionary stakeholders — Osceola County, the University of Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council — BRIDG operates a microelectronics fabrication facility focused on R&D for semiconductor processes to enable innovative breakthroughs; “Bridging the Innovation Development Gap” making commercialization possible. Before joining BRIDG, LeQuang worked for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (now Orlando Economic Partnership) in var ying roles, most recently as the director of Strategic Project Management responsible for projects and initiatives advancing organizational and regional competitive advantage. Her commitment to career is balanced with her commitment to family. Whether chasing after a toddler or helping with pre-kindergarten homework, she and her husband embrace family time and enjoy all the chaotic moments that define life. ◆


200 NeoCity Way Kissimmee, FL 34744 (407) 742-4253






im Sachse has more than 24 years of experience in marketing and advertising. In March 2017, she was promoted to president and CEO of Moxē after serving as the company’s vice president of creative services for seven years. Before joining the agency, she ran her own design firm, which helped make the transition to her leadership position at Moxē a natural fit. Combining her entrepreneurial spirit and leadership prowess, Sachse has elevated the Winter Park-based integrated marketing agency to exponential growth. In the first quarter of 2018, the agency doubled its revenue in comparison to 2017 first-quarter figures. The agency has an array of diverse clients and offers advertising, public relations, creative design, social media and marketing solutions. This year, Moxē is excited to add two new services — multicultural and influencer marketing. As social media continues to drive consumer behavior more than ever, Moxē now has the ability to identify and partner with clients that have key influencers who match a brand’s intended audience. Moxē Multicultural expands the team’s expertise into the Hispanic market and provides integrated marketing solutions for potential international partners. Moxē, for m e r ly k n ow n a s Ma ss e y Communications, is a subsidiary of Massey Services and has been in business for more than 30 years. Harvey Massey, CEO and chairman of Massey Services, is an ardent advocate of giving back to the Central Florida community and has instilled this philosophy at the agency. This year, Sachse, a five-year member of the Central Florida Women’s League, and the entire agency have volunteered their time to Habitat for Humanity and the Second Harvest Food Bank. “After an amazing 2017, we’re all excited for the chance to give back and lend a hand to the less fortunate members of our community,” said Sachse. “2018 is going to be a great year for all of us.” ◆


MOXĒ 1201 S. Orlando Avenue, Suite 400 Winter Park, Florida 32789 (407) 581-4222








THE SHELTER MORTGAGE EXPERIENCE Shelter Mortgage’s reputation of Superior Customer Service, Integrity, Respect, Hard Work, and Long Term Commitment makes us an easy choice as your trusted mortgage lender. Navigating the mortgage process will be simple with a knowledgeable Shelter Mortgage Loan Officer to help you find the right loan to fit your needs and budget.

408 East Ridgewood St | Orlando, FL 32803 | 407.897.6656

YARI FUMERO 407-897-6656

KENT WINKELSETH 407-765-3810

ROLANDO GARCIA 321-961-8106




©2016 Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Program and other restrictions may apply. Please contact your Loan Consultant for further details. Shelter Mortgage Company. 7341 Office Park Place Suite 106, Melbourne, FL 32940. NMLS #: 431223 ( Equal Housing Lender. Yari Fumero - FL/#36477; NMLS#552492. Kent Winkelseth - FL/#LO17485; NMLS #552527. Rolando Garcia - FL/#LO39842; NMLS#476625.

Building Our

Momentum By Jim Thomas, CEO, Orlando Tech Association

Jim Thomas is the CEO of the Orlando Tech Association. He can be contacted on social @JimThomasORL or at


he role of technology has shifted drastically in recent years. Today, when we ask what constitutes a tech company, we should actually be asking what is NOT a tech company. In our modern society, a traditional real estate company can use machine learning in their advertising, communicate by video chat, show property through virtual reality, sign documents securely through the cloud, transact the purchase with bitcoin, and transfer the property title with blockchain. Sounds like a tech company to me!

Another way we can use technology is to bridge the divide between those in tech and those working on positive social change in our community. We can highlight those who are working day after day to make Orlando and Central Florida a better place for all of us. We can help them apply technologies that amplify and accelerate their work. Through those connections, collaborative and scalable tech is harnessed for good in service to our greater community. Those successes can then be shared and replicated throughout the world.

Technology greatly enhances our capabilities. Our phones and tablets, which can sometimes seem like time wasters, are enabling billions of people to connect and co-create in an ever-evolving magnitude of ways. A connected teenager in sub-Saharan Africa can access the world’s top professors on platforms such as Coursera, meet people globally with similar interests through social media, find gainful employment on Fivrr, sell products on Etsy and raise funding for a business idea on Kickstarter.

From its powerful co-creative, community-building iteration in 2017, the Orlando Tech Association is excited to announce Momentum 2018. Momentum is a platform of civic problem solving, bringing together creative thinkers from Orlando’s independent sector, business and tech communities. We believe technology can be the conduit that develops solutions that will lead to purposeful and powerful community engagement and advancement.

Technology, in its purest form, is the extension of human potential. True creativity is a serendipitous connection of people and ideas. The more of these “collisions” that can be fostered and generated, engaging people who have different ideas, the more creative a person, company or city will become. This is why we need more meaningful opportunities to allow creative people to meet and exchange ideas. 42]MARCH2018

Introducing Momentum

Participants from Orlando’s vast tech and business communities are invited to gather with community organizations dedicated to making our region one we are proud to call home. Independent community organizations, doing well by doing good every day, can identify a real and immediate need they face and present it as a community challenge. We ask these organizations to think big and describe from first-hand experience the desired outcome they wish to see if they had the technical expertise already on staff.

Events & Initiatives Technology, in its purest form, is the extension of human potential. True creativity is a serendipitous connection of people and ideas.

We invite you, our community of tech executives, developers, designers, marketers, instructional designers, HR directors, accountants, sales wizards, customer service mavens and all professional doers to join in. Whatever your specialty or experience, we welcome your unique perspectives as caring creative thinkers to ensure the best results as we address the challenges introduced by our participating community organizations. Through this experience, teams will coalesce and build customized solutions for the presented challenges. We will use our diverse experience and collective tech expertise to prototype and test solutions the teams will then present as their final accomplishments to a distinguished panel of judges. We invite you to come discover your creative power for building community good. Join us for this rewarding collective engagement toward a more collaborative, inclusive and connected Orlando. Visit for more information and to get involved. â—†

Want To Learn More?

2018 Innovation Hub Initiatives: Space & Transportation Modeling & Simulation Health Tech Gaming & Mixed Reality Additive & Advanced Manufacturing

For more information on the Orlando Tech Association, please visit



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

By the Numbers:

Orlando International Airport

44 Million passengers over the past 12 months


airport in the United States by land size

14,000 Acres available for current and future expansion


potential rail systems supported by new Intermodal Terminal Facility

16 Gates

coming in 2020 to new South Terminal


mega-airport in North America for customer satisfaction* * As ranked by J.D. Power and Associates


Q&A with Carolyn Fennell

Four Decades of Leadership at Orlando International Airport


ne of Central Florida’s most respected corporate communications professionals, Carolyn Fennell is senior director of public affairs and community relations at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. She has seen and overseen a lot of progress at Orlando International Airport since joining the organization in 1980. Below, she reflects on insights gained over the course of a career in which women have made tremendous advancements in the workforce.

What is the biggest change you have seen for women in your line of work? While still room for more, it has been encouraging to see more women in the transportation, travel and hospitality industry taking on executive management positions. In these industries that depend on fulfilling “expectations” and providing the elements often of a lifetime experience, the ability to efficiently plan, create and execute with “spirit” an unforgettable memory is a talent that many women can bring to the industry.

GEORGE AGUEL Which life principles guide and inspire you? I’m guided by five major principles in my life: hard work, treasuring the special moments (whether personal or professional), gratitude, motivation by those who blazed the trail before me and faith in God. As we all progress on our life journey, it’s very important to remember those who helped us, and support and encourage those who come after us. One of the strongest drivers for me has been to take risks and stand strong for my beliefs, whether in a person or a cause. From a branding perspective, what is the secret to Orlando International Airport’s success? As the gateway to the region, our design concept for infrastructure development reflects the Central Florida environment. This, along with strong airport leadership and staff supporting a commitment to customer service, is highlighted as the uniqueness of “The Orlando Experience.” As a result, Orlando International Airport was ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Mega Airports” in 2017. By building strong community support and relationships, we’ve been able to help grow the economy of our region, from tourism and conventions to health services and a myriad of other industries. What community causes are important to you? There’s a continuing need for growing diverse personnel representation in government, as well as the travel and hospitality industry. It’s my desire always to help open a “window” for a view of new career opportunities for youth and women. There are so many platforms and causes that need volunteers; I would like to have more hours in a day. Any advice for up-and-coming female professionals? Study your industry. Be a subject matter expert in some segment. Never stop seeking, researching and updating opportunities for growth by traveling to other parts of the world. I would advise women, particularly, to know “who you are” and demand the dignity and respect deserved in interacting in a local, as well as global, environment. Find mentors, and never forget to show gratitude to those who helped you, whether colleagues or staff. Don’t forget to do something special for yourself each day… and find “quiet time.” ◆

President & CEO of Visit Orlando


Carolyn Fennell and Kathie Canning have elevated Orlando as a global destination. A recent report by Citrix Systems ranked Orlando the nation’s fifth-best city for businesswomen looking to pursue a successful career. That is certainly evident from this issue of i4Business, as our region boasts a tremendous amount of talented female executives across a wide range of vocations. In the travel and tourism industry, Carolyn Fennell and Kathie Canning (both members of the Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame) are shining examples. For them, and many others, Orlando has been the perfect place to launch — and maintain — a rewarding career. Fennell, profiled at left, actually got her start at ABC News in London, where she was a production assistant for Peter Jennings. After taking a publicist job at Walt Disney World, it was on to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, where her 38 years of leadership have helped Orlando International Airport earn considerable distinction. In her “spare time,” she has also chaired the Jacksonville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served as a mentor to numerous young professionals. Canning began work as a sales and marketing manager at the Orange County Convention Center in 1985. She went on to become deputy general manager, then general manager and, finally, executive director of the second-largest convention center in the United States. Canning, who retired last month, oversaw major projects that continue to enhance Orlando’s status in tradeshows and conventions. On behalf of Visit Orlando and our 1,200 member companies, thank you, Carolyn Fennell and Kathie Canning, for contributing so much to our industry and community. Your career success has made our destination stronger than ever.


| Company Profile


OF CENTRAL FLORIDA EXECUTIVE: Michelle Weaver, Vice President of Retail FOUNDED: 1959 LOCATION: Headquartered in Orlando, FL WEBSITE:

Michelle Weaver serves as the vice president of retail for Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, which operates in six counties and consists of 29 stores and 25 Donation Express locations. Her responsibilities include developing the shortand long-term strategic plans for retail, new locations and Donor Express locations. Before devoting her talents to the nonprofit world, Weaver worked for 23 years in retail operating a $1 billion business. She has translated those talents to lead the Central Florida Goodwill to be amongst the best in Florida. Over the last six months, she has integrated programs into the organization that have increased sales, increased productivity, decreased shrink and allowed customers to have a faster checkout time. 46]MARCH2018

Weaver’s passion for developing people and giving them the opportunity to do their best is what inspired her to join Goodwill. She has worked with her team to develop training classes for the entire retail management team and give them the opportunity to better themselves and offer customers a better experience when in Goodwill stores. A big believer in paying it forward, Weaver also believes when you empower people to make decisions and run their stores as if they were their own, you will achieve higher engagement and loyalty to the organization’s mission. Weaver is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. She enjoys the opportunity to volunteer and has been a volunteer at the Hope Now Back to School Bash for seven years. She also spends time volunteering at Second Harvest with her kids. In her spare time, she is a soccer mom and spent the last two years as the “volunteer” team manager for her son’s soccer team. She also loves traveling and spending time with her family, friends and her dog, Sky. ◆

Beacon College Student Profile |

SAMANTHA CHAVEZ HOMETOWN: The Villages, FL MAJOR: Psychology YEARS IN AREA: 4 By Loraine O’Connell

From the time she was in elementary school, Samantha Chavez has received speech therapy. In second grade, her parents were informed by her public school that she also had an auditory processing disability. She received help with her studies until fifth grade, when further testing defined her as “borderline.” She managed to graduate from high school and enrolled in a private college’s new program for at-risk students, but she could not pass her math and science classes. “I didn’t feel like anybody understood what was going on with me,” said Samantha, now 23. Her next stop was a state college where she received accommodations including extra time on tests and a quiet space to study. Still, she wrestled with math. When her mother did some research and learned about Beacon College, the family toured the campus, which is near their home in The Villages. “Samantha really liked it and applied that day,” Carmelita Chavez said. “Within the next week, she was accepted and

given scholarships and funds that were available from the state and privately through Beacon. Nobody had ever offered us any kind of assistance.” Samantha noticed the Beacon College difference quickly. “I was a little bit nervous because the other two schools didn’t work out so well, but in my first week, I noticed the environment was different,” she said. “I’d walk into a class and someone would come up to me and introduce themselves. I didn’t have that at other schools.” Her academic experiences changed dramatically, as well. She received straight A’s for the first time last semester at Beacon, a nonprofit liberal arts school, and feels like she understands the material better. One of those A’s was in math, a subject she failed repeatedly at her previous colleges. “The classes are smaller, and the teachers personally know the students,” Carmelita said of Beacon, which educates students who learn differently. “They look at each student as an individual and take into consideration that not everybody learns the same way.” Samantha, a psychology major, expects to graduate in about 12 months and wants to pursue a master’s degree so that she can work in the mental health field. She feels well prepared for graduate-level studies. “I’ve learned what my strengths and weaknesses are,” she said. “In the past year, I feel like I’ve gotten my confidence back; confidence that I can learn and understand.” ◆


| Company Profile


Since 1920, The Salvation Army Orlando Metropolitan Area Command has worked to improve quality of life for men, women and children. Originally located in downtown Orlando at Central and Magnolia, the organization moved its headquarters in 1968 to their current location on West Colonial Drive. The Army offers an array of social services, such as providing shelter for the homeless through the Men’s Shelter, a 116-bed facility. There is also the Women’s and Children’s Shelter, a 62-bed facility providing immediate shelter to women and their children. The Salvation Army provides permanent housing for low-income seniors through the Catherine and William Booth Towers, consisting of 293 one-bedroom/one-bath apartments with full amenities. Collaboration with local agencies helps the Army to combat homelessness, food insecurity and lack of affordable housing. 48]MARCH2018

The Salvation Army also aids in disaster relief, supplying food, emotional support and other services. Working with government disaster agencies such as FEMA, the organization is focused on providing the best care to those affected in Orlando. The Salvation Army provided first responders meals after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016, as well as offered financial and emotional support to those families directly affected by this tragedy. It also provided assistance to those evacuating from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The organization is able to connect with the community through various events. Last year, the Salvation Army hosted a Senior Fair, where information on healthcare, community resources and transportation were provided. In collaboration with Chick-fil-A, The Salvation Army was able to place its Christmas Angel Trees in more than 20 of its restaurants in Central Florida. This year, the Salvation Army continues to have a strong reach throughout Central Florida. The organization’s annual “Give Hope, Change Lives” Gala and Silent Auction presents The Army to the Orlando Metropolitan area and also serves as a fundraising event. Proceeds benefit those who utilize services. The 2018 “Give Hope, Change Lives” Gala and Silent Auction takes place on Friday, April 27 and will feature world-class athlete and Olympian, Lolo Jones. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Rosen Centre, located on 9840 International Drive in Orlando. ◆

TALENT FORUM Presented By:



$2,500 Sponsors CAE

National Center for Simulation

CareerSource Brevard

Eastern Florida State College

CareerSource Flager-Volusia Central Florida Development Council Craig Technologies

Florida Polytechnic University Pasco–Hernando State College

Lake County Economic Development

Polk State College

Lockheed Martin

Seminole State College

The Corridor Talent Forum Hyatt Regency Orlando, Florida Monday, March 26

3-5 p.m. Career Center Professional Registration State college and university career center professionals check in and set up their booths. 5-5:30 p.m. Break 5:30-6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception for Career Center Professionals, and K-12 County School System, Military and Corporate Partners Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, March 27 7-7:30 a.m. Employer Registration

7:30-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast, Welcome and The Corridor Talent Forum Overview

8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Talent Needs and Recruitment Meetings In these “speed-dating” style meetings, K-12 county school system, military and corporate partners travel between booths to meet with career center professionals, with the goal of reaching all booths.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Presentation by Tim Hale, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Coastal Cloud

1:30-5 p.m. Talent Needs and Recruitment Meetings (cont’d.)

5-6 p.m. Travel to EA Tiburon Bus transportation provided for guests staying at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

6-8 p.m. Networking Reception at EA Tiburon, Hosted by Daryl Holt, Vice President and Group Chief Operating Officer, EA SPORTS Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, March 28

7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast and The Corridor Survey

8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Talent Needs and Recruitment Meetings (cont’d.)

12:30 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m. The Corridor Talent Forum Concludes


panning 23 counties across the state, the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) is a technology rich region known as much for its legacy in aerospace as it is for its growing prominence in other high tech clusters of innovation, such as modeling and simulation, optics and photonics, digital media and medical technologies. Spearheaded by three of the country’s largest research universities – University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and University of Florida – the Florida High Tech Corridor Council is a regional economic development initiative with a mission to grow high tech industry and innovation in The Corridor through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship. Throughout its 20-year history, efforts of The Corridor Council and partners have been internationally recognized and awarded for their part in stimulating economic growth.

Talent. It is a word on everyone’s lips these days. Employers large and small are searching for workers, and the search gets more difficult with every passing year. Today’s innovation-driven economy is only going to become more dependent upon workers with specialized knowledge – college degrees, advanced degrees and certificates in specialty areas that prepare workers for high-wage, high-value jobs and careers. In fact, there is even a statewide initiative of the Florida Higher Education Coordinating Council (HECC) called RISEto55! … an effort to increase the educational attainment of Floridians from 47 percent who now have degrees to 55 percent by 2025. In the meantime, we must do everything we can to see that Florida has a solid available workforce. A decade ago, The Corridor launched a program to help. In today’s mobile society, it is just a fact that no matter how many students we educate, there will still be need for more. In other states, leading colleges and universities are also working to turn out fine graduates … and understandably many of them would love to live in America’s third largest state where opportunity abounds, the quality of life is superb and our universities offer top-notch graduate educational programs. The Corridor Talent Forum has grown into an amazing partnership between institutions all over the country and employers in our region seeking to match graduates with a place to start and grow their careers. We have truly become friends with Career Center professionals from those schools and with many of The Corridor’s most promising employers who come together over and over again to achieve a mutual goal. We are proud to welcome them to Florida and The Corridor.


Ed Schons, President

Florida High Tech Corridor Council

Versatile, state-of-the-art microelectronics fabrication facility

Strategically positioned for industry + university collaboration. Connected to world-class institutions, amenities + infrastructure.


by Se a


Payn e,

court e

sy of Skans ka

Nearly 60,000 square feet of total cleanroom/laboratory manufacturing space. Infrastructure and R&D capabilities for semiconductor manufacturing processes with space to accommodate a variety of partner-funded activities.


BRIDG is located at NeoCity, a 500-acre technology district in Osceola County, Florida, less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and within a mile of the Florida Turnpike.




The 2017 Florida High Tech Corridor [Talent Forum] was an outstanding opportunity to connect and network with multiple employers over a two-day period. When our office evaluates an employer relations event, we review employer traffic at the event and examine employer activity after the event. At the Florida High Tech Corridor [Talent Forum], we met with a large number of employers at the event, had employers follow up and post jobs and internships after the event, and even had several employers follow up by attending two of our career fairs to actively recruit our students! – Scott T. Williams, Executive Director, University of Georgia Career Center





Central Florida Regional Hospital

Lockheed Martin

Coastal Cloud Coastal Construction County School Systems Craig Technologies

Massey Services Photon-X Sea Ray




South Lake Hospital

Duke Energy

The Middlesex Corporation

EA Sports

United States Army

Engineering Consulting Services Embraer Florida Medical Device Manufactures Consortium

United States Navy World Housing Solutions ZIO

How to Inspire the

Entrepreneurial Spirit

As highly sought-after speakers, authors and thought leaders, Eric and Jeff offer a motivational guide to graduates and young professionals as they learn how to be influential leaders throughout their paths to career and personal success.

Visit to learn more about this dynamic team. “Eric and Jeff ’s entire presentation is exactly the type of message our students need to hear. Thank you for delivering it in a practical, understandable and powerful way.” – Leslie Turner, Dean, Rinker School of Business, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Now available on


"At EA, we recognize that the world’s top talent is what powers us to create immersive games and services that inspire the world to play. We're proud to partner with The Corridor each year as a participant in its Talent Forum, where we can meet with university representatives energized to find careers for the nation's best and brightest engineers, computer scientists, artists, designers, and more." – Daryl Holt, Vice President and Group Chief Operating Officer, EA SPORTS


For a complete list of universities and colleges attending, please visit


feliciaSOLAZZO Felicia Solazzo is a senior public relations student at the University of Florida and a contributing writer for SCB Marketing.


illennials are becoming the most influential population in the workforce.

The generation born between 1980 and 1995 already makes up a majority of America’s workforce. By 2025, millennials will represent 75 percent of the global workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Workforce ideals are shifting as current leaders prepare to retire and make way for this new group of innovators. Many Florida companies are already looking to hire millennials and adapting to align with the culture and benefits that motivates their work. As recent graduates land jobs, some by way of The Corridor's Talent Forum, collaboration between generations is inevitable. If companies from Florida’s high tech industry are not yet on the millennial train, then the time is now to jump onboard. With their innovative perceptions, millennials can add substantial value to the workplace.

To build a company culture that attracts the millennial generation, start by recognizing and appreciating their common traits.

The Benefits of Hiring Millennials They are highly collaborative… Millennials grew up with the “there’s no ‘I’ in team” mentality, learning through group projects and participating in team sports. They were encouraged by parents and teachers to share opinions and feelings with one another. Millennials are an inherently collaborative group, developing a sense of community through a focus on peer-to-peer relationships. That being said, this generation performs best when there is a group mentality in the workplace. They see great value in consulting and bringing various perspectives to the table. Feedback and communication is key to their interactive model of work. They prefer open office spaces with whiteboard walls for brainstorming sessions with colleagues.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials will represent 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025.

They are instinctively tech-savvy… The millennials’ youth was defined by great technological influence. In fact, they do not know a time without technology. They were the first generation to grow up with the Internet as a social platform and most had cellphones at a young age. From this, they kept an eye toward the future, constantly seeking the latest digital offerings. Their deep understanding of and comfort in using evolving technology solutions is vital to businesses today. As early adopters, millennials keep companies current with trends and discover new ways to streamline work. Running an operation that embraces technology will place you ahead of the competition; for these forward-thinking millennials, this embrace comes naturally. They are readily adaptable… Millennials grew up in a constantly changing world, with technology serving as the major catalyst for change. As a result, they learned to be flexible through any unexpected shifts. This highly adaptable generation embraces change, and sometimes, they seek it themselves. This openness to change helps to shape a company culture that does not depend on the status quo. Because they can easily adjust and develop solutions, millennials prevent the workplace from coming to a halt following disruptions.

Common Values Across the Millennial Generation Purpose. Millennials are dedicated to making the world a better place. They are mission-driven and drawn to companies that have a clear vision to impact others. They want to work for a purpose greater than themselves, their teammates and their bosses. They seek self-actualization by validating their desires, maximizing their potential and fulfilling their purpose. Choice. Millennials were raised in a world of customization as a result of constant advancements in technology. An expectation of choice is a predominant theme across millennial attitudes. They pursue career paths and work environments of their choice, ones that align with their values and beliefs. Authenticity. In forming relationships, transparency allows people to be their most authentic self without feeling a need to obscure information. Millennials are uniquely comfortable with transparency, which they see as a valued effort to maintain open and honest communication. This can be correlated to their frequent use of social media and the Internet, where information is openly exchanged. Create a workplace environment where this young generation can thrive under these common characteristics, and you will master millennial management. ◆

FLORIDA High Tech Corridor:

A Region — And Workforce — Poised for Growth By Alisha Crabtree


he Sunshine State evokes images of sandy beaches, acres of orange groves, congregations of alligators, beautiful golf courses and theme park enchantments. These alluring attributes draw, charm and influence nearly 100 million tourists a year. Tourists undoubtedly benefit, support and sustain many of the state’s local and regional businesses, yet beyond tourism, Florida’s economy is abundantly more diverse. Businesses across the state accommodate and embody the aviation, defense, health care, space and technology sectors, both nationally and globally. Florida is known for its abundant sunshine and warm temperatures, but it actually celebrates a long, unique and rich history as a high tech hub and continues to impress as a world leader in high tech innovation. Although many people may think of Florida as “vacation central,” technology insiders know better. The state is home to three of the nation’s top research universities (UCF, USF, UF), which consistently earn high marks for world-class programs in engineering, optics and photonics, biotechnology and more. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. ▸

The Corridor

Spanning 23 counties across the central region of the state, the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) encourages future growth through pro-business tax structures, government policies and competitive costs. It is driven by a unique partnership between three research universities – University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and University of Florida – and 14 community and state colleges, countless industry groups and thousands of innovative companies, and more than 20 economic development organizations and 12 regional CareerSource boards. These public and private entities join forces to further The Corridor’s 22-year legacy of innovative initiatives and cuttingedge research advancements. Government, education and economic development leaders collaborate to ensure the business climate remains favorable to companies of all sizes, including the nation’s leading corporations. Today, through its Talent Forum, The Corridor also recruits top talent countrywide to support the growth of high tech industry and global connectivity. No wonder The Corridor region is among the nation’s fastestgrowing population and employment markets.

High Tech Pipeline

The dedication to job growth runs deep. In its sixth consecutive year, Florida’s annual job growth rate of 3.2 percent exceeds the national rate of 1.7 percent. Florida retains the third-largest workforce nationally and delivers more opportunities, prospects and experiences for those seeking employment, starting a business, expanding a company or relocating a corporation. In 2017, conducted a national survey ranking three Florida metropolitan cities in the top 10 for job seekers, with Miami in first place, Orlando in second place and Jacksonville in seventh place. It considered needs, wants and desires when searching career opportunities, salary expectations, cost of living, job security, work/life balance and labor market. Additionally, the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities (BPC) index examined the underlying factors and identified unique characteristics of economic growth in metropolitan areas. It used metrics such as job creation, wage gains and technology developments to evaluate growth. Florida claimed six of the Top 25 spots in 2017, with North Port-Sarasota- Bradenton at No. 6, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford at No. 7, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach at No. 12, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater at No. 15, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island at No. 18 and Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach at No. 21. The Corridor is home to three of the six metropolitan areas.

“With growing industries in the region including sensors, aerospace, manufacturing, life sciences and others, why not showcase these possible career opportunities to people around the nation who are in charge of placing graduates in jobs? It’s a win-win to continue growing our high-wage, high-skill economy.” – The Corridor President, Ed Schons

Due to the diversity of industries within the area and the requirement for niche skills, many high tech workers are relocating from out of the state. In fact, Forbes ranked Florida fourth nationwide for high tech employment and third for high tech business locations. The Central Florida region continues to have increasing numbers of tech and non-tech firms moving into the area daily. High tech positions have attracted, established and sustained a skilled workforce since the days of the Space Race. Within The Corridor, a productive workforce of 3.5 million exists — more than one-third of the state’s total talent pool. The region is growing its talent pool of scientists, engineers and innovative entrepreneurs to serve more than 20,000 high tech companies. By investing in this growing talent pool, Florida is among the top destinations to grab the eye of small and large businesses seeking to take root and establish long-term growth.

A Desirable Place to Live and Work

Among the most efficient and effective economies in the nation, The Corridor region understands its business climate, workforce and success trajectory. It ranks among the most desirable locations in the world with no state income tax, a relatively low cost of living and a warm climate. As the number of high tech companies throughout the region continues to grow in step with increased demand for high tech talent, efforts such as The Corridor’s Talent Forum to maintain a sustainable pipeline of affordable, educated, highly skilled workers will prosper. ◆

Scissors beats paper so you can rock. Cut through the HR and compliance clutter to focus more on your business.

Insperity provides HR solutions for your business challenges. As your business grows, your challenges stack up. With Insperity, you don’t have to go it alone. We provide administrative relief, offer access to better benefits and help you reduce liabilities so you can focus on doing more business, instead of more paperwork. With our experienced service team and solutions, you have the freedom to spend more time doing what you love – growing your business. | 800-465-3800


FEATURED ARTICLE! Keep the momentum of your feature going with a plaque in your office long after the issue leaves newsstands.

Anne Conroy-Baiter

President, Junior Achievement of the Space Coast Pictured with daughters Rowan,Trinity and Pallasgrean

Rowan, Trinity, Pallasgrean and I moved here from New York state three years ago, and like many northerners, we struggled to find our tropical holiday footing. In New York, we lived in my family’s 152-year-old homestead—a perfect Christmas house with huge 16-pane windows to watch the snow fall on cozy nights with hot cocoa. It was Hallmark Christmas movie material. In keeping with homestead traditions, a large part of our holiday traditions revolved around dragging in the largest tree that would fit in the house, sending out a holiday card made from one of my paintings, and hand making most of our decorations together. We made paper chains, garlands, snowflakes and stars mostly out of white paper, stringing them from corner to corner, lit up by strings of white lights. Much to our surprise, we found out that those white paper decorations and white lights translate perfectly to beachy interiors and we realized we didn’t need to change our traditions all that much. This year’s plans include large-scale paper poinsettias and three-dimensional stars. The tree? Well, after one disastrous live tree which took joy in shedding showers of needles whenever I entered the room, we’ve traded our live tree for multiple ‘pretend’ trees in different sizes. And my holiday paintings have converted from scenes of snowy sledding to scenes of Christmas parade boats. We've done our best to prove that the north doesn't corner the market on cozy. ◆

44 :           

Alyssa Anelli 321-499-1557

Advancing Women in Business


lobal audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has a singular brand promise: to deliver the power of being understood. More than a tagline, the firm infuses this promise into the experiences of its customers and colleagues by encouraging an atmosphere of trust, respect and acceptance. For Kathy Thomas-Beck, managing partner for Florida, it’s about placing value on cultural dexterity and diversity. “It’s an integral part of creating a dynamic workforce that drives superior business results,” she said. In response to the firm’s inclusive culture, unique grassroots initiatives often grow in local offices, providing volunteer, professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities that incorporate all walks of life, genders, interests and backgrounds. “Increasingly, we understand how connectivity and engagement among peers are vital to their work experience and performance,” Thomas-Beck said.


Taking Action

Last fall, a motivated group of female professionals in RSM’s Orlando office decided to organize around a mission of advancing women in business. Their two-pronged strategy was unique in that it encompassed initiatives for RSM colleagues, as well as the greater community. In November 2017, RSM hosted the inaugural “Influential Women’s Forum” in Orlando. The steering committee – comprised of Kathy Thomas-Beck, Lynn Sedwick, Mari Chumley, Stephanie Gardner, Hilary Marx, and Katrina Rote – brought professional women in the community together for a meaningful exchange of ideas. With topics ranging from innovation to mapping success, the group discussion allowed attendees from various professional backgrounds, to gain perspective from their peers. “RSM values the advancement of female leaders,” said Sedwick, partner. “That message comes

Stephanie Gardner

Paulette Mellor

Kathy Thomas-Beck

“Everybody has a different story, but each is inspiring. What we learned from them is that we own our future. We can make it what we want, and success isn’t just your career, there’s more to it. I found that really inspiring.” – Stephanie Gardner

What Does Success Mean to You?

For Stephanie Gardner, senior tax manager, assisting in the production of the women’s events was a large, but satisfying undertaking. The stories shared by speakers resonated with Gardner and all the attendees. to life when we connect with women in the community and take action to help them thrive both at work and at home.” Additional activities are planned for the Influential Women’s Forum in 2018. In December 2017, RSM colleagues in Central Florida were invited to take part in a special event focused on women’s professional development. The event was an opportunity to hear from a panel of RSM’s female partners and principals – Dara Castle, Kathy Thomas-Beck, Kerensa Butler, Terri Burdine, Tansy Jefferies and Jamie Burgess – about their successes, challenges and experiences as change agents. Afterward, guests were invited to participate in speed mentoring sessions. This allowed colleagues of all levels to personally interact with firm leaders. The event also successfully connected women from various lines of business and industries.

“Everybody has a different story, but each is inspiring,” she said. “We had six different panelists and a partner moderator, and none of their stories were the same. What we learned from this is that we own our future. We can make it what we want, and success isn’t just your career. There’s more to it. I found that really inspiring.” For Paulette Mellor, project manager, the non-conventional ideas of success resonated with her as well. For one partner, a fruitful career meant being able to work and make it to each of her kids’ sporting events. Another one found balance in her life by having success in her career and fitting in four to six weeks of travel to foreign countries. During the one-on-one mentoring session, Mellor learned even more about the leaders. “What stood out to me most from the discussions was that you don’t have to

have it all figured out now,” Mellor said. “You can have goals for your future, and as long as you continue to strive for those goals, you’ll find success. You may not end up exactly where you planned, but you’ll feel like you accomplished what you set out to achieve.”

Evolving Initiatives

“As we hit the landmark number of 500 employees among RSM offices in Florida, we are proud that approximately 50 percent are women,” said Thomas-Beck. While the firm-wide initiatives RSM has put in place encourage female career advancement, it’s the actions of individuals at local offices who create the supportive environment where women truly succeed. In today’s global business environment, diversity and inclusion are essential to a companies’ productivity, creativity and competitive advantage. At RSM, retaining female talent and developing female leaders are important components. “One piece of advice I like to give young women is to be inquisitive,” said ThomasBeck. “Showing an interest in the point of view of others enables you to deliver the power of being understood. That’s what we want for our clients and for our people.” ◆



e hear the words “workplace wel lness” more and more frequently these days, and that buzz will only continue. While this may seem like another trend that will eventually pass, I assure you it is not. Not when the Harvard Business Review tells us the average company is receiving a $2.71 return for every dollar invested in wellness programming. As one who lives a health-focused lifestyle herself, I recognize the clear impact healthy living has on both my health and my business. Focusing not only on your own health, but the health and well-being of your employees, will have an exponential effect on your business success. Your time is valuable, and time spent not performing at your best or out of commission due to illness is costly. How does that translate to your employees? According to the Harvard Business Review, more employees in the United States are working when they are sick, costing employers about $150 billion to $250 billion annually. But by keying in on your own health and the health of your employees, you can begin to see an increase in productivity or “present-eeism.” And while higher productivity can translate to higher earnings, the old adage “a penny saved is a penny earned” rings true. If we can begin to prevent poor health among employees, we can help curb the nearly $2,250 lost per employee per year due to absenteeism and sickness. With so many employees going to see the doctor and receiving one prescription after another,

we need to ask who is paying for this. Nearly 55 percent of Americans receive insurance through their employers, who are also paying the majority of the premium costs. Roughly three-quarters of these payments go to treat chronic illness, which is most often related to diet and lifestyle choices and is often preventable. Fortunately, not only does implementing wellness efforts in the workplace have a financial benefit, but in the war to attract talent, it may also give your company a more competitive advantage. The culture of an organization is now likely to be the deciding factor for millennials, who are coming into the workforce looking for organizations whose cultures match their own lifestyle aspirations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau/ Department of Labor, there will be 23 million jobs in the United States that can not be filled by 2020. Intelligence Group also cites that 64 percent of millennials would accept a lowerpaying job they enjoyed when compared to a higher-paying job in a stale environment. Beyond rolling out a yoga mat or putting out a fruit bowl, few companies are doing what needs to be done right now to position themselves appropriately. Most believe it will not affect them and expect their brand or reputation to carry them. This is a costly mistake. However, when your employees understand how much you care about their personal wellbeing, they develop a loyalty to your brand. By creating an environment and culture that emphasizes personal wellness, you can more affectively attract and maintain a dedicated and more productive workforce that will ultimately enhance your bottom line. ◆



Featuring Wisdo m fro m


ARE YOU TAKING 150 FREE DAYS A YEAR? If the answer is “no,” you need to build a self-managed company. In the early stages of a business, the entrepreneur is involved in everything. Eventually, after those never-ending hours, the company exits the startup stage and sustains growth up to the capacity of the entrepreneur. This is when the business should be transitioning into a self-managed model, where the entrepreneur works in cooperation with the employees to deliver sustained growth and success. It is also the most maddening, frustrating and rewarding

stage of growth — from entrepreneur control to process control. Some people like to call it “from the entrepreneur to corporate structure,” but be careful to not lose your entrepreneurial culture in your company. It is an interesting conundrum. The entrepreneur has taken everything out of him or herself to get the business where it is, but the only way for the business to continue to grow is if the entrepreneur steps back and lets others take the controls and accountability.



• VISION: The people will perish without vision; set your course and act on it.

Every entrepreneur possesses a different capacity, so there is no definitive moment when this transition occurs. However, when you feel ready to significantly scale the business beyond linear growth, your personal capacity, or to get away from the business owning you, then you are ready to pursue a selfmanaged company. First, recognize this is a process, not an event; you have several areas to develop:

• PEOPLE: Get the right people on the bus in the right seats.

TEAM SYNERGY — Have the right people on the bus,

• ISSUES: Identify risks and opportunities, and pursue them effectively.

in the right seats.

FINANCIAL STABILITY — Get your finances to a place where they can be managed without you.


processes that allow employees to succeed on a daily basis. Good people are the driving force behind good business processes. To function on processes that time and time again produce the highest quality product or service, you must first invest in your people. Determine and develop their unique ability so they are in the right places, doing the right things and operating freely. Give your employees the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, and the intuition to know when to stop and get help.

PROGRAMS TO HELP STRUCTURE RELIABLE PROCESSES There are guiding practices that can help implement processes to best fit your business’ needs. One is Strategic Coach, a business coaching program with a focus on developing selfmanagement. Analyzing and promoting growth in business and life, the program looks to assist the entrepreneur as they create a self-managed company. Determining the pressing issues in your business and strategizing solutions to address them, Strategic Coach is for the lead entrepreneur and will eventually bring you real freedom. Another is the Entrepreneurial Operating System, a concept detailed in Gino Wickman’s New York Times bestselling book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. Applicable to businesses across any industry sector, the EOS model is a set of practical tools that helps entrepreneurs develop the following critical components:

• DATA: Develop scorecards to measure the process, not blame the people. • PROCESS: Implement and document processes for predictable success. • TRACTION: Method to effective meetings and engagement.

We started SCB Marketing 12 years ago. At that point in time, I handled 90 percent of company sales, oversaw cash management across the board and was deeply involved in all aspects of the business, including conflict resolution, insurance, banking, investments, human resources, client satisfaction, etc. Today, we have developed a sales team that contributes to well over 60 percent of our sales, and our finances are managed by our CFO. We have operational processes in place that replicate best practices on a daily basis, but it is still a process within itself; the journey is a continuation of discipline and accountability. Leading a self-managed company has a lot to do with trust. As Stephen M.R. Covey wrote in his book The Speed of Trust, “[Trust] is an ability to collaborate, to innovate, to attract and retain people, to satisfy, to engage, to execute your strategy.” Trust is balanced with accountability. Most people associate accountability with negative connotations such as blame. In reality, accountability is about getting the job done. A tip to always remember: Sometimes you must subtract to multiply. Stop the bus every 30 days, recommunicate your vision and open the door of the bus and let those off who are not bought in 100 percent. You will only be as strong as your weakest link in the chain of your team. ◆ Jeff Piersall, a former award-winning collegiate basketball coach, is the CEO & founder of SCB Marketing, an innovative content marketing company that inspires brands to higher levels of success by elevating trust and connecting brands with key people of influence. Jeff is a successful entrepreneur, business consultant, speaker and co-author of “Dogs Don’t Bark at Parked Cars.”


please call 321-622-5986 or email:




PURPOSE LEADS TO PROFIT ThomasWATERMAN Thomas Waterman is the co-founder of Purpose Pioneers. He believes that when we find meaning in our work, we experience real-time fulfillment. He can be contacted at thomas@ and @ purposepioneers on the socials. Contributors: Angela Minerva

Products and customer service experiences that align with purpose become more and more valuable to customers.


Putting purpose first in an organization leads to increased profits. It is just that simple, so let us get right to it. Here are three distinct reasons why:

Before platforms like Amazon, it was considered a risk to buy goods from a random seller in a far away country. Now, we do it every day.

Purpose Increases Trust = more willingness to buy & work

The most effective way to build trust between an organization and its customers is to set the intention behind why the company exists. When customers know the intentions, they will know what motivates the company beyond just profit. And when customers know your motives, they are less likely to create stories of bad intentions and assume the worst about why you sell them stuff. When our purpose is clear, space is created for a trusting relationship. To solidify this bond between brand and customer, the next step is to prove your purpose with your products. The more the purpose is affirmed in every part of the customer experience, the more trust will be built and the more transactions will be made. You want your “why” to prove your “what.”

Trust is at the core of capitalism. Without trust, transactions do not take place. And when transactions do not take place, people do not have opportunities to exchange value with one another to fulfill each other’s needs. A profound example of the importance of trust in business is Amazon. The Amazon online marketplace empowered all people in the world — regardless of nationality, race, gender or religion — to buy and sell goods to each other. The trust in the brand’s “why” of putting the customer first and the proof of that belief brought to life in the seller rating system created space for a confident buying experience.

I understand

Purpose Increases Impact = more perceived value of brand & product

small business

We can focus on being different from the competition, or we can focus on creating difference for our customers. Choosing the latter creates an intention to transform the lives of our customers instead of an intention to simply persuade them to buy what we sell. Creating products and experiences that transform our customers increases our positive impact on them, and the world gets a little bit better. This transformative intention is the core of purpose. Products and customer service experiences that align with purpose become more and more valuable to customers. Benefits of this value include willingness to pay more, increased brand loyalty and advocacy.

Purpose Increases Motivation = more productivity in work

The beauty of a company purpose that doubles down on transforming the lives of customers is its effect on employees. When employees feel like they are contributing to a purpose that is truly serving others with pure intentions, they experience meaning in their work. When this happens, every small, daily task feels like it is a small part of a bigger movement. This feeling empowers employees at every level of the company to experience real-time fulfillment. That means, instead of waiting until the weekend or their next paycheck to receive a jolt of motivation, they get it every day. Increasing fulfillment leads to increasing motivation to fight through the daily grind of a tough job. The company’s purpose serves as the intrinsic motivator for each employee to want to produce quality products and give customers inspiring experiences. Simply put, purpose inspires and empowers a company’s workforce to positively impact themselves, each other, the customers and the community. Centering a company around one common “why” that serves others is truly the ultimate winning experience for all stakeholders. All in all, injecting purpose into every single aspect of an organization creates one profound culture of meaning. When you can inspire employees to show up for themselves, empower customers to buy with loyalty, leave a lasting impact on the community and increase profit by doing so, you will win every single time. What organization would not want all that? ◆

Ada Reneau

Commercial Lender We are your local SBA Preferred Lender! Allow me to be your local lending expert to show you how an SBA loan can provide the leverage you need to take your business to the next level.

Brevard • Central Florida!

(407) 588-3205 All financing is subject to credit approval.

Large enough to serve you, small enough to know you.




Brian J. KLINK, PhD, MBA Brian Klink is the president of Strategic Business Solutions, Inc. and has over 30 years’ experience at Fortune 500 Companies and as an independent consultant.



We have been working with senior management and business professionals for more than 30 years. The need to persuade people to think differently is one of the most important skill sets for those involved in the “influence and change” industry, and having a methodology as part of your presentation planning and conversation management is critical to success. As part of our Executive Development Program Communication 3’s, we often use the following quick reference approach to review client and prospect interactions and coach people to better understand how every interaction can strengthen a relationship, increase trust and deliver value.

Knowing upfront what makes your product or service different is critical to initiating a mindset change.

Understand Upfront That It Is Not Easy

Changing a person’s mind is one of the greatest challenges in business. For those active in the sales process, being prepared for each interaction is important. Our template for increasing your probability for sales success utilizes a proclamation, differentiation and confirmation sequence.

1. Proclamation = Establish a Baseline of Common Ground

One of the most important steps in building relationships and trusted sales partnerships 74]MARCH2018

is to establish a baseline of common ground. Why? Having one allows your conversations to build and grow over time. In addition, establishing a shared baseline gives both participants a touchpoint for identifying when there is change. One of the research programs we offer is a Municipal Market Analysis for communities looking to grow their economy. At some point during our presentation or conversation, the following dialogue is key to establishing a baseline of common ground. • Need = Our research shows that most municipalities truly need a proven approach for identifying specific businesses that should be in their market. Do you agree? • Price = In addition, the fees being charged by builders and developers for more broad economic plans are outrageous. Right? • Solution = Would a fact-based analysis that allowed municipalities to identify specific businesses to target for a reasonable fee be of interest? With a confirmed need-cost-solution baseline set, we have created a rock solid baseline of common ground.

2. Differentiation = Define the Desired Mindset Change Once the proclamation stage is complete, it is time to transition to differentiation. Knowing upfront what makes your product or service different is critical to initiating a mindset change. Having stumbled through this countless times during my earlier years in business brings back many frustrating memories and failed opportunities. Using our Municipal Market Analysis as the example, we show some of our points of differentiation. • Experience/Expertise — We have studied more than 40 Florida Markets and wrote a book titled “Local Marketing Leverage” to help businesses grow. • Unbiased 3rd Party — Unlike design-build companies that may also offer market analysis programs, we are only looking to provide fact-based solutions with no conflicts of interest. • All Facts and No Black Box Models — Our methodology is based on collecting large amounts of data, segmentation and gap analysis. You can see exactly how our recommendations are determined. • Pricing — Our price points are well below those of most competitors and affordable for every municipality. Then we ask: Might you (or others you know) be interested in a fact-based analysis based on the study of more than 40 Florida markets by a company with no conflicts of interest at an affordable price? Now that we have both a baseline of common ground and have defined the mindset change, it is time to ask for confirmation.

3. Confirmation = Agreement of Terms Building on our baseline of common ground and a desired mindset change sets the stage to simply introduce the terms for agreement. Most texts call this closing the sale. While contracts can be elaborate or simple, they almost always need to include what (deliverable outline/example), when (date) and how much (cost). Migrating the conversation to the introduction of an agreement of terms is often the missing component for generating sales. Never leave a sales meeting without providing prospects the ability to buy. In our experience, we have found professionals that master the sequence and subtleties of “proclamation – differentiation – confirmation” will sell more efficiently. ◆

Premier Photographer Call for a consultation or to book an appointment today!

TEL: 407.917.3819




Alex R. SIMSER Alexandrea “Alex” R. Simser graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Florida State University and received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) with a Certificate of Concentration in Advocacy from Stetson University College of Law. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from Stetson University.



There is no law that requires a business to analyze a business name before adopting it for use. However, failure to do so can lead to all sorts of headaches and unexpected expenses down the road.


As a trademark attorney, I have found there is often a misperception among small business owners and start-ups that trademarks are reserved for major corporations that spend thousands or more on intellectual property protection every year. They often see trademarks as luxuries they will pursue once they have launched their business or product and started to turn a profit. The problem with that mindset is successful small businesses eventually become large businesses, and by the time they have started to turn a profit, it is often too late to go back and consider the legal ramifications of their naming choices. They have invested heavily in their chosen name by purchasing the domain names, Sunbiz registration, and marketing collateral, and to go back and rebrand would be incredibly expensive. Or worse, a new company pops up in the same field with a confusingly similar name. Or even worse, they have received a letter from trademark counsel for a corporation demanding they turn over profits they have earned or pay a royalty or other damages.

There is no law that requires a business to analyze a business name before adopting it for use. However, failure to do so can lead to all sorts of headaches and unexpected expenses down the road. To understand why name clearing is important, it is helpful to understand a bit about trademark law. In order to be protectable and usable in the United States, a trademark must be distinctive, and must not create a likelihood of confusion with other trademarks. Proper trademark clearing involves analyzing two factors: strength of the name and availability for use.

Distinctiveness Analysis — How strong is the mark?

Words or names that merely describe features of a product or service are generally not entitled to trademark protection and are not really considered trademarks at all. For example, if I started a business selling apples and named it “The Apple Company,” I could not prevent another business selling apples from using the same name. There are varying levels of distinctiveness, which are beyond the scope of

this article, but the key requirement is that the name does not describe the product or service it is used in connection with. In the same example, if I were selling computers, “The Apple Company” would be a distinctive name for my business, as “apple” does not describe “computers.”

Stop Getting Overlooked! Consumers seek brands that they connect with and making that connection is the key to elevating your brand.

Maybe you do not want a distinctive name — that is totally fine. Many business owners want their name to tell their customer what they do. There is nothing wrong with choosing a descriptive name for your business, so long as you understand you will not necessarily be able to prevent others from using the name. If you can show that you have used the descriptive name exclusively and continuously for a period of five years, you may be able to prove you have acquired distinctiveness in the name and are entitled to protection in the mark. Indeed, there are some very famous examples of descriptive names that have acquired distinctiveness, including The Weather Channel,, and Bank of America, to name a few.

Likelihood of Confusion Analysis — Is the mark available for use?

So, from my computer business example above, I have a distinctive name, The Apple Company, but that is not the end of the analysis. Clearing a product or service name for use also involves determining whether the proposed mark is likely to be confused with another trademark already in use in commerce. Of course, my company name fails this test, as it is likely to be confused with The Apple. You know, your iPhone’s creator. While that answer may seem obvious with this particular example due to the fame of the Apple mark, let me explain. The likelihood of confusion analysis involves balancing a number of factors, although two are primary — the similarity of the marks in appearance, sound, connotation and commercial impression, and the similarity of the goods and services. In our Apple example, the company names are substantially similar, as are the goods each company offers under their marks — computers. While my company name is distinctive, it is not available for use.

Don’t Let Customers Pass You By! At SCB Marketing, we tell your story in a way that provides differentiation and identification, yielding the best results for your business. Contact your SCB Marketing Representative before more customers get away.

But say Apple did not sell computers and only sold iPhones. Although the goods Apple and The Apple Company each sell are different, famous and well-known marks like the Apple mark are entitled to heightened protection and can be protected against uses in connection with goods or services that do not compete with those connected to the famous mark. While there are other factors involved in choosing a legally protectable and defensible brand name, distinctiveness and likelihood of confusion — strength and availability — are two main areas of concern that should be carefully analyzed by business owners. ◆

Melbourne Office: 321.622.5986 Orlando Office: 407.917.3819




CheriseCZABAN Cherise Czaban is the vice president of business development at SCB Marketing, i4 Business, SpaceCoast Business and SpaceCoast Living Magazine. She can be contacted at or (321) 848-3530. Sources: GfK MRI, Spring 2014 jaysondemers/2015/07/22/10-reasons-your-brandneeds-to-be-on-linkedin/#158445d83aca which-social-media-platforms-are-right-for-yourbusiness/#43d3f41f12a2


Knowing the strengths of each platform from a business standpoint and which ones your clients are using will help you decide how much energy to focus on each.


We know the most effective marketing strategies are those that utilize more than one channel or medium to capture an audience’s attention and stand out. So which channels are right for you and your audience? While it is true print marketing is the most trusted and influential form of advertising out there, its influence extends beyond just that one advertisement. Magazines are the No. 1 stimulus for online searches, and while those searches might just lead them to your website, maximizing your web presence with active social media channels multiplies your impact exponentially when it comes to interaction, trust and brand awareness. Embracing social media as a versatile tool for your marketing strategy and integrating it into your plan keeps you in the conversation, even after a print campaign ends.

Why Use Social Media?

The benefits of social media run the gamut from cost effectiveness, to audience targeting, engagement and tracking. Social media can be

one of the most affordable ways to promote your brand online. You can always share content at no cost, but be sure it is engaging, educational or entertaining to maximize its reach. If you choose to promote your posts or run an ad, you can bid for the promoted posts, allowing you to set your own budget and stay within it. Of course, if you decide to make social media a major aspect of your campaign, the cost will depend on how you choose to implement your strategy, and whether you use an intern, employee, or a marketing agency to plan and execute your social media engagement. These platforms also allow you to target your audiences much more specifically than traditional advertising and track who is interacting with or responding to your content. On platforms like Pinterest, Facebook and LinkedIn, you can easily decide what the exact purpose of your campaign is, select the post or ad you want to run, and then select the audience you want to share it with using filters for age, location, gender and interest. Now you can set your budget, place your order and begin tracking your results.


Tracking these results can be accomplished either through the platforms directly or with websites like Sprout Social or HootSuite, which allow you to integrate, manage and see results from several sites in one spot. With these analytics tools, you can see which types of content are generating the most interest, how much engagement each post is getting and who your audience is. You can then use these tools to adjust and streamline all aspects of your marketing strategy so you are reaching your audience where they are and with the kind of content they want to see.

Picking the Platform The world of social media can seem overwhelming and hard to navigate in a marketing context, even for those well versed in using multiple platforms in their personal lives. Knowing the strengths of each platform from a business standpoint and which ones your clients are using will help you decide how much energy to focus on each. LinkedIn: As the third most commonly used platform among business owners, LinkedIn is a wonderful place to position yourself as a leader and expert in your field. With a polished profile and expert blogs and articles, you have the opportunity to forge connections, generating leads at minimal to no cost. Facebook: Forbes found that more than half of Facebook users are between the ages of 25 and 54, and that 44 percent of them check the social media site more than once a day. Facebook is a valuable platform for visibility if your audience is older, and you can easily share everything from videos to blogs to sales and offers. Instagram: With 59 percent of users checking this site every day, it may seem like Instagram is the perfect place to be seen, especially for more visual brands. However, keep in mind both Facebook and Instagram utilize an algorithm to determine which posts will be seen most often, making it more difficult to ensure your visibility. Rather than invest a ton of energy into Instagram on its own, try integrating your account with your Facebook so you can share posts on both, maximizing exposure. Pinterest: The majority of users on Pinterest are women, with 42 percent of women online using the site. If your product or brand is targeted at a largely female audience, especially if you can utilize eye catching photography, Pinterest is an extremely useful platform. With the right plan and channels, you can integrate social media into your content and inbound marketing strategies to solidify your connections with your audience, along with your place in the market. ◆

SPECIAL SECTION HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS The June 2018 edition will focus on the area’s healthcare professionals that are dedicated to the wellbeing of our community. In our June issue, i4 Business® will include a special marketing section spotlighting the achievements and breakthroughs of these dedicated healthcare professionals throughout the Central Florida region.

tliFolorinda vea o n n tr i n NDO Roots in C a

Eutting Down

a Cabot by Jessic ls used of the too -made majority can lize is the licensed, Ameri chinist, rea t do no ed ma fully at many ures are by one gift Wh ry ced ust pro canal the ind der in ught to in root Heath. global lea wing mber tools bro reneur Derek rida, the orary me gro rep precision ntral Flo instruments is and an hon l Society, has and ent d in Ce patients. ovation nta innovator ow locate innovation for ety for dental ENDOinn tional Honor De rvels for use in tic saf father of n Na ma uires endodon ile increasing Heath, the n Kappa Upsilo se technological ited States from ures, req es ced wh pro ly icro the iqu red global to the Un of the Om eer developing world of most fea , sensitive techn first moved oduced to the car people’s with nts panies s intr spent his When he al, one of instrume dental procedure s cedures. Heath wa machines to com spirit A root can have precision x in 1970, gical file dental pro ial ing a comple to The sur Kingdom ess grind repreneur lls. It is a dentist cations. g severe the United ile selling centerl Focusing his ent develop dental honed ski s compli a tooth, causin nts. ry wh but ity to me and finely l for numerou tist th un in tru den te too ort ins tal the tia separa an opp tists t only in the poten procedure can t made den skills, he saw on . no tha od nts and ms me t end the proble instru chinis of metal m ht tools, mes used in ducing and ma odontic e a piece ng the rig ive outco and pro and end ent, fro t can tak lth. By usi inc rease po sit equipm dental damage machines t safety. machinis piece of a l oral hea ure patien trained ntists can aginable as intricate as for overal and ens these and de “A highly almost any im of ing ess eth o usn som meticulo turn it int ile piston to ound as ob surgical my backgr tic an autom fied with the to utilize n of endodon nti wanted eratio file. I ide odontists and next gen the p end elo skilled p dev n, an nist to hel . McSpadde ted a machi res d to John ath shared introduce see, who was inte ath s tools,” He wa He nes Heath trument. ly 1980’s, n City, Ten In the ear living in Johnso lity for a new ins “McSpadden st the rea roduce endodonti his vision into a way to g ted to int nt that created in turnin dden collabora gaining instrume adopted, Spa ting-edge gy was quickly and Mc cut a ” or, olo Compact als. This techn can industry. fill root oss the acr ity popular



and dway on e Trea innovati rs Stev ENDO Owne ther of the Fa Heath,


COMING June 2018! Orlando Office: 407.917.3819




with Mayanne Downs [ By Jack Roth ]

Mayanne Downs is the president and managing director of GrayRobinson, one of the largest law firms in Florida with 300 attorneys and 13 offices across the state. Downs is the first woman to hold this position at the firm, which is headquartered in Orlando. Here she talks about her job, its challenges and her professional goals.



It’s a constant challenge (and one I’m grateful for) to be available to each and every one of our lawyers to help them practice efficiently, effectively, with integrity and competence on behalf of our clients. My job is to help them have what they need to provide the best advice and counsel they can. Another challenge I enjoy grappling with is figuring out the best ways to accommodate lawyers at so many stages in their careers, from young mothers with families to senior lawyers who are stepping down. Today, lawyers practice from the ages of 25 to 85, so what they need for support varies widely. Also, as the marketplace for legal services becomes increasingly competitive, we have to work even harder to ensure the product we provide is worth the price.

Words can’t really express how grateful I am to have this chance to help, to make a difference for our lawyers and clients (most days, that is). I hope that young women lawyers feel the same way about me having the chance to do this job. One of the most exhilarating and endearing moments for me has been realizing how proud so many of the men in our firm are to be led by a woman. It makes me smile each and every time I see or feel it.

More than anything else, I love helping clients. I also love helping our lawyers and our clients navigate through the legal system to get to the best possible result. I went to law school because I got sued, and as a businessperson, I was keenly aware I needed the help of others to navigate through an unknown and difficult world. I know what it’s like to face a challenge that can change your professional and personal life, and I enjoy the chance to make that outcome the very best it can be. I try to always remember what it felt like to be a party in litigation and use that memory to guide my work for my clients.

I recently did a presentation titled “How to Overcome Gender Bias in Real-World Legal Scenarios” for the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (Miami-Dade Chapter). To me (and with all due respect to Sheryl Sandberg), the phrase “Lean in” is pallid and faint. What I tell women is to jump in. The key to overcoming gender bias is to be so good at your job you’re as close to being indispensable as possible. Women have some natural tendencies toward full engagement on the emotional and psychological side that can (and I emphasize “can” and not “does”) make them better counselors at law; full and complete engagement, including feeling the pain and frustration clients often feel, is the key to overcoming any barrier, including gender bias. ▸


EMBRACING THE COMMUNITY AND LEARNING FROM ENGAGEMENT Being fully engaged makes my life more fun, beneficial, vibrant and helpful to me and the people around me. I had a health scare and wasn’t supposed to be here after 2007, and I try to remember that every day. I’m not always successful, but no one can accuse me of not caring or being a quiet observer in the background. Many people protect themselves from failure by being removed, insipid or distant, and by not doing their work. But bad outcomes are the best lessons of all. Like I said, “jump in;” even if the water’s not fine, getting wet is a blast. As former president of both the Florida Bar and the Orange County Bar Association, I learned even the most extreme circumstance is a matter of perspective, and seeking first to understand makes me more effective and persuasive. I’ve also learned a lot from my friend, Mayor Buddy Dyer, about listening, understanding and sharing credit. If people feel heard and can feel they’re a part of something, they’re much more susceptible to being led to the right outcome.

GRAYROBINSON’S ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY Our founder, Charlie Gray, comes to work every day (often on SunRail) and thinks about what he and we can do to make this community better, and we’re all committed to that way of thinking. When something is being created, growing, getting funded, or becoming a success, a lot of times GrayRobinson is behind or a part of it — from lobbying, to transactions, to dispute resolution, to governing. I’m excited about the chance to have city and county government work together in the future. Central Florida has a fundamental welcoming nature, and that’s one of Mayor Dyer’s great gifts — he extends a hand of friendship to all. That will continue to make this community great. GrayRobinson is the same way. I love that we’re a place that welcomes a wide range of lawyers, staff, clients and practice areas. The key to life is being sure the people around you don’t all look and sound and act the same. ◆


We Move Business UP Trade Shows | Relocation | Storage Get your hassle-free quote at: Preferred mover for:


Two Amazing Events.

One Incredible Cause

Celebrating 25 Years! POatKtheER

UCP’s Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament Friday April 6, 2018


Presented By

Hosted by Actresses Cheryl Hines & Rachael Harris with Actor RJ Mitte Cigars & Scotch Tasting ALSO AVAILABLE BLACKJACK & ROULETTE

UCP’s 25th Annual Evening at the Palace Gala Hosted by RJ Mitte & Rachael Harris

Special performance by country music star Jake Owen

KPM Franklin

Jack Holloway Star of Gratitude Award

Saturday April 7, 2018 Presented By


UCP Young Executive Committee Jackie Bailes Legacy Award

Proceeds Benefit the children and families of

For sponsorship opportunities or event details, visit

th UCP of Central Florida’s

Starry Night

Bill Sublette

Champion for Children Award

Social Entrepreneur

EMPOWERED G i r l z Power the World Tech Sassy Girlz Aims to Close the Tech Gender Gap and Solve the Leaky Pipeline.

Laine Powell, M.Ed., MSM

By Christa K. Santos


hat is the common denominator between Sheryl Sandberg and Laine Powell, M.Ed., MSM, founder and executive director of Tech Sassy Girlz? Both are graduates of North Miami Beach High School and advocates working to close the gender gap in high tech. Inspired by the career success of Sandberg, Powell has embarked on an endeavor combining her passion and desire to make a positive impact in the lives of adolescent girls while changing the face of high tech.

Igniting a Passion

During her freshman year at the University of Florida, Powell developed an initial love for computers as a selftaught techie. It began when her eldest brother, Israel Mathias, a management information systems graduate, built his first computer. She was fascinated by the process and intrigued by how he assembled the components. While at UF, Powell met her future husband, Courtney. He was a computer and electrical engineering major. Her passion for computing ignited as she read his computer science books 84]MARCH2018

and magazines, along with attending technical-engineering events together. At these events, Powell quickly noticed few were women, let alone diverse. Although Powell’s interest piqued in computer science, she did not have the confidence to pursue a computer science or engineering degree because she did not know any women working in these fields to serve as mentors or role models.

Transforming into a Butterfly

Motivated to change this high-tech gender gap, Powell created a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering middle and high school girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through college preparation, career readiness and mentoring. Thus, Tech Sassy Girlz was born under the original charter of Collegiate Pathways in 2012. Capturing the symbolism of the butterfly as its mascot, TSG would come to represent the embodiment of growth and transcendence, as it does from caterpillar to butterfly. While equally elegant and beautiful, the butterfly transforms to

embrace a new way of ascending to a higher self. Tapping into her higher education background of more than 20 years, coupled with the lack of women in STEM fields, Powell became passionate about helping girls become makers and content creators instead of consumers. Over the years, Powell’s efforts with TSG have been recognized by her three nominations as a White House Champion of Change for Young Women Empowering Communities; Computer Science Education and Extracurricular Enrichment for Marginalized Girls; Community Champion by the Orlando Magic and several other community and professional awards.

Moving the Needle

Powell credits her work ethic to her father. “Growing up, I watched my parents work excessive hours to ensure that my siblings and I had what we needed,” Powell said. “My recollection of my mother is very vague as she died when I was seven. After this happened, my father went into overdrive. He ensured we were never left without anything, even if it meant he had to work overtime.”

According to national research, in 2018, eight million STEM jobs will be available in the United States, but the vast majority of students will be unprepared to fill the need. Although she is currently pursuing her doctorate in instructional technology and distance education, she does not skip a beat and sees TSG as her way of moving the needle to close the gender gap in tech and solve the leaky pipeline in the STEM crisis. TSG provides access for girls to develop 21st century computing skills that will help them embrace their passion and recognize their potential in STEM fields.

Decreasing the Gender Gap

According to national research, in 2018, eight million STEM jobs will be available in the United States, but the vast majority of students will be unprepared to fill the need. Fifty-one percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. The federal government alone requires an additional 10,000 IT and Cyber-Security professionals, and the private sector needs many more. STEM fields are at the core of the nation’s innovation.

“I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop. Nobody can succeed on their own.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook

Under Powell’s leadership, TSG has evolved to impact the lives of more than 700 girls, awarding 10 scholarships and performing 1,000 hours of community service with programs in South Florida and Central Florida. The program offers informative, educational and hands-on workshops, such as Tech Sassy Girlz Code, afterschool programs, summer camps, college tours, hack-a-thons, pitch competitions, career development conferences, the annual Tea & “bytes” scholarship award luncheon and a chance to attend Tech Treks to various STEMrelated companies throughout the year. By introducing young girls to successful women within STEM careers, TSG encourages the transformation of thinking due to stereotyping girls as “less capable” in these fields.

Photo credit: Jensen Larson Photography

“Growing up, I’ve always been extremely inquisitive about the world around me,” Kharis Hughes, TSG alumni and VISTA Marketing Coordinator for TSG, said. “This curiosity led me to a love of science and eventually to Tech Sassy Girlz. What initially drew me to the program was its interest in developing young minds of girls, like myself, who seldom saw people that looked like us, advancing in STEM fields. Being able to develop meaningful business relationships with minority women making strides in STEM has given me, among numerous other young ladies, the confidence to pursue any dream.” ◆



2018 EAGLE AWARDS The 2018 Eagle Awards, presented by Walt Disney World, is the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida’’s most prestigious event that showcases diverse groups of thriving businesses and entrepreneurs here in the Central Florida Region. This event also recognizes corporations and individuals who share the Chamber’s commitment to the growth and advancement of minority and women-owned businesses while embracing the concept of diversity.

Deidre Parker and Richard ‘Rich’ Black

Vanessa Echols and Stewart Moore

Joyce Odongo


Janie Lacy

Dr. Reginald B. Riley and Leticia Adams


Latria Graham Leak, Elfrid Payton, John Crossman

Pastor Derrick McRae

Michael and Dr. Felicia Young

John F. Davis

Fleur O’hara, Sandi Alonso, Lena Graham-Morris and Laura Dorsey

Mayor Teresa Jacobs

Demetria Hill Sloan


Heart & Head

The Wright How We Maintain Angle by Eric Wright

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain,” Swami Vivekananda advised, “follow your heart.” The insight of this illustrious Indian religious and social thinker, who was influential in forging a sense of Indian nationalism in the 19th century and helped introduce yoga to the western cultures, rings true for most of us. Socrates, one of Greece’s trinity of ancient philosophers, went further, teaching that wisdom is when there is no conflict between head and heart. As one who has been derailed, thinking these two rails of life’s train track were in conflict or opposition rather than running parallel, I see value in the insight of both philosophers. As business leaders, this balance is one of the essentials of success, not only in the pursuit of our own aspirations and visions, but also in creating company cultures other people want to be a part of. Connecting not only for eight hours a day in exchange for a paycheck, but with the whole of their heart and head. For every CEO, and particularly every HR executive I talk to, the competition to attract the best and the brightest is their highest priority. At a recent economic summit, one thoughtful speaker called the talent pipeline “the new currency of economic development.” Though opportunities, incentives and benefits rank high on what can maintain a company’s magnetic field, Simon Sinek was quite right when he identified a company’s “why” as the real glue that holds people to a company and a company to people. The following are characteristics of companies built on the synergy of heart and head.

1. Friends and Family: All effective parental leadership is based on a clear desire for the child’s best interests and combines lavish affirmation and support, with a

Our Edge Over AI healthy mix of controls and responsibilities. I am not saying you treat your employees like they are your children, but companies that treat employees like family make a connection that goes far deeper than what is contained in a job description or employee contract.

2. Celebrate the Human Factor, Not Just the IQ: The New York Times writer, Thomas Friedman, discussed in a recent article what it was that would always distinguish humans from artificial intelligence. Quoting Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, “Our highest self-conception needs to be redefined from ‘I think, therefore I am’ (Rene Descartes) to ‘I care, therefore I am; I hope, therefore I am; I imagine, therefore I am. I am ethical, therefore I am. I have a purpose, therefore I am. I pause and reflect, therefore I am.’”

3. Purpose Driven: It has been repeated almost like a mantra that purpose motivates people in a way that profits never will. People may not be as passionate about working for a household goods company or a clothing retailer as they are about working for Seventh Generation and Patagonia. Why? These companies have clear overarching purposes that attract and galvanize their employees, turning them into raving fans.

4. Give, Even When It Hurts: We all hear of businesses and billionaires that celebrate their philanthropic giving but neglect to give to their own employees. The best way we inspire employees to give back is by giving back to them. Then we provide multiple opportunities to celebrate their good fortune by giving to others. ◆

inspiring the TREP in you 88]MARCH2018

Profile for i4 Business Magazine

i4 Business - March 2018  

Promoting Entrepreneurship throughout Central Florida. Orlando's i4 Business Magazine is a fresh voice for Central Florida businesses’ econo...

i4 Business - March 2018  

Promoting Entrepreneurship throughout Central Florida. Orlando's i4 Business Magazine is a fresh voice for Central Florida businesses’ econo...