Page 1



MAY 2019

Eye on Orlando The Road to Smart City Status



Housing Not Handcuffs

Corporate Culture

Social Entrepreneur: JA Inspire

Up Close with Diane Crews


Look to us for great rates on Premium Business Money Markets. Federally insured by NCUA.

Working with you and for you to find the best mortgage. After you’ve found your dream home, let Shelter Mortgage Company provide the dream loan. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to buy your next home, or refinancing, your satisfaction is our #1 priority. • Lots of options for low down payments on our Conventional, VA, USDA, FHA, and even Jumbo loans • Renovation Loans: Facilitate home improvements • Jumbo loans up to $3M • Construction-to-Permanent Financing • Qualify with Less-Than-Perfect Credit

407.897.6656 408 East Ridgewood St. Orlando, FL 32803





© 2018 Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Shelter Mortgage Company, L.L.C, 4000 W. Brown Deer Road, Brown Deer, WI 53209. Corp NMLS#431223 ( 408 East Ridgewood St. Orlando, FL 32803. Yari Fumero - FL/#36477; NMLS#552492. Kent Winkelseth - FL/#LO17485; NMLS #552527. Rolando Garcia - FL/#LO39842; NMLS#476625.

This year we are excited to announce that the inspirational keynote speaker is advocate and author Judy Shepard.

As a renowned activist, Judy will inspire the audience to connect with their passion and find their voice. As a mother who struggled to cope with the loss of her son

Matthew Shepard due to a brutal hate crime, she found a way to transform her pain into a lifelong battle for human rights for the gay community.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 11:00 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. Hilton Orlando 6001 Destination Parkway Orlando, FL 32819 Individual tickets: $95 (open seating)

Corporate tables: $1,750 (reserved seating for 10)

Register at

Judy Shepard Presenting Sponsor:

Women United is a group of women in Central Florida, making comprehensive change in the areas of literacy and education. For more information about Women United, visit

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Pewter Sponsors Media Sponsors


Welcome to tomorrow land. We’ve got land for expansion, manpower to empower and forward-thinking infrastructure investments that top $10 billion. We’ve evolved from a university town built to win the space race to one of the most imaginative cities in America. Our evolution didn’t happen overnight; we’ve been preparing for our explosive growth for more than a decade. And you thought you knew everything about Orlando. Ready to learn more?


Thank You

Judi Awsumb, Awsumb Enterprises Jim Bowie, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program Jackie Brito, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College Elaine Brouca, Consulate General of Canada Office in Miami Cari Coats, Accendo Leadership Advisory Group Andrew Cole, East Orlando Chamber of Commerce Laura Dorsey, African American Chamber of Commerce Stina D'Uva, West Orange Chamber of Commerce Carol Ann Dykes Logue, University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program

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

Lena Graham Morris

Lena Graham Morris is the vice president of marketing and business development at Horus Construction Services Inc., where she works closely with a team that operates seven offices in five states. She is responsible for securing more than $2.2 million in annual revenue. Graham Morris also serves as communications chair on the board of directors for the Orlando chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners. She was recently chosen to receive the United Way Women United Meredith Level Fellowship and will serve on the Women United steering committee.

Harry Ellis, Next Horizon Susan Fernandez, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Lena Graham-Morris, HORUS Construction Gwen Hewitt, United Negro College Fund Karen Keene, ATHENA Orlando Women's Leadership and Dean Mead Attorneys at Law Shelley Lauten, Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Lisa Lochridge, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association Catherine Losey, Losey PLLC law firm Laureen Martinez, Orlando Economic Partnership Hope Edwards Newsome, Triloma Financial Group Romaine Seguin, UPS Global Freight Forwarding Mary Shanklin, Fifth Estate Media Marni Spence, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)

Carol Ann Dykes Logue As site manager of the University of Central Florida’s Business Incubator at Research Park, Carol Ann Dykes Logue uses her expertise in technology, business, information research and communications to empower local entrepreneurs and connect them with resources throughout the community. With a background in both biology and education, as well as a master’s degree in library and information science, and extensive experience in business aspects such as market analysis and commercialization, she assists small businesses throughout Central Florida.

Robert Utsey, Coastal Construction | MAY 2019 | 5

MAY 2019

Features 18

Transportation Transformation


Solving Key Transportation Issues Through Collaboration


Orlando is One of ‘8 Smart Cities to Watch’


Enjoying the Journey

Rail Service will Link Pieces of the Puzzle

Orlando Economic Partnership

Pegasus Transportation Ensures a Smooth Ride



MAY 2019

Virgin Train Concept


Eye on Orlando The Road to Smart City Status



Housing Not Handcuffs


Corporate Culture

Social Entrepreneur: JA Inspire

6 | APRIL 2019 |

Up Close with Diane Crews


Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the Central Florida region



MAY 2019

Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship





Housing Not Handcuffs Central Florida Commission on Homelessness


Coaching Businesses Through the Next Recession CEO Leadership Forums

Publisher’s Perspective


From the Editor


Business Briefs


Take 5 with Visit Orlando Soaring to New Heights




With Diane Crews

Tips to Ease Business Travel Nightmares


Romaine Seguin | UPS International



Aspire to Inspire

How to Avoid the Top 5 Interviewer Mistakes Joseph T. Sefcik Jr | Employment Technologies

48 What Traditional Marketers Can Learn from Social Media Influencers Cherise Czaban | i4 Business

50 Certify Your Company as a Diverse Supplier for Big Benefits Nancy Allen | Women's Business Development Council of Florida

Corporate Culture


Social Entrepreneur

Success Starts in the Classroom Junior Achievement Provides Inspiration to Students


Downtime Unique Experiences for Your Day Off


Business Seens



Cyndi Shifrel | Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals


Andrew Cole | East Orlando Chamber of Commerce

8 | MAY 2019 |




Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Cherise Czaban








Tanya Mutton - Sidekick Creations


Susan Howard, APR


LEGAL PROFESSIONALS The July 2019 edition will include a special marketing section spotlighting the achievements and offerings of legal professionals throughout the Orlando region.

Angela Alban, Nancy Allen, Meaghan Branham, Elyssa Coultas, Cherise Czaban, Jim Hartmann, Diane Sears, Romaine Seguin, Joseph T. Sefcik Jr.


Photography: Julie Fletcher

ADVERTISING Cherise Czaban 321.848.3530 i4 Business is a participating member of:


ur firm was establ ished in 1976. With over 130 combined exper years of ience our attorn eys have the know the law and of the ledge of legal system to assist matter. Mario, Gund you with your legal e, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley has been in the courtrooms practicing of Brevard Coun ty and before the County judges Circuit and here for over 41 years. A full service firm, we primarily practi ce in the areas of Criminal Law, Perso Family Law, nal Injury, Wills, Probate, Civil Litiga Appeals. Our attorn tion, and eys have litigat ed tough death heartbreaking child penalty cases, custody cases, dog bites, and prope They have also represented client rty rights. s in evictions, patern matters, bankruptcie ity, criminal s, elder matters, estate planning, personal injury probate, and cases. As attorneys and counselors at law part of our job with not just the is to help you cold law and facts of your case but case affects your also how your life as a whole. Aggre compassion are ssive representati provided to every on and client we repres ent. Our seven attorn eys are David Gund e, Barbara Helm Rhoden, Micha Peters, Kenneth el J. Kelley, Bonn ie Klein Rhoden, Christina Farley 48]JULY2017 SpaceCoastB

Long, and Barto n W. Hogreve. Our founding partn Mario, has retired er, Anthony P. and is of couns el to the firm. Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley, LLC will treat you like is a family and part of our family we . For more inform firm and our attorn ation on our eys visit www.Legalfor a free consu or ltation. call today

MAIN OFFICE COCOA 319 Riveredge Blvd., Ste 107 Cocoa, Florida 32922 (321) 631-0506 Attorneys Availab le 24/7

MELBOURNE OFFICE 1735 W. Hibisc us Blvd., Ste 300 Melbourne, Florida 32901 (321) 676-2150 www.Legal-Eagles.c om

COMING July 2019! Tel: 407.730.2961 | MAY 2019 | 9



Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship


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

Daniel Haddad



Manager of Power Plan t Engineering

Orlando Utilities




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

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

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

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

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

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

— Daniel Hadd


Setting an Example

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

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

BER 2018 | 33

COMING September 2019! Tel: 407.730.2961 10 | MAY 2019 |

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

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

Publisher's Perspective


“Among all the marvels of modern invention, that with which I am most concerned is, of course, air transportation. Flying is perhaps the most dramatic of recent scientific attainment. In the brief span of thirty-odd years, the world has seen an inventor's dream first materialized by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk become an everyday actuality.” — Amelia Earhart


e have seen many changes in transportation in the past couple of centuries. In the middle of the 1800s, dirt roads were being built in parts of our nation and boats were used to travel along canals. In those days, boats were the traditional mode of long-distance travel, but there were no waterways that stretched across our country.

make it easier for people and goods to move between cities, even though the reason behind it is completely different today.

The American railroad system began and in time became the most popular form of land transportation in the United States. This mode of transportation impacted business, allowing people to more easily move goods between cities.

Innovation and collaboration are key components to creating the solutions needed. It’s great to see the efforts being made throughout the community, looking toward the future and seeing these innovations becoming actualities still today.

In the past century we have continued to see technology impact transportation. In the first two decades of the 20th century, the first airship, or dirigible balloon, was successfully launched, the first motor-driven airplane was flown, and diesel engine-driven ships were launched. The assembly line method of automobile manufacturing was developed, which brought the time to build one car from 12 hours to 30 minutes — making vehicles more affordable. This technology ushered in the era of an automobile for everyone. We continue to see the way technology is rapidly changing how we move about from one place to another. Whether it’s for recreational or business purposes, again we’re seeking to

In this issue you’ll read about everything from the expansion of high-speed rail, connecting more cities across the state, to innovation in autonomous and electric vehicles, which is changing the face of public transportation.

To your success,

CEO and Publisher

Favorite quotes from this issue “The pieces are started, but we don’t know what type of technology is going to come in the future, especially in the autonomous vehicle area. A lot of the technology we have today we couldn’t imagine 10 or 15 years ago.”

“We are aware of the trends: autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, the internet of things … the list goes on. All are disrupters in an economy that is quickly changing how we do business, how we interact and how we travel.”

“We have some innovative things we’ve done here at the city, and it’s through that innovative spirit that we’re looking to move into other areas.”

— Buddy Dyer, Page 19

— Jim Hartmann, Page 25

— Charles Ramdatt, Page 29 | MAY 2019 | 11

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

Connect with us on our social media channels: Facebook

to see where we are today

Connect With Us

12 | MAY 2019 |


to join us in daily experiences


for breaking news on us and our partners


for our background and latest articles

From the Editor

Taking the High Road


have to confess, I love driving my car. Driving allows me the freedom to go wherever and whenever I want to go. There’s nothing like pushing your foot against the gas pedal and feeling the engine carry you forward into your future. But I’m starting to appreciate the freedom of using public transportation, too. There’s a sense of satisfaction in knowing you can get where you’re going without navigating heavy traffic and keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. I learned this early in life when I spent a lot of time on public buses in St. Petersburg to get to work and college. Mass transportation is better for the planet in so many ways. I’m encouraged by research and development happening right here in Central Florida that will improve the transportation industry around the nation and in other parts of the world, including a new partnership between Orlando-based taxi service Mears and rideshare pioneer Uber. By coincidence, I found myself writing the cover story for this issue from Scotland, which is miles ahead of Orlando in multimodal transportation — at least for now. I wrote the lead from a ferryboat between Wemyss Bay on the west coast and the port of Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal is located in a train station originally built in 1865. The ferry system is a well-oiled machine, sticking to timetables that expand every April to additional summer hours. Inside the ship, tables and chairs in the lounge areas offer the perfect place to catch up on your computer while you watch the beautiful coastline along the Firth of Clyde out the picture windows. I wrote another part of the article on a train to Glasgow. ScotRail carries you from all over the country, through Scotland’s seven cities, to Glasgow Central Station. From there, you can walk to the Glasgow Subway, the third-oldest underground metro system in the world after those in London and Budapest. Or you can head to one of 57 stands at Buchanan Bus Station, where you can catch a commuter bus to the nearest village or a coach that takes you on a multiday excursion. On the train, I sat at a table and connected my computer to onboard Wi-Fi while I watched farms, villages and lochs pass by.

ScotRail’s website says traveling by train will help you reduce your carbon footprint while saving you time and money. It lists these additional benefits: 1.

Never get stuck in a traffic jam.

2. Go really fast with no risk of a speeding ticket. 3. Read a book or newspaper, gaze out of the window or have a nap, with no danger to you or any other passengers. 4. No need for a map. 5. Stretch your legs without accidentally braking or accelerating. 6. Enjoy beautiful views out of the window. 7. No need to find a parking space, or worry about parking tickets. 8. Eat and drink without having to break your journey at the motorway services. 9. Concentrate on your work, not on the road. 10. You're in safe hands — rail is nine times safer than car travel. I wrote the last part of the cover story aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight coming back to the U.S. Through Wi-Fi on the plane, I could get online and learn more about the airline’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, who is one of the financial backers of the Florida train operation that has rebranded from Brightline to Virgin Trains USA. Somehow it all tied together. And when I made it home and got back into my car, it made me think about how it will feel to eventually jump on an express train in Orlando. I look forward to writing while I’m commuting to Miami or heading back to the airport for new adventures. I, for one, can’t wait. Have a great month!

Editor-in-Chief | MAY 2019 | 13

Business Briefs

Thad Seymour Jr. Becomes Long-Term Interim President at UCF The board of trustees for the University of Central Florida (UCF) unanimously voted on March 21, 2019, to name Thad Seymour Jr. the institution’s interim president until a new leader can be named. He had been serving as short-term interim president since Feb. 21 after the resignation of President Dale Whittaker in the wake of a state inquiry into the university’s improper use of operating funds for construction projects. Seymour has been with UCF since 2015, most recently serving as vice president for partnerships and chief innovation officer. Prior to joining UCF, his three decades in Central Florida’s business community included leading strategic planning and business development for Lake Nona Medical City as senior vice president at Tavistock. UCF plans to begin its search for a new president this fall and name someone to the post in early 2020 to start next summer. “Everyone I talk with is committed to making this a better place. And that’s why I am so optimistic about UCF’s future,” Seymour said. “We have some hard work ahead of us. But I know we will do it together. If my years in business taught me anything, it’s to use each challenge as an opportunity to be better, stronger and more effective than you were before.”

CFE Federal Credit Union is now Addition Financial

Knight-Thon Raises Nearly $1.3 Million

CFE Federal Credit Union, which has naming rights to the University of Central Florida (UCF) arena, has changed its name to Addition Financial as of May 1. UCF has been changing the signage at its facility, with the credit union covering the costs. This name change is intended to help CFE expand throughout the region and make the credit union a more inclusive place to do business. The credit union has adopted the slogan “Count Us In” to encompass its focus on empowering members through financial education and specialized products and services. Founded in 1937 by 23 educators, the credit union has more than $1.86 billion in total assets and serves more than 155,000 members.

Business 14 | MAY 2019 |

More than 1,200 University of Central Florida students participated in the 23rd annual 20-hour dance marathon in March. The event wrapped up a yearlong effort by Knight-Thon, UCF’s largest student-run philanthropy, to benefit the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. This group raised $1,288,360 for 2019.



New $450 Million Facility is Named KPMG Lakehouse Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG has given a name to its $450 million training facility that is set to open in January 2020 in Lake Nona. KPMG Lakehouse will serve as a training headquarters for KPMG’s 32,000 professionals across the U.S. It is expected to conduct more than a million hours of professional development in its first year as it hosts up to 800 attendees a week. Located five miles from Orlando International Airport, KPMG Lakehouse will feature 800 single-occupancy guest rooms, 90 learning and innovation spaces, a 1,000-seat assembly hall and an Ignition Center where professionals can meet with clients. The 55-acre site will also include multiple dining areas, a separate social venue and numerous fitness and recreational amenities.

AireHealth Wins Crummer Rollins Venture Plan Competition In a business plan and pitch competition for start-ups, respiratory illness solutions company AireHealth was named the 2019 winner on March 29. The company received $25,000 in prize money and an option of an additional $25,000 minimum equity investment from venVelo, a Winter Park-based, early stage venture capital firm. Open to all regionally headquartered startups, the annual “Shark Tank”-like competition features teams battling for funding and mentorship in front of top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. AireHealth, led by CEO Stacie Ruth, was selected from more than 50 submitted proposals. The other finalists were Omnimodal, a real-time data traffic solutions company; Yaupon Brothers Tea, an herbal tea company brewed from Yaupon holly; and XMDocs, a real-time tracking and automation company that connects global trading partners.

The Corridor Names 4 Local ‘Faces of Technology’ Four Central Florida women are among 12 innovators recognized as The Florida High Tech Corridor’s 2019 “Faces of Technology” for contributing to the advancement of research and innovation in the region’s 10 high tech industry sectors targeted for growth. They represent a talent pool of more than 750,000 adults in the 23-county region who have degrees in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Orlando area innovators are: ɆɆ Cali Fidopiastis of Oviedo, chief scientist for Design Interactive, who specializes in developing virtual and augmented reality software for human performance. ɆɆ Alina Frey of Melbourne, a software engineer for Space Coast Intelligent Solutions, who supports a software baseline of more than a million lines of code and more than a terabyte of data, which is used by scientists and subject-matter experts to serve an ongoing mission in atmospheric and nuclear treaty monitoring activities. ɆɆ Amy Gowder of Orlando, vice president and general manager of training and logistics for Lockheed Martin, who leads a team employing state-of-the-art gaming technology to create virtual reality training and maintenance devices for all branches of the military. ɆɆ Vanaja Ragavan of Orlando, president and CEO of Aviana Molecular Technologies, who leads a team of experts improving diagnostic biotechnology.

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



Inspiration | MAY 2019 | 15

Giving to Goodwill is good for business.

Strengthening our community means Building Lives That Work. Through a wide array of career services and vocational programs, Goodwill provides tools that help people overcome barriers to employment and find a permanent path out of poverty. When you shop at or donate to Goodwill, you’re funding services that help people find jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency . . . right here in our community. In 2017, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida served 47,531 people and placed more than 8,100 individuals into jobs.





- marketing - recruiting

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



Superior Engineering Solutions Since 1964 Verification Materials Testing Services | Contractor Quality Control Services Deep Foundation Testing/Inspection | Geotechnical Exploration and Design Design/Build Geotechnical Services



hen Virgin Trains USA begins service in Central Florida in mid-2022, it will add a piece that has long been missing in the region’s transportation puzzle. Formerly known as Brightline, and backed by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, the railway will do more than create service between Orlando and its current South Florida operations: It will become one of several “firsts” in transportation in Central Florida while it attracts avid drivers to use mass transit and helps carry tourists between key destinations. Area leaders are working on numerous fronts to develop transportation options that can serve nearly 3 million Central Florida residents and 72 million annual visitors. In a region known for technology, the options for moving people from point A to point B are expanding. Local governments are leading the way, creating the infrastructure for people to ease into a shift of thinking that will lead to a shift in activity. They are guiding Central

18 | MAY 2019 |


Florida toward a future of multimodal transportation, where passengers hop between trains, buses and other options to get where they’re going.

between Volusia and Osceola counties, but it operates only during daytime hours for commuters and on weekends and nights for special events, such as Orlando Magic games at the Amway Center.

“The pieces are started, but we don’t know what type of technology is going to come in the future, especially in the autonomous vehicle area,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “A lot of the technology we have today we couldn’t imagine 10 or 15 years ago.”

The biggest challenge has been how to connect SunRail with Orlando International Airport. The Virgin Trains project is expected to provide that link. It will cross the SunRail line around the Meadow Wood station south of downtown Orlando, where riders can jump off one train and board another.

The region is modernizing its tried-and-true transportation channels with a $2.3 billion expansion project along a 21-mile stretch of Interstate 4 and a 20-mile companion project. Expected to be completed in 2021, the improvements will bring some relief to Central Florida’s already crowded roads — but not enough.

“That’s a critical piece for us,” Dyer said. “It changes the whole equation of SunRail when you take it to the airport because you then go seven days a week and have more frequent trains.”

By Rail

At Orlando International, the Virgin Trains connection will create the nation’s first in-terminal long-distance rail connection at an airport, according to an article in FlightGlobal. The airport has already built an intermodal station that is expected to connect with a new Terminal C that will add 19 airline gates when it opens in 2020.

When SunRail commuter train service started in May 2014, local leaders knew it was just the first step in getting people to embrace a sophisticated multimodal public transportation system in Central Florida. SunRail stops at 16 stations along a north-south route

The rail line from Miami to West Palm Beach will make its way up the coast through Cocoa before heading west and possibly even all the way to Tampa. Virgin Trains is exploring how to connect riders with the theme parks and other tourist destinations. F

“We’re looking at all modes of transportation,” Dyer said, “moving away from one driver in one car on I-4.” | MAY 2019 | 19

Brightline began operating in South Florida in January 2018 and in downtown Miami four months later. The rebranding from Brightline to Virgin has been key as the company raises private capital for its expansion, industry watchers say. The Virgin brand is recognized worldwide and is already associated with trains in the UK as well as airlines, hotels and other ventures. Branson, Virgin’s iconic founder, toured the Virgin Trains operation in South Florida in early April for a renaming ceremony at the Miami station, now called Virgin MiamiCentral, a hub for transportation, business, retail, restaurants and residences. “Virgin has a long history of changing industries for the better and inspiring enduring loyalty through outstanding customer experience,” Branson said in Miami, quoted in an article in Forbes. “Today marks the first step in that journey with Virgin Trains USA as we unveiled the beautiful Virgin MiamiCentral station. I’m very excited to see the transformation of our service and the plans for the next phase of the project to Orlando.”

By Road Elected officials, transportation experts, business leaders and residents gathered in Lake Nona in February for an announcement about Central Florida’s first autonomous shuttle bus service, named Beep after the Florida company that founded it. The introduction is seen as the first step toward integrating new mobility technology into the region. Beep Inc. moved its headquarters from Gainesville to Lake Nona, where it set up an operations center for monitoring all of the vehicles it plans to deploy in the U.S. The company partnered with French manufacturer NAVYA to bring two shuttles to Lake Nona that can hold up to 15 people each and travel fixed routes at up to 20 | MAY 2019 |

16 mph. Trained stewards will remain onboard to greet passengers and ensure safety. Central Florida is developing a reputation as a research and development site for autonomous vehicles, which rely on cameras, radar and other technology to constantly monitor surrounding conditions and provide instructions on speed and direction. Autonomous vehicle solutions company Luminar Technologies, which has 400 employees, purposely chose to move some of its operations to Orlando to supplement its facilities in Silicon Valley and Colorado Springs. “Orlando is one of the hottest places in the world for cuttingedge tech development like this,” Scott Faris, chief business officer at Luminar Technologies, said in a recent Forbes article. The movement to establish Orlando as a top-tier innovation hub in this arena has been growing since 2011, when the Florida Department of Transportation launched a program to dedicate the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Daytona Beach as a test bed for advanced autonomous vehicle technology, the article said. Area leaders established the Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partnership (CFAVP), an alliance of federal, state and local government organizations and universities. One of its signature projects is SunTrax, a test facility set to open in 2020 in Auburndale, halfway between Orlando and Tampa. The first of its kind in the Southeast, it will include a test track with regular driving lanes and tolled express lanes. A second phase of the project will test vehicles in complicated situations: an urban environment that is tricky to navigate because of signage, on-street parking, and vehicle and pedestrian traffic; an environment chamber that simulates fog, smoke and rain;

and a pick-up and drop-off area that tests operability in airports and multimodal hubs.

By Air and Sea The region’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, which makes new transportation options increasingly important. Area roads are already congested with residents, visitors and freight — and there is more to come.

the changes in people’s habits and the dynamics of transportation because of the changes that could impact our revenue stream if people aren’t parking in our parking garages anymore.” A U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and a 40-year maritime industry veteran, Murray is keeping an eye on other developments in transportation that could affect port activities, such as the use of electric vehicles. The largest portion of cargo that moves through the port is petroleum for the region’s gas stations.

A new study released in April by the Florida Department of Transportation says Orlando International Airport is the busiest commercial service airport in the state, generating more than $41 billion of direct and indirect "I’M VERY EXCITED economic activity annually. TO SEE THE Miami International comes in TRANSFORMATION a distant second at $33 billion. The new figure represents a 31 percent increase since 2014, when the last study showed Orlando International’s economic impact was about $31 billion. With nearly 48 million passengers a year, the airport is the 10th busiest in the nation.



To the east, Port Canaveral is also growing, with 4.5 million cruise ship passengers and more than 6 million tons of cargo moving through annually as of 2018. The port has added a new Terminal 3 that in 2020 will begin hosting the first cruise vessel in the Western Hemisphere powered by liquified natural gas, a cleaner-burning fuel, said Capt. John Murray, who is port director and CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority. The largest ship in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, the Mardi Gras will carry 6,500 passengers. Royal Caribbean recently moved the world’s second-largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, to its new base in Port Canaveral from Fort Lauderdale. The cruise line is also replacing Enchantment of the Seas at Port Canaveral with Mariner of the Seas, which can hold about 1,000 more passengers. All of these changes and others will add to the traffic the port sees from Orlando International as well as drive-in arrivals, Murray said. He has noticed a big difference in recent years in the way people get to the port. “From a cruise perspective, we’re seeing a lot more ride sharing,” he said. “More and more people are jumping into an Uber at Orlando International Airport as opposed to the taxis and even the small limos or the shuttles. We’re paying attention to

However, cruise passengers g e ne r at e t he l a r g e s t transportation challenges for the port, he said. They arrive from all over the world to board seven ships homeported there year-round and two based there seasonally. Port Canaveral also hosts visiting ships from other locations, such as Baltimore and New York, which stop to allow tourists to visit Cocoa Beach, Kennedy Space Center or the theme parks.

“Our cruise ships drive the demand,” Murray said. “We figure our drive-in factor is about 60 percent. Every cruise line is different in how many people drive or take shuttle buses or Ubers. It’s the size of the ship that dictates the traffic flow.”

Putting the Pieces Together No one is certain exactly how multimodal transportation will pan out in Central Florida and when Orlando’s mass transit options might look more like Miami’s, New York’s or London’s. But one thing is certain: People are talking about it. There has been an increase in educational events and community meetings as local leaders engage in conversations about how each will affect the other — and the impact they will have on the quality of life in Central Florida, Orlando’s mayor said. “As a reg ion, we work together collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries better than any region in the country,” Dyer said. “When we put together a coalition or partnership, like the autonomous vehicle partnership, it’s pretty easy because we’re used to doing that type of thing — whether it’s been the medical school, SunRail or the community venues, we know how to work together.” P | MAY 2019 | 21

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

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

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

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

500-acre technology district located in Osceola County, less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and within a mile of Florida’s Turnpike

100,000 square feet of Class A office space, available summer 2019

Entitled for up to 11 million GSF of mixedused spaces

Home to BRIDG, imec, NeoCity Academy, and future companies to come

ALL AROUND US, WE SEE THE BEGINNINGS OF WHAT IS TO COME. Bulldozers and cranes are raising a new terminal at Orlando International Airport that will one day soon welcome tens of thousands of visitors for business and pleasure. Down the escalators and past the automated people movers at the new intermodal facility, you can see the platform where eventually you’ll be able to board a Virgin Trains USA rail car to Miami and perhaps Tampa. F | MAY 2019 | 23

Construction and improvements on Interstate 4, State Road 528, State Road 408 and the Wekiva Parkway are underway. To our east, Port Canaveral is expanding its cruise, shipping, spaceport and recreation infrastructure. Orlando Sanford International Airport is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar expansion. SunRail just opened stations in Osceola County, and SunTrax is under construction in Polk County. The Orlando region continues to keep up with its phenomenal growth by investing more than $10 billion in infrastructure assets. The level of collaboration on these massive projects is part of our DNA as a community and region. The need for cooperation will only intensify as we consider the future.

Our region is growing by 1,500 people

per week, and by 2030 our population is projected to reach 5.2 million. We’ll have to add almost 500,000 new jobs. There will be, potentially, at least 600,000 more personal vehicles traveling on our roads. More than 57 million people will be flying into and out of the region a year. That’s close to the number of people who fly through JFK International Airport in New York today. I think it’s safe to say our region will look very different in the future. Our vision is to expand our transportation solutions by enhancing options for all of our residents, reducing congestion that impedes our growth and collectively supporting initiatives that propel our progress. Transportation is a critical factor in creating a foundation for broad-based prosperity. That’s why the Orlando Economic Partnership created the Alliance for Regional Transportation (ART). ART is a business-driven collaboration, bringing together a high-level group of transportation, business and communitybuilding stakeholders to serve the seven-county region by engaging, educating and advocating for appropriate public and private projects. We focus on planning, infrastructure and technology supporting long-term economic growth and regional broad-based prosperity. 24 | MAY 2019 |

So, what does ART do? It …

‰‰ Fosters and assists with engagement across

sectors to champion a regional transportation vision and sustained funding.

‰‰ Evaluates and supports appropriate public

policy and legislative activities to maintain and enhance investment for critical transportation infrastructure.

‰‰ Provides an informed constituency for

regional partners to garner support for major undertakings.

‰‰ Serves as an educational venue for complicated regional transportation issues.

‰‰ Maintains focus on regional system connectivity and advocacy for good solutions.

ART’s members include representatives from the partnership’s investors, the business community, local governments, regional planning agencies and chambers of commerce. Also contributing to ART’s mission are partners who implement and manage transportation solutions including Florida Department of Transportation Districts 1 and 5, the region’s airports, Space Florida, NASA, Port Canaveral, Lynx and other transit agencies, the Central Florida Expressway Authority, Florida’s Turnpike, SunRail and Virgin Trains USA. As we continue our rapid growth and receive more visitors each year, it’s imperative we stay focused on moving people both across the region and across the street. We are aware of the trends: autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, the internet of things … the list goes on. All are disrupters in an economy that is quickly changing how we do business, how we interact and how we travel. How we respond to those disrupters is the challenge we face.

i4 Ultimate Project

There are transformative possibilities on the horizon. For example, Orlando was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an autonomous vehicle testing ground. This will inspire innovations that can transform our personal and commercial mobility. Autonomous vehicles can expand capacity and improve safety, and the technology is already being tested here. Companies like Luminar are leveraging the intellectual capital in the modeling, simulation and training industry to develop smart sensors that are essentially the eyes of an autonomous vehicle. With the ability to extensively and collaboratively mine regional data, collected from both residents and visitors, Central Florida can establish a well-informed, diverse and inclusive community where everyone prospers. The Orlando region is all about innovation. As technology advances, our wildest dreams are becoming reality. Our future growth demands we take the responsibility for making critical decisions today that ensure we can finance and provide the right infrastructure for tomorrow. From coast to coast in Central Florida, billions of dollars will be needed to expand what we have and create new modes and means of travel. We do this for our future generations. P

Jim Hartmann is a consultant for the Orlando Economic Partnership and its Alliance for Regional Transportation. He has more than 30 years of experience in the public sector and formerly served as the county manager in Seminole County before moving to Raleigh, N.C., where he served as the county manager in Wake County. | MAY 2019 | 25





Charles Ramdatt at the City of Orlando's transportation command center 26 | MAY 2019 |


t was all so fascinating. Subways, trains, elevated rail lines, buses, planes, ferry boats … all modes of public transportation working together to get people where they needed to go. When Charles Ramdatt traveled through the Northeastern U.S. and Europe as a young man, he was impressed by the intermodal transportation options that weren’t available to commuters in his native country of Jamaica. In fact, they weren’t being used in most of the United States, either. Today, as a transportation engineer for more than 30 years, Ramdatt is tasked with leading an effort to move the City of Orlando toward something business leaders worldwide have been buzzing about: “smart city” status. To be a smart city, a municipality has to meet certain goals of incorporating information and communications technologies into services such as transportation, energy and utilities to reduce resource consumption, waste and overall costs.

“We have had an innovative spirit when it comes to transportation for a long time,” Ramdatt said. “We’ve been doing smart city-type projects for a few decades, but we wouldn’t term ourselves a smart city because we did not have a comprehensive approach to the smart city concept. We were just doing it in certain, isolated departments in the city. Now we are doing it on a more focused, comprehensive basis and are more collaborative in-house.” Orlando was named one of “8 Smart Cities to Watch” in an article in StateTech in October 2018, along with Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan; Austin, Texas; Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; and Tampa. “These are the communities to keep an eye on,” the article said. “They have concrete smart city plans in place, which include not just technology but governance and community outreach.” A smart city focuses first on its largest challenges, Ramdatt said. Orlando has identified six pillars for incorporating technology and communications for improving its services. Transportation is one of them. In the 1990s, before people had map applications at their fingertips on their cell phones, Orlando teamed with Orange County, tourism industry leaders, Avis Rental Car, AAA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, General Motors and the University of Central Florida (UCF) to create a forerunner of what is today standard GPS technology, Ramdatt said. It was important because of the city’s reputation as a safe and welcoming place to visit. “It came out of knowing we had a challenge and we needed to bring in technology to handle that challenge so we would retain our market share and move toward increasing our advantage in tourism,” he said. “We’ve been doing smart city stuff, especially in transportation, for a long time.” The city is integrating all of its transportation improvement efforts through technology. These include wayfinding, public information dissemination, special event management, pedestrian safety and management of traffic in the tourist areas. “We have so many cities and counties here,” Ramdatt said. “Travelers are really not concerned with the borders. They just want to make sure their transportation experience is good across the borders everywhere, that it’s efficient and safe.” | MAY 2019 | 27


—Charles Ramdatt

Chief Orlando Rolon and one of the police department's new electric motorcycles

28 | MAY 2019 |

Technology Solutions To practice what it preaches, the city has been investing in several types of technology that will help carry commuters and visitors into the future. Those include:

‰‰ Electric vehicles. Some of Orlando’s fleet of work trucks are

electric. The city also has purchased some electric motorcycles for the police department.

‰‰ Electric vehicle charging stations. Orlando has set up

electric vehicle charging stations to encourage more residents to use transportation that is more environment-friendly.

6 Pillars of Orlando’s

Smart City Initiative PUBLIC SAFETY

As the top U.S. destination for tourism, the city has to ensure the safety of its 72 million annual visitors and its nearly 3 million residents.

‰‰ Parking garages. Newer parking garages are installing

technology that shows drivers real-time status, letting them know how many spaces are available on each level. This saves energy that would be wasted driving row by row to look for a place to park.

‰‰ Parking meters. Orlando has installed technology that allows

drivers to use an app to pay a parking meter. It also alerts drivers by text when their time is about to expire and allows them to purchase more time.


The goal is to move people and freight as safely and efficiently as possible through the use of pedestrian rights of way, public and private transit, individual vehicles, bicycles and other modes of transport.

‰‰ Bus service. To add more routes to the LYNX transportation system, the city is partnering with Orange County to advocate increased funding from voters in an upcoming election.

‰‰ Traffic monitoring technology. The city is part of a team

of local organizations working with a grant for Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD). It encompasses three programs: PedSafe, which connects traffic signals to reduce the occurrence of crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles; GreenWay, which manages more than 1,000 traffic signals over multiple modes of transportation to provide a unified approach, especially for special events; and SmartCommunity, which provides people with real-time multimodal travel information whether they’re driving, taking a bus or train, or using a rideshare service.

For Ramdatt, expanding from the challenges of transportation to an overall smart city plan makes sense. “My career is focused on transportation,” he said. “We have some innovative things we’ve done here at the city, and it’s through that innovative spirit that we’re looking to move into other areas. We want to use that same spirit and that same reliance on communications that we have used in transportation, wired and wireless communications, to benefit all of the other departments and missions of the city. I started out in transportation, but a lot of these ideas are germane to everything this city does.” He and his team, as well as other city leaders, want to see Orlando’s transportation efforts become part of an overall strategy to make Central Florida a hub of multimodal transportation options that include not only personal vehicles but also different kinds of trains and buses, as well as options like ridesharing via car and bike. “That’s now the wave, trying to make sure we understand it’s not one or the other,” Ramdatt said. “It’s all of these things together. Your trip may start with a car. You may jump on a bicycle at some point. That bicycle might go on to a bus or a train. At the end, you may ride a bicycle again to the Amway Center or wherever you’re going for your ultimate destination.” P


Managing and reducing solid waste, especially with the bulging population created by the large tourism industry, is a key concern.


The city is part of the region’s interconnected web of water supplies and sewer systems. Managing the consumption of water, as well as wastewater, stormwater runoff and flooding, are all part of the smart city plan.


The goal is to ensure buildings are circulating healthy air for people to breathe, and that they are efficient in lighting and other forms of energy use.


The city is diversifying energy sources, pushing for less reliance on petroleum and coal. Its goal is to become 100 percent reliant on renewable energy sources, such as solar, by 2035. | MAY 2019 | 29




acations should, by definition, be an escape — a reprieve from the day-to-day tedium that overwhelms us once in a while. Sometimes, though, the reality proves to be less heavenly and more hectic. For instance, when you’re trying to make sure that all five cousins, four nieces, three nephews and two sets of grandparents get from point A to point B without major incident, you might find yourself feeling like you are coming unwound — and not in the “sitting by the pool with an umbrella in your drink” kind of way. Central Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., with more than 72 million visitors a year, but it certainly isn’t immune to the pitfalls and perils of vacation logistics. The process of planning an itinerary and booking hotels, activities and transportation can feel like being lost in a maze. That’s why Pegasus Transportation is innovating the whole process for Central Florida with its awardwinning technology, taking inspiration from its winged mascot to offer a bird’s-eye view of everything the region has to offer, and breaking ground in group, leisure and corporate travel.

30 | MAY 2019 |


Fernando Pereira and Claudia Menezes

Getting Off the Ground

and locations, as well as track their trip with GPS. The app also offers boarding checks. Using a QR code scanned with a phone or tablet, groups can see a list of each passenger who has boarded.

The company continued to grow, and in 2000, with the addition of its first 61-seat bus, VIP’s Jet Tours officially became Pegasus Transportation. Through every transformation, the company has stayed true to the goal of going “above and beyond” the needs of clients, which today number upwards of 100,000 passengers a year.

It isn’t just the journey that Pegasus has covered. The software also helps groups stay organized at their destination with an overview of hotel reservation details such as number of people per room, which room each guest should be in, and check-in and check-out information. Dinner reservations, attraction tickets (including those to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld) and other activities can also be placed in the system, creating an easy-to-view and organized itinerary.

In 1994, Fernando Pereira founded VIP’s Jet Tours, hoping to set a new precedent for the transportation service industry in Central Florida.

“Our whole philosophy is to put our hearts in servicing our clients,” Pegasus Vice President Claudia Menezes said. “We always strive to deliver more than 100 percent. We want to go above and beyond to fulfill our clients’ needs.” In 2007, that growth hit a major milestone with the addition of a second location in South Florida, which was followed in 2010 with the construction of a permanent headquarters in Orlando. Menezes was brought on a year later, solidifying a team and a foundation that could sustain the company’s next steps: branching out to hotels and attractions, and implementing new technology for streamlining both travel planning and travel itself.

Earning Wings

The first of these innovations was Web Integrated Network Group Services software — or W.I.N.G.S. With this software, available on smartphones and tablets, users can keep track of their Pegasus transportation, hotel information and attraction tickets. With an overview of the group’s schedule, those using W.I.N.G.S can see pick-up and drop-off times

Reinventing the Marketplace Further expanding its reach, Pegasus now has a booking platform as well. Pegasus Marketplace allows users to find and shop for products, services, event tickets and more. Included are Pegasus services and those of partners, like Walt Disney World, giving customers easy access to the latest events and attractions, and helping them through the booking process, all on one platform. Af ter nearly t wo de cades, Pegasus Transportation has continued changing to fit the needs of its customers. While maintaining dedication to reliable and comfortable transportation, the company has expanded and evolved, developing technology and cWustomer service standards to reshape travel in Central Florida — ensuring that the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. P | MAY 2019 | 31


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

South Terminal Complex

FLIGHT PLANS By the numbers at Orlando International Airport

47.7M $4.27B 19

Passengers in 2018 Cost of Capital Improvement Plan

New gates at South Terminal Complex, slated to open in 2021


Cost of upgrades to the North Terminal’s ticket lobby


Public parking spaces in the newly opened South Garage C


International passengers in 2018 (up 68% in five years)


Domestic routes


Global routes

$41.1B 32 | MAY 2019 |

Economic impact to Florida (state’s #1 airport, per FDOT)

Soaring to New Heights


rlando’s star continues to rise with travelers the world over, and nothing substantiates that better than the record 47 million-plus passengers who traveled through Orlando International Airport (MCO) in 2018. Visit Orlando spoke with Phil Brown for insight into the operations of Florida’s busiest airport, how MCO works with us to promote The Orlando Experience® – and the continued growth on the horizon.

Q&A with Phil Brown CEO Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

How does improving your transportation infrastructure contribute to The Orlando Experience®? MCO is the first and last impression for travelers flying in and out of Central Florida. We strive to create a memorable experience that inspires people to return. We accomplish this goal by increasing our customer-service focus on safety, comfort, ease and speed. These key elements are integral to the airport’s brand, and we’ve focused on them throughout the design of the South Terminal — the first LEED®v4 airport campus in the world. How does Visit Orlando partner with MCO to promote Orlando as a destination? We’re grateful for Visit Orlando’s partnership in promoting the destination’s brand. I serve on Visit Orlando’s board, providing the Aviation Authority’s perspective on travel to Orlando. Visit Orlando provides marketing support to international carriers that choose to serve MCO. We also align our efforts to drive travel industry sales by partnering with airlines for campaigns during key booking periods — and we attend trade shows together to engage with decision-makers and increase our visibility on the global stage.

GEORGE AGUEL President and CEO of Visit Orlando

WORKING TOGETHER TO BOOST VISITATION Visit Orlando, MCO team up to promote our destination


hen it comes to growing Orlando’s brand, there’s no question that visitors’ first (and last) impressions matter.

As GOAA CEO Phil Brown notes, The Orlando Experience® begins well before tourists set foot in our destination’s world-class attractions. By continually improving its amenities, aesthetics and customer service, Orlando International Airport makes people feel welcome from the moment their planes touch down.

MCO Ticket Counter

How is the airport’s Capital Improvement Plan progressing? MCO has made tremendous enhancements to the North Terminal to better serve a record number of passengers. We completed ticketcounter renovations, security checkpoint expansions, and enhanced wayfinding and signage. We’ve also upgraded the baggage handling system, expanded our Airside 4 gates, and added more parking with Garage C. In addition, we’ve completed our South Airport Automated People Mover (APM) complex, which connects passengers to the North Terminal and the adjoining Intermodal Terminal Facility. The ITF has been a focal point in our vision, as MCO will be the first fully integrated, multimodal airport terminal in the U.S. for rail-air-ground transportation. Our next phase of construction is well underway on our South Terminal, which is slated to open in 2021 with 19 new gates to accommodate up to 27 aircraft. How do airport expansions and enhancements impact travel to Orlando? Orlando remains the most-visited destination in the country, and MCO is proud to be the gateway for an increasing number of travelers each year. As part of our commitment to The Orlando Experience®, we want all passengers to enjoy a world-class airport with modern amenities designed for their needs. In addition to enhancing the airport’s overall aesthetics, we’ve improved efficiencies. For example, we added more than 700 stateof-the-art digital display screens to show essential airline information for passengers and more user-friendly ticket/check-in options in response to the growing preference for self-service kiosks.

The airport, whose passenger volume is 70 percent visitors, is one of the most visible reminders of tourism’s enormous impact on our region. As Visit Orlando promotes our destination across the globe, the returns are evident in the form of record-setting airpassenger traffic. Building on this momentum, Visit Orlando also works closely with GOAA to secure robust air service and airline partnerships that bring travelers to our doorstep. These efforts recently earned us a “highly commended” award in the prestigious Routes Marketing Awards competition, which recognized several global campaigns Visit Orlando conducted in 2018 alongside GOAA, multiple airlines and member companies. When Visit Orlando and the airport work together, we create tailwinds that fuel demand. The best part is, those travelers generate significant economic impact across our community, as well as the ability for all of us who live here to benefit from a world-class airport. | MAY 2019 | 33


cross the country, cities are criminalizing homelessness. A 2019 report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that 34 percent of the homeless population living in the Orlando area are without shelter beds, yet city ordinances prohibit camping, sleeping, begging and food sharing. Without access to shelter, privacy and food, these individuals are subject to cycling through the criminal justice system, accruing court fines and debts as they struggle to survive. This system places an additional burden on the individual — and on the community. “There are a multitude of court costs associated with arrests,” said Shelley Lauten, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. “Every time you have a misdemeanor or a felony, you’re getting charged with court costs, which digs the homeless individual further into the poverty hole.” A 2014 study by the commission tracked 110 homeless individuals over the period of one year. It showed the people in the study group were arrested more than 3,000 times. Frederick Lauten, chief judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, witnesses firsthand the circular system of arrests among people experiencing homelessness. “Generally, these offenders are seen at first appearance, 24 hours after their arrest, and are often quickly released back into the community, only to be re-arrested and put through the same cycle over and over again,” he said. “Housing First helps eliminate this unproductive, resources-demanding cycle.”

It’s the supportive services the folks are provided that help them reintegrate into a world off the streets.

—Shelley Lauten



chronically homeless have been housed 34 | MAY 2019 |


reduction in court and adjudication costs in one year – a reduction of $31k


reduction in days spent in jail – saving $42k in jail costs


Central Florida Commission on Homelessness

The Central Florida criminal justice system sits at the epicenter of a troubling cycle. Throughout the region, men and women experiencing homelessness move from jail to the streets and back again for a host of crimes ranging from mental health-related incidents to panhandling and illegally sleeping in public places.

The region’s Housing First program provides homes to members of the chronically homeless population, or people who have been homeless for one or more years while suffering from a mental or physical disability. To date, the initiative has provided homes, services and social support to an initial group of 339 formerly homeless individuals. Service providers have tracked their use of the criminal justice system pre- and post-housing. “The data is still coming in,” Frederick Lauten said. “However, court and adjudication costs one year posthousing decreased 84 percent — a reduction of $31,000 in Orange and Osceola counties. Across the region, days spent in jail have gone down by 85 percent, saving approximately $42,000 in jail costs.” By all accounts, Housing First seems to be working. “The home itself isn’t going to keep someone from committing a crime,” said Kristy Lukaszewski, policy and programs director at the commission. “Of course, it’ll help with certain issues, but it’s the supportive services the folks are provided that help them reintegrate into a world off the streets.” He Got Up, a community-driven effort that works closely with the court system and the Housing First program, reduces or often eradicates monetary debts by translating them into service hours. The court works with individuals to replace monetary obligations with community service so they can apply for license reinstatement. Removing offenders from the collections program, which often charges exorbitant interest penalties, diminishes financial deficit, replacing it with community-focused efforts.

For the homeless who cannot afford to pay citations and court costs, even a short jail sentence can be tantamount to a life sentence on the streets, given that a criminal record and collections issues can disqualify an individual from both housing and employment opportunities. However, Central Florida is taking steps to stop this cycle — with Housing First. Our region’s Housing First pilot has placed 339 of our most vulnerable neighbors into housing with intensive case management services. These individuals are using our criminal justice system 85% less. While a home will not deter criminal behavior, it does protect these individuals from being criminalized for living on the streets. Not only is supportive housing helping individuals stay out of jail, but community initiatives such as “He Got Up” help ease the burden of court costs through fee mediation and even service hour replacements. This helps individuals clear their records and provides them with a fresh start. The only way to truly end homelessness is with homes … and our region is working to house and support our neighbors currently living on our streets.

The combination of programs in the Housing First initiative is designed to have lasting effects for the individuals it helps, Lukaszewski said. “The stability of housing, the catered services and the Housing First program itself keep these individuals connected to a community that truly cares and wants to see them succeed.” P | MAY 2019 | 35


Coaching Businesses for the Next Recession


usiness leaders face more than just the prospect of victory. They have to be prepared to tackle the lows just as well as the highs. Whether it be in the market, their company or the economy itself, storms will come — storms like the Great Recession of 2008 — and the members of Group 2 of the Orlando CEO Leadership Forums have each weathered those storms throughout their careers. This collection of more than 20 individuals, just like its Group 1 counterpart, consists of CEOs, partners and other leaders from across industries throughout Central Florida who come together to discuss and share their knowledge, expertise and experience.

Geoffrey Gallo, Lauren Arevalo, Nicole McMurray and Chris Bordner

Preparing for the Storm

The Collective Vantage Point The forums provide an opportunity for those wanting to know what kinds of adjustments they should be planning for, allowing them to ask questions and get answers — and sometimes to get answers to questions they hadn’t even thought to ask. “The CEO Leadership Forums help business owners make the ‘unknown’ known,” said Chris Bordner, CEO and managing partner of Synergy Wealth Alliance. “Armed with this knowledge, owners and executives can not only survive recession, they can thrive.”

With the previous recession only a decade behind them, these leaders have not forgotten the lessons they learned while at the helm in uncertain times. In the forums, they recognize the opportunity they have for sharing their hard-earned wisdom and expertise. “It’s far too rare in the marketplace to have all these disciplines together in one room,” said Jeremy Sloane, founding partner of Watson, Sloane & Johnson PLLC. “We each have a different perspective. We view those things from our different standpoints and find new solutions.”

Nicole McMurray

The synergy of each perspective shared makes it easier to build a stable foundation on which to thrive, what the group refers to as a “brick house” rather than a “straw house.”

The solution for the next recession? They all agree the only way to combat the fear is to face it head-on. Only through self-awareness, evaluation and preparation, backed with knowledge from experts in their respective fields, can a business leader sail a team through rough waters. “People need to learn to plan ahead when you’re creating a business plan or a budget, or anything,” said Ron Wilkinson, CFO with Nperspective. “You can plan for those situations, for adjustments needed to be made on the fly — that’s one of the things we all learned from last time.” 36 | MAY 2019 |

Jeremy Sloane

Sean Meder

Evaluate Sean Meder of BciCapital, a subsidiary of City National Bank, continued the house metaphor in his advice: “As a bank, we do business with brick houses. When you apply for a loan, a bank will ask, ‘What is your plan for the next recession?’ So you have to have that plan in place to establish that trust. We stress-test, assuming in a scenario that you’re going to lose X percentage of your business right now with usual cash flow; so, could you be sustainable? Well, if the answer is yes, then you’re probably a brick house and we’re probably going to be more willing to enter into that relationship.”

Jed Grennan, Jeremy Sloane, and Geoffrey Gallo

Wilkinson with Nperspective recommends careful examination of cash flow each day. “It’s the best time to grow your business in new and unexpected ways, but you have to have the capital to do it. And when people are spending all of their revenue on growth, they tend to not have the capital when there is a downturn.” To build your own brick house, he explained, keep extra reserves around and evaluate as you go. Nicole McMurray, regional manager of AppleOne, urged business owners to look at their sales cycle, run rates for new accounts, and data from past downturns.

Ron Wilkinson

Geoffrey Gallo

Build Relationships McMurray also expanded on the value of sustaining relationships in these times: “We interview our clients now to make sure we’re in alignment with their plans. We pulled data of all clients who billed with us during the recession, and we work to sustain those relationships.” AppleOne senior manager Lauren Arevalo elaborated on the importance of those connections internally as well. “I think we will truly help C-level managers and company owners, when or if we are at this point with the economy, by considering how can we help to retain staff, avoid layoffs and keep a company profitable.”

Diversify Wilkinson recalled one client whose relationships saved him. “His company began making partnerships with tons of different businesses around town, expanding his product lines and his portfolio.” If one industry was struck particularly hard, that client would still have those other relationships to sustain him.

Fortify, Survive, Grow When these conversations unfold in the forums, it becomes clear how businesses can survive the worst: “By building a solid business, so that if a recession occurs, you’re not left behind,” said Jed Grennan, managing partner of Grennan Fender. Even more so, the table full of successful leaders who have found themselves stronger for their ability to adapt to every economic situation has proved an even more empowering fact: Hard times may be the best time to grow your business and push you in new directions. P

Orlando’s CEO Leadership Forums consist of two groups, with Orlando Group 2 including 17 local business leaders: Geoffrey Gallo, senior vice president of marketing and strategic consulting of Grennan Fender, who has led the charge since its inception. Jed Grennan, managing partner of Grennan Fender Tim Bach, president and CEO of Patterson/Bach Communications Inc. Russel Slappey, CEO and managing partner of Nperspective Eric Skolnik, president of Skolnik Strategic Partners Todd Larsen, CEO of Limitless Technology Cost Reduction Specialists Sean Meder, vice president for business development and sales for BciCapital, a subsidiary of City National Bank Chad Weinkauf, vice president of business banking of City National Bank Chris Bordner, CEO and managing partner of Synergy Wealth Alliance John Andersen, CEO of Merchant Consulting Services Britt Andersen, relationship manager with Merchant Consulting Services Michael Roman, human capital management advisor at ADP Nicole McMurray, regional manager of AppleOne Lauren Arevalo, senior manager of AppleOne Bernie Piekarski, managing partner of Piekarski Consulting LLC Lee McMillan, large risk consultant of The Morse Agency Steve Quello, president of CEO Nexus Ray Watson, principal of CEO Nexus Eric Schulman, president of Sandler Training Institute Jeremy Sloane, founding partner of Watson, Sloane & Johnson PLLC Ron Wilkinson, principal of Nperspective | MAY 2019 | 37

ATHENAPowerLink® Spotlight

Celebrating Success


rlando Wedding & Party Rentals (OWPR) is a fullservice rental company specializing in upscale, tailored event rentals for the Central Florida area. The company’s inspired rental pieces reflect its mission for quality, and its customer service exudes the high value it places on the experience. Since 2008, OWPR has been providing top-quality products and service to clients ranging from wedding and event planners to brides and grooms, caterers, venues and anyone planning an event or celebration.

Cyndi Shifrel President

Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals


ATHENA has made me so much more confident in myself and who I am, my abilities and what I can achieve. It has also helped me to achieve a better work/life balance and to realize just how important that really is. — Cyndi Shifrel

Since OWPR was founded, Central Florida has become one of the wedding capitals of the world and has seen significant growth in the number of weddings taking place year after year. The region has also seen an increase in the number of conventions and trade shows hosted in Orlando as well, meaning a bigger demand for rental products. OWPR President Cyndi Shifrel and her husband, Darrin, are continuously sourcing new products to keep up with the demand of new and unique rental pieces and the changing trends in the industry. As a business owner, Shifrel says she always strives to be the best and wanted to take her company to the next level. At a Winter Park Chamber of Commerce meeting, she learned about ATHENAPowerLink® and the unique opportunity its Orlando chapter offers for local women business owners. She immediately applied for the program.

Upon acceptance, Shifrel was assigned a free board of advisors for a year that was tailor-made for her needs. The advisory board worked as a team and individually with Shifrel to help OWPR in the areas of sales, marketing and human resources. “They helped me to implement so many new processes, procedures and programs into my company as well as provide a better structure overall,” Shifrel said. “Additionally, ATHENA has helped me to develop clearer plans and strategies for operating and growing my business as well as helping me to be more consistent with business operations as a whole.” The program has given Shifrel greater confidence in herself and has provided her with the knowledge and tools to lead her team more effectively. As a result, OWPR has seen tremendous growth in revenue and has received numerous types of awards and recognition, including being named one of Central Florida’s 50 fastest-growing companies at number 31 in 2018. Shifrel was also nominated for i4 Business magazine’s 2019 Women’s Inspired Leadership Awards. Shifrel said she knew the ATHENA program was going to be powerful when she first sat down with an advisor to go over a customized business and action plan. “I realized this was the real deal and that we were going to be held accountable to see our goals to 100 percent completion.” P

ATHENAPowerLink® guides women business owners in defining and achieving tangible goals to accelerate growth and profitability. To apply, visit 38 | MAY 2019 |

Best Practice

Andrew Cole President/CEO

East Orlando Chamber of Commerce

The Spirit of an Entrepreneur When Andrew Cole graduated from Maryville College in Tennessee, his first job after relocating was not in his chosen field of sports management, but as a groundskeeper at the Fair Havens Center nursing home in Miami.


When I see that spark in a person after I help a member, offering information or connecting them to someone, it validates what we do, providing opportunities for our members to be successful. — Andrew Cole

“I was just out of college, spending my days sitting on a lawnmower, and happy as a clam doing that,” Cole recalled. One day, the center’s administrator came to him with a question. “He knew I had a management and business background, and they had an issue with the purchasing department. He wanted my thoughts on some solutions.” Cole went home that night to think, and he came back the next day with 10 different ideas. Three months later, he was appointed purchasing agent at the center, where he worked for 10 years. His resumé after that would grow to include bass guitar player, TGI Fridays manager — the first to be hired without previous restaurant experience — and director of events for the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, where he now serves as president and CEO. Each of his roles shares a connection to his passions: music, food and people. “I have always wanted to contribute. I've always been good with people and wanted to work with them, and I love

to see people succeed,” Cole said. “I think I have the spirit of an entrepreneur, and I just never found the perfect niche of my own.” That same entrepreneurial spirit and love of helping others kicked off a series of community volunteer projects that would connect him with the chamber. He began as its director of events in 2013, before being promoted in 2017. In nearly two years at the helm, Cole has been instrumental in projects and events that keep the chamber connected, such as networking coffee clubs, a business expo and Feast in the East. The chamber has also fostered a partnership with the University of Central Florida (UCF). “The UCF business students actually get extra credit for attending our events,” Cole said. “They get the opportunity to be introduced to the business community before they even graduate.” Cole said he wishes he had known about chambers when he was starting out. “I kind of live vicariously when I see these businesses,” he said. “It makes me proud when I see them succeed or make connections at chamber events, or when I hear stories from them. It makes me feel like I helped contribute to somebody's success somewhere, and that's one of the things that makes me excited go to work every day.” P | MAY 2019 | 39

UP CLOSE Diane Crews With

By Meaghan Branham

When Diane Crews left college to get married and start her family, she expected one day to resume her studies. Seventeen years later, after her husband sustained a serious injury that left him unable to work during his recovery, Crews stepped up to face the challenge head-on: “I found myself in an untenable situation where I couldn’t support my family. I was very angry at myself, and I vowed to go back to school as soon as I could. I never veered from that course.” She began working for a local municipality while attending night classes to complete her degree in public administration, eventually enrolling in graduate school and taking on a role working for the mayor and city commission of Sanford. She attributes the next move in her career to fate: beginning an administrative position at the Orlando Sanford International Airport under Larry Dale, the airport’s president and a former mayor of Sanford. Fifteen years later, in August 2015, she was selected as his successor after a national search, and she now manages a team of about 95. Here, Crews reveals how she stays the course she charted for herself — one of public service, nurturing leadership and an eye on a sustainable future. What did you want to be growing up, and what was your first job? How have those goals and experiences influenced you now?

From a very early age, I wanted to be a writer. And then I started focusing more on a future where I could help people by joining the Peace Corps, or AmeriCorps VISTA. I even considered becoming a missionary at one point. I have always wanted to make a real difference in the world around me. That continues to be my primary motivator. My first job was as a cashier at a local grocery store in a very diverse neighborhood. I was 16, had led a pretty sheltered life and was very idealistic. That job taught me so much about responsibility and further developed my work ethic, but more than anything else, it gave me a more realistic view of the world and a great appreciation for how hard some people work just to feed their families. Unfortunately, I was also exposed to people who didn’t properly take care of their children or themselves, even when given the assistance to do so. I had a front row seat to some of the best and worst aspects of humanity — experiences that ultimately strengthened my own ideas about life in general.

What changes have occurred in your time at the airport?

Having now been at the airport for almost 18 years, it really seems as though everything has changed. First and foremost, 9/11. Everything in the airport environment was affected in one way or another by the tragic events of that day. I have seen the security environment of the airport go through all of the transitions and protocols brought forward by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, from the initial presence of the National Guard to the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to where we are today with private screening under oversight of the TSA. We’ve also seen the growth of passengers from 1.2 million to more than 3 million this past year; the continued expansion and improvement of the airfield through

the lengthening, widening and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways and aprons and addition of various navigational aids; the construction of multiple buildings, including a vehicle inspection station, multiple hangars and commercial buildings in the Airport Commerce Park; procurement of a conceptual master stormwater permit; construction of an entrance feature on East Lake Mary Boulevard; creation of our own police department and dispatch center; and the physical growth of the airport property to more than 3,000 acres through land acquisition for noise mitigation and future development. At more than $60 million, the biggest project to date is the current terminal expansion.

What lessons have you learned from your predecessor, Larry Dale?

Larry Dale has been my mentor for more than 20 years, first at the City of Sanford and then at the airport, so his influence has been significant, to say the least. However, the greatest lessons learned were to lead by example, to never expect others to work harder than yourself, and to stand on principle, always.

How have you forged your own path, and what are some of the challenges you’ve faced in doing so?

I’ve worked really hard to flatten the organization and to develop and empower staff members to make decisions and take ownership of the airport through their respective roles. It’s been a challenge in itself to find the right balance of trust and oversight to empower staff while ensuring that goals and objectives are still being met.

How do you manage such a large staff?

The staff of the Sanford Airport Authority is about 100 personnel, and we contract with a private company for the management of our terminals and parking facilities, which | MAY 2019 | 41


involves another 300 or so employees. While I am not directly overseeing those private employees, I have oversight of the contract and am ultimately responsible for the entire airport operation. Again, I have worked to flatten the organization by giving more authority and decision-making ability to department directors and supervisors. Weekly staff meetings provide for in-depth discussions between all senior management, including that of our private partner, as well as opportunities to identify problems and resolutions, and a way to keep the entire organization connected. On another level, I try to keep employee morale buoyed by special events throughout the year and departmental meetings.

What were the motivations for the airport’s expansion? What are some of the expected effects?

The primary motivation for the expansion is to increase our capacity through maximizing use of the existing facility for as long as we can before we have to build another terminal. In that way, it is something of a stop-gap measure, but one that should provide us with another eight to 10 years, depending on our continued growth. We are very proud of our reputation of being easy to use, a simpler alternative for today’s traveler. Toward that end, we have adopted the slogan, “Simpler, Faster, Better” from the airport’s identifier SFB. Most of the changes embodied in the expansion have been designed to safeguard that identity and the excellent service we want to continue to provide our customers. In fact, we took more than two years to plan the expansion to make sure we captured every efficiency and improvement we could, including such things as centralized screening, improved access to the airport, a playground, more bathrooms, a consolidated delivery facility, a dedicated police station, and additional gates and baggage belts. I envision the airport growing responsibly, becoming more diverse in its offerings to our passengers through the advent of additional carriers, both domestic and international, and expanding its capacity as needed in response to projected demand. Above all else, it is my hope that the essence of being simpler, faster, better is never sacrificed through lack of responsible planning and appropriate action. 42 | MAY 2019 |

How do you select the boards and community efforts you’re involved in? What has your involvement taught you about the community? Most of the boards on which I have previously served have had some nexus with the airport, such as the Central Florida Zoo, Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Seminole County Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Development Council. However, at present, I serve on the Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which allows me to support an organization for which I have a great deal of respect, separate and apart from the airport. With regards to community, the airport has planned and implemented two “Flights to the North Pole” in recent years and has now partnered with Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) to identify and promote aviation careers. It is very important that the airport have a voice in the community, and I believe we have achieved that.

How has your community work informed your professional work? The partnership with Seminole State and SCPS has been extremely rewarding personally and professionally, with the airport now having conducted its second annual Aerospace and Aviation Day. With more than 6,000 attendees this past January, this signature event is a proven success that we plan to build upon each year. In addition, the airport is initiating a scholarship program this year that will further amplify the importance of this initiative. As one of fewer than 40 female airport directors in the United States, seeing so many young people, many of them female, actively engaged in exploring the many career fields available in aviation is an exciting promise for the future.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? In any difficult situation, before making a decision, consider the worst thing that could possibly happen. Then ask yourself if you can live with it. If you can, then go for it. P



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

Best Practice

Productivity Tips to Ease Business Travel Nightmares

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

We all travel, and some of us are on the road or in the air more than others. Whether you travel once a week or once a year, you still need to be organized when you set off on your journey. As one who travels at least once a week, I would like to share tips for a successful journey every time. First, gather all documentation in advance. Tickets, a passport, keys and a map … yes, I said map. You never know when your mobile GPS is not going to work. Documentation often overlooked is key contacts. This is a must. On a Sunday, when a flight is disrupted, do you have the right phone numbers to make changes to your trip? Besides the airline’s main number, you also want the number for your hotel, any pre-arranged ground transportation such as shuttle van or car, and any business contacts who may be waiting for you at your destination. Second, determine what you need to pack. Always check the weather forecast for your destination as your travel date gets closer. That will help you better plan

44 | MAY 2019 |

what attire to pack. Also, gather special items you’ll need. These can include materials for meetings, gifts for people at your destination, travel tools such as headphones for the plane, special clothing needs such as scarves and gloves, and personal items such as medications, sunblock, cosmetics and travel-size toiletries. After you determine what you need, evaluate which luggage is best to pack for the trip. Third, begin the packing process. This can be a challenge for a lot of us. Why? Because it requires time and planning. Do you take your clothes off their hangers right before you leave to avoid wrinkles? Or do you put clothing on hangers into plastic dry cleaner bags and fold them into your luggage? Will you use a carry-on bag or check your luggage at the airport? Whatever your plan, there is a set process to packing no matter how many days the journey will be. This process takes time, but staying organized helps me avoid forgetting something. The process is as follows:

„„ Go day by day and place what you need on a dresser, on a bed or in a closet. „„ Plan to use each major clothing item on at least two different days. Mix and match, especially on a long trip. „„ Choose accessories day by day. Start with undergarments, socks and ties. Then finish with jewelry or cufflinks. Again, use pieces multiple days. „„ Remember to pack pajamas, workout clothes, bathing suit, winter outerwear or anything else for the specific trip. „„ The night before you leave, set out personal hygiene items on the bathroom counter. „„ On the day of travel, place the selected clothing items and accessories into your luggage. Pack your toiletries last. Remember, liquids and lotions of no more than 3 ounces each go into a see-through plastic quart-size bag for any luggage carried onto a plane. Fourth, follow a preplanned schedule. When do you need to leave for the journey? If you are flying, taking a cab or catching a train or bus, when do you need to be at the departure site? When flying, be aware of special events that may cause an airport surge and prevent you from getting to your gate quickly. The rule of thumb is to arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours for international travel. If you travel often, I highly recommend Clear, TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry to speed your process through security lines. When driving or taking ground transportation, is there road construction on your path? You do not want to discover at the last minute via the Waze app that hours have been added to your journey. Last and very critical, conduct an inventory at every step of your journey. Every time you go through a checkpoint or make a stop, take a physical audit of your personal items: driver’s license, passport, credit card, tickets, jacket, cell phone. When you stop for fuel or quickly visit a shop, did you leave anything behind? When you go through airport security, did you leave a bracelet or watch? It is easy to do because of the lines and the sense of urgency to move people along. Traveling can be daunting, so following a process can help. I am not perfect, oh no. I have the most trouble with “conduct an inventory.” I thought I was doing well, and then recently left a pile of items in a hotel room safe. I did get the items back, thankfully. So, as you see, I still have work to do on the tips I shared. Bon voyage! P | MAY 2019 | 45

Best Practice

Human Resources How to Avoid the Top 5 Interviewer Mistakes Even the most seasoned interviewers make mistakes. And those mistakes may be costing you the best talent. Here are the Top 5 interviewer mistakes and our tips to help you avoid them.

Mistake #1: Jumping to Conclusions

Joseph T. Sefcik Jr. is the founder and president of Employment Technologies. He is a thought leader in simulation and virtual interview technology for talent prediction.

The outcome of an interview is often decided in the first two minutes. Even though the interview is 30 minutes or longer, our decisions typically occur early in the interview, with the remaining time being used to build our case and support our decision. How to avoid: Nothing sabotages the accuracy of an interview faster than jumping to a quick decision. To limit this error, separate the decision from the interview. Train yourself to focus on effective note taking during the interview rather than evaluating.

Mistake #2: Going with Your Gut

Almost all interviewers overestimate their ability to identify the best candidates. We all think we’re a good judge of character and have a unique ability to hire the right people. Ironically, interviewers with the least experience and training are the most likely to overestimate their ability.

46 | MAY 2019 |

To further complicate things, the least trained interviewers often occupy high-level positions. Time and again, they simply “know a good candidate when they see one.” You can’t argue either for or against their intuition because it isn’t based on objective rationale or evidence. How to avoid: The best solution is to make sure that all interviewers — whether they’re recruiters, hiring managers or the CEO — are properly trained and are using the same standard rating criteria. To avoid mistakes, hiring decisions must be based on data, not hunches.

Mistake #3: Relying on Limited Data

Basing decisions on limited data is a sure way to derail an otherwise great interview process. Even though there is considerable discourse, it is not uncommon for interview decisions to be based on five to seven key questions. And if you don’t take good notes, you’re left to make decisions on very limited data and on what you can remember from the interview. How to avoid: A reasonable solution is to create a checklist for each question that includes examples of statements that contribute to a good answer. For each question, the checklist might contain

The West Orange Chamber’s

five to 10 comments you can use to check and document what the applicant said. This significantly increases the number of data points, increases consistency in your decisions and, most importantly, helps you remember the key elements of each interview that might otherwise be forgotten.

Mistake #4: Being Blinded by Neon Answers Neon always catches our attention. Neon answers do, too. A neon answer is one that stands out and attracts special attention. It can either be extremely positive or negative. The pitfall of neon answers is that they can outweigh all other answers combined and therefore skew our decisions. In essence, it’s like a game where one play determines the outcome of the entire game. It’s not always the best team that wins. How to avoid: To make sure you hire the best, consider all of the candidate’s answers. The final decision should be a combination of these answers with each answer contributing equally. Since neon answers really pop out, it’s easy to catch them. When you do, stop and reflect on how much weight that one answer should be given in comparison to the rest of the interview.

Mistake #5: Talking Instead of Listening Most interviews gather information as well as provide information. So it’s hard to balance the time spent talking about your company, asking questions, and listening to applicant responses. And just because you’re asking the right questions doesn’t mean you’ll get the information you need.

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

How to avoid: To overcome these issues, be sure to spend more time listening than talking. If you’re talking more than half the time, you’re talking too much. Use open-ended questions that ask what, how and why. This not only gets applicants talking, it also helps you get the information you need to make an effective decision. To give applicants the information they need, you can provide standard information about the job and your company through a website or a multimedia company preview. This increases consistency and maximizes the time you have to learn about each candidate. Improving the success of your interviews is all about minimizing potential bias and avoiding basic mistakes. Luckily, with a little awareness and discipline, we can dramatically improve the accuracy of our interviews and ultimately hire better candidates — those who are as impressive on the job as they were in the interview. P

Facilitating Opportunity for Over 45 Years

(407) 656-1304 Dr. Phillips | Gotha | Horizon West | Lake Avalon MetroWest | Oakland | Ocoee | Orlo Vista Pine Hills | Windermere | Winter Garden | MAY 2019 | 47

Best Practice

What Traditional Marketers Can Learn from Social Media Influencers

Cherise Czaban

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


I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures. — Paul Barron, executive producer of Foodable Network

48 | MAY 2019 |

On a 1950s poster, Elizabeth Taylor smiles sweetly next to a picture of Whitman’s Chocolates and the words, “He remembered … and any girl loves any man for that! Why don’t you?” In 1992, Cindy Crawford drinks a Pepsi during a Super Bowl commercial, sparking a decades-long fascination with both the drink and the model. In 2016, Taylor Swift runs on a treadmill while singing and dancing, demonstrating the motivating power of Apple Music. Since before most of us can remember, the faces and voices of well-known celebrities have been used as a cornerstone of modern marketing. The newest step in this evolution, however, is marked by the introduction of social media to the landscape, creating a new persona known as the “social media influencer.” On Instagram especially, “influencers” are gaining more

and more traction, creating a new and more accessible form of celebrity with a huge impact on their audience. The sudden and meteoric rise of social media influencers is a testament to how savvy they are when it comes to building, sustaining and evolving their personal brands. Their reach alone is staggering proof of this: According to CBS News, fitness guru Amanda Cerny boasts 19.5 million followers on Instagram, while comedian Andrew Bachelor has 14.8 million followers on Instagram and 9.5 million on Facebook. Those are just two of thousands. Their impact has marketers wondering, what are they doing that our company isn’t? Here are a few of the crucial traits of influencer brands that can help your marketing team:

„„ Unity in branding. Social media influencers often build their audiences around a lifestyle or personal brand that portrays their audience’s aspirations. In order to convey that particular feeling or image, they carefully select their photos, captions and partnerships to reflect that brand. This approach requires you to have a thorough and clear vision of who you are and how you are presenting your brand to your audience, and using it can make you recognizable right away. In the same way you create your brand to be distinctive outside of the digital realm, you carry that uniform approach into your online presence. „„ Scheduling and consistency. Influencers who have a steady and growing audience understand that people rely on them to post consistently. Keeping up with a frequent and steady schedule for when they post each type of content allows their audience to build trust with them and return to check in when they expect new content to be added. For instance, influencers might upload a video reviewing a product every Monday, one answering viewers’ questions every Wednesday, and one documenting their week every Friday. „„ Collaboration. Influencers across social media platforms often come together for projects, combining their audiences and doubling their reach. It gives them a chance to cross industries, grow their audience and make even more connections. Consider teaming up with someone else in your industry or sponsoring someone else’s event to increase visibility and reliability. „„ Evolution. The most successful content creators on the web are those who keep up with trends and work to adapt to the latest and most exciting developments. This might mean adopting new platforms into your social media strategy, looking into augmented reality marketing options, or partnering with up-and-coming or cuttingedge companies. „„ Audience engagement. Social media influencers build their audience almost exclusively by connecting with people. You can do this by engaging in comments sections, starting giveaways, liking your followers’ posts. All of these activities make you more accessible, relatable and present in your own online personality — ultimately helping you more clearly define your brand and your audience. P


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

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

Source: MPA – The Association of Magazine Media | MAY 2019 | 49

Best Practice

Business Development Certify Your Company as a Diverse Supplier for Big Benefits

Nancy Allen

is the CEO of Women’s Business Development Council of Florida, a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, which certifies companies as womenowned. WBDC-FL is based in Miami and certifies women-owned companies in Florida and the Caribbean.

If you operate a small business and you are a woman, a minority, a military veteran, a person with a disability or a member of the LGBT community, corporate and government buyers might be looking for you. Federal, state and local governments as well as corporations and nonprofits all have goals for the percentage of business they award to diverse suppliers. If you’re not certified as a diverse supplier, you might be leaving money on the table.

3 Reasons to Get Certified

Going through the certification process can be daunting because of the amount of paperwork you’re required to fill out and the types of documents you need to gather. Why should you bother, especially if your company is already getting business without a special qualification? There are several ways becoming certified as a diverse supplier can make the effort worth your time, energy and resources. Among them: 1.

Business development. Certification can help you scale your business more quickly. The largest and most innovative corporations and government agencies all have supplier diversity programs in place, and they take these very seriously. They are actively looking to diversify their supply chains by identifying and hiring companies like yours. Landing contracts with them can help you expand into different markets and increase your revenues.

2. Legitimacy. Certification by a third party provides proof of ownership,

50 | MAY 2019 |

management, independence and control. The rigorous certification process weeds out companies that claim to qualify as diverse suppliers but are not. Additionally, corporate and government buyers realize if you have gone through the process, you are serious about growing your company. You’re likely to have more staying power than a “lifestyle” business that seeks to earn just enough to pay its owners on a regular basis. This distinction is important to larger organizations that want a steady, qualified supply chain. 3. Set yourself apart from the competition. Earning a certification does not guarantee larger contracts for your business. But it does put you on a special list for consideration against other vendors that don’t have the certification, which can give you a leg up on your competition.

Types of Certification

There are numerous third-party nonprofit and government organizations that certify companies for various types of diversity. Those include: ɡɡ Gender-based ɟɟ Women Business Enterprise (WBE), provided by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) in the U.S. and WEConnect International in other parts of the world.


THE TIME IS GOLDEN! ɟɟ Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) for federal As a Gold Member of the contracting opportunities in the U.S.

East Orlando Chamber,

Your Business Expo Table ɟɟ LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE), provided to companies in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and is Included! transgender community through the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The East Orlando Chamber Gold

Membership includes: ɡɡ Ethnicity-based, provided nationally by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) • Business Expo Table or Education Day Space and locally by the Florida State Minority Supplier • Complimentary Ribbon Cutting Development Council (FSMSDC). • Complimentary Featured Member table at Coffee Club

• One ɡɡ Veteran-owned, provided for veterans of all branches of Complimentary “Random Rotating Rectangle Ad on the EOCC the military website ɟɟ

OBJ Subscription

• Opportunity for Telehealth for you National Veteran Business Development Council & all your employees for JUST $14 a (NVBDC). month per household with NO copay.

• And MUCH MORE! ɟɟ National Veteran-Owned Business Association Call 407-277-5751 or visit (NaVOBA). for more information ɟɟ Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification by the U.S. General Services Administration. ɡɡ Disability-owned, provided by Disability: IN.



Many state, county and local government entities certify vendors themselves. These government certifications work just like the third-party processes, with robust application and verification requirements.

The Certification Process

To qualify for certification, companies must be at least 51 percent owned by someone who meets the diversity requirements. The application process can take up to 90 days. During that time, the certifying organization reviews supporting documents and typically conducts a site visit at your place of business, even if that is your home. You will pay a fee to cover the time and expense of the certifying organization. The application includes background on your business, your NAICS industry codes (from the North American Industry Classification System) and your management background. Supporting documents include articles of incorporation, annual reports, tax filings, occupational licenses, operating agreements and other proof that you own and operate the business. Once your company is certified, you have access to a whole new world of opportunities that weren’t available to you before. Using your certification as a marketing tool to get you in front of the right buyers for your company is then up to you. The third-party certifying organizations are a big help in making introductions and welcoming you into a community of business owners like you who are happy to help pave the way to bigger contracts in your future. P

As a Gold Member of the East Orlando Chamber, Your Business Expo Table is Included! The East Orlando Chamber Gold Membership includes:

• • • • • • •

Business Expo Table or Education Day Space Complimentary Ribbon Cutting Complimentary Featured Member table at Coffee Club One Complimentary “Random Rotating Rectangle Ad on the EOCC website OBJ Subscription Opportunity for Telehealth for you & all your employees for JUST $14 a month per household with NO copay. And MUCH MORE!

Call 407-277-5751 or visit for more information | MAY 2019 | 51




ASPIRE TO INSPIRE How Talent Development Prepares Workers and Businesses for the Future. By Angela Alban

When I heard late last year that The Walt Disney Company was committing to invest $150 million in the future of its more than 80,000 hourly cast members and employees in the U.S., I was intrigued because it affirmed my belief that all businesses, even small businesses like mine, should invest in their talent. The new Disney Aspire education investment program is a game changer for employees interested in advancing their careers and competitiveness by learning new skills and earning certificates and degrees. This is a smart strategy: preparing a workforce and, in turn, an organization for the future. It’s a big bet — one I hope will pay off in the long run because fostering employee 52 | MAY 2019 |

passion through education promotes morale and helps employees realize new capacities for innovation that could result in transitioning into new roles beneficial to the company as well as to themselves. The only fear is that this could also enable employees to pursue future careers outside of the company. Many business owners, including myself, understand that the advantages of employer-supported workforce talent development initiatives substantially outweigh the potential risks. Developing

your talent helps your company not only realize cost savings and improved efficiency, but also can reinforce employee loyalty while simultaneously growing our region’s talent base. It’s clear that economic pressures, shifting demographics and automation are already moving our workforce toward jobs of the future. Nearly threequarters of the jobs added since the recession have gone to workers with a bachelor’s degree or post-graduate education. It’s predicted that up to 33

percent of workers may need to switch occupations because of automation. By 2028, there will be 3 million jobs available in skilled trades. As president and CEO of my company, SIMETRI, I am keenly aware of the limited resources small businesses have for employee training and other programs. As chair of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, I see how small companies struggle with connecting their innovative technologies to partners, talent


development and other programs more feasible for larger firms. I therefore believe the chamber, among other organizations, should implement programs that help small businesses throughout the region even the playing field in the ability to foster employee development. Early in my career, I was chosen for a program that mostly senior personnel were invited to attend. That program expanded the scope of what I considered possible and gave me the foundation that allowed me to contribute to my employer’s success. It also enhanced the skillset and confidence necessary to start my own company and create jobs in our region. I often take advantage of the resources in our community to grow our company and our employees, and I also try to sponsor their personal development. I want to invest in

my employees because I hope to inspire and arm them with the tools and skills they need to grow personally and professionally to help SIMETRI and our region succeed. Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Talent development is the key to unlock those new doors. The new paths employees take will prepare our region’s workforce and business climate for the future. Without fulfilled employees possessed of the latest knowledge, businesses will be stuck in the past and the future will simply pass us by. That’s why all businesses, large and small, should make it a priority to invest in their talent. P

Angela Alban is the president and CEO of SIMETRI Inc., which offers end-to-end medical training solutions that are conceptualized, researched, developed, and manufactured in its on-site laboratory. | MAY 2019 | 53

Social Entrepreneur


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT Provides Inspiration to Students By Elyssa Coultas

The cockpit shook as the wheels to a Boeing 777 touched down on a lengthy stretch of concrete. After a successful flight, the roaring sounds of rubber against tarmac, wind against wings and a cheering cabin crew were enough to inspire a change of heart and mind for the young pilot. She stood up, beaming, and exited the flight simulation chamber. “I’m going to be a pilot,” she said as she shook the captain’s hand and gathered information on flight school.

54 | MAY 2019 |

She strolled through the career fair, passing other students with the same comfortably determined grin, one that denotes a newfound sense of purpose. One of many programs deployed by Junior Achievement, the JA Inspire program gives kids the opportunity to interact with professionals of any industry, following six in-classroom lessons delivered by their teachers. At this annual career fair, company booths and interactive training and simulation stations form makeshift aisles that sprawl across the Osceola Heritage Park event center.


Social Entrepreneur

We want to get students in Central Florida to look at higher-wage jobs and to fill the job openings for the companies that we're currently bringing to town and want to bring to town in the future. Ultimately, Junior Achievement is an economic development organization focused on building and encouraging tomorrow’s workforce. — Kathy Panter

Throughout the day, more than 3,500 students from 14 public middle schools visit the event center, where they explore new concepts, careers and industries and learn about a day in the life of an accountant or researcher, a police officer or engineer. Organizations like the Walt Disney Company, Addition Financial (formerly Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union), Orlando Health, BRIDG, imec, Seacoast Bank, UPS, Valencia College and the University of Central Florida convene to teach children about the path from classroom to career. “It's not about the degree. It’s not even about the end goal. The program focuses on the journey,” said Kathy Panter, CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Florida. “We want students to understand what an engineer does, or what an accountant does. We’re all there to help depict what these titles and degrees enable people to do. We help paint a picture for students at a critical moment in their lives, which will help them find their path.”

Hands On, Minds Opened

In the “Allegory of the Cave,” Greek philosopher Plato depicted the concept of being enslaved to a finite perspective that without education or experience, we are ignorantly bound to a life of accepting a fraction of meaning or purpose. The JA Inspire program unites education and real-world experience in a hands-on environment, offering perspective and inspiring purpose. Upon arrival, each student receives an Inspire Passport in an effort to get students to interact, engage and learn about new career paths and industries. The passport lists industries of high growth in Central Florida, including “Business and Professional Services,” “Construction” and “Technology.” | MAY 2019 | 55

Social Entrepreneur


Many students don't know about jobs outside of what their families may tell them, and they don't see a path for themselves unless somebody takes the time to tell them and show them. — Kathy Panter

Students must get their passport stamped at each new destination or industry explored. Panter reminisced on a time when she spoke with an excited 14-year-old at a JA Inspire event. “Did you know accountants don’t just sit at their desks all day? They go out to other businesses and help solve problems!” The young girl nearly demanded an explanation as to why she did not already know that fact. “Children can’t dream what they’ve never seen,” Panter said. “Many students don't know about jobs outside of what their families may tell them, and they don't see a path for themselves unless somebody takes the time to tell them and show them.”

Shifting Focus

In the state of Florida, students can decide to drop out of high school at age 16. “Eighth and ninth grade is a critical time in a student’s path,” Panter said. “Because of that, our strategic plan has completely shifted over the last five years.”

Education dictates much of an individual’s aspirations, network, opportunities and, ultimately, life experiences. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers age 25 and older were $909 in the second quarter of 2017. Full-time workers without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $515, compared with $718 for high school graduates with no college experience and $1,189 for those with a bachelor's degree. “We want to get students in Central Florida to look at higherwage jobs and to fill the job openings for the companies that we're building locally, bringing to town and want to bring to town in the future,” Panter said. “Ultimately, Junior Achievement is an economic development organization focused on building and encouraging tomorrow’s workforce.”

100 Years Strong

Until 2014, 75 percent of JA students were elementary school children. The JA board of directors decided the program would have a deeper impact if they were to shift that model to focus on middle and high school students where just-in-time programs are delivered.

Established in 1919 at the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution, Junior Achievement was founded to teach young people moving to cities from farms about economic development from an entrepreneurial and business perspective. Today, the organization and its programs still aim to enable students and communities to drive the economy forward by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools.

“The JA Inspire program has been offered to every eighthgrade student in Osceola County public schools, as well as private, charter and home schools.”

“The overarching mission,” Panter said, “is that we are in the business of getting students independent and successful in whatever success looks like to them.”

56 | MAY 2019 |


Unique experiences for your day off OAKLAND Oakland Nature Preserve West of Orlando, just 30 minutes from the attractions and nestled between Winter Garden and Clermont in the beautiful town of Oakland, lies a "hidden gem": a 128acre preserve offering environmental education and ecotourism activities for visitors of all ages. The preserve includes miles of trails through hilly, forested uplands and wetlands, some of which used to be citrus groves and planted pines. You’re likely to see gopher tortoises, alligators and many types of birds.

MT. DORA Modernism Museum David Bowie, mourned by the world on his passing in 2016, was one of the most radical figures in recent popular culture. Memphis, founded under the leadership of Ettore Sottsass in Milan in 1981, was the most radical of all design groups. The exhibition Space Oddities: Bowie|Sottsass|Memphis brings them together. Bowie built up an extensive body of Memphis work over the years — iconic works by Sottsass and his colleagues, including Michele De Lucchi, Nathalie DuPasquier, Shiro Kuramata and Martine Bedin. This exhibition, the largest gathering of Memphis objects ever presented in an American museum, includes more than 75 examples, many from Bowie’s private collection. It is a fabulous opportunity to see a large collection of Memphis — and to experience the private world of a great pop visionary.

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


WINTER GARDEN Garden Theatre As an award-winning regional performing arts venue, the Garden Theatre inspires discoveries through theatrical experiences that are innovative, impactful and inclusive. The Garden produces seven live professional plays and musicals each season, and also hosts entertaining concerts and interactive movie experiences. From Tony Awardwinning musicals and holiday classics to edge-of-your-seat thrillers and light-hearted comedies for all ages, there is something for everyone at the Garden Theatre.

ORLANDO Gatorland Gatorland originally opened as a roadside attraction in 1949. Now celebrating its 70th year, it provides affordably priced family fun featuring thousands of alligators and crocodiles, one-of-a-kind reptilian shows and the world’s largest collection of white leucistic alligators, which have blue eyes. An incredible breeding marsh and bird rookery where thousands of birds flock naturally to nest each year provides amazing opportunities to photograph wildlife. Popular adventure experiences inside the park include the Screamin’ Gator Zipline, a favorite for groups and team-building experiences, and a unique and fun ride through real Florida wetlands on the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.

LAKELAND Safari Wilderness Take a camelback tour while marveling at wild boar, galloping gazelles and bouncing lemurs in a natural setting. A Florida agritourism project licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Safari Wilderness Ranch offers a variety of experiences including kayaking tours, camel rides and customized off-road safaris. Here you can experience grazing animals surrounded by cypress domes, watersheds and bay trees. Observe the complex social workings of wild and endangered animals in a natural habitat. On this exclusive, fun and educational journey, you can learn about Florida’s natural and human history while encountering animals that are endangered or extinct in the wild. | MAY 2019 | 59

Business Seen

HISPANIC CHAMBER’S 26TH LEADERSHIP INSTALLATION LUNCHEON More than 500 business leaders, elected officials and members attended the 26th leadership installation luncheon for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando on March 1, 2019, at Rosen Shingle Creek. The HCCMO’s 2019-20 chair of the board, Paul Roldan, and the board of directors were sworn in by Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe. Roldan and HCCMO President Gaby Ortigoni spoke about the economic impact Hispanics are making in Central Florida, and Channa Lloyd from the U.S. Census Bureau was the keynote speaker.

Ada Dominicci, Gaby Ortigoni, Paul Roldan, Marivette Gonzalez, Jose Ortiz and Omayra Rodriguez

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon and Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins

Yog Melwani, president of the Indian American Chamber of Commerce, and Gaby Ortigoni, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

Gaby Ortigoni and Ed Bustos

Channa Lloyd, Florida partner specialist at 2020 U.S. Census

Luany Henriquez and Maria Vayo

60 | MAY 2019 |

Business Seen

Gaby Ortigoni, Tonja Graham (Duke Energy) and Jose Nido (Wyndham Destinations)

HCCMO trustees

Gaby Ortigoni, Malcom Barnes, Nina Sayad, Alex Sanchez and Paul Ortigoni

Mayra Uribe swears in Paul Roldan

Nancy Alvarez (WFTV Channel 9) serves as master of ceremonies

HCCMO staff: Gilberto Companioni, Vanessa Ricon, Elise Smith, Gaby Ortigoni, Ovy Beadouin, Maria Mercado, Luisa Garcia and Jean Carlos Elias

HCCMO trustees | MAY 2019 | 61

Business Seen

UCP OF CENTRAL FLORIDA'S ANNUAL POKER AT THE PALACE UCP of Central Florida's annual Poker at the Palace and 26th Annual Evening at the Palace Gala were held at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace at Disney Springs on March 29-30, 2019. Through the generosity of more than 860 guests at the gala and over 250 Poker players, UCP of Central Florida raised over $900,000 in sponsorship, auction, Bid to Give and in-kind donations. Funds raised will help provide support, education and therapy services for UCP's children and their families. Photo Credit: Mike Gibson (Versatile Photography)

Beth Morris, Anna O’Connor Morin, Katy O’Connor and Dr. Karyn Hawkins-Scott

Dan Aykroyd and Co-Hosts Rachael Harris, RJ Mitte and Cheryl Hines

Dr. Ilene Wilkins and John Kelly

Dr. Rebecca Hines and Cheryl Hines

Rachael Harris, Dan Aykroyd, RJ Mitte, Don Asher, Cheryl Hines, Dr. Ilene Wilkins, Cindy Bailes and Janet Larue

Jess Bailes, RJ Mitte, Rachael Harris, Michael Williamson, Darren Frost, Michelle Lillard, Dan Aykroyd, Richard Lillard, Ilene Wilkins, Chas Bailes, Cheryl Hines

62 | MAY 2019 |

Business Seen

Kim Doud, Saul Levinson, Tony and Rebecca Sos

Rachael Harris, Michael and Cheryl Hines

Silent auction

UCP students perform with Dan Aykroyd

UCP students perform with The Blues Brothers

Addie and James Morrone

Guests enjoying poker

Rachael Harris and UCP of Central Florida president and CEO Dr. Ilene Wilkins | MAY 2019 | 63


Stuff you didn’t know you wanted to know

3.1% Percentage of the 127,869 housing units within the Orlando city limits built before 1940. This compares with 5.3 percent in Jacksonville, 8.8 percent in Tampa, 10.1 percent in St. Petersburg, 10.3 percent in Miami, and 64.1 percent in Buffalo, which led the nation with the highest number of older homes, apartments and other types of housing. Source: Orlando Business Journal

#3 Florida’s nationwide ranking for number of clean energy jobs. The state’s 158,652 jobs in solar, wind, energy efficiency, clean vehicles and similar fields ranked behind only California and Texas. Source: Environmental Entrepreneurs 2019 Clean Jobs America report

64 | MAY 2019 |

$20.3 million Price tag on a NASA-owned site aerospace company Blue Origin is leasing for the next 50 years near Kennedy Space Center


74,200 Number of “cast members” at Walt Disney World Resort, Central Florida’s top employer. The area’s other top five employers are AdventHealth (28,959), Universal Orlando/ Comcast (25,000), Publix (19,783) and Orlando Health (19,032) Orlando Economic Partnership

NEEDS TO DELIVER FREEDOM. — Jarrett Walker, international transit consultant, in a presentation March 14 to the Orlando Economic Partnership Alliance for Regional Transportation in Orlando

$20.3 million Launch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary of making a difference in the lives of atrisk children and inspiring many of them, including Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, to reach their full potential

“As a proud member of the American, this is a big day for UCF. We feel strongly that our nationally competitive programs, at UCF and throughout the league, have proven that there are six power conferences in college athletics.”” — Danny White, athletics director for the University of Central Florida, on the American Athletic Conference sealing a deal with ESPN to televise football and basketball games through the 2031-32 season Source: Orlando Sentinel


EVERY DOLLAR YOU GIVE WILL BE MATCHED BY Visit to learn how Housing First keeps people off the streets for good.

© 2015 Southwest Airlines Co.

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

Profile for i4 Business Magazine