VOL 2 ISSUE 2
O R L A N D O â€™ S
T E C H N O L O G Y
L A N D S C A P E
LAB In med research, as Orlando goes, so goes the country
WORK Med & Tech jobs on fast track in Central Florida
S TAT E O F EMERGENCY Leading the way in innovative emergency care training
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ORLANDO’S TECHNOLOGY LANDSCAPE
Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission President & CEO Texture Executive Publisher Raymond Gilley Vice President, Marketing Texture Associate Publisher Maureen Brockman Vice President, Tech Industry Development Texture Editor John Fremstad
TEXTURE JUNE 2005 VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 Departments
Director, CFTP Texture Project Support Amy Edge
FROM THE EDITOR 5 TECH TRENDS 6
Director, Creative Production Texture Project Support Judy Ladney
OFF THE WIRE 9 INTERFACE 10
Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
PEAK PERFORMER 12
President Texture Publisher William C. Peeper
SPECIAL FX 14 INNOVATION ALLEY 27
Vice President of Publications Texture Associate Publisher Deborah Kicklighter Henrichs
NEW COs 30 INTELLIGENT FORMS OF LIFESTYLE 34
Managing Editor Connie Sue White
TALENT POOL 36
Publication Artists Laura Bluhm, Ranae Ledebuhr, Michele Trimble, Frank J. Quinones Senior Production Coordinator Elaine Hébert
A LIVING LAB 16
Director of Advertising Sales Sheryl Taylor 407.354.5568
A diverse population makes Central Florida the perfect Petri dish for medical research.
Contributing Writers Brian Courtney, Amy Edge, Rafaela Ellis, Denise Enos, Trent Flood, Jackie Kelvington, Scott Leon, Susan Loden, G.K. Sharman, Tracey C. Velt and C.S. White
A PRESCRIPTION TO WORK 22
Contributing Photographer & Illustrator Charles Hodges, Frank J. Quinones
In line with national trends, Central Florida’s technology, healthcare and service industries are exploding.
Director, Public Relations Texture Project Support Trent Flood
This publication is sponsored in part by the Orange County Government’s Economic Stimulus Package 2.0 and the University of Central Florida. Texture magazine is produced by everything ink, a division of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.® (Orlando CVB), for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. Orlando CVB: 6700 Forum Drive, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32821, Phone 407.363.5841, Fax 407.370.5021. Texture magazine assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, negatives or transparencies. Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission 301 East Pine Street, Suite 900 Orlando, Fla 32801. Phone: 407.422.7159 or 888.TOP.CITY. Fax: 407.425.6428. E-mail: email@example.com. Advertising information: 407.354.5512. Copyright 2004 Metro Orlando EDC. All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part without the express written consent of Orlando CVB, on behalf of the EDC, is prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A.
from the editor
Mapping Out the Science of
We love DNA, made of nucleotides. Sugar, phosphate and a base bonded down one side. Adenine and thymine make a lovely pair, cytosine without guanaine would feel very bare. —The DNA Song to the tune of “Row, Row, Row your Boat”
Knowledge is generated, transmitted and shared more efficiently in close proximity. Economic activity based on “new knowledge” has a high propensity to cluster within a geographic area. The Life Sciences are really still in the “new knowledge” phase, but because of rapid discoveries in biological and chemical processes, and their potential for breakthrough compounds and medical devices, commercialization in the industry is likely to continue to accelerate rapidly. Can the Metro Orlando region grow and support a life science cluster? While the answer is not yet known, I can say for sure that industries excel in this region’s environment of innovation and entrepreneurial success.
I can also say for sure that the possible addition of a research medical school at the University of Central Florida would be a HUGE step in the right direction. We have our work cut out for us, but we have a good start. This issue of Texture looks at the Life Science industries we already have and hopefully starts a conversation about the advantages of this region for that burgeoning cluster. Many people don’t recognize the significant advantages Metro Orlando will have in the coming decade and in the future blending of industries. There is nowhere else on the planet with the same kind of strength in entertainment, technology, film production and interactive media... and maybe Life Sciences.
For conversations sake, imagine a place where... ... nearly 44,000 students are enrolled at America’s eighth largest university; ... the first and fifth largest hospital systems in the United States are based; ... thousands of people are masters at telling stories, sparking imagination, and providing people with virtual experiences; ... the military’s simulation procurement commands support the largest concentration of modeling and simulation companies in the world; ... a mature, local production industry supports a nearly $600 million film market; ... and, a critical mass of companies are involved in creating tomorrow’s interactive entertainment. There is only one place in the world that can make this kind of claim...Metro Orlando. Examine our region’s Texture , engage in this conversation and enjoy the experience.
John S. Fremstad Metro Orlando EDC vice president, Tech Industry Development & Texture editor P.S. Orlando is a place with unique creative advantages and uniquely productive partnerships. Texture is made possible through grants from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Orange County Government. Our thanks to both of them for their commitment to building this region’s reputation as a thriving business and technology hub.
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IN CENTRAL FLO
INDUSTRY LEADERS CLUSTER IN ONE OF THE â€˜MOST WIR By Jackie Kelvington Illustrations by Frank J. Quinones
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LORIDA WIRED’ REGIONS
Fact: Online shopping, searching, newsgathering and chatting are at an all-time high. From e-commerce to weblogs, more people are turning to the Web for everything from buying and selling products to expressing opinions. The numbers speak for themselves. In January 2005, more than 111 million unique visitors shopped online...From 1999 to 2004, e-commerce sales were on a steady rise, growing from $50 billion in 1999 to $115 billion in 2004...An estimated 42 million households are expected to have broadband connections this year... With eight million Americans maintaining a blog of their own. Blog readership increased 58 percent last year to 32 million people... And, it’s estimated that more than 22,000 blogs are created each day. Revelation: What you may not know is that a large concentration of the technology powering and enabling this growth is coming from Metro Orlando. Noted as one of the most wired regions in the United States and home to major telecom and software industry leaders and advances, Metro Orlando has been ranked as the leading economic hub of Florida, which is one of the top states for information technology. In fact, more than 20,000 related companies and 270,000 employees call the state home. Several industry powerhouses have clustered in Osceola County — Central Florida’s bustling southwest sector that is already world-renowned for tourism
and hospitality. Here’s a snapshot of just a few of these companies: Channel Intelligence (CI). Buy a Black & Decker product online recently? If so, chances are you encountered Celebration-based CI, which just may be the nation’s frontrunner in the channel management industry. CI connects manufacturers to their dealers and consumers through a unique Web-based system that drives sales and provides the information-empowered consumer with a better online shopping experience. The Internet has changed the way people learn about and purchase products. And CI, which helps the manufacturer get consumers to buy their products, is seeing remarkable growth. In fact, the company has established a majority stake in this niche industry. It represents such companies as Black & Decker, Panasonic, Microsoft, Lexmark and Samsung, which have collectively sold billions of dollars worth of products through CI’s channels. The industry touts the company, founded by Microsoft alum Rob Wight, for its distinct technology capabilities that enable customers to find available products (real-time, in-stock status) and where to get them (on-line or off-line). CI’s back-end computer software infrastructure also automates product content distribution for manufacturers (providing fast and easy product information updates to retailers) and offers in-depth data management services that enable manufacturers to track their inventory levels and pricing, as well as competitor pricing and availability.
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WHY IT’S CONNECTING IN ORLANDO • Spurred by industry growth, technology jobs are on the rise throughout the state. Florida has been ranked the fourth largest Cyberstate by the AeA. In Metro Orlando — Florida’s top metro area for job growth — research shows that three of the top four growth occupations through 2011 will be IT-related. These include: computer software applications engineers and specialists, networking computer administrators and network systems/data analysts. This growth is supported by the University of Central Florida’s top-ranked computer science and engineering programs. • Companies in the IT world want to be close to the talent. They draw from Orlando industry leaders including Convergys, Fiserv, Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Kirchman and VERITAS. This is in addition to the talent found in the area’s digital media and simulation industries. • High tech company leaders say the region’s telecom infrastructure can’t be beat. This region is highly regarded for its digital infrastructure and broadband connectivity. The fiber systems are pervasive and new, not retrofitted as in other communities. In addition, the region is served by two incumbent local exchange carriers — Sprint and BellSouth. The natural competitive nature between the two translates to an extraordinarily high level of capital investment in systems and infrastructure.
“We are running e-commerce for the world right out of Central Florida,” says Wight, who anticipates corporate growth to more than 1,500 people in the next five years. Marlin Group. Another well-known name in the e-commerce data and infrastructure world is the Kissimmeebased Marlin Group, a family of companies that provides major manufacturers and retailers with Web hosting, order processing, warehouse and fulfillment, data/call center and customer service support. Since 9/11, disaster recovery and business continuity have become top-of-mind in the corporate world. With that, more companies have moved to co-locating data outside of their organizations for added protection. This has propelled companies like the Marlin Group. Demonstrating its unique technological capabilities and uniqueness in the industry, Marlin broke out of its traditional service mold and launched a
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new division this year called Rednote.com, an interactive Internetbased version of Home Shopping Network (HSN) and QVC run by noted HSN veteran Eric Mausolf. W ith Rednote.com, consumers have a place to shop that is efficient, informative, entertaining and operates on the individual’s schedule. “We’re revolutionizing e-commerce,” says Mausolf. “We’re creating the convergence of live content on the Internet platform.” Hyku. Last year, 32 million people became members of a sophisticated group of Inter net users called bloggers. It is estimated that this group creates more than 22,000 new blogs, which are essentially daily online journals. For Web-usability and blog consulting firm Hyku, that’s a good thing ... a real good thing. Celebrationbased Hyku is in a hot market. Blogging (and other Web-enhanced tools and functions) is on the rise, and
the company’s primary clientele (public relations, marketing and ad firms) are among the fastest growing sectors in the economy. As if that isn’t enough to demonstrate growth, industry insiders compare the emergence of blog consulting firms, like Hyku, to the heyday of Web consulting firms in the mid-90s. There’s no doubt that weblogs, RSS feeds (a format for syndicating news and content) and wikis (public, groupmanaged Web sites) are changing the face of business communications. These new tools are being used to capture what people are talking about in real time, which, in turn, is helping companies shape everything from marketing focus and messaging to pricing. Hyku is the behind-the-scenes “information architect” that helps companies effectively utilize these tools and helps with overall Web information order, structure and search capabilities. Their work is high tech, but their goal is simple: to help organizations better utilize technology to effectively communicate their message. x
FOR MORE INFO, visit the following sources: Electronic Retailer (retailing.org) Internet Retailer (internetretailer.com) Emarketer.com Shop.org OPA & Nielsen/NetRatings comScore Networks (comscore.com) Information, Architecture Institute (iainstitute.org) Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) For more on the Orlando region, visit OrlandoEDC.com.
009 Off the Wire
off the wire
By Amy Edge
As evidenced by this magazine, the technology revolution is a trend that continues to shake the foundation of traditional economic development. Just a few years ago, it was unheard of for an economic development organization to have a department fully dedicated to technology industry development. Even today, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission’s (EDC) technology department — or Tech Team — is in a league of its own, connecting people, ideas, technology and capital to help companies start and grow.
TECH TEAM FOCUS The EDC’s Tech Team facilitates new business connections for technology companies; educates and empowers technology stakeholders; unifies Central Florida’s community organizations around common technology goals; and accelerates technologyrelated public policy in Central Florida, while at the same time cultivating a national image for the region as a technology leader. The Team is committed to supporting existing technology companies; facilitating the local development of technologyrelated businesses; and encouraging more technology companies to establish a presence in Central Florida. In short, the Tech Team is changing the economic landscape of the Central Florida community.
CENTRAL FLORIDA TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP (CFTP) Established in 1999, CFTP is managed by the EDC’s Tech Team in partnership with the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, and UCF’s Office of Research and Commercialization. By
mote and grow Central Florida’s high tech industry, the region’s economic well being is further reinforced.
EVENTS OF NOTE In addition to supporting hundreds of organizations and their activities, the Tech Team hosts a number of events and programs throughout the year. Some important ones to make note of are listed below. An updated calendar is available in the Central Florida Technology Partnership (CFTP) section at www.OrlandoEDC.com. >> Fast & Furious Partnering Conference. In partnership with the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, this event offers companies from across Florida’s High Tech Corridor the opportunity to forge partnerships with other local and regional companies — in just 2.5 minutes or less. It’s fast and furious! >> Florida Tech Transfer Conference. In partnership with Florida Research Consortium and the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, this statewide conference showcases technologies available for commercialization from all of Florida’s research universities and institutions.
THE EDC’S TECH TEAM CONNECTS PEOPLE, IDEAS, TECHNOLOGY AND CAPITAL TO HELP COMPANIES START AND GROW. combining the power of these organizations, CFTP helps technology companies grow and succeed. CFTP provides information, resources and activities that connect the Central Florida technology community with professional development and business opportunities. Clearly, with the EDC’s efforts to pro-
>> William C. Schwartz Innovation Awards. Successful innovation is one of the driving forces behind expanding and diversifying our economy. This annual Metro Orlando EDC awards program honors companies and individuals who have successfully created, developed, and implemented x creative products and ideas.
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PHOTO BY CHARLES HODGES
SHARING THE GOLD By Susan Loden
OLYMPIAN & NTC’s DOT RICHARDSON
Two Olympic gold medals (1996 and 2000) prove softball is very, very good to Dot Richardson. Singled out as a star with the first U.S. hit and the first softball homerun in Olympic history, she was an NBC commentator at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, delivering play-by-play as her former U.S. Women’s Softball Team won its third consecutive gold medal. However, as an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Richardson has a more enduring and direct impact on the lives of other American and international athletes of all sports. That includes Central Florida residents who want to improve fitness and athletic prowess. As medical director of the National Training Center (NTC), part of a 300-acre sports, health and education campus in Clermont, Fla., west of Orlando, Richardson establishes the vision and goals for this nonprofit
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branch of South Lake Hospital. Her focus is on state-of-the-art facilities, sports science, performance programs and research in adolescent obesity, activity levels and shoulder injuries. Sports medicine services include physical therapy and athletic training. Richardson sets medical policies, establishes procedures and cultivates partnerships for the four-year-old NTC. She also still has a hand in her sport as a performance trainer for softball players. And the Dot Richardson
Softball Association, founded in 1996 and separate from the NTC, further proves her commitment to training softball coaches and players.
T Texture : What’s special about NTC? dr Dot Richardson: Our campus is truly unique. It is the only sports training facility in the world with an on-site hospital, women’s center, medical office buildings, a community college (Lake/Sumter) and four-year university (University of Central Florida-West). The campus is also home to Florida Special Olympics and Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics Academy. NTC has a 70-meter Aquatic Center, state-of-theart Track Complex and ten acres of multi-purpose athletic fields. A Softball/Baseball Sportsplex will be added next year. Community clients join our fitness center because we offer more
than floor equipment, with access to all NTC facilities and fitness programs. Athletes that include top Australian triathlete Greg Bennett and the British rugby team Wigan Warriors, train here because of the care, qualifications, expertise and commitment of our 79person staff — which includes three-time Olympians Dennis Mitchell and Sheila Taormina. It’s most rewarding to provide individuals the opportunity to express their talents and use their gifts to reach goals and live up to their full potential.
T Did experiences as an athlete influence your career? dr No doubt, athletics prepared me for my career as a physician. Even more important, through sports I learned many life lessons that help me personally and help me give back to others. My greatest achievement every day is serving others. Our lives and our health are our most precious gift and commodity. To help others live pain free, or with less pain or improved
mobility, is awesome. Sports medicine is for everyone, because at heart we all are athletes at one level or another. The human body is built for movement and sports medicine helps people return to an active lifestyle.
T What experiences brought you to this point? dr As a teenager, I had a severe hamstring tear and needed the full treatment of a physician, physical therapy and athletic training. Later, softball scholarships covered my undergraduate education and then I coached softball as a master’s candidate at Adelphi University. I went to the University of Louisville Medical School and followed up in the University of Southern California Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program. T Why softball? dr I love all sports and enjoy softball because of the mental and physical challenges it offers as an individual
A TERRITORY IDEAL FOR GROWTH. AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TEAM READY TO NURTURE IT.
sport, at times, and as a team sport all the time. There is a high potential of failure, because the most difficult thing in sports is to hit a moving object with a moving object. When you overcome that challenge, you have accomplished something beyond playing a game.
T You grew up in Central Florida. Why is this an ideal location for NTC? dr Many people who have trained at the NTC have moved to the area. They are drawn by Florida’s beauty, weather and recreation opportunities — from parks to softball and baseball complexes, rails-to-trails biking and running trails, water sports and boating. There are more than 2,000 lakes in Lake County to Lake Louisa State Park is ten miles from NTC. Orlando International Airport is only a 30-minute drive from Clermont, one of the top ten fastest growing cities in the country. My husband, Bob Pinto, loves the area. It reminds him of his hometown, Stamford, Conn., with the x rolling hills, but without the snow.
Our service area in the Carolinas and Florida is one of the most vibrant areas of the country. One of thriving communities, diverse industries and a
©2004 Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc. and Progress Energy Florida, Inc.
skilled, motivated workforce. It’s no surprise that so many companies locate here. And why they increasingly turn to Progress Energy’s award-winning economic development team to assist them. We offer full-service support, from site selection to government contacts to energy expertise. The relentless pursuit of excellence. It’s what we’re all about.
To grow your business in the Carolinas and Florida, call our Economic Development Team at 1.800.622.7562 or visit us at progress-energy.com/economic.
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The Dynamo Behind
BUSINESSMAN EXTRAORDINAIRE LARRY PINO
PHOTO BY CHARLES HODGES
By Scott Leon
Larry Pino is a dynamic individual with almost contagious energy. For this intelligent and well-spoken former corporate attorney, that energy pushed him to pursue his passion for entrepreneurial endeavors. The result? A business that at first seems somewhat intangible, but upon closer inspection reveals itself to be an impressive organization designed for a specific purpose — growth.
Pino is the chair man and CEO of Dynetech Corporation. “This company is best described as a direct-to-market distributor for a variety of products, both our own and our partners,” says Pino. “It also has
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elements of a business process outsourcing firm. And, it’s one of the largest event planners in the world.” To put it into lay terms, if you have a product but lack the know-how to market or distribute it, call Dynetech.
They can help take your product to your customers using direct sales, advertising, direct mail, e-commerce and even live sales events — all of which they organize. Since its incorporation in 2000, Dynetech has grown to a $200-million-a-year
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company with 550-plus employees and stands as a truly unique enterprise. In addition to its marketing services, Dynetech develops proprietary products, such as e-Voyager (a fully integrated, cross-platform real-time data management operating system); American Cash Flow Corporation; Market Place Pro (which teaches users to operate an e-business using proprietary software); and investment programs like WizeTrade and 4X. The company also produces “J.G. Banks’ Secrets of Probate Profits” program, and it partners with the Robert Allen Institute to produce the “Creating Wealth with Real Estate” seminar and with Jay Abraham to produce his “Business Accelerator” program.
A KNACK FOR BUSINESS Laurence James Pino followed his parents to Orlando in 1971 when they settled here, so it’s only natural that this family man started and still runs Dynetech from his downtown Orlando office. After he graduated from the University of Notre Dame, he returned to Orlando to open a law firm. He began speaking on cash flow in 1987 by way of the American Cash Flow Institute. By 1992 he was lecturing full time, but after the birth of his second son in 1998 he stopped to reevaluate his priorities. “The lecture circuit kept me on the road most of the time and that’s not conducive to raising two boys or maintaining a marriage,” says Pino. “So from 1998 to 2000 I shut down, reconfigured and then recreated my company. I didn’t fire anyone—I just closed the doors. It’s not a strategy I
would recommend to anyone, but at the time I felt it was the only way to make my idea a reality.” Until then Pino described himself as a “one-trick pony”. Gradually he came to the realization that while the Cash Flow series was valuable, the process by which he marketed and grew his lecture business was far more valuable. He also realized this process could be applied to almost any other company. Hence, the birth of the entirely scalable e-Voyager program. “This program allows everyone in the company to see all the data we manage in real time. Everyone operates off the same platform, so there are no software conflicts. Since what we do is basically manage data, this is critical. It allows us to amass and interpret years of data so that we can tell you what will prove most effective for your purposes.”
SCALING THE A-LIST One recurrent theme for Pino, and a cornerstone of Dynetech’s success, is the notion of scalability—the ease with which a system can be modified to fit the problem. “Scalability is something you need to decide on early in the process of organization.” His concept for how to achieve it obviously works. In the past year, Dynetech has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies and one of the 100 fastest growing inner city companies. It was also listed as one of Florida Trend magazine’s top 200 private companies
and one of Orlando Business Journal’s Central Florida Golden 100. While the company’s headquarters are in Orlando, with plans to expand from its current 30,000-square-foot facility into a brand new 145,000-square-foot facility, it has subsidiary locations in Dallas, Salt Lake City and Danbury, and has begun forays into the international market. With an increasing interest in taking the company global, someone might wonder why he chooses to keep Orlando as his headquarters. Pino points to several things. “I guess I could base Dynetech anywhere, but the quality of life for my family is very important. And frankly, this area just isn’t subject to the economic downturns that most areas go through,” says Pino. “Most people think that Central Florida is all about tourism and hospitality. While that part certainly plays a large role, the real story is its highly energetic economic environment. Plus, Orlando attracts so many highly trained people that I’ve only had to hire two people from outside the area. Not many places can offer all of that.” Such tremendous success now allows Dynetech to pick and choose its clients based on a strict set of criteria. “We’ve had phenomenal growth, over 70 percent a year, and we can afford to research and select our clients based on those we feel we can serve and grow best. At this time they mostly tend to be financial, investment and technology oriented, but that’s because those are our areas of strength,” says Pino. W ith a foundation based on scalability, Dynetech is poised for many x years of continued growth.
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THE ORLANDO REGION OFFERS THE FILM & TV PRODUCTION MARKET A UNIQUELY DIVERSE RANGE OF LOCATIONS & TALENT.
By C.S. White
Monster. From the Earth to the Moon. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Dr. G: Medical Examiner. The Way Back Home. Waterboy. All have one thing in common: they are examples of successful films and TV productions that were shot in the Metro Orlando region. Their success is no surprise. As the third busiest film production market in the country, Orlando has grown in the past 15 years from a $2.5 million to a $586 million film and television production market. And, for good reasons, including a talented and diverse crew base, and a cast of independent filmmakers and TV producers who call Orlando home. All reasons why MovieMaker has ranked Orlando among its 2004 and 2005 “Top 10 Cities for Moviemakers”.
IN FOCUS In the case of Oprah Winfrey’s ABC made-for-TV movie adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God , although much of the movie was produced on back lots in California, authenticity of certain scenes required they be shot on location in Florida, where the novel is based. Like the symbolic scenes where the main character Janie Crawford (Halle
PHOTO COURTESY OF UCF FILM DEPARTMENT, FIVE STORIES
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Berry) jumps into a crystal clear spring and floats on her back while staring at the sky. “The locations here made it impossible to shoot [certain scenes] anywhere else, “ says Suzy Allen, managing director of the Metro Orlando Film & Entertainment Commission, a division of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. “The film hired about 150 local technicians for a total of three weeks of prep and four days of shooting. Because it was such a high-profile project — with Berry just off an Oscar, and Oprah — the exposure for our region was invaluable, showcasing our diverse locations and workforce.” “[There are] wonderful locations in Orlando—historical architecture, jungles, ranches, farms, beautiful oaks with Spanish moss—not to mention wonderful people to work with,” says Frawley Becker, the location manager for the movie. Filming on location is intrinsic to the Discovery Health Channel’s current forensic hit series, Dr. G: Medical Examiner. The show features the cases of its star, Orange-Osceola County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia, or “Dr. G”. And, the hit Monster, a true-life story about Aileen Wuor nos (Charlize Theron), a prostitute executed in Florida after being convicted of murdering six men, was mostly filmed in Central Florida and drew heavily on the local talent. “I frankly was blown away when we came down to Orlando to shoot,” says Patty Jenkins, writer and director of Monster. “I would take this Orlandobased cast and crew anywhere.”
BEHIND THE SCENES The area’s several film schools and existing related infrastructure play a starring role in its film/TV success, as well. Case in point: the University of Central Florida’s Film Department turned out the five film school grad students who created the wildly popular The Blair Witch Project (TBWP). “The UCF film program gave us a solid background,” says Greg Hale, a
MOVIEMAKER HAS RANKED ORLANDO AMONG ITS 2004 & 2005 “TOP 10 CITIES FOR MOVIEMAKERS”, CITING ITS SOPHISTICATED CREW BASE AND AS ONE OF THE TOP 10 PLACES TO BE AN INDIE MOVIEMAKER. TBWP co-producer. “But it was the relationships the school has with the local film industry that really made a big difference. We had access to locations and professional crews. When we worked at Universal, the people there treated us like professionals, so you had to step up your level of professionalism.” The film’s success found the school, bringing the acclaimed Sterling Van Wagenen to direct its film program. “Blair Witch upped the profile of the school,” says UCF film professor Rich Grula. “Because of its success, the University decided to invest in the program by hiring Sterling, co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival and founding executive director of Sundance Institute.” Grula credits Van Wagenen with moving the program forward to where it is today. “The program has become much more about story films. We’re starting to build a process that is more educational and that gives students opportunities to create real films.” The recently produced Five Stories is a prime example of that. The compilation DVD of five student short films produced and marketed by the UCF Film Department has been submitted to more than 100 film festivals across the country. All the films have been selected for exhibition in one or more events. “The rapid emergence of UCF as a film school of tremendous quality and creativity is remarkable and exciting for the film world,” says Hunter Todd, chairman and founding director of the 38th Annual WorldFest-Houston, a prestigious event that chose two of the Five Stories films for screening. “Two out of five is remarkable,” says Todd. “The DVD showcases our region for content and story creation,” explains Allen, whose Metro Orlando Film & Entertainment Commission funded the DVD in part through a grant. “Whereas Eyes Were Watching God highlights our location, Five Stories shows we
have homegrown talent, from storytellers to filmmakers and crew.” “There’s something about contextualizing an art form. Five Stories is our calling card about UCF and Orlando,” says Grula. Five Stories couldn’t have happened without the help of local vendors who provide gear and equipment for filming and editing, like Panavision, Kodak and Digitech, to name a few. The role of partnerships with local vendors cannot be underplayed in the success of students, says Grula. “Often schools don’t have the budget to offer their students some of the high-end filmmaking gear. When you have a community like ours that wants to help the program out, we can prove Orlando is the base for filmmaking in terms of talent and resources. Because of this, you get a synergy at this level that you can’t get elsewhere.” In addition to UCF’s four-year program, Central Florida is home to Valencia Community College’s two-year associate program in Film Production Technology. The school, in partnership with Back Home Productions, recently completed its latest film project, The Way Back Home. This $1-million production, featuring theatrical and film legends Julie Harris and Ruby Dee, provided Valencia students with invaluable experience to take into the real world. “The biggest benefit to students is getting to work with a large contingency of industry professionals,” says Ralph Clemente, director of Valencia’s Film Production Technology program. “These people essentially become free faculty. There’s a tremendous learning opportunity there that money just can’t buy.” In the final cut, with its unique talent base of professional crew and indie filmmakers, and cutting-edge film education programs, the Orlando region continues to be a premier film and TV production market. Grula sums it up aptly. “We are determined to be the best x possible Orlando can be.”
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A DIVERSE POPULATION MAKES CENTRAL FLORIDA THE PERFECT PETRI DISH FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH
LAB By Rafaela Ellis
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to ban a form of heparin — a bloodthinning drug commonly used to prevent clotting during open-heart surgery — researchers in Central Florida had reason to celebrate.
The government’s ruling was based largely on studies conducted by Florida Hospital’s Institute of Translational Research in Orlando, which found that a particular formulation of heparin was more likely than others to actually increase clotting, causing catastrophic complications. Initiating a drug recall was not what the Institute’s scientists had in mind when they began researching heparin. The discovery was a by-product of studies aimed at understanding how
cancerous tumors use the blood system to grow and spread. And that, experts agree, is the true beauty of scientific research: the biggest benefits often are the unexpected ones. Unforeseen returns of medical research activities include not only lifesaving therapies, but also financial growth for the communities that foster them. “The economics are pretty obvious,” says Dr. Clarence H. Brown III, president and CEO of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, a major
research facility associated with Orlando Regional Healthcare. “When you have research going on in a community, you generate an interest in the biomedical sciences, and companies that want to support that move into the community.” Such companies attract a highly educated, upwardly mobile workforce that improves the quality of the area, Brown says. “Research scientists are reasonably well paid, equipment is very expensive, and supplies are costly,” Brown says. As a result, a biomedical microeconomy takes hold. That’s good news for Central Florida, where the last 10 years have seen an exponential growth in medical research activities. Since opening in 1991, M. D. Anderson-Orlando has conducted
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The Metro Orlando area leads the United States in cultural diversity; one study predicts that by 2050, the entire nation will mirror the demographic mix that Orlando will have achieved by 2015. That makes the area a sort of living laboratory where the gamut of genetic and cultural factors that affect human health can be explored in detail. AS ORLANDO GOES, SO GOES THE COUNTRY
hundreds of clinical drug trials and recently began testing radiological equipment as well. Florida Hospital opened its Institute of Translational Research (originally named The Clinical and Research Laboratories) in 1994 with three researchers; today, a staff of 30 works on multiple projects relating to heart disease, cancer and blood disorders.
How has Central Florida come so far and so quickly as a major research center? Experts say our growing population is key. The Metro Orlando area leads the United States in cultural diversity; one study predicts that by 2050, the entire nation will mirror the demographic mix that Orlando will have achieved by 2015. That makes the area a sort of living laboratory where the gamut of genetic and cultural factors that affect human health can be explored in detail. Already, the scope and variety of
“The economic [impact] from a research-based environment is extremely significant. The types of people who come in to do [research] work have higher educations and higher aspirations for their families, so the impact on education and the cultural infrastructure can’t be overstated.” — Dr. Clarence H. Brown III, president and CEO M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando Regional Healthcare System
“The economic [impact] from a research-based environment is extremely significant,” Brown continues. “The types of people who come in to do [research] work have higher educations and higher aspirations for their families, so the impact on education and the cultural infrastructure can’t be overstated.”
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biomedical research in Orlando is staggering. In addition to the cancer treatment studies at M.D. AndersonOrlando, Orlando Regional Healthcare perfor ms medical investigations through its Health Research Institute, where scientists are seeking to understand hydrocephalus (commonly known as “water on the brain”),
atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and angiogenesis (the branching of blood vessels around blockages). Florida Hospital’s many research activities — conducted not only by its Institute of Translational Research but also by its cancer and neuroscience institutes — include studies on thrombosis (artery blockage), hemostatis (blood clotting), and HIV and other infectious diseases. Then, of course, there are the drug and medical device studies, funded by corporations and often involving patient participation. In an area of this size, “finding subjects is not really a major issue,” says John Francis, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Translational Research. Clinical trials offer patients “access to the latest treatments, so a lot of patients jump at the chance” to participate, Francis says. Also eager are scientists around the country and the world, who pore over the results of research conducted here. Papers on Orlando-area research have been presented in medical journals and at dozens of international medical conferences, fomenting partnerships between Central Florida researchers and those in far-flung corners. Francis and fellow researchers at the Institute of Translational Research traveled to Birmingham, England, in 2003 to present findings of one of several heparin studies and most recently hosted a German scientist who spent 18 months conducting research alongside Institute staff. “There’s been tremendous cooperation at the international level,” Francis says.
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What’s more, he says, “We expect it to grow. We want it to grow. We’ve been planning infrastructure to support the growth of research for some years.”
A Bid for Growth
quality of life for residents, who will have access to new research and additional
An integral part of that “infrastructure planning” is securing the funds to make research happen. Although pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing firms underwrite studies that test their products, research into disease processes — the fabled “hunt for the cure” — relies on a variety of private and public funding sources. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the Susan G. Komen Foundation all have donated money to local research efforts; governmental sources like the National Institutes of Health also have granted funds to Central Florida medical investigators. Nevertheless, local researchers still have had to get creative in finding dollars. “Most grant funding agencies are cutting back and government sources are being pulled back,” says Brown of M. D. Anderson-Orlando. So even though his center continues to seek grants from health-related foundations and federal grantors, Brown also has raised millions by soliciting private funds for individual projects, such as a study on helical tomotherapy, a technique for using radiation on a tumor without damaging surrounding tissue. “This helical tomotherapy was developed at the University of Wisconsin over the past ten years, and we wanted to be the first to have the chance to use it,” Brown says. “So we went out and raised $2.3 million from donors who believed in the project.” The nation’s first helical tomotherapy unit was installed at M. D. AndersonOrlando in January 2003. Researchers there now lead a consortium of research projects on the treatment. “We’ve begun to publish a lot of our results, and we’re presenting a paper at an upcoming radiation oncology conference,” he says. At Florida Hospital, Francis found
The University of Central Florida’s bid for a research medical school is being watched closely. If given the green light, such an addition will further improve physicians. It will also enhance the climate for related business, making the area attractive to research medical firms and doctors. Terry Hickey, the university’s provost, is among those working to convince Florida’s Board of Governors (the panel that sets policy for state-run universities) that UCF’s east Orlando campus — or some donated land nearby — would be the perfect site for a medical school. He says the benefits to local citizens easily outweigh the millions it would cost to bring a medical school to town. “Medical graduates are attracted to academic health center environments,” Hickey says. That means a medical school would bring not only students to the Orlando area, but an array of specialists and medical researchers as well, giving locals more and better healthcare choices. And then, of course, there are the economic benefits. “The property around medical schools becomes very valuable, and the prices go up rapidly,” he says. That’s because medical schools attract doctors, and doctors make — and spend — a lot of money in their communities. “I think you would see an increase in the number of physicians produced here, staying here and [moving] to the Central Florida area,” he says. Hickey, a former associate vice president at the busy University of AlabamaBirmingham Medical Center, knows whereof he speaks. And he’s not alone in wanting to bring the benefits of a medical training center to his community; when the Board of Governors meets to review UCF’s medical school proposal, it already will have in hand proposals from two other state universities — Florida Atlantic and Florida International — with the same dream. “I suspect the Board of Governors’ review will come within the next six to twelve months,” Hickey says.
another way to raise funds: he set up a diagnostic laboratory that other healthcare entities now pay to use. Specializing in bleeding and clotting disor-
ing extra revenue for the Institute’s lifesaving research into how blood clotting affects cancer and heart disease. “We’re doing it in a way that’s going
“We’re [fundraising] in a way that’s going to benefit care. We’re doing research because we want to benefit our patients. We think it is part of our mission to do that.” — John Francis, Ph.D., director Institute of Translational Research, Florida Hospital
ders, the lab “has become one of the biggest and busiest clinical laboratories in the Southeast,” Francis says, provid-
to benefit care,” says Francis of his lab’s fundraising endeavors. “We’re doing research because we want to benefit
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High-Tech TLC for Healthcare Providers While Central Florida’s medical researchers are hunting for cures, a group of computer geeks in Eustis has embarked on a less-glamorous but equally important mission: to make it easier for healthcare providers — and their patients — to process the mountains of paperwork that accompany every medical claim. “We provide software and services to both providers and insurance payers,” explains Scott Sallyards, marketing director for edisolve.com, founded in 1999 by Sallyards and two partners. “We provide the ability to process healthcare claims electronically, regardless of whether it’s a hospital that has to send claims, or an insurance company that needs to pay them.” Due to regulations mandated by the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), providers and payers have more paperwork for every claim. By creating software systems that ease electronic data exchange between entities, edisolve.com saves its clients time and money while ensuring accuracy of information. “All our systems are HIPAA compliant,” Sallyards says. To ensure that customer service needs are covered — “Job One” for any tech-services company — edisolve.com has partnered with Dataforce International and computer giant HP to provide support. “When you’re doing something of this magnitude, you really want to have a trusted partner,” Sallyards says, noting that such systems represent a huge investment for any hospital or insurance company. “HP has our client’s back. HP will pay attention.”
our patients. We think it is part of our mission to do that.”
NO END IN SIGHT Although most local research is currently being done by hospital-affiliated scientists, the University of Central Florida — long known for conducting
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research into defense technologies — is also getting into the medical research act. Dr. D. Howard Miles, a UCF chemistry professor, is working with M. D. Anderson-Orlando on a study of tumor suppression in plant products, and Florida Hospital is also investigating collaborative projects
with the school. Those who support biomedical research activities in Orlando say UCF’s bid for a medical school is a vital component of plans to grow local medical investigation. Florida State University Medical School has opened an Orlando branch campus, which supports about 15 third- and fourth-year med students per year at the time of this writing, but it is not a researchfocused facility. “This is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. that doesn’t have a [four-year] medical school,” says Florida Hospital’s Francis. “Central Florida is crying out for a major effort in this area.” M. D. Anderson-Orlando’s Brown couldn’t agree more. “If we end up with a medical school here in the next five to ten years, you’re going to see an explosion in the amount of biomedical research conducted in Central Florida,” he says. “And it’s only going to improve the quality of life in this area.” (See “A Bid for Growth,” page 19, for more information.) In preparation for what many see as inevitable, both hospital systems are working with UCF to recruit and train researchers. “We are actively recruiting young investigators to join us, and we have had discussions with the administration of UCF to allow these investigators to have joint appointments with UCF and M.D. Anderson-Orlando,” Brown says. “When you can offer that kind of opportunity to a young investigator, it’s very attractive. They see it as a chance for collaboration, new thoughts and support from their colleagues. And the more institutional support you have, the better your chances of getting grants.” And, he says, the better the chance that everyone in the community will have access to the highest level of medical care. “Research is a very important part of our healthcare environment,” he says. “When you bring a significant amount of research in to support medical care, the quality of care is x enhanced.”
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WORK IN LINE WITH NATIONAL TRENDS, CENTRAL FLORIDA’S TECHNOLOGY, HEALTHCARE AND SERVICE INDUSTRIES ARE EXPLODING. By Tracey C. Velt (reprinted with permission from January 2005 FirstMonday)
It’s no secret that the baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — drive many areas of the region’s economy. And, now that they’re getting older, the healthcare industry is sprinting to keep pace.
“Our downtown Florida Hospital campus is adding 300 new beds by the end of 2008,” says Rich Morrison, regional vice president of government relations and regulatory affairs for the Florida Hospital system. “That translates to about 2,000 new jobs, jobs that require advanced educations to operate equipment.” Florida Hospital is also adding beds in Osceola County and will continue to expand as needed. For the Central Florida region, that means more sophisticated, higher-paying jobs.
we add 2,000 jobs, it will have a sustained impact on the local economy.” Not to mention the $250 million spent on the expansion, he adds. “That alone puts a lot of money into the economy.” Orlando Regional Healthcare is also adding jobs and expanding. “This demand is driven by the continuing population increase in Central Florida and the increasing need for healthcare services,” says Willanne Colwell, director of Education/Workforce Planning for Orlando Regional Healthcare (ORH). “As ORH expands services at each of our facilities, we are opening new positions in the areas of Nursing, Imaging, PT/OT and Respiratory Care. We have begun hiring team members for positions at the new Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, scheduled to open in the spring of 2006.” According to data from the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, some 14 of the top 50 f a s t e s t - g ro w i n g jobs are in the healthcare industry. However, just as many, if not more, jobs are being added in the travel, hospitality and retail sectors and the high tech fields. And, that’s great news for the region.
“You’re going to see economic spinoff because we [the healthcare industry] create high-paying jobs,” continues Morrison. “There’s a significant relationship between our salary structure and what happens in the market. When
DIVERSIFY AND CONQUER
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“Our economy is starting to diversify,” says Ray Gilley, president and CEO of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission (EDC).
While it’s no surprise the largest number of jobs being added to the traditionally service-heavy region are in the travel and retail sectors (retail sales and supervision, food preparation, housekeeping and amusement/recreation attending), the fastest-growing occupations are mostly in the high tech and medical sectors. “high tech and medical-related fields are good fits for our region, thanks to assets we already have in place — such as UCF [the University of Central Florida], top healthcare facilities, established technology clusters, a diverse population, the presence of the military’s simulation commands and more,” says Gilley. In terms of percentage growth, computer software engineers and network/computer systems administrators are the two top growth occupations — both are anticipated to grow more than 6 percent between 2003 and 2011. Other occupations in the top 10 include healthcare fields — medical record technicians, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, home health aides and pharmacists. “I looked at the fastest-growing occupations at the national level and at the state level to see how they jive, and in effect, the categories that are gaining the most on all three levels (tech, healthcare and service) are virtually identical,” says Owen Beitsch, a market analyst and executive vice president of Real Estate Research Consultants in Orlando. “Some notable exceptions speak to the nature of the employment here. Travel-oriented industries — not just the hotel and motel industries — will see a growth in flight attendants and support service at airlines. Locally, we’ll have substantial growth in home healthcare.” In fact, says Beitsch, “We’ll see stronger growth here than elsewhere, and counter to national trends, [positions for] social and human services workers are growing more here than nationally.” Central Florida is positioning itself as a knowledge-based economy, with highly segmented industries and well-trained specialists. It’s important to
note that the top 10 or 12 fast-growing occupations all require substantial education, tech training or some type of college degree.” In addition to that, the Central Florida region has a distinct advantage over many parts of the nation in terms of job formation. “Even if we didn’t see a large population growth, we’d still see many new jobs because of our global tourist industry,” says Stan Geberer, an associate with Orlando-based economist firm Fishkind and Associates. “I think what’s interesting is that, except for exclusively defense-related jobs, the jobs we’re talking about aren’t highly cyclical or seasonal, particularly in healthcare, because of the expanding retiree base in our areas. Even in the tourist industry, the jobs are fairly stable because we don’t have much of an off-season,” says Geberer. Gilley agrees: “No industry alone can fully support a growing region’s economy. If you have industry diversification, it will increase the region’s prosperity and economic resiliency.” In fact, he says, “The travel industry has been and will continue to be a critical element [of] our community’s economic success. Areas all over the world are trying to build what we already have, but we can’t stop there. “We have to work to build other industries, such as technology and manufacturing. The goal would be to have several industries that are as big and vibrant as our tourism sector. That way, we can withstand economic shifts.”
HIGH TECH Metro Orlando’s high tech industry is in itself very diversified. “We have simulation contractors, photonics research and development, financial software companies, video game creators and an emerging cluster of agro-technology companies,” says Gilley. “Most of these companies use computer software engineers in one capacity or another. I think this speaks to the fact that our high tech sector is continuing to mature and grow.” From computer software engineers and network and computer systems
Top 10 Fastest-Growing Occupations ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT JOB TITLE
Computer Software Engineers, Applications
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Social and Human Service Assistants
Home Health Aides
Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics
Occupations Gaining the Most Jobs ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT JOB TITLE
Food Preparation & Serving Workers (Including Fast Food)
Maids and Housekeepers
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers (Hand)
Customer Service Representatives
Office Clerks, General
Amusement and Recreation Attendants
First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
Source: Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, Labor Market Statistics
administrators to network systems and data communications analysts and information systems managers, the number of occupations in Central
Florida’s high tech industry is booming. No one knows this better than Celebration-based Channel Intelligence (CI), a company that develops multi-
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channel commerce services that improve the online sales process between manufacturers, retailers and consumers. “We have more than sixty employee/ owners (all employees receive stock options) working throughout the country, with roughly fifty working at our corporate headquarters in Central Florida,” says Jim Brescia, vice president of human resources at CI. “We anticipate continued growth in the coming months, particularly in the areas that support our innovations and client relations regarding the development and implementation of our e-commerce services for the retail industry. Most of our job growth will involve software developers, operations staff (data and client services), business development evangelists and salespeople.” CI is not only looking to almost double its size in the next few years, but it
created by these tech companies exceeded $62,000 annually. This all goes back to the idea of diversification. High tech jobs aren’t for everyone, but you need to have a variety of high-wage career options. These jobs are a great piece of this puzzle.”
SERVICE INDUSTRY A giant chunk of the puzzle is composed of jobs in the service industry. But, make no mistake—these jobs aren’t all minimum wage. According to Bill Peeper, president of the Orlando/ Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, “Alan C. Villaverde, vice president/general manager at the Peabody Orlando, told me that just about every doorman and bellman at the Peabody owns his or her home. Some 25 percent of people who work in this region are involved in the tourism
“Central Florida is positioning itself as a knowledge-based economy, with highly segmented industries and well-trained specialists.“ — Owen Beitsch, executive vice president Real Estate Research Consultants
pays its employees an average annual salary of $70,000, according to Brescia. “There are a number of core technology areas (laser optics, simulation and modeling, gaming, etc.) in the Central Florida market that continue to grow and have benefited in recent years from increased defense spending,” says Geberer. “Other high tech areas, such as the emerging software technology center in Lake Mary, are the drivers for some of those high tech jobs. They may be a small percentage of the entire economy, but they are key jobs that are supporting continued expansion of the metro area to the far east of Orlando and to the northwest.” “These jobs pay really well,” says Gilley. “In fact, last year the EDC worked with sixteen technology companies that expanded in or relocated to the area. The average salary for jobs
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industry in one way or another.” “The market has continued to add 5,000 to 8,000 hotel rooms a year. We’re seeing tremendous expansion in the visitor market, and that’s the primary generator for the service industry jobs,” adds Geberer. “In addition, the economy benefits in that visitors to the Orlando area also spend outside of the theme parks or hotels on a lot of other things to support the economy.” According to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, some of the fastest-growing occupations in the service industry include hotel, motel and resort desk clerk, and meeting and convention planner.
HEALTHCARE Let’s face it; the Central Florida region’s population is growing rapidly. That means more healthcare workers to
handle the new people. “Growth in the healthcare industry is apparent because of the continued growth in the population,” says Geberer. “The expansion of the population throughout the Orlando region calls for extensive new service and medical jobs in those areas.” Occupations such as nursing, radiology technician, stenographer and others “operate sophisticated equipment,” says Florida Hospital’s Morrison. “We have an increase in demand for broad categories of medical technology in very well paying areas. What’s driving that is aging of our baby boomer population. A lot of folks are approaching their 50s and 60s, and at that point people start to need healthcare.” He says that the type of people to fill those jobs need to be computer savvy; the information systems needed must marry clinical expertise with technology, and that will require some changes in education.
OTHER INDUSTRIES While jobs in the tech, service and healthcare industries take up most of the spaces on the top-25 list, there is a smattering of other industries worth noting. Education is high on the list, with special education teacher in the preschool and elementary schools topping the charts at No. 18. Secondary school teacher and speech and language pathologist round out the list at Nos. 20 and 22, respectively. Of course, the need for additional teachers goes hand in hand with the population growth the Central Florida region is experiencing. As for the future, “It appears where Central Florida wants to be is not all that different from where the nation is going,” says Beitsch. “And, it’s easier as a nation to all go in the same direction. Where we choose to specialize speaks to the skill sets we’re best able to cultivate. The rank ordering does make a difference. If you want your economy to be dominated by knowledge, those jobs have to be at the top of the list.” In the Central Florida region, that’s x exactly what the data show.
State of By G.K. Sharman
INNOVATIVE EMERGENCY TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
In Florida, about one person in every three will need some kind of emergency care this year. Orlando’s Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center (EMLRC) helps ensure that the people who treat them are as highly trained as possible.
Ths specialized “think tank” focuses on education and research activities that promote and advance emergency medicine, disaster management, pre-hospital emergency care and public health issues. Its programs serve the full range of emergency care personnel: EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and emergency room nurses and doctors, as well as disaster specialists including planners, urban search-and-rescue teams and counterterrorism responders. Training is done through seminars, lectures, simulation
labs, interactive DVDs, CD-ROMs and Web-based applications. The roots of today’s emergency medical system reach back to the 1928 founding of a volunteer rescue squad in Roanoke, Vaw. Today, there are more than 800,000 emergency care providers in the nation with more than 50,000 of them practicing in Florida. “Central Florida is a natural site for the center,” says Beth Brunner, the center’s CEO. As a result, for the past 20 years, the
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MED ED ON THE ROAD Emergencies don’t just happen in urban areas where cutting-edge medical care is easily available. EMLRC’s Mobile Simulation Lab puts the latest in emergency medical training on the road, sending high-tech expertise out to the state’s smaller communities. Housed in a 45-foot motor coach and made possible in part by a grant from the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of EMS, the simulation lab debuted in May at a cost of about $750,000.
EMLRC has brought thousands of emergency care leaders from around the world to Orlando to identify new innovations in emergency medicine delivery. Some of these advances were first tested at meetings held in Orlando. In fact, the first broadcast autopsy of a trauma victim was perfor med in Orlando using a cadaver and technology to view and transmit live video, thus providing students a direct and detailed explanation of the mechanism, cause and effect of traumatic injury.
The Mobile Simulation Lab is one of a kind, the state’s only mobile medical simulator with both ambulance and emergency room settings. Users work in one side or both, depending on the training they require. Everything is as realistic as possible, from an ambulance setting that’s built to the exact specifications of a real emergency vehicle, to the sounds and lights that responders would experience in a real situation. Even the “patient,” the anatomically accurate SimMan ® or SimBaby ® , can respond and react almost like a real human. He can moan and talk, courtesy of a computer and Karen Crowe, EMLRC’s PHOTOS COURTESY OF EMLRC
clinical programs coordinator and the lab’s director and instructor. He has a realistic airway system and physiologically correct pulse points. His heart beats — and skips beats to mimic more than 2,500 cardiac rhythm variations. He can even bleed or urinate, depending on the scenario. “We immerse the students in the environment they’ll be working in,” says Crowe, who’s also an EMT, paramedic and registered nurse, as well as a certified instructor and a member of the Central Florida Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Both the lab and mannequins are fully customizable, letting Crowe conduct hundreds of scenarios — from a heart attack or car crash to bio-terrorism events — and provide specific training for any emergency personnel.
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In another example of “instant education”, EMLRC established live audio feed from the New York City EMS Command Post to Orlando the day of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, allowing students attending the International Disaster Conference to learn first hand how to prepare for, and respond to, a mass casualty event such as a bombing. This type of education requires excellent relationships with all states and emergency medicine-related agencies and organizations.
In addition to keeping emergency workers current on the latest advances in medical technology, EMLRC is building partnerships with the University of Central Florida and a number of the area’s other high tech enterprises to continually upgrade their training applications. “We’re bridging the gap between the military and civilian community,” Brunner says of EMLRC’s overtures to the simulation and gaming industries. Simulation technology — the kind of virtual environment that teaches pilot trainees how to fly without endangering multi-million-dollar aircraft — has obvious medical applications. “It’s [the EMLRC] a safe method to teach skills that normally require a real patient,” says director John Todaro. Recently, the EMLRC launched a new Mobile Simulation Lab that capitalizes on this technology. The 45-foot motor coach will complement EMLRC’s basic mission to improve healthcare, both in Florida and, through its conferences and training programs, throughout the nation.
Conference attendees make EMLRC a player in the area’s tourism efforts as well. Of the Center’s five major conferences every year, four are always in Orlando. They draw an average of 3,000 participants from around the country, in addition to 300 to 350 vendors. Those visitors stay at area hotels and eat in local restaurants. Many bring their families and visit the attractions as well, often extending their stays to allow more time for fun. Each attendee is likely to spend about $1,247 during a three-and-a-halfday visit, according to figures from the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That is a boon for the Central Florida community representing more than $9 million in economic benefit — and that’s a conservative estimate. The non-profit center also is raising money for a new facility near Orlando International Airport, which Brunner says will be a “showcase for new and innovative healthcare technology.” When completely finished, the building will give EMLRC plenty of room — more than 32,000 square feet — to provide its technologically advanced education. It will feature video and audio conferencing capability, as well as live Web streaming and Web conferencing. Manufacturers will have space to demonstrate their latest medical devices and train emergency workers who use them. Plans also call for large-group training capacity and a museum of emergency care history and emergency responders. The center expects to break ground x this year on the new complex.
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FROM MILITARY SIMULATION TO BIOTECH, NEW HIGH TECH COMPANIES FIND CENTRAL FLORIDA THE PERFECT PLACE TO DO BUSINESS
By Brian Courtney
Central Florida’s high tech business sector is as diverse in composition as that of any major urban area in the country. How and why each company came to the region spans an equally large spectrum. Two of Central Florida’s newest companies prove the point. One came by way of Oklahoma. The other is home grown. HOME GROWN: DiSTI Joe Swinski arrived in Central Florida in 1986 with a freshly minted college degree in hand and a job offer from General Electric in Daytona Beach. A few years later his career shifted course, landing him at Orlando’s University of Central Florida, where he met fellow faculty members William Andrews and Darren Humphrey. Just three years later, in 1994, the three incorporated as DiSTI, and Swinski added “company president“ to his resume. DiSTI provides two separate but related computer-based services. The company develops and distributes GL Studio™, a rapid application development (RAD) tool for the rapid prototyping and simulation of 3D instrumentation, human machine interfaces and innovative user interfaces. Their staff of software developers, IT professionals and graphic artists design, implement and deliver simulation packages, including those used to train aircraft pilots to handle any situation. The company’s first project was a prototype for the Air Force and that tradition continues today, with DiSTI’s core client base still the U.S. military.
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“It’s little known, but Orlando is actually the military simulation capital of the world,” says Swinski. With the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division located in the area, the company has been able to build upon its relationship with the military. Business should continue to boom for DiSTI as the armed forces rely more on technology and less on sheer numbers of people. “We are now working on an F/A-18 virtual maintenance trainer which replaces expensive hardware trainers and older software trainers that provided only movies and static images,” says Swinski. “It will enable airplane maintenance staff to move around and interact with the F/A-18 in a 3-D world, similar to a video game, to practice their craft. The cost of building and deploying this type of trainer to a large number of sites is remarkably cost effective when compared to traditional training methods. “The next wave of growth for GL Studio will be in the area of flight certified avionics. This means that our GL Studio-produced displays will be FAA certificated so that the software can actually be used on live aircraft.”
tinues Swinski, is growing and companies in many traditional fields are turning to technology solutions for their training. “There is no educational application that can’t benefit from simulation training,” Swinski adds. He projects DiSTI to grow about 25 percent this year, reaching $12-$15 million in annual sales within the next few years. “There’s plenty of room for growth here,” says Swinski, pointing to Central Florida’s rapidly expanding research corridor. The DiSTI management team has also capitalized on its prior relationship with the University of Central Florida, doing both joint projects and recruiting employees to its staff of 30. “UCF is in a growth mode and the caliber of students being turned out in the computer science program is excellent. We draw from that pool.” And as UCF expands its computer animation curricula, the number and quality of qualified candidates will continue to increase.
“WE’RE TRAINING PEOPLE FROM COMPANIES LIKE LOCKHEED AND BOEING, AS WELL AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, WHO COME FROM ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA FOR OUR CLASSES.” — JOE SWINSKI, PRESIDENT OF DiSTI
The company’s other service is to provide engineers with hands-on training classes in the area of distributed network simulation. This is where the three partners draw on their own teaching backgrounds. “We’re training people from companies like General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, SAIC and The Boeing Company, as well as government employees, who come from all over North America for our classes,” explains Swinski. “Fortunately, Orlando International Airport provides them easy access to the region and usually there are plenty of flights available.” The market for such training, con-
WELL RESEARCHED: VAXDESIGN Ask any stockbroker and they’ll tell you biotechnology is one of the market’s best investments. Why? Because no matter what else changes in the world, people will always want to avoid illness, be stronger, look younger and live longer. Ask the business development agencies in any metropolitan area why biotech is a good investment and they’ll point to the same thing. Then they’ll explain that it takes highly trained, highly paid researchers to solve those problems — and that’s the type of workforce every region wants to have.
“We were courted by Pittsburgh, Boston and San Diego,” says Bill Warren, CEO of Orlando’s VaxDesign Corporation. “We also looked at Philadelphia. We conducted an exhaustive search throughout the U.S. that combined factors such as: an international airport, access to investor funding, a highly skilled workforce, proximity to a top-notch research university, a good quality of life and, of course, a place everyone wants to live and visit.” This combination of factors was important for the spin-off company from Oklahoma-based Sciperio, Inc. The other cities trying to lure them had more developed biotech business sectors, but getting into Central Florida’s biotech sector early was important to VaxDesign. Their ultimate decision to locate in Orlando helps position the company as a regional leader. VaxDesign’s corporate headquarters will create about 40 high tech R&D jobs and generate nearly $3 million in capital investment. Parent company Sciperio also opened an office here, which employs about a dozen people. Finding an affordable, stable location is paramount for a young
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“WE CONDUCTED AN EXHAUSTIVE SEARCH THROUGHOUT THE U.S. THAT COMBINED FACTORS SUCH AS: AN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, ACCESS TO INVESTOR FUNDING, A HIGHLY SKILLED WORKFORCE, PROXIMITY TO A TOP-NOTCH RESEARCH UNIVERSITY, A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE AND, OF COURSE, A PLACE EVERYONE WANTS TO LIVE AND VISIT.” — BILL WARREN, CEO OF VAXDESIGN
company gambling in the high-stakes world of medical technology. “It costs between $800 million and $1 billion to bring a product to market,” says Warren. “We’re producing an artificial immune system — a system in a bottle, if you will — using tissue engineering to replicate human systems; surrogate cells to mimic human tissue made from synthetic or natural polymers such as collagen. These products will allow us to bring products to market much faster than
traditional methods, and with better test data behind them.” The core of this research was developed with the government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of the Rapid Vaccine Assessment and Pathogen Countermeasures Programs. The process, Warren says, can replace animal testing, which is not only a social hot button, but also a notoriously inaccurate testing method. “In R&D there is a saying, ‘Mice are liars and monkeys are exaggerators’.” The processes have application in medicine, cosmetics and personal care product development. The company, which has already collaborated with researchers at
Harvard Medical School, MIT, University of Miami, Scripps Research Institute, and University of Central Florida, will focus on addressing medical conditions such as tumors, bioterrorism pathogens, HIV, malaria, influenza, Hepatitis B, SARS and Type 1 diabetes. Instead of looking to cure people after they’re already sick, VaxDesign focuses on immunotherapy — finding ways to prevent disease in the first place. “There’s been very little progress worldwide in the approach that science has taken to developing vaccines,” says Warren. “VaxDesign is creating nontraditional approaches that will shorten development and yield commercially viable products that can change the way x we think about treating illness.”
Orlando offers some of America’s best meeting facilities and award-winning service. But don’t overlook our 10,000 fine dining seats; 52 million square feet of shopping; ten magnificent spas; 150 golf courses and 17 golf academies; and the greatest collection of high-tech theme parks in the world.
We Promise Great High-Tech Meetings
The Orlando CVB will assist you with hotel selection, attendance building and promotion efforts, and many more key services. Learn why Orlando promises great high-tech meetings, call: The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.®
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we are proud to support
the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission
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Here’s to Your By Denise Bates Enos
HEALTHY LIVIN’ IN ORLANDO IS EASY
MEDSPA BOUTIQUE PHOTO COURTESY OF CATALYST STUDIOS
Numerous studies and common sense tell us that the daily stresses and demanding routine of 21st-century living can take a toll on our health. Orlando is home to a bumper crop of stores, spas and services ready to restore, repair and rejuvenate. Here are just a few examples.
THE BODY ELECTRIC Get a whole-body tune-up, reenergize and beautify with a visit to MedSpa Boutique in downtown Orlando’s Thorton Park Central. With appointments available seven days a week, and
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before and after hours, MedSpa caters to executives on the go and professionals pressed for time. Under the care of in-house Medical Director and Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. George Pope, MedSpa offers
a variety of FDA-approved procedures, including Botox and facial filler treatments, laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, microdermabrasion, ultrasonic laser cellulite reduction, weight loss and detoxification services, and total body
rejuvenation. Massage, aromatherapy, body wraps and masks, stress relief and pain management, and airbrush tanning round out MedSpa’s offerings. Additional Central Florida locations in Dr. Phillips and Heathrow are slated to open soon. 4 North Summerlin Ave., Orlando www.feelofaspa.com 407.835.1911
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT Whole Foods Market in Winter Park makes healthy eating easy. Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1980 with 60 volunteers, today the “world’s leading natural and organic foods market” has grown to 168 locations in the United
States and United Kingdom, and 32,000 employees. One of seven Florida stores, the Winter Park location is home to the largest selection of organic produce in Central Florida—at least 80 varieties on any given day—gluten-free breads, natural meats and more. A full-service seafood counter and well-stocked natural meat case make it easy to find the perfect centerpiece to your meal. The wine, cheese and beer corner is a local favorite, boasting a large selection of specialty cheeses and hundreds of unique wines. Whole Foods Market is open seven days a week. 1989 Aloma Avenue Winter Park www.wholefoodsmarket.com 407.673.8788
MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT Billing itself as “older than Disney World, but just as wholesome,” Chamberlin’s Market & Café opened its first location in downtown Orlando in 1935. From its beginnings as a small storefront offering a variety of health-oriented items, Chamberlin’s has expanded to include a natural foods grocery store that carries baked goods, organic produce, natural supplements and remedies, and personal care items. Chamberlin’s has seven Central Florida locations, including stores in Winter Park, Oviedo, Dr. Phillips, Altamonte Springs and Kissimmee. www.chamberlins.com 407.647.6661
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLORIDA HOSPITAL SYSTEM
THE RIPPE EFFECT Looking for a cure for what ails you? First, you need to find out what’s causing those aches and pains or fatigue. Or, you may feel just fine, but understand the importance of keeping tabs on your overall health. In any case, the place to go is Rippe Health Assessment at Florida Hospital’s Celebration Health. Rippe Health Assessment is an executive health program that focuses on five areas of assessment and evaluation, including a comprehensive physical examination, a nutritional evaluation, a personalized program of physical activity and exercise, analysis and counseling to increase personal vitality, and a pharmaceutical evaluation. 400 Celebration Place, Celebration • www.rippehealth.com • 407.303.4454
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the talent pool
Attracting, Retaining &
GROWING HIGHER ED PARTNERS WITH HIGH TECH
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FLORIDA HIGH TECH CORRIDOR COUNCIL
At a recent gathering of more than 1,200 academic, corporate, government and community leaders, Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush referenced what he considered to be the best example of a regional partnership. More than 1,000 miles away, a Harvard University student was assigned the mission of helping establish a high tech region around Syracuse, N.Y. She chose this same regional partnership as
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a model to emulate. The president of the largest university in Puerto Rico, along with a number of the territoryâ€™s governmental leaders, used this regional partnership
as a template for their high tech region. Inspiration often comes from what starts as a simple idea. The Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) was formed in 1996 by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of South Florida (USF). Their original idea was simple: work together. Since then, these universities have created a model that is truly an example of the strength of partnership in action. In conjunction with a number of economic development
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organizations, community colleges and high tech industry representatives throughout a 21-county region, the group works to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and the workforce to support it.
“WE HAVE ENTHUSIASTICALLY ACCEPTED THIS INVITATION TO JOIN OUR SISTER UNIVERSITIES IN A PARTNERSHIP THAT HAS ENORMOUS POTENTIAL TO DIVERSIFY FLORIDA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE. THE WORK THAT HAS BEEN DONE... IS GROUNDBREAKING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY. WE SEE A BRIGHT FUTURE WORKING TOGETHER.” — DR. J. BERNARD MACHEN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Most recently, this partnership took a leap forward when the FHTCC welcomed another world-class university to their unprecedented relationship base. Venturing north into “Gator territory”, the Council welcomed the University of Florida (UF) along with two more counties and the economic development organizations that serve them. “We have enthusiastically accepted this invitation to join our sister universities in a partnership that has enor mous potential to diversify Florida’s economic future,” says Dr. J. Bernard Machen, the president of UF. “The work that has been done by UCF and USF is groundbreaking economic development strategy. We see a bright future working together.” The “groundbreaking economic development strategy” to which Dr.
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Machen refers winds its way through much of the Corridor Council’s ideals; one in particular is a Matching Grants Research Program. From the onset, this research program has represented one of the primary goals of the FHTCC, fostering applied research between the partner universities and high tech industry. As UF came on board, it pledged an annual investment of $2 million additional to the Council’s matching grants program. In fact, the majority of the Council’s funding is allocated to the Matching Grants Research Program. Since its inception, the FHTCC has provided more than $40 million, which has
benefited 215 companies and supported more than 550 research projects. Added to research dollars provided by those companies, the FHTCC has generated more than $128 million in applied research for the area. Industries that have been impacted include: aviation and aerospace; information technology; medical technologies & life sciences; microelectronics & nanotechnology; modeling, simulation and training; and, optics and photonics. Nearly $90 million of these funds have been used to engage 1,000 graduate and doctoral students, research assistants and 300 faculty members in side-by-side
“THE PREVIOUS SUCCESS CHARTERED BY THE FLORIDA HIGH TECH CORRIDOR COUNCIL ONLY FORESHADOWS THE CAPABILITY OF AN EXPANDED CORRIDOR... OUR SUCCESS IS MEASURED NOT ONLY BY THE QUALITY TEAMS WE BUILD, BUT BY THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PROJECTS WE WILL COMPLETE.” — ERIK SANDERS, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRY PROGRAMS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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research with scientists and engineers from the particiating companies. The additional $2 million from UF will only increase these employment numbers and offer even more opportunities for companies throughout the Corridor. When the regional approach to economic development was initially established, there were a total of 21 counties; with the addition of UF, the number of counties has increased to 23. The two additional counties, Alachua and Putnam, house a number of advanced technological and workforce initiatives, such as the Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN). GAIN’s mission is to encourage the start-up and development of technology enterprises in the Gainesville area by providing support through networking and educational opportunities. Additionally, the Alachua/Bradford Career Centers provide services to job seekers and professionals in the area. Such organizations help to buttress the Corridor Council’s general mission of attracting, retaining and growing high tech industry and the workforce to support it. The relationship formed between these three universities is a truly dynamic partnership and has helped establish Florida as an economic model of excellence for others to mirror. “The previous success chartered by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council only foreshadows the capability of an expanded Corridor, which includes the University of Florida,” remarks Erik Sanders, director of industry programs at UF. “Our success is measured not only by the quality teams we build, but by the achievements of the projects we will complete.” With three powerhouse universities combined as a single strategic force, and participation from more than 20 progressive economic development organizations, 14 community colleges, and the multitude of high tech representatives, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council will continue to help make Florida not only a national technology leader, but a global leader as well. For more information regarding the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, visit x www.floridahightech.com.
Answer: All of the above UCF and USF are pleased to welcome UF as the newest partner university of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC). Since 1996, this powerful economic development initiative has generated $90 million to engage 1,000 grad and doctoral students and research assistants and 300 faculty members in side-by-side research with scientists and engineers from 215 high tech companies. UF and its commitment of $2 million in matching funds research will significantly enhance the Councilâ€™s ability to attract, retain and grow high tech industry and the workforce to support it within the 23-county Florida High Tech Corridor.
Published on Aug 18, 2009
Published on Aug 18, 2009
An EDC publication focused on the technology companies, personalities and innovations that are “putting imagination to work” throughout Metr...