The West Orange Chamber of Commerce exists to serve by “FACILITATING OPPORTUNITY.”
2012 Community Trustees Ace Hardware BankFIRST Best Cleaners Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Bright Future Electric, LLC Castle & Cooke CenturyLink DeWitt Excavating DRB Benefits Group First Class Cleaners First Southern Bank Fishback, Dominick, Bennett, Stepter, Ardaman, Ahlers, & Langley, LLP Florida Hospital Health Central NeuroSpine Institute Orlando Health Progress Energy R.C. Stevens Construction Company University of Central Florida Walt Disney World Company
David Sylvester, 2012 Chamber Chairman Orlando Health
Everywhere we turn; we see and hear the evidence that 2012 is an important election year. The Presidential Preference Primary results are already one week old and the state legislators are halfway through this year’s legislative session. That also means that the state is much closer to finalizing maps which will define the house and senate districts, new and old. This process, known as “redistricting” began months ago for the state and federal districts, as it did for the county, cities and school board. At the local level, community members were appointed by the respective government agencies. Two of our own are to be commended for their service on the Orange County Redistricting Advisory Committee, Tim Haberkamp of Hardee’s and Stina D’Uva, WOCC President. At the state level, after public input, our legislators will vote on those maps. At the Chamber, we are monitoring this progress, yet we are focusing most of our efforts on tracking and moving forward the issues that we have identified on our Legislative Position Paper. Our Economic and Governmental Advocacy Committee, with the assistance of Krista Carter, WOCC Vice President, watches the legislative process and communicates concerns to legislators and Chamber members. Two issues of critical concern are the workers compensation and unemployment compensation. These issues impact the cost of doing business and need to be closely watched to not allow them to negatively affect business growth. The other major issue we are closely watching is the expansion of gambling which we feel will be detrimental to our local economy. The Chamber has also taken a more local position with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to maintain the current management program of hydrilla on Lake Apopka. See our Resolution against this issue on the front page of the Web Site, along with all of these issues. The decisions made by our legislators on these and other issues are critical for the continued economic recovery of our region and state. As economists have indicated, we are in recovery and it is evidenced by successes in our local business and communities. For example, Best Cleaners is investing time and money and looking to the future by making improvements to its web site and has hired a fellow Chamber member, Marlin Consulting Solutions for the work. He is also working with On-Purpose Partners to work with staff on marketing strategies which will be incorporated into the web enhancement; once again chamber businesses doing business with one another. A business willing to invest and enhance his business is one we should admire and emulate. Our county and municipalities are also investing in our future. Orange County is working on New Independence Parkway’s extension to the Independence community in Horizon West and plans are being made to extend New Independence Parkway west to Highway 27. Oakland is also putting a group together led by Commissioner McMullen to consider replacing septic with sewer systems which would allow for greater commercial development on its major roadways. We will watch these issues and report the progress to you. An issue which we did support was the Special Referendum on the January 31st ballot. Orange County voters and city of Ocoee voters did approve a tax abatement referendum which will give the respective boards the tools to help businesses in certain high wage industries to grow and develop. Sharing success and accomplishments was also the theme at last week’s Big Orange Awards. Congratulations to all the award winners (a full listing is available on www.wochamber.com. Two businesses announced that evening took away the highest honors representing big and small business. Universal Orlando and Best Cleaners both walked away as the 2011 Business Members of the Year. Maybe next year, your business will be listed as Business Member of the Year!
Keeping An Eye on the Issues
West Orange Chamber
The Chamber Team is keeping an eye out on local issues so that we may keep you informed on issues of local and regional importance. Here is what we kept an eye on in January and early February.
Board of Directors
West Orange/South Lake Transportation & Economic Development Task Force – Stina D’Uva attended this meeting on Wednesday, January 19th. Chairman Baldocchi mentioned preliminary discussions with UCF and Rep. Precourt regarding the potential for an incubator.
Joe Alarie A. Kurt Ardaman David Billsborough Comm. Scott Boyd Keith Bradford Mayor Gary Bruhn Comm. Bob Buchanan Debbie Clements Samuel Davis, Jr. Jim Densmore Rob Frank Bob Gosselin Tim Haberkamp Randy June Julie Kleffel Star Kraschinsky Anette Luck Rob Maphis
Lake County Commissioner Parks discussed the plans for a sector plan for the Lake County area abutting Horizon West and the need for private funding to assist Lake County’s efforts. The group was asked to solicit support letters from stakeholders for the area. Scott Boyd of Boyd Development presented a study on economic impacts for jobs creation and tax revenues into the economy for his 600 acre project called Citrus Lakes in the Horizon West Town Center, projections for the entire town center, as well as the town center with the inclusion of the Lake County Sector Plan. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 7:30 am at the commission chambers of the city of Winter Garden at 300 West Plant St., Winter Garden. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Community meeting on Aquatic Plant Management for Lake Apopka on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:oo pm was held to gather stakeholder comments regarding the current management of aquatic plants in Lake Apopka, including invasive hydrilla. Stina D’Uva and Krista Carter attended this meeting and Stina read the Chamber’s position in regard to this issue. The Chamber supports the Friends of Lake Apopka on strongly opposing any decision regarding hydrilla management other than complete eradication in Lake Apopka. As FWC compiles the comments, the Chamber will continue to monitor the support of our position. West Orange Airport Authority (WOAA) Monthly Board Meeting –Stina D’Uva attended the meeting on Wednesday, January 25th. She reported that there was discussion on whether or not there is a seat open for the City of Winter Garden and Ocoee to share on the MetroPlan Orlando board. Chairman Haggard reported that he would send a letter to the MPO stating that WOAA is now ready to claim its seat that has been filled, temporarily by Sanford Orlando Airport. Once the seat is confirmed, checks from Ocoee and Winter Garden will be received and the annual fee will be paid by WOAA. There was also much discussion on how to get the current project approved by FDOT. Presentations were made by VHB Miller Sellen and ZHA with proposals to further the study to move it through the FASP and then the FAA. The next meeting will take place at the city of Ocoee Commissioner Chambers at 150 N. Lakeshore Dr., Ocoee at 10:00 am on Wednesday, February, 22, 2012.
Joseph McMullen John McReynolds Jeff Milhausen Christine Moore Dan Petro Lynette Reynolds
Did you know? As part of your Member Benefits, we offer complimentary Notary Services for Chamber Members. The person whose signature is being notarized must personally appear before the notary at the time of the notarization — without exception and must provide a valid drivers license or state I.D. Please call ahead for an appointment, 407/656-1304.
Cece Rivers Gary Shif Mayor Kathy Stark David Sylvester Chairman Michael Waldrop Jaclyn Whiddon Falecia Williams Lisa Willis Bruce Young
Buy 4 BAH Bucks, get 1 FREE! Speed up your check-in process at Business After Hours, by purchasing BAH Bucks in advance! Remember, your advanced payment rate is $5.00, while the at the door cost is $10.00. You can buy 5 BAH Bucks for $20.00! Call or visit the Chamber office to purchase as many BAH Bucks as you like – they never expire! When you arrive at a Business After Hours event simply use the BAH Buck to for your admission upon check in, it’s that simple! Also be sure to register online in advance!
New Members January 2011
ATTORNEYS Graham Family Law Firm, PA Corrie Graham
CELLULAR TELEPHONES Verizon Wireless Youmia Alvarez
AUTO DETAILING Perfection Detailing, LLC Scott Andrews
Sprint by PCS Experts Winter Garden Bobby Berry
AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIPS - TRUCK SALES Orange Buick GMC Raj Lally
CONSULTING Dick Batchelor Management Group, Inc. Dick Batchelor
BEAUTY SALONS Southern Obsession Salon Inc. Haley Marbais
A. J. Gronert LLC Jean Gronert
BUSINESS VALUATION & BROKERAGE Murphy Business Brokers - Orlando Gokul Padmanabhan
EQUIPMENT LEASING American Forklift Rental Joe Garcia
HEALTH INSURANCE B. Murray Insurance Agency./ BCBS Richard Smith HOME BUILDERS/DEVELOPER David Weekley Homes Sherri Weyandt INSURANCE PROPERTY/ CASUALTY Brown & Brown Insurance Maitland John DeStefano JEWELERS Beverly Hills Jewelers John Sullivan
PAINTER SJS Painting & Waterproofing Steve Stutsman RENTAL PROPERTIES COMMERCIAL Geosam Veranda, LLC Neil Morley RENTAL SERVICE Grand Rental Station Party Plus Amber Witt RESTAURANTS Chef’s Table featuring the Tasting Room Laurie Tarter
ORGANIZATIONS NON-PROFIT Amazon 5000 - for the Cure Jessica Le Valley
Renewed Members January 2011
ACE Hardware Walter Toole
Collins Catering & Events Erica Collins
Knox Nursery, Inc. Bruce Knox
American First Bancard Anthony Salerno
Country Gardens Linda Vandiver
Lake Whitney Elementary Beth Prince
Apex Commerce Center, LLC Yog Melwani
Custom Metal Designs, Inc. Steven Grimes
Land Plus, Inc. James Karr
Associates in Dermatology Sandra Helleu
Dillard Street Elementary School Mark Shanoff
Manheim Orlando Joan Pike
Austin Insurance Fred Austin
Dr. Phillips Elementary School Daniel Merchant
McCoy Federal Credit Union Kim Michaels
Averett Warmus Durkee Osburn Henning, CPA’s Bill McClusky
Eagle’s Nest Elementary Bernadette Jaster
McCree General Contractors and Architects, Inc. Cindy Bodine
AXA Advisors Michael Hanley BankFIRST Rob Berens
Edgewood Children’s Ranch Gaby Acks Florida Metal Craft, Inc. Thomas Burnett
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing LLC Bill Heichel
Foundation Academy - North Campus Angel Whitehead
Best Cleaners Gary Shif
Garden City Realty, LLC Nicole Ladisa
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida Tanya Easterling
Gillard Financial Solutions, LLC Dennis Gillard
Central Florida Lifestyle Publications Jaeann Ashton
Hampton Inn & Suites Manfred Schwarz Jowers Batteries H. Gerald Jowers
Mimi’s Cafe Brian Sikorski Nth Degree Design & Visual FX, Inc. Amber Larkin
Pediatric Associates of Orlando, P.A. - Ocoee Pam Roy Pinewood Elementary School Tosha Presley Portraits by LaVerne LaVerne White Publix Dwaine Stevens Robert H. Foster, D.D,S., M.A.G.D. Robert Foster Rotary Club of Windermere DALE COX S.T.A.R.S. of West Orange, Inc. Chesta Hembrooke Shred Pros, Inc. Johnna Hark
Ocoee Animal Hospital Marc Hall
St. Pauls Presbyterian Church Mary Rushing
Orlando Magic Linda Landman Gonzalez
State Farm Insurance - Tom Mullins Tom Mullins
P. H. Freeman & Sons, Inc. Ric Freeman Pediatric Associates of Orlando, P.A. - Orlando Pam Roy
SunTrust Bank Laura McNerney continued on next page
Renewed Members continued Territo Information Systems Joe Territo The Gift of Swimming Kathy Baldwin
Waste Management Inc. of Florida Jim Swan
West Orange Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, PA Glenda Mead
WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA Kevin Neal
Trophies Unlimited Ann Whittle Trustco Bank Bandula Abeysirigunawardena U.S. Lawns of Orlando Tim McCarthy
Zion New Life Lutheran Church and Child Development Center Heather Olsen
Reach more than 1,000 members! Take advantage of this valuable marketingopportunity for the low prices listed below. Monthly Rates Full Page 1/2 Page 1/4 Page Business card
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Hiring Florida’s Heros Free enterprise is only possible because of the very freedoms that men and women in uniform have fought to protect. Sadly, far too many of our Florida National Guardsmen and other veterans returning from deployment are unemployed. In late January, the Florida Chamber joined Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Destin), Rep. Will Weatherford (RWesley Chapel), veterans and workforce leaders to help launch Hiring Florida’s Heroes - a year-long effort aimed at connecting returning National Guardsmen and other veterans with job openings as Florida’s economy continues to improve. “These courageous men and women have served us with honor, and it is our turn to ensure veterans who are returning to civilian life have jobs when they come home,” said Governor Scott. “We are calling on Florida’s employers to give veterans strong consideration for available positions. With their proven leadership, skills and discipline, hiring Florida’s heroes is a smart move for businesses and the right thing to do for our veterans and their families.” While the unemployment rate for Florida’s overall veteran population is slightly lower than that of the population at large, the Florida National Guard estimates approximately 17 percent of returning soldiers and airmen are looking for work. “In my travels around the state, I have heard from many employers who appreciate the value veterans bring as employees. They want to do their part to support Florida’s military men and women,” said Sen. Gaetz. “With our economy improving, businesses growing and veterans returning from service overseas, now is the ideal time to ensure our state and business leaders are working together to get these men and women back to work here at home.” “Florida’s returning soldiers and airmen possess strong leadership skills, work with integrity, they are proficient with technology and many have global experience,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The Florida Chamber encourages privatesector businesses to honor these talented veterans by hiring our heroes.”
ATLANTA BRAVES SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE MARCH/APRIL 2012
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Businesses interested in hiring veterans are encouraged to call the Employ Florida Marketplace hotline at (866) 3522345 to connect with a workforce specialist in their area. The specialists can assist employers by posting job listings, assembling lists of qualified candidates and answering questions about available training options among other services. Employers also can visit the Employ Florida Vets web portal at veterans.employflorida.com to post job listings and view resumes.
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Group packages, suite hospitality, mini-plans and single game tickets are on sale now. T YY 3#X4IIIJ IZ T33HIXT $VWR'LVQH\SURSHUWLHVi'LVQH\
Find out about the February Business Headshot Promotion from Portraits by LaVerne. Visit the Chamber homepage www.wochamber.com to view this and other HOT DEALS!
Make the Most of Your Chamber Listing!
Log in to your account to add/edit your business listing content on our webpage. Be sure to include your company description, hours of operation, and add keywords so that visitors to the Chamber Web site can search find your business. You can also add Hot Deals, Job Postings and register for events; all at no charge! Contact the Chamber to get your login name and password.
Visit the Chamber homepage www.wochamber.com to view Benjamin Franklin Plumbing this month’s Trustee Spotlight.
Steps for Online Event Registration and Membership Renewal It’s quick, easy and convenient...and one more way that the West Orange Chamber of Commerce is Facilitating Opportunity for you! • • • • • • • •
Go to www.wochamber.com Click on Member Login Enter your username and password Choose “Pay Bills Online” All your open invoices will display Check the invoice(s) you want to pay Click on “Continue” On the “Shopping Cart” page, complete your payment information. Submit
Please contact WOCC if you have misplaced or forgotten your username and password.
JANUARY 2012 TRUSTEE LUNCHEON The West Orange Chamber of Commerce held the first Trustee Luncheon of the year. The luncheon was sponsored by Advocate Enterprises and hosted by BRAVO! Cucina Italiana. Julie Young, CEO/President of Florida Virtual Schools, was the guest speaker. She discussed the role of Florida Virtual Schools in today’s world of education, the importance of online education and what to expect for the future. Pictured l to r: Stina D’Uva, West Orange Chamber; Julie Young, Florida Virtual Schools; Pam Gould, Advocate Enterprises; Star Kraschinsky, Florida Virtual Schools and Michael Monahan, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana
DISCOVERS ARE HERE!! Watch your mail for the 2012 Discover Community Profile and Business Directory which should arrive any day. If you would like additional copies for your office or to distribute to clients, please contact the Chamber at 407/656-1304
MANY THANKS! The West Orange Chamber of Commerce would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all our member businesses who advertised in our 2012 Discover Magazine! Alarie Design Associates, Inc. American Backflow Testing Apple Air Conditioning & Heating At Your Service Central BankFirst Community Bank Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bright Future Electric, LLC Bright House Networks Castle & Cooke City of Ocoee City of Winter Garden Community Management Professionals Crabtree Ink DRB Benefits Group Dr. P. Phillips Hospital Energy Doctor Southeast Florida Hospital Foundation Academy Health Central High Line Car Sales, Inc. Lake Apopka Natural Gas District Mainscape Inc. NeuroSpine Institute Nova Cosmetic Centers Ocoee Community Redevelopment Agency Sterling Landscaping UCF South Campus Walt Disney World West End Safe & Lock Inc. West Oak Mall West Orange Insurance Agency Westside Tech William K. Fravel, D.M.D., P.A.
The Kidâ€™s Issue March 2012
LEADERSHIP WEST ORANGE
Special Advertising Rates Available
Reach more than 23,000 affluent households in Windermere, Dr. Phillips & MetroWest
The West Orange Chamberâ€™s Leadership West Orange Program, sponsored by Florida Hospital, completed their fifth session focused on Healthcare. The class visited Florida Hospital, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and Health Central Pictured: Michael Muller, Chris Sapp, Jeff Alexander, Patrick Painter, Keith Bradford, Jeff Sedloff, Todd Houke , Jeff Zaharis, Arden Griffith, Susan Jackson, George Spigener, Andrea Vaughn, Gary Shif, Jeanne Fravel, Krista Carter, Dr. CeCe Rivers, Lynette Reynolds, Lisa Willis and Katrinka VanDeventer. Not pictured, Kimberly Hudson
For advertising information
CALL TODAY 407.649.3040 ext. 135
Send us your photo today! Deadline for entries: January 31 Online voting: February 1-9 Now accepting submissions online at
The March issue will also feature a special section on private education in Southwest Orlando!
YOUTH LEADERSHIP WEST ORANGE sponsored by Bright Future Electric Youth Leadership West Orange recently held their Industries Day field trip where the students visited, Manheim Orlando, Health Central, Universal Orlando and The Dave School. The students were given private tours of each of these facilities where they learned of job opportunities and fields of study available to them here in West Orange County. Pictured above with the students is Laurel Norman, Senior and Events Coordinator at Health Central and Dexter Taylor, Intern at UCF.
2012 Supporting Trustees
MARCH Thursday, March 8th Lead and Feed Westerley’s at MetroWest Golf Club 2100 S Hiawassee Rd. Orlando 12:00pm – 1:30pm $13.00 includes lunch, drinks, tax and tip
Alarie Design Associates Apple Air Conditionaing & Heating, Inc. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, LLC Boyd Development Corporation Comerica Bank GrayRobinson, P.A. June Engineering Kelly’s Foods, Inc. Manheim Orlando Publix Rural/Metro Ambulance of Central Florida SeaWorld Orlando Sines Blakeslee Madyda, P.A. Certified Public Accountants, P.A.
FEBRUARY Thursday, February 23rd Chamber Connection – New Member Orientation Sponsored by DRB Benefits Group 3:30pm – 4:30pm West Orange Chamber of Commerce 12184 West Colonial Dr. Winter Garden FREE to current WOCC members Business After Hours Sponsored and Hosted by Oakland Park 5:30pm – 7:00pm 15241 E. Oakland Ave. Winter Garden Advance RSVP WITH Advance Payment Rate: $5.00 All Payments Accepted at the Door: $10.00 Wednesday, February 29th Hot Topic: The Role of Apology in Business Presented by Grossman & Grossman, PA Sponsored by The Valladares Law Firm 7:50am – 9:00am West Orange Chamber of Commerce 12184 West Colonial Dr. Winter Garden Light breakfast provided FREE to current WOCC members
Thursday, March 15th Chamber Connection – New Member Orientation West Orange Chamber of Commerce 12184 West Colonial Dr. Winter Garden 3:30pm – 4:30pm FREE to current WOCC members Business After Hours Sponsored by West Orange Country Club & Mercedes Benz of Orlando Hosted by West Orange Country Club 3300 West Orange Country Club Dr. Winter Garden 5:30pm – 7:00pm Advance RSVP WITH Advance Payment Rate: $5.00 All Payments Accepted at the Door: $10.00 Wednesday, March 21st Navigate Your Way to Success Seminar Professional Presence, Smart Hiring, & Protecting Your Assets Presented by Barbara Bergstrom, Peggy Isaacson, Tony Moreno Sponsored by Best Cleaners, Murphy Business Brokers – Orlando and Strombeck Consulting, CPA’S Family Life Center at St. Pauls Presbyterian Church 1450 Citrus Oaks Ave. Gotha 7:30am – 8:00am Registration, Networking and Hot Breakfast Buffett 8:00am – 11:30am Seminar Chamber Member Earned Rate: $10.00 Non Member Rate: $20.00
South Milhausen, P.A. Technology Solutions of America The West Orange Times Universal Orlando
To register and pay online or for more info on these events, please visit our Web site at www.wochamber.com
West Orange Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, P.A. Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves
West Orange Chamber of Commerce 12184 W. Colonial Drive . Winter Garden, FL 34787 Ph: (407) 656-1304 . Fax: (407) 656-0224 Web site: www.wochamber.com