The Orlando Chamber celebrates 100 years of service.
The Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, celebrating its Centennial in 2013, has a rich history of “community building” and being the leading “change agent” for the region. Its vision today is, most likely, much the same as when it was established in 1913 as the Orlando Board of Trade. Its structure today, though, is much different. In 2007, feeling the shift in the “marketplace,” the executive board of the Board of Governors recognized it was time to move in a new direction … move toward a new form of governance—a “New Civic Architecture.”
In a historic vote of confidence, the leadership of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce unanimously agreed to become a “strategic line of business” of America’s Newest Regional Partnership, the Central Florida Partnership, with a primary focus on regional entrepreneurship. Likewise, other former Chamber programs were elevated as primary lines of business, including myregion.org (regional research and resolves), Leadership Orlando (regional leadership) and BusinessForce (regional public policy advocacy), each with its own specialty.
The Central Florida Partnership was created and designed to anticipate the complexities of global competition, allowing us to meet our growing challenges by moving “Ideas to Results.” It is a place where regional leaders convene, set priorities, address the region’s toughest problems and identify our greatest opportunities. Much as the founders of our Chamber had envisioned.
Now identified to serve business, civic and community leaders in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties, the Central Florida Partnership is a business-led initiative encompassing collaboration, cooperation and coordination—solving the problems that matter most to the millions of people who live, work, learn and play in Central Florida.
During this 100th anniversary, we are reminded of the moral of one of Aesop’s fables: You are known by the company you keep. As we celebrate this historic achievement, we look around to see others that have met this significant milestone and, in some cases, how we’ve come to know them.
IN GOOD COMPANY
Other companies and entities that have celebrated their Centennial include the following :
- Boy Scouts of America
- Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches
- Chevrolet – Chevy Runs Deep
- Dale Carnegie – 100 Years of Transformation
- Fenway Park – Where Everyone Knows Your Name
- Girl Scouts of America
- IBM – Making the World Work Better
- LL Bean – Exploring the Outdoors
- National Cherry Blossom Festival
- Oreo Cookies – Celebrate the Kid Inside
- Ringling Museum
- Seminole County, Florida
- Southern Fruit Distributors and Pineloch Management Corp.
- Steelcase – 100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years
- Tour de France
- Universal Studios
- U. S. Chamber of Commerce
- Whirlpool – Pride, Passion & Performance
The opportunities in Central Florida are limitless, and the recognition and reputation that has been gained during the last century by the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce is extraordinary. Under the new mantle of leadership at the Central Florida Partnership, and now known as Orlando Inc., the Chamber looks forward to continued success for another 100 years.
It was with much pride and enthusiasm that a message was received on June 10, 2009, shortly after this organizational transformation, from Thomas J. Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, that the Accrediting Committee had, once again, awarded a “Five Star” designation—the highest level of achievement possible by the U.S. Chamber—which recognizes less than 1 percent of the country’s 6,936 chambers of commerce at this stellar level.
The celebration during the rest of the year will be more than a remembrance of the Chamber’s past accomplishments; it will also celebrate a new vision to inspire leadership for the future. It will be a purpose-driven celebration, delivering meaningful results while enhancing public awareness and perceptions of the Chamber’s role in advancing our community and our region.