People and Companies

Up Close with Central Florida Partnership President Jacob Stuart

Starting as a volunteer for the Orlando Regional Chamber, Jacob Stuart became its president in 1984 and served in that role for 25 years, working on nearly every strategic initiative that has made Orlando a world-class city. From that position came the realization that by working with others they could affect monumental change for Central Florida’s family of communities – and that’s precisely what Stuart has pioneered and accomplished.
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Starting as a volunteer for the Orlando Regional Chamber, Jacob Stuart became its president in 1984 and served in that role for 25 years, working on nearly every strategic initiative that has made Orlando a world-class city. From that position came the realization that by working with others they could affect monumental change for Central Florida’s family of communities – and that’s precisely what Stuart has pioneered and accomplished. 

A BOLD MOVE: After listening to our investors, members, and community leaders in 2007, we moved to establish the Central Florida Partnership, which showcases a new governance structure and focus through four primary lines of business – Regional Entrepreneurship (Orlando, Inc.), Regional Leadership (Leadership Orlando), Regional Public Policy Advocacy (BusinessForce), and Regional Research & Resolves (myregion.org). This move has provided new opportunities to promote regional stewardship across Florida’s super region, utilizing evidence-based actions fueled by top-notch research to benchmark Central Florida as a global competitor.

SEVEN REGIONS UNITED: The chamber took incremental steps toward becoming a regional organization with the formation of regional councils, initially taking our programs and services across the metropolitan area, with regional leaders guiding those efforts. This outreach led to the formation of myregion.org, which has built relationships across the seven-county region, even reaching to Tampa Bay, serving Florida’s super region from coast-to-coast.

RIPPLE EFFECT OF INFLUENCE: At the recent Centennial Celebration of the Orlando Chamber, we honored all our past volunteer chairs along with the chamber’s rich history and the impact it has had on our region. Of particular note, was the formation of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Visit Orlando, and the Central Florida Partnership.

HOW TO RAISE LEADERS: When you are able to define and communicate a clear vision for the future, articulate how individuals and organizations ‘fit,’ and how they can contribute to the success of that vision, buy-in happens. Regional leaders will make time to get involved when they can see that their time is well-spent and their expertise is valued and essential to the process.

CENTRAL FLORIDA’S BRIGHT FUTURE: Central Florida is at a tipping point; our community will change dramatically when SunRail begins service in the spring, the community venues are completed in 2014, the proposed soccer stadium is built and an MLS franchise is granted, and the I-4 expansion gets underway. You can already see community redevelopment rising around these regional assets.  When you also consider the further development of the Medical City at Lake Nona, that Central Florida is the world’s epicenter for the Modeling, Simulation & Training industry, that we are a renowned center for innovation and entrepreneurship, that the development of the Creative Village in the heart of Downtown Orlando will bring  new residents and working families to our region, that over 50 million visitors come to our community each year and that our world-class airport serves 35.3 million annually – all of this makes Central Florida a great place to live, work, learn and play.

At the recent Centennial Celebration of the Orlando Chamber, we honored all our past volunteer chairs along with the chamber’s rich history and the impact it has had on our region. Of particular note, was the formation of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Visit Orlando, and the Central Florida Partnership.

HOW TO RAISE LEADERS: When you are able to define and communicate a clear vision for the future, articulate how individuals and organizations ‘fit,’ and how they can contribute to the success of that vision, buy-in happens. Regional leaders will make time to get involved when they can see that their time is well-spent and their expertise is valued and essential to the process.

CENTRAL FLORIDA’S BRIGHT FUTURE: Central Florida is at a tipping point; our community will change dramatically when SunRail begins service in the spring, the community venues are completed in 2014, the proposed soccer stadium is built and an MLS franchise is granted, and the I-4 expansion gets underway. You can already see community redevelopment rising around these regional assets.  When you also consider the further development of the Medical City at Lake Nona, that Central Florida is the world’s epicenter for the Modeling, Simulation & Training industry, that we are a renowned center for innovation and entrepreneurship, that the development of the Creative Village in the heart of Downtown Orlando will bring  new residents and working families to our region, that over 50 million visitors come to our community each year and that our world-class airport serves 35.3 million annually – all of this makes Central Florida a great place to live, work, learn and play.

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