EOCC: Resetting Our Leadership Pathway

Feb 11, 2021 at 01:11 am by pj


By DOROTHY HARDEE, Chamber Administrator  


It comes as no surprise that 2020 was a tumultuous year requiring businesses to shift normal operating procedures to adjust to an ever-changing environment, courtesy of the global pandemic.  While this caused heartburn for most of us, it also forced us to analyze our business models considering new possibilities in more efficient, effective operations.    


William Stafford said, “There’s a thread you follow.  It goes among things that change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see.  While you hold it, you can’t get lost.  Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old.  Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.  You don’t ever let go of the thread.” When we examine our goals, objectives, and organizational vision along with threading these together with long range planning through our leadership pathway, success may be on the horizon.  


Effective board leadership is critical to an organization, furthering the mission, helping to adapt during changing circumstances, responding to crisis, identifying opportunities for growth and change, as well as creating future leaders.  They are champions serving as the “quarterback” for companies. It is important that each member has a clear purpose to elevate the organization working together with staff.  The East Orlando Chamber is fortunate to have this level of leadership in our 2021 Board of Directors; twenty-one passionate & committed visionaries, led by Martha Santoni, Government Relations Coordinator with Nemours Children’s Hospital.   


Martha is an experienced professional and community leader with an executive and entrepreneurial background.  As a servant leader she empowers and uplifts directors, seeking to unlock their potential, creativity, and sense of purpose as a leader within the Chamber.  “I am proud to lead a dynamic group of influencers and trailblazers in one of the most active, innovative Chambers in Central Florida”, say Martha.  “I am thrilled with the many businesses and organizations, large and small, who tell us how greatly they have benefited from their membership.  Connectivity, advocacy, service, economic development and an engaged membership are all the hallmarks of our organization.”  


Joining Martha in one of the “oldest established, but most original, creative thinking chambers around, celebrating 75 years” is her executive team, Immediate Past Chair, Karen Jensen, Vice President & COO, Orlando Health; Vanessa Bershad, Executive Director Market and Business Development at AdventHealth; Corie Comer, Vice President Business Relationship Bank at Florida Capital Bank; Jennifer Englert, Managing Partner at The Orlando Law Group and Don Whyte, Vice President Planning at Deseret Cattle and Citrus.  


Our 2021 Board of Directors also includes: Jessi Blakely, Tavistock Development Company; Barbara Bombalier, WELBRO Building Corporation; Evelyn Cardenas, Central Florida Auto Dealers Association, Inc.; Heather Frebe, Orlando VA Healthcare System; Joseph Genovesi, Orlando Lighting Systems; Eric Gray, Christian Service Center for Central Florida; Graciela Noriega Jacoby, Heart of United Way; Dr. Capildeo Jadonath, Orange Technical College; Fred Kittinger, University of Central Florida; Roger Lear, OrlandoJobs.com; Lora Miller, CHEP North America – CHEP Cares Foundation; Wanda Parisi, Embroidery Plus Promotions, Inc.; Sabrina Persaud, Nadini Printing & Marketing; Brenda Sanabria, Hampton Inn & Suites UCF and Ray Villegas, CareerSource Central Florida.  


The East Orlando Chamber is here to help with unique offerings to help elevate your businesses visibility and connect you with others helping your business thrive.  Testimonial Tuesday features our members on a live broadcast allowing them to share personal and professional information with listeners.  The Member Academy shows new members how to use the valuable resources provided with hands-on training to jump start their chamber journey.   


Taking it one step further is our newest offering, the EOCC Spark 365 Brain Trust, an intimate meeting of the minds helping to decode problems, design solutions and offer leads members desire.  Our recent attendee, Craig Accardo with Elevate Medical Resources said, “Thanks for arranging this SPARK, we definitely benefited from this morning!”   Anthony DeMeis and Adrian Hernandez with D65 Next Level Baseball shared, “Tremendous job this morning…! Thank you for your excellent organization, planning, execution and leading the Spark meeting.  Adrian and I found significant value in participating in the gathering and look very much forward to future Spark events!  We commit to following up on our actionable items in the next 48 hours everyone.  We look forward to learning from you all and contributing to your success in the coming months and years!”  Dr. Colin Bartoe with Functional Neurology Chiropractic Center added, “Agreed, Anthony! That was a great meeting and I gained so much insight from it. I too will be working on my action steps promptly and hope to continue finding ideas for the rest of our cohorts.”  


Ready to take the leap in a Chamber that thinks differently for their members?  Give us a call at (407) 277-5951 or visit our website at eocc.org.  The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce everywhere East of I-4.   


Dorothy Hardee is the Administrator of the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce   





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EOCC Virtual Office Hours 

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 Healthcare Council Collaborative Virtual Meet, Greet & Panel Discussion 

3 Things You Should Know: Telehealth | Telemedicine for Doctors 

Thursday, February 11, 2021 

7:45 AM – 9:00 AM 

Powered by Powernet 


EOCC Spark 365 Brain Trust Follow Up 

Thursday, February 11, 2021  

9:15 – 10:45 AM 

East Orlando Chamber office  

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828  

Member Exclusive with Limited space 


The Real Scoop on the 2021 Tax Laws with Kurt Alter (Hybrid Event) 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 

8:30 – 9:30 AM 

East Orlando Chamber office (or Virtually) 

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828 

Space is limited.  FREE for EOCC Members | $10 for Non-Members 


EOCC Spark 365 Brain Trust – After Hours 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021  

4:00 – 5:30 PM 

East Orlando Chamber office  

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828  

Member Exclusive with Limited space 


Coffee Club Nona Live & In-Person 

(3rd Thursday of the month)  

Wendy Brandon, UCF Lake Nona Medical Center CEO 

Thursday, February 18, 2021  

8:30 – 9:30 AM  

Sam’s Club Lake Nona  

11920 Narcoossee Road, Orlando, FL 32832  

FREE to EOCC Members | $10 for Non-Members  


Be Our Guest - #Buzz4Biz – Meet & Greet for Chamber Curiosity Seekers 

Considering Chamber Membership? Looking for unique value?  Ready to Invest in YOUR business? 

Join us for an enlightening opportunity to hear from other business professionals like yourself! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 

8:30 – 9:30 AM 

Arthur Murray Dance Studio Waterford Lakes 

FREE to Non-members interested in Membership but still on the fence 


Testimonial Tuesday on Location 

Little Greek Fresh Grill Waterford Lakes 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021  

11:00 – 11:30 AM 

Live on Facebook 


Misters & Sisters Great Lunch Adventures – Little Greek Fresh Grill Waterford Lakes  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021  

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM  

Little Greek Fresh Grill Waterford Lakes 

855 N Alafaya Trail 

Orlando, FL 32828 


EOCC Spark 365 Brain  

Thursday, February 25, 2021  

8:00 – 9:30 AM 

East Orlando Chamber office  

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828  

Member Exclusive with Limited space 


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