i4 Business recognizes the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders who are shaping Central Florida. We tell the story of their professional journeys, the lessons that take a lifetime to acquire and the leadership principles that have guided their success.
In order to give our audience the opportunity to have an even more personal exposure to these transformative individuals and to celebrate their achievements, we present our Business Leaders of the Year event. The i4 Business 2017 Business Leaders of the Year is a rare opportunity to meet and hear from seven leaders in healthcare, technology, civic development, entrepreneurialism and more, who are having an impact not only their business sector, but on the larger business and cultural ecosystem.
2017 Business Leaders of the Year
Thursday, November 30
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Country Club of Orlando
- Our key honoree is Jacob Stuart, one of Central Florida’s principal thought leaders, who has been an evangelist for regionalism in our nine county economy and among the architects behind the recent merger of the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce and the Orlando Economic Development Commission to create the Orlando Economic Partnership. Stuart’s visionary leadership and collaborative approach has been at the center of the region’s growth for over 30 years.
- John Arie Sr. from a 3-acre park called Fun N Wheels near International Drive built the highly successful Fun Spot America, which was awarded the 2012 Brass Ring for “Top Family Entertainment Center – North America.”
- Don Fisher, the visionary Osceola County Manager, who helped galvanize support to build the transformative BRIDG advanced manufacturing research center and NeoCity the 500-acre master-planned technology district.
- Chris Hite, whose award-winning landscape architectural firm Dix.Hite+Partners is setting trends in urban space making and indigenous foliage use.
- Ben Hoyer, the founder of Downtown CREDO a growing chain of coffee shops and coffee distributors, which encourages engagement over profit and social consciousness over apathy.
- Seminole State College President E. Ann McGee, who has led the institution to become one of the most heralded community colleges in the country.
- Yasuharu “Haru” Okuda, who is the National Medical Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s SimLEARN program, which is applying cutting-edge simulation training techniques and technology to veteran’s healthcare across the country.
Their engagement is an inspiration and example to everyone in the business community as is their passion for every arena that makes up the mosaic of what our community is. They epitomize our goal of exalting freedom through ethical capitalism.