Community News

I4 Business announces honorees for 2017 Business Leaders of the Year

Recognizing the business leaders who are shaping the landscape and future of Central Florida.

Orlando, Florida – i4 Business magazine is once again recognizing some of the most admired and influential individuals in Central Florida, on November 30th at the 2017 Business Leaders of the Year celebration. This year’s event will be held at the beautiful Country Club of Orlando.

Each year the publishers and contributors of i4 Business, along with community leaders, select a group of individuals whose business success, community engagement and innovative influence has moved the region forward. Once again, the stage is set to recognize a stellar group of leaders.

The principle honoree for 2017 will be Jacob Stuart, who for over 30 years led the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce or Orlando Inc. During his critical tenure the region experienced meteoric growth, in both size and economic diversity. From this historic Five-Star Accredited Chamber, the Metro Orlando EDC and Visit Orlando were launched, along with the Central Florida Partnership (CFP). It has been one of the most significant convening organizations for civic, business and non-profit leaders, to provide strategic vision and problem-solving cooperation for the area. Recently, Orlando Inc. and the Metro Orlando EDC, merged to form the Orlando Economic Partnership. Stuart, one of the leading advocates of a regional economic perspective and has worked tirelessly to facilitate a synergistic ethos in the seven-county area.

Other honorees include:
Seminole State College President E. Ann McGee, who has led that 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.

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.

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.

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.”

For more information on i4 Business magazines 2017 Business Leaders of the year or to register to attend CLICK HERE.


About i4 Business Magazine

I4 Business magazine has become one of the most trusted voices for and about the Central Florida business community. Each month through our print and digital platforms we provide access to meet, to learn from and to learn about some of the incredible entrepreneurs and business leaders, along with economic trends that are shaping our region. For more information go to i4Biz.com.


Cherise Czaban

VP of Business Development, SCB Marketing



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