Every year, the West Orange Chamber of Commerce holds the Big Orange Awards program to recognize outstanding individuals and businesses in the community. This year’s event is from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Receiving the 2016 Big Orange Awards are University of Central Florida, The Chairman’s Award; John Rinehart, The Sam Hovsepian Award; Eva Tukdarian, The Mary VanDeventer Award – The Spirit of West Orange; Reed Nissan, George Bailey Award; Mary Keating, Bert Roper Award; Congressman Daniel Webster, Danniel J. Petro The Bright Future of West Orange Award; and Kathleen Roat, Ambassador of the Year.
The 2016 WOCC Business Member(s) of the Year will also be announced during the program.
The Sam Hovsepian Award is given in memory of one of West Orange’s outstanding citizens and goes to an individual who “stands head and shoulders above the crowd” for his contributions, service and leadership to the community.
“John Rinehart exemplifies all these attributes,” the Chamber wrote. “Throughout his career, spanning decades, he worked to make master-planned communities such as Keene’s Pointe and Oakland Park livable and sustainable. He also bettered the community by serving on various boards including Orlando Health/Health Central Board, Central Florida YMCA. He continues to improve the community even now with a project in downtown Winter Garden.”
The Spirit of West Orange award is awarded to a woman who demonstrates excellence in her profession, inspires other women to succeed and contributes time and talent for the betterment of the community.
“Eva Tukdarian has been a catalyst for the betterment of West Orange County through her role as CFO with The Dr. P. Phillips Charities and her leadership in the West Orange Committee of 101,” said the Chamber. “In her role at DP Charities, she not only ensures that the real estate and financial assets of Dr. Phillips are invested wisely, she also reviews the financial statements of all nonprofits requesting grants and helps educate nonprofits in the areas of strengthening financial internal controls, exempt organization tax laws and technology.”
The Chairman’s Award honors an individual or business that has given exceptional service to the Chamber and the community during the year.
“University of Central Florida is engrained within the WOCC on many levels and with the support of key individuals,” the Chamber said. “UCF is vital to the Chamber and our community, demonstrated through their involvement on the board, within committees, sharing expertise with events and overall leadership within the community.”
Ambassador of the Year is awarded by the ambassador committee. Roat has been an active ambassador for many years.
“Her participation with businesses as evidenced by her outstanding attendance at ambassador activities clearly defined her as the Ambassador of the Year,” the Chamber said. “Her leadership within the committee and positive attitude make her a true asset to the Chamber Ambassadors and the West Orange Community.”
The Bert Roper Award is given in recognition of a champion who has improved the well-being and quality of life of the community.
“Mary has always had a passion for the arts and understood the potential impact art could have on creating an even more healthy community,” the Chamber wrote. “She committed to create and recruit the initial Board of Directors and develop further the vision for the Winter Garden Art Association, which currently supports the SoBo Gallery and Art Center.”
The George Bailey award is awarded in recognition of demonstrated excellence in fostering partnerships for the benefit of the local community.
“Reed Nissan has been a tremendous partner to the Chamber as a trustee and facilitator of opportunities,” the Chamber said. “Additionally, they are passionate about our community and support various local organizations, including Pet Alliance and Community Based Care of Central Florida, to help them succeed in their missions, which helps and benefits the West Orange community.”
The Bright Future award is given in recognition of entrepreneurial tenacity and steadfast determination that facilitates opportunity through investment in community and lifelong relationships.
“Through Congressman Webster’s political tenure, both on state and federal levels, he has ensured the growth and prosperity of West Orange County,” the Chamber said.
For more information on the Big Orange Awards, visit wochamber.com. The event is presented by Orlando Health with sponsors Walt Disney World Resort, CenturyLink, Duke Energy and Observer Media Group.
Contact Amy Quesinberry at [email protected].