Chamber announces triumphant return of Big Orange Awards

The annual celebration of accomplishments is back with a groovy theme.

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Pull out your flowered jumpsuits, leisure suits and other ’70s-inspired cocktail attire and join the West Orange Chamber of Commerce for its annual Big Orange Awards — back after a hiatus because of COVID-19.

The annual program takes place at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11.

The chamber, which was started in 1972, is taking guests back to where it all began with a ’70s-themed celebration of accomplishments and triumphs of some of its 1,100 member businesses.

“The West Orange Chamber is excited about this event and having the opportunity to honor those who have done so much for our community,” said Krista Compton Carter, chamber vice president.

Two awards will be announced that night — the recipients of the small and big businesses of the year.

Other members are receiving the following awards: Chair’s Award, Orlando City Commissioner Bakari Burns, for his commitment to advancing the business community; Mary Van Deventer “The Spirit of West Orange” Award, Lynetta Tipton Steed, for her nearly 20-year commitment to the community and sharing her expertise to help others, especially women, succeed; Sam Hovsepian Award, Oakland Town Commissioner Joseph McMullen, for his contributions to the community in his capacity as president of The Tri-County League of Cities and his leadership of HAPCO; George Bailey Award, Joe Dunn, for being the master of building partnerships that better the community that are focused on protecting and enhancing the natural environment; Bert Roper Award, West Orange Healthcare District, for its continued focus on improving the well-being and quality of life of this community; Lifetime Ambassador, Joan Bailey, for her compassionate nature and dedication to the West Orange Chamber Ambassadors; and the Danniel J. Petro “The Bright Future of West Orange” Award, JoAnne Quarles, for being committed to the community for the last 45 years and emulating the qualities of this award’s namesake: tenacity, determination and building lifelong relationships.    

Event sponsors are Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando Health, AdventHealth, Duke Energy, Healthy West Orange, Dawn Gilmore Productions and State Farm Insurance – Jo Barsh Agency.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.