I have been a proud resident of Orange County in Orlando, Florida for as long as I can remember. Despite being a 3rd generation transplant, Orlando has always felt like home to my family. What vacationing families and visiting companies sometimes forget is, people DO actually live here. Have roots here. Families of 3rd and 4th generation natives (although rare now) DO exist! Tourism is, no doubt, one of our biggest industries but there is MUCH more to this area than our (wonderful!) theme parks and attractions.
This morning’s State of the County address was one of hope and determination.
In the past couple of years, we have seen steady growth in many local sectors. In the next year Mayor Jacobs promises we will see more and has even invited members of the community to be Social Media Ambassadors. Mayor Jacobs is the first sitting mayor in Florida to feature a Social Media Ambassador program in her State of the County address. Alongside a core group of Orlando’s best and brightest, I am honored to be one of them! The spirit of this program falls in line with what #Glass4good is all about, so to me it was a no-brainer.
“We’re transforming the way we create infrastructure and how we get around,” says Mayor Jacobs. She even communicated in Spanish, “Me da mucha alegría poder compartir este día especial con todos ustedes y me siento bendecida de poder vivir en el Condado de Orange.” Translated means: “I am very happy to share this special day with you all and I feel blessed to live in Orange County.“
Along with several great partnerships, she is championing The Year of Transformation in Orange County. “There are so many things happening right now. It’s amazing!” says the Mayor in our chat with her below.
In her State of the County address this morning, Mayor Jacobs gave many shout outs to the tech community and digital entrepreneurs saying, “Thank you for engaging our online community and for sharing our message through Google Glass and Social Media. With Google Glass in the room, I guess it won’t surprise you to learn that we are legitimately cool? That’s right… there’s proof!”- motioning over TO US!
Also noteworthy! Some newer, some known info;
- Orlando resident Opal Shields is nearly 100 years young and is just as awesome now as I’m sure she was when assisting Charles Lindberg with flight prep during World War II**!
- Bishop Moore High and American Idol alumna Emily Piriz is also awesome and was all like…
- Metro Orlando is listed on Forbes’ Best Big Cities For Jobs Top 10, ranking #8 (and jumping up 23 places from last year)
- Orlando’s Modeling, Simulation and Training industry is internationally respected!
- UCF’s Center of Excellence for Optics and Photonics is the only facility of its kind in the country – and it’s HERE
- Phase 2 (connecting Orange & Osceola counties) of our new commuter train, SunRail was included in President Obama’s 2015 budget!
- A multi-modal hub will connect it all including North America’s first commerical Magnetic Levitation train (MagLev) and All Aboard Florida, a high speed train connecting Miami and Orlando.
- United States Tennis Association is building a brand new training headquarters in Lake Nona
- GO CITY!! Orlando City Soccer Club is getting a Major League Soccer stadium! (2015 season tickets available HERE)
- Medical City: The VA Medical Center at Lake Nona will greatly increase accessibility and be one of the most high tech in the nation.
- Orange County’s Youth Mental Health Commission plans to transform our thought processes on mental illness and destigmatize treatment.
Keep up with Orange County on your smartphone!
**In honor of D-Day, please take 12 minutes to learn more about the first female American pilots of World War II by checking out Orange TV GM Bill Suchy’s documentary, Silver Wings, Shattered Dreams: The Long Road to Redemption.