At the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber’s 95th Annual Meeting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on January 25th, 420 members of our Chamber community watched as 2019 Chairman Rob Rosen passed the gavel (literally and figuratively) to 2020 Chair Adrianna Sekula. Adrianna closed the night with these moving words about her work and goals, where the County and the Chamber have been, and where we plan to go in 2020. Please get to know our 2020 Board Chair in her own words:
“Thank you! It is an honor to be elected to serve as Chairman of the Kissimmee Osceola Chamber of Commerce. For those I am meeting for the first time this evening, my name is Adrianna and I work on the government relations team at Walt Disney World. I started my career in Tallahassee and in 2013 had the opportunity to come back home – to Central Florida. It has been an incredible privilege to give back to the region that has given me so much.
Tonight’s theme is Embracing Heritage. For me, that means coming to the United States as a young child after my parents left Communist Poland. It not only means having a serious love of pierogis and kielbasa, but it is also upholding traditions and values of my heritage. It means working hard to ensure that the sacrifice of my family is recognized through my actions and successes. It’s a story of immigrant grit and stubbornness that many of you in the room are familiar with.
For the chamber, Embracing Heritage, means remembering Osceola County’s roots dating back to 1887 when the County was officially formed and named after Indian leader, Osceola. It is embracing that Florida’s cattle industry is the 15th largest in the country and Kissimmee is Home to Florida’s cattlemen. Heritage is citrus, and land, horseback riding, and days on the lake, and a place where local businesses connected with other local, homegrown businesses. Heritage also means continuing to support tourism, which made its boom in 1971 with the opening of Walt Disney World and continues to be the number one industry in Osceola County.
For community, Embracing Heritage, means uplifting the diversity of Osceola County, it’s welcoming our neighbors from Puerto Rico, and embracing the incredible array of ethnicities that come from around the globe. The majority of Osceola County, over 52%, is now of Hispanic or Latin descent. Diverse backgrounds bring new insights and Hispanic entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of the small business sector. This is something to embrace, elevate, and continue to cultivate as we grow business in Osceola County.
There are many plans for the Chamber in 2020 including a revamp of the Chamber Foundation, working with the 2020 Census to ensure everyone in our community is counted, and finally, we are embarking on a rebranding initiative – an effort to create a fresh look and feel of the Chamber’s logo, website and marketing efforts. The rebrand will capture the Chamber’s mission of being champions of business and community while also holding true to our values of creating opportunity, building unity, and finally, embracing heritage.”