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June 2013Top


As another season of commencements passes and we reflect on the culmination of a completed school year, it's time to think about how we will reconnect with family and friends during the summer months.  

In addition to enjoying leisurely activities at our world-class theme parks, extraordinary recreational parks, community splash pads and internationally renowned attractions and restaurants, I encourage you to devote some family time to serving the community that we call home.

Community and volunteerism have always been near and dear to my heart. I invite you to join me on an exciting community initiative organized by my office, the Orange County "Summer of Service" program. This effort brings the call to service and volunteerism to life, and helps engage a new generation of Orange County citizens into service by demonstrating how to make community service a part of our daily lives.

I also encourage our citizens to visit our fantastic new web application, OrangeStats.  With the debut of this new resource, Orange County continues to break ground in providing transparency and accountability.  Through a variety of details, measures and metrics, OrangeStats shows how we are performing as a sustainable, thriving community. This web application serves as a high-performance multilayered dashboard, and provides key performance indicators for our citizens and business community, as well as individuals and organizations interested in relocating to Central Florida. The dashboard highlights three main categories including economic activity, public safety and quality of life. OrangeStats allows us to be more accountable to you, the citizens we serve, and to provide open access to key stats.

In this month's newsletter, you will learn more about the 2013 State of the County, the newly appointed Modeling, Simulation & Training Blue Ribbon Commission, and Orange County's moving and emotional War Memorial Rededication Ceremony memorializing Army Specialist Marcos A. Cintron, of Orlando, who lost his life while supporting Operation New Dawn. 

As always, I thank you for your hard work, your continued support, and for staying connected with your government.

Teresa Jacobs
Orange County Mayor

                 MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission 

Modeling, Simulation & Training Blue Ribbon Commission Advocating for Florida's Future

Mayor Jacobs and Randy Berridge, president of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, discuss the MS&T industry.

In May, I convened the kickoff planning meeting for the Modeling, Simulation & Training (MS&T) Blue Ribbon Commission, a coalition of community leaders and industry stakeholders who have accepted leadership roles as advocates for this high-value and high-wage economic sector in Florida. The Blue Ribbon Commission commenced its efforts with an inaugural meeting on June 24th, under the leadership of Commission Chairman Waymon Armstrong, co-founder and president of Engineering & Computer Simulations Inc.

The Commission will align our approach to be in sync with local military command leaders, and will serve as a resource for industry leaders in telling the story of the science-driven, innovation-based  MS&T economy. I am proud of the support we have received from a broad coalition of supporters, including Thomas l. Baptiste, Lt. Gen., USAF (Ret), President and Executive Director of the National Center for Simulation, U.S. Congressman John Mica, Rick Weddle of the Metro Orlando EDC, Jacob V. Stuart of the Central Florida Partnership and Randy Berridge of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

Mobilizing this group has created an unprecedented collaboration and partnership between industry, academia, our military and defense contractors, and smart government with the shared goal of protecting this high-tech industry from sequestration and future Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommendations.

Our MS&T industry contributes more than $4.8 billion to Florida's gross state product, and directly employs more than 27,000 Floridians with an average salary of almost $70,000 annually. Protecting, nourishing, and growing this capital-intensive and innovation-driven sector is vital for all future generations of Floridians.

I wish to thank all of our stakeholders and community leaders for supporting my MS&T Blue Ribbon Commission and for joining our efforts in protecting this valued economic sector in Florida.

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                     2013 State of the County

2013 State of the County Highlights Orange County's Thriving Economy and Sustainability Initiative

On behalf of Orange County Government, I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to those who committed to making the 2013 State of Orange County a phenomenal success.

My remarks focused on public engagement, connecting with citizens though mobile and web technologies, the notable economic milestones we've achieved together, and our shared vision for a thriving and sustainable future for Orange County.

The efforts of Orange County staff, the contributions of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, our sponsors and Full Sail University helped make this year's event the most technologically advanced State of the County in our history. 

Thank you all for making the 2013 State of Orange County such a memorable event.

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             Summer of  Service Begins in June
Volunteers at a community service event from the 2012 Summer of Service.

In an effort to promote volunteerism and community service throughout Orange County, my staff and I are reintroducing our Summer of Service program, an initiative featuring a variety of events and organizations through which citizens can become involved while serving their community.

From June 24 through July 20, 2013, Orange County residents are asked to make a commitment to volunteer on at least one occasion in service to our community. This year's Summer of Service opportunities will cover a range of activities, encouraging the development of a lifestyle of service.

Last year, our volunteers did a tremendous job of giving back to our community through this worthwhile initiative. This year, Orange County's various divisions are presenting new activities with our community partners and non-profit organizations.  For more information on the Summer of Service 2013, I encourage you to visit our website.

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       Orange County Commemorates Memorial Day

Orange County War Memorial Rededication Ceremony.

On Memorial Day, Orange County recognized the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation.

I was honored to acknowledge and commemorate our hometown heroes at the 2013 Orange County War Memorial Rededication Ceremony, held at the Orange County Courthouse in May.

This year's ceremony was dedicated to Army Specialist Marcos A. Cintron, of Orlando, who lost his life while supporting Operation New Dawn.  We expressed our eternal gratitude to Specialist Cintron's family for his service and dedication to our country.

As we reflected on the lives of our fallen American heroes, we also honored the countless men and women who continue to defend our liberties and freedoms with valor, fearlessness, and great courage. I offer my sincerest gratitude to those serving our country and acknowledge the significant contributions and sacrifices made by the families of those in the Armed Forces.

I wish to thank the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council and the program participants for organizing such a beautiful and meaningful event.

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             UCF ... 50 Years and Going STRONG!
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In a salute to Knights from all walks of life, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and I have joined together in celebration of the University of Central Florida's 50th Anniversary! Click here to read the tribute.

UCF's ascent is one of the great success stories in American higher education. 

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     10 Years of Caring - Central Receiving Center 

[L-R] Mayor Teresa Jacobs with Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare CEO Jerry Kassab, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Chief Judge Belvin Perry.

Last month, Orange County celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Central Receiving Center (CRC) at Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare, Inc.

CRC provides the necessary resources and care during a mental health or substance abuse crisis, while providing intensive case management for those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. CRC also administers a transitional housing program for the chronically homeless.
The CRC model, in partnership with our local hospitals, came as a recommendation of Orange County's Jail Oversight Commission. Over the past decade, CRC's concept of crisis intervention has grown and evolved into a recognized best practice for the State of Florida.

The regional benefits of our CRC are far reaching. By diverting citizens in crisis to the CRC, we save local hospitals and our jails millions of dollars. In terms of public safety, the resources and precious time of law enforcement are diverted back to where they are most needed.

I am so thankful that community partners like the Department of Children and Families, Lakeside Behavioral Healthcare and the Center for Drug Free Living have pledged to continue working with us to serve our most vulnerable populations in a system of care that truly makes a difference in our community.

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         Orange County Calendar Gets Makeover

Orange County is known internationally as a bustling metropolis with a wide variety of community events. With this in mind, we have revamped our public calendar on Orange County's website to include more information on government, public meetings, and recreational community events listed in our new "Just for Fun" calendar category.

Citizens can now search our seven new categories and select dates to view events occurring in our region during a specified timeframe. I encourage you to utilize our community driven and focused calendar to discover exciting upcoming activities and events in Orange County.

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                           News Worth Noting ...

- It was my pleasure to attend the Summit on Puerto Rican Affairs IV.  I am joined by Francisco Chévere, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company in the photo.

- I was honored to join friends, family and members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office who gathered to honor the late Deputy Brandon Coates, a dedicated husband, disciplined public servant and seasoned military veteran who lost his life in the line of duty in December 2010. In remembrance of Deputy Coates, "Brandon Coates Drive" is now a permanent fixture in Orange County's Avalon Park community.

- Building on our successful trade missions to Colombia, and as part of our sister region signing with Quindío and cooperation agreement with the city of Medellín, I recently spent some time with representatives of El Tiempo. The nationally distributed, daily newspaper is the most widely read publication in Colombia and plans to produce a special section touting Orange County's Medical City, modeling simulation and training cluster, world-class theme parks, and our transformation as one of the top international hubs for business investment.

- Fast Company ranked Florida the No. 1 state in the nation for innovation.

- I enjoyed my time at Orange County's Take Our Children to Work event.

- I spent a wonderful day with friends at the 50th Annual Apopka Art and Foliage Festival.

- Chief Executive Magazine announced that Florida is the No. 2 state in the nation to do business, citing significant business creation, quality of life, taxation and regulation.

- I was honored to speak at the Dr. Phillips Center Beam Signing Ceremony.

- I spent a fantastic afternoon with friends at Taste of Pointe Orlando 2013, benefiting the Florida Hospital Esophageal Cancer Program.

- It was my pleasure meeting with His Excellency, Rachad Bouhlal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States. I am so pleased that our international colleagues recognize that Orange County's diversified, high-tech economy has evolved into a global hub for international business investment.

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In This Issue

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Mayor Teresa Jacobs
201 S. Rosalind Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801

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