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Re-Opening Non-Essential Businesses in Orange County - New Task Force To Offer Recommendations

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings announced Friday that he has formed the new Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in an effort to work on a measured approach to restarting the local economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force will create recommendations for re-opening Orange County businesses that have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations will include, "a measured and sensible approach to ease restrictions, while ensuring the safety of all," according to a press release sent by Orange County.

“These are some of the best and brightest minds in our community, and the public-private Task Force will come up with recommendations to reopen Orange County using the most safe and sensible avenues possible. I am confident we will be able to get Orange County and Orlando on the way to economic recovery while we save both lives and livelihoods,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

The first virtual meeting of the Task Force, chaired by George Aguel, president of Visit Orlando and Tim Giuliani, president of the Orlando Economic Partnership, will be the morning of April 22, 2020.

Aguel and Giuliani will head up a group of nearly 50 individuals representing such areas as local hospitals, theme parks, financial institutions, hotels, as well as small business owners. Representation will also be from Osceola, Lake and Seminole Counties.

Orange TV will carry the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force meeting live. Viewing options include Channel 488 on Spectrum, Channel 9 on Comcast, 1081 CenturyLink Prism TV,  WSWF Channel 10.2 (over the air), stream live at and you can view via the Orange TV app on ROKU in the Education category.

“On behalf of the thousands of tourism businesses we represent, we are grateful for Mayor Demings’ leadership in establishing this Task Force as a united effort to achieve a successful recovery,” said George Aguel, President & CEO of Visit Orlando.

“The (Orlando Economic) Partnership continues to hear from our local businesses who have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. While many are hoping to reopen soon, we must ensure a safe and thoughtful environment so that our economy can thrive once again,” said President of the Orlando Economic Partnership Tim Giuliani.

Below are the 42 entities represented on the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force:

  1. Advent Health, Scott Brady, MD, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Services

  2. Alfond Inn, Jesse Martinez, General Manager

  3. Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF), Inez Long, President and CEO

  4. CareerSource Central Florida Pamela Nabors, President and CEO

  5. Central Florida Auto Dealers Association, Evelyn Cardenas, CEO

  6. Church Street Entertainment, Doug Taylor, Managing Partner

  7. Darden Restaurants, Dave George, EVP and Chief Operating Officer

  8. Don Julio’s Mexican Kitchen, Florencio “Larry” Rodriguez, Owner

  9. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Kathy Ramsberger, President & CEO

  10. Florida Department of Health in Orange County, Raul Pino, MD, Director

  11. Highwood Properties, Steve Garrity, Vice President

  12. J Henry’s Barber Shop, John Henry, Owner

  13. Johnny Rivers Grill & Market, Johnny Rivers, Owner

  14. Lake County Agency for Economic Prosperity, Brandon Matulka, Executive Director

  15. C. Spa & Nail Spa, Mary Chau, Founder and CEO

  16. Mosaic Hair Studio, Mike Van del Abbeel, Salon Owner

  17. National Entrepreneur Center, Jerry Ross, Executive Director

  18. Nelson, Mullins/Broad and Cassel, Wayne Rich, Of Counsel

  19. Orange County Public Schools , Barbara Jenkins, Ed.D, Superintendent

  20. Orlando City Soccer, Alex Leitao, CEO

  21. Orlando Health, George Ralls, MD, Medical Chief Quality Officer

  22. Orlando International Airport, Phil Brown, CEO

  23. Orlando Magic, Alex Martins, CEO

  24. Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Douglas Love-Ramos, President

  25. Orlando Venues, Allen Johnson, Chief Venues Officer

  26. Osceola County, John Newstreet, President/CEO Kissimmee Chamber

  27. Prospera, Augusto Sanabria, President and CEO

  28. Rejoice in the Lord Ministries & President, African American Council of Christian Clergy, Pastor Roderick Zak, CEO

  29. Rosen Shingle Creek, Dan Giordano, General Manager

  30. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Brad Gilmour, Vice President of Operations

  31. Seminole County Government, Tricia Johnson, Deputy County Manager/Chief Administrator for Community Relations and Economic Development

  32. The Mall at Millennia, Steve Jamison, General Manager

  33. Truist, Sandy Hostetter, Central Florida Regional President

  34. UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Youcheng Wang, Ph.D., Dean

  35. Unicorp National Development, Chuck Whittall, President

  36. Universal Orlando, Rich Costales, Executive Vice President of Resort Operations

  37. Vineyard Wine Bar & Healthy Bistro, Deborah Linden, Owner

  38. VMD Ventures, Harold Mills, CEO

  39. Walmart, Inc., Monesia Brown, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations

  40. Walt Disney World Resort, Thomas Mazloum, Senior Vice President, Resort & Transportation Operations

  41. WaWa, Todd Souders, Senior Director of Florida Operations and New Market Development

  42. YMCA of Central Florida, Dan Wilcox, President & CEO

Watch the 38 minute press conference in which the task force is announced below.


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