MBA Orlando, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Central Florida, is throwing a big party and it’s one you shouldn’t miss. Their third annual Pride in Business Awards Gala will be held on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at The Renaissance Orlando at Sea World (6677 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando). The host for the evening is Emmy Award-winning news anchor Jorge Estevez of WFTV-TV, who earlier this year was selected to be part of the first all-Hispanic news team to deliver a dedicated nightly newscast in Orlando.

This is not only an awards gala for businesses and businesspeople, but it is also a fundraiser for mba_2MBA Orlando. In fact, it is the only fundraiser you’ll find for MBA Orlando this year. In addition to ticket sales, auction proceeds will benefit the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. There will be a silent auction and a live auction, allowing attendees the chance to bid on various fun prizes such as spa packages, dining experiences, hotel stays such as one at host hotel The Renaissance Orlando at Sea World, and even a trip for two by private plane.

The keynote speakers at the Pride in Business Awards Gala this year are Phil Rawlins and Bruce Rohr. Phil Rawlins is the owner and president of the Orlando City Soccer, a Major League Soccer expansion team for 2015. Bruce Rohr is the Senior Director for Global Brand Management at Marriott International.

I’m sure many of you want to know which people and businesses are nominated for this year’s awards. There are nominees in the following categories: Businessman of the Year, Businesswoman of the Year, New Business of the Year, Non-Profit Organization of the Year, Corporate Ally of the Year, and Small Business of the Year.

The nominees this year are…

  • Businessman of the Year: Brian Cole, Edgefactory Omnimedia; Peter Clark, Hotspots Magazine; Bob Gregor, Circle Tree
  • Businesswoman of the Year: Jennifer Foster, Foster Productions; Kerry Girona, Orlando Fit Body Boot Camp; Joann Poley, Infinite Ideas Design
  • New Business of the Year: Lim & Associates; Legal Person; Scott Vedder, Author
  • Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Orlando Fringe; The Center Orlando; Orlando Ballet; Orlando Youth Alliance
  • Corporate Ally of the Year: Wells Fargo; Wyndham; Microsoft; The Walt Disney Company
  • Small Business of the Year: Char-Don Catering; The Hammered Lamb; Hotspots Magazine; uOwn Real Estate

Come and show your support for these businesses and these entrepreneurs. By attending, not only do you show your “Pride in Business” but also your pride for the businesses that stand up for LGBT equality in their work day in and day out.

Tickets for the main event cost $75 for MBA Orlando members and $90 for non-members. mba_1These tickets include dinner. VIP tickets cost $105 for MBA Orlando members and $120 for non-members, and these tickets include dinner, the VIP reception that starts 30 minutes before the main event, and the hors d’oeuvres that are served at that time. To register for this event and buy your tickets, go to

BMO Harris Bank and the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World are presenting co-sponsors for this event. Other sponsors for this event include Akerman, Darden Restaurants, Mauiva Aircruise, Siemens, The Closing Agent Title Insurance, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Wells Fargo and Wyndham Worldwide.

The Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) Orlando is the LGBT Chamber of Commerce in Central Florida. Their purpose is to lead the way for development, advocacy and growth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender business community and its allies. They aim to accomplish this through building their small businesses, working with professionals in corporations, supporting their non-profits and encouraging the general community to support those that support their rights. For more information, visit


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here