by Mellissa Thomas
The Orange County Convention Center’s WA2 Hall was electric as Orlando’s corporate leaders and elected officials gathered for the ribbon cutting to kick off the Hispanic Business Conference & Expo 2015 (HBCE 2015) at 2:30 p.m. Friday. HBCE 2015, a joint venture produced by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO), National Entrepreneur Center, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), opened its doors with a bevy of corporate sponsors, civic organizations, and media vendors, all to foster and promote business with Florida’s Hispanic community. Vendors and corporate sponsors include Bright House Networks, Orlando Health, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Wyndham Worldwide, Telemundo, MiraTV, Rumba 100.3, local ABC affiliate WFTV Channel 9, Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World Resorts, Comcast NBC Universal, and Orange County Parks and Recreation.
Special guests at the ribbon cutting included Florida Soil & Water Conservation Supervisor Daisy Morales (Representing Orange County), Orange County Clerk of Courts Tiffany Moore Russell, Orange County Commissioners Victoria Siplin, Pete Clarke, and Scott Boyd, Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, Orange County School Board Member Daryl Flynn, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Rey Rivero, Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel, Attorney Gary Siplin, former Florida State Senator, US Congressman Daniel Webster, and Florida Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
From 3 p.m to 5p.m., the Expo held its VIP Reception on the Multicultural stage with live music and catered Latin cuisine. HCCMO President Diana Bolivar thanked the audience, the HCCMO, and conference sponsors for continuing to foster economic development among the Hispanic community in Florida, and Commissioner Ortiz did the same.
The main expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 2015