Celebration resident Antonio Baez, managing director of Meliá Orlando Celebration, was named a hotelier of the month by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. He was nominated by the regional board of directors and Allied Ambassadors Committee for the organization’s Orlando chapter. Antonio will receive an award of recognition at the FRLA December Members of the Year celebration.


Country music recording artist and TikTokker Noah Schnacky embarked on his Thoughtfully Reckless album tour in April and May. Raised in Windermere and now residing in Clermont, Noah decided to do things differently on this tour. Along with his band, he traveled with eight other multimillion-follower content creators: Allie Schnacky, Colby Schnacky, Austin Armstrong, Carol Chaves, Malik Brookins, Jacob Petersen, Julia Poe and musical opener Matt Cooper. “As the world has changed over the past two years since I was on last on tour, I also saw an opportunity to change the way we tour altogether,” Noah said. “TikTok, YouTube and Instagram have increasingly dominated today’s entertainment, so why not combine social media entertainment creators with musical artists in a way that has never been done before by taking both on the road?”

Windermere Chase

Congratulations to Grant Sicard of Windermere Chase for being accepted into the Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida. Grant graduated in the top 5% of his graduating class at Olympia High School, receiving straight A’s his entire academic career. He will be majoring in biomedical sciences at the College of Medicine. Grant also actively volunteered at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, was a baseball pitcher for his high school and various travel ball teams, played piano for his high school jazz band, and achieved a third-degree black belt in mixed martial arts.

Winter Garden

Jason Bhagan, a native of Winter Garden, was initiated into the University of Central Florida Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society. Students initiated into the society must be sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate/professional students in the top 35% of their class; demonstrate leadership experience in at least one of the five pillars; and embrace the ODK ideals. Fewer than 5% of students on a campus are invited to join each year.

Winter Garden resident Nicholas Gore, a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministries at Bob Jones University, was hired before graduation as a project coordinator at BJU Press. Located in Greenville, South Carolina, BJU Press provides educational materials written from a biblical worldview that focuses on academic rigor and encourages critical thinking.

Et Al

Representatives of The Health Law Firm announced that one of its attorneys, Akifa Khattak of Southwest Orlando, published an article titled “Brain Chips: Health and Legal Considerations for Brain-Computer Interface Technologies” in the Orange County Bar Association publication Orange County Lawyer. Brain-computer interface technologies involve the communication between brain signals and computers/external equipment. The value of these technologies could exceed a billion dollars by 2026. However, the legal issues surrounding the use of these technical advances are both complicated and far-reaching. In her article, Akifa explained how BCI technologies operate and analyzes the impact they might have on health and legal professions in the future. This includes the benefits and potential problematic situations.

ShuffieldLowman partner and Southwest Orlando resident Stephanie Cook was selected for the Florida Probate Rules Committee, a standing committee of The Florida Bar. The scope and function of the Probate Rules Committee is to carry out the mandate of Rule 2.140, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, concerning the proposal of new rules of procedure and changes to existing rules.

Brian WetzelOrlando HealthAngel de la Portilla, board member of Valencia College; Jay Galbraith, Valencia College; John McReynolds, Universal Orlando Resort; Mayor Jon Rees, city of Winter GardenKim Hardy, University of Central Florida; Fred Kittinger, University of Central Florida; (front, l. to r.) Stina D’Uva; Sen. Jason Brodeur; Rep. Travaris McCurdy; Rep. Geraldine ThompsonCourtney James, Valencia College; and Philip Koovakada, Orlando Health, attend the West Orange Chamber of Commerce 2022 Legislative Luncheon.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce held its 2022 Legislative Luncheon, during which several legislators were in attendance. Participants included Sen. Jason Brodeur, Rep. Travaris McCurdy, Winter Garden Mayor Jon Rees, Rep. Geraldine Thompson, and many others. WOCC builds partnerships, strong businesses and commitment to the community by serving as the leading business advocate in Central Florida, facilitating opportunity to nearly 1,000 member businesses. For more information about WOCC, call 407-656-1304 or visit

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips past President Collin Galloway (left) presents a $1,000 check to Maureen Dorschel (second from left) and Cheryl Android from Give Kids The World. They are joined by club President Terry Taggart.

Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips President Terry Taggart (left) and membership chair Lori McCord (right) congratulate John Goolcharan, a recent Rotarian of the month.

Peidmont University’s fourth annual Piedmont Symposium showcased the undergraduate research and creative inquiry projects of 389 students. Their findings were presented across the Demorest and Athens campuses through both oral and poster presentations. Madison Gallarelli of Windermere and Aria Solano of Winter Garden were among the student presenters. There were 121 oral presentations and 72 posters across the Demorest campus and 43 oral presentations at the Athens campus. There was also an EcoConference in Stewart Hall, where students could explore environmental justice career paths and learn how to set themselves apart for entry-level professional positions.

West Orange Chamber of Commerce’s Celebrating Extraordinary Women on June 9 will include a panel of guest speakers, including Windermere resident Leticia Adams of Walt Disney World and Ocoee resident Ann Whittle of Trophies Unlimited. The female-focused event is about inspiring and empowering women. To learn how to attend, visit

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, most selective, collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Approximately 25,000 students, faculty members, professional staff and alumni are initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Among this year’s inductees are Florida State University students Morgan DeLattre of OaklandSally Harper and Sarah Ingle of Southwest OrlandoGrace Jarrett of Dr. PhillipsIsabelle Maday and Grace Reed of Winter GardenStephanie Rodgers and Isabella Valdivia of Windermere; Virginia Tech student Stephanie Bontell of MetroWest; Samford University student Barbara Peters of MetroWest; Florida Southern College student Olivia Schalk of Dr. Phillips; and University of Mississippi student Mario Sobrino of Dr. Phillips.

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