*Buffet style lunch upon arrival, please help yourself*
Invocation – Dowling Watford
Pledge of Allegiance – Paulette Wise
Welcome –Executive Director Paulette Wise
Acknowledgement of Sponsor – Paulette Wise
Presentation – Brandy Hastings - Regional Partnership Manager at Visit Florida
Presentation – Senator Denise Grimsley
Closing Comments & Open Floor – Paulette Wise
Brandy is the Regional Partnership Manager for VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation. She represents VISIT FLORIDA for 20 counties in the central part of the state, and works with businesses to make sure they know the resources available through VISIT FLORIDA, and that their message is being shared through the state's efforts. She previously served as VISIT FLORIDA's Marketing Solutions and Sales Manager, and prior to her time with the organization, spent several years in the broadcasting industry. She is originally from Louisiana, but has been a Floridian for 10 years- and loves sharing all of the great stories about our state. She loves hiking and kayaking, and resides in Longwood with her husband and fur-babies.
Senator Denise Grimsley - A fifth-generation Floridian, Denise Grimsley was born and raised in the Florida’s Heartland. She graduated from South Florida Community College, Polk Community College and Warner Southern College with degrees in Nursing and Organizational Management. She later earned an MBA from the University of Miami. A proud mom and grand mom, Denise has enjoyed a career in nursing, as well as an unexpected call to manage her father’s small business in the 1990s when he fell ill. It was after encountering runarounds and red-tape from government agencies that she decided to become active in public service. For eight years, Denise served in the Florida House of Representatives, and was the first female chair of the influential House Appropriations Committee. In November, 2012, she ran for and was elected to the Florida Senate, and was re-elected in 2016. She currently serves as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on General Government Appropriations and as a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. During her legislative career, Denise has been recognized by a variety of organizations, from the Florida Citrus Mutual and Florida Farm Bureau to the Florida Chamber of Commerce, for her consistent efforts on behalf of farmers, ranchers and small business owners. Denise spends her time between Zolfo Springs and Lake Placid. She currently serves as a hospital administrator for Florida Hospital. She is also active in the management of Grimsley Groves, her family’s cattle and citrus operations in Hardee County.