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Men of the Year 2018

There are a lot more ways to measure a man’s success than by his salary and the material items he possesses. The spirit of giving, caring for others and making a difference are traits that are synonymous with Orlando Family Magazine’s Men of the Year. When it comes to these 15 fine gentlemen, their actions speak louder than their words ever could and they all embrace a responsibility to give others what they couldn’t otherwise have.

HARRIS ROSEN
President and COO of Rosen Hotel & Resorts
As president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Rosen has long been known in Central Florida for his generosity and philanthropic work for which he’s won numerous awards, including the Bob Graham Center’s Citizen of the Year award and The King Center’s Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L award that was given to him for his more than 20-year commitment to the Tangelo Park Program, an educational community service initiative that sought to revitalize this underserved neighborhood.

Through this program, free preschool is provided for 2- to 4-year-olds who live in Tangelo Park. Additionally all of the neighborhood children who graduate from high school and who are accepted into trade school or college have their schooling costs completely paid for by Rosen. An ardent supporter of education, Rosen donated a 20-acre site and $10 million to the University of Central Florida to develop the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Outside of the Central Florida community, Rosen has contributed to Haiti relief including founding the Haiti Relief Rebuild Sustain Program and helping build an elementary school on the island.

Rosen came to Orlando after working in California as director of hotel planning for the Disney Company. He is a graduate of Cornell University and served three years in the United States Army as an officer in Germany and South Korea. He acquired his first hotel, a 256-room Quality Inn on International Drive, shortly after arriving in Florida in 1974. Today, Rosen Hotels & Resorts lays claim to nine Orlando hotels and is one of Florida’s largest independent lodging companies.

MATT CERTO
CEO and founder of Findsome & Winmore
As the CEO of Findsome & Winmore, a company he founded in 1995, Certo is considered an expert in digital marketing, web development and social media marketing. He is a regular speaker at trade associations and in the past participated in a domestic economic forum at the White House with President George W. Bush. Certo gives back to the Central Florida community in various ways. He is a chairman of the Florida Board of Managers for Nemours Children’s Hospital, past chairman of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida and vice chairman of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. A grad- uate of Rollins College, Certo helped found the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship and its President’s Leadership Council. Among the causes most dear to him is improving the lives of the youth in the region. He sits on the board for ELEVATE Orlando, which provides mentoring and support to help urban youth plan for their futures, and he is also the founding president of The First Tee of Central Florida (a chapter of The First Tee), an organization that uses golf to teach young people values like honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.

BEN HOYER
Director of Downtown CREDO
Hoyer, an Orlando resident since 2009, opened his name-your-price coffee shop CREDO as a way to serve great coffee, create space for people to gather and fund pro- jects that positively impact the community. His personal credo: “The world is not yet as it ought to be, neither is my city or neither am I, but I reject apathy and despair believing I can make an impact for good.”

CREDO now has three locations and has proven that its model of paying growers directly is sustainable for the coffee industry. Proceeds from the shops have been used to fund projects such as Rally Makers. Launched in 2013, this organization allows social entrepreneurs to pool resources to accelerate selected social enterprises with money and mentorship. Orlando Together is another project born from CREDO. This program attempts to erase divisions in the community through events. One past event included having kids from Orlando’s neighborhood centers work with friends all over town to build floats that represent togetherness. After parading these floats down Parramore Avenue, a block party and lunch were held.

GEORGE OLIVER III
Ocoee District 4 Commissioner
With his recent election to the City of Ocoee Commission, Oliver became the first African-American to serve on this board. It’s a significant achievement that shows how far the city has come since its 1920 Election Day massacre. While the details of this event are debated, the known facts are a prominent black landowner and resident of Ocoee named July Perry attempted to vote and was turned away. This event set off a string of incidents that ended with a white mob lynching Perry, murdering many black community members and burning their homes and churches. That day and the ones that followed saw a complete exodus of Ocoee’s black population and the city remained an all-white community for decades afterwards.

Oliver, who has worked in business and as a substitute teacher, has lived in Ocoee for 16 years. He decided to run for office because he wanted to work to help rejuvenate his city, which he says has become economically stagnant. Oliver, who works as a pharmaceutical compliance monitor, has volunteered as a youth football coach and basketball coach. He’s also spent more than 10 years helping disabled veterans achieve a better quality of life as a service officer for nonprofit The American Legion.

JOSHUA VICKERY
Founder and executive director of Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts)
He may be the founder and executive director of CFCArts, but Vickery’s unofficial title might as well be “remover of barriers” as it relates to access to the arts in Greater Orlando. Since 2011, Vickery has used his unrelenting passion for the performing arts to build community among Central Floridians through theater, music and dance. Whether someone wants to play in an orchestra, sing in a choir or simply spectate, Vickery’s organization offers a path to serve their interests, with ticketed performances that emphasize quality, wholesomeness and inclusion. While several programs aim to serve at-risk children and teens in particular, CFCArts offers affordable workshops and lessons for patrons of all ages, including a “Musical Minds Choir” specifically for adults who are in the early stages of memory loss.

JOHN RIVERS
Owner and founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse
Although he is the owner and pit master of the beloved 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Rivers did not start his career out in food. His first career was spent as an executive for pharmaceutical and health care companies. Charity is actually what brought him to the restaurant business by way of his barbecue ministries, where Rivers would organize a cookout along with friends, family and volunteers to raise money for people or causes that needed support. His first cookout was to support a young girl who was battling cancer. Today, Rivers continues to support local causes through his restaurant’s charity group, 4R Foundation Inc. The organization’s latest initiative is the 4Roots Farm & Agriculture Center that was created to inspire students, support farmers, and stimulate the health and economic vitality of the community.

CHRIS CASTRO
Director of sustainability for the City of Orlando, co-founder of IDEAS for Us and Fleet Farming
Orlando is on its way to becoming one of the most sustainable cities and Castro has played a big role in that. Less than five years ago he was brought on board as the director of sustainability to develop policies and programs that support Mayor Buddy Dyer’s GreenWorks Orlando initiative, including the dedication of a 24-acre solar farm. Castro’s experience in sustainability and energy solutions reaches back to his college years at UCF where he founded IDEAS, Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (now known as IDEAS for Us), an international nonprofit working to create and fund global environmental solutions. Castro oversees one of its programs, Fleet Farming, which uses a network of urban farms with the goal of increasing food accessibility for under- served populations and reducing the environmental impact of food production. Castro’s efforts have been recognized by the Obama Administration—which named him a Champion of Change—the Orlando Business Journal, Grist and more.

ALBERT MANERO, PH.D.
President of Limbitless Solutions Inc.
As founder and president of Orlando’s Limbitless Solutions Inc., Manero leads the charge to not only change the world but to create a whole new one—one in which bionic arms are as commonplace as orthodontia for straightening crooked teeth or prescription eyeglasses for correcting farsightedness. Under Manero’s leadership, Limbitless Solutions has assembled a team of like-minded innovators who want to play a role in creating “personalized bionics” for children in need, at no cost to families. (In one high-profile case, Limbitless Solutions gained some much- deserved time in the spotlight when actor Robert Downey Jr. helped to deliver an Iron Man- themed bionic arm to a 7- year-old recipient.) With some help from sponsors and members of the community, Manero’s nonprofit hopes to build and deliver 5,000 custom-designed bionic arms to children around the world by 2020.

THOMAS CHANDLER
President and CEO of SchenkelShultz Architecture
Since 1983 when he first came to Central Florida to open the Orlando office of SchenkelShultz Architecture, Chandler has continuously contributed to the growth and development of this community. As CEO of this award-winning architectural design practice, he has seen through several significant local community projects including helping revitalize Central Florida’s YMCA centers and creating recreation facilities for the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida, work for which his firm was given the Nil Schweizer Community Service Award by the Orlando Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Chandler served as president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, during which he led the development of two new houses. Most recently, he was involved in the constructing of the area’s third Ronald McDonald House, located on Lake Nona’s Nemours Hospital Campus, in which he led fundraising efforts and contributed $400,000 in pro-bono design services.

GARRY JONES
President of Full Sail University
Jones, who toured as a professional musician in the ’70s, joined the faculty at Full Sail in 1980, serving as course director, director of education and vice president of admissions, among others, before assuming the role of president in 1999. Jones serves on the board of trustees of the Central Florida Sports Commission, Founders Circle for the Foundation of Foster Children and the board of trustees for the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which is connected to one of his most recent accomplishments. Passionate about protecting creatures great and small, Jones spearheaded The Monarch Initiative, a collaboration between Full Sail and The Nature Conservancy to promote environmental stewardship in Central Florida and educate the community about the important role butterflies play in pollination.

RICHARD J. MALADECKI
President and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA)
In the past two decades, few people have done more for Central Florida’s tourism community than Maladecki. He has spent more than 20 years as president and CEO of the CFHLA—the world’s largest regional fraternity of hotels, in the country’s most visited tourist destination. Maladecki also serves as a board member for two destination-marketing organizations, Visit Orlando and Experience Kissimmee. Besides his work on behalf of the local tourism industry, he has also taken an active role in shaping the success of the next generation. As an adjunct professor, for example, Maladecki has taught courses in non- profit management at the University of Cen- tral Florida. Among his many accomplishments, UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management inducted Maladecki into its Central Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2013.

JOHN RIFE
Founder and Owner, East End Market
Owner and founder of the successful East End Market, Rife is a passionate sup- porter of small business and a champion for creating local sustainable food systems. In 2010, his preoccupation with the farm-to- table movement led him to create the Winter Park Harvest Festival, an annual event that celebrates locally sourced dining and features gardening-related work- shops. Rife, who has a background in commercial real estate development, is also a co-founder of the Winter Park Urban Farm, which educates the community on growing food in urban areas.

HENRY MALDONADO
President of the Enzian Theater
After a 40-year career in broadcasting, including a stint as GM of WKMG-TV, Maldonado reinvented himself with a second career in film. A lifetime cinephile, Maldonado became a lively booster of the Enzian Theater in Maitland; one might even say he became its “face,” as moviegoers often see him in short films before feature screenings at the fiercely independent cinema. Since becoming president of the Enzian, he has helped build on its more than 30-year tradition of engaging community members and entertaining viewers. As president of both the theater and the Florida Film Festival (which calls the Enzian home), Maldonado has been growing the theater’s programming and audience, as well as spearheading efforts to expand the theater’s physical footprint, from one screen to three. His efforts caught the attention of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and Prospera, and they in turn graced Maldonado with the 2016 Don Quijote Award for Lifetime Achievement, in recognition of his significant and lasting contributions to the Hispanic community in Central Florida.

SHAWN SEIPLER
CEO and founder of Clean the World
As a social entrepreneur, Seipler uses his skills to advance social, environmental and humanitarian causes. Seipler founded Clean the World in 2009 with the goal of preventing millions of deaths caused by acute infection and disease while diverting landfill waste, and since its inception has formed recycling and operations centers beyond Orlando, including Montreal, London, Hong Kong and Punta Cana. One of its sig- nature opportunities to give back is through hygiene kits building events hosted by companies, clubs and organizations that later distribute the kits to local shelters or aid groups. Seipler has been featured on various national media platforms and has locally been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by I-4 Business Magazine and Hero of the Year by Orlando News 13. In addition to his role at Clean the World, Seipler is a board member for the Orlando Chamber of Commerce and has served on the city’s Sustainability Task Force. He is also actively involved in the Florida Youth Football and Cheer League and president of the East Orlando Jr. Predators.

JEREMY SISSON, MBA
CEO of Evan James & Associates and chairman of the board for the Guys with Ties Philanthropy
Sisson is a familiar face in the Central Florida com- munity. Not only does he represent the brokerage firm of Evan James & Associates at business events and on news outlets, but he has a reputation as a passionate and respected public servant as well. Sisson serves as chairman of the board of Guys with Ties, a nonprofit consisting of local business executives who host events with all proceeds going to charity. The organization has raised over $600,000 for more than 55 local charities to date. Last year, Sisson was recognized with the 2017 Board Member of the Year Award by his fellow members. Sisson is actively involved in other organizations, including the Central Florida Down Syndrome Association’s Entrepreneurship Academy, which provides individuals with Down syndrome with education and training to start their own businesses, and the Camaraderie Foundation, where he mentors veterans transitioning from active duty into the workforce.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s June 2018 issue.