The Honorable Glenda Hood, Florida Trend Cover, November 1995

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The Honorable Glenda Hood, Florida Trend Cover, November 1995

The Honorable Glenda Hood, Florida Trend Cover, November 1995

by:
jtracy
January 17, 2018

The Honorable Glenda Evans Hood featured on the cover of Florida Trend, November 1995.

Listen as The Honorable Glenda Evans Hood discusses  international economic development in this excerpt from an oral history interview with The Honorable Glenda Evans Hood at the Orlando Public Library on October 25, 2017.

 LISTEN Part III (21:07)

I've had so many opportunities as an elected official. One of the things that I really emphasized while I was mayor and seen the changes going on in our community with new businesses coming in and then, of course, different events that were taking place. Our theme parks that were attracting people from all over the globe. And so, I thought, we need to emphasize the international impact as an economic development opportunity in our community. World Cup, for example. I happened to be mayor when World Cup was here and we hosted fans and attendees from eight different nations. But those fans and attendees as I would say were business people. And so, why not try and capitalize on the fact that we have a great business climate here in the Central Florida community, and encourage those fans from those different countries to look for partnerships for business here or open a business here.

Through the Economic Development Commission I formed the Metro Orlando International Affairs Council...

We have the business infrastructure in place. We have language skills that are here. We have a diverse population. We have everything going for us. So through the Economic Development Commission, I formed the Metro Orlando International Affairs Council and it was made up of key business people in the community as well as city, county elected officials as well. 

 

Leading World Cup Business Opportunities

For example, with World Cup, we took a delegation from this community and visited each of the countries that were going to be represented here in the World Cup matches and we talked about business. We talked about what it was going to be like to be in Orlando for World Cup matches. But we took key business leaders to talk about opportunities and how we could set up seminars during the time that they were here and business meetings for them. And that paid off in many ways for us. And there are still businesses in place today as a result of that effort.

Metro Orlando International Affairs Commission and Leading International Business Development Missions

And then we did even more through the Metro Orlando International Affairs Commission. We would take delegations on a regular basis to targeted countries around the globe where we felt we could either grow existing relationships or seize new relationships. And so, we did a lot of that. We had great participation from the media, from the theme parks, from our Conventions and Visitors Bureau, from our large businesses in the community and from our small businesses as well. So I was privileged to be able to head up a lot of those international business missions as well. And when you look across our community today, I mean, you just see the impact of the international community on us in our school system, in our business, in the plethora of Chambers of Commerce that we have representing different communities.

Started an Honorary Consular Corps in Orlando

We also at that time were able to start an honorary consular corps here in our community. Miami had really, had all the consular offices and Tampa was seizing a few kind of spinoffs from Miami. But I was determined that if we had some of those consulate offices here in Orlando that we could again have more business opportunities taken advantage of. So at one time we had, I think, up to ten consulate and honorary consulate representatives here. And we still have those that exist in our community. And that's very helpful for travelers that are here if they're in need of something and getting information for the business community as well. 

 

 

The Honorable Glenda Evans Hood became the first female Mayor of Orlando in 1992 and the youngest elected Mayor of Orlando. The Honorable Glenda Evans Hood served three consecutive terms as Mayor of the City of Orlando, 1992-2003. In 2003, she took on the responsibilities of Secretary of State of Florida where she served from 2003-2005. She then founded TriSect, LLC with Shelly Lauten and Steve Siebert to work innovatively with different organizations toward community engagement and solutions. Currently, she is a Global Governing Trustee for the Urban Land Institute.

Photo Courtesy of the Honorable Glenda Evans Hood Archives

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