Mayor Buddy Dyer with the organizers of the Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival
Mayor Buddy Dyer with the organizers of the Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer was joined by City Commissioners at the Orlando Museum of Art for the 3rd Annual Orlando Main Street Program Awards Ceremony on Sep 30 to honor winning individuals and districts that have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Orlando Main Street Program. During the ceremony, Mayor Dyer presented individual and district awards to 36 exceptional volunteers, businesses, merchants and initiatives.

Since the inception of the Orlando Main Street Program in 2008, successes include the investment of more than $633,573,576 million, the addition of 3,470 full and part-time jobs and the opening of 593 new businesses. Volunteers have contributed more than 61,584 volunteer hours representing a value of more than $1,311,479.94.

Photo: City of Orlando & C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit

District Awards
Nominations for the District Awards were accepted from the nine Orlando Main Street districts — Audubon Park Garden District, Church Street District, College Park Partnership, Downtown South, Ivanhoe Village, Mills 50, Orlando Tech, Semoran Business Partnership, and Thornton Park District.

Four awards were issued to the district who best exemplified the Main Street Four Point Approach for Promotion, Organization, Design, and Business Development. There is one award appointed for outstanding achievement in each of the categories

• The 2014 Promotion award was presented to Mills 50 for the Dragon Parade/Lunar Festival. This event was the most successful in its history, bringing in an estimated 7500 spectators and participants.

• The 2014 Organization award was presented to College Park Partnership for bringing together organizations and individuals who had generously donated in sponsorships or memberships at a Thank You Luncheon.

• The 2014 Design award was presented to Mills 50 for engaging in neighborhood beautification and capturing the attention of the public through the Dumpster Art Project.

• The 2014 Business Development award was presented to Downtown South for developing the innovative education series, Business for Breakfast.

Individual Awards
The Audubon Park Garden District, Church Street District, College Park Partnership, Downtown South, Ivanhoe Village, Mills 50, Orlando Tech, Semoran Business Partnership, and Thornton Park each nominated a Volunteer of the Year, Business or Merchant of the Year and Improvement of the Year from within their respective programs.

Volunteer of the Year
The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to volunteers from each district who dedicated their time and effort toward helping their Main Street program thrive. These winners include:

Lisa Ray – Audubon Park Garden District
Matt Jones – Church Street District
Pam Potenza – College Park Partnership
Nicole Prezenioslo – Downtown South
Patrick O’Connor – Ivanhoe Village
Jeannette Dixon – Mills 50
David Rogers – Orlando Tech
Brent Ward – Semoran Business Partnership
Sue Bee Laginess – Thornton Park District

Main Street Business/Merchant of the Year
The Business/Merchant of the Year award recognizes either a business overall, or an individual merchant/employee who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to and involvement with their district. This includes setting high standards for their business, exhibiting a positive image, and producing an overall positive impact on the district. These winners include:

Park Ave CD’s – Audubon Park Garden District
Hamburger Mary’s – Church Street District
Old Florida National Bank – College Park Partnership
Orlando Brewing – Downtown South
The Hammered Lamb – Ivanhoe Village
CFE Federal Credit Union – Mills 50
Splyt Analytics – Orlando Tech
Julie Castaner, Castaner Insurance Agency – Semoran Business Partnership
Todd Ulmer – Thornton Park District

Best Private District Improvement
The award for Best Private District Improvement was presented to the individuals or businesses that completed the best private improvement project within each district. The winners include:

East End Market – Audubon Park Garden District
Schumann’s Jager Haus – Church Street District
Remax Exclusive Collection: Michael Kara – College Park Partnership
(BishopBeale) 211 E. Michigan Street – Downtown South
Santiago Bodega’s – Ivanhoe Village
The Cameo Building – Mills 50
Envy Labs/Code School – Orlando Tech
Rairsaigedas Milinavicius- 36 S. Semoran Blvd. – Semoran Business Partnership
Aku Aku Tiki Lounge – Thornton Park District

Special Recognition
This year, a special recognition was given to the following individuals for their extraordinary effort in preserving the “Happy Holiday, Happy New Year” community icon located on top of the former OUC building

• Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
• District 1 City Commissioner Jim Gray
• District 2 City Commissioner Tony Ortiz
• District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart
• District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan
• District 6 City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings
• McCree Vice President – Joe Robertson
• OUC Vice President – Roseann Harrington
• Capital Improvements and Infrastructure Development Division Manager – Tom Connery

Established in 2008, Orlando Main Street is an economic development program that provides technical assistance, training and staff support to urban commercial districts in the City of Orlando. The program empowers neighborhood business districts within the City to maintain, strengthen and revitalize their unique physical, historical and cultural characteristics. When a district participates in the revitalization effort, the entire community experiences renewed vitality and enhanced economic performance.

The Orlando Main Street districts include the Audubon Park Garden District, Church Street District, College Park Partnership, Downtown South, Ivanhoe Village Main Street, Mills 50, Orlando Tech, Semoran Business Partnership, and Thornton Park District.