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CUD Business Journey 2024: Effective platform for idea exchange

Next on the agenda is the Step Up Your Business event to be held in Puerto Rico.

Orlando, Fla. — More than 100 business owners from Florida and 20 entrepreneurs from Puerto Rico gathered in Orlando for the inaugural event of the CUD Business Journey 2024, an initiative of collaboration between Maribel Gómez-Cordero, Orange County District 4 commissioner, and Puerto Rico’s United Retailers Association (CUD, in Spanish).

The event — held at the Guidewell Innovation Center in Lake Nona, one of Central Florida’s fastest-growing commercial areas — proved to be an “effective platform for idea exchange and forming strategic partnerships that will benefit Puerto Rico and Florida entrepreneurs,” organizers said.

Gómez-Cordero, along with CUD President Lourdes M. Aponte, jointly stated that the event “marked the beginning of a series of initiatives aimed at fostering Puerto Rican entrepreneurship and creating a robust support ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Orlando,” thanks to a recently signed collaboration agreement.

“Through this collaborative agreement, Orange County and CUD Puerto Rico have joined forces to provide business owners with specialized guidance on various opportunities and resources for expanding their businesses in Florida and Puerto Rico. We remain committed to nurturing new enterprises and supporting these entrepreneurs in achieving success,” said Gómez-Cordero.

They underscored the event’s role as the starting point for initiatives aimed at promoting Puerto Rican entrepreneurship and fostering a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Orlando.

“We’re extremely pleased with the reception of our first event under this collaborative agreement in Orlando. Creating opportunities that foster business investment between Puerto Rico and the state of Florida is crucial for economic development and business strengthening,” said Aponte, who, along with Vilma Medina, CUD’s administrative assistant, received special recognition from Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings.

The first panel, moderated by journalist and entrepreneur Cecilia Figueroa, focused on “innovation, technology and cybersecurity in your business,” featuring Vicente Pimienta of Florida Grow, with Google Digital Coach Jorge Cruz, CEO of Innovations Marketing Group, and Horacio Maysonet, CEO of Cyber Security Solutions, who received a recognition from the CUD as the first Florida-based company to sign a collaboration agreement in 2023 and for his ongoing support in cybersecurity.

Gómez-Cordero also honored Figueroa’s 20 successful years in Florida. Figueroa has been the Orlando-based correspondent for News is my Business since September 2020.

The second panel discussed “Customer Service and Business Strategies,” moderated by Gómez-Cordero and Aponte, with contributions from Katia Medina, vice president of Prospera USA/Central & Northeast Florida, and María del Mar Torres-Díaz, founder of MDM Customer Service Strategies.

The third panel on “Economic and Business Development” included Belinda O. Kirkegard, president of the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando and Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank President Luis Alemañy.

The fourth panel, “A guide to permits and procurement for business success,” was moderated by Marthaly Irizarry, special assistant to the mayor of Orange County, with panelists Alfredo Rivera-Pizarro, MSPM, management adviser, and Zulay Millan, management assistant in the Procurement Division of Orange County.

Next on the agenda is the Step Up Your Business event to be held in Puerto Rico from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, to continue strengthening commercial ties between the two regions.

News is my Business is in Orlando!
This media outlet was front and center at this important summit, with the participation of Sales and Marketing Director Marnie Ferrer (second from right) at the event. In the photo, from left: María del Mar Torres, MDM Customer Services Strategics, Maribel Gómez-Cordero, Orange County District 4 Commissioner, Lourdes M. Aponte, president of the CUD, Ferrer, and Vilma S. Medina, executive director of the CUD.

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This content was produced by News is my Business staff members. Send questions, comments, and suggestions to [email protected].

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