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Now in its 27th year, the Florida Film Festival will take place in Central Florida on April 6-15, 2018. Through ten days of world-class films and first-class events, film lovers mingle with filmmakers and celebrities in Maitland, Florida at the iconic Enzian Theatre and the adjoining Eden Bar. The festival footprint also extends to other unique venues in Maitland and Winter Park. See full event schedule. The Festival will screen 183 films representing 38 countries, along with celebrity guest appearances, forums, and parties. Of the films selected, 152 have premiere status, including 23 world premieres. As an Oscar®-qualifying festival, premiering the best in current, independent, and international cinema community support is strong including Full Sail University, Orange County Government and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. “This is going to be a banner year in every aspect,” commented Matthew Curtis, Florida Film Festival Programming Director. “With a greater number of films making their Florida debut than ever before, we could not be more excited about introducing these talented filmmakers and presenting such an extraordinary and diverse group of films to our audience. We are proud that this year’s lineup includes 82 women filmmakers--the most ever and more than 45% of our total programming! Their voices will be represented everywhere in the Festival, including our first-ever experimental shorts program (“Sunspots: New Visions of the Avant Garde”), and our first-ever “X Real” Doc shorts program completely directed by women. Let the story-gazing begin!” You can purchase festival passes for various levels of access to films and events such as the story-gazing or film lover pass. Or you can select the specific films and events you'd like to attend. Here are some things I'm really excited about:1. Opening Night Party on Friday April 6th is sponsored by Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor and Reed, P.A.  Tickets for the film and party are $140. Celebrate opening night of the 2018 Florida Film Festival with a thrilling premiere of American Animals and meet the film’s star Blake Jenner. After the movie, sample food and cocktails from your favorite local spots.  2. Block Party at Winter Park Village on Saturday, April 7th. Festival ticket and pass holders will receive free drinks and appetizers from select Winter Park Village restaurants and also enjoy live entertainment.  3. FESTIVAL FORUMS: WRITE NOW! A Screenwriter’s Road from Keyboard to Storyboard will be held on Wednesday, April 11th from 11AM–12:30 PM. In celebration of this year’s “Story-gazing” theme, the Florida Film Festival has gathered together a group of acclaimed screenwriters to give you the inside scoop on what it takes to break into the industry—including the changing markets and opportunities thanks to Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.  4. An Evening with Pam Grier featuring Jackie Brown Sunday, April 8th at 7pm  at Enzian Theatre. 5. INDIE WOMEN: GRAB ‘EM BY THE MOVIES is sponsored by Full Sail University on Thursday, April 12th. This year’s lineup includes 82 women filmmakers--the most ever and women represent more than 45% of the total programming for the film festival.  6. AWARDS BASH on Saturday, April 14 - 4:30PM–6:00PM Come out and support the Florida Film Festival. I'll see you there! Spread the word: @FloridaFilmFest #FFF2018 #LetsGoStoryGazing 
As a native Floridian I get very excited when Florida is mentioned as the biggest or greatest of anything and especially proud of Florida’s recognition as the leader in the global aerospace industry. I heard my first sonic boom when I was in 4th grade, it came from F-15 fighters at MacDill Airforce Base (US Central Command in Tampa Florida). It was an explosive thunder- like sound that my teacher said was caused by shock waves from an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound. I heard the sonic boom again when I moved to Central Florida, this time coming from space shuttle and rocket launches at Kennedy Space Center, and just t recently from a Boeing’s X-37B unmanned and reusable spaceplane re-entering from an extended missions in orbit. The 100 Most Amazing Space Photos of 2017.  In February when Vice President Pence and Air Force Two landed at Space Florida’s Shuttle Landing Facility to discuss strengthening United States leadership in space, the Vice President tasked NASA, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of State to work together to develop a framework for partnerships with the private sector and international partners. Vice President Pence chaired the second meeting of the National Space Council, the event was called: “Moon, Mars, and Worlds Beyond: Winning the Next Frontier.”  Whether you call Florida home, or you are one of our 68 million tourists who visit the Sunshine State each year, it would be a shame to be just one small step from world-changing innovation and not to join the journey at KSC Visitor Complex. You can watch a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. My advice for attending a rocket launch is to enjoy the process and plan to explore the many exciting parts of the visitor complex just in case your launch is scrubbed (which happens quite often). Also, a great excuse to visit the historic Cocoa Beach Pier for dinner on the way home. For a really special experience, you can attend the April 21, 2018 US Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction honoring veteran astronauts Dr. Thomas D. Jones and Capt. Scott D. Altman. The ceremony will take place at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Space Shuttle Atlantis® at 11:00 AM, while the orbiter floats overhead. Guests are invited to attend the ceremony, included with daily admission. I wouldn’t say I am full-fledged space-geek (not yet), but more like a space-groupie, which includes my brand-crush on Elon Musk. If you are bordering on space-geek status here are some interesting people, places and things you may want to follow: Space Florida is Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, they are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. Beyond rockets: Space Florida gives rundown on what’s ahead in 2018 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also founded Blue Origin who is upgrading Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 36 to support New Glenn launches, not far from the Florida factory Blue Origin is opening to build the rockets. Follow Jeff Bezos on Twitter I follow basically everything that Elon Musk does, especially SpaceX which just won a $290 million contract to launch three Global Positioning Satellites. Elon says SpaceX will be ready with its Mars rocket by next year Stephen Hawking, physicist who came to symbolize the power of the human mind, dies at 76 Nomination of Congressman Jim Bridenstine to lead the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). SpaceX Falcon Heavy montage highlights launch, Sturman and that one failed landing S.442 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 Cape Canaveral Spaceport: the premier transportation hub for global space commerce SpaceX, Blue Origin have Florida's Space Coast poised for change
Orlando is one of the hottest spots in the country for events. The Posh Able Events team has had the pleasure to work at the finest event venues and hotels in Central Florida. We use our knowledge of the marketplace to save our clients valuable time and money by steering them to the venues that best match their style and their budget. As your Event Planner, we fully manage the venue relationship including: contract negotiation, logistical design, permitting and insurance.  But if you are embarking on your event planning journey without a planner - enjoy the process- it's so much fun! Here are some tips on selecting the perfect Orlando area venue for your next corporate or social event. Hotels are all-inclusive they charge a fee for room rental which includes use of their tables, chairs and linen. They make their money on food and beverage, so usually aren't keen on allowing outside food or beverage.  Stand alone venues, on the other hand, come in all varieties, but many provide use of space for a flat rate. Then you bring in your own (rental items: chairs, tables, linen) and licensed caterer. Get an Estimate of TOTAL DUE Before You Sign - Venue and hotel contracts are notorious for not giving the actual amount due, this is partly because the largest driver of your bill is your pending headcount. For example your catering or venue contract might list: $65 per person++.  A few calculations later you'll see that $65 is really $83 per person (once you ad service fee of 20% or so and tax).  Plan for Parking - Is parking at your venue ample, convenient and free? If not, get a plan together and budget accordingly.  Vendor Selection- Confirm if you can bring in your own vendors and what the insurance requirements are before you book a vendor or a venue. Some venues are stricter than others. Your vendors can also purchase an inexpensive one-day event policy.  What Else is Going On? - Will the venue be hosting other events that evening that may impact your event run time, set up time or strike time?  Check community event calendars and road closures. Set up and Strike Time - Best to have this inked before you sign. As a professional event planner, we typically plan 2-3 hours for set up and 1-2 hours for strike. But some vendors such as staging and AV may need longer. Know in advance what your vendor's access and exit times are. At Posh Able Events, we always have vendors (design, entertainment, catering) include exact arrival and departure times in their contracts.  Anything is Posh Able! Sharing Innovative Ideas and Helpful Hints on Event Planning, Image Building and Philanthropy at POSH University. Follow Posh Able Paula at Orlando News Room a BLOG about interesting people and exciting places in Central Florida.
Paula Wyatt
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I'm really into interesting people! And I meet some REAL CHARACTERS in my line of work (events, image building,philanthropy).  So much so, that in 2014 I started hosting a quarterly luncheon called:  Just Ten Interesting People Having Lunch so that these characters could connect. Fun! It's a potpourri of cool-ness from celebrities, politicians, artists, business elite, philanthropists and other RCPs (random cool people).  I'm excited to share some of their stories here, on the Orlando News Room - A BLOG about interesting people and exciting places in Central Florida. A character, by any definition! Performance artist and speed painter, Rock Demarco takes his audience on a wild ride of imagination by challenging them to look at the world through a different window. Rock has performed thousands of his signature rock n roll live painting shows around the globe. Life in the fast lane for Rock horsing around with celebs and selling artwork at $100K+ per piece. Rock's work can be found on display in many corporate headquarters, airport installations, and private collections of professional ball players, musicians and movie stars. Rock has performed for live audiences as large as 200,000 fans - from the Super Bowl half-time show to Good Morning America. I've had the great pleasure to work with Rock at many Orlando area charity art auctions and events. His presence always generates a ton of excitement and his performance artwork gets top dollar for the charity! You can always count on his energy to get the party started or to keep it going!  Rock is also founder of a unique nonprofit organization called Paint Like a Rock Star where he is helping children in hospitals to create, explore and dream through art. I ask all my interesting friends the following questions about what makes Orlando such a magical place to live. 1. What is the most exciting part of living in Orlando? As Orlando continues to grow it's interesting to watch old neighborhoods also grow. Winter Park, College Park, Thornton Park with their own unique shops and restaurants. Reminds me of living up in the Northeast. 2. Who is the most interesting person you've met in Orlando?  Bryce West philanthropist/humanitarian/world traveler/ and all around nice guy. 3. In your field of work, what is the next BIG thing?  There is always that next live concert, gala or sporting event that I am rehearsing to perform. 4. Plan the perfect Central Florida Sunday, for someone new to Orlando. People immediately think theme parks when visiting Orlando. Try lunch on Park Ave in Winter Park followed by the boat tour of the scenic chain of lakes. Check out Rock's Art Gallery - Book Rock for your Next Event
You never forget your first oyster, mine was at Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar, a window-less boat-like structure located at an un-obvious corner of Kirkman and Old Winter Garden Road. Lovingly, in the exact same location that the Richter family commenced shucking in 1950 and, after 68 years, is still shucking! In fact, “everybody shucks” explains: Tricia Richter Blunt. “We don’t have servers, we have shuckers – and everybody shucks. It’s part of the culture.” Tricia and her brother Gene grew up with the family business and manage it still today in the spirit of their parents and their parents before them the original Lee and Rick Richter. Their family has been serving up oysters on the half shell with a side of fun for 68 years.  The parking lot at Lee and Rick’s reminds me of a potpourri of lifestyles, made up of equal parts construction trucks and Lamborghinis. But when you enter the door, everybody is equal. No reservations, no VIPS, no loyalty programs – oysters are the great equalizer. As Tricia says: “We treat everybody the same here. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, if there is space at the oyster bar you’re welcome here.” Orlando must have been a very different place in 1950 (when Lee and Rick's opened), it’s hard to make a list of even ten restaurants that have been in Orlando that long. What’s their secret to longevity? A quick google search for advice for new restaurant owners offers: pick a popular location, advertise, monitor your competition, create loyalty programs and diversify.  The Richter family has seemingly side-stepped the standard business model and succeeded in a way that so many restaurants have not.  They have: Designed an Organic Loyalty Program – Their loyalty program isn’t about getting 50% off on Tuesday, it’s the organic loyalty that is passed down from generation to generation.  Kept it Daringly Simple – Steamed or raw? No reservations. No shirt – no problem. Flip Flops are cool. Bring the kids.  Created an Interactive Dining Experience - Lee and Rick’s is the place to “get oysters” and more than the food, the shucker relationship is all part of the presentation. People are serious about their customized butter/lemon/horseradish/tabasco dipping sauces.  Built an Iconic and Relatable Brand – Without advertising and in a pre-yelp world. Word of mouth fueled by a cult-like following from generation to generation.  Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar seems to have found the fountain of youth for restaurants. Celebrating 68 years in 2018, their recipe for restaurant success would read something like: Serve something special, in a relaxed environment, in a fun way and the experience will sell itself. People will tell people, they will bring their family and friends - it becomes tradition. Follow the tradition on Lee and Rick's facebook page. 
Sales Functions, Lead Generation Rallies and Networking Events are an exciting and hands-on way to connect with the people, places and things that can fuel the growth of your Orlando area business. Events are a surprisingly cost-effective way to get qualified leads and industry influencers to engage with your company's message. Get the right people -  in the right space - at the ideal time.  Select an interesting venue with built-in style so you don't have to spend money on decor.  Use a digital webpage and RSVP system that allows for easy lead generation and picture sharing.  Give your guests something to talk about. Don't forget to add at least one WOW factor, something like a celebrity guest, free product sampling or unique entertainment experience.  Activate your brand in a variety of ways including: printed items, video, brand ambassadors and social media contests.  Central Florida is Growing! At Posh Able Events we have events for every stage of your business growth from Ground Breaking to 50th Anniversary. We offer full service event planning, comprehensive media promotion with integrated social media marketing. Anything is Posh Able! Sharing Innovative Ideas and Helpful Hints on Event Planning, Image Building and Philanthropy at POSH University.  Follow Posh Able Paula at Orlando News Room a BLOG about interesting people and exciting places in Central Florida.
It's 6 o'clock anywhere in Orlando and a room full of influencers are chatting it up about the latest in real estate, land development, sports and healthcare. I give it exactly two minutes, until Lake Nona is mentioned. It's impossible not to talk about Lake Nona in a conversation about innovation and growth in Central Florida. Lake Nona is one of Orange County's most exciting areas of town. I invite you to check out the five most interesting things I've heard about Lake Nona recently and then to join the conversation. Join the conversation as a sponsor of the next State of Orange County real estate event. Forward Thinking Meets Future Living. Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh and a distinguished panel of business leaders discuss insights into future of Lake Nona. The State of Lake Nona Real Estate event will be held on Wednesday, May 9th at Lake Nona High School's Performing Arts Center. We expect to welcome over 700 Central Florida movers and shakers. Doors open at 6:30 for networking, main event to follow. Attendance is Free- Register Today Panelists to be announced soon.   REGISTER YOUR SPONSORSHIP TODAY The Five Most Interesting Things I've Heard About Lake Nona Lately Tavistock to launch hotel brand at Lake Nona Discover USTA National Campus Lake Nona makes play to become new home for USA Gymnastics team The University of Central Florida wants to create a hub for a comprehensive, advanced cancer care in Lake Nona.  Johnson & Johnson institute announces plans for Lake Nona global flagship
You don't have to live in Central Florida for very long until you hear about one of our philanthropic superstars, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The Orlando Business Journal consistently lists them as Central Florida's top nonprofit organization, ranked by annual revenue ($86.6 Million in 2016).  SHFBCF is a member of Feeding America – the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Second Harvest Food Bank secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 550 local nonprofit feeding programs throughout Central Florida. Last year, with the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed nearly 56 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. Second Harvest is distributing enough food to feed 48,000 people a day. One of their most exciting projects, the Culinary Training Program provides at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. In support and celebration of their efforts, guests can purchase tickets (for only $50) for a very special event.   Second Harvest Food Bank presents: Chef's Night on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Chef's Night is an evening at the food bank featuring some of Central Florida's best chefs and cuisine, benefiting Darden Foundation Community Kitchen's Culinary Training Program.When: Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 6pm-9pm Where: Second Harvest Food Bank - 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, Florida. Guests are invited to enjoy a culinary experience in celebration of the success of top graduates from the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program. They will be reunited with their Chef instructors to create and prepare a 5-Course dinner. These graduates are now working in successful careers in the hospitality industry. Click here for Sneak Peek at the Menu.
Anything is Posh Able - leaving our fingerprints on Central Florida for 10 years. Starting a luxury service business from the floor of a living room, during a down economy seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing for a new-mother to do (at least it did to me in my mom-ish fog). In retrospect, my mommy muscles may have been slightly over inflated. I mean, building a human in your stomach combined with the whole business of giving life, this was hard! It made other things (like starting a business) seem easier somehow. I had this recurring feeling that just about anything was possible. I wasn’t sure exactly what I even wanted to be “possible" but was pretty sure that it had something to do with this thing called passion. I remember the day my passion found me - it was Valentine's Day 2008 and I was reading a book by Wayne Dyer who taught a lot about how people who were "living their purpose" would radiate an intoxicating energy that attracted people, places and things into their lives at exactly the right moment necessary for their growth. I loved the sound of this! But I wasn't clear on what it had to do with my life. It was the next seven words that really stuck with me:  "Don’t Die with Your Music Still Inside." The notion of dying was sad enough, but to die without having ever "really" lived, well this seemed tragic. To die with your music inside meant living your entire existence without finding your purpose, following your dreams or expressing your true potential. Then suddenly it came to me, from nowhere for no real reason, I just KNEW that not only did I want to be an Event Planner (even though my background was marketing and public relations) that I wanted to be the best event planner ever and I wanted to build my own business. Not just any business but a purposeful brand, with a narrative, I wanted a team, a luxury office. I wanted to tell a story about the work we were doing, and I wanted others to want to be a part of it. I wanted to meet interesting people and do exciting things (every day!)  Plus, I wanted to become so good at what I did, that people would want to book me for speaking engagements. I wanted to start my own magazine column about Orlando, write a book, build community partnerships, give back. Then I could franchise the business and expand to other cities, my head was exploding with possibilities, many of which would come true over the next 10 years. I needed a name that represented all that I wanted to accomplish. My favorite friend Michelle gave me “Posh Abilities” which I use to brand my charity arm. Loved this.  I needed something a little bigger, so I landed on Anything is Posh Able – Posh meaning stylish and elegant linked to the idea of anything being possible. On February 14, 2008 I launched the brand Posh Able Events (under Anything is Posh Able), full service event planning - "From Concept to Clean Up" - "We do the work and you get the credit. Then literally, no one called for over a year. No worries, I was busy working for FREE, providing Event Planning and Public Relations services to Central Florida charities through my non-profit brand, Posh Abilities Then, the phone rang (thank you Karen for being my first paying customer.) As time went out the company was successful in developing a strong corporate and nonprofit client base by helping them to develop events for every stage of their organization's growth from ground breaking to 50th Anniversary.  In 2010, calling back to my marketing and public relations roots, I launched an extension of the company called IMAGE BUILDERS. Working alongside some of the most admired companies and nonprofit organizations to grow their business through creative public relations, community engagement and event marketing concepts. We exist to create impactful events and image building experiences with passion and style to help our clients prosper and our community flourish. If asked for advice about finding passion, I always say to find "that thing" that makes your stomach tickle and then convince someone (anyone) to pay you to do that thing. If you can’t find anyone to pay you, then do that thing for free until you get so good at it that someone will have to. Love what you do, do it for the right reason and you never work a day in your life. So, in that way I am actually celebrating my tenth year of unemployment.  After ten years of building excitement in Central Florida, I’m finding that now more than ever Anything is Posh Able. Thank you to the clients we serve, the vendors we trust and the charities we support. Much love to all the shining posh-team members who have helped build the brand over the years and to recognize the inspiration received from our Advisory Panel and the energy provided by our tribe of community volunteers. 
Paula Wyatt
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Orlando invites residents and travelers alike to experience life in thrilling and unexpected ways. From the theatrically manicured hospitality side of town to the organically crafted local arts and entertainment scene. Central Florida is a creative city alive with a seemingly endless array of interesting people to know and exciting places to explore.  Practically everyone knows that Central Florida is home to the world's greatest theme parks. This comes with billions of dollars in infrastructure that set the stage for travelers to experience Central Florida. As many beaming-with-pride native Floridians will do, I tend to reserve my consumption of theme park awesomeness to seasonally inspired events such as: Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights or Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts - a celebration of food, art and entertainment. I get to spend a joyfully increasing amount of my time on the organic side of the city, embedded in the locally-energized arts and cultural scene. As part of my career/passion (as Chief Excitement Officer at Anything is Posh Able) I build art events, fashion shows and organize fundraising events to support arts and cultural organizations in Central Florida. So, I can forget that not everyone is aware of the budding counter culture of creativity that is: Orlando. If you are new to Orlando or a long-time resident who is looking to connect with your artful side, here are some people, places and things that I believe make Orlando an imaginatively artful place to experience life.  Snap Orlando! is boldly increasing the visibility and appreciation of the photographic medium as a significant cultural art form in the City Beautiful. Founder Patrick Kahn has been described as a cultural risk-taker fostering an emerging awareness of Orlando as Culture. Patrick is a favorite friend who serves as part of my company's  Advisory Panel. Downtown Orlando Arts District - Nestled in the City of Orlando, the Downtown Arts District is a hip, active, and vibrant artistic community offering something for everyone. Whether it’s museums in the morning, painting by day, or movies and martinis at midnight, the Arts District’s friendly and energetic vibe is up early and stays out late. United Arts of Central Florida - Now in their 28th year of service to our community, United Arts has invested more than $141 million in local arts and culture organizations and education. They believe that art, music, science, dance, history and theater matter… for our children, for our economy and for our community! The Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Office works with its Advisory Council to recommend how Orange County’s funds should be invested to elevate the status of arts and culture in Central Florida. Find more information on the Advisory Council page. Led by Orange County's “Chief Arts Instigator” Terry Olson since the creation of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in 2001. Culture Builds Florida The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida's state arts agency. They believe arts and culture support jobs, tourism and education while contributing to a vibrant and creative Florida.
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