Check out these recent posts from the Orlando News Room BLOG.


Reimagining the Anchor Space at Dellagio Town Center  Orlando, Florida – Chef Norman Van Aken and partners Tom and Kim Wood announce that they are re-opening their flagship restaurant on Sand Lake’s famed Restaurant Row in the iconic Dellagio Town Center. Plans for a unique renovation of the 7,500 square foot space, revealed in first quarter 2020, will show a complete reimagining of the anchor space at the corner of Sand Lake Road and Della. Including a bold new look for 1,750 square feet of outdoor event space. The grand opening for NORMAN’S is targeted for late summer 2020. NORMAN’S will feature a contemporary menu that will be announced in late Spring but is reported to include some of Chef Van Aken’s signature dishes as well as some of the legendary Chef’s newest inspirations. The company is continuing to employ Yusuf Yildiz as general manager of the new restaurant and Laura Fletcher as private event manager. In August of 2019 Chef Norman Van Aken, Florida’s sole chef recipient of The James Beard “Who’s Who in America” Award, celebrated the 16th anniversary of the flagship restaurant, NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. He said this about the decision to move to Dellagio: “As we enter the next part of our journey - we are activating a space that is almost twice as large as our old space. This is in alignment with our goal of creating more world-class events in Orlando. Restaurant Row’s proximity to the Orange County Convention center allows us to better serve the estimated 1.4 million expected convention-goers in 2020. Dellagio is the perfect fit for our expanding vision of food and service to the community and to travelers.” NORMAN’S features Chef and decorated Cookbook Author Norman Van Aken and his culinary team. Chef Van Aken’s internationally acclaimed “New World Cuisine” is an exciting, healthful and delicious fusion of Florida with the power of Latin, Caribbean and Asian roots. “NORMAN’S will be an anchoring presence for Dellagio. We are working closely with the team at Norman’s on the stunning, genre-defining renovation taking place. We are excited about the prestige that this award-winning brand and iconic personality bring to the Dellagio collective footprint and to Restaurant Row.” Joe LeBas, President, Managing Director and Founder, Concorde Group Holdings, LLC Dellagio – The Heart of Sand Lake - located in the Dr. Phillips area of Orlando just minutes from Central Florida’s world-class theme parks and the Orange County Convention Center. Dellagio is home to some of Orlando’s favorite award-winning restaurants, a full line up of wellness and beauty destinations and a host of professional service brands. Over 30 brands make up the Dellagio family. # # # Contact:
Credit: Celebrate the Timeless Tale with Loved Ones; Featuring Choreography by Victoria Morgan and Live Music by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra January 16, 2020, (ORLANDO, Fla.) — Orlando Ballet will perform the classic fairytale, “Cinderella” at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts February 14 through 16, 2020. “Cinderella” will feature stunning choreography by Victoria Morgan, artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet, live music by Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and exquisite sets and costumes. The timeless tale will open on Valentine’s Day weekend, a perfect occasion to celebrate with loved ones. The harmonious sounds of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will bring every storybook character to life; including Cinderella, the prince, and even stepsisters, played by male Orlando Ballet company dancers. The production pays homage to the original fairytale romance, but also includes humorous moments and twists that will captivate audiences of all ages. The production will also include “Cinderella – A Family Show,” a one-hour condensed version perfect for families and young children, on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 11 a.m. “I’m thrilled to bring ‘Cinderella’ to Orlando and work with the immense talent at Orlando Ballet,” said artistic director of the Cincinnati Ballet Victoria Morgan. “Everyone loves the classic story of ‘Cinderella,’ but I hope that audiences find my version to be a breath of fresh air. The production is visually stunning—there’s a massive, gorgeous carriage, and the costumes are wonderful—but most importantly, the talented dancers of Orlando Ballet will bring my choreography to life beautifully.” “It’s a true pleasure to have Victoria Morgan’s choreography part of our repertoire this season,” said Orlando Ballet artistic director Robert Hill. “Victoria is a visionary with unmatched artistic-excellence, and I’m so happy our dancers get to work with and learn from choreographers of her caliber. Live accompaniment by the wonderful Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will bring so much magic to the production, too—audiences are in for a treat.” Ballet Ball – A Cinderella Story Orlando Ballet will host its first public event in its new home, Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre, January 25, 2020. Orlando Ballet’s “Ballet Ball: A Cinderella Story” is the organization’s preeminent gala and fundraising event, and is Cinderella-themed in honor of the production. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: Additionally, Orlando Ballet’s “Ballet Ball: A Cinderella Story” will feature special guest and global dance icon, Kevin McKenzie, artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. Orlando Ballet School students will have the opportunity to take a master ballet class with McKenzie on Sunday, January 26 at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre. The masterclass is open to the public and the first in Orlando Ballet’s new home. The new building will allow Orlando Ballet to bring more master classes and performances to the community. Visit: for more information.  Orlando Ballet’s “Ballet Ball: A Cinderella Story” is generously sponsored by PNC Bank. “Cinderella” Showtimes Friday, February 14, 2020  at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020  at 3 p.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020  at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 3 p.m. “Cinderella – A Family Show” Showtime Saturday, February 15, 2020  at 11 a.m.    To purchase tickets visit: or call the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts box office at 844-513-2014
Port received most votes out of 14 U.S. Ports in readers’ survey  Six ships call on Port Canaveral on May 27, 2019 with 35,111 passengersaccommodated in one day. (Photo: Canaveral Port Authority)  Port Canaveral, FL – December 31, 2019 – Port Canaveral has been named “Best Cruise Homeport in the U.S.” in Cruise Hive’s sixth annual Cruise Ship Awards readers’ survey, edging out of thirteen other U.S. homeports, with thousands of votes in the category. The Best Cruise Ship U.S. Homeport category was added to the survey for the first time. “Our commitment to providing the best possible experience for our cruise partners and guests has helped us earn this prestigious distinction,” Port Director and CEO Capt. John Murray stated. “We are very proud and thank Cruise Hive readers for recognizing our efforts.” Cruise Hive, an online cruise blogger for the latest industry news, conducted a readers’ survey for its 2019 Cruise Ship Awards, with voting for eight categories of cruise ship travel. The online voting opened in mid-September, and the awards were announced online yesterday, with Port Canaveral edging out all other U.S. cruise ports in the category. “With Port Canaveral receiving more votes than any other cruise homeport in the United States it just shows how far the Port has come and that Cruise Hive readers prefer it to other popular nearby options,” said Emrys Thakkar, Cruise Hive founder. “The Port has long been popular on our site and readers enjoy the experience and cruise ship itineraries that are available. I can’t wait to see how the Port grows even larger in the years to come and I’m especially excited for when Carnival’s Mardi Gras arrives in November 2020.”Cruise Hive cited Port Canaveral’s growth, with the construction of Cruise Terminal 3, the largest single project in the history of Port Canaveral, the anticipated arrival of the Carnival Mardi Gras, the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), and the planned renovations of Cruise Terminals 8 & 10 to accommodate more Disney Cruise Line ships. Other categories included Best New Cruise Ship of 2019, Most Anticipated New Cruise Ship of 2020, Best Cruise Ship Feature, Best Cruise Ship Refurbishment in 2019, Best Cruise Ship Dining Venue, Most Anticipated Future Class Cruise Ship, and Best Cruise Line of 2019.  To read Cruise Hive’s story, go to # # # About Port Canaveral    Led by the elected five-member Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners and Port Director and CEO, Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral is one of the world's most dynamic and exciting ports. A world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers in space, Port Canaveral hosts nearly 5 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and 6 million tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project, and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to world class cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers more recreational opportunities than all other Florida deep-water seaports combined. For more information, visit
The $12.5 million structure, named for chief donor Harriett Lake, was presented to the community in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, January 10th.  Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs provided nearly $1 million over two years of Cultural Facilities grants and another $4 million came from the Application Review Committee of the Tourist Development Council. The facility will not only be a home for the dancers and the school but will have a performance venue available for rental by other arts organizations.   BALLET BALL 2020  January 25 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pmA Cinderella StorySaturday, January 25, 2020 | 6 P.M.Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre600 North Lake Formosa Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 Presented by PNC BankPlease Share in the Enchantment of Orlando’s Preeminent Gala and Fundraiser as we Unveil Our New Home to the Central Florida Community.
Paula Wyatt
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In our world of seamless connectivity to countless concepts, creating content has never been easier. Whether you are creating a blog, planning an event or launching a brand - access to data, trends and ideas is essential. Some say that ideas are free, you either create them yourself or add your own twist to someone else’s concept.  But as far as original thought leaders go, there seem to be two general schools of thought:  1. Ideas are NOT FREE - Safeguard ideas at all costs. Don't share them with anyone. Your job security and value to your clients is centered around your ideas. 2. Ideas are FREE - Learn. Share. Repeat. Teach what you need to learn. Learn what you need to teach. It's in nailing the execution that you show your true value. Let's face it, how many original ideas are still left in the universe anyway? When building a Company Culture platform, who hasn't glanced at Google's Culture of Success doctrine. Or in building a Corporate Social Responsibility program, who hasn’t toggled over to Whole Food’s Conscious Capitalism platform. I think ideas are Free-ish. The information is out there, why not become an expert at what you do, share the information with anyone who will listen. Build your brand. Start a blog. Donate your time to charity.  As an IMAGE Building Consultant - I give away ideas all the time. Because I think if you have amazing ideas that can help someone grow their business or raise money for their nonprofit - I say share those ideas and let your contribution be in the translation and the execution of those concepts - that's the real value– that’s what people pay for. Anything is Posh Able - at Posh University Sharing Innovative Ideas and Helpful Hints on Event Planning, Image Building and Philanthropy.
Program helps customers afford critical medications, regardless of insurance coverage Publix Pharmacy recently filled its 100 millionth free prescription as part of its free medication program.“We are proud to provide a service that helps our customers afford their medications,” said Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk. “As the cost of health care continues to rise, this program has become even more important to our customers and our communities. Too often, high prescription costs prevent people from taking medication as prescribed. When medications are free or available at a greatly reduced cost, that barrier is lifted, and our customers can get the care they need.”The free medication program began in 2007. It includes 14-day supplies of four oral antibiotics, as well as 90-day supplies of maintenance medications used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. Customers simply need to provide their Publix pharmacist with a prescription for medications covered in the program, and it will be filled for free. There is no limit to the number of free prescriptions customers can receive, and the free medications are provided regardless of insurance coverage.According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, providing free medications significantly improved adherence to prescriptions by patients who previously could not afford their prescriptions. An oft-cited 2005 study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimates non-adherence to medications results in more than 125,000 deaths and $100 million in health care costs.A second low-cost prescription program provides customers with 90-day supplies of commonly prescribed medications for $7.50, including treatments for cholesterol, mental health, arthritis, gastrointestinal issues and more. Publix Pharmacy believes that lower out-of-pocket costs help patients take their medications as prescribed, improving the health and wellness of communities it serves.For more information about Publix’s free medication program and the list of free medications, please visit
She fled the Nazis as a child, trained as a scout for the Haganah in Jerusalem, and struggled as a single mother when she came to America - before she was known as Dr. Ruth, sex therapist of radio and television. You're invited into the apartment and into the life of America's sex therapist, Dr. Ruth. This intimate one-woman show explores the extraordinary life of German-Jewish American Karola Ruth Seigel, the woman behind the familiar voice answering the questions we dare not ask. Becoming Dr. Ruth is guaranteed to make you laugh, blush, cry, and leave you utterly verklempt. WHEN January 8 - February 9, 2020 WHERE Orlando Shakes in the Goldman Theater John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando, FL 32803 CAST Dr. Ruth: Eileen DeSandre* CREATIVE TEAM Director: Cynthia White*** AEA Stage Manager: George Hamrah* Scenic Designer: Bert Scott** Lighting and Projection Designer: Rob Siler** Costume Designer: Alison Reid Sound Designer: Britt Sandusky Assistant Director: Ana Marinez Medina PERFORMANCE INFORMATION AND RELATED EVENTS Preview Dates: January 8 & 9 at 7:30 p.m. Opening Date: January 10 at 7:30 p.m. Senior Matinees: January 15, 22, 29, & February 5 at 2:00 p.m. Talk Back Performance: January 26 at 2:00 p.m. Opening Night Party & Pre-Show Chat - Friday, January 10 Arrive at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy free light appetizers, followed by a brief, informative discussion about the creative process with the director and members of the creative team. Free to all opening night ticket holders. No RSVP necessary. NEW! Guest Talkback: A Holocaust Survivor’s – Sunday, January 19 After the performance on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 2:00 pm, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida will host an intimate moderated chat with local Holocaust survivor, Sonja Marchensano. Listen to her story of hope, survival, and the challenges her family faced through the Holocaust. TICKET INFORMATION PRICING Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and every Sunday and select Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. – starting at $30 Preview Performances and Senior Matinees – starting at $20 DISCOUNTS (May not be combined with any other offers) Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+ Student Rush: $15 - 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID Student and Active/Retired Military: $10 off single ticket prices w/ valid ID (Only available in Price Levels A and B) $25 Under 35: Patrons under 35 years old can purchase $25 tickets for evening and weekend matinee performances during January 22 - 26. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or purchase online with code word: 25UNDER35 (Only available in Price Levels B and C.) If it were a movie, Becoming Dr. Ruth would be rated “PG-13”. Children under 5 will not be admitted to our Signature Series productions. For the complete content advisory, please visit: WARNING: Strong sexual content. Becoming Dr. Ruth is presented by Jim and Valeria Shapiro and the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida. Orlando Shakes is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida. -END- ORLANDO SHAKES CONTACT For more information on Orlando Shakes, please contact Digital Marketing Coordinator Lexie Hoag at or (407) 447-1700 ext. 250 for further details or to arrange for individual interviews. PHOTO CREDIT Photos by Tony Firriolo feature Eileen DeSandre. ABOUT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL & RESOURCE CENTER OF FLORIDA Founded in 1981 as a series of lectures on the Holocaust, the Center opened its current museum in 1986. It was founded by Holocaust survivor and local philanthropist, Tess Wise. The Center’s mission is to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to build a just and caring community free of anti-Semitism, and all forms of prejudice and bigotry. They preserve the past to protect the future. Because of the Holocaust Center’s work, society is and will be more open-minded, understanding, respectful, less prone to conflict and richer because of the diversity encouraged to thrive. For more information on the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center, contact Lisa Bachman,, 407-628-0555. To learn more about the Holocaust Center, visit ABOUT ORLANDO SHAKES Celebrating its 31st Season, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director Douglas Love-Ramos, Orlando Shakes is one of the region’s most acclaimed professional theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal, “Spectacular and satisfying…Broadway-quality…impressive...come to Florida and plunge yourself in…” With ambitious, high-caliber productions like 2018’s Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love, and 2017’s The Great Gatsby and Man of La Mancha, the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare’s legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large. For more information visit Contact:LEXIE HOAGDigital Marketing Coordinator Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCFOffice: (407) 447-1700 ext. 250
PRESS RELEASE NEW CLEAN BEAUTY ADVOCATE EMERGES IN CENTRAL FLORIDA Launches Free Resource-Rich Platform Promoting Sustainable Beauty (Orlando, Florida) December 27, 2019 - Central Florida Pharmacist, mother and clean beauty advocate - Dr. Sejal Patel, launches a new beauty platform (DR. SEJAL BEAUTY) on January 1, 2020. The launch coincides with 2020 New Year's Resolutions - one of the most popular is "going clean" with your beauty products. This scientific data-driven platform is available at It is a free resource providing a steady flow of critically evaluated and evidence-based information on clean beauty products - and an easy to follow program for those looking to upgrade their beauty regimen. To further promote adoption of clean, simple, and sustainable beauty ("for you, your family and the environment"), Dr. Patel volunteers her time to offer a variety of community outreach programs and initiatives. “The clean beauty concept embraces human-made and natural ingredients, putting the focus on safety while preserving efficacy. The Dr. Sejal Beauty platform is designed to promote all aspects of clean beauty and offer consumers an easy to follow program to upgrade their beauty routine.” Dr. Sejal Patel, creator of DR. SEJAL BEAUTY Dr. Sejal Beauty is driven by the passion of Dr. Sejal Patel who was inspired by her two-year-old daughter's skin condition to dive deep into the world of clean, simple, and sustainable beauty. Leveraging her training as a pharmacist on the Dr. Sejal Beauty website, Dr. Patel offers viewers a collection of essential and free resources to help them make the best possible decisions when it comes to beauty products. MEDIA AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH · Media Kit · Dr. Sejal Patel, Pharm D BIO · Clean Beauty Exchange · Dr. Sejal Beauty - Clean Beauty Blog MEDIA AND PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES To book an interview, schedule a podcast session or request collaboration (with preformed social or editorial content), contact: 
The third annual Party with a Purpose was held on December 5th at Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. Each year The Collage Companies’ annual event benefits a Central Florida nonprofit organization who is making a difference in the community, the event also recognizes three Central Florida individuals who have shown a desire to change the world around them.  The 2019 Party with a Purpose recognized IDignity, a Central Florida nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore dignity and hope by assisting U.S. citizens and legal residents in regaining proof of their identity. It is estimated that more than 25 million adult U.S. citizens do not possess valid government-issued photo identification. At the event, Collage presented IDignity with a check for $25,000 and through a “matching funds” campaign contributed in total $50,000 to IDignity. Shown Here: Brian Walsh (The Collage Companies) Anne Taylor (IDignity), Phillip Henry (IDignity), Michael Dippy (IDignity), Rob Maphis (The Collage Companies) Past Check Recipients: At the 2018 Party with a Purpose event, Collage presented a check for $50,000 to LIFT Orlando and in 2017 a check for $35,000 was presented to Shepherd’s Hope during Collage’s 35th Anniversary Celebration. Each year Party with a Purpose honors three individuals who express an endless desire to change the world around them. The 2019 BRING CHANGE Award Winners were: Terry Prather, Dr. Joel Hunter and Michael Dippy (shown here). · Terry Prather began his career with Sea World in 1988 and retired from Sea World Orlando in 2015 as President of Sea World Orlando. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of LIFT Orlando, business leaders partnering with residents to break the cycle of concentrated through neighborhood revitalization in the neighborhood surrounding Camping World Stadium. · Dr. Joel Hunter served as senior pastor of Northland Church for 32 years. Now, Dr. Hunter, a full-time volunteer, serves as the Chairman of the Community Resource Network a non-profit organization he founded, that focuses on helping the marginalized; specifically families who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. · Michael Dippy was born in Orlando and graduated from the University of Florida College of Architecture in 1994. He is co-founder of IDignity, a unique nonprofit organization that assists people in obtaining proof of their identity. Since 2008, IDignity has served over 13,000 individuals in Orlando and has replicated the model in other communities around the state and nation as well. “What is unique about the 2019 Bring Change winners is that each of these individuals are having an impact in their “second” careers. One was the Senior Pastor of one of central Florida’s largest churches, one was the former president of a local theme park and one was an aspiring young architect. They were successful—at the top of game so to speak before-- and now in a new season each are still giving back and changing lives.” says Brian Walsh - President and CEO of The Collage Companies. The Collage Companies is an established integrated services firm with capabilities and expertise in Design Build, Construction Management, and General Contracting. Collage pursues community–centric projects with an emphasis in the hospitality, religious, transportation, education, government and parks and sports sectors. Collage has served Florida and the southeast since 1982 from their headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida and has a high percentage of repeat clients and multiple award-winning projects in both the public and private sectors. The Collage Companies was honored as one of GrowFL’s 2018 Florida Companies to Watch.
Paula Wyatt
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The Collage Companies celebrates a "topping off event" with contractors, architect and owner of the NEW Holiday Inn Express in Sanford, Florida.  This 5-story hotel will feature 121 guest rooms, lobby, swimming pool, fitness room, kitchen, and retail space. Holiday Inn Express is a mid-priced hotel chain within the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands which focuses on providing convenient and practical amenities and caters to business travelers and short-term stays.  Shown Here: Jayesh Patel (Owner) - Brian Walsh (President, The Collage Companies) - George Aubin (Architect) - Adger Klein (Senior Project Manager Pre-Construction) - John Burlazzi (Project Manager) Other Related Collage Projects and Topics: · ALOFT by Marriott Topping Off Event · The Hospitality and Transportation Brands We Serve · Hospitality Construction trends in Central Florida
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