CHAMPIONSGATE — Like so much else during the pandemic, the work of the Four Corners Area Council and the "Four Corners, One Vision" initiative it is spearheading had to pause and adapt.
Now, though, that work has ramped back up and the Four Corners Summit 2021 will put an exclamation point on the return of those efforts.
Scheduled for May 6 in the Osceola Ballroom at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, the all-day event will include the latest on the One Vision Initiative, as well as presentations from all four counties that make up Four Corners — Polk, Osceola, Lake and Orange — and more.
Tickets must be purchased for entry and registration can be done online at business.kissimmeechamber.com/events/details/four-corners-summit-2021-1189. Organizers say face masks are required for attendance and social distancing will be enforced.
For someone such as Allison Beeman, the past chair for the Four Corners Area Council and one of the event’s lead organizers, much of the value of the Summit will be derived from having high-ranking officials from all four counties in the same room.
County managers from Polk, Lake and Osceola will be on hand, as will a county administrator for Orange.
“It’s extremely important,” said Beeman, who is also the Business Development Manager for Cemex. “I think one of the biggest improvements we’ve made (through the Four Corners Area Council) is that we’ve brought all four county managers together and we’ve brought a sense of place to Four Corners that never has been before.”
Presentations will include information on economic development opportunities, tourism initiatives, transportation planning and pretty much anything else that impacts that region’s community and development.
The value of being in the same room as leaders from all four counties is why sponsors, including Title Sponsor Orlando Heath — which has plans to expand into Polk and has its Reunion location in the works mere blocks from the Omni — were eager to get involved.
“It’s very important being in front of all those county and municipal leaders,” explained Dawn Willis, a Community Relations Manager for Orlando Health.
“Orlando Heath needs to start that branding toward Polk County,” she added, noting the healthcare provider’s future plans and the land it owns in the Lakeland area. “They need to know the name — the branding needs to be there.”
The event will begin at around 10:15 a.m. with Coffee and Conversation, followed by a Welcome Message at 10:50 a.m.
At 10:55 Orlando Health Senior Vice President Andy Gardiner will speak, followed by speeches from Polk County Manager Bill Beasley, Osceola County Manager Don Fisher, Orange County Administrator Byron Brooks and Lake County Manager Allen Rosen.
After that, attendees will hear a Four Corners, One Vision Presentation by Tom Kohler of GAI Consultants and Rafael Montalvo with the UCF Consensus Center.
After lunch, Kohler will conduct a Q-and-A session with the county speakers, followed by a wrap-up.
Beeman encouraged even those who might not be able to attend to visit Onevisionfourcorners.com for more information on the Initiative. With the growth in the Four Corners region becoming even more pronounced — this fall, for instance, three new high schools (two in Orange, one in Davenport) will come online in the region — it is more important than ever for the community to be active in creating a sense of place, she says.
After all, a lot has changed — and more change is coming.
“I was born and raised in Polk County and I remember going to Clermont to the Citrus Museum and all you could see were groves when I was growing up,” Beeman said. “Now with the growth, you see homes being built, retail and restaurants. It's pretty tremendous.”