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Visioning and Relationship Building

Guest Column by Dean Hybl, Ten at the Top

Monday, February 20, 2012 7:00 am

As someone who was very involved in the visioning effort in Central Florida and who has now led a similar effort in a slightly smaller region during the last two years, I don’t think you can over-emphasize the importance of the work that myregion.org, a Line of Business of the Central Florida Partnership, has done to galvanize a set of regional priorities that included input from well over 30,000 residents during the course of its work. Many of the positive things that have happened in Central Florida over the last decade can, in one way or another, be directly connected to that effort. 

Seeing first hand and understanding the value of the great work of the Central Florida Partnership and its Lines of Business (and replicating a number of the initiatives started there in the Upstate SC area), I just want to add my voice and let you know that, even here in South Carolina, you have great supporters.

We have been able to get some great things moving here over the last two years, and are starting to make a significant impact in building trust and collaboration in this region. It would not be possible had I not learned the value of engaging and involving all stakeholders from Jacob Stuart and his team.  We are now working to build a similar foundation of regional trust so that as opportunities arise, we are ready to take action. That team of volunteer leaders and staff spent a decade creating those relationships, and while some may miss the value, they have been very helpful in bringing positive things to Central Florida.

Some people seem to think that positive things just happen in a vacuum and seem unwilling to recognize and give credit to the years of behind-the-scenes work that has ultimately led to the positive outcomes.

Maybe in a perfect world it would be great if this kind of public engagement and development of collaboration and partnerships were paid for exclusively with private funds or were specifically led and completed by government entities. But, we all know that is not the landscape and, therefore, it is vital to have organizations like the Central Florida Partnership to ensure that key elements of long-term success like relationship building, creating an understanding of what a community values and convening key leaders around a table to impact change are part of the equation.

In addition to his words here, Hybl submitted the following Letter to the Editor which was published in the Orlando Sentinel on the February 15, 2012.

Letter to the Editor:
Maxwell column on chamber spending

Response to Maxwell
Having previously worked with Jacob Stuart and the leaders of the Central Florida Partnership, I was disheartened by the one-track discussion on Sunday in the Sentinel ("End gravy train of tax dollars to chamber"). While columnist Scott Maxwell has a right and responsibility to review how public money is spent, he did not mention the value the public has received from the partnership's efforts.

Over the past decade, myregion.org and the partnership have become national models for building collaboration and partnerships across a region through community outreach, visioning and relationship building.

The new commuter-rail line is just one example of where their efforts to foster collaboration and partnerships have been valuable for Central Florida. Before the creation of myregion.org, the effort in 1998 to bring light rail to Orlando failed partly because there was no champion illustrating the regional importance. By 2007, the years of work to build regional trust paid off with unanimous support for what is now SunRail.

I am currently executive director of an organization in South Carolina that encourages regional collaboration, planning and partnerships, as we look toward ensuring this region is globally competitive and maintains a high quality of life. The Central Florida Partnership has provided a great blueprint for how public-private partnerships can elevate the conversation and help regions address these issues.

I salute the Central Florida Partnership for being a trailblazing organization and for providing a platform for regional conversation in Central Florida.

Dean Hybl Executive director, Ten at the Top, Greenville, S.C.

Editor's note: Hybl was program manager for myregion.org from 2005-09.

Central Florida Partnership - Ideas to Results
The Central Florida Partnership is a collaborative of business and civic leaders committed to procuring a better tomorrow for Central Florida's seven counties - Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia. We are thoughtful leaders united by a single, guiding principle - that we have both the power and the responsibility to make change happen.

Working together, through four lines of business – Orlando, Inc. (Regional Entrepreneurship), BusinessForce (Regional Public Policy Advocacy), myregion.org (Regional Research & Resolves) and Leadership Orlando (Regional Leadership) – the Central Florida Partnership is moving “Ideas to Results.”

About the Central Florida Partnership
Click here to learn more about the Central Florida Partnership.
Click here for the Central Florida Partnership Board of Directors.