Mayor Demings pictured with Orange County's Manager of Neighborhoods Jason Reynolds with Jason Reynolds, Ne

2020 Orange County Government’s Community Conference Names Community Award Winners, Distinguished Citizen of the Year

Community & Services

At the 2020 Orange County Community Conference, which was held virtually on October 17, 2020 on the County’s social media platforms and hosted by Orange TV, Orange County Government recognized several deserving residents and organizations that continue to work diligently to improve the quality of life in Orange County, either through their professional work or volunteer activities.

The Community Conference featured several workshops highlighting experts from Orange County’s Health Services Division, tips on how to get your neighborhood involved and active during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a chat with Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. The keynote address was given by Timothy Ayers, who serves as the executive director of West Lakes Partnership, a neighborhood-based community development initiative in West Orlando

Candice Jones, M.D., was awarded the Mayor’s 2020 Distinguished Citizen of the Year. Dr. Jones is a board-certified physician and practices as a general pediatrician in the Pine Hills community. As a leader and advocate for pediatric healthcare, she provides a standard of care that enriches the lives of thousands of children and parents in the community. She has also made it her mission to provide innovative/virtual tools (especially during COVID) to local residents to ensure they remain informed, educated and empowered on healthcare matters.

Other award winners included:

Monica Harris Spires Excellence in Leadership – Roselyn Clouden, Hiawassa Highlands Neighborhood Association

Excellence in Community Building Projects – Association Beautification Committee, Hiawassa Highlands Neighborhood

Clean & Attractive Neighborhood of the YearEvans Community Partnership School, President Alexandria Turley

District Citizens of the Year:

District 1 – The Bloom & Grow Garden Society

This organization has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the community through scholarships and donations to worthwhile causes such as agricultural education and beautification.

District 2 – Leigh Blackwelder Burritt

A dedicated community servant, Burritt has spent countless hours researching and interviewing individuals to compile information for more than 50 historic and environmental sites in District 2.

District 3 – Virginia Bruton

As president of the Azalea Park Safe Communities, Bruton has organized the community, increased community participation, and created an inclusive and welcoming environment for all residents.

District 4 – Diana Mejia

As CEO of Nuevo Sendero, Inc., Mejia implements and coordinates programs such as “Arte para Sanar” and “Healing Community,” aimed at families affected by abuse by allowing them to express their emotions through art.

District 5 – Jennifer Anderson

Anderson has established relationships with public servants at all levels and leverages those relationships to benefit all Orange County residents by connecting these individuals to constituents, organizations and philanthropic causes.

District 6 – Deby Smith

A retired Orange County Government employee, Smith was instrumental in helping secure a traffic signal at the intersection of Oak Ridge Road and Chancellor Drive to relieve traffic obstruction and unreasonable delays for Oak Hill Manor residents attempting to enter or leave their subdivision.

To watch the 2020 Orange County Community Conference, which also included various speakers on important community topics visit, www.ocfl.net/CommunityConference.

Photo cutline: Jason Reynolds, Manager of Neighborhoods & Preservation at Orange County, pictured with Mayor Demings at the Virtual 2020 Community Conference.

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