MBA’s Pride in Business Awards Gala moves to November

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Annual Metropolitan Business Association’s Pride in Business Awards Gala, originally scheduled for Oct. 7, will be moved to Nov. 4 from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m., with a sponsor reception beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Rosen Shingle Creek.

“There were some limitations for the original date that would have prohibited us from putting on the kind of show that the MBA attendees have become accustomed to,” Gala Committee Co-Chair Deb Ofsowitz says. “On top of that, when Irma came though, it hindered some of the vendors.”

The awards gala, presented by Wells Fargo, will honor the best in Central Florida’s LGBTQ businesses.

Awards are handed out in six categories: Business Person of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Corporate Ally of the Year, New Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year and Business Leader of the Year.

“We are using a committee outside of Orlando to select the winners to remove any appearance of impropriety with board and committee members,” Ofsowitz says. “There will be members from the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber and members from the Atlanta Diversity Chamber that will review the nominees and choose the winners based on the MBA’s criteria.”

With outside Chamber members reviewing the nominees that levels the playing field but it also means that filling out your ballots completely and thoroughly is vital. The nomination process has been extended to Sept. 29, and for the first time all categories are gender neutral.

“The idea to make the categories gender neutral was brought to our attention by Lu [Mueller-Kaul], the MBA president,” Ofsowitz says. “She has been working really hard over the last couple of years to make sure we are a more diverse chamber and that we are more gender neutral and gender inclusive.”

This is the MBA’s signature event. A black tie affair with an incredible full course dinner that will also feature a silent auction, live entertainment and an official after party.

“This is the MBA’s 25th Anniversary and they also won Chamber of the Year, so it will not only be a celebration of the business leaders but of the MBA itself,” Ofsowitz says.

Jorge Estevez and Miss Sammy are back to host and edgefactory has donated a significant amount of production value to this event, so you know the entertainment will be next level.

Tickets are $125 and are available to purchase at

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