ORLANDO | MBA Orlando went all out for its 2018 Pride Gala Business Awards at Universal CityWalk’s Hard Rock Live Aug. 4.

The show opened with Alina Alcantara and the Brunch Bunch performing the Academy Award-winning song “This Is Me” from the 2017 film musical “The Greatest Showman.” Emcee’s Jorge Estevez and Miss Sammy then took the stage with their always entertaining comedy back-and-forth.

The evening also featured entertainment from Eklectic Entertainment, Jose Navarro and Jeremy Hagen, as well as an empowering speech from keynote speaker Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the NGLCC.

But the main reason people were there was to honor the best the MBA has to offer. The New Business of the Year went to Joie de Vivre Health and Chiropractic. Small Business of the Year went to Eck, Collins & Richardson, PL. Nonprofit Organization of the Year went to onePULSE Foundation. Corporate Ally of the Year went to Orlando Health. Business Leader of the Year went to Castle & Cottage Realty’s Katherine Bordelon. Business Owner of the Year went to Michael Thomas of John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Catering. Diversity & Inclusion Leader was Marisol Romany from Orlando Health. The Pride Superstars Award went to Turner Construction Company. Each year, MBA Orlando’s Board of Directors also recognizes two outstanding individuals for their service to the community. This year they named Joyce Almeida as the Volunteer of the Year and Michael Farmer of Equality Florida as the Community Champion of the Year.

Congratulations to all the winners and to MBA Orlando for another successful event.

Photos by Meghan Sweeney.

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