FL 2030 Benchmarks

Florida Prosperity Project Advisory Board Member in the 2030 Spotlight – Walt Disney World Resort

Interviewee: Stefanie Steele, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney World Resort

What made Walt Disney World Resort join the Florida Prosperity Project Advisory Board?

Walt Disney World Resort joined the advisory board because we care about Florida’s future and have established efforts to address affordable housing and homelessness through multiple contributions in our community. Since arriving in Central Florida more than five decades ago, Disney has played an active role in finding solutions to important matters affecting Floridians, especially children and families.

Our commitment to Florida is more than making significant financial and non-financial contributions or volunteering for Central Florida nonprofit organizations. At Disney, we take our commitments one step further by being a force for good. When our Company and its cast members get involved, we bring hope, comfort, optimism, and joy in ways only Disney can.

Part of that commitment is lending our expertise and leadership to advisory boards where our efforts quickly become a force multiplier. Through strong partnerships on boards, we show those in need their futures are filled with endless possibilities, and we want to help them achieve their dreams.

Disney just released the details of an incredible affordable housing project that will develop 1,300 units just miles away from Magic Kingdom. Tell us a little more about this initiative and as a business leader, why investing in affordable housing is so important for the health and prosperity of your community.

Our attainable housing initiative is a great example of how we are using our resources and offering viable solutions to tackle one of the nation’s greatest challenges. We recognize a home provides stability which can open doorways to greater possibilities for people to thrive in our community.

To that extent, we are working with The Michaels Organization who will build and maintain more than 1,300 units of affordable and attainable housing on approximately 80 acres of land we are donating in southwest Orange County. We selected this organization as they are a leader in this space, having created over 425 communities in more than 35 states.

The development will be open for qualifying applicants within a certain income range, which may include Disney cast members and others in the community who have made Florida their home.

This privately financed development will create new jobs in the Central Florida community through The Michaels Organization’s construction and ongoing operation of the property. We will collaborate throughout its design and construction.

Ultimately, this initiative builds on other significant investments we have made to actively address affordable housing and homelessness from all angles. It also supports Orange County’s Housing for All action plan to address housing affordability for local residents, an action plan brought about by the passion and leadership of Mayor Jerry Demings.

Why is it important for Florida leaders to join the fight against childhood poverty and securing the path to prosperity for ALL Floridians?

Our mission at Disney is to entertain, inform, and inspire people through the power of unparalleled storytelling. If you think about our best Disney stories, they include a team of individuals working together to overcome an obstacle or defeat a foe. Childhood poverty is the foe in this story. The team who will help defeat it includes Florida business leaders who also believe that by working together, we can create a brighter tomorrow for future generations.

Click here to learn about the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Prosperity Project that is uniting Florida businesses for good around the Florida 2030 Blueprint goal of cutting Florida childhood poverty in half by 2030 and ensuring 100% have a pathway out.

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