Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise PodcastsMarketing Florida’s Business ClimateUncategorized

Susan Connelly Discusses Florida’s United Business Community

Susan Connelly, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs at Darden, discuss the top issues she hopes to tackle in Central Florida as the Florida Chamber’s Central Florida Regional Board Chair.


Florida’s businesses are an important part of our state’s diverse communities. For Darden, their involvement doesn’t end with providing quality service to consumers.

“We are mindful that we live and work in remarkable communities all over Florida as well as all over the country. One of the programs that I’m really proud of is our Darden Harvest program,” said SUSAN CONNELLY, Florida Chamber Central Florida Regional Board Chair, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Darden. “All of our restaurants across the country take unused food at the end of the night… that weren’t used, we cook it all up, we freeze it and we donate it to feeding agencies and food banks in the local community. We’ve donated as a system to date, almost 95 million pounds of food since the inception of the program.”

While Central Florida is known for a strong tourism industry, businesses are also focused on ensuring they have the correct workforce for the future, access to labor and cost effective healthcare. As the Florida Chamber’s Central Florida Regional Chair, Connelly will have a unique role in bringing businesses in that region together to solve challenges.

“I am so proud of the work that the Florida Chamber does as a leading voice for Florida businesses,” said Connelly. “The business community’s relationship with government continues to be more and more critical. I hope that we can work here in Central Florida to increase member engagement over the next year and beyond, because I strongly believe that we are stronger together as a business community and the more we can find our unified voice, we can accomplish great things for the people of Florida and Central Florida.”


And for Connelly, free enterprise is all about working together.

“Creating a strong working relationship and partnership between government and private industry is so much more productive than the adversarial relationship that sometimes exists- either perceived or actual,” said Connelly. “We have a unique opportunity in the business community to work with government to help them understand our businesses, not just from a periphery, but really deep down into how our businesses work and grow, and allow us to put offense together, as government and business, to invigorate the economy and solve problems for all Floridians- that’s when free enterprise works best, is when this is truly a partnership between our elected officials and our policy makers and the business community to really keep the health and wellbeing both economically and from a cultural and personal perspective of Floridians top of mind.”

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