Why did you want to serve on the Board of Directors?
Board service offers a way to better understand the issues facing the business community, become more actively involved, and have input into the growth and future direction of Orange County’s second largest city.
What is your business philosophy?
The short version: How can I help? To expand a bit: Anyone can achieve their goals and get from where they are to where they want to be, if they have the right plan and resources. My job is to help clients develop that plan, then identify and secure those resources, from strategies, processes, and marketing collateral to funding, network connections, and more.
What is your proudest achievement?
One of the highlights of my career was working with radio and TV talk-show pioneer Art Linkletter. At 94 years young, Art was a force of energy on the book tour I launched for his anti-aging book How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Setting up a book tour, complete with a sold out kickoff event that had would-be ticket buyers demanding a second show, was exhilarating! Managing the crowds that waited in post-appearance lines, sometimes for an hour or more, just to get autographs was challenging, but watching the way Art took time to truly engage with each individual as he signed hundreds of books was inspirational. His ability to interact with and engage his audience was a testament to the saying “age is just a state of mind.” His mind was sharper and his wit quicker than many of the authors half his age on book tours and the speaking circuit today! I hope I have half the energy, enthusiasm and excitement for life when I reach 50 that Art had at 94!
What have you found most valuable about your involvement with the Chamber?
The relationships that have been initiated and developed are priceless. Many of the business people I’ve met through the chamber have become personal friends. Being a business owner is tough! Chamber membership offers a myriad of opportunities to not only grow my business, but also cultivate a network of trusted colleagues with whom I have partnered on projects and from whom I can seek sound advice and counsel.
What do you think makes the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce different from other business organizations?
From networking and professional development opportunities to the “we’re all in this together” attitude, the chamber offers a good cross-section of opportunities to help our members unlock the full potential of their business, and, ultimately, themselves.
What book (or author) has influenced you most in your business career?
The specialized niche I enjoy today (helping executives become published authors and get paid to speak) is a direct result of my work with author Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the publishing industry’s biggest success story, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishing empire. Mark took me “behind the green curtain” to learn the insider’s secrets to successful publishing and speaking. He regularly introduced me to his personal friends and colleagues (including Art Linkletter!), which enabled me to learn from –and work with — some of the brightest and most successful in the industry.
President and Founder, Elizabeth Charles & Associates, LLC
P.O. Box 547252
Orlando, FL 32854