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Castle and Cottage Realty, one of The Community Seal's newest Founding Members, provides a luxury-caliber service for high net worth and discriminating clientele from condos and town homes to high-end luxury properties in Central Florida. Castle and Cottage Realty and its owner, Katherine Bordelon, just celebrated its one-year anniversary and is committed to building a stronger community through giving back.

From Day 1, giving back to the community and adherence to social responsibility have been central to their mission. Castle and Cottage advocates for education by giving their time, talents, resources and support to Teach for America Orlando. They are also Ambassadors for MBA Orlando, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and support multiple non-profit organizations that are important to their agents and clients. Castle and Cottage Realty fully embraces the importance of being a responsible business through service and a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

accesso, one of The Community Seal's earliest Founding Members, provides cutting edge queuing and ticketing technology solutions to theme parks and attractions worldwide. accesso’s CEO, Steve Brown, and its largest office with almost 150 employees are based in Lake Mary.

accesso is a great place to work in large part because of their commitment to their employees and support of what is important to them, including giving back to the community. Every employee is given 8 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer, and they organize group volunteer project each month. They recently had 25 volunteers at Harvest Time International, which benefits families in need across the globe. They moved furniture, sorted bedding and organized office supplies -- with smiles on their faces because they knew they were helping over 10,000 families.

accesso is truly a Central Florida leader in giving back and social responsibility. Stay tuned for more stories from accesso and the causes they support.

Since 2001, CECO has been providing hope for families that have been searching for the place where the impossible IS possible. CECO offers a special needs school day kindergarten through 12th grade, summer camp, early intervention ages 6 months to 4 years old and walking challenge program.

Conductive Education is a unique, holistic educational approach to help children with Cerebral Palsy and other motor disabilities achieve their greatest level of independence through physical and cognitive activities.

We welcome families and our community friends to stop by and tour our facility...see how hard the children work on a daily basis to obtain their greatest potential.

CECO has successful partnerships with many corporations and businesses and extends their thanks to two of their recent supporters

Grant from the Universal Foundation

Our most sincere thanks goes out to the Universal Orlando Foundation, an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact in Central Florida. Their $20,000 grant will certainly make a positive impact here at CECO! Thank you for helping us transform lives.

New Bike Donated by Variety Florida

A very special thanks to Variety Florida Children's Charity for donating a Freedom Concepts bicycle! Our students love the extra opportunity to be active and enjoy the fresh air. We are grateful for their contribution!

accesso provides cutting edge queuing and ticketing technology solutions to theme parks and attractions worldwide. accesso’s CEO, Steve Brown, and its largest office with almost 150 employees are based in Lake Mary. accesso is growing significantly and is challenged to fill their mostly tech positions in their Lake Mary office and their other offices around the world. Brown and Maura Schiefelbein, accesso’s VP of Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Development, recognize that support and involvement in the local community is not only the right thing to do but is critical to employee loyalty and recruitment.

So, accesso has begun by implementing an employee engagement program in the Lake Mary office that includes three important elements:

• a goal of participating in a group volunteer project each quarter,

• a committee called accesso cares made up of employees who decide what issues and non-profits the company will support, and

• a policy that gives all employees 8 hours of paid time off annually to volunteer in their local communities to a cause that is important to them personally.

Recent group efforts have included volunteering to provide and make lunch at the Ronald McDonald House, visiting with the residents of a local retirement community, and this month participating globally in the Walk for Freedom, which supports the abolishment of human trafficking. Individual efforts via the Volunteer Time Off benefit have ranged from walking dogs at a local shelter, to working to reduce food waste by helping secure food donations from restaurants and getting them to those in need.

accesso also shows its commitment to the local community by donating funds and in-kind resources to important local issues, including joining other companies from the local Tech community to donate $100,000 to the OneOrlando fund.

Brown and Schiefelbein have received very positive feedback from their efforts to create an employee-centric social responsibility program and are now focused on expanding the program to their other offices around the world and becoming more strategic in their future community investments - leveraging their unique skills, resources, and networks to have a lasting impact in the communities where they live and work.

Financial institutions, especially smaller community banks, seem to be on the leading edge of community investment and social responsibility. They understand that a stronger community means a stronger business and the importance of a brand that says we care.

BB&T is not a local community bank. Based in NC, it is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with over 1,800 centers in 12 states and D.C. However, BB&T’s Lighthouse Project demonstrates that they also understand that it is critical to keep your community investments local.

The BB&T Lighthouse Project provides corporate financial support to local charities, but the decision of where to donate time and money is made in the local markets. Associates in the local branches get involved landscaping, painting, preparing meals and more. Since the Lighthouse Project began in 2009, associates have contributed more than 385,000 volunteer hours and improved the quality of life for more than 11 million people.

Chris Rolle, Orlando Market President and Senior Vice President, says that it is very unusual but very important for corporations to invest in all the communities where they operate and to let the local offices decide how to give back to their community where they live and work.

Two recent BB&T projects in Orlando are: a renovation of the Fire Safety House at the Children’s Safety Village and assistance with a new school and programs at CECO, a K-12 school for kids with special needs. The renovation of the Fire Safety House, which is used by volunteer firefighters to teach children about fire safety, allowed the associates to roll up their sleeves and really see the difference they could make.

People and businesses decide where to give based on their interests, their skills, and their connections. BB&T’s partnership with CECO was a result of a connection with a CECO board member. They provided financial and volunteer assistance to CECO as they built and set up programs for existing students and expanded their programs for high school and adult students in their new building.

Rolle is very proud of the work he and his team have done in the community. He is looking to be even more organized and strategic in their future community investment, leveraging their unique skills and network with partnerships, in-kind resources, and the time and talent of their associates to have a lasting impact in the community.

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