When she was hired in 1977 as a part-time secretary for the Orlando Area Chamber of Commerce, Ruth Z. Mustian had recently returned "home' after spending five years in Winston-Salem, N.C. as an executive secretary in the Corporate Employment Department of R. J. Reynolds Industries.
A new mom at 29 years of age, Ruth began her Chamber career, never dreaming it would last so long. On Wednesday, she was recognized for thirty five years of service to our region during the Central Florida Partnership's Board of Directors Meeting.
Perhaps the greatest impact that she has had during her tenure is through her work with the Leadership Orlando program. From 1987-1997, she served as the program director, bringing innovation, growth and national recognition to the program, encouraging countless graduates in their service to our community. More recently, as President of this "Line of Business” for the Central Florida Partnership, she has completely redesigned its curriculum, advancing the strategic priorities of the Central Florida Region, showcasing Medical City, the Modeling, Simulation & Training industry cluster, and regional assets like the Daytona International Speedway, NASA-Kennedy Space Center, and the new LEGOLAND Florida in Polk County.
She has witnessed our collective history, our challenges, and our opportunities. To put her contributions in context, consider this. When Orlando, Inc. (Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce) celebrates its 100th Anniversary next year, Ruth will have been a part of its important work for more than one-third of that time.
Ruth has cheered launches of astronauts and Space Shuttles from the Chamber rooftop, and mourned their tragic losses. She's seen the implosion of Orlando City Hall, and more recently the Amway Arena to make room for new Central Florida icons. She has seen the growth of the Orange County Convention Center and watched the tourism industry weather economic storms. A witness to Hurricane Donna in 1960, she was also here to observe how our region "survived' the Hurricane trifecta – Charley, Frances & Jeanne – that struck Central Florida in 2004 and how communities worked to bring back some normalcy during the extensive clean up operation.
She has been a cheerleader, caregiver and friend to so many coworkers at the Chamber who have moved on to successful careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors, and has supported colleagues in the community as they work to make the Central Florida Region strong.
As she said in an email to the staff, "Thanks to all of you for your good wishes today. The very special recognition by all of you, Jacob and the CFP Board of Directors, and even Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, along with the delicious cake and the most beautiful bouquet of roses I have ever seen, is so very greatly appreciated. It's been an honor to be "a small part of action' in our region for such a long time.”
Central Florida Partnership - Ideas to Results
The Central Florida Partnership is a collaborative of business and civic leaders committed to procuring a better tomorrow for Central Florida's seven counties - Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia. We are thoughtful leaders united by a single, guiding principle - that we have both the power and the responsibility to make change happen.
Working together, through four lines of business – Orlando, Inc. (Regional Entrepreneurship), BusinessForce (Regional Public Policy Advocacy), myregion.org (Regional Research & Resolves) and Leadership Orlando (Regional Leadership) – the Central Florida Partnership is moving "Ideas to Results.”
About the Central Florida Partnership
Click here to learn more about the Central Florida Partnership.
Click here for the Central Florida Partnership Board of Directors.