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Apopka Chamber of Commerce names new leader


Robert Agrusa has been named the new president of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce. He will begin his duties with the Apopka Chamber on September 25.

Described in a press release from the Apopka Chamber as a leading advocate for the Central Florida business community, Agrusa comes to the Chamber from BusinessForce, the political action arm of the Orlando Economic Partnership (formerly the Central Florida Partnership), where he has served as that group’s executive director for the past two years.

In that role, Agrusa represented thousands of businesses and those businesses’ thousands of employees and was directly responsible for advancing the business community’s agenda through public policy advocacy and supporting business-friendly candidates for Florida’s largest regional PAC.

“Robert is a well-known, respected business advocate whose background and extensive experience in the Central Florida community will enable him to hit the ground running as we focus on bringing increased and measurable value to our members. We are confident his skills and vision will enable us to meet the continued growth of our community head-on,” Deb Perez, Chamber chairman, wrote in an email.

As the lead administrator and spokesman for BusinessForce, Agrusa, a Florida native, led community conversations, built diverse coalitions, and engaged the Central Florida’s businesses by facilitating positive, proactive participation, according to the press release. He also provided a strong voice on behalf of the business community to create more balanced media coverage in the process.

Agrusa moved to Central Florida in 2011 to serve as the chief political liaison between state Sen. Andy Gardiner’s legislative office and his responsibilities as Florida Senate President Designate. In this role, Agrusa was immersed in Gardiner’s political, fundraising and campaign-related activities – including his 2014 re-election campaign and his state Political Action Committee – and built relationships between members of the business community, elected officials and organizations from across Florida.

Gardiner is a former Apopka Chamber president.

Agrusa’s community involvement includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, the Government Affairs Council at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, and the Central Florida Young Professionals Advisory Council.

Additionally, Agrusa is a graduate of Leadership Orlando, Class 91, and the 2013 Central Florida Political Leadership Institute.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Florida.

This story appears in the Friday, September 1, issue of The Apopka Chief