Tori Trinder unveils new programs at the Avon Park chamber
AVON PARK The Avon Park Chamber of Commerce has been a part of Tori Trinder's life since she was a young girl volunteering at the office at 28 E. Main St. Now she is the new executive director of the not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1904. "I'm familiar with the process and a staunch believer in Avon Park," said Trinder, who took over as the interim manager after Laura Wade's departure in January to become the director of career services at Webber University.With more than 20 years experience in the information technology field, Trinder believes she will be an asset to the chamber because she is adept at gathering information and putting it into a useful format. Trinder, who received her degree in business and computer information systems from the Florida Institute of Technology, has worked in the entertainment industry at Walt Disney World and the banking industry with SunTrust and Highlands Independent Bank. Her first order of business at the Chamber of Commerce was to revamp their website. The new site at www.avonpark chamber.com offers historical information on the "City of Charm," an events calendar and information on area businesses. "Each member has their own mini-Web page," explained Trinder of the business profiles that contain company logos, pictures and videos, as well as pertinent information on services and products. Trinder is also starting a local chapter of "Chamber for Good," a community building service that raises awareness of local charities. The free service will send out an automated email to members once a week to announce upcoming events and philanthropic causes. "This is such a good area; everybody helps everybody out," commented Trinder on the tight-knit community that was founded in 1886. Born in Michigan, the youngest of four children, Trinder lost her mother to cancer while she was still a baby. She was only 7 when she and her sister came to Avon Park to live with their grandmother, Mabel Woodward. It was the strong leadership of her grandmother and several area businesswomen, such as former chamber director Annabelle Worden, that influenced Trinder to grow up believing she could accomplish anything. Trinder is still in awe of the fact that when her grandmother became too ill to care for her, 15 members of the community offered to raise her. "I've been very lucky. There were some compassionate and caring people in my life," noted Trinder. After graduating from Avon Park High School, Trinder met her husband, Bob, while working at Disney. The couple had three daughters, Michelle, Jennifer and Heather. "We definitely had an interesting life," she said of living overseas for Bob's work, which included starting Disney Cruise Line's entertainment division; helping set up the world's largest indoor theme park, Lotte World; and being a stage manager for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Trinder said that even after the couple divorced, they remained friends throughout Bob's battle with heart problems and Parkinson's disease until his death last year. Though Trinder has been dealing with the effects of Bell's palsy, a debilitating disorder of the facial nerves that causes paralysis, she has an active lifestyle. She has helped with events like the Hip Hop National Dance Day and Avon Park High School's Project Graduation. She goes to the YMCA, does computer consulting work and recently joined the Noon Rotary Club. Now, with the help of five volunteers, Trinder has taken on the challenge of promoting Avon Park businesses, professional firms and service industries through the new website, press releases, newsletters, coupons, discount cards and referrals. At the next chamber luncheon meeting, held the fourth Thursday of each month at the Jacaranda, she has plans to propose a new phone app automated referral system. "Bringing individuals, organizations and business together to achieve great things is a key focus of the chamber," said Trinder. "I believe the chamber is headed in the right direction."