Page 8 - JUNE 2015
P. 8

COVER STORY

                                   ENERGIZING OUR

                                  COMMUNITY
                                                                              By Margaret Wallis

If you grew up in Osceola         community event in Kissimmee,    programs, but Gent saw an
    County, you probably          you may have benefitted from     opportunity to better define and
    remember going to the         them without even realizing      address key social issues within
    County Fair for free on       it. KUA has won statewide        the community, so he began
 Rodeo Day, but you may not       Community Service Awards         to develop KUA’s Community
 have known that the Kissimmee    from the Florida Municipal       Sponsorship Program. In
 Utility Authority covered the    Electrical Association for 13    1995, KUA’s Board of Directors
 cost of your ticket (and all of  years in a row, and has been     approved Gent’s program
 your friends’ tickets, for that  nationally recognized twice for  design, which seeks to address
 matter). Without drawing much    its service to the community.    community needs in six key
 attention, KUA has picked up                                      areas: education, community
 the tab for all Osceola County   KUA’s Vice President of          and civic, arts and humanities,
 students to attend the county    Corporate Communications         environment, safety, and
 fair free of charge on Rodeo     Chris Gent has been with KUA     economic development.
 Day for nearly a decade.         for more than 20 years, and
 KUA’s community service          when he started in 1993 as a     “Partnering with the community
 programs are sneaky like that,   Communications Specialist,       goes to the core of who we
 and if you’ve attended a free    he wondered what more the        are,” Gent said, following
                                  authority could do to give back  up with this contender for
                                  to the community. KUA was        understatement of the year:
                                  privy to the city’s needs and    “We’re involved in a lot.” In
                                  offering community service       2014 alone, KUA supported

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