Page 9 - OCHS HISTORY MAGAZINE JAN 2016
P. 9

Mark Miller

Predicts (and works to shape) a bright future for Osceola County
                                                                                                                                 By Margaret Wallis

Mark Miller, owner of Al-                the Traveling Trunks program which         Apart from improving the community
               Marah Arabian Horses,     provides classroom resources for           through nonprofit partnership,
               whose horses graced the   students and teachers to learn about       Miller has been involved with the
               ring at Arabian Nights    Osceola County’s early native and          West 192 Redevelopment Authority,
Dinner Show for years, originally        pioneer settlers. His charity work is      working to revitalize the West 192
considered starting Arabian Nights       not exclusive to Osceola County, but       corridor. He was also instrumental
in Orange County. Planners working       he stays active in things that make        in the privatization and is a director
with him to create the world famous      Osceola County a better place to           of Experience Kissimmee, an entity
dinner show told him to consider         live. “You’re obligated to make the        which helped to attract more than 60
Kissimmee instead, insisting that he     community a better place if you can,”      million tourists to Osceola County
would find a home in Osceola County.     he says.                                   last year.

Miller has lived in Central Florida                         Miller is dedicated     Seeming to inherit his mother’s
since he moved to the area in 1966 to                       to fulfilling this      penchant for “always keeping an eye
attend Rollins College, and he tells                        obligation, working     on the horizon,” Mark sees a bright
me Rodeo Diner in Kissimmee is                              extensively to combat   future in Osceola County, impressing
his favorite place to eat. “I love the                      homelessness and        on the importance of tourism in our
county’s rodeo heritage,” he says, “If                      human trafficking in    county, and noting that what will
you have someplace that has history                         Central Florida, and    really bring change to the economy
like Osceola County, it’d be tragic not                     remaining involved      in Osceola County is creating a High
to preserve it.”                                            with organizations      Tech Corridor, including the Florida
                                                            that provide education  Advanced Manufacturing Research
Through the Ruth McCormick                                  and other services,     Center. It’s been said that the creation
Tankersley Charitable Trust, Mark                           including the           of a High Tech Corridor will be as
sponsors the Osceola County                                 Heavenly Hooves         transformative for Osceola County as
Historical Society’s research center                        in Osceola County,      Walt Disney World was in the 1970s.
and education programs, including                           which combines
                                                                                                      “I don’t mind change.
                                         Mark’s love of service and horses and                        If you’re anti-growth
                                         provides equine-assisted activities                          in Florida, you’ll have
                                         and therapeutic programs.                                    a frustrating life,”
                                                                                                      he says. When I ask
                                                                                                      Mark what frustrations
                                                                                                      there are in his life,
                                                                                                      he smiles. “I have a
                                                                                                      wonderful life. I’ve
                                                                                                      been really blessed,”
                                                                                                      Mark says, “and one
                                                                                                      of my blessings has
                                                                                                      been living in Osceola
                                                                                                      County.”

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