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New CABA President Hopes to Grow Membership

The Carrollwood Area Business Association is made up of north Tampa's business owners and professionals; Lea Orchard is taking the reigns as president this month.

On Wednesday morning, she was all smiles, preparing to take the helm of the 305-member organization she joined years ago.

Standing in front of Boston's Sports Bar & Grill, Lea Orchard was , adding the responsibility of leading the nonprofit to her already long list of things to do.

The Ft. Myers native is a mother of four and salon owner franchisee of three Great Clips businesses in Tampa Bay.

But Orchard, who has lived in Carrollwood for 15 years, isn't wary of what her new role entails.

"It felt like a logical progression," she said. "I joined in 2005 and got on the board right away."

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Orchard's inspiration and ability to juggle a busy life came from her dad, a court reporter who died of a heart attack when she was 15.

"That's a big part of my life, dealing with that," she said. "My work ethic came from him."

Orchard used that work ethic to her advantage when she opened up a Great Clips franchise in 2001 after her then-husband was let go from his job.

"We were looking for something you can't get let go from," said Orchard. "It's pretty recession-proof."

Now, Orchard runs three Great Clips locations in Tampa Bay, including the Carrollwood location at Dale Mabry and Fletcher Avenue.

Orchard, now divorced, said she wants to be self-sufficient and pass along her business to her children.

She said Carrollwood offers incentives for her that other communities in Tampa Bay don't have.

"I think it's family-oriented, and I like the schools," she said. "There's quality people and families up here. It's a small town in itself."

Orchard wants to use her platform as CABA president to continue the organization's momentum as a network for business owners in north Tampa.

"I want to keep them on a really strong path," she said. "We want to grow CABA and have more members, quality active members. We aren't about just numbers and involvement, but benefitting each other's businesses."

Camille C. Spencer July 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM
CABA members: What do you think is the hardest part of leading the organization?

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