The Catalyst

The Catalyst

A CEP podcast on bold leadership in the Ocala Metro. Join us as we hear from business and civic leaders who have propelled the community forward. Hosted by the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership, sponsored by Douglas Law Firm and recorded at the Wiley Productions Podcast Studios in Ocala, Florida. New episodes, guests, and perspectives on leadership premiere twice a month. Follow us on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or wherever you enjoy podcasts.


April 7, 2024 22 mins

Specializing in injection molding, engineering, prototyping, and in-house tooling, Artemis Plastics is Ocala's one-stop shop for contract manufacturing. It's also been recognized as a company to watch by GrowFL. Join us as CEO, Gary Mishkin highlights his company's innovations and how they ensure a quality product for their customers.

Featured Nonprofit: Marion County Public Schools

Gary Mishkin

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A new affiliate organization has come to serve the business community in South Marion County. The Ocala Metro CEP (Chamber and Economic Partnership) has launched the Belleview CEP to bring business services, attraction, retention, creation, and advocacy to the City of Belleview and surrounding communities located in the southern part of the county. Join us as we hear from Joe Reichel, Director of the Belleview CEP about this new en...

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Joint replacement surgery has not only become more commonplace, but many patients can return home on the same day with greatly reduced recovery time thanks to new minimally invasive techniques. Join us as we hear from Dr. Justin Deen, Orthopaedic Surgeon with Florida Orthopaedic Institute as he discusses the latest advances in patient-centered orthopaedic care available in Ocala.

Nonprofit Featuring in this Episode: Mario...

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Military service is in the background of many Ocala/Marion County leaders. Often thrusting them into leadership positions early in their careers and greatly influencing how they approach their roles in the private sector. Join us as we hear from Jeremiah Blocker, a decorated combat veteran, attorney, and partner at Douglas Law Firm as he discusses how serving his clients and his country go hand-in-hand.

Featured Nonprofit...

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Want to feel better about your financial future in the New Year, but you don't know where to start? Join us as Charisse Rivers, CEO of Zinnia Wealth Management shares some simple strategies, free resources, and the message that it's never too early or too late to plan for retirement. We also discuss how a singular focus on building her team helped Zinnia land on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held com...

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As a logistics hub, the Ocala Metro sees firsthand the effect a national truck driver shortage has on this growing sector of the economy. Join us as Tra Williams, President and Founder of FleetForce,  discusses the challenges and innovative solutions developed to address this shortage and get more drivers on the road. We also explore the state of entrepreneurship, the concerning decline in the number of Americans who are self-emplo...

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With more than a decade at the helm of the Ocala Metro CEP, Kevin Sheilley and his team have set the pace for job and wage growth in the Ocala Metro. Serving as the voice for the business community, the CEP has attracted new businesses and industries, helped existing employers expand, and launched innovative programs designed to help entrepreneurs thrive. Learn more about the chamber and economic partnership, what new programs are ...

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November 11, 2023 23 mins

Get to know the incoming  Mayor of Ocala, Ben Marciano. With his first term starting this December, he won the election uncontested thanks to his popularity and widespread support in the community.  Ben has become a well-known figure in Marion County since opening his highly successful gym, Zone Health & Fitness nine years ago. Learn more about his priorities for Ocala and why he felt called to public service.


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October 22, 2023 20 mins

As the Horse Capital of the World®, Ocala/Marion County has long been known for its abundance of horse farms and rolling pasture land.  But today, the Ocala Metro is also gaining attention as one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. Hear from Sara Fennessy with Horse Farms Forever, as she shares how her organization advocates for smart growth, educates the broader public on the importance of conservation, and works to pre...

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With 24 years of service to the City of Ocala, including 12 as mayor,  hear from Kent Guinn as he completes his term and reflects on major accomplishments, challenges he continues to be passionate about addressing, and his favorite part about serving the citizens of Ocala.

Nonprofits featured in this episode: Open Arms Village and Children's Home Society

Kent Guinn
Kent Guinn assumed the office of Mayor i...

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Hear from a real power couple for music and the arts in Ocala. From the opening of the Reilly Arts Center in 2015, to the recent expansion and creation of the Community Music Conservatory, Matt and Pamela Wardell have truly created a destination for the arts in Ocala. 

Nonprofits featured in this episode: The Reilly Arts Center, the Marion Theater, and the Ocala Symphony Orchestra Community Music Conservatory


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September 10, 2023 19 mins

As a growing community in a growing state, Marion County is welcoming approximately 225 new residents a week. Attracted by job opportunities, affordable living, and that Florida sunshine. Coordinated planning, smart resource allocation, and efficient project execution by our local government entities help ensure our roads, water management, and other local infrastructure can keep up.  Hear from Tracy Straub, PE, Assistant County Ad...

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Leaders have the unique privilege to serve as teachers. Teams look to their leaders as mentors in building future career paths and the skills needed to get there. Hear from Angie Lewis, Owner of Angie Lewis State Farm Agency as she shares how her background in education prepared her to lead and grow her team.  Learn more at

Nonprofit featured in the episode: Wear Gloves

About Angie Lewis:

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With limited funding opportunities and aging facilities, CF has overcome a number of challenges to create new programs and degree tracks to align with a growing Ocala Metro area. Hear from Dr. Jim Henningsen, President of College of Central Florida as he shares how CF has defied convention to become a state leader in responding to the workforce development needs of our community.  Learn more about the College of Central Florida the...

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July 14, 2023 46 secs

A CEP podcast on bold leadership in the Ocala Metro.  Hear from CEOs, entrepreneurs, and community leaders as they share their stories of successes and setbacks that have made these trailblazers the leaders they are today. 

The Catalyst is hosted by the Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership, sponsored by Douglas Law Firm and recorded live at Wiley Productions podcast studios, located in Ocala, Florida. New episodes, guests,...

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