Meet the Faces of Orlando—Part One

In this series we will meet the faces behind some of the city’s most notable businesses.


The Face of INSPIRED LIVING SPACES – Anne Rue, Anne Rue Interiors

You may recognize her from HGTV’s Design Star, Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, or her favorite role as “mom.’’ Anne Rue is the heart and face of Anne Rue Interiors, a sought-after Orlando design firm she founded nearly 20 years ago. And when Anne isn’t leading her design team in the creation of bravely unique and effortlessly timeless living spaces or starring in your favorite reality television series, she is raising three beautiful boys.

Anne Rue Interiors is Central Florida’s expert in high-end residential design, senior housing, model merchandising, and turnkey vacation home interiors. With the assistance of her team of exceptionally talented, highly respected designers, Anne’s firm specializes in creating livable and authentic spaces that express the individual personality, lifestyle and ideals of each client. It is through their vast knowledge and endlessly innovative spirit that they exceed client expectations in the pursuit of the client’s personal style.

As Anne always says, “When you collaborate with your client and give them the space to dream, you don’t just get something magical… You get something inspiring.”

4260 Church Street, Suite 1300
Sanford, FL 32771
Phone: 407-322-6742

The Face of CONVENTIONS – Kathie Canning, Executive Director, Orange County Convention Center 

The award-winning Orange County Convention Center, located in the heart of the Orlando Convention District and only 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, provides a multitude of event options in two beautiful buildings—the West and the North/South.  

With new entertainment and accommodation options changing the landscape, the Central Florida area is experiencing a period of tremendous growth and reinvestment. The Center is consistently rated a top-tier convention center with incredible spaces, including the newly remodeled Valencia Ballroom and multipurpose Tangerine room, the Sunburst room and terrace, along with the all-new Honeybell and Hamlin board rooms.  “This is a time of great transformation for the Center and our surrounding Convention Center District,” says Canning.

While maintaining the convention center as “The Center of Hospitality,” Canning has been involved in several nonprofit organizations, such as the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, the United Way Leadership Club, and Visit Orlando. She also is an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management in Orlando.

9800 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

The Face of ASSET MANAGEMENT – Steven Alexander, PFM Asset Management LLC  

A native Floridian, Steven Alexander was born in Cocoa Beach and grew up surfing and fishing on the Banana River. Now a Managing Director and Partner at PFM Asset Management LLC, Steven has a passion to help others and a desire to give back to his community. His work ethic was instilled in him at a young age by his parents who emigrated to the United States in 1952, starting life here from scratch and literally living the American dream. After graduating from Winter Park High School and Stetson University, Steven spent a decade working for state and local governments where he developed his skill  for addressing and solving the issues that many entities face within their cash management and investment programs, along with continuing to work and serve the Central Florida community. As a leading Investment Advisor to local governments, school districts, and nonprofits, PFM Asset Management LLC is a well-known and Trusted Advisor in Florida and throughout the nation. Over the past 20 years at PFM, Steven has had the honor and privilege to work with a firm that shares his same passions—in business, by helping clients achieve their goals by identifying their challenges, providing strategic plans for making improvements, and creating opportunities to ensure the success of their organizations, and in serving the communities we work in, by volunteering, donating, giving back, and helping to make our little areas of the world better for those who live here. 

300 South Orange Avenue, Suite 1170
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: 407-648-2208

The Face of  TECHNICAL EDUCATION David Ruggieri, Florida Technical College

David Ruggieri, president and CEO of Florida Technical College, believes that success can be attained by anyone who goes after it with a plan that includes education and focus.

“It helps a lot to identify what brings you a sense of fulfillment and how that might fit into opportunities in the market,” said Ruggieri, who has been in post-secondary education for over four decades. “As the plan is set in motion, there will be hurdles along the way.  But I always tell students, ‘If you fall, and you will, make sure you fall forward not backward; that way you will end up ahead of where you were’.”

Under Ruggieri’s 7-year leadership, Florida Technical College has gone from three to six campuses, including three in Central Florida. The college has also grown to almost 4,000 students. Ruggieri has reinvented his role to be more than the head administrator. He has become a mentor with the tremendous responsibility to help non-traditional students attain a college education.

“Our students, for the most part, are young adults in their mid-twenties and thirties, and some even older,” Ruggieri said. “They have lives, family, jobs, and balancing all of that with college is trying. I am committed to help them stay focused so they may walk across that graduation stage and begin a productive new life and career path.”

12900 Challenger Pkwy.
Orlando, FL 32826
Phone: 407-447-7300

Categories: Community, People