EDITOR’S NOTE: Our ongoing feature series spotlighting some of our group organizers stays in Florida. We talk with Orlando Dads Group co-organizer Flor Mercado, who also produces the website/blog DadStyle99. He was recently chosen to be a spotlight speaker at the Dad 2.020 conference in Washington, D.C., this month.
City Dads Group: How long have you been a member of our Orlando chapter?
Flor Mercado: “I’ve been a member of the Orlando Dads Group since August of 2018.”
What motivated you to join the group’s leadership?
“I wanted to be more involved in the dad community and prove that fathers are better than what we’re being stereotyped as.”
What has been your favorite City Dads Group activity/event?
“We have had a lot of great events but, if I have to be honest, my favorite would be my very first event. Not because of the actual event itself but more so just being the first time interacting with like minded individuals who have the same goal of being great dads. It was such an impact and this is what I keep in mind every time we get a new dad to an event. It’s making that first great brotherhood impression.”
What has been your favorite experience with your kids that’s unique to life in Orlando?
“The theme parks is hands down my favorite experience. To have my daughter surrounded by Disney characters and superheroes she sees on TV and watch her reaction is something that is truly memorable. Living in Orlando gives her the sense that we’re neighbors with Mickey Mouse.”
What are some of the challenges that you and your leadership team have faced? How did you work past them?
“Initially, having great turnouts was an opportunity we needed to address. When I became one of the co-organizers, partnering with my counterpart was a great experience. We connected with leaders in other chapters and we brainstormed ideas and strategies. We’re happy to say the group has been growing and the meetups have had such great positive turnouts.”
What do you hope to achieve with your group in the next year?
“We plan on growth, much more group interaction and partnerships within our city that will help spread the message that dads are not just great in our city but we are great everywhere.”