Tanja Gerhartz, Economic Development Director for the City of Winter Garden, has announced her retirement after serving in that positon for more than 13 years. Her last day will be August 4, 2023. 

While at the City of Winter Garden, Gerhartz was instrumental in bringing positive change to the community through business and downtown development, marketing and branding, arts and culture, and health and wellness initiatives during her 13-year stint. Her accomplishments are numerous and have contributed to the growth and success of the Winter Garden community. As manager of the downtown area, Gerhartz worked closely with the downtown stakeholders to revitalize the historic downtown district into the popular hot spot it is today. She accomplished this by initiating the Shop Local marketing campaign, the annual Small Business Saturday event, and numerous downtown micro events to encourage support of local businesses. 

Numerous marketing initiatives to propel downtown’s popularity were launched under Gerhartz’s direction such as a designated Downtown Winter Garden website and social media platforms, and the creation of a downtown Winter Garden logo to brand the area as a destination. She also helped to build the award-winning weekly Winter Garden Farmers Market for the City and oversaw its operations. 

In addition, Gerhartz spearheaded planning efforts to prepare areas such as the East Plant Street corridor and the East Winter Garden neighborhood for redevelopment, and she was instrumental in helping to secure Orange County Community Redevelopment Agency funds to make the revitalization possible. The Winter Garden Art Association and its SOBO Art Gallery in the City’s old fire station building became a reality due to her passion to make arts and culture accessible to the community. Believing in the importance of a community offering a holistic approach to health, fitness, and mental health, Gerhartz assisted in the planning and development of the Tucker Ranch Park Nature Preserve and its future Wellness Park expansion to provide this state-of-the-art facility to the public-at-large. 

“Tanja’s contributions to the City are beyond extraordinary. She has played a vital role in every aspect of planning/development, economic development, revitalization, and construction of what Winter Garden has become today. Literally, I cannot think of one inch of this City she has not touched in one form or another,” said Winter Garden City Manager Jon C. Williams. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn from her 40 years of experience and come to know her on a personal basis, and all I can say is she is amazing and an extraordinary woman. I wish her all the joy and happiness that retirement has to offer. She will be deeply missed.” 

Gerhartz will step down after a lustrous 40+-year career in the economic development industry. Prior to joining the City of Winter Garden, she and her husband, Keith Gerhartz, owned Gerhartz & Associates, a consulting company. Prior to that, she worked at the City of Orlando 

for more than 20 years in a variety of capacities before retiring as Economic Development Director. In retirement, Gerhartz will offer consulting services and travel. 

“I would like to thank the City of Winter Garden for giving me the opportunity to work for the best city in Florida. I am deeply grateful for the relationships built and for all that I have learned and accomplished,” said Gerhartz. 

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