Valencia Welcomes New Tech Express Advisors

As Central Florida’s economic landscape continues to evolve and require a trained workforce in specialized areas such as engineering, computer programming, nursing, construction and other technical fields, Valencia aims to increase access to its technical training programs and related associate and bachelor’s degree options.

Through this effort, Valencia and Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) have joined forces to design a college and career opportunity called Tech Express. The program offers an opportunity to expand, align and connect the institutions’ workforce-related programs and effectively build and train Central Florida’s much-needed technical workforce.

One aspect of the Tech Express program is enhancing access via outreach. To facilitate increased access to Valencia’s programs, the College has hired three Tech Express advisors, currently stationed at Orange Technical College campuses throughout Orange County. Each Tech Express advisor can then build key relationships with students and offer guidance and assistance to those who desire to further their education and training at Valencia.

The new Tech Express advisors are Lisa Bliss, Anita Gentz and Francisco Perez.

Lisa Bliss:lisa-bliss-270w
Lisa, whose experience includes a 32-year career with OCPS as a teacher and school counselor and work with Rollins College, brings with her a natural passion and ability for assisting students and parents through the transition to college.

As an advisor for Tech Express, Lisa works with students attending Orange Technical College, Mid-Florida Campus.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Indiana State University and a Master of Science in school counseling from Purdue University.

In her free time, you can find her traveling abroad, reading, watching air shows or enjoying fitness activities like yoga and weight training.

anita-gentz-270wAnita Gentz:
Also an OCPS veteran, Anita has served as a teacher, tech prep coordinator, administrative dean and assistant principal. She also served as a leader in the Career and Technical Education Department of Orange County and as the senior director of Westside Tech in Winter Garden. In 2015, Anita retired from OCPS after serving students for 38 years.

Now, Anita continues her journey as a Tech Express advisor for Orange Technical College on the Orlando, Winter Park and Avalon campuses.

She earned both her Bachelor of Arts in business education and Master of Education from the University of Central Florida.

In her free time, you can find her designing and executing home projects and spending quality time with her family.

Francisco Perez:francisco-perez-270w
A Valencia graduate who was born and raised in Orlando (just down the street from East Campus), Francisco connects well with Central Florida students because he was one. His professional experience spans working in admissions and academic advising at Valencia to working in human services in Hawaii and technical training programs in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

More recently, Francisco has returned to his roots to work for Valencia as an advisor at Orange Technical College Westside Campus and the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO).

In addition to earning his associate degree from Valencia, Francisco earned a Bachelor of Science in behavioral and social science and a Master of Science in human services, organizational management and leadership from Springfield College.

He’s eager to find himself back home with his Orlando and Valencia families.


  • Francisco Perez said:

    We are very excited to be part of the Valencia College family!

    AMTue, 29 Nov 2016 11:13:46 +0000Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:13:46 +0000am16,11:13 am

    • Vicki Fine said:

      We are happy to have you all in the Valencia family!

      AMTue, 29 Nov 2016 11:23:39 +0000Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:23:39 +0000am16,11:23 am

    • Roberta said:

      Welcome back Francisco!!! It's been a long time but happy to have you back in the Valencia Family 🙂

      PMTue, 29 Nov 2016 18:35:20 +0000Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:35:20 +0000pm16,6:35 pm

  • Lisa Bliss said:

    It is so exciting to work with the new initiative between OCPS and Valencia College. Tech Express allows us to assist students with the “next steps” to a successful career.

    PMTue, 29 Nov 2016 12:13:11 +0000Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:13:11 +0000pm16,12:13 pm

  • Janice Callaway said:

    Welcome to Valencia!

    PMTue, 29 Nov 2016 13:03:34 +0000Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:03:34 +0000pm16,1:03 pm

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Welcome to the Valencia "family". It seems like exciting work, and I look forward to the developments.

    AMWed, 30 Nov 2016 07:33:05 +0000Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:33:05 +0000am16,7:33 am

  • Nicholle Trapp said:

    Welcome back Frankie!!!

    AMWed, 30 Nov 2016 08:28:21 +0000Wed, 30 Nov 2016 08:28:21 +0000am16,8:28 am

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