Daytona Beach, Florida, is preparing for the arrival of the 2017 Imperial Session of the Shriners organization, thanks to the efforts of Ted Doran, who was chairman of the Halifax Area Advertising Authority Board at the time of the site selection process. Bringing 30 years of experience as a Florida attorney and recently serving four years on the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ted Doran made every effort to impress the merits of Daytona Beach upon Gary Bergenske, who will be named the head of the Shriners in 2017.
The Shriners Imperial Session is expected to bring up to 20,000 visitors and $8 million into Daytona Beach. Mr. Bergenske, an Orlando businessman, became familiar with the area when he purchased a vacation home in Daytona, developing an affection for the city that he wished to share with the rest of his organization.
In 2012, Ted Doran helped convince Mr. Bergenske that Daytona Beach was more than equal to the task of hosting the upcoming convention. The area offers the appeal of its natural beauty, famed beaches, and access to the famous Daytona International Speedway, which the Shriners could use for their customary mini-car and motorcycle races. When the decision was finalized, Mr. Doran, joined by Mr. Bergenske and Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey, celebrated the selection of the city in traditional NASCAR fashion by spraying champagne onto Victory Lane at the Speedway.