Page 1

F O R B U S IN E SS FEBRUARY 2014 | VOL. XXIII, NO. 2

BUY LAKELAND. IT MAKES GOOD CENTS!

FORUM FOR BUSINESS LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

|

1


CH A M BER STAFF K AT H L E E N L . M U N S O N President

KMUNSON@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

BARBARA BENNETT Executive Assistant

BBENNETT@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

SARAH BREED

Administrative Assistant, Member Relations | Public Affairs

SBREED@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

S A L LY C H A P M A N

Vice President, Finance & Administration

LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE F O R U M F O R B U S I N E S S M O N T H LY TIMOTHY B. JACKSON | CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD NUJAK COMPANIES

K AT H L E E N L . M U N S O N | P U B L I S H E R LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SCHAPMAN@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

C A R O LY N J A C K S O N

Senior Vice President, Member Relations

CJACKSON@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

JACQUELINE L. JOHNSON

Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau

JACKIEJ@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

AMY S. WIGGINS | EDITOR LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

N I C E B R A N D I N G A G E N C Y | C R E AT I V E D I R E C T I O N , P R O D U C T I O N & P H O T O G R A P H Y WWW.BRANDNICELY.COM

K AT I E M C B R I D E Membership Consultant

KMCBRIDE@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

NIKKI OAKLEY

Membership Account Executive

NOAKLEY@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

dining . shopping . nightlife . sports . events . where to stay . what to do

DOWNLOAD FREE APP TODAY! Whether you’re a frequent visitor, a local or a newcomer to Central Florida, this app will lead you to local restaurants, shopping, attractions, night life & other fun things that can be found in Central Florida.

TERRY OTTINGER

Vice President, Membership Development

TOTTINGER@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

RICH ROY

Vice President, Public Affairs

RROY@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

KARA SIMM

Administrative Assistant, Membership Development | Communications

KSIMM@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

PAT T Y S M I T H

Administrative Assistant, Convention & Visitors Bureau

PSMITH@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

AMY WIGGINS

Vice President, Communications

AWIGGINS@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM

start exploring Free for your Smart Device » Scan the above code with your smart device to download the free app.

2

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

35 LAKE MORTON DRIVE PO BOX 3607 LAKELAND, FL 33802-3607 (863) 688-8551 LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM © 2014 Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce reserves the right to refuse certain advertising and is not liable for advertisers claims and/or errors. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the position of the Chamber.


exper i e nc e e me r g e This past December, 26 EMERGE members volunteered at Talbot House for “Heatin’ Up the Holidays” and provided patrons with a chili dinner. The crew fed 135 people and offered seconds to those who wanted more of the fantastic chili.

JESSICA SLAYDON TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

“WE HAD SO MUCH FUN PR EPARI NG TH E M EALS AN D SERVI NG TALBOT HOUSE, ” SAI D COLLEEN MANGAN, FL ORI DA DEPARTM ENT OF HEALTH I N PO LK COUNTY AN D EM ERGE VOL UNTEER CO ORDI NATOR. “A BI G THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO M ADE I T OUT THAT NI GHT TO HELP PUT ON THI S GREAT EV ENT. ”

CONNECT ] EMERGELakeland.com

finished the evening well fed,” said Will Link, Reed & Mawhinney, P.L. and 2014 EMERGE Chair. “While the visitors and residents of Talbot House feasted on eight different types of chili, the families of EMERGE Lakeland were being fed spiritually through service to those in need.” Thank you Talbot House for letting us be a part of your Christmas. Volunteer projects are just one branch of service EMERGE Lakeland does in our community. Please join us February 20 for a private showing of the Polk Museum of Art’s exhibition Stephen Knapp: New Light. This “enlightening” experience will be a great way to meet other EMERGE members and learn more about one of the great art scenes Lakeland has to offer. Box lunches will be provided by Black and Brew Coffee House & Bistro.

A PRIVATE SHOWING OF THE POLK MUSEUM OF ART ’S EXHIBITION STEPHEN KNAPP: NEW LIGHT.

D ATE: FEB R U ARY 20 TIME: 12:00 P.M. TO 1:00 P.M . MEMB ER CO ST: $10 PER PERSON G U EST CO ST: $20 PER PERSON AT D O O R PR ICE: $25.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO R.S.V.P., PLEASE VISIT WWW.EMERGELAKELAND.COM.

While at Talbot House, members learned about various programs offered to those in our community, including: emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, daytime safe haven for homeless, dental and medical services, long-term renewal program, spiritual growth opportunities, educational advancement and job skills training. We all know the name Talbot House, but many members were surprised at just how many programs are available to those in need… right here in Lakeland. “Everyone involved FORUM FOR BUSINESS

|

3


A M O N T H LY

IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE BUSINESS WORLD AND YOU OWN A COMPUTER YOU HAVE PROBABLY

MIKE WASNOROWICZ MSEA SOLUTIONS, INC.

HEARD OF LINKEDIN. YOU MAY EVEN HAVE A LINKEDIN PROFILE. SO WHO CARES? IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GROWING YOUR BUSINESS, YOU SHOULD! LET ME EXPLAIN.

CONNECT ] MSEASolutions.com 4

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

Linkedin is the Facebook of the business world. Facebook provides a platform for you to network with family and friends in cyberspace, Linkedin provides a platform to network with business people. Don’t care about cyberspace? That would be a shame. Now, in the 21st century, cyberspace coexists with real space, and people, move back and forth between these spaces all the time. So how does Linkedin work? Let’s start with the Linkedin profile. It’s a kind of resume. This is where one establishes

their identity, their brand. There is a lot of information out there on how to build and maintain a great profile. The important thing is to have a good one and keep it fresh. To have a mediocre Linkedin profile would be like showing up to a Chamber event without having given any thought to your appearance. Millions of people use Linkedin for various reasons. Some will look at your profile. What kind of image do you want them to take away? Then there is the contacts list. In many ways this is like a Rolodex. Linkedin has several tools to help you build your contacts list. Once you identify someone you wish to connect with, you can send them an invitation to do so. As you meet others in the real world, perhaps at a Chamber event, you can invite them to connect with you too. Just like in real space, the larger your network the better. I also recommend joining several Linkedin groups like the Lakeland Chamber’s group and other meaningful groups. This is a great

way to rapidly expand your network. And now the best part! Lots of people use Linkedin just to communicate and network with other business people on line, but there are more strategic uses. Linkedin provides a wealth of information. Recruiters use Linkedin to find potential hires for their clients. Salespeople use Linkedin to look for potential customers. Want to know something about another business person before you meet with him or her? Look at their Linkedin profile. Want to know if you know anyone in a particular company? Linkedin will show you if and how you are connected. Would you like to know who knows the people you know? I’ve been known to look at my contacts’ Linkedin connections to see who they know, in hopes of finding someone they might be willing to refer me to. Want to know something on a business topic? Start a discussion. The Linkedin database is endless. The only limit is in how you choose to use it.


Bank of Central Florida

“Personal service from knowledgeable, accessible bankers.” Jim Ham President, J.H. Ham Engineering

J.H. Ham Engineering is a full service engineering and construction firm. Founded in 1974, the firm has provided turn-key electrical, instrumentation and system integration for clients ranging from phosphate, citrus and aggregate industries in Florida to a ship loading project in Murmansk, Russia. “We feel like the Bank of Central Florida is an extension of the J. H. Ham family,” says Jim Ham. “The bankers are very experienced and knowledgeable. I value the bank’s local decision making and financial strength.”

Barbara Lineberger, Senior Vice President/Private Banking Officer and Paul Noris, President/CEO of Bank of Central Florida with Jim Ham at J.H. Ham Engineering.

Get started with Mobile Banking today Downtown Lakeland 101 South Florida Avenue 863-682-7100 South Lakeland 5015 South Florida Avenue 863-701-2685 Bartow 515 North Broadway Avenue 863-534-3585

Member FDIC

www.bankofcentralflorida.com


ARE YOU LINKEDIN

LINKEDIN?

BY: DUSTIN SHAY PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR MIDFLORIDA SHRM PROFESSIONAL PLACEMENT MANAGER RITA STAFFING

Over recent years, we have heard the words “social media” more than any others. Social media has become a part of life that is purposeful, yet has become overwhelming. Many generations have embraced social media and most users think that it is only for sharing moods, vacation pictures and special occasions with friends and family. But lately, one social media platform has taken a quiet lead from the pack... LinkedIn. Whether you are a job seeker, an HR specialist, a recruiter, a business owner or professional, the value and use of LinkedIn can be vast. LinkedIn boasts more than 100 million users and has recorded double-digit profit gains over the past several years. As a business owner or business professional, LinkedIn should be number one on your list. What separates it from the rest and how can you make the most use of it without being swallowed up? Well, we are going to talk through it together and hopefully, you’ll come out the other end of this article with the information to propel your purpose with LinkedIn. As you move through the benefits and suggestions in this article, consider your goals. Why are you on or considering being on LinkedIn? To find new employees? To build business relationships? Locate vendors? Perhaps a mix of all of those? Your purpose should drive your presence. 6

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS


PROFILES AND BUSINESS PAGES No matter what your goal, your LinkedIn profile should be detailed, complete, and purpose built. A LinkedIn profile will usually rank in the top five results of a Google search for your first and last name, so first impressions are important. The most common mistake people make in their profiles is using no picture or an unrelated picture. Your picture should be you, you alone and be current. Name and face recognition is key when networking in a digital atmosphere. There are the most common sections (summary, experience, etc.), but remember not to leave out the other sections that give your profile a presence of its own, such as the volunteer work, community activities, certifications/accreditations, special projects, languages and so on. LinkedIn now even lets you share other media, like documents (resumes, letters of recommendation) and videos (company information, production information). Remember, this is a business platform with professional networking opportunities at their greatest.

One of LinkedIn’s major useful functions is Groups, but you don’t want to begin a presence in the groups without knowing your purpose and having your profile completed to suit that purpose. Groups can be social, industry, community or purpose driven. You will want to join targeted groups that meet your purpose and goals for LinkedIn. If you are seeking to use it for recruiting, that could be local industry groups, job seeker groups, geographical networking groups and so on. Small business owners may want to be involved in economic councils, small business owner groups and other local networking organizations. Don’t overwhelm yourself at the start and be sure to edit/adjust the group notifications you receive so you don’t feel bombarded by update emails. You can change how often LinkedIn sends you these updates so you are not overwhelmed with them. The idea here is to use LinkedIn and Groups to your achieve your goals, not overwhelm you with another social media inundation.

ACTION ITEM. Review your profile, complete to 100%, update your picture and add in your extracurricular information. Business pages can be created to share your brand, your purpose and your culture. Yes, you can turn it into a marketing page, but remember that everyone does that to “sell” something. A business page should have the same characteristics as your profile; magnetic and purposeful.

ACHIEVING YOUR PURPOSE AND GOALS USING LINKEDIN Now that you have the basics to suit your purpose on using LinkedIn, now is the opportunity to see the return on the time invested. The most important thing to remember, no matter your goal, is to have valid content to share with your connections or groups. If you want to make a mindful presence, don’t just advertise your needs, but rather add value. Instead of posting that you are hiring, offer a benefit or advantage to working for your company. Provide a supportive article, post a reliable and relative industry update, and so on. If you are seeking to reach a larger customer base or make new vendor relationships, consider the reader and what they would find valuable. The idea is to be a professional consultant within your network, which will have an ROI that you can build upon. Posting interesting discussions, general or job related, are always a great way to get your group talking, but time is precious so consider your target audience. When your network contacts or group contacts post something of value, make a suggestion or comment and let them know how you applied their discussion.

Connections are the core of your network on LinkedIn. They will feed your activity updates with useful, helpful or insightful information. LinkedIn will show you the changes or updates that your connections publish about their professional activities. There are two schools of thought when it comes to connections. One would be to only connect with people you already know and trust, for the purpose of maintaining those professional relationships. The other would be to add as many people as possible, to gain as much reach as you can. Both of these schools are flawed. Your connections should suit your purpose, keeping in mind your purpose could evolve as well. Starting with your known and trusted contacts is ideal, with the intent to but build contacts from there. LinkedIn will show you the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd connections of people in your network as well as the recent profiles they have viewed, which could lead to a better network for you! When requesting to add a connection on LinkedIn, try to avoid the generic option they give you and use one of the more detailed connection options (such as: we have done business together, we are colleagues, or write a personal message in the request). Take note of your existing connection’s groups.

As someone who uses LinkedIn primarily for recruiting, I enjoy seeing the recommendations and accomplishments shared by candidates. The groups I have joined assist me in sharing potential career opportunities that I post within the group job discussions. My business and professional contacts often make the best referrals, so simply letting them know what type of person, project or networking I seek to achieve yields positive feedback.

To make the use of any social media valuable, you have to invest a small amount of time weekly to maintain your presence. One of the biggest mistakes people make is jumping into LinkedIn and then thinking it will work for them without any additional thought. Please, don’t make that mistake. With proper planning, LinkedIn can be a valuable and profitable investment of your time.


L oc al R e s ou r ce s f o r Ca n d idat e Sea rch LinkedIn is a valuable way to connect with candidates and learn more about them, but what if you don’t have the time to find them? The investment that is required for each new hire means it’s imperative that the right candidate is found - especially if you are running a small business. CareerSource Polk, formerly Polk Works, may help you hire, train, motivate and retain the workforce you are

MARYBETH SODERSTROM

looking for using the Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM).

CAREERSOURCE POLK

IT’S WHERE TOP TALENT IS. IN 2013 THERE WERE ALMOST 37,000 JOB SEEKERS IN POLK COUNTY THAT USED EFM FOR THEIR JOB SEARCH WITH EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS AT ALL

HERE ARE THE TOP 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE USING EMPLOY FLORIDA MARKETPLACE TO FIND GREAT CANDIDATES ONLINE:

It’s your tax dollars at work for you. Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is operated by The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity which utilizes tax dollars to promote economic opportunities for all Floridians. The site and the services of CareerSource Polk are offered at no cost to both employers and job seekers.

8

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

LEVELS.

There are real (and local) people ready to help. We’re here and ready to help as much as you need us. Our Business Service Division can help you post jobs, while our Career Specialist will work to match qualified candidates to your open positions. Overwhelmed by the screening process? EFM can automatically rank candidates according to your job requirements and the CareerSource Polk staff are available to pre-screen candidates for you.

Research labor market information on salaries and economic data. Through EFM you can stay current of the labor market trends and our local economy. Or, we can provide you with a report that contains the data you need to stay competitive in the marketplace including average salary ranges for specific positions, availability of local talent, and industry specific economic outlooks.

YOU CAN SEARCH FOR THE CANDIDATES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, WITH THE SKILLS YOUR COMPANY NEEDS. NOT ONLY CAN THE JOB SEEKERS FIND YOU, YOU HAVE THE ABILITY IN EFM TO FIND THEM. SET UP A VIRTUAL RECRUITER AND THE SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY FIND THE CANDIDATES YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AND SEND THE RESULTS TO YOU BY EMAIL OR TEXT MESSAGE.

These are only a few of the features that EFM can offer your business; contact CareerSource Polk to learn more at careersourcepolk.com or by calling (863) 508-1600. 


FHSAA C ham p i o n s h i p Mo n t h s Creat e Sla m D un k for Lakel a nd’s E co n o my ! Each year high school wrestling and basketball teams from across the state battle for their respective state titles at the Lakeland Center bringing thousands of fans, supporters, scouts, media and hoops excitement with them! The 2013 tournament season was no exception, making area business large and small the real winners by creating more than $8 million in spending throughout Polk County. With the creation of new classifications and added sessions—even more impact was made in our community. Lakeland has had the proud distinction of being awarded the host of more FHSAA Championships than any other city in the state. While our community has enjoyed the economic success of these tournaments, we are honored to play such a significant part of such special memories created in Lakeland for the young athletes, their families and their high schools!

Please mark your calendars for these dates as our hotels, motels, restaurants and area visitor destinations will see the excitement with additional customers!

THE 2014 DATES ARE FEBRUARY 14-15 FHSAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS THE LAKELAND CENTER

FEBRUARY 18-22 FHSAA GIRLS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS THE LAKELAND CENTER

FEBRUARY 25-MARCH 1 FHSAA BOYS’ STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS THE LAKELAND CENTER

OUR CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE HAS BEEN HARD AT WORK FOR MONTHS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE THESE UPCOMING EVENTS SUCCESSFUL! WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO A BRIGHT SEASON FILLED WITH STRATEGIC VISION AND EXCELLENCE— BOTH ON AND OFF THE COURT.

FOLLOW US DOWN THE PATH TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS As a comprehensive financial firm, we are allowed an in-depth understanding of our clients’ overall financial positions. By providing accounting, consulting, and wealth management services to both individuals and businesses, we gain an intimate understanding of various financial standpoints, allowing us to advise our clients on the necessary and appropriate steps to achieve financial growth and stability.

212 E HIGHLAND DR SUITE 201 LAKELAND, FL 33813

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

| 9


smal l b u s i n e s s o f t h e mon t h

JONI FINKBEINER PHOTOGRAPHY, INC. JONI FINKBEINERTYLER

(863) 687-8986 723 S Missouri Ave Lakeland, FL 33815

CONNECT ]

Selfies may be okay for insignificant times in our lives, but when it comes to capturing significant moments, events and milestones, a professional photograph is what you want, and this is certainly what you get from Joni Finkbeiner Photography, Inc. The firm is a professional custom photography studio serving individuals, corporate and industrial clients, providing

www.Finkbeiner Photography.com

SMALL BUSINESS

OF THE MONTH

COMMITTEE MEMBER CURT WHEELER PRESENTS THE

JANUARY SMALL

BUSINESS OF THE

MONTH AWARD TO JONI FINKBEINERTYLER.

SCAN HERE WITH YOUR SMART PHONE APP FOR A SHORT VIDEO ABOUT JONI FINKBEINER-TYLER

10

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

services to Lakeland and Polk County since 1996. From 9-days-old to 99-years-old; personal to corporate clients; humans to animals – her services have provided photographic keepsakes of important persons, places, and things. Joni considers herself blessed to be in this business in this community, and considers it an honor and privilege to be asked to photograph

precious and intimate milestones, stages and events for individuals or companies. Joni freely gives back to the Lakeland area via service, donations and financial support, including photography for the recent Mr. Lakeland calendar contest for the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, graduation portraits for Lighthouse Ministries, Inc. students, American Business Women’s Association, Lakeland

Business Leaders, Bike Lakeland, church involvement and individual relationships. If fact, she is so giving that she donated a kidney to her husband. She keeps up with current technology, hardware and trends through regular continuing education, recently adding art portraiture and pin-up photography to her lines. The firm operates out of a restored bungalow located on

Missouri Avenue on the north side of Dixieland – just look for the neon sign and proudly waving American flag! Looking your best can help you to feel your best, and Finkbeiner Photography has the knowledge, knowhow, experience, and interest in helping you to achieve this. Congratulations to Joni Finkbeiner Photography, Inc. for kicking off 2014 as the January Small Business of the Month winner.

BY CURT WHEELER,

WHEELER APPRAISALS, LLC


THE

MATTERS OF

WANT TO KNOW WHY BEING A MEMBER OF THE LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER IS SO BECOMING? READ ON...

CALENDAR

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

NEW MEMBERS

JOIN US IN WELCOMING BACK OUR DETROIT TIGERS TO LAKELAND FOR SPRING TRAINING 2014!

MAX SCHERZER

MIGUEL CABRERA

Cy Young Winner American League

Most Valuable Player American League

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20

JOKER MARCHANT STADIUM • GATES OPEN 6 PM 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd. • Lakeland, Florida 33805

ADULTS $50 • CHILDREN (12 & under) $25 NON-CHAMBER MEMBERS $60 NO TAKE OUT ORDERS • NO AUTOGRAPHS

FOR MORE INFORMATION

MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO THE LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE 2014TigerBBQ.LakelandChamber.com

DETROIT TIGERS BRING THE MAGIC OF BASEBALL TO LAKELAND FOR THE 78TH YEAR! Florida’s spring training tradition began in 1888 when the Washington Statesmen traveled to Jacksonville to work out in the “off season.”  Since that time, the “off season” workouts have become an economic benefit to the state as Florida Spring Training Baseball boosting tourism and providing the State of Florida a $753 million economic impact each year. In Lakeland, that translates to approximately $45 million in economic impact. Major League Spring Training will be springing into action in February as players and coaches hit the fields to kickoff the 2014 season. Lakeland is a hot spot for Detroit Tiger baseball fans playing their 78th season in Lakeland increasing their attendance in 2013 with an all-time record setting attendance of more than 17 games played drawing 136,858 fans with an average attendance of 8,050 per game. The largest crowd was 10,451—standing room only—when the Tigers played the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, March 29. Significantly, approximately half of the annual attendance comes from out-of-state fans. The Tigers and the City of Lakeland have the longest-standing relationship of any team playing in a spring training city—than any other team in Major League Baseball. To celebrate this unique and historic relationship—the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 68th Annual Detroit Tiger BBQ on Thursday, February 20 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Please visit 2014TigerBBQ.LakelandChamber. com to purchase tickets for this exciting tradition

For information on purchasing Detroit Tiger Spring Training tickets, please go to Tigers.com or call 866-66-TIGER (866-668-4437).

ENJOY TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN BBQ WITH A 2014 SOUVENIR MUG!

68TH ANNUAL TIGER BBQ LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JUSTIN PO BOX 3607 • LAKELAND, FLORIDA 33802 VERLANDER (863) 688-8551, EXT. 224 or 223

RIBBON CUTTINGS

SPONSORED BY

T H U R S D AY

68TH ANNUAL TIGER BBQ FORUM FOR BUSINESS

| 11


february 2014 dates THUR 6

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6 2013 CHAMBER ANNUAL MEETING

MON 10

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10 EMERGE LAKELAND STEERING COMMITTEE

THUR 13

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 BUSINESS & BREAKFAST

WED 12

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

THUR 20

5:30 p.m. The Lakeland Center, Exhibit Hall 701 W Lime St, Lakeland

7:30 a.m. All Children’s Outpatient Care of Lakeland 3310 Lakeland Hills Blvd

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 LEADERSHIP LAKELAND, HEALTH CARE DAY

MON 17

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17 SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS COMMITTEE

WED 19

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27 BUSINESS AFTER HOURS 5:30 p.m. Fields Motorcars 4141 N Florida Ave

3

TUESDAY

4

8:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

THUR 13

6:00 p.m. Joker Marchant Stadium

MONDAY

THUR 27

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27 SCORE ROUND TABLE

WED 12

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 SCRAMBLED EGGS AND SOCIAL MEDIA WITH EMERGE

3:45 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Noon Grasslands Golf & Country Club 1600 Grasslands Blvd.

7:30 a.m. Lakeland Chamber 35 Lake Morton Dr

9:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 68TH ANNUAL TIGER BBQ

THUR 27

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 BUSINESSVOICE OF GREATER LAKELAND

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 A “LIGHT” LUNCH WITH EMERGE 12:00 p.m. Polk Museum of Art 800 East Palmetto Street

WED 26

All Day

11:45 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

8 a.m.

THUR 27

THURSDAY, MARCH 27 POWER OF PERSPECTIVE LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.

4:00 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

WEDNESDAY

5

THURSDAY

6

FRIDAY

SAT

SUN

1

2

7

8

9

14

15

16

21

22

23

2013 CHAMBER ANNUAL MEETING 5:30 P.M.

10

11

EMERGE LAKELAND STEERING COMMITTEE 3:45 P.M.

17

18

SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS COMMITTEE | 1:45 A.M.

12

13

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS 8 A.M.

LEADERSHIP LAKELAND HEALTH CARE DAY | ALL DAY

BUSINESSVOICE OF GREATER LAKELAND 9 A.M.

BUSINESS & BREAKFAST 7:30 A.M.

19 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING | 4:00 P.M.

20 A “LIGHT” LUNCH WITH EMERGE | 12 P.M. 68TH ANNUAL TIGER BBQ 6 P.M.

24

25

26 28 BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING | NOON

27 28 SCORE ROUND TABLE 7:30 A.M. BUSINESS AFTER HOURS 5:30 P.M.

12

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

28


Ev ent HI G HLI GH T S 01

02

December Business After Hours Hosted by Two Men and a Truck

01 | Chairman Mark Wilson of

Kimley-Horn and Associates presents the Plaque of Appreciation to Jessica Slayden, Marketing Coordinator of Two Men and a Truck. Thank you for hosting this holiday event!

02 | Chamber Champions Kim Hooten

03

04

of Comfort Keepers and Kimberly Votery of Grow Financial Federal Credit Union helped Chamber Staff Member Kara Simm greet and register members for the event!

03 | 150 Members came out to support

Two Men and a Truck at their new warehouse location at 3220 Atlantic Ave!

December New Member Reception Hosted by TD Bank

04 | Joy Baker of TD Bank welcomed

everyone and spoke on customer banking opportunities with TD Bank.

05

06

05 | Over 30 members attended this

event to better educate themselves on their membership along with meet and greet new members! Thank you TD Bank for hosting December and to our 2013 Presenting Sponsor Grow Financial Federal Credit Union.

December Business & Breakfast Hosted by Community Southern Bank

06 | Real Success LIVE co hosts Loura

Parrish and “Coach� Jim Jones inspired the crowd with best business practices to begin 2014 with energy and success!

07

07 | Close to 40 members came out for

breakfast with Community Southern Bank to learn how they can jumpstart their business in 2014!

23rd Annual Chamber Golf Scramble Presented by Bright House Networks

08 | Congratulations to Owens Corning

as the 2013 Golf Scramble Net Winner!

08 07

09

09 | Congratulations to Allen & Company/Battery USA, Inc. as the 2013 Golf Scramble Gross Winner!

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

|

13


Watson Clinic

CHAIRMAN ’S CIRCLE CPS Investment Advisors Chas P. Smith, CPA/PFS, president, was the keynote speaker at the 17th annual CPAlliance™ Executive Roundtable in Greenville, Florida at the Honey Lake Plantation. Topics that were discussed included the CPA’s role as a fiduciary, the CPA as the most trusted advisor in the financial services industry, the importance of dividends in a portfolio, creative retirement plan (401k) solutions, and a global economic outlook. The CPAlliance™ was created by CPS Investment Advisors in Lakeland, FL, and has over $700 million in assets under management.

Is proud to welcome four additional specialists to our team of highly trained physicians. Kerry M. W. Fike, MD, R.Ph (MOHS Micrographic Surgery): Dr. Fike is seeing patients from her office at the Bella Vista Building.  Her specialty represents the most advanced dermatologic techniques for the treatment of skin cancer; Geetha L. Krishnan, MD (Internal Medicine): Dr. Krishnan’s office is located at our Main Clinic She is board-certified in internal medicine.  Her areas of expertise include the treatment of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, nicotine dependence, depression, and adults with intellectual disabilities; Milan M. Lombardi, MD (Dermatology): Dr. Lombardi offers comprehensive dermatology services from our South location.  His areas of expertise include skin cancer diagnosis and removal, and his list of services includes skin cancer surgery, general dermatology, and cosmetic and laser dermatology. Bernard (Rusty) Tortorice, MD (Anesthesiology): Dr. Tortorice offers anesthesia services to patients undergoing procedures or surgery at Lakeland Regional Medical Center or Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center. He is board-certified in anesthesiology.

Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida Welcomes Javier Marin and Carl Hadden as certified business consultants in Polk County. Javier and Carl will serve existing and emerging businesses with consulting, training and information to help them succeed.

Bus NESS&bre kfast Learning

LinkedIn boasts more than 100 million users and has recorded double-digit profit gains over the past several years. As a business owner or business professional, LinkedIn should be number one on your list. Learn why and how at this month’s breakafast!

February 13 7:30 a.m.

14

| FORUM FOR BUSINESS

Boring Thomas Poston received both top percentage of sales and top revenue for the month of November. Jeff Boring was the service representative of the month for November.

Highland Homes Welcomes new employees: Luis Albino, sales counselor at Mandolin in Winter Haven, has 15 years of sales experience in various industries. He has been working in real estate for six months and in the process of becoming a licensed Realtor®. Curt Bridges, sales counselor at Overlook Ridge in Winter Haven, is a lifelong resident of Polk County and worked for 20 years in the insurance industry. His customer service background and desire to help people find their dream home led him to make the transition to Real Estate.

Drummond Company Oakbridge Realty, a division of Drummond Company, is proud to announce the addition of Dani Miller to the Real Estate sales team as marketing associate. Her duties include marketing of new and existing home sales in the master-planned community of Oakbridge including Grasslands Golf & Country Club. She previously was a realtor with Realty World and has been serving Lakeland since 2005.

FITniche, Inc. This December, Competitor magazine and Running Insight named FITniche one of the 50 Best Running Stores in America . More than 1,000 running stores were eligible for this honor, which FITniche has earned five out of its six years of eligibility.

®

Rita Staffing

Presented by Dustin Shay, MidFlorida SHRM/Rita Staffing, Inc.

$5 Members | $15 Non Members Register at LakelandChamber.com

Parker Street Ministries, Inc. Is pleased to announce new members for its 2014 executive board: Chair Brian Hurley, M.Div, Lakeland Regional Medical Center; Chair-elect Kyle Davis, Publix Super Markets, Inc.; Treasurer Lance Schmidt, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.

3310 Lakeland Hills Blvd

Would like to congratulate several members of their team for achieving industry certifications in 2013. The following were successful in achieving the level of Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) through the American Staffing Association: Terry Green, Lauren Edrington, Donna Cowart, Brittany Dupuis, and Jessica Judy. Rita Staffing is honored and proud of having a total 19 members of staff with industry related certifications.

THE LAKELAND CHAMBER PRINTS BUSINESS ANNOUNCEMENTS EACH MONTH AS SPACE PERMITS. PLEASE EMAIL ANNOUNCEMENTS TO MOTM@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM


Special thanks to Past Mayor Gow Fields, Commissioner Justin Troller, Commissioner Phillip Walker, Commissioner Edie Yates, and all the Board Members and Chamber Champions who truly make these ceremonies special events.

CLARK & DAUGHTREY/LAKELAND REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEMS NEW GATEWAY PRIMARY CARE CLINIC

UTOPIA HOME CARE, INC.

ALL COUNTY POLK PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

1129 BARTOW RD | (863) 683-6777

1137 BARTOW RD, STE D | (863) 510-5965

Lakeland, FL 33801

Lakeland, FL

UTOPIAHOMECARE.COM

ALLCOUNTYPOLK.COM

SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

ALBERT GRIFFIN BRIDAL 2302-A E EDGEWOOD DR | (863) 940-9932

2815 LAKELAND HILLS BLVD | (863) 284-6950

FOOTBALL STADIUM GROUND BREAKING 1000 LONGFELLOW BLVD | (863) 667-5000

Lakeland, FL 33805

Lakeland, FL 33801

ALBERTGRIFFIN.COM

CLARK-DAUGHTREY.COM

SEU.EDU

Lakeland, FL 33803

SCOOTER’S SKIN ART TATTOOS AND PIERCING

HOME CONTRACTING SERVICES

CLASSY MUSIC LIVE

1037 S FLORIDA AVE, STE 135 | (863) 816-5801

CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT | (863) 709-7120 MYHOMECONTRACTINGSERVICES.COM

CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT | (863) 581-1210 CLASSYMUSICLIVE.COM

Lakeland, FL 33803

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

|

15


ACCENT SERVICES OF CENTRAL FLORIDA CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT (863) 581-4000 ACCENTSERVICESOFFL.COM ERIC JONES BRICK PAVERS

AMERIGAS PROPANE

2228 E MAIN ST LAKELAND, FL 33801 (863) 665-6016 AMERIGAS.COM MELESIA THOMAS GAS COMPANIES – SUPPLIER

BUILDING FAMILIES ADOPTION AGENCY 2920 WINTER LAKE RD LAKELAND, FL 33803 (863) 937-9100 ADOPTINFLORIDA.COM DEBORAH CARROLL ADOPTION SERVICES

CARROLL LAW GROUP, P.L. 2920 WINTER LAKE RD LAKELAND, FL 33803 (863) 937-9100 DCLGLAW.COM DEBORAH CARROLL ATTORNEYS

DANIELS REALTY COMPANY

PREMIER VEIN INSTITUTE

1619 HARDEN BLVD LAKELAND, FL 33803 (863) 577-8346 PREMIERVEINS.COM MARCI MOORE HEALTH CARE – PHYSICIANS – CLINICS

RELIANT COMPUTER SERVICES

1927 S FLORIDA AVE LAKELAND, FL 33803 (863) 588-1557 LAKELANDCOMPUTERREPAIR.COM CHRIS HUDSON COMPUTERS – SALES & SERVICE

SYSTEMATIC PAINTING PARTNERS 934 REYNOLDS RD LAKELAND, FL 33801 (863) 337-6483 SYSTEMATICPAINTING.COM KATRINA ARAGUNDE PAINTING CONTRACTORS

TRI-COUNTY HUMAN SERVICES, INC PSYCHIATRIC OUTPATIENT SERVICES

FLOWERS ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION, INC

TUNED IN APPS

IPHONE REPAIR

WHISKEY BENT BBQ SUPPLY

LAKELAND FAMILY PHARMACY

WINTER HAVEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

4262 US HWY 98 N LAKELAND, FL 33809 (863) 943-2400 IPHONEREPAIRPOLKCOUNTY.COM SERENA BHATTACHARJEE COMPUTERS – SALES & SERVICE 605 W MEMORIAL BLVD LAKELAND, FL 33815 LAKELANDFAMILYPHARMACY.COM KARYN BARKER HEALTH CARE – PHARMACIES

LAKELAND NORTH ROTARY CLUB

CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT (863) 647-3534 ALBERT DOTSON ASSOCIATIONS

LIZARD JUICE CENTRAL FLORIDA 2403 S FLORIDA AVE LAKELAND, FL 33805 (863) 617-9552 LIZARDJUICECENTRAL.COM TY STINNETT RETAIL

PAINT ASSOCIATES

CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT (863) 221-7420 JOHN WILEY PAINTING CONTRACTORS

| FF OO RR UU M M FF OO RR BB UU SS II NN EE SS SS

4798 SOUTH FLORIDA AVENUE, STE 343 LAKELAND, FL 33813 (863) 647-5625 PALPOLK.COM JULIE PURDIE LOCKSMITHS

2225 E EDGEWOOD DR, STE 13 LAKELAND, FL 33803 (863) 666-2692 DANIELSREALTYCO.COM KIM DANIELS REAL ESTATE – COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL 730 CREATIVE DR, UNIT 8 LAKELAND, FL 33811 (863) 646-8714 SCREENSANDGUTTERSLAKELAND.COM KAREN FLOWERS CONSTRUCTION

16

POP-A-LOCK OF POLK COUNTY

1815 CRYSTAL LAKE DR LAKELAND, FL 33801 VALERIA JORN HEALTH CARE – PHYSICIANS – PSYCHIATRISTS CALL TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT BARTOW, FL 33830 (407) 761-1484 TUNEDINAPPS.COM STEPHANIE MEYER WEBSITE DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT 116 TENNESSEE AVE, STE 110 LAKELAND, FL 33801 (863) 940-2077 WHISKEYBENTBBQSUPPLY.COM CHAD WARD RETAIL

25 3RD ST NW WINTER HAVEN, FL 33881 (863) 837-5280 WHEDC.COM JULIE SANDS ASSOCIATIONS


MEMB E R R E N E WA L S 20+

YEARS

1973 | 40 YEARS SLIGH CLINIC OF CHIROPRACTIC, INC.

1977 | 37 YEARS LAKELAND PERIODONTICS, INC.

1940 | 74 YEARS MINE & MIL SUPPLY CO.

1980 | 34 YEARS MORGAN STANLEY

1945 | 69 YEARS BORING

1981 | 33 YEARS TURFCARE UNLIMITED

1950 | 64 YEARS CANNON BUICK - CADILLAC - SUBARU

1982 | 32 YEARS

GEORGE L. GAINES, JEWELER

SPRINGER-PETERSON ROOFING & SHEET METAL, INC.

HARRELL’S, LLC

1952 | 62 YEARS JOYNER LUMBER AND SUPPLY CO.

1953 | 61 YEARS GILLUM-WADDELL PLUMBING CO., INC.

1954 | 60 YEARS WATSON CLINIC LLP

1956 | 58 YEARS BERNIE LITTLE DISTRIBUTORS JENKINS LINCOLN

1959 | 55 YEARS FLETCHER PRINTING CO., INC. HARDY’S INDUSTRIES, INC.

1960 | 54 YEARS HAUGER-BUNCH, INC. REALTORS HEATH FUNERAL CHAPEL

1961 | 53 YEARS MARTIN & MARTIN, ATTORNEYS PA

1962 | 51 YEARS

1985 | 29 YEARS GIVAUDAN FLAVORS SUN STATE JANITORIAL PRODUCTS, INC.

1986 | 28 YEARS GREG’S HALLMARK SHOPPE JACK’S INSURANCE AGENCY, INC.

1987 | 27 YEARS ENGLISH FAMILY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES, LLC

Each month, the Chamber enlists the help of 20 volunteers to mentor new and current members with involvement in Chamber events and programs. This month, the Chamber staff would like to recognize Bob Read, Director at LegalShield of Lakeland for his outstanding attention to Chamber members and attendance at events! Bob is a wonderful asset to the Chamber and to the Lakeland community!

BOB READ

LEGALSHIELD OF LAKELAND Director

SANTA FE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

1989 | 24 YEARS FIELDS INSURANCE & FINANCIAL GROUP W. CLINTON WALLACE, P.A.

1991 | 23 YEARS EMPLOYEE INSURANCE BENEFITS OF FLORIDA, INC. J.H. HAM ENGINEERING, INC. MEDICAL AIR SERVICES ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA

1992 | 22 YEARS POLK COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUNBELT TITLE AGENCY E. HAROLD WILSON, INC. DBA WILSON ELECTRIC CO

LOFTIN REAL ESTATE, INC. REGAL CHEVROLET, GMC, HONDA, ACURA, KIA

1964 | 50 YEARS

15

STATE FARM INSURANCE/BUZZ TARVER

YEARS

1967 | 47 YEARS

HAMPTON INN

BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS

1968 | 45 YEARS B & B AUTO BODY WORKS, INC.

5

JEFFERSON-ALLSOPP, INC.

YEARS

1969 | 44 YEARS

CENDOC RECORDS MANAGEMENT

MCDONALD CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION

SMITH & THOMAS INSURANCE

During the month of December our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and the Lakeland community. WALK-IN VISITORS...................................... 385 RELOCATION RESPONSE MAILINGS............. 6 RELOCATION RESPONSE (WALK IN)........... 24 ACCOMMODATIONS...................................... 1 WINTER ACCOMMODATIONS....................... 0 VISITOR INFORMATION MAILINGS............... 6 VISITOR CENTER E-MAIL INQUIRIES........... 56

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

|

17


C HAMB E R F O U N DAT I O N AWA RD S COM M UN IT Y GRA N T S One of the greatest assets this Chamber has in serving the diverse needs of our community is the Lakeland Area Chamber Foundation. Founded in 1973, the Foundation serves to support vital community and education initiatives. It also allows an avenue for Chamber member businesses to contribute philanthropically to non-profit organizations in our community by making a voluntary donation through their membership investment invoice.

2014 FOUNDATION LEADERS

Under the leadership of Foundation Chairman Walker Wilkerson (CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP) the Chamber Foundation Board of Directors met in October and approved grants totaling $41,142.95 to the following organizations and programs in 2014: ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY Snoezelen Multisensory Environment

PARKER STREET MINISTRIES Academic Enrichment Program

ALLIANCE FOR INDEPENDENCE Artist’s Studio

PLATFORM ART, INC. Platform Art 2014 Lake Beulah Trail and Veteran’s Park Event Improvement & Beautification Project

CHILDREN’S CLOTHES CLOSET AT FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Children’s Clothes Closet

POLK EDUCATION FOUNDATION Take Stock in Children

FLORIDA DANCE THEATRE Celebrate Dance Festival

READ LAKELAND, INC. Beyond the Basics

IMPERIAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Outdoor Pops Concert

UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA SUCCESS BY 6 Dolly Parton Imagination Library

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF POLK COUNTY Lakeland Junior Achievement LAKELAND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Leadership Lakeland

VISTE/VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO THE ELDERLY Wheelchair Ramps

MARK E. WILSON FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN AND IMMEDIATE PAST CHAMBER CHAIRMAN (KIMLEY-HORN AND ASSOCIATES, INC.)

TIM JACKSON CHAMBER CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD (NUJAK COMPANIES)

KURT ELMHORST CHAMBER CHAIR-ELECT (ALLEN & COMPANY OF FLORIDA)

DALE DREYER TREASURER (CENTERSTATE BANK OF FLORIDA, N.A.)

PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS, INC. Supercharging the Classroom K AT H L E E N M U N S O N PRESIDENT

Special thanks to the following member businesses and individuals who have contributed to the Foundation from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. Their tax-deductible contributions will support the Foundation’s mission to improve Lakeland’s quality of life.

S Y LV I A B L A C K M O N - R O B E R T S (BLACKMON-ROBERTS GROUP)

TERRI GOLENO (CHEATHAM, GOLENO & FERGUSON, P.A.)

THE AGENCY

LEGOLAND FLORIDA

BUCKNER COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

TAPATIO’S RESTAURANTE MEXICANO

FLOWER CART FLORIST

UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

KELLI STARGEL FOR FLORIDA SENATE

DAN MCBRIDE (VICTORY CHURCH)

JOE L. RUTHVEN (THE RUTHVENS)

T O L E A R N M O R E A B O U T H O W T O S U P P O R T T H E F O U N D AT I O N ’ S E F F O R T S , P L E A S E C O N T A C T K AT H L E E N M U N S O N AT T H E C H A M B E R , ( 8 6 3 ) 6 8 8 - 8 5 5 1 , E X T. 2 3 4 . 18

|

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

GARY TARR


C uba – The N e x t Ch a mb er D est in at ion The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce its 2014 travel destination: Cuba—a place and a people rooted in culture, history and curiosity. Before the 1959 Revolution, Cuba was a popular location for United States citizens, mainly due to Havana’s European-like beauty and its high standard of living. Through a specific license issued by the Dept. of the Treasury (OFAC) which authorizes registered guests to visit legally, Cuba is now finally ready to be explored again as certain categories of travel into the country are permitted. During our specially customized tour program, you’ll learn all about this enigmatic island nation through meaningful exchanges with Cuban people from all walks of life such as local citizens, community organizations, students, teachers and officials. Significant changes in the way Cubans do business is evolving, including the buying and

selling of cars as Cubans were allowed to go into business for themselves in a variety of approved jobs. Restrictions have been relaxed for private farmers in an effort to boost the country’s food production. Our immersive people-to-people cultural exchange will provide you with the ideal opportunity to connect with the Cuban way of life and revel in all that makes Cuba such a magical destination. Highlights of the trip include roundtrip airfare, deluxe and first-class hotel accommodations, interactions with local farmers and restaurant owners, and visits to coffee and tobacco plantations as well as meaningful people-to-people exchanges in the areas of Cienfuegos, the Peninsula de Zapata, Havana and Pinar del Rio. Join us this fall and experience firsthand this once-forbidden country in ways never before possible.

CONTACT CAROLYN JACKSON OR SARAH BREED AT THE CHAMBER FOR FURTHER DETAILS. THEY CAN BE REACHED VIA EMAIL AT CJACKSON@LAKELANDCHAMBER. COM & SBREED@LAKELANDCHAMBER.COM OR BY PHONE AT (863) 688-8551, EXT. 230 AND 228.

JOIN US

E S U O H OPsEdaNy, Feb. 4 5:30 p.m. Tue9 147

eland

du/lak e r. te s b e w • 9 0 63-687-93 8 2 0 2 e it u S , e Town Center Driv

Webster University educates professionals in the Lakeland area through our accredited master’s degree programs. Classes are taught by academically qualified faculty who are practitioners in their fields. The classes are the right size for learning and the perfect place for networking. Advisors will be available to talk with you about your future at Webster University. The $50 application fee is waived for those who attend and apply. RSVP today to shereesaulter00@webster.edu! For a complete program listing go to webster.edu/lakeland No GRE/GMAT • Classes one night a week Webster University, founded in 1915 with its home campus based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, is the only Tier 1, private, nonprofit university with campus locations around the world including metropolitan, military, online and corporate, as well as American-style traditional campuses in North America, Europe and Asia. EC-2476 Sept.indd 1

Be a part of what’s next. F O R U M F O R B U S I N8/5/13 ESS

2:17 | PM 19


po l k E c onomi c U p dat e

DR. JAMES FARRELL, CFA

FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE

CPS Investment Advisors is proud to underwrite the research and preparation of the Polk Progress report

While the recently passed federal budget is not a “grand compromise” that addresses longrun issues such as Medicare and entitlement reform, it is a step in the right direction. Following several years of political posturing and continuing resolutions, we now have a budget that outlines spending and taxation through the end of the 2015 fiscal year. This was accomplished with relatively little fanfare as Paul Ryan and Patty Murray led a bipartisan effort to write the first passable budget since 2010. This budget eased some of the

400

300

200

100

CONNECT ]

O

FLSouthern.edu/ PolkProgress 20

|

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

sequester-related cuts, but more importantly, it reduced uncertainty in the market. Consumers and businesses can now begin to move forward without the impending risk of another shutdown, at least for the next 21 months. This is hopefully a foreshadowing of the upcoming debt ceiling debate. With any luck, the precedent this established may give way to real compromise on taxes, entitlements and other policy issues. The markets finished the year strong, with the DJIA finishing up nearly 26%, the S&P 500

29% and the NASDAQ nearly 38%. Interest rates have begun to creep up, with 10-year U.S. Treasuries now above 3% and 30-year mortgage rates rising from approximately 3.4% to 4.5%. While both of those rates are still well below long-run averages, they may signal an end to super-cheap financing. Gold has had a price correction, falling nearly 27% to $1,200 per ounce. It now stands at less than 2/3 of its alltime unadjusted high of just under $1,900 per ounce. While some analysts are speculating that this is an over correction

and that gold prices are likely to rebound as prices bump up against mining cost (estimated between $900 - $1,100 per ounce), with the Federal Reserve likely to begin tapering and stability returning to the market, I would speculate the opposite, that gold prices will continue to fall with decreasing demand from investors and market speculators betting short. National GDP estimates were revised upward to 4.1% for the 3rd quarter, with increases in personal consumption expenditures and nonresidential fixed investment as the

primary drivers. This is an indicator that both households and businesses are beginning to spend again. While we are still waiting to see how the 4th quarter finishes, these are the first signs that we are “out of the woods” with respect to falling back into a recession. Locally, the Polk County economy continues to expand, however at a slow pace. The Polk Progress Index grew less than 1% for the 3rd quarter and while we have pulled up considerably from our recessionary bottom, we remain below our pre-recession peak.


p u bli c pol i cy

RICH ROY

PUBLIC AFFAIRS VICE PRESIDENT

CONNECT ] LakelandChamber.com

Last year Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and leadership implemented an innovative new way for Floridians to interact with the Florida House through a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.  The app was developed by Echo, an Orlando-based mobile app development company. The project was competitively bid through an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) issued on October 13, 2012 by the Florida House of

Representatives. Echo was chosen from a field of 12 companies that applied. With nearly 80 features, the “FL House” mobile app for iOS and Android puts users at the center of all of the legislative action in the Florida House of Representatives. The app includes a variety of features optimized for iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPad mini, Droid smartphone and Droid tablet devices. Features include access to information about

House members and Committees, the House calendar, bill searching, live streaming video of committee meetings and access to all of the House’s public guides. Additionally, users can receive notifications of Florida House opening and closing times. “The Florida House of Representatives is proud to provide Floridians with new and exciting ways to access information about our chamber through the ‘FL House’ app for iOS

and Android devices,” said Ryan Duffy, Communications Director with the Florida House of Representatives. “We have enabled users to read bills, contact House members and watch meetings on their Smartphone and tablet devices through a mobile app that I believe serves as a model for the nation.” Some of the tools available to users include the ability to contact members of the Florida House of

Representatives by accessing his or her email address, phone number and office location under the members tab, browse House committees to find bills and track them, view House calendars, access House publications and watch the Florida House live by accessing the streaming video feature. Readers can access this application by visiting www. myfloridahouse.gov and clicking on the appropriate link.

FORUM FOR BUSINESS

|

21


COMMON

TA S T E

a of local business o n e c u p at a t i m e

The Common

Grounds member

feature gives your business the

opportunity to showcase “a day in the

life” of your employees and customers. Each month, one of the door prizes at

the Business After Hours event will be a Common Grounds Lakeland Chamber coffee mug & the opportunity to submit a 350 word article about your local business.

BY RUSS SIBNER

| MIMI’S CAFÉ

My days begin with the toughest task of all, matching my clothes. I am color blind and if my fiancee does not coordinate my clothes for me, I literally sweat trying to match my tie, shirt and pants. Once I get to Mimi’s Cafe, I always walk through the front door to ensure our guests feel like they are walking into a café in France. I always walk in with a smile and a few jokes and make it my point to say hello to everyone. I look at our production list for the day because all of our items are made fresh daily. Our butter, almond and chocolate croissants; our buttermilk spice, carrot raisin, blueberry and orange spice muffins; and all of our fresh salads, specialty entrees like our eggs benedict and our bouillabaisse, chicken coq a vin and our classic French dip! I gather up my team of servers and hold our pre shift meeting so my servers are up to date any new menu items, like the return of our classic Meatloaf, Pot Roast, Chicken Parmesan, Artichoke Chicken Penne dish, our fresh Asian salad and everyone’s favorite Sam Adams battered fish and chips. We review our sales goals and are sure to give them plenty of encouragement and support. I’m constantly walking the floor introducing myself to every table making sure that all of our guests are happy and enjoying their Mimi’s experience. I am huge on customer service. I always throw some jokes to our guests to make them feel like they are at home. My shift responsibilities are running the expo line to ensure the food is prepared in less than 15 minutes, the presentation is top notch and the food is delivered “best bite forward”. I work closely with the servers to ensure that we have a “passion for our guests”. I love my job and enjoy Mimi’s Cafe and feel we have great food and great service and look forward to seeing everyone there! 2222 | | F OF O RR UU MMF OF O R RB B UU SS I NI N ES ESS


fields motorcars

February 27 | 5:30 -7:30 p.m.

mercedes-benz showroom

4141 n florida ave

$10 Members | $30 GUests Your RSVP Is Appreciated. Visit LakelandChamber.com

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 3607 • Lakeland, FL 33802 - 3607

Business After Hours


February 2014 Forum for Business  
Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you