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F O R B U S IN E SS JANUARY 2012 | Vol. xXII, No. 1

BUY LAKELAND. It Makes GOOD cents!

CHAMBER STAFF K a t h leen L . M unson President

B a rb a r a B enne t t Executive Assistant

Kara Butch

Administrative Assistant, Membership Development | Communications

S a ll y C h a pm a n

Vice President, Finance & Administration

L a k el a n d Are a C h a mber of C ommerce F orum for B usiness M on t h l y Alice Hun t | C h a irm a n of t h e B o a r d Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc.

Y a d ir a P. Holmes Vice President, Public Affairs

K a t h leen L . M unson | P ublis h er Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

C a rol y n J a c k son

Am y S . W i g g ins | E d i t or

Senior Vice President, Member Relations

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

C E Desi g n co . | C re a t i v e Direc t ion & P R O D U C T I O N

S ue W a snorowic z | C E D E S I G N C O . Contributing Photographers

J a c q ueline L . J o h nson

Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau

K a t ie M c B ri d e - M cKen z ie Membership Account Executive

C h ris t ine M urp h y

Administrative Assistant, Member Relations | Public Affairs

N i k k i O a k le y

Membership Account Executive

Terr y O t t in g er

Vice President, Membership Development

P a t t y S mi t h

Administrative Assistant, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Am y W i g g ins

Vice President, Communications

35 Lake Morton Drive PO Box 3607 Lakeland, FL 33802-3607 (863) 688-8551 Š 2011 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.




ment o r s Derek Oxford CPS Investment Advisors

Over the past three years, Chas Smith has taught me about health and fitness, how to balance a career and home life, as well as guide me to continue learning and to never stop. He’s taught me that work can be enjoyable.  He always likes to say, “You have to like what you do, and if you like what you do, it’s no longer work; it’s fun!” Jim Sidou GrayRobinson, PA When I came to GrayRobinson, Ben LeFrancois was asked to serve as my mentor and to help me make the transition from government work into the world of private practice. He has helped me tremendously, not only with practice advice but with advice about balancing a busy law practice while still maintaining a life outside of the office. We make sure to have lunch at least once a month and his door is always open to discuss whatever might be on my mind. I look forward to continue our mentor/mentee relationship in the years to come, and am honored to call him my friend.

Meredith Spresser

Colleen Mangan

Downtown Lakeland Partnership

Polk County Health Department

Although I have been guided and influenced by many people in my life, one of my biggest mentors has been Leticia Miller, Curator of Education at Polk Museum of Art. When she was my supervisor, Letty lovingly built me up or kicked my behind, whichever was needed, shaping me into the professional that I am today. Her unique perspective and huge variety of life experiences make her advice and guidance invaluable.

Tom Pollock Florida Traditions Bank |

Over the course of my life and career I have had many mentors, some for short periods, others for longer spans. Several were mentors in specific areas of my life such as my personal life, spiritual life, or professional life. One mentor has bridged the gap and has provided care, knowledgeable feedback, and positive encouragement through many years in all of these areas. Sharon Casey demonstrates leadership skills that can encourage anyone to perform at his very best by genuinely caring about the people she comes in contact with and having a passion to know and understand them. She promotes an optimistic outlook no matter what the situation and gives you guidance when it is needed the most.

Lisa Van Zanten was my official mentor for only a few short years, but her passion for life and all out pursuit of excellence continues to challenge my values every day. Lisa taught me to fight for life, be creative enough to enjoy it and to never pursue an achievement at the expense of your character.  I am thankful for her guidance and privileged to call her a lifelong friend. 




CHAM B E R F O U N DAT I O N AWARDS COMM U N I T Y G R A 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 the Chamber’s member businesses to contribute philanthropically to non-profit organizations in our community by making a voluntary donation through the Chamber’s membership investment invoice.

2011 Foundation leaders

board of directors Under the leadership of Foundation Chairman Joe L. Ruthven (The Ruthvens), the Chamber Foundation Board of Directors met in November and approved grants totaling $27,592 to the following organizations and programs in 2012: Achievement Academy [Tools for Testing] Imperial Symphony Orchestra [“School Day” Concert]

w a l k er wil k erson Chamber Chairman of the Board (CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP)

Alice Hun t foundation Chairman and immediate past chamber chairman (Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc.)

Junior Achievement of Polk County [Lakeland Junior Achievement] Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce [Leadership Lakeland] Polk Theatre, Inc. [Children’s Live Performing Arts Series]

M a r k E . W ilson Chamber Chair-elect (Kimley-Horn and Associates)

United Way of Central Florida Success by 6, Let’s Grow Community Initiative [Dolly Parton Imagination Library]

VISTE/Volunteers in Service to the Elderly [Girls Inc. Wednesday Evening Meals]

K a t h leen M unson president

D a n M c B ri d e Treasurer (Victory Church)

Special thanks to the following member businesses and individuals who have contributed to the Foundation from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. Their tax-deductible contributions will support the Foundation’s mission to improve Lakeland’s quality of life. If you are interested in contributing and being added to the list below, simply mark the Foundation box on your annual membership investment renewal invoice next time it comes in the mail.

D a v i d A . M iller General Counsel (Peterson & Myers, P.A.)

directors hugh autry

(Lakeland Regional Medical Center) Bruce Pest Control, Inc. | Buckner Commercial Properties Church of the Resurrection | Dr. Larry Durrence Flower Cart Florist | Gene Engle REALTOR | Gregco Recycling, Inc.

S y l v i a B l a c k mon - R ober t s (Blackmon-Roberts Group)

griffin pools, inc. | Jack’s Insurance Agency | jets pizza ling’s buffet | Oldham Funeral Home | Quality Petroleum Corporation Stille Real Estate | Superior Spray Service

Terri Goleno

(Cheatham, Goleno & Ferguson, P.A.)

Tapatios Restaurante Mexicano, Inc. (North & South) | TECO United Way of Central Florida | Wheeler Appraisals, Inc.

I f y ou woul d li k e t o le a rn more a bou t h ow t o suppor t t h e F oun d at ion ’ s effor t s , ple a se con t a c t K at h leen M unson at t h e C h a mber , ( 8 6 3 ) 6 8 8 - 8 5 5 1 , E x t. 2 3 4 . 4



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When I look for leaders I look for servant-hearted people who delight in what they do. Those are the people I want to surround myself with, and I’m privileged to say those kind of people are my staff at Parker Street Ministries.

tim mitchell

parker street ministries

Servant is not a popular word today. People are obsessed with ascendency, but there is a different path. Every bit of my journey has been patterned after Christ, who lowered himself and became a servant. I came to live in the Parker Street neighborhood because I had a passion for urban ministry. I was willing to serve, and in that process I found another important principle of leadership is to be an example. As a volunteer, if the toilet needed fixing, I did it. I picked up trash twice a week on our landlord’s properties. Neighborhood folks were confused by my work. They would ask, “Are you doing community service hours?” or “How much are you getting paid?” I just talked to them about our programs and set an example. Today, as executive director, I am in a position to develop leaders and that means I delegate. About 13 years ago, PSM was mainly an after-school program. We had fun and kept the kids in a safe environment. There was a bit of homework help. On the one hand I loved the relationships, but early-on I knew I wasn’t the best for the job. One day someone came along who had educator’s credentials and her own passion for urban ministry. I had the choice of handicapping the kids because I liked being around them or giving the educational program to someone who had much more to offer. Christina Allen became our education director in 2005. The difference was immediate. Today we have a tremendously healthy program and the kids are excelling.

Along those same lines, a good leader must value the organization above their own personal wants and desires.

Parks I The enjoyCity’s repairing ailing buildings as part of our housing In the past year I met Tom Gaige &initiative. Recreation who is so much better than I am in understanding Department offers construction and fixing things. So we hired him and venues PSMgreat progressed fromwith having the ability to perform minor repairs to having plenty of optionsa person who could completely build a home from scratch. I’m expecting great activities toin the housing program in the thingsfor to be happening next few years. keep the party If you are a leader, I say stay connected, like attendees active. George Jenkins who knew the bagboys at Publix. He didn’t crawl in an ivory tower and never look back. Enjoy the process; don’t blow past the significance of small jobs. And finally, don’t be so driven by thoughts of ascending, but embrace serving. CONNECT ] 6



a mary mcqueen mcQueen marketing Owner

CONNECT ] McQueenMarketing


Opening a new business and becoming a leader in your field can be a daunting task. One aspect that should not be overlooked is how to build your company brand. Brand recognition goes beyond logos and business cards to the very heart of your businesses’ message. Here are a few simple ways to create a brand that will make you more recognizable and easier to remember. Colors: It’s not until you sit down to pick out logo colors that you realize there are so many different

m i ll i o n s

shades of blue. Don’t panic; just remember to pick a color that best represents the spirit of your business. Whatever your field of expertise, there is an appropriate color scheme. After you choose your logo colors, find ways to incorporate them into everything you do. Self-promotional pieces, clothing/ uniforms and signage should be themed with your logo and colors as a focal point. If clients or customers meet in your office a good way to reinforce your brand is through subtle hues.

internet is a must for all businesses. Social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook can help your brand reach a wider audience and seem more accessible, but should not be used as a Web site replacement. Avoid confusing potential clients by making sure your brand is carried through to all of your online efforts. Get involved: Professional organizations and community volunteer opportunities are a great way to make

Target audience: Who is a potential customer? Is it young married couples under the age of 30 or are you aiming for a more mature client base? Knowing whom you are trying to reach is invaluable. By focusing your marketing and branding efforts not only will you reach potential customers, but you won’t hurt your brand’s reputation by going after clients that will never use your services. Leverage the internet: Having a presence on the

connections and meet potential clients. As a business owner you are a brand ambassador at all times. Word of mouth advertising and referrals are a simple way to build brand loyalty. What better way to get people talking about your business then introducing yourself at professional and community events. These are all small steps, but when put together with a cohesive brand management strategy can help you and your business stand out from the crowd.

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forum in t er v iews Lakeland’s Young Leaders

Todd Baylis, President Qgiv;

FORUM: What is one leadership lesson that you’ve learned that has helped you in business? FORUM: You were one of the first recipients of the Polk Emerging Leaders Award. What does that honor mean to you? many great young leaders in this community. I really appreciate and have to thank all of the experienced leaders in the community that have always been there to help and mentor me and all of the other young leaders in this community.  I also think that county-wide awards such as this are a great thing to help bring the county together.

facilitate a culture of trust among team members. This helps to create an environment where everyone is comfortable with debate and differing points of view, but understands that everyone is working toward the same goals.  Everyone will not win the debate, but they adopt the decisions made and execute them better even when the decision wasn’t what they originally advocated. Involving the team in the strategic planning process and other visioning activities really helps to promote this trust, and makes sure that everyone buys in to the overall goals and direction.

FORUM: Tell us why you chose to start your business in Lakeland.

FORUM: Do you have a leadership development plan for your employees? Tell us about it.

TODD: I really had a unique opportunity to come back to Lakeland and

TODD: It’s not a formal plan, but we encourage all of our people to get

TODD: It was a huge honor to be selected for the award because there are

incubate Cipher and eventually Qgiv. While in college in Tallahassee, one of my roommates and I had started doing various internet related technology projects (software development, email encryption and others).  Those projects were a precursor to what eventually became Cipher and Qgiv.  Having been born and raised in Lakeland, I was fortunate enough to have the family and community support that made Lakeland the perfect place to come back and start both Cipher and Qgiv.



TODD: I think one of the most important things a leader can do is to


involved with the community and we support their involvement. EMERGE Lakeland has been great for everyone looking to start getting involved and really has helped several of our people gain leadership experience and skills.  We also try and put interns and new hires through LEDC’s (Lakeland Economic Development Council) Summer Leadership Program and have found it really helps them get connected in the community and understand many of the different things going on here in Lakeland.

Cindy R. Green, Associate AIA

Furr & Wegman Architects, PA

FORUM: Tell us a little about your experience this past year as the Chair of EMERGE Lakeland. CINDY: First let me say how proud I am of the EMERGE leadership. EMERGE has been so successful because of volunteers and past leaders.  The Steering Committee and our members had high expectations for 2011 and big goals were set.  When the Membership Committee announced that they wanted EMERGE to reach 200 members by the end of the year, I asked for a plan of action.  They provided this, and as of the end of November 2011 EMERGE proudly represents 210 members!  The Events Committee proposed that EMERGE provide more diversity with our events and change up the routine.  They were very successful in providing the members with a variety of events that was in tune with the EMERGE mission. Another class of EMERGE Serves and Peer-To-Peer Networking graduated this year.  These programs are designed at providing board service training and mentoring respectfully.  So how do I sum up my experience, that’s easy. I was honored to lead this group of inspiring and talented young professionals.  I know I leave with confidence that EMERGE will continue to thrive and its members will be a driving force in the success of Lakeland. 

Craig B. Hill, Attorney Law Office of Craig B. Hill, P.L.

FORUM: As Chair for EMERGE, what plans do you have to develop upcoming leaders? CRAIG: We want to continue to provide upcoming leaders an opportunity to become involved and engaged through various events and programs, including professional development, networking, volunteer and service opportunities, and programs such as EMERGE Serves (the Board service/training program). After a decade of service, EMERGE has a proven model of leadership development. With continued support from the Chamber and United Way, young professionals will find meaningful opportunities to develop their leadership skills and their philanthropic involvement.

FORUM: EMERGE isn’t the only community organization that you participate in, with what other groups are you involved?

FORUM: EMERGE isn’t the only community organization that you participate in, with what other groups are you involved?

CINDY: I am very proud that I live in the Dixieland Historic Neighborhood.

CRAIG: I am incredibly excited to be involved in

For the past 6 years I have served on the City of Lakeland’s Dixieland CRA Advisory Board. This gave me many opportunities to be involved in the beautification of my neighborhood.  In addition to the CRA, I am involved with the Dixieland Neighborhood Association.  I have served as the Chairperson on the Business Committee as well as been the liaison between the Neighborhood Association and the City’s CRA Board.  I also created and manage the neighborhood’s Facebook page.  I am a Board Member for the SPCA.  I am proud to say that I am not the only EMERGE Member that serves on this board.  The SPCA Board has recently approved plans for a new Medical Center and an exclusive Dog Park.  These exciting plans will bring low cost care to our pets and offer a safe, clean environment for playtime. 

FORUM: What is one leadership lesson that you’ve learned that helped you in your position as Chair? CINDY: To find out what people are good at doing.  I realized that when a person is good at doing something, they are excited and eager to get it done.  So why not use those skills? With the diversity of talents in EMERGE, it was easy to find a person or persons to tackle any objective and I was always confident that the outcome would be successful. 

FORUM: Now that you’ve survived your year as Chair for EMERGE, what’s next for you? CINDY: I have a lot of catching up to do!  Seriously, I have lots of maintenance

organizations that I would not have found without EMERGE Lakeland like AMIkids Polk, Inc. I am an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Lakeland and Christ Community Presbyterian Church. I’m also proud to say that I am agraduate of Leadership Lakeland Class XXV.

FORUM: What is one leadership lesson that you’ve learned that will help you in your position as Chair? CRAIG: Never give up.  Delegate.  Surround yourself with people who believe in the vision.  Oops, I guess that’s more than one.

FORUM: What’s in store for EMERGE this year? CRAIG: We are excited about 2012 as we build upon a great 2011 and prior years.  EMERGE now has in excess of 200 members.  It is an engaged and enthusiastic group.  We will be focusing upon membership retention and growth; improving events and programs; continue branding and exposure to community; and improving our community involvement (i.e., “giving back”). 

to do at my house. My beautiful (but historic) home requires upkeep.  I also will get back in to art…  I miss hand architectural drawing and intend to occupy my time with this. Well, any time that I am not spending with my 4-legged children. 




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

Mr. Thomas R. Shaw Owner

Shaw House Bed & Breakfast

P. (863) 687-7120 F: (863) 802-8594 605 E Orange St Lakeland, FL 33801-5027


Think of all the things you would like in an ideal bed and breakfast: a homey atmosphere, historic character, good location for walking to local dining and amenities, great view, and comfortable accommodations. You have just described Shaw House Bed & Breakfast located at 605 East Orange Street. Opened in 2002, Shaw House Bed & Breakfast is an 1899 two story house which was lovingly restored by Tom and Inez Shaw who purchased it in 1999 on its 100th birthday.

All of the various amenities offered in downtown Lakeland are within easy walking distance. Guests enjoy a complimentary beverage at 5:30 p.m. and plan evenings out in downtown. Some use the back party deck and bar-b-que to create dinner. As evening falls, walk a block to the south and beautiful Lake Morton is available for a leisurely stroll. Shaw House Bed & Breakfast is an ideal location to explore all of Lakeland’s historic neighborhoods. There are four rooms each with

private bath. They are comfortably furnished and decorated. If guests are interested in learning about what Lakeland has to offer, its history, or just some good conversation, Tom is ready to accommodate. His long history as a City Commissioner and participant in the Sister Cities program provide him with a perspective and experience that many guests seek in a host. The guest book is a testament to the charming southern hospitality that Shaw House Bed & Breakfast offers. The living and

dining rooms promote a feeling of being home, and the huge porches are a natural gathering place for guests to relax and enjoy the views and company. This must be why there are so many returning guests year after year. Wedding parties also find Shaw House Bed & Breakfast to be a place where memories are made. The proximity of Hollis Garden, an ideal wedding venue, makes Shaw House Bed & Breakfast a natural place for the wedding party to prepare for the big moment and then celebrate the

event. Shaw House Bed & Breakfast is one of Lakeland’s historic gems; a home away from home for travelers who really want to know a place and not just pass through. The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Shaw House Bed & Breakfast as the Small Business of Month for December.

For more information on some of the requirements for the Small Business Award and to view previous recipients, please visit BusinessResource.

B y P at rici a Hen d ler ,

Small Business of the Month Committee Member, Patricia Hendler (City of Lakeland) presents the December Small Business of the Month Award to Tom Shaw, Shaw House Bed & Breakfast.


City of Lakeland



W A N T T O K N O W W HY B E in g A M E M B E R O F TH E L AK E L A N D A R E A C HA M B E R I S S O B E C O M I N G ? R E AD on . . .




R I B B O N C U TT I N G S Celebrate a great Chamber year with fellow members and guests and hear Keynote Speaker Anne Beiler, founder of the world famous Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels, the world’s largest mall-based pretzel franchise! Anne’s inspiring professional and personal success story has been recognized multiple times. She was named one of America’s 500 women entrepreneurs by Working Women and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Inc. Magazine. Anne has been featured on national television shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, and The Joyce Meyers Show, as well as featured articles in Fortune Magazine, Guidepost, Nation’s Restaurant News and Christianity Today. In 2008, Anne delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention. Anne has authored Twist of Faith, a revealing look at the inner workings of her life as she built Auntie Anne’s, and her latest book, The Secret Ingredient.

2010 lakeland chamber


mark your

You won’t want to miss hearing Anne’s inspiring “recipe for success” and an exciting evening of celebration with the Chamber!




January 2012 dates thur 12

Thursday, January 12 Economic Forecast Breakfast

mon 09

Monday, January 9 EMERGE Lakeland

Thursday, January 12 EMERGE Lakeland Pack the Bar

wed 11

Wednesday, January 11 Government Affairs

7:00 a.m. The Lakeland Center 701 W. Lime Street

5:30 p.m. Red Door Wine Market 850 S Tennessee Ave

wednesday, January 25 board of directors meeting

thur 26

Thursday, January 26 SCORE Roundtable

tues 7

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2011 Annual Meeting

tues 28

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 66th Annual Tiger BBQ

3:45 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

8:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Wednesday, January 11 BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland

thur 19

Thursday, January 19 Business After Hours

tues 24

Tuesday, January 24 Hats Off to Chamber Members

Noon Lakeland Yacht & Country Club 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive

7:30 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

9:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

5:30 p.m. Waller Construction, Inc. 1065 S Florida Ave, Ste 2

thur 12

Thursday, January 12 Leadership Lakeland XXIX Education Day Thursday January 12 Leadership Lakeland XXIX mid year retreat

8:00 a.m. Florida Technical College 4715 S Florida Ave, Ste 4

wed 18 monday

wed 25


wednesday, January 18 executive committee meeting

featuring Keynote Speaker Anne Beiler, Founder, Auntie Anne’s

Joker Marchant Stadium

4:00 p.m.





sun 1









Government Affairs 8:00 a.m.

EMERGE Lakeland 3:45 p.m.

BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland 9:00 a.m.

Economic Forecast Breakfast | 7:00 a.m.













emerge lakeland pack the bar - 5:30 p.m. Leadership Lakeland XXIX Education Day Mid Year Retreat



Chamber Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


24 Hats Off to Chamber Members 8:00 a.m.








Executive Committee Meeting | 4:00 p.m.

Business After Hours 5:30 p.m.



board of directors Meeting - noon

score roundtable 7:30 A.m.

Even t H I G H L I G H T S 01


business after hours 01 | The NEW Cannon Buick - Cadillac

- Mitsubishi showroom provided a beautiful location for members to build relationships through networking.

02 | Terry Ottinger presents the Plaque

of Appreciation to Co-host The Red Elephant Pizza and Grill Manager Debbie Johnson



03 | Vice President, Membership

Development, Terry Ottinger presents the plaque of appreciation to the Cannon Family: Danny Cannon and Rick Cannon





RENOWNED LEADERS. GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS. VAST EXPERIENCE. With over 390 years of diversified business experience and leadership, Platinum Bank’s


Lakeland Advisory Board members are anchors in the local business community and have experienced the advantages and challenges in the local economy. The knowledge and understanding that has been gained through these experiences is what makes Platinum Bank your established business partner. As key leaders in the local community, they have a vested interest in ensuring the local economy succeeds.







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

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Lakeland, FL 33803 3615 S Florida Ave | (863) 648-5053

Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.

West Caribbean Cuban Restaurant

Lakeland, FL 33801

Lakeland, FL 33801

1321 E Memorial Blvd | (863) 688-7376

2215 S Combee Rd | (863) 606-5956

Law Office of Craig B. Hill, P.L.

Marco’s Pizza

Lakeland, FL 33803

4780 S Florida Ave | (863) 647-2900

210 Woodward St | (863) 937-9381

Lakeland, FL 33813

Lakeland Raiders Indoor Football

Clear Thinking, LLC

Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 248-1106

701 W Lime St | (863) 834-7511




Polk State College


• WORKERS COMP • EMPLOYEE BENEFITS • PAYROLL PROCESSING & TAXES Heacock Payroll offers employers a complete payroll processing service which can combine your payroll taxes, workers’ compensation and employee benefits. Allowing you to spend more time on your business and less time on paperwork.

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The Florida Nurses Association elected Dr. Mavra Kear, Ph.D., ARNP, BC, to lead the organization as President for the next two years. A professor of nursing, she coordinates Polk State’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In addition, Kear serves as Lakeland Regional Medical Center Endowed Professor in Nursing at the college.

Eventrics, Inc. ON THE


Proudly walks down the aisle into the wedding market as Brittany Ellis joins the team of event planning experts.

Vickers Chiropractic Clinic Welcomes Denise Gregory, Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Tai Chi instructor.

Alliance for Independence Pleased to welcome Kim Aarons as the director of residential services. Kim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Brandeis University and has been working for the past 15 years for private, not for profit agencies committed to providing progressive residential and vocational services to adults with developmental disabilities. Also, Ashley Hall, manager of media & community relations, was recently awarded the 2011 Colonel John Dillin, APR, CPRC, Professional of the Year Award, recognizing her outstanding service to the public relations profession and FPRA. The award is named in honor of FPRA’s founder, the late Col. John Dillin and is the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter’s top honor. Also, Pleased to announce the 2011-2012 Board of Directors and Officers: Chairman, Scott Sloman; Chair Elect/Chair, Performance Oversight Monitoring Committee, Timothy E. Kiley; Secretary & Chair, External Relations and Resource Development Committee, Andrew M. Hernan,; Treasurer/Chair, Audit Committee, David R. Ramos; Chair, Planning and Program Development Committee, Deborah Heatherley; Jennifer L. Adams, Bank of Central Florida; Carol N. Asbill, Publix Super Markets; Sarah Barnett, Total Body Conditioning; Larry Bull, Rockford-Ettco Procunier; John C. Burton, Florida Air Museum, Hilary Crenshaw, George L. Gaines Jewelers; James Harmer, Highland Park Dental Laboratory; Monroe L. “Monty” Haskins, Retired; Suzette Jones, Community Volunteer; Charles Lake, Retired; Ron Losch, Retired; Sherrie D. Long, Allen & Company; Tom Patterson, Saddle Creek Corp.; Jim Rehberg, J-Reh, Inc.; Bart Ross, ByDesign Technologies; Sena E. Schirm, SunTrust Bank; Anthony J. Senzamici, Jr., Pioneer Medical Company; Karen Volkmann, Pediatric Therapy Services; AnneMarie Wendel, Lakeland Police Department; William H. Wheeler, Jr., Wheeler & Wheeler, Inc.; Richard Wills, FITniche and Shirley Balogh, President/CEO.

SEMCO Construction Was the recipient of the 2011 Business of the Year, Business to Business category from the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce.

The Achievement Academy Announces that Stacy Williams, Director of Philanthropy, has received her Certified Fund Raising Executive credential. CFRE International exists to uphold the public trust through voluntary certification of fundraising professionals. There are currently only 247 CFRE professionals in the state of Florida.

CPS Investment Advisors Chas P. Smith, CPA/PFS, recently attended the Fidelity Executive Forum in Orlando. The Executive Forum is an annual conference for the top Registered investment Advisors that custody with Fidelity.

C oldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty, LLC Rick Rupp of has recently joined as Realtor® and sales associate, specializing in agricultural land, industrial acreage, recreational tracts, vacant land, warehouses, and commercial buildings. He has strong experience in the cattle ranching, land and commercial lease, and manufacturing industries.

The Lakeland Chamber prints business announcements each month as space permits. Please email announcements to

november Tourism Inquiries During the month of November, our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and the Lakeland community. Walk-in Visitors.............................................. 309 Relocation Response Mailings..................... 5 Relocation Response (Walk In).................... 21 Accommodations.............................................. 2 Winter Accommodations............................... 0 Visitor Information Mailings . ................... 28 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries.................... 63

MEMB E R R E N E WA L S N E W MEMBERS Anytime Fitness



years 1 9 6 8 | 4 3 Ye a rs B & B Auto Body Works, Inc

1 9 6 9 | 4 2 Ye a rs Lakeland Center for Oral Surgery & Implantology

1 9 6 9 | 4 2 Ye a rs C.L. ‘Jimmy’ Lawhon, Real Est.

1 9 7 5 | 3 6 Ye a rs MARCOBAY Construction, Inc.

1 9 7 5 | 3 6 Ye a rs Quality Petroleum Corp.

1 9 7 8 | 3 3 Ye a rs ZENO Office Solutions

1 9 8 2 | 2 9 Ye a rs Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida

1 9 8 4 | 2 7 Ye a rs Stille Real Estate

1 9 9 0 | 2 1 Ye a rs ECON

1 9 8 4 | 2 7 Ye a rs High Shine Cleaning Service, Inc.

1 9 8 4 | 2 7 Ye a rs Hooters South Lakeland

1 9 8 4 | 2 7 Ye a rs Texas Cattle Company

1 9 8 6 | 2 5 Ye a rs American Cancer Society

1 9 8 9 | 2 2 Ye a rs Mid-State Machine and Fabricating Corp.

1 9 9 0 | 2 1 Ye a rs Fabric Warehouse


years CenterState Bank Global Produce Sales, Inc. Michael A. Johnson, Attorney at Law Stepp’s Towing of Lakeland, Inc


years La Porta Rossa at Mario’s The Medicine Shoppe MetroPCS

6828 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 937-9783 Ginnie Frenette Health & Fitness

Creative Association Services 2045 San Marcos Dr Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 293-7400 Katie Campbell Property Management

Deluxe Carpet Clean

(863) 450-0054 Charles Leon Cleaners- Carpet/Upholstery/Drapery

Florida Spine and Injury Institute 1048 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 688-2200 Mohammad Hamtaee Physicians-Chiropractic

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 Ms. DeeDee Jones, owner of King’s Court Gowns for her outstanding attention to Chamber members and attendance at events! DeeDee is a wonderful asset to the Chamber and to the Lakeland community!

Gregg S Kamp, Esquire 6155 S Florida Ave #10 Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 646-3135 Gregg Kamp Attorneys

dee dee jones

King’s court gowns

Life Plus, LLC

1102 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 284-0800 William Reed Insurance

Longhorn Steakhouse

3392 US Highway 98 N Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 859-7817 Dave Brown Restaurants

MCS Nationwide

1911 Lake Deeson Dr Lakeland, FL 33805 (863) 602-6659 Floyd Barker Audio Visual/Video Equipment Rental/Sales/ Service

Performance Contracting, Inc. 3810 Drane Field Rd, Ste 12 Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 646-4738 Steve Kerber Construction

Village Park Valet

(863) 255-9320 Matt Miller Valet Service

Wes-Garde Components Group 3815 Industry Blvd Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 644-7564

Daniel D. Moody, Attorney & Pilot Tampa International Airport

Lakeland & Bartow Offices FORUM FOR BUSINESS



Chairman’s Circle Welcomes Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam

kathleen munson lakeland AREA chamber OF COMMERCE President


The Chairman’s Circle hosted its Fall Business Luncheon on November 4 at Grasslands Golf and Country Club. Members welcomed Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as their special guest. Adam is a fifth generation cattle rancher and citrus grower from Polk County, and lives in Bartow with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. Prior to his election as Ag Commissioner in 2010, Adam served in both the Florida House of Representatives and the U.S. Congress. Adam updated the group on his activities as Commissioner, and

addressed issues related to Florida’s energy policy, immigration laws, redistricting and the school nutrition program. As past Chamber chairman, Joe L. Ruthven (The Ruthvens) facilitated the business luncheon, and welcomed Eileen Holden (Polk State College) as a new member. The Chairman’s Circle was founded in 2003 to provide a business forum for senior level executives to meet and build relationships with one another, and participate in strategic marketing and membership events to enhance their business and the overall Lakeland business community.

The following business leaders are members of the Chairman’s Circle: Ralph Allen | Allen & Company Ira Anderson | Crowe Horwath LLP A. Dean Boring | Boring Business Systems Timothy F. Campbell | Clark, Campbell & Lancaster, P.A. Mike Carter | CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP Gary Cassard | Bright House Networks Jim Chaffin | SunTrust Bank Dale Dreyer | CenterState Bank Ken Ely | Platinum Bank Art Erickson | Florida Lifestyle Communities Gow Fields | City of Lakeland Scott Franklin | Lanier Upshaw, Inc. Mike Furr | Furr & Wegman Architects, P.A. Kamal Haider, M.D. | Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, P.A. Ford Heacock | Heacock Insurance Group Dr. Eileen Holden | Polk State College Clayton Hollis | Publix Super Markets, Inc. Susan Maurer | BB&T Katrina Lunsford | Wells Fargo Leonard Mass | Drummond Company, Inc.

Commissioner Putnam visits with CC Members

Mike McGee | McGee Tire and Auto Service, Inc. Mark Miller | GrayRobinson, P.A. Bob Puterbaugh | Peterson & Myers, P.A. George Rogers | GEICO Art Rowbotham | WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio Joe P. Ruthven | The Ruthvens Dr. Lou Saco | Watson Clinic LLP Chas P. Smith | CPS Investment Advisors Dr. Elaine Thompson | Lakeland Regional Medical Center Sam Morrone | Pepperidge Farm, Inc.

CC Chair Joe L. Ruthven welcomes new member Eileen Holden 18



Ralph Weeks | Quality Petroleum Corporation

Bank of Central Florida

“They understand the complex business of radiology.” …Ed Goodemote, PhD, RN | CEO, Radiology and Imaging Specialists

Radiology and Imaging Specialists’ experienced physicians and staff have provided radiology services to the community for more than 40 years. When they needed to expand, they looked for a bank that understood their unique lending and treasury needs.

“Our physicians and staff prefer Bank of Central Florida.”

“At Bank of Central Florida, we talk directly with local people for loan decisions,” Ed Goodemote says. “We like the individual attention we receive from the entire staff.”


Member FDIC

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 FORUM FOR BUSINESS



publ i c p o l icy 2012 Florida Legislative Priorities The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce will closely monitor and lobby accordingly on the following issues throughout the 2012 Legislative Session.

Economic Development/Tourism: Support the Governor’s Office in efforts to retain Florida’s Spring Training teams, and attract new teams to the State. Support continued use of public funds for professional sports facilities. Energy Solutions: Support comprehensive energy policy that balances affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy sources while promoting economic and national security. Environment: Oppose unnecessary regulatory measures by the EPA related to numeric nutrient water quality criteria while supporting state water policies that protect and promote state water quality standards and the natural environment. Internet Sales Tax: Support measures to close this internet sales tax loophole; and streamline sales tax information and definitions to make it easier to collect sales taxes for interstate and intra-state Internet commerce. Medicaid Reform: Support efforts to reduce fraud and abuse within the Medicaid system. Presumptive Disability Reform: Support local efforts to reform pension programs, specifically




related to presumptive disability. Support legislative efforts to place a reasonable evidentiary standard in Statute in regards to workers’ compensation claims for hypertension and other heartrelated ailments, lung disease and certain mental conditions. Support prohibiting the application of presumption for users of tobacco products. Property Insurance: Support providing more affordable and available hurricane insurance to Florida’s business owners and reducing current and potential assessments on Floridians from insolvent state-run insurers. Streamlined Government: Support efforts to eliminate duplicative functions, bureaucracy and red tape burdens on employers. Tort Reform: Support the passage of comprehensive tort reform to lessen the burdensome costs imposed by our current legal system on Florida’s employers and consumers. Transportation: Continue monitoring and working with the FDOT to pursue efforts to redirect freight traffic from Lakeland’s downtown corridor. Unemployment Compensation: Support legislation that will mitigate the costs of unemployment compensation tax increases on employers and protect businesses that are creating jobs in Florida.

2012 Legislative Priorities – Education The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce supports strengthening our education and workforce systems to close the talent gap and provide Florida with long-term economic success through a highly skilled and educated workforce. The Chamber will lobby to support our Educational Institutions in Lakeland and Polk County in the following areas:

Polk County Public Schools:

.Focus on local initiatives and local control, instead of “state-wide� approach. .Real flexibility for school districts in expending all funds. .Return control of school start date to local school boards. .Replace non recurring federal EduJobs funding with recurring state funds. .Removal of stringent financial penalties for class size reduction. .Repeal of unfunded or underfunded state regulations. .Restoration of weighted funding for continuation and expansion of career and technical programs

University of South Florida Polytechnic:

.Continued funding of the new campus construction project. Polk State College:

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes Polk State College as the most efficient way for the county to produce college degrees and shrink the educational attainment gap, thereby advancing the cause of economic development. Therefore, the Chamber requests the state’s support for Polk State in the following areas:

.Fully fund enrollment growth to enhance access .Expand the College’s base budget to facilitate program expansion .Meet the state’s match obligations for scholarships and facilities .Invest in the College’s PECO priorities to allow the physical plant to catch up with the

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curricular infrastructure. The Chamber also recognizes Polk Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic commitment to innovation and excellence and requests the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s support of local and statewide initiatives to expand access to high-quality charter school opportunities, such as the two operated by Polk State College on its campuses here in Lakeland and also in Winter Haven.

Florida Southern College: Recognizing the tremendous contributions that Florida Southern College brings to the City of Lakeland and our Central Florida Region in the areas of academic excellence, economic impact and quality of life, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce supports the following Florida Southern Initiatives:

.Continued funding of the Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) program. .Funding for the Frank Lloyd Wright Tourism and Education Center. .Funding for the Historic Preservation Fund to support Anne Pfeiffer Chapel grant.

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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.


When people asked me what I planned on doing they would say, ”You’re going to do what? I didn’t know they had such a thing as professional pet sitters.” With over 39% of U.S. households being dog owners and 33% being cat owners, the question arises- “What to do with Fido and Fluffy when we go on vacation?” And who wants to inconvenience a neighbor or relative? That’s where Promise Pet Care comes in. I come in for periodic visits during the dayfeeding, refilling water, walking, playing and giving lots of TLC to the pets in my care. I treat each one as if it were the only one in the world, because at that moment- they are. I sit for dogs, cats, small caged animals, birds and reptiles and when requested, I also offer overnight stays and minor home security. In addition to pet sits and overnights- I offer mid day dog walking, pooper scooper service, a pet taxi service and pet and family photography (I have many years experience in the photography field). Should you think that this is a dream job- it has its challenges like any other job. Like cleaning up dog diarrhea and vomit, trying to walk untrained dogs, giving cats medication hidden in tuna fish and getting jumped on with muddy (and other stuff) paws. Although almost all of my four legged clients are so very happy to see me, a rare few are not- like the 2 cats that stood side by side in the doorway each time I arrived- hissing at me, daring me to walk past them. Recently I had to take one little dog to the ER late at night as she got Pancreatitis. She’s doing fine now. All of it is worth it when you see the face of a happy pet owner that says, “We can never thank you enough. You probably saved her life”. Or each time I go to my client’s home and the cat rubs itself on my leg or the dogs lick my face as if to say,” Thanks for taking care of us while Mommy and Daddy are away!” This is all the reward I need.





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4-Drawer Lateral File Cabinet

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Hurry, supplies are limited! 2440 Hwy. 98 North • (863) 682-3450 1 Mile South of I-4 Across from Lakeland Chrysler


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

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Start your New Year off in

at the new Waller Design Center! Thursday, January 19th • 5:30 – 8:30 pm • Festive Music • Beverages from Tuckers’ Southside • Food from Outback Steakhouse • Door Prizes

Register Today!

$10 Chamber Member • $30 Non-Chamber Member

Your R.S.V.P. is appreciated! Visit to register WALLER CENTRE

1065 South Florida Avenue

(Next to Dixieland Post Office)

Additional parking available at Dixieland Village





January 2012 Forum for Business  

January 2012 Forum for Business