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F O R B U S IN E SS January 2014 | Vol. xXIII, No. 1

BUY LAKELAND. It Makes GOOD cents!




CH A M BER STAFF K a t h l een L . M unson President

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

s a r a h bree d

Administrative Assistant, Member Relations | Public Affairs

Sally Chapman

Vice President, Finance & Administration

L a ke l a n d Are a C h a mber of C ommerce F orum for B usiness M on t h l y Timo t h y b . J a ckson | C h a irm a n of t h e B o a r d NuJak Companies

K a t h l een L . M unson | Pub l is h er Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

C a ro l y n J a ckson

Senior Vice President, Member Relations

J a c q ue l ine L . J o h nson

Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Am y S . W i g g ins | E d i t or Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

nice br a n d in g a g enc y | C re a t i v e Direc t ion , P R O D U C T I O N & P h o t o g r a p h y

K a t ie M c B ri d e Membership Consultant

N ikki O a k l e y

Membership Account Executive

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.

Terr y O t t in g er

Vice President, Membership Development

R ic h R o y

Vice President, Public Affairs

K a r a simm

Administrative Assistant, Membership Development | Communications

P a t t y S mi t h

Administrative Assistant, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Am y W i g g ins

Vice President, Communications

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



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

expe r i e nc e e me r g e

jessica slaydon Two Men and a Truck

Frequently I am asked, “Where is the best place to get involved in Lakeland?” My response is always, “EMERGE Lakeland. It is affordable, educational and the group knows how to have fun.”

Not sure what EMERGE does?


EMERGE Lakeland is a group of young professionals from bankers to bartenders and marketing coordinators to executive directors

between the suggested ages of 21-42. The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Florida partnered to create the organization in 2003 to provide a venue for retaining and engaging young professionals in our community. Throughout the year there are several events members can attend or get involved with planning. Some of the event from 2013 included Casino Night and Follow the Leaders.

emerge Established 2003

Chair Will Link, Reed & Mawhinney, P.L.

To cre a t e a l oc a l ou t l e t for members t o bui l d re l a t ions h i p s , d e v e l o p p rofession a l l y , become p o l i t ic a l l y a w a re , p h i l a n t h ro p ic a l l y a c t i v e & con t ribu t e t o t h e economic d e v e l o p men t a n d q u a l i t y

Membership Fee $50 per year

Learn more Emerge

of l ife in L a k e l a n d .





A M O N T H LY [ From Get Your Business Online with Google ]

Did you know that 1 in 5 searches on Google is local*, which means someone is looking for a product or service nearby? Whether someone’s looking for a local coffee shop or a place to have photocopies made, people in your neighborhood are searching for a local business like yours. Take advantage of this by creating a Google business listing that will prominently display you on Google Search and Maps, just when local customers are most interested.

How local search Works


Google user data,

April 2010


Google shows the most relevant results based on your location and searches. So if you search for “donuts,” you should get results for local donut shops. But let’s say you’re in Colorado, and you search for “malasadas Hawaii.” In that case, you’ll see listings for places that sell malasadas in-- yup, you guessed it-- Hawaii. Making sure you’re listed with Google as a business on Search and Maps can get you front and center for those types of searches, so you can connect with a local customer looking for exactly what you have to offer. Customers can see all nearby services they’re looking for. If someone’s car needs fixing, their search will show them nearby mechanics. Listings also include useful information like descriptions, hours, contact information, and reviews to help customers decide if you’re the right fit for them.



business listing Visit com/placesforbusiness. Click “Get started for free” and sign in to your Google account (if you don’t have one you can create one for free at You’ll be presented with Google’s Terms of Service. Once you review and accept them, you can move on to create your business listing. When you search for your business, it may be listed. If it is listed in the menu, click the name of your business to move to the next step. If your business is not already listed as an option, choose the option to create a new listing for your business. Enter your business details. Enter your business name as you’d like it to appear -- and be careful not to make a typo! Then, enter your address and phone number. Enter a category for your business. Start by typing a word or phrase that describes what you offer and you’ll see a list of options automatically appear. Choosing a category from the list is required -- you won’t be able to



edit the category. If you don’t see an appropriate category, try variations. If you can’t find the perfect category, don’t give up. Choose the category that is the closest match to your business or industry. You can edit your business description in a later step to clarify the category to customers who see your listing. Enter your address to verify your listing with Google. If you want to hide your address, just select the checkbox labeled “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location.” Then, specify your service area. Verify your business listing. This helps Google ensure that you are the business owner by sending a pin number to the address you listed.  Click the white box labeled Verify by postcard. You should receive your postcard in 1-2 weeks. When you receive your pin, sign in to your account at placesforbusiness and click the button labeled Enter PIN. Once you enter and submit your PIN, your business is verified!



business listing Now that you’ve verified your listing, you can enter more details about your business to help customers learn more about your business. Click Edit information in your account to add information like your operating hours, a description, and more. Keep your information up to date -- this is important, because outdated information could make you miss out on customers. For example, if you offer extended summer hours, or close down your business for the holidays, make sure your listing includes this so potential customers don’t show up at the wrong time. Showcase your business and engage potential customers with pictures featuring your business, staff, customers, or products. Don’t forget to ask for reviews for your listing on Google. Ask customers to provide a review about their experience with you.

I’m pleased to present the Chamber’s 2014 Business Plan, introducing the Key Strategic Initiatives that will guide us in serving our 1,700 member businesses and this great community we call home. Your Chamber is committed to providing the highest level of programs and services to successfully grow your business and foster economic growth in 2014 and beyond. Please take a moment to review the Business Plan, and take advantage of all that the Chamber has to offer you and your business. I look forward to working with you this year!

Timothy B. Jackson NuJak Companies Chairman of the Board

Chairman Timothy B. Jackson, NuJak Companies

Vice Chair, Business Development Bill Rhey, PhD, Florida Southern College

Chair elect Kurt Elmhorst, Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Vice Chair, Membership Development Mike McGee, McGee Auto Service and Tires

Immediate Past Chair Mark E. Wilson, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Treasurer Dale Dreyer, CenterState Bank of Florida, N.A. General Counsel Tim Darby, Darby Law Group, P.A.

Ira Anderson, Crowe Horwath, LLP Steve Beck, Citizens Bank & Trust Stacy Campbell-Domineck, CareerSource Polk Sarah Case, Gadd Case & Associates David Daniel, Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center Bill Dorman, Lanier Upshaw, Inc. Elliott Dorsch, Fun Bike Center Motorsports Peter Elliott, Polk State College Walt Engle, Publix Super Markets, Inc. Brad Farrow, Givauden Flavors Karen Houtz, Community Bank of Florida Doug Johnston, Saddle Creek Logistics Services Janice Jones, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Jarvis Kendrick, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union / Northside 6


Adil Khan, Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group/LRHS Rob Kincart, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure Karen Kovach, Third Wing Business Strategies, LLC

Vice Chair, Public Policy Matt Ruthven, The Ruthvens Vice Chair, Sustainable Community Craig B. Hill, Law Office of Craig B. Hill, P.L. Vice Chair, Talent Development Joe Childs, DBA, Southeastern University College of Business & Legal Studies

Ava Parker, Florida Polytechnic University Steve Scruggs, Lakeland Economic Development Council Michael Spake, Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Kathryn LeRoy, Polk County Public Schools

Randy Stinson, Stinson’s Home Design Center

Robert Loftin, Community Southern Bank

Doug Thomas, City of Lakeland

Kelly Lonsberry, Watson Clinic LLP

Jimmy Waller, Sihle-Waller Insurance

Cindy Maddox, Omnia, Inc.

Mayor Howard Wiggs, City of Lakeland

Dan McBride, Victory Church Molly McHugh, Molly McHugh’s Irish Pub/ Hurricane Alley Kim McKeel, Keller Williams Realty of Polk Mary McQueen, McQueen Marketing, LLC David Miller, Peterson & Myers, P.A. Ben Mundy, Jr., SCMH Architects, Inc.

The Chamber’s efforts in the public policy arena continue to strengthen thanks to dedication and engagement from member businesses. The Government Affairs Committee creates the Chamber’s 2014 Legislative Priority Statement, guiding advocacy efforts for the year. Members may

contribute suggestions for the 2015 Priorities by using the Issue Priority Matrix form beginning in September 2014. Public Policy email updates and legislative calls to action are available to members who subscribe by visiting Updates.


As the Visitor Information Center for the City, the Chamber is proud to refer member businesses. Through involvement with Sun ‘n Fun, Florida High School Athletic Association events, and many conventions and events that choose Lakeland, our Convention & Visitors Division ensures that member businesses are well represented to visitors!

Resources at are available to bolster visibility. Check out coupons, event calendar, key word search and, new for 2014, hotel availability calendar.


Connections are one of the greatest benefits of Chamber membership. Engaging with committees, events, and even informal get-togethers fortifies business relationships. Three Leads Groups offer members variety in small group networking and leads exchange.

The Leadership Lakeland program is one of the best ways to connect to the community. Throughout the year, 30 professionals are immersed in the Lakeland community, exploring arts, education, government, and more.


Economic Forecast Breakfast Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast Politics in the Park

Business After Hours 68th Annual Tiger BBQ 24th Annual Chamber Scramble Ribbon Cuttings

2013 Annual Meeting Business & Breakfast Schmooze a’Palooza SCORE Business Round Table

BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland is a political action group that was created in 2000 as an organization to support pro-business candidates and to promote issues which impact the business community. EMERGE Lakeland is a meaningful networking organization of dedicated, talented young professionals ranging in age from 21 to 42. This organization is a partnership of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Florida. As part of the Chamber’s partnership with the City of Lakeland, the Lakeland Convention & Visitors Bureau works closely with tourism entities throughout the state and county to maximize Lakeland’s tourism marketing and bring tourism dollars to


Area Chamber

The Lakeland Area Chamber Foundation was formed in 1973 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and through the generosity of Chamber members continues to offer grant support for education and community betterment initiatives.

After careful consideration by the board of directors, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is changing the way members invest in the organization. For many years, businesses have joined the Chamber based on the size of the company. Under the new investment model, businesses have the opportunity to invest at the level that fulfills their needs and best allows them to grow and succeed. BUSINESS BUILDER

designed for small businesses seeking to enhance visibility and build business relationships that contribute to the Lakeland community


offers access to information and increased visibility for small companies with an established presence and a desire to grow


designed for small and mid-sized companies who want to grow through networking and access to information


designed for leading companies to increase influence on the prosperity of the Lakeland community


companies leading change and fostering innovation in the Lakeland community


commitment to economic prosperity, employee engagement and leadership


leading investors ensuring the future of Lakeland’s economic success


companies that are indispensable to the success and vitality of the Chamber, the region and the state

For additional information on the Chamber’s new membership investment plans, please visit




Bank of Central Florida

“All the big bank conveniences, but better personal service.” Edward J. Garcia, MD MicroPath Laboratories

MicroPath Laboratories is an independent diagnostic anatomic pathology laboratory staffed by board certified pathologists. They have supported physicians in the treatment of their patients in the Central Florida area for the past 45 years.

Jennifer Vaughn, Vice President/ Commercial Lending with Brian J. Yoder, DO, PhD, Edward Garcia, MD, and Ricardo E. Duque, MD with Jennifer Adams, Vice President/ Private Banking Officer.

“The people at Bank of Central Florida are extremely helpful,” says Dr. Ed Garcia. “They specialize in the needs of the medical profession. I have relied on them for all of my personal and professional banking for years.”

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

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

southern glass products company cliff coleman

(863) 665-6947 3250 Atlantic Ave Lakeland, FL 33803


“Glass,” the other building material! No one builds better with glass than Southern Glass Products Company (SGP) Founded in 1968 by Don Coleman, SGP serves clients locally and throughout Florida. It is currently owned and operated by Cliff Coleman, who is the second generation owner and the third generation of his family in glass industry. The company

Small Business

of the Month

committee member Don Pickard

presents the

December Small Business of the

Month Award to Cliff C. Coleman.

Also pictured: Don Coleman.

Scan here with your smart phone app for a short video about Southern glass products



specializes in sales and installation of glass, glazing, entrances, and aluminum curtain walls. Their major focus is commercial construction, but they also specialize in residential mirrors and shower enclosures, and service and repair of damaged storefront windows and commercial glass doors. SGP has established an ethic of “do it right the first time.” Their highly trained

glaziers deliver on this commitment and contribute to the company’s reputation for excellence. Their office staff has a combined average of more than 23 years as loyal employees. SGP is a drug free workplace that offers a company health plan and an opportunity to participate in a retirement program. Don and Cliff have been involved with numerous community

organizations over the years. Don serves on The Salvation Army board. Cliff has substantial experience coaching youth sports. His coaching includes soccer, basketball and volunteer high school varsity tennis. He is a past president of Downtown Kiwanis Club. The company has made in-kind donations to organizations such as First Tee, Salvation Army, Project Care, Achievement Academy,

B y Don a l d M . Pick a r d ,

local high schools, colleges, and various churches. The Colemans credit their loyal customers for both their successes and ability to cope with lean economic times. It is apparent that SGP’s conduct of business is the reason they enjoy their customers loyalty. We are pleased to recognize Southern Glass Products Company as our Small Business of the Month for December.

Pickard & Pickard Inc. REALTORS



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 LA K E LA 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 . . .

C AL E N D a R




2013 chamber annual meeting Please join us as we pay tribute to the amazing community in which we live, work and play. Lakeland isn’t just a destination, it’s a lifestyle that draws dynamic, diverse and talented people to our community. From Frank Lloyd Wright architectural gems to Detroit Tigers spring training, Lakeland is rich in culture, home to several outstanding universities and colleges, and proud headquarters of Publix Super Markets.


Lakeland has so much more to offer than what you can see on the surface…a welcoming culture for entrepreneurs and young professionals, world class medical facilities, dynamic small and large businesses, and sports, entertainment and recreational assets second to none.

Come celebrate how far we’ve come, the cool place we are now and join us in creating an even brighter future!



Reception starts at 5:30 PM with Dinner being served at 6:30 PM


Entertainment provided by the folks at NFocus!


Tickets are $60/person or $650/corporate table of 10


Purchase tickets by January 24, 2014 at

Sponsored by

GrayRobinson, P.A. DSM Technology Consultants n Florida Traditions Bank Publix Super Markets, Inc. n WellDyneRx, Inc.


| 11

january 2014 dates wed 8

Wednesday, January 8 Government Affairs 8:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Wednesday, January 8 BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland 9:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

thur 9

Thursday, January 9 Leadership Lakeland, Education Day/ Mid-Year Retreat All Day

mon 13

Monday, January 13 EMERGE Lakeland Steering Committee

wed 15

Wednesday, January 15 Executive Committee Meeting

wed 22

thur 9

Thursday, January 9 Toast at the Terrace with EMERGE

tues 14

Tuesday, January 14 Hat’s Off! To Chamber Members

thur 16

3:45 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

5:30 p.m. The Terrace Hotel 329 E Main St

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

Thursday, January 16 Economic Forecast Breakfast 7:00 a.m. The Lakeland Center 701 W Lime St

thur 23

Thursday, January 23 Health Care Summit

thur 6

Thursday, February 6 2013 Chamber Annual Meeting

thur 20

Thursday, February 20 A “Light” Lunch with EMERGE

Wednesday, January 22 Board of Directors Meeting

6:00 p.m.

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

thur 23

Noon Grasslands Golf & Country Club 1600 Grasslands Blvd.

12:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 20 68th Annual Tiger BBQ

Thursday, January 16 Business After Hours

4:00 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

11:30 a.m. Lakeland Yacht & Country Club 929 Lake Hollingsworth Dr

Thursday, January 23 Score Round Table 7:30 a.m. Lakeland Chamber 35 Lake Morton Dr

Chamber closed Monday, January 20 for Martin Luther King Day



wednesday 1




Government Affairs 8 a.m.

BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland | 9 a.m.


13 emerge lakeland steering committee 3:45 p.m.


hat’s off! to chamber members | 8:00 a.m.



executive committee meeting | 4:00 p.m.

22 board of directors meeting | noon

chamber closed FOR martin luther king day





29 28



















leadership lakeland/ education day mid-year retreat | all day toast at the terrace with emerge | 5:30 p.m.

16 economic forecast breakfast | 7:00 a.m. business after hours 5:30 p.m.

23 score round table 7:30 a.m. health care summit 11:30 a.m.

30 28

31 28

Ev ent HIG HLIG H TS 01


November Business After Hours

Hosted by Regal Chevrolet, GMC, Honda, Acura, Kia

01 | Chairman Mark Wilson of Kimley-

Horn and Associates presents the Plaque of Appreciation to the entire Campisi family. Thank you for hosting such a beautiful and bright event!

02 | More than 200 members attended

the event! Everyone enjoyed the great company along with the valet parking and delicious food!

03 | Bob Ettensohn of The Ettensohn 03


Agency/Allstate and Arthur Rowbotham of WONN/WPCV/WLKF/ WWRZ Radio smile for the camera!

November Schmooze a’Palooza Hosted by Mimi’s Cafe

04 | Jessica Slaydon markets moving

and services offered by Two Men and a Truck. More than 30 members came out to network at this power luncheon!

05 | Janet Vargas of Promise Pet Care,

LLC gives her 30-second commercial on all her pet services including in-home sitting, walking, and keeping your pet company!

CarBQ Portable BBQ Lunch 05


06 | On November 15, 2013, more than

50 volunteers packaged 2,500 gourmet barbecue lunches to fuel employee appreciation during the 6th Annual CarBQ event.

07 | Volunteers package beans during

the 6th Annual CarBQ event held at Tigertown.

08 | Owen Johnson (Fred’s Market

Restaurant /Johnson Barbecue) prepares delicious pulled pork for the 6th Annual CarBQ.






chairman ’s circle Lanier Upshaw, Inc. Is proud to announce that Mike Woodhouse has joined the agency as Risk Consultant.

Two Men and a Truck Polk County Recently hired five new movers: Tom Collins, John Hicks, Josh Jones, Eric Lugo and Ryan Perdomo.

Vogel Bros. Building Co. Celebrates 85 years in business and welcomes a fifth generation family member into the business. Darren Vogel joins the company as an estimator and project manager in the Florida division.

C oldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate Clay Taylor, ALC, recently received the National Association of Realtors 2013 National Commercial Award. The award recognizes excellence in the commercial real estate industry by honoring nationally accomplished REALTORS for local achievements.

FITniche Welcomes Pam Pratt as General Manager. Pam is an accomplished business woman and long time runner.

OMS Group, Inc. Partner Greg Sale recently attended the National Association of Health Underwriters Principal’s Council summit in Washington D.C. where more than a dozen representatives from the nation’s largest insurance agencies and benefits groups came together to discuss current legislation and meet with key policymakers.

Lakeland Vision, Inc. Pleased to announce that Laura Rodriguez has accepted the position of Executive Director for the agency. A native of Lakeland, Rodriguez graduated from the University of South Florida and has spent her career involved in state and local issues. Most recently, she has served as outreach coordinator for Congressman Dennis Ross, before which she was the chief legislative aide for Senator Paula Dockery.

C oldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty, LLC Managing partner R. Todd Dantzler, CCIM was recently elected Chairman of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. His term is one year. Dantzler has served on the board since 2010. Gary Ralston, CCIM, recently received the ICS Certified Development, Design, and Construction Professional (CDP) designation. The ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc.) certification programs focus on raising the industry’s professional standards globally. There are 6,000 ICSC designees in 55 countries representing fewer than 10% of the commercial real estate professionals in the shopping center industry. Of this elite group, only 500 designees have achieved CDP status.

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, PUblixx Super Markets, Inc.; Treasurer Lance Schmidt, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.

Broadway Real Estate Recently moved into new offices in the McKay Building. Visit them at 100 S Kentucky Ave, Ste 290.

The Lakeland Chamber prints business announcements each month as space permits. Please email announcements to 14


Special thanks to Past Mayor Gow Fields, Mayor Howard Wiggs, Commissioner Edie Yates, and all the Board Members and Chamber Champions who truly make these ceremonies special events. Bret Jones, P.A.

Brightway Insurance

Lakeland, FL 33803

Lakeland, FL 33803

902 S Florida Ave, Ste 101 | (863) 688-5838

4720 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Ste 305 (863) 644-7711 | locations/cf-lakeland.html

Lockheed Martin Enterprise Business Services

Colo5, LLC

Lakeland Toyota Scion, Inc.

Lakeland, FL 33805

Lakeland, FL 33805

2850 Interstate Dr | (904) 731-3390

2925 Mall Hill Dr | (863) 688-5451

Lida Livingston Organo Gold Independent Distributor

Seed Sowers Evangelistic Association Lakeland, FL 33815

Lakeland, FL 33801

Call to Schedule an Appt | (863) 838-3251

1745 W Olive St | (863) 688-3200

225 S Florida Ave, Ste 1 | (863) 686-9474

Lakeland, FL 33813 1040 S Parkway Frontage Rd | (863) 647-0100

Tropical Smoothie Cafe




Cinemark Lakeland Square Mall

Law Offices of Mygnon Evans

Doris A Sanders Learning Center


Egret Technology Services, Inc.

Puff ‘n Stuff Catering, LLC

Incredible You Coaching

USA Mobile Drug Testing of West Central Florida

3800 US Hwy 98 N Lakeland, FL 33809 Ms. Lizbeth Gonzalez Theatres

1201 Enchanted Dr Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 499-2980 Ms. Debra Peavey Schools – Charter/Choice/Magnet

Call To Schedule An Appointment (877) 701-5556 Mr. David B. Goodrich Computers – Consulting & Custom Applications 6335 Palma Del Mar Blvd S, Ste 222 St. Petersburg, FL 33715 (727) 282-4460 Ms. Kay Renshaw Consulting Services

411 E Orange St Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 687-2935 Ms. Mygnon Evans Attorneys

4714 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 512-2516 Mr. Jeremy Brumley Restaurants Call To Schedule An Appointment (813) 712-7833 Ms. Amy Pryor Caterers

Call To Schedule An Appointment (813) 653-4559 Mr. V Roy McGrew Drug Prevention/Education

LEGOLAND Florida is pleased to extend a very special buy-one-get-one free ticket offer to Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce members! For each Adult Ticket purchased, Chamber members receive one free general admission ticket to be redeemed as an adult, child or senior admission. Visit for more details! (Members must log in to receive this offer.)





1 9 8 6 | 2 7 Ye a rs American Cancer Society

1 9 9 2 | 2 1 Ye a rs Arrow Environmental Services

1 9 4 5 | 6 8 Ye a rs

Cement Products & Supply Co., Inc. Elkins Electric, LLC

Lakeland Animal Nutrition, Inc.

ServiceMaster Commercial Services

1 9 5 0 | 6 3 Ye a rs Chastain-Skillman, Inc.

Wall Foss Financial, LLC

1 9 9 3 | 2 0 Ye a rs Levimar & Co., Inc.

1 9 5 5 | 5 8 Ye a rs Stille Real Estate

1 9 6 9 | 4 4 Ye a rs


Lakeland Center for Oral Surgery & Implantology


1 9 7 4 | 3 9 Ye a rs McGee Auto Service and Tires

The Dream Center of Lakeland, Inc. LegalShield of Lakeland

1 9 7 5 | 3 8 Ye a rs


MARCOBAY Construction, Inc. Quality Petroleum Corp.


1 9 7 6 | 3 7 Ye a rs


Musser & Richards, L.L.C.

1 9 7 8 | 3 5 Ye a rs Southside Package & Lounge

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

1 9 8 5 | 2 8 Ye a rs KCI Technologies, Inc.

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...................................... 365 Relocation Response Mailings............. 1 Relocation Response (Walk In)........... 28 Accommodations...................................... 2 Winter Accommodations....................... 0 Visitor Information Mailings............... 6 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries........... 93

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




publi c pol i cy Engaged M embers Equal B e t t er Pub l ic Po l ic y


In a 2013 survey of mid-size chambers of commerce, public policy/advocacy was identified as a top value delivered by the chamber. In the same survey, more than 50% of members ranked legislative communications as a “very important” member service. By their very nature, business owners are leaders. Having forgone the traditional 9 to 5 route in pursuit of their dreams, they have forged ahead

and built companies large and small with their own two hands and the sweat on their brow. They are men and women who know the value of accomplishment and they are not afraid to seek success wherever they may find it. They are actively investing in the future. This makes our Chamber of Commerce members an invaluable resource for achieving legislative goals. Indeed, our membership has the

ability to lead the pack. Between healthcare, increased regulation, and convoluted tax codes, there is plenty for the business community to be fired up about – and the Chamber is ready to lead the charge. By getting involved and engaged, we can harness the strength of our members and make it easy for the business community to collectively voice support or opposition for good or bad public policy. Business owners

understand that what happens in the statehouse impacts their businesses, families, employees, and communities. The Lakeland Chamber has made it easier for you to be active and engaged through grassroots lobbying actions both at the local level and alongside our partners at the Florida Chamber. Your participation in grassroots advocacy has recognized benefits with your Chamber membership and

helps to build loyalty, pride, and fosters a sense of community. If you or your business members are interested in being a part of the Lakeland Chamber’s grassroots efforts, text lakelandchamber to 22828 and follow the prompt to submit your email address to be included in the discussion. Members can also visit the Chamber’s blog, Blog., to read more about advocacy efforts in the community and state.

v Estate Villa Homes v Golf & Water Views v Starting in the $600’s

v Golf Villas v Maintenance Free v Starting in the $300’s

For over 25 years, Grasslands has offered exceptional homes and lifestyle to its residents. Eight neighborhoods for the discerning buyer to choose from, a private and full service country club, upscale shopping destinations, medical facilities, the convenience of Polk Parkway and its proximity to downtown make it the perfect place for your family. Discover life as it’s meant to be lived – Stable and Secure in the Most Coveted Address in Lakeland.

1301 GRASSLANDS BLVD. SUITE 100 || OFFICE HOURS: MON TO FRI 9-5; SAT 10-5; SUN 12-5 863.647.1100 || 866.668.1227 || PAT JONES 863.581.4699 || DANI MILLER 863.255.2276





v Executive Homesites v Water and Preserve View v Starting in the $200’s




po lk pr og re s s u p date

Dr. James Farrell, CFA

Florida Southern College

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

The holiday shopping season has begun and the markets have reacted to a slower than usual Thanksgiving weekend. Early estimates put spending at 4% below last year for the weekend, which is sending some brick and mortar retailers south. Online retailers, however, are expected to fare a little better in this season. Overall, our economy continues to see slow improvements, inflation remains low (-0.1% for October – mostly attributable to falling fuel prices), unemployment held steady at 7.3% as we added 204,000 jobs in

October, just slightly above our average for the year, and GDP is expected to grow by an annual rate of 2.8% for the 3rd quarter. While these are not numbers to toast as we welcome in a new year, continued improvement despite the government shutdown, debt ceiling crisis and remaining uncertainty regarding the federal budget is better than expected. Since the last time this article covered commodities, prices have fallen substantially. In July of 2012, corn was trading at $8.05/bushel and wheat at $9.03/bushel. This summer’s crops

fared much better and both are trading near 52-week lows, with corn now trading at $4.19/bushel and wheat at $6.36/bushel. These lower prices, along with oil pulling off its summer peak of $110/barrel to a more reasonable $93/barrel have contributed significantly to the improving conditions. Turning to Polk County, citrus production continues to fall, with the final estimates for Florida for the 2012-2013 growing season coming in at 133.4 million boxes and initial projections for the 2013-2014 growing season coming in

at 125 million boxes according to the Florida Department of Citrus. According to the Nielsen Retail Sales Report on orange juice, retail prices fell by 0.4% while consumption fell by 1.1% for the 2012-2013 growing season. For the first month of the 2013 – 2014 growing season, consumption fell by 5.4% with retail prices dropping an additional 0.7%. The expectation of lower production for the year, however, has sent the futures price of FCOJ for January to nearly $140, from an October low of $117.50. While this still leaves the price below the summer peak of $151,

[ 1,000s of gallons ] 60,000





o PolkProgress 20



higher prices may help our producers partially offset the reduction in production. While we are going into 2014 with slightly less uncertainty than last year, many consumers and businesses are still holding back a little to see how Washington handles the next round of budget/ debt ceiling debates. A grand compromise could put us on a path to improve our rate of recovery, while punting the issues again would likely add to the uncertainty and building fears regarding politicians’ abilities to address major issues.


January 14 at 8:00 a.m. where

Florida Technical College 4715 S Florida Ave, ste 4 Lakeland, FL 33813

Want to be a part of Hats Off! to chamber members? Email your Name, Company, Email Address and Phone Number to Kara at ksimm@ Be sure to include whether you want to volunteer to deliver bags or if you want to be a Secret Hat Company!

Start the New Year with the Chamber and this opportunity to engage and be connected to your fellow members and business owners. Mark your calendars to participate as the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Chamber’s Hats Off ! event on January 14, 2014. Volunteering for Hats Off ! offers you a unique opportunity to visit businesses as a Chamber representative while still promoting your company. In one afternoon, each volunteer will deliver up to 20 packets with 2014 Guide to Lakeland/ membership directory and new membership window clings to our 1,700 member businesses. The day begins at 8 a.m. and ends as volunteers return delivery receipts to the Chamber office.

BE A VOLUNTEER 8:00 A.M. Breakfast hosted by Florida Technical College

8:30 A.M. Begin delivering bags filled with 2014 Guide to Lakeland, membership materials, etc.

6:00 P.M. Return delivery receipts to Chamber office with any notes orchanges (35 Lake Morton Dr)

BE A “SECRET HAT” COMPANY PLAN AHEAD Let the Chamber know that you want to be a “Secret Hat” company and get creative by decorating a hat with $25.

ON JANUARY 14 Make sure that everyone in your company knows that you’re a “Secret Hat” and is prepared to give the decorated hat to the volunteer who delivers your packet. Be sure to take a picture!

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.




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.

B y C l a y t on Di x

| crusader demolition

The work day starts early at Crusader Demolition. Our team of expert Supervisors, equipment operators, concrete cutters roll-off drivers and laborers arrive at 6:00 a.m., ready for another day of doing what we do best: providing our clients with the best selective and structural demolition services in the area! At every job site, our team provides clients with demolition that is safe, fast, and clean. There’s a reason for this: SAFE, FAST, CLEAN is our motto, our promise, and our way of life. When President Allen Wilkins founded Crusader Demolition, he was looking for a way to differentiate what we do from any other company practicing our trade. A lot of thought went into determining what our clients look for in a demolition contractor. The result was that clients want, expect and deserve SAFE, FAST, CLEAN. Safety is paramount to us. Every morning starts with a safety meeting at our shop to cover all of the hazards that can cause accidents on jobsites. Another “tool box talk” happens when we arrive at the job, addressing site-specific safety concerns and what we can do to protect ourselves. The work we do can sometimes be dangerous, and we want everyone going home to their families at the end of the day! Getting a project finished fast is another way we differentiate ourselves. We utilize the newest, cutting-edge technology and techniques to get in, get done, and get out. Buying our clients precious time at the beginning of a project gives them breathing room on what is typically an already tight schedule. When our clients hire us to perform a project, they know they’re not only hiring the best, but buying themselves precious time! Cleanliness on a project is important to us. It helps promote safety by eliminating dangerous conditions, allowing us to concentrate on the task at hand. Demolition creates a lot of debris to be removed, and there’s nothing better than hearing from our customers, “Wow! This place is clean!” At Crusader Demolition, we consider everyone who works for us and our customers not only friends, but our extended family as well…and we go to great lengths to take care of our friends and family! Contact us at (863) 940-4831 or visit our web site at 2222 | | F OF O RR UU MMF OF O R RB B UU SS I NI N ES ESS

Need Warehouse space?

ruthven commerce center 5725 New Tampa highway 36,000 Square Feet Available!

Details • Dock High Warehouse

• Continuous Translucent Wall Panels

• 24’ Eave Height

• Overhead Sprinkler System

• Covered Loading Dock With Ramp

• Ample Parking (Including Trucks)

• Covered Walkway

• Typical Bay is 25’ x 180’ (4,500 sf)

• 9,000 sf Minimum Lease

• Three-Phase Electrical Services Available, and 277/480V, 120/240V, 120/208V

• 10’ x 10’ Overhead Doors • 10’ Ridge Vent (Each Bay)

• T8 Hi-Bay Fluorescent Fixture

Call Today! 863-686-3173 Leasing Warehouse Space for Distribution & Manufacturing

Greg Ruthven, CCIM: Matt Ruthven, CCIM:

n a c k e e w a t One nigh




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. Apply today! For a complete program listing go to 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 Generic.indd 1

Be a part of what’s next. 8/13/13 8:33 AM


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

YOU’RE ,19,7(' ($7

'5,1. 0,1*/(

:$//(53$57< :$//(5&216758&7,21 6,+/(:$//(5,1685$1&( %86,1(66$)7(5+2856 LET’S START THE YEAR OFF RIGHT :DOOHU'HVLJQ&HQWHU 1065 South Florida Avenue January 16, 2014 5:30pm to 7:30pm

$10 Chamber Members; $30 Non Members

January 2014 Forum for Business  
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