Page 1

inside this issue

Business After Hours: Networking in a party atmosphere. Page 3

Small Business of the Month: Find out who is this month’s winner. Page 5

Welcoming New Members: MOJO’s Wings, Burgers, Beer hosts reception. Page 9

FORUM FOR BUSINESS monthly Buy Lakeland. It makes good cents! • visit


June 2010

Florida’s Amendment 4 explained

By Katie Daughtrey

Vice President, Public Affairs

Now that the 2010 Legislative Session is behind us we can focus on the November elections. And though many of you would like to delay thoughts of Election Day as long as possible, there is one issue that is simply too important to ignore – Amendment 4. For the past several months I have been posting articles to highlighting the negative affects Amendment 4 would have on Florida. I spend my days immersed in legislative and election happenings, so it is easy for me to assume that everyone knows about Amendment 4. I hope you can imagine my surprise when I received an email saying, “What does Amendment 4 entail, it’s bad but I don’t know why.” Thank you Chamber member Brian for my wake-up call! Let’s get back to the basics… What is Amendment 4? Why is the Lakeland Chamber opposed to it? How does it affect

Vol. XX, No. 6

you as a voter and a citizen? Where can you go to learn more and how can you help? What is Amendment 4? Amendment 4 is a proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution that would require every change to a municipal or county comprehensive plan to be approved, via referendum, by the voters. You might ask, what is a comprehensive plan change? Citing statute, the Florida Supreme Court points out that Amendment 4 would lead to referenda on: “A capital improvement element; a future land-use plan element; a traffic circulation element, a sanitary sewer, solid waste, drainage, potable water, and natural groundwater aquifer recharge element; a conservation element; a recreation and open space element; a housing element; a coastal management element; an intergovernmental coordination element; a transportation element; an airport master plan; a public buildings and related facilities element; a recommended community design element; a general See Amendment 4, Page 6


Sustainable, Connected Lakeland

From the French for cycle (velo), Lakeland’s bicycle cooperative is up and running. Founded on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, and affordability, Veloswan is a non-profit bicycle cooperative based in the heart of the Downtown Lakeland community. Veloswan is here to provide the citizens of Lakeland with bicycles, as well as the knowledge of bicycle maintenance and care to keep them riding. By recycling parts and reconditioning used bikes as well as building from scratch, Veloswan’s volunteers provide people with an affordable, green form of transportation. For additional information on the cooperative, visit

ALSO INSIDE: Upcoming Events • EMERGE Lakeland • Ribbon Cuttings • Members on the Move

CPS Investment Advisors sponsors Clubs & Organizations April’s Business and Breakfast Spotlight Service:

By Terry Ottinger


Vice President, Membership Development

By Jackie Johnson

Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau

Lakeland’s sense of place is something that the Chamber and the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau highlights on a regular basis. With 94,000 fabulous residents and another 160,000 in the surrounding areas, there are plenty of diverse interests and needs!

CPS Investment Advisors sponsored the April Business and Breakfast at Grasslands Golf & Country Club. After a fabulous southern style breakfast, Dr. Rob Tate of Florida Southern College spoke on the advantages of “Business Etiquette”. It may be a lost art, but it isn’t lost on your customers and business associates. In a business world that demands increased productivity, it is very important that all are treated with respect; remember your actions are a reflection on you and your company. Thanks to CPS Investment Advisors for this valuable reminder and to Dr. Tate for his enthusiastic and insightful presentation.

For several years, the Chamber has produced a printed directory of Clubs & Organizations to help each resident and visitor find his or her niche in our community. This year, we are proud to release an online searchable database of clubs and organizations. There are still some bugs, and it is a work in progress, but we are proud to offer this added benefit to the community and our members! Please be sure to check the directory to find your outlet to serve, or to be sure that your favorite club or organization is listed.

Bryan Mau, CPS Investment Advisors, welcomes the group

You can access the Clubs & Organizations Directory by visiting We hope it will help you find your “sense of place”.

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Forum For Business Monthly

Volume Information: June 2010 Vol. XX, No. 6

Joe L. Ruthven Chairman of the Board

Kathleen L. Munson Publisher & President

Amy S. Wiggins Editor

Chas P. Smith introduces Dr. Rob Tate as presenting speaker

Kingston Partners Design No. 2

April’s Luau Downtown: Networking in a party atmosphere By Terry Ottinger

Vice President, Membership Development

Was Citizens Bank & Trust in Downtown Lakeland giving away money? You might think so if you drove by the Kentucky Ave. location on Thursday April 22! Unfortunately, they weren’t giving away money, but 11 of Lakeland’s best restaurants were sharing their chicken wings at the 11th Annual Luau Downtown! As the Presenting Sponsor, Citizens Bank & Trust welcomed over 500 Chamber members & guests to the party… and what a party it was! “Kathleen Turner Overdrive (KTO) provided the music and Bernie Little Distributors provided beverages, but it was all the Chamber members who came together that made this event the best Luau ever.

New this year was the “People’s Choice” wing competition. Made possible by Marketing System Blueprints, over 200 people participated by texting their vote for their favorite wings. “People’s Choice” winner was Kazbor’s Grille. The highly-trained wing judges crowned Mojo’s Wings, Burgers, Beer the “King of the Wing” for 2010. Thanks to Citizens Bank & Trust and their staff for their hard work and hospitality. Listed below are the members that helped make it happen.

Attendees were able to sample wings & treats from: Mojo’s Wings, Burgers, Beer, Kazbor’s Grille, Ovations Food Services, LP, WingHouse Bar & Grill, Gator’s Dockside – Highlands City, Natalie's Sports Bar & Grill, Beef O’ Brady’s South, Hurry Joey, Champs Sports Bar & Grille, Good Buddies BBQ & Beef O’ Brady’s North.

Crowd enjoys the Luau festivities

Presenting Sponsor Citizens Bank & Trust

Thank you to the following companies for helping make the Luau a huge success: Party People Celebration Co. The Dumpster Company, LLC Bernie Little Distributors The RCSI Group Tucker's Southside Package & Lounge Ryan's Pressure Washing, LLC In addition to the restaurants and our sponsors we would like to thank the Luau Committee! Chris Campbell-PHR Staffing, Kent Longo-Mulling Insurance, Gina Monaghan-Perpetual Technology Solutions, Michael Martens & Mrs. Martens-The

Presenting Sponsor Citizens Bank & Trust accepting plaque

Image Creations by Billie Darling International, Inc. Party People Celebration Co. City of Lakeland Marketing System Blueprints, LLC Go Fish RCSI Group, Chrissanne Long-Marketing System Blueprints, LLC, Billie Porche-Image Creations by Billie, and Cindy Green-Furr & Wegman Architects, P.A.

"King of the Wing" winner MOJO's Wings, Burgers, Beer

Kazbor's Grille (People’s Choice Winner)

Rebuilding Polk’s neighborhoods with federal funding

By Bruce Lyon

Swan Development Advisors

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 became law even before the stock market crash of September 2008 as an early response by lawmakers to the foreclosure and abandonment challenges that many communities were beginning to experience. The NSP provided financial assistance to all states and some selected local governments on a formula basis. Polk County received approximately $14.5 million in neighborhood stabilization funding which was first available from US Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in September 2009.

These high quality homes are being acquired and developed through a unique public/private partnership between Polk County, Swan Advisors and Keystone Challenge Fund. By administering and implementing the program with local government and local firms, the county benefits economically while our neighborhoods are being improved. NSP is hiring

Polk’s NSP is actively buying, renovating and selling homes in target areas that include Combee, Eaton Park, Auburndale, and Poinciana. These areas may soon expand to include greater parts of Polk County including parts of Bartow, Fort Meade and more. For a list of all areas currently approved by HUD and a list of properties available, visit The Polk NSP has been acquiring foreclosed houses for about six months, obligating upwards of $8 million of the funds on the acquisition and rehabilitation of more than 90 housing units. Many of these houses are now ready for sale to new homeowners. The rules for buyers are simple. Buyers will: • earn up to 120% of the Area Median Income to be eligible ($62,640 for family of four); • complete an 8-hour homebuyer counseling class; • be able to obtain a mortgage through a conventional lender, FHA, VA or similar Polk NSP homes are completely renovated including upgraded insulation, energy efficient windows and ENERGY STAR appliances. Also, buyers will receive 20% down payment assistance and cash for some closing costs.

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local contractors to renovate the homes and support the program in other ways. Firms that work in construction or maintenance of houses or provide professional services to the real estate industry can register to work in the NSP program. Application materials are available at

May Small Business of the Month Award presented

By Ginny Allen Houghton Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs has been in its present location for over 38 years. Founded with the idea of providing a showroom of ideas and design help for new construction and remodeling for Central Florida residents, Glenn and Patsy Bridges have turned this simple idea into a successful kitchen & bathroom design & remodeling business. Along with their daughter, Darla they bring years of experience and functional ideas to Lakeland’s homeowners. Early on, Glenn joined the American Institute of Kitchen Designers because they offered inspiration and training to become better qualified kitchen designers. Glenn and Patsy both are strong believers in continuing education and personal growth. Glenn is a member of the Society of Certified Kitchen Designers, a prestigious honor in the industry that recognizes his hard work and education in the field. Each year, the Bridges attend the National Kitchen and Bath Association Show and conference to remain relevant in the ever changing world of

design by following new trends and learning new ways to benefit their clients.

First class kitchen and bathroom design uses the principle of good work flow as well as aesthetic appeal, combined with a continuity of time and space. Work triangles, bake centers, display centers, and cleanup areas are all special features that are unique to the individual home owner and must be incorporated into the designs. Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs has a mission to maximize the utility and appeal of the kitchen and bathrooms in its customers’ homes, realizing that kitchens and bathrooms are among the most valuable and relevant attributes in a home and can increase value to the property. Now more than ever it is important to follow the guidelines to take steps to protect our natural resources through recycling and conservation of water and energy. A thorough design can provide the tools to help conserve those resources. Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs is a

May Winner

Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs Glenn D. Bridges, CKD Patricia Bridges Darla Bridges 608 N. Ingraham Ave. Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 688-0480 (863) 686-9317 Fax

hometown business; doing business like they are designing each project for their best friends. In many cases, the customer does become good friends with the designer! Over the years, they have found that projects that are handled timely and professionally build friendships. For Glenn and Patsy, the thrill of a job well done is part of their pay. “The work one has done remains in place and continues to speak of your character. We want to be paid when we finish the job, but most of all we want a good recommendation,” Glenn reflects. Florida Kitchen and Bath Designs is a family business that encompasses four generations in the building and home improvement industry in Polk County. The family legacy is the quality work left behind and the happy homeowner. Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs are members of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, and National Kitchen & Bath Association of which Glenn has served as an officer for several years, and is a member of the Society of Certified Kitchen Designers. The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Florida Kitchen and Bath Designs as the Small Business of the Month for May.

Small Business of the Month Committee Member, Ginny Allen Houghton (Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.) presents the May Small Business of the Month Award to Glenn, Patsy and Darla Bridges, Florida Kitchen & Bath Designs.

Amendment 4

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area redevelopment element; a safety element; a historical and scenic preservation element; an economic element …” That makes for a very crowded ballot.

Under Amendment 4, it will be harder to build new schools. So existing schools will become even more overcrowded. It will be harder to build roads. So traffic will worsen. It will be harder to add police and fire services to areas that need it. So public safety needs may go unmet for years.

Why is the Lakeland Chamber opposed to Amendment 4? The Chamber Board of Directors voted in January to oppose this amendment and further stated it was our number one legislative priority for 2010. Put simply, we are opposed to it because of the devastating effects it would have on our already fragile economy, the challenge it would create in attracting new business to our state, the inability to create new jobs and the potential loss for current jobs.

How will Amendment 4 affect me as a voter? Over the last ten years Polk residents have voted on a combined 694 comprehensive land changes! Lakeland was responsible for 85 of those changes, unincorporated Polk, 136 and Winter Haven, 97. That leaves the remaining 15 municipalities with populations under 25,000 responsible for 376 changes. I don’t know about you, but I am not looking forward to a five page ballot full of comprehensive land changes. You might say, what’s the big deal? That is only 8 on average per year for Lakeland voters. Well for our neighbors to the north in Orange County, they would disagree. They have had more than 400 comprehensive land changes in ONE year!

Tony Villamil, founder of The Washington Economics Group (WEG), reported that "Amendment 4’s passage will have potentially devastating consequences to Florida’s economy at a time when the economic situation at both the state and national levels is uncertain and at a time when attracting new businesses to Florida is essential for the future recovery and prosperThe bottom line is ity of the state and its residents."



If local governments chose to hold special elections to decide comprehensive land changes (the Amendment language does not specify a specific election cycle) it would cost the taxpayers. Every election the City of Lakeland holds costs residents $45,000 and every county-wide election costs $250,000. That adds up quickly and you can imagine voter turnout would be dismal as evidenced with previous municipal elections.

Florida simply cannot afford the negative effects this amendment will have on our economy, and that’s local and statewide.

The WEG study indicates that Amendment 4 will lead to severe job loss in numerous sectors of Florida’s already struggling economy as well as have major impacts on Florida’s “economic dynamism,” ultimately causing a “steady decline in the standard of living for all Florida residents.” The resulting economic gridlock would erode Florida’s tax base, forcing state and local governments to either “raise taxes or cut services.”

The bottom line is Florida simply cannot afford the negative effects this amendment will have on our economy, and that’s local and statewide. With stymied growth comes further budget cuts and higher taxes. The result will be a system that is far worse, not better. That's why the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of businesses and environmental groups refuse to support this amendment. Amendment 4 will not put a stop to all development, but will make well-planned, smarter growth impossible – thereby encouraging sprawl that reduces green space and makes effective growth management unachievable.

The impacts of Amendment 4 would not be limited to a few sectors of our economy. According to the WEG study, the negative impacts of Amendment 4 would “affect the whole economy of Florida.” In particular, efforts to diversify Florida’s economy by attracting “high-wage and high-skill jobs” would be jeopardized. And if that weren’t bad enough…what about the delay? Amendment 4 will simply delay all projects until the next regularly scheduled election, the result for Florida’s working families and small businesses would be nothing short of catastrophic.

How do I learn more? How can I help spread the word? Log on to to learn more about Amendment 4.

If Amendment 4 delays referenda until the regularly scheduled election, then vital community projects like new schools, hospitals, and police stations would often be delayed until the next General Election. And while some large companies may still be able to finance the extreme delays and extraordinary uncertainty that accompanies Amendment 4, most small businesses cannot. The result will be a series of direct, indirect and induced impacts that will cost Florida’s economy billions.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is a member of Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy, the group organized to fight Amendment 4. We are currently scheduling speaking engagements throughout the county and welcome the opportunity to speak to your club or organization. Contact Katie Daughtrey at to arrange a speaker for your group.

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Each month, the Chamber enlists the help of 20 volunteers to mentor new and current members with involvement in Chamber events and programs. This dedicated group of professionals is rewarded for their efforts through a Dillon Daniels points system, and the Champion with the most points is featured in the Forum for Business Monthly. This month, the Chamber staff would like to recognize Mr. Dillon Daniels, AllSolar Service Company for his outstanding attention to Chamber members and attendance at events! Dillon is a wonderful asset to the Chamber and to the Lakeland community!



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MOJO’s Wings, Bugers, Beer hosts New Member Reception By Terry Ottinger

MOJO’s provided food and beverages and a friendly atmosphere that made everyone feel at ease. Thanks to MOJO’s and their staff in making this event a success.

Vice President, Membership Development

New Member Reception for April was held at MOJO’s Wings, Burgers, Beer at 1853 E. Memorial Blvd. New Members listened to Chamber Staff explain opportunities to promote their businesses through events, advertising and networking opportunities. Programs such as Chamber Champions and LEADS Groups provide the perfect environment for business growth.

Members listen to MOJO’s manager, Don Jones

Presenting Sponsor Riverside Bank is an integral part in welcoming new members and starting them down the path to involvement in the Chamber. Riverside Bank and its staff set a wonderful example to new members and the Chamber is proud to recognize their contribution.

Crowd listens to Chamber Staff


e Chamber is proud to welcome 18 new members for April 2010 Through their membership in the Chamber, businesses invest in themselves and their community. We urge you to “Buy Lakeland. It makes good cents!” by doing business with these new Chamber members. For the most up-to-date list of members, visit our on-line Preferred Business Directory at!

Bosun Properties & Sales, LLC

5206 US 98 N Lakeland, FL 33812-4203 (863) 937-8918 Fax: (863) 450-4543 DJ Delgado Real Estate

Brian R Knowles, Inc.

PO Box 8842 Lakeland, FL 33806-8842 (863) 221-2062 Brian Knowles Consulting Services

Central Florida Technology Solutions

5121 S Lakeland Drive, Ste 3 Lakeland, FL 33813-2623 (863) 226-4079 Fax: (813) 902-6763

Bobby Kuzma Computers - Consulting & Networking

Edward Jones Investments 5133 US Highway 98 N Lakeland, FL 33809-0514 (863) 815-3429 Fax: (866) 709-3945 Greg West Stock & Bond Brokers

Eli and Bubba's Mobile Wash & Detail

Lakeland, FL 33812-6329 (863) 286-6050 John Gurganious Automobile - Washing & Polishing

GEM Enterprises

Lakeland, FL 33809-4256 (863) 241-1923 Glenn Mills Marianne Williams Security Services/Systems

Healing Hands Pain Relief

The Ware Group dba Johnstone Supply

2330 S Combee Rd Lakeland, FL 33081-6862 (863) 665-4045 Fax: (863) 665-4707 Fred Konzelmann H.V.A.C./R.

Kangaroo Cleaning

Lakeland, FL 33805-2488 (863) 812-9052 LaWanna Byrd Cleaning-Commercial-ResidentialNew Const.

Ling's Buffet

4320 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33813-1631 (863) 701-8787 Ling Leong Restaurants

Progressive Employer Solutions, Inc. 6030 Pier Place Drive Lakeland, FL 33813-3784 (863) 619-5235 Fax: (863) 619-2312 Carlos Cardenas Employee Leasing

Red Door Wine Market 850 S Tennessee Ave Lakeland, FL 33801-5204 (863) 937-9314 Richard DeAngelis Wine - Retailer

Ryan's Pressure Washing, LLC Lakeland, FL 33811-2913 (863) 838-6850

NaNa's Kitchen

743 E Memorial Blvd Lakeland, FL 33801-1847 (863) 687-0099 Debbie Hull Restaurants

Oreck Floor Care Center 1417 US Highway 98 S Lakeland, FL 33801-6574 (863) 682-1490 Fax: (863) 616-1490 Mark Vogelsong Vacuum Cleaners

Tri-Florida Water Treatment Inc./dba Pool Works 2165 CR 540A Lakeland, FL 33813-3794 (863) 665-9400 Keith Johnson Swimming Pool Contractors/ Service-Repairs-Renovations

1321 E Memorial Blvd Lakeland, FL 33801-2102 (863) 286-1962 Fax: (863) 510-0985 King Fernand Massage Therapy

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Ryan Edrington Restaurant Hood Cleaning

Stay Inn & Suites formerly Davis Brothers Lodge 1035 N Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830-3302 (863) 533-0711 Fax: (863) 533-0924 Mike Chauhan Hotels/Suites

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Lakeland, FL 33811-2015 (863) 619-8781 Brian Heipp Insurance

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During the month of April, our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of

individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and

the Lakeland community.

Walk-in Visitors..................................413 Relocation Response Mailings ..............11 Relocation Response (Walk-In)............ 28 Accommodations...................................3

Winter Accommodations .......................0 Visitor Information Mailings ...................9 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries.............148


Thursday, June 10

Business & Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. Regions Bank, 124 South Florida Ave

Tuesday, June 15

EMERGE Lakeland – Getting Healthy Inside & Out, Noon Watson Clinic – Bella Vista Spa, 1755 N. Florida Ave.

Thursday, June 17

Business After Hours, 5:30 p.m. Northwestern Mutual Finance, 4729 US Highway 98 South

Thursday, June 24

EMERGE Lakeland – Early Bird Special, 8:00 a.m. Mitchell’s Coffee House, 235 N. Kentucky Ave.


Thursday, June 3

Chairman’s Circle Spring Luncheon, Noon Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive

Monday, June 7

Quality of Life KSI Meeting, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 9

Government Affairs, 8:00 a.m. BusinessVoice, 9:00 a.m.

Thursday, June 10

Joint City and Chamber Meeting, 3:00 p.m. Peggy Brown Building, 215 S. Lake Ave.

Monday, June 14

EMERGE Lakeland Steering Committee, 3:45 p.m.

Wednesday, June 16

Executive Committee Meeting, 4:00 p.m.

Monthly updates for Lakeland’s young professionals Experience EMERGE

By EMERGE Lakeland Marketing Committee

Are you a young professional in Lakeland who is looking for more than just a job? Are you looking to network with some of Lakeland’s most respected young professionals? Do you want to give back to the community where you live and work? Would you benefit from professional development events that enhance your career? EMERGE Lakeland provides all of these opportunities and many more. Visit and learn more about becoming a member. Current EMERGE Members can find ways to get more involved by serving on a committee by visiting the Web site.

EMERGE Lakeland members attended a professional development breakfast on April 22nd at Florida Southern College. Dr. Rob Tate delivered an engaging presentation on business etiquette. Topics included proper protocol in business situations including office protocol, business attire, social media and many more. EMERGE thanks Dr. Tate and Florida Southern College for being our hosts. EMERGE Lakeland members attended a panel discussion of Lakeland’s most respected business, government and education leaders on April 27. The panel included Alice O’Reilly

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(VISTE/Volunteers in Service to the Elderly), Bill Tinsley (City of Lakeland), Chris Sikes (Philanthropist), Leah Lauderdale (Polk County Public Schools), Steve Bissonnette (City of Lakeland) and Tim Jackson (NuJak Companies). Each leader shared his or her experiences and wisdom with young professionals who aspire to continue to improve the quality of life in Lakeland. The event was held at the Lakeland Yacht & Country Club where members enjoyed refreshments and fun- including a night cap on the newly renovated pool deck. Everyone left with a great appreciation for the leaders willing to help guide our EMERGE members in the right direction. EMERGE thanks our panelists for attending and inspiring the group.

Visit to learn more about upcoming events including the June wellness event on June 15 and the annual “Pack the Bar” event on July 27 at Linkster’s Tap Room. You can follow EMERGE on Twitter @emergelakeland and join the EMERGE Lakeland Group on Facebook. Get involved! Join EMERGE Lakeland today!

Common Grounds

A taste of local business one cup at at time

By Meredith Spresser Polk Museum of Art

You may not have met me yet, but you probably know my cousin, the Tribute to Volunteerism on Lake Mirror. I am Splayed Bench. Both Tribute and I were created by Albert Paley, and artist from Rochester, New York. I live at Polk Museum of Art where I see thousands of people every year. Weighing over 500 pounds, I'm a pretty big sculpture. I have the proud distinction of being the only artwork in the Museum that people are allowed to touch. My typical day starts at 7 a.m. when our security guard walks into the building, but I don't get to see anyone until our Museum Shop Manager gets here. At 10am, the doors are unlocked, and during the school year, I get to see the fifth grade students on their field trips. Saturdays are also busy because many people bring their families to see the Museum and participate in workshops or student receptions. Afternoons can be quiet, but they're the BEST time to visit if you really want to study the artwork! Usually, our Operations Manager will sit on me for a little bit while he lets the security guard take lunch. Then at 5 p.m., the doors are locked and everyone starts going home. Occasionally companies will hold evening parties or meetings, or the Museum will have an event, so people will stay later. At night, I listen to the other pieces of art. Those that are travelling through on national tours bring us news of other museums. The artworks in the Permanent Collection giggle gleefully when they are on display. From what I hear, the storage rooms are dark, and although they know that they will live longer in there, they prefer seeing people looking at them. Now that you know a little bit more about me and Polk Museum of Art, I hope that you will visit. Stay for a bit and sit on me. I always enjoy the company. While you're here, be sure to go into the Pre-Columbian Gallery and say hello to Xipe Totec. He's a bit of a diva, and he loves the attention.


The Chamber would like to recognize and thank the following businesses for their long-standing support and loyalty.

20+ Years Renewals

1943 – 67 Years TECO Peoples Gas 1944 – 66 Years Wachovia Bank 1949 – 61 years Florida Southern College 1954 – 56 Years Bank of America 1959 – 51 Years Hardy's Industries, Inc. 1960 – 50 Years George R. Burt, Lic. Real Estate Broker 1964 – 46 Years Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. 1967 – 43 Years Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects 1972 – 38 Years BB & T 1974 – 36 Years AA Electric S.E., Inc. 1977 – 33 Years Harry E. Bopp, DMD, PA 1978 – 32 years SUN 'n FUN, Inc. America's Mattress by Sleep Center 1980 – 30 Years Atlantic Filter of Polk County, Inc. 1983 – 27 Years Flower Cart Florist Lakeland Square Mall 1984 – 26 Years Hooters South Lakeland 1985 – 25 Years Omnia, Inc. The Hair Shanty 1988 – 22 Years Munchel's Fine Jewelry, Inc. Lakeland Seafood, Inc. Preston Craft Hearing Aids 1989 – 21 Years Saunders & Wilhelm 1990 – 20 Years Girls Incorporated of Lakeland Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc. Fabric Warehouse All About Signs & Service, Inc.

15-Year Renewals

DeGeorge Custom Frames Florida Handling Systems, Inc. PBS & J Ramona L. Blankinship, P.A. Mike's Painting & Home Improvements, Inc. United States Postal Service

10-Year Renewals

Chiropractic Center of Lakeland Noah's Ark of Central Florida Classic Controls, Inc. Cleary's Garden Creations CED/Raybro Lakeland Hills Blvd. Church of Christ

5-Year Renewals

PMoA Operations Director, Bill O'Connell takes a break on "Splayed Bench.”

FITniche, Inc. Fifth Third Bank MJA Consulting LLC dba Michael Joachim & Associates Professional Tax Consultants, Inc. Cipher Integrations, Inc.


Marlon D. Lynn, PA - Architect

Pleased to announce the firm has moved to our newly remodeled building at 212 East Pine Street. The building was constructed in Downtown Lakeland in the early 1920’s and had fallen into disrepair. After nearly 2 years on the project we are excited to see the final product. Feel free to drop in if you’re in the area. Although our address has changed the remainder of our contact information is the same.

Swan Development Advisors, Inc.

Bruce Lyon, of Swan Development Advisors, was one of two Tampa Bay Area practitioners invited to participate at the National League of Cities in an 18 member national forum on regional responses to the foreclosure crisis. The forum was held on April 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C.

Cipher Integrations

Proud to announce the promotion of Robert Shoe to Director of Client Relations. Bob has been a valuable part of the Cipher team since 2001.


Todd Baylis and Brendan Smith of Qgiv recently attended the NTen: 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This was a great opportunity to showcase the brand new Qgiv mobileGiving iPhone application in front of a group of people who are interested in helping nonprofits not only stay on the cutting edge of technology but learn to use it more effectively.

St. Joseph’s Academy

Lana Swartzwelder, Principal of St. Joseph’s Academy and Dr. Jennifer Brown King, Director of Instructional Technology for Florida Southern College, presented a Webinar to more than 1,000 participants across the country on March 16. The SMART Integration Project is a unique coaching and collaboration model involving pre-service teachers serving as coaches to K-12 teachers who are recent recipients of SMART Boards. The SMART Integration Project provides in-classroom training while teachers serve as lesson collaborators.

Straughn Trout Architects, LLC

Is pleased to announce that their design for the South Lakeland branch of Magnify Credit Union was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Project of the Year for new construction by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. The project is the only building in Polk County to achieve LEED Gold certification by the USGBC.

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Alliance For Independence

Would like to congratulate Ida Christiansen, TECO Lead Skills Instructor, for being recognized by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) with an award at presentation of the 2009 Area Quality Services Awards meeting.

The Lakeland Chamber prints business announcements each month as space permits. Please mail your announcements to the Chamber or e-mail:

Computer Merchandise Corporation (CMC) CMC is now authorized to supply R.F.I.D. Technology through the Novation and Premier G.P.O. contracts. CMC obtained this authorization through its affiliation with the International Business Solutions Alliance, LLC.

Sessums & Sessums, P.A.

Has purchased the office building located at 2212 South Florida Avenue in Lakeland for expansion. The building is 5900 square feet and was formerly a general use office building.

Nominations sought for 2011 Board of Directors

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is fortunate to be led by an elected 42-member board of directors and five ex-officio members. These dedicated volunteer leaders direct the governance of the Chamber and represent the interests of our 1,700 members. In July, a nominating committee headed by Chair-elect Alice Hunt (Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc.) will convene to nominate 12 new directors to serve a three-year term on the Chamber’s board of directors, effective January 1, 2011. Active Chamber members in good standing are invited to submit their names or the names of others members who meet the qualifications of nomination. Nominations will be submitted to the 2011 Officers and Directors Nominating Committee. Names of proposed board candidates should be submitted no later than Friday, July 9, 2010 to: Kathleen Munson, President Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 3607 Lakeland, FL 33802-3607 by FAX: (863) 683-7454 or by email: Questions regarding the nomination process may be directed to Kathleen at (863) 688-8551, Ext. 234 or to the above email address

RIBBON CUTTINGS The following companies recently celebrated their ribbon cuttings in the month of March. See the photos on our Web site at

5101 Gateway Blvd. #5 • Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 644-0500 •

Florida Baseball Heaven

8240 U.S. Hwy 98 North • Lakeland, FL 33809 (863) 838-5573

All American Fire & Safety, Inc

1643 Williamsburg Square • Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 825-6005

Badcock Benefit Solutions, LLC

(863) 838-6850•

Lakewood Terrace Apartment Homes

1000 Longfellow Blvd • Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 667-5000 •

Ryan’s Pressure Washing, LLC

Southeastern University

1315 W 14th Street #133 • Lakeland, FL 33805 (863) 683-6428


Special thanks to Mayor Gow Fields, Commissioner Glenn E. Higgins, Commissioner Phillip Walker and all the Board Members and Chamber Champions who truly make these ceremonies a special event. No. 18

2010 North With The Tigers Goes International! Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays in TORONTO! August 27-29, 2010 (with some additional options!) Enjoy some great baseball action between two of Florida’s long running Spring Training relationships—Lakeland’s Detroit Tigers and Dunedin’s Toronto Blue Jays. For specific information or contact Jackie Johnson at



$5 Chamber Member ~ $15 Non-Member Your R.S.V.P. is appreciated! Visit to register and pay using your credit card or email to register and pay at the door.

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P.O. Box 3607 • Lakeland, FL 33802-3607

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce



$10 Chamber Member ~ $30 Non-Chamber member Your R.S.V.P. is appreciated! Visit to register and pay using your credit card or email to register and pay at the door.

June 2010 Forum for Business Monthly  

The June newsletter of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce