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F O R B U S IN E SS october 2013 | Vol. xXII, No. 10

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

S a l ly C h a p m a n

Vice President, Finance & Administration

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

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

N ikki O a k l e y

Membership Account Executive

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

in this picture, Mary Beth Ellis captures Women’s Division at the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Florida held in Haines City. Polk County Sports Marketing is tapping into the active sports participation segment of tourism, adding to Polk’s successful relationship with the Detroit Tigers and sports event tourism. Learn more on page 8.

Administrative Assistant, Membership Development | Communications

P a t t y S mi t h

Administrative Assistant, Convention & Visitors Bureau

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 M a rk E . W i l son | C h a irm a n of t h e B o a r d

Am y W i g g ins

Vice President, Communications

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

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

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

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



© 2013 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.

Lakel a nd a nd P o l k Co u n t y Awarde d S ki l l s U SA Con fe ren ce 2015-2017

Jacqueline L. Johnson Convention & Visitors Bureau Senior Vice President

Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, The Lakeland Center, and the Lakeland Convention and Visitors Bureau at the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce successfully partnered during a very competitive recruiting process for the SkillsUSA Championships from

2015 – 2017. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical,

skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations and for further education. The SkillsUSA Championships is the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. After a two day site visit last month, SkillsUSA Florida Director, Tyler Kercher, was encouraged with our area’s coordinated efforts. Following the SkillsUSA board of directors meeting when the selection of Polk County was approved, Tyler said,

“We are really excited about the move to Lakeland. The Board was really impressed with the excitement of those involved and the business contacts you are able to bring to the table. It’s exactly what we need to continue to drive this organization forward!”

This event will bring more than

to Polk County each year and will generate more than

with more than

In Lakeland and Polk County, we focus on client relationships— creating an advantage by making all our events a special part of our community!




EMER G E l a k e l a n d emerge lakeland gratefully recognizes Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, Qgiv and Cipher Integrations, Inc. as 5+ year sponsors. for companies between 5 and 100 employees.

Why do you sponsor EMERGE Lakeland?

Todd Baylis

QGiv & Cipher Integrations, Inc. Qgiv is a Software as a Service platform that helps non-profit, faith-based, and political organizations by providing tools for online and contextual giving, social fundraising, and event registration and was originally started while the founders were in college. Cipher Integrations, Inc. is primarily focused on IT managed services

Being young professionals ourselves, we understand the need for organizations like EMERGE. We strongly believe that providing young professionals with opportunities for mentoring, networking and a collective voice is essential to develop ourselves, our employees and our community.

What has EMERGE brought to your organization? EMERGE has given us a great outlet for many of our team members to grow and get involved in the community. Of

course, some are involved to different degrees, but having a place for our people to gain community and volunteer experience has been invaluable. Programs like EMERGEServes have helped our team members to be excellent board members and encouraged them to serve as volunteers.

works that are focusing on helping entrepreneurs start and maintain companies, such as the upcoming co-working incubator Catapult. However, there are still many more things that we can do and we still have a lot of work ahead of us to make Central Florida a true entrepreneurial and technology hub.

If your business could change one thing in Polk, for the better, what would it be? I think that we would love to see more technology startups and entrepreneurial companies in the area. There are a lot of different opportunities in the

Jason Witty

Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida is

the nation’s largest distributor of wine and liquor. After an employee has been with Southern Wine and Spirits for 10 years, he/she has a street sign with his/her name on it that hangs in one of the isles in the facility.

Why did you sponsor EMERGE Lakeland? I believe there is a need for EMERGE leaders to network with other leaders in our community. In addition, my hope is that young professionals like EMERGE members, will encourage the young leaders of today

to stay in Lakeland and be the future leaders in our community.

What advice would you give to someone new to the area that wants to get involved? Join EMERGE, Join the Chamber of Commerce and make sure you are in touch with the LEDC: all of which have amazing leadership and all will help you get connected to the community.


Women’s Imaging Center is excited to now offer 3D mammography. This remarkable advancement in imaging is the latest technology for breast cancer detection. 3D mammography captures multiple slices of the breast, all at different angles and then brings them together in a crystal clear image. Our board-certified radiologists are then able to view and better detect any areas of concern.




Bank of Central Florida

“They are truly a full-service bank.” Matthew J. Cory, MD Senior Partner, Lakeside Pediatrics


akeside Pediatrics is one of the largest independent pediatric primary care practices in Lakeland. Physicians Dr. Rolette, Dr. Chachad, Dr. Leviten and Dr. Cory are scientific and compassionate in their approach to providing exceptional pediatric care.

Paul Noris, President/CEO at Bank of Central Florida with Ayanna Rolette, MD, Sairah Chachad, MD, Daniel Leviten, MD and Matthew J. Cory, MD at the south office of Lakeside Pediatrics.

“As our practice continues to grow, having Bank of Central Florida as our financial partner is invaluable,” says Dr. Cory. “They provide financial solutions and the newest banking technology which saves our practice time and money.”

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


steve knott PGA Master Professional

CMAA General Mgr. grasslands golf & Country club

The business of golf in the United States made an estimated annual impact of $68.8 billion dollars in 2011 according to the industry’s Golf 20/20 study. In addition, nearly 2 million jobs are supported. In Florida alone, golf and related industries were a $7.5 billion

dollar economy. Despite the economic turbulence of the last five years, businesses are conducting more business on the golf course. Golf is good for YOUR business. As a private Country Club manager at Grasslands, I see golf and business mixed frequently. People

use the atmosphere of the Club to further cultivate their business relationships. I often hear how the natural beauty of the golf course really beats the Board Room for ambiance! Realistically, transactions aren’t conducted during a round, but the golf


Cendoc is certified in

P. 863.665.4444 . PO Box 5252 . Lakeland, Florida 33807 . 6


eases the tension, introduces the personalities, checks the integrity and lays the groundwork for better business relationships. What a great way to get work done and the results typically support the expense. Have you had your mind on how to reach that certain potential client? Invite them for a round of golf, and when they hit that one great shot, the impression will last for a long time. Thought about making a key hire and were up all night worrying about how they will fit in? I have seen some employers use golf as part of the final interview process. These are just a couple examples of what I see at the Club and how

golf and business go hand in hand. This is all well and good, but you or no one you are willing to put forth from your business plays golf ? Well then it’s time you start. Your competitors are doing it. Firsthand, over the years I have seen ladies and gentlemen from nearly every business/industry segment in Lakeland on a golf course at one time or another. Make golf a business priority. See your PGA Professional who can tailor a program where golf becomes a business skill. Take it from someone who knows, you don’t have to be good at the game to enjoy time on a golf course. Golf is as much about relationships with the people who play, getting some exercise, and taking in all the beauty that the Florida outdoors has to offer.


Three Chamber Staff Celebrate Milestones in 2013

The Chamber is three staff members

Bus NESS&bre kfast “Economic Development Update” Presented by Claudia Tritton, Lakeland Economic Development Council

Hear first hand from the Lakeland Economic Development Council what’s growing, moving, and changing in Lakeland’s business community.

Barbara Bennett Executive Assistant

Jacqueline L. Johnson Senior Vice President, Convention & Visitors Bureau

October 10 | 7:30 a.m. 328 S Ingraham Ave

Kathleen L. Munson President




a l snow |

communication specialist Visit Central Florida/Polk County Sports Marketing

Individual Active sports

In the course of everyday conversation if someone mentions the word sports to you, what initially comes to mind? Is it professional athletes signing multimillion dollar contracts? Maybe it’s remembering how your team won last year’s NCAA Championship or how your child’s team played

The segment that is seen as the “shining star” in the individual sports participation categories is running sports. The 2013 SFIA Report indicates that five of the seven individual sports seeing participation increases over the last five years are running, adventure running, trail running, triathlon (traditional/ road), triathlon (non-traditional/off-road). The only two other individual sports to see increases are archery and squash. Running USA reports in their 2013 State of the Sport Report that the number of U.S. running race finishers in 2012 reached a record number 15.5 million race finishers, which is an increase of 80% since 2000. The Running USA Report also showed that from 2011-2012 the increase in numbers of finishers of “traditional” running events was reflected in all but one of the running disciplines reported (5k’s up 17.5%, 10k’s 4%, Half Marathons 14.9%). The only decline in finishers was in the marathon discipline which decreased 6% from 2011, but that decrease was attributed to the cancellation of 2012 New York City Marathon due to Hurricane Sandy. Running USA also reports the number of running events held in 2012 (26,370) also set a new record. The trend that has driven double digit percentage increases in running sport participation is being fueled by the non-traditional running event that includes adventure runs, color runs, and obstacle runs. These events tend to be more focused on the camaraderie, fun and the social aspects of participants coming together to complete the race and raise money for charitable causes. Leaders in this growing segment include the Warrior Dash, the Color Run, and Tough Mudder events. The Warrior Dash series is expected to draw more than 600,000 participants in 2013 which is a 400% increase in participation since 2010. Tough Mudder events will draw more than 460,000 participants in 2013 posting a 2,200% (YES that is 2,200%) since 2010. Polk County Sports marketing recruited both the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder events to be held in Polk County, the Warrior Dash event was held earlier in 2013 and Tough Mudder will hold an event on November 2-3 at Westgate River Ranch.

this past weekend? If these are the first things that come to mind you may not be maximizing your business’ revenue potential. There is an often overlooked side to sports that may not be immediately evident… the big business of active sports and recreation tourism. The economic benefits of the business of sports extends well beyond the $77 billion in annual sales that retailers throughout the United States ring up each year in the sale of sporting goods, apparel, footwear, fitness equipment, and licensed merchandise. Savvy businesses from all market segments are able to capitalize on local and regional sports events and outdoor activities to drive revenues. According to the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) sports tourism visitor spending in the United States was $8.3 billion in 2012, a 9% increase from 2011 levels. The economic benefits of active sporting competitions have a wide ranging effect within a community and provide revenue opportunities for hotels, restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, attractions, and service based businesses alike. In fact, in some destinations, sports tourism accounts for more than 25% of all tourism spending - Polk County is one such destination. In bringing the numbers a bit closer to home, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing hosts more than 220 events annually that contribute an economic impact of $134 million to the local economy. 8


Active Sports Participation Strictly looking at those “core” traveling sports participants in team sports, participation has been relatively stable across all sports disciplines. In the 2013 SFIA Report, participation in 23 team sports was studied over a five-year period from 2007-2012. Eight team sports had increased participation including gymnastics, lacrosse, fast-pitch softball, and rugby, while the participation rates in two sports remained statistically unchanged (soccer and ice hockey). When looking at active sports and recreation tourism in Polk County the largest single segment comes from organized team sports competitions. Large multiple team tournaments that bring in hundreds of participants, coaches, officials, and referees (not to mention family members, boosters, alumni, and friends) provide significant economic impact to communities throughout our county.

active Team Sports According to the Physical Activity Council’s 2012 Sport Participation Report, 72% of Americans – or 217 million – are active in some type of sport or physical activity. To get a better handle on the potential sports travel market we need to pare down the population further. The 2012 Report classifies approximately 71 million Americans as “core” active sport participants and those that are most likely to travel for sports participation. Having identified those “core” sports and outdoor enthusiasts who make up the bulk of the

sports tourism market the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) 2013 Sports, Fitness and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report identified some positive trends in sports travel spending. In this report 80.3% of “core” participants surveyed said they were likely to spend the same or more for active sports travel in 2012 than they did in 2011. The report also identified that 87% of those surveyed had planned to spend the same or more on sports travel in 2013 that they had in 2012.

While outdoor sports and recreational activities may differ from the competitive sports categories above, they still provide considerable opportunities to drive revenues from out-of-market visitors who come to the area for Polk County’s diverse outdoor opportunities. Nationwide participation numbers are down for two of Polk County’s cornerstone outdoors sporting categories – fishing and golf, but both still play a crucial role in driving visitation to our area. Polk County is home to 34 public access golf courses and all are greatly affected by the seasonality of visitors to the area, and our unpredictable summer weather patterns. According to the National Golf Foundation and the World Golf Foundation, 2012 was the first year since 2006 that the number of rounds of golf played has increased (+5%). While Florida is currently lagging behind the rest of the nation in terms of increased participation, courses are hoping to see a rebound in rounds played in the upcoming months. Polk County, with its more than 550 lakes and title of “Largemouth Bass Capital of the World,” has a vested interest in freshwater fishing participation numbers (nationwide 4.7% decrease in participation).

Florida’s fishing industry is bucking the nationwide trends and continues to be a very significant driver of active sports tourism revenues. The American Sportfishing Association reported in January that Florida led the nation in total angler expenditures with approximately $5 billion spent within our state, and the largest share of those expenditures ($2.8 billion) are made up of food, lodging, and transportation costs. That spending supports more than 80,200 jobs in the fishing industry within our state; 14,000 of those are designated as freshwater fishing jobs. Of the $9 million in freshwater license revenues collected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2011-12, approximately 30% were collected from non-Florida residents. Outdoor pursuits appear to be the healthiest of the sports categories appearing the in the 2013 SFIA Study in that of the 25 outdoor sport categories surveyed, 17 of them have increased participation or held steady over the last five years. Much of the increases in participation are reflected in the shooting sports (target, trap and skeet) kayaking, hunting, hiking, and road cycling. This bodes well for Polk County with our abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Sports event tourism Florida Spring Training baseball drew more than 1.6 million fans for the second consecutive year as 1,638,457 fans attended the 247 games of the 2013 season. Governor Scott said, “Seven teams setting all time attendance records at Spring Training facilities in Florida demonstrates our success in attracting visitors to the state. Spring Training is critical to jobs for families throughout Florida.” Lakeland was one of those cities that set an all time attendance record for Florida. From a total of 17 games played, the attendance reached 136,858 with an average of 8,050 fans per game. The largest crowd attended on Friday, March 29 as more than 10,400 fans were on hand to watch as the Detroit Tigers played the Tampa Bay Rays. Approximately 60% of the tickets sold each year at Joker Marchant Stadium during Spring Training are sold to out-of-county and out-of-state fans. This year, ticket holders represented every state except Alaska and Hawaii! Detroit Tigers Spring Training has approximately $45 million in economic impact on our community. Lakeland is fortunate to be the home of their Minor League High A Division Lakeland Flying Tigers and the Gulf Coast League bringing in another $20 million in economic impact during the summer baseball season. In fact, the Tigers also host several Latin American teams and instructional leagues during the summer and fall to add significantly to those numbers. Joker Marchant Stadium also serves as host to several baseball events booked through the Tiger offices, Lakeland Parks and Recreation, and Polk County Sports Marketing. Overall sports tourism is a vital economic engine for Polk County, pumping more than $300 million into the local economy. What’s even better is that sports tourism is an “export”, essentially meaning that “new” money flows into Polk County’s economy as each car, van, or bus filled with spectators and sports participants pulls into the county. New money means more jobs and economic prosperity - it’s something that makes us all better off, the county as a whole and Lakeland in particular.

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

B & L Tire Sales, Inc. Chris W. Crawford (863) 665-1617

3401 US Highway 98 S Lakeland, FL 33803


Soon after you meet Chris Crawford of B & L Tire Sales, you will find that he knows everything there is to know about tires. You might say he was born to be in the tire business. Back in 1957, B & L Tire opened their doors to the Lakeland community. In 1972 Chris’ father, Warren, an employee of the business at that time, purchased the business from the original

owner. Chris joined the day-to-day operation of the business in 2000. Over the years, the business model has stayed consistent. B & L puts a focus on serving the retail buyer of tires with fair prices, choices of multiple brands, and extreme service. But it’s important to mention here what they don’t offer. B & L Tire Sales does not offer oil changes, struts, shocks, brakes, mufflers, tune-ups,

transmissions, or A/C work. So at B & L there’s no need for the buyer to battle through the never-ending upsell gauntlet. Whether it’s for a car, light truck, trailer, ATV, motor home, or lawn mower, they are the specialists in the tire business. As Chris says, “If it’s black, round, and holds air, we can get it.” B & L Tires takes pride in their trained, certified staff and

the state-of-the-art equipment. They have won numerous awards from tire manufacturers and hold the MAST certification from Michelin and the BARN certification from Bridgestone. As one customer has written, it’s a place he’s not afraid of sending his wife to have tire work done. B & L Tire Sales helps to serve the Lakeland community by their support of Lighthouse

By Gary E. Cleveland,

Small Business

of the Month

committee member Gary Cleveland presents the

September Small Business of the

Month Award to Chris Crawford.

Also pictured:

Chad Thompson.

Scan here with your smart phone app for a short video about b & L tires sales



Ministries, Project Care, Talbot House, and youth baseball including Lakeland City Baseball. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, B & L has made a positive impact on the Lakeland community. The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate B & L Tire Sales as the Small Business of the Month Award winner for the month of September 2013.

Cleveland & Company, Inc. allstate



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




Bright House Networks Presents the 23rd Annual Chamber Scramble

GMC,C, let,t,GM role evro Chev gallCh Rega Re Kia a,Kia ura, Acur a,Ac nda, Hond Ho

Ho le In One Contest s

Show your appreciation to your employees and your clients with a special gift on Monday, December 9…participate in the 23rd Annual Lakeland Chamber Scramble at one of the finest designed private courses in Central Florida—Grasslands Golf and Country Club! This first-class tournament will offer Chamber members time to re-connect, network, and entertain clients during that time of year when celebrations are important and the weather is spectacular! The Scramble serves as one of Lakeland’s premier golf events and an important fundraiser allowing the Chamber to fulfill its mission to sustain a strong business climate in our community. The six-person format is a perfect fit for serious golfers and those just wanting to have an afternoon of fun in a beautiful traditional links environment. Several levels of sponsorship and opportunities allow for participation from small businesses to large companies.

monDAY, dec.9 9:30 A.M. REGISTRATION 1o:30 A.M. SHOTGUN START 3:30 P.M. AWARDS RECEPTION special contests & prizes


» Men’s and Women’s Tournament » If you don’t have a six-some, we’ll put one together for you! For more information visit or call (863) 688-8551, Ext. 223 or 224



Includes All Prizes and Contests, Greens Fees, Card, Food and Beverages, and Reception

With a limited number of spaces available, visit to register today!

$1200 PER TEAM

Includes 6 Players, Entry Into All Contests, and Hole Sign

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Supporting Sponsor: $2500 Golf Cart Sponsor: $2000 Sold Awards Reception Sponsor: $1500 Lunch Sponsor: $750 Breakfast Sponsor: $500 Driving Range Sponsor: $500 Closest to the Pin Sponsor: $500 Putting Green Sponsor: $500 Hole Sponsors: $100 Signage Sponsor: In-kind Graphic Design | Craig Advertising, Inc.


| 11

october 2013 dates wed 09 wed 09 wed 09

thur 10

Wednesday, October 9 Government Affairs

fri 11

8:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Friday, October 11 Small Business Awards Committee Meeting

thur 10

Thursday, October 10 Business & Breakfast

Monday, October 14 EMERGE Lakeland Steering Committee

thur 17

Thursday, October 17 Business After Hours

11:45 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Wednesday, October 9 BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland

mon 14

9:00 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

3:45 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Wednesday, October 9 Talent Development Committee Meeting 3:30 p.m. Chamber Briefing Room

wed 16

Wednesday, October 16 Executive Committee Meeting

Thursday, October 10 Leadership Lakeland City Government Day

thur 24

Thursday, October 24 SCORE Business Round Table

All Day



tuesday 2



7:30 a.m. Chamber Briefing Room

Government Affairs 8 a.m.

BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland | 9 a.m. Talent Development Committee Meeting 3:30 p.m.




16 executive committee meeting | 4:00 p.m.

emerge lakeland steering committee 3:45 p.m.







fri 15

Friday, November 15 6th Annual CarBQ

mon 9

Monday, December 9 23rd Annual Chamber Scramble



















leadership lakeland city government day business & breakfast 7:30 a.m.


small business awards committee meeting 11:45 a.m.

business after hours 5:30 p.m.

24 score business round table | 7:30 a.m.


5:30 p.m. McGee Auto Service and Tire 3939 US Highway 98 S

4:00 p.m.



7:30 a.m. Heath Funeral Home 328 S Ingraham


Ev ent HI G HL I G H TS 01


august Business After Hours Hosted by Bernie Little Distributors

01 | Chairman of the Board, Mark

Wilson (Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.) presents the Plaque of Appreciation to host Joe Little of Bernie Little Distributors.

02 | More than 250 members came out

to enjoy this event! Congratulations to Bernie Little Distributors on your beautiful renovated showroom and thank you for hosting!


03 | Our own Nikki Oakley smiled for

the camera with members (left to right) John Corrigan of The Fearn Partnership, Al Pfund of MidFlorida Real Estate Sales, LLC, Terry McGee of McGee Auto & Tire Service, and Lucille Pfund of Santa Fe Catholic High School.

August New Member Reception Hosted by Magnify Credit Union

04 | Laura Tenpenny of Magnify Credit 04


Union, thanked the crowd of new members for attending and explained how Magnify can help their business!

05 | After the 30-second commercials

and Chamber information given, networking kicked off in full swing! Thank you Magnify for hosting again this August!

06 | Tommy Butch of Tommy B

& Company entertained the crowd musically for his 30 second commercial!


August Business & Breakfast

Hosted by Valencia Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center

07 | Members including Jeff Borneman

of Grow Financial Credit Union and Kim Hooten of Comfort Keepers mixed and mingled and talked politics before and after the breakfast.

08 | Rich Roy, VP of Public Affairs,

addressed the crowd on the fundamentals of local and state governments. Thank you Valencia Hills for hosting!






trustees Community Southern Bank Stephanie Colon has been promoted to Assistant Vice President. Stephanie handles a wide variety of services such as business development for both personal and commercial customers.

Principal Financial Group Kim Andreadis was recognized at the national level as a 2014 Top 10 Business Woman of ABWA. The Top 10 Award recognizes the women in ABWA that exemplify the modern business woman as a community leader, mentor, and professional.

Joy Morse Insurance Watson Clinic LLP

chairman ’s circle CPS Investment Advisors Was recently recognized as a Best Places to Work award winner in the small business division by Polk Works. The honors were given to companies based on criteria that include benefits, training, and promoting work-life balance. CPS Investment Advisors was started by Chas P. Smith and offers financial planning services and income tax services to our community.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center For the third consecutive year, Lakeland Regional Health Systems (LRHS) President and CEO Elaine Thompson, PhD, has been named to the Becker’s Hospital Review “130 Non-Profit Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.” According to Becker’s Hospital Review, those included in this national list demonstrate outstanding leadership within the hospital and healthcare industry and were chosen based on exceptional oversight of hospital or health system operations, financial turnarounds, quality improvement initiatives and community engagement. Dr. Thompson has also been recognized as “Top 100 Non-Profit Hospital CEOs to Know” and “Top 120 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.”

Lanier Upshaw Proud to announce that Julie Ashley, GBA, RHU has been promoted to Employee Benefits Account Executive. Julie has close to 20 years of experience in Employee Benefits and has been with Lanier Upshaw since 2002.

Heacock Insurance Group Pleased to announce C.J. “Jack” English III has joined Heacock Classic, the collector car insurance division of the company. His responsibilities include new business and relationship development for classic automotive owners and enthusiasts. Prior to joining Heacock Classic, English owned and operated an Allstate Insurance Agency with over 20 years of agency experience.



Pleased to announce that Freddy G. De Cordova, MD, has joined their team of family medicine specialists. Dr. De Cordova’s office will be located in the Main Clinic location at 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard. Dr. De Cordova received his medical degree from San Martin De Porres University in Lima, Peru, and performed his internship and residency in Family Medicine at Hofstra University/North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System/Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY. His areas of expertise include diabetes management and weight reduction techniques. Also, pleased to welcome Osereimen E. Omoike, MD, to our team of expert anesthesiologists. Dr. Omoike is a Watson Clinic physician who will serve patients during their stays at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center.

Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center, LLP Has been awarded the Apex Quality Award for the fifth consecutive year. This award is presented to healthcare organizations that have demonstrated the highest level of excellence in patient satisfaction and overall care. For 2012/2013 the Apex Quality Award recognizes 91 healthcare organizations from 29 different states. Only twelve of these organizations have ever received this award five times. LSDC is among this very select group, and is currently the largest and busiest ambulatory surgery center in the state of Florida.

YMCA of West Central Florida Welcomes Kirk Eich as CEO. Prior to coming to Lakeland, Eich served as President and CEO of the Athens YMCA in Athens, GA.

Hill Ward Henderson Paralegal Kimberly G. Christmas has been elected the 2nd Vice President of the Paralegal Association of Florida, Inc. a professional association of approximately 1,000 members. Christmas is a paralegal in the firm’s executive compensation and employee benefits group.

W. Stewart Mann has joined the agency as a Financial Services Representative. Stewart has 10 years of investment experience, specializing in retirement planning and asset protection. We welcome Stewart’s knowledge & expertise to the Joy Morse Agency. Also, under Joy Morse’s leadership as president, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – Imperial was awarded the Jack E. Bobo Award of Excellence Silver Level.

Lakeland Flying Tigers/Detroit Tigers In his 26th season, Lakeland Flying Tigers Manager Dave Huppert celebrated his 1,800th win in an August game against the Tampa Yankees. Huppert currently has the most wins by active minor league managers. Stan Wasiak is the all-time leader in managerial MiLB wins with 2,530.

Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate Announces the development of a new business segment. Jack Vogel, Wony Wallace, CF, and John Holzaepfel, ACF, CF join CBC Saunders Real Estate as the Forestry Group. Specific client services include timber and wildlife management, timber and timberland appraisal, hunting lease management, and arboricultural - urban forestry consulting. Learn more about the team at

MicroPath Laboratories Proud to announce the addition of new dermatopathologist, Dr. Patricia Moody McNab. Dr. McNab received her medical degree and completed her residency at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. She completed her fellowship in Oncologic Surgical Pathology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Institute and her Dermatopathology fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. McNab is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and is board eligible in dermatopathology.

Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center Pleased to announce that Danita Frier has recently earned the designation of a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center congratulates Danita on her service and dedication to her profession.

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

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

Sparkle Zone LLC (Sparkle Skirts)

Patio 850

Lakeland, FL 33811

Lakeland, FL 33801

2500 Drane Field Rd, Ste 110 | (863) 409-2492

850 S Tennessee Ave | (863) 940-2030

Boys & Girls Club of Lakeland & Mulberry

Reed & Mawhinney, P.L.

Florida Ground Pros

Lakeland, FL 33815

Lakeland, FL 33803

950 Pinewood Ave | (863) 686-1719

1611 Harden Blvd | (863) 687-1771

2827 Parkway St, Ste 1 | (863) 937-9780

Flow Components & Equipment Supply

Lakeland, FL 33811

T.G.I. Friday’s

Lighthouse Ministries, Inc.

Lakeland, FL 33809

Lakeland, FL 33802

Mulberry, FL 33860

4204 US Highway 98 N | (863) 859-9930

215 E Magnolia St | (863) 687-4076

604 N Prairie Industrial Pkwy | (863) 425-4976




ABC Absolute Best Choice Nutrition & Wellness

Call To Schedule An Appointment (863) 397-6736 Paula Brandauer Health Care – Health & Wellness

Big Oak Apartment Homes 1510 Big Oak Dr Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 940-4700 Stacy Gonzalas Apartments

Classy Music Live

Call To Schedule An Appointment (863) 581-1210 Gary & Patty Headley Entertainment

Complete Bio Solutions

1500 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Ste 5 Lakeland, FL 33805 (863) 499-0900 Erick Martinez Laboratories

Crusader Demolition

3829 Progress Dr Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 940-4831 Jodi Sharrock Contractors


PO Box 7071 Lakeland, FL 33807 (863) 248-2185 Eric Comisky Computers – Consulting & Networking

Omega-Man Enterprises

Call to Schedule an Appointment (888) 315-6772 Marc Wilkes Personal Development & Improvement

On Target Staffing, LLC

5137 S Lakeland Dr Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 644-0033 Andrea Whitaker Employment Contractors


255 N Kentucky Ave Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 669-3321 Keith Ward Financial Planning

TLC Petsnip

1701 Gary Rd Lakeland, FL 33805 (863) 686-7647 Terry Sandlak Veterinarians

Tommy B and Company

Call to Schedule an Appointment (330) 398-4942 Tommy Butch Entertainment

Trinkle Realty

911 E Rose St Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 937-9690 Sean Trinkle Real Estate

Tropical Smoothie Cafe 225 S Florida Ave, Ste 1 Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 686-9474 Jack Cleghorn Restaurants

Vendetta Studio

637 Robin Rd Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 667-6694 James Hicks Tattoo & Body Piercing

Wellcare Health Plans, Inc.

1503 6th St NW Winter Haven, FL 33881 (863) 292-2700 Michelle French Health Care – Health Care Management Services

Origami Owl Independent Designer Call To Schedule An Appointment (813) 720-1347 Rosemary Bonner Jewelers

Performance Electric and Design, Inc. 3525 Reynolds Road, #8 Lakeland, FL 33803 (863) 666-6400 Gary & Pam Lee Electric Contractors

Dr. Thomas F. Plunkett 200 Lake Harris Dr Lakeland, FL 33813 (863) 646-0313 Dr. Thomas F Plunkett Health Care – Dentists



Tourism Inquiries During the month of August, our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and the Lakeland community. Walk-in Visitors...................................... 285 Relocation Response Mailings............. 0 Relocation Response (Walk In)........... 30 Accommodations..................................... 0 Winter Accommodations....................... 0 Visitor Information Mailings............... 2 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries........... 19





1 9 4 3 | 7 0 Ye a rs

Hyatt Place - Lakeland Center

Tampa Electric/Peoples Gas

1 9 5 2 | 6 1 Ye a rs


W.S. Badcock Corp.

1 9 6 8 | 4 5 Ye a rs WH Alderman Plumbing Co.

1 9 7 1 | 4 2 Ye a rs

years Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Meisner Paint & Body, Inc.

1 9 7 4 | 3 9 Ye a rs


CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

1 9 7 5 | 3 8 Ye a rs Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Inc.


Griffin Pools, Inc.

Agnini Family Dental Center

Stahl Herndon & Associates Inc.

WellDyneRx, Inc.

1 9 7 7 | 3 6 Ye a rs Bopp and Tarver, PLLC National Memorials Saddle Creek Logistics Services Sam’s Sport Shop

1 9 7 8 | 3 5 Ye a rs Stanley Properties Yerton Leasing & Auto Sales, Inc.

1 9 8 0 | 3 3 Ye a rs SCMH Architects

1 9 8 1 | 3 2 Ye a rs Sunco Carriers, Inc.

1 9 8 6 | 2 7 Ye a rs Cheatham, Goleno & Ferguson, P.A. Polk Museum of Art

1 9 8 9 | 2 4 Ye a rs Jack Hall Jr.’s Construction and Aluminum Wal-Mart Super Center #01-1245

1 9 9 0 | 2 3 Ye a rs Morris Commercial Enterprises, Inc. Polk Theatre Inc.

1 9 9 2 | 2 1 Ye a rs Shirin Yasribi, DDS

1 9 9 3 | 2 0 Ye a rs Super Media LLC Wards Air Conditioning

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 Stephanie Colon, Assistant Vice President, Business Banker at Community Southern Bank for her outstanding attention to Chamber members and attendance at events! Stephanie is a wonderful asset to the Chamber and to the Lakeland community!

stephanie colon

community southern bank Assistant Vice President, Business Banker




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 equity markets had their worst month of the year so far, with the DJIA falling 4.45% and the S&P 500 falling 3.1%, while the NASDAQ fell only 1.0%. The 10-year treasury continues to climb off its 2012 low of 1.55%, ending August at 2.75%. While that is still low from a historical perspective, it likely signals the beginning of the end of incredibly cheap borrowing for now. Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates have moved to around 4.5%, they continue to be kept low by the Federal Reserve’s purchasing program. Fed announcements and market speculation has the Fed tapering

CONNECT ] PolkProgress 18



JAN 00

the buying program beginning in the 4th quarter of the year and culminating between the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2014. Once the artificial demand winds down, we should expect to see 30-year mortgage rates settle in somewhere between 5.0% and 5.5%. While that is a departure from our recent very low interest rate environment, it is still low from a historical perspective. The expectations for higher future rates will likely keep buyers interested in locking rates ahead of the increases, although at a slower rate. Nationally, we have begun to see a slight slowdown in home

JAN 01

JAN 02

JAN 03

price appreciation. The S&P Case Shiller home price index reported a seasonally adjusted 0.9% increase in June, down from 1.0% in May. The year-over-year gain remains a healthy 12.1%. More indicative of a slowing market are the new home sales, with July logging a seasonally adjusted 394,000, comfortably below the 700,000 considered healthy. The slowdown is not unexpected as the pace of price appreciation was largely considered unsustainable and the bump in interest rates is dampening the market. In a broader estimate of home prices that excludes distressed sales but includes

JAN 04

JAN 05

JAN 06

JAN 07

locales outside of the 20 included by the S&P Case Shiller index, Zillow estimates that home values have risen a more modest 6% over the year. In Polk County, we have seen the number of new single-family home construction permits increase 63% for the first half of this year over the same period last year, with 939 permits issued for the six-month period. The bulk of that has come from the second quarter, with 567 of the permits issued between April and June. Polk County has also experienced significant price appreciation, with the median sales price in the county rising to $124,500 in July, up

JAN 08

JAN 09

JAN 10

12.5% from $111,400 for July 2012, and 7.7% for the year so far. The chart below shows that we have pulled comfortably away from the bottom of 2011/2012 and have slightly surpassed a long run 3% growth since 2000. In the short run, we should expect continued - although slowing - price appreciation in the residential housing market as interest rates remain affordable and rental rates remain high. We appear to be mostly clear of the worst effects of the distressed market and the “shadow” supply that many feared would continue to pull us south.

JAN 11

JAN 12

JAN 13

L eade r s hi p L a k e l a n d A lum n i A ssociat ion

lisa olivier


CONNECT ] LeadershipLakeland

Providing extraordinary learning experiences….. These words from the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association’s mission statement summarize this year’s sporting experience for its members. On June 30, the Alumni Association took its annual trip to the Tropicana Field to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Tampa Bay Rays. Some special baseball fans joined the group on their trip to St. Petersburg. Alumnus and board member, Ron Myers, and his Detroit Tiger Foundation, partnered with the Alumni Association to give 10 youth from Girls Inc. and the Boys & Girls Club the experience of a lifetime. The youngsters accompanied the group on a chartered bus to the stadium and were escorted to the group deck where they enjoyed all-you-can eat food, souvenirs, and a great baseball game. It was a wonderful day for the alumni who enjoyed watching the game through the eyes of these children. The Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association was formed in 1984 and currently has 340 members. Its mission is to “Provide extraordinary learning experiences, inspire community

participation and leadership, & cultivate and invigorate leaders in Lakeland.” A day at the ballpark is only one of the experiences that the organization provides for youth and young leaders in our community throughout the year. It continues to use the resources and expertise of its members to get involved and make a difference in the lives of young people.

LLAA President, Michael Tamney, shares a moment with Tropicana Field’s newest fans.

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.

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




public af fa i r s

rich roy

Public Affairs Vice president


With a mission of driving regional economic prosperity, we exist to help our community grow in order for local businesses to have larger markets to compete in and grow from. Advocating on behalf of our members is critical to our ability to help our community grow, and it is one of the most important reasons to be active on a legislative level at the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. We have committed to understanding the issues that are most important to the business community

and advocate for or against those issues in order to protect business interests. We strive to serve as a go-to source for well-considered public policy, and to have a thoughtful impact on policy-making at the local and state level. It is for that reason your Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce has created a “Legislative Priorities Issues Matrix.” Chamber staff and members of our Government Affairs Committee need your input to help shape our 2014 Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Legislative Priorities.

Last year, we worked with our partners with the City of Lakeland, Polk County Commission, area businesses, educational institutions and Florida Chamber to develop initiatives supported by our organization. This year it is my hope to work with our 1,700 members to develop a more refined and localized agenda that supports less government and a more business-friendly environment. Simply fill out the 2014 Lakeland Chamber Issue Priority Matrix Form online and return to rroy@ lakelandchamber. com 

to submit issues of importance to your business or organization that you feel the Chamber should include in their 2014 Legislative Priorities. The 2014 Legislative Priority Statement is a key document used by the Lakeland Chamber when advocating for important legislative measures to our Polk Delegation in Tallahassee. Every strong community in the nation has a strong chamber of commerce supporting it. Issue advocacy plays a vital role in that support, and we will continue

to advocate for issues that will grow jobs and make our community stronger. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to contact Rich Roy or Sarah Breed at (863) 688-8551, Ext. 241 or Ext. 228. Thank you for your time and service in helping to shape the chamber’s 2014 Legislative Priorities.

Join the Chamber’s grassroots network! Sign up to receive to our Public Policy email updates by visiting Updates.

n a c k e e w a One night


lakeland te s b e w • 9 0 3 -9 2 863-687 0 2 e it u S , e iv r D r 1479 Town Cente

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.


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

Those members interested in taking advantage of the available opportunities through EFI can visit the “Expand Your Florida Business” section at Members can find a wealth of information located within this section regarding the growth of their businesses in the state. Information ranging from site location data, regional and county information, infrastructure, workforce and training, taxes and incentives, possible grants, and resources on more in-depth statistical information for both national, and international trade can be found here. In addition, small businesses looking to reach the second stage of growth may be interested in looking into Enterprise Florida’s “GrowFL Program.” The GrowFL Program provides strategies, resources and support to second-stage companies for next level growth and helps companies overcome obstacles to growth and leads them towards prosperity. During the pilot program from 20092011, GrowFL helped more than 400 companies create 1,400 new jobs and had an annual economic impact of $510.4 million. At the beginning of 2013, that number has grown to nearly 700 companies supported by GrowFL. Individuals looking to start a business or locate



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 B e t h Geo h a g a n


BeFly Bike Tours | (863) 899-1818

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” Ernest Hemingway I’m Beth Geohagan and I LOVE bikes! I love to ride bikes and I’d like to share my love of biking with you! I developed BeFly Bike Tours in order to offer residents and visitors in Lakeland an opportunity to experience the beauty, culture, art, and architecture of historical importance in downtown Lakeland and its historic districts, by way of bicycle rentals and guided educational tours. Guests have the opportunity to ride brightly colored single speed “Lake Cruisers” to the best locations throughout Polk County. Recently, through a partnership with The Citrus Connection, guests are also able to take BeFly bikes anywhere in Polk County on the bus for free. There are several ways to experience Lakeland with BeFly Bike Tours. Some of the types of tours that you can choose from include: Brick and Mortar, Blast From the Past, Art is in Heart, Park Hopping, Lake Hopping, I Love You, Yay Team, Bikes For Birthdays, Nature Tours, and Neighborhood Tours. BeFly Bike Tours also cares about employees! I will bring our kaleidoscope of colorful bikes to your business to give your employees an energizing break in their busy day. A recent study found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management. And, exercise boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress. Healthier employees mean less expense for your company and promote wellness and well being. I invite you to give me a call, send me an email, visit my website, and “like” BeFly Bike Tours on Facebook to find out more about how you can have fun on a bicycle… Talk to you soon! 2222 | | F OF O RR UU MMF OF O R RB B UU SS I NI N ES ESS

L a kel a nd Ch a mb e r H o n o re d for PR Progra m At the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce once again was honored for excellence in public relations and communications.

was presented for the

“It is such an honor to have our communications and public relations programs recognized by our peers,” said Amy Wiggins, Vice President of Communications who accepted the award on behalf of the Chamber. “This partnership is one of my favorites because of the special opportunity I have to share the success stories of local entrepreneurs.”

Trust Us With Your Technology

Loura Parrish and Jim “Coach” Jones host the Real Success Radio show on WLKF 1430 AM every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. On the last Tuesday of the month, the Chamber’s Small Business of the Month award winner is the featured guest, sharing their success with the radio audience. This year’s awards were judged by professionals from state-wide media and included Public Relations Program, Membership Communications/Marketing Materials, Convention & Visitors Bureau Marketing/ Communications, and Audio/Visual/Online Communications.

For more information about the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals visit

950 E. Main St., Lakeland, FL | 863-686-3167 | FORUM FOR BUSINESS



2440 Hwy. 98 North

1 Mile So. of I-4 Across from Lakeland Chrysler

Locally owned & operated.


(863) 682-3450

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


get connected. Come for a chance to win a ride for four in the Goodyear Blimp!

Business After Hours presented by

October 17 | 5:30 -7:30 p.m. 3939 US Highway 98 S (Bartow Rd) $10 Members | $30 GUests ~ Your RSVP Is Appreciated. Visit to register.

October 2013 Forum for Business  
October 2013 Forum for Business