this issue

SBA Awarded: See who received the plaque for this monthly award. Page 4

After Hours: Watson Clinic hosts Business After Hours. Page 14

Business & Breakfast: YMCA hosts February event. Page 15

Buy Lakeland. It makes good cents! • visit


Sun ‘N Fun 2009
Sun ’n Fun staff and volunteers are ramping up preparations for the 35th annual fly-in, which will be held at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, April 21-26. Since its beginning in 1975, the annual Sun ’n Fun Fly-In brings together people from around the world

April 2009

Vol. XIX, No.4

Staff and volunteers ramping up preparations for 35th annual fly-in at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport
for a unique aviation experience. At the heart of the event is the more than 450 educational forums, seminars and “hands-on” workshops that cover every aspect of aircraft construction and maintenance. Additional topics are offered through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FastTeam
• Continued on Page 3

Brigadier General Dan Cherry, USAF (Ret.) and Vietnamese MiG-21 pilot, Nguyen Hong My, will reunite at Sun ’n Fun 2009 for the only the second time since Cherry’s F-4D Phantom shot down My over Hanoi in 1972. Cherry traveled to Vietnam in April 2008 to meet My on national Vietnamese television where their reunion was broadcast throughout Vietnam. Photographer John Fleck traveled with Cherry and chronicled this remarkable reunion in his book, “The Unlikely Reunion– Reconciliation in Vietnam.” My and Cherry will both travel to Sun ’n Fun for multiple presentations scheduled for Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25. The 2009 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In will be held April 21-26 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland.
• Continued on Page 2



ALSO INSIDE: New Members • Leadership Lakeland • Ribbon Cuttings • Members on the Move

Remarkable Reunion
Cherry was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in July of 1960 and went through pilot training in 1964, receiving an F-105 assignment with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing at Spangdalem, Germany. In December of 1966 he volunteered for his first tour of duty in Southeast Asia and flew 100 missions over North Vietnam The 2009 during his first eight months of duty. Sun ’n Fun Fly-In After returning to the United States as an instructor pilot in the F-105, he will be held volunteered for his 2nd tour of duty in April 21-26 at Southeast Asia in 1972, this time assigned to fly the F-4D Phantom II. Lakeland Linder In April 1972, Cherry, flying in a flight of four Phantoms shot down the Regional Airport MiG-21 piloted by Vietnamese fighter in Lakeland, Fla. pilot, Hong My. Following his second tour of duty and only MiG “kill”, Cherry went on to a successful career in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Brigadier General, and leading the USAF Thunderbirds Jet Demonstration Team before retiring in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “It is my hope that our remarkable meeting and reconciliation can somehow help the many Vietnam Veterans who have had great difficulty in bringing closure to their war experiences. Mr. Hong My and I both share the mutual hope that our unusual friendship can also be an inspiration to our two countries to work toward better and friendlier relations through enhanced educational, cultural and business exchanges”, said Cherry of the upcoming reunion with Nguyen Hong My at Sun ’n Fun.

Lakeland’s Detroit Tigers and Spring Training promoted at Welcome Centers
Lakeland partnered with The Detroit Tigers and the Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau to help promote Detroit Tiger and Florida Spring Training! These Detroit Tigers Tee-shirts are proudly worn by Welcome Center personnel greeting Florida visitors and recommending taking in a Spring Training game as part of their Florida vacation itinerary! What better way to spend your vacation than an afternoon of baseball at Joker Marchant Stadium and then finding out what the rest of Lakeland and Polk County have to offer!

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Forum For Business Monthly Anu Saxena Chairman of the Board Aaron Bates Managing Editor Volume Information: April 2009 ,Vol. XIX, No. 4 Kathleen L. Munson Publisher & President Kingston Partners Design
No. 2

Sun ‘N Fun
Production Center that operates year–round on the Sun ’n Fun campus. Last year, more than 8,000 visitors attended the Sun ’n Fun and FAA sponsored forums, more than 9,000 participated in Sun ’n Fun’s hands-on workshops, and a record 520 commercial exhibitors showcased the latest in aviation products and technology. “We encourage all aviation enthusiasts to start their aviation year here at Sun ’n Fun, which is one of the world’s premier aviation events”, said John Burton, Sun ’n Fun President and Fly-In Chairman. “Sun ’n Fun volunteers and staff work very hard to coordinate the event and to ensure that all participants and guests have the best possible aviation experience”. The 2009 event would not be complete without the daily air show, starting at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and at 2:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Sun ’n Fun’s airshow is one of the event’s most visible and popular activites and features the world’s top aerobatic performers. A popular Sun ’n Fun tradition – the Friday night air show will take place at dusk on April 24. The Fly-In also includes a hot air balloon launch on Saturday April 25; and evening programs each night of the event. In addition, approximately 5,000 aircraft of every size and shape including showplanes competing for awards will be on display for all Sun ’n Fun visitors to enjoy throughout the week. The flightline will remain open to all ticketed visitors, giving pilots, aviation enthusiasts, kids and families a close-up look at all the aircraft onsite, including modern military jet-fighters and historic WWII fighter aircraft. Sun ’n Fun’s annual attendance during the six-day event averages approximately 160,000. The economic impact to Lakeland and Polk County is estimated at more than $27 million annually based on a University of South Florida economic impact study. Last year (2008), Sun ’n Fun hosted more than 1,300 international visitors from 73 countries, including first-time visitors from Tanzania, Botswana, Oman and Singapore. For more information, access Sun ’n Fun’s web site:

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to help you out with that by sending your future invoices via E-mail. Not only will it save you time but you would be helping us “Save the Trees.” If your company is interested in receiving the E-mail version of invoices, please complete the information below and return to: Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce PO Box 3607 Attn: Invoices Lakeland, FL 33802-3607 YES! I WANT TO RECEIVE INVOICES BY E-MAIL
Company Name:

Billing Contact Name:


City: State: E-mail: Phone: Fax: Zip:

What is the secret to surviving this economy?
By Steve Madden


Our Apologies
Please accept our apologies!! Pictures of the January Business After Hours plaque presentations incorrectly listed the names under the pictures. We regret this error. The correct information is as follows:

President of Madden

We are all asking ourselves the same question: “How can my company survive this economy?” You have two choices: one is to decrease or eliminate your marketing budget and keep your fingers crossed or two, move full steam ahead with a marketing plan and take full advantage of the opportunity to strengthen your brand while the competition is weak. When you choose to cut marketing, you increase the likelihood that your product or service will lose relevance with your target audience. You leave the door wide-open for your competition to enter and chip away at the market share you’ve worked so hard to own. Your customers need to hear from you now more than ever. Maintain your voice within your category so that you don’t give your competitors a window of opportunity. Ask yourself these seven questions, and put your marketing plan back on track: 1. Do I have an annual marketing plan that promotes my brand, creates leads for all my business units and effectively reaches my target audiences? 2. How many times per month am I touching my customers with brand building or sales promotion communications? 3. How closely am I measuring my marketing activities, better known as ROI (Return on Investment)? 4. What new opportunities have presented themselves in this economy? 5. What value can I communicate to my target audience that positions my product or service as the category leader? Value is not always just about having the lowest price. 6. How can I allocate my marketing budget more wisely? 7. Do I have a proactive customer referral plan in place to generate new sales leads? In this current economic environment, it is imperative that you have the right answer to the above questions. A by-product of the slowdown is that businesses are being more intentional about their marketing and advertising than ever before. Contrary to many naysayers, there are still motivated buyers out there for your product or service.
$5 Chamber Member ~ $15 Non-Member
Please R.S.V.P. by 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the event. You may register and pay online by using this link: or by E-mailing: No. 4

Your marketing efforts just require more thought and strategy to fully connect with consumers. Doing the same thing you have always done won’t cut it anymore. If executed properly, creative marketing strategies can help you not only survive but also help you gain market share. Develop your marketing plan today and just be ready to make modifications to the strategy as needed.

Jim Luffman accepts the Plaque of Appreciation for Boys & Girls Clubs of Lakeland.

Madden is a brand identity company specializing in strategic marketing, advertising, creative services, promotional products and branded apparel.

Greg White accepts the Plaque of Appreciation for Alpha Appraisal Services, Inc.


Small Business of the Month Award presented
Wheeler Appraisals does not have an official motto, but in reference to much of the property throughout central Florida, it could be “we appraised that property one time”.

Curt Wheeler and Bill Wheeler, Jr. continue the business begun by their father in 1971. Wheeler Appraisals has maintained the same phone number, P.O. Box and Chamber membership for the last 38 years! That is staying power in a business where that history is of great benefit to all of their clients. Imagine being able to trace the valuation of a property over a 38 year period. Curt Wheeler is an MAI, another added benefit for their customers, and he concentrates on the commercial properties. Bill handles the residential properties, and thus they are a full service appraisal firm which has worked with some of the same clients for over 35 years. Throughout this period

they have continued to keep up with the technologies of the time, so today they are Wheeler & Wheeler, Inc. fully computerized and d/b/a Wheeler Appraisals can deliver electronic or PO Box 2416 hard copies of appraisals 104 E. Pine Street while still understanding Lakeland, FL 33806-2416 the value of on site visits 863/688-7994 in conjunction with the 863/688-7995 fax now easily available collection of data and statistical models. Their web site,, is an interesting place to visit and gives you a feel for a company that does serious business but with a sense of humor and understanding that the nature of their business is part mathematics and part art.

March winner

In addition to their appraisal work, both Curt and Bill are involved with the community. Curt serves on the board of Learning Resource Center and is currently the President of the Imperial Symphony Orchestra board. Past board service includes Lakeland Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA. Curt was a member of Leadership Lakeland XIII. He has served as a volunteer in the Guardian Ad Litem program and as a tutor in the school system. Bill is the past president of Alliance for Independence and Lakeland Evening Sertoma. He participates in School Advisory Councils and the 6 Man Club for Florida Southern College. We are lucky to have the Wheelers in our business community and the community at large.
Small Business of the Month Award Committee Member, Patricia Hendler (Century Commercial Realty, LLC) presents the March Small Business of the Month Award to Bill Wheeler, Jr. (L) and Curt Wheeler (R), Wheeler & Wheeler, Inc. d/b/a Wheeler Appraisals.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Wheeler Appraisals as the Small Business of the Month for March.

No. 6

EMERGE Lakeland Networks
EMERGE Lakeland provided its members the opportunity to network with some of Lakeland’s finest leaders. The Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association partnered with EMERGE to offer members a unique speed networking opportunity where members could meet and begin to develop relationships with business leaders. The event was fast paced and business cards and refreshments were flying around The Ledger. EMERGE would like to thank the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association and The Ledger for hosting the event. Social interaction among young professionals is one of the missions of EMERGE. EMERGE Lakeland’s annual event hosting community leaders will be held at the Lakeland Yacht & County Club on April 21st. Check out EMERGE’s website for more details. Applications for the second year of the EMERGE P2P initiative (Peer to Peer Networking) will soon be available. P2P aims to enrich the professional development of Lakeland’s young professionals by partnering them with existing EMERGE Lakeland members. This year’s class has attended programs presented by Lakeland Vision, United Way of Central Florida and Lakeland Electric. All newly engaged young professionals will participate in two EMERGE Lakeland membership programs in four specifically designed P2P events or activities. Visit to learn more about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and development and social outings. You can also click on the EMERGE logo on

Greg Ruthven (e Ruthvens/Leadership Lakeland Class II) networks with EMERGE Lakeland Member Patrick Howes (Northwestern Mutual Financial Network).

Over 80 EMERGE Lakeland Members and Leadership Lakeland Alumni speed networked at e Ledger.

Evening at the Tiger BBQ

Jim Leyland Willie Horton & Friends

Chinese National Baseball Team at Tiger BBQ

CEO Dave Dombrowski Pictures by Tom Hagerty/

No. 8

Riverside hosts New Member Reception
A group of excited new members filled the lobby of the Riverside Bank located at 6180 US Highway 98, N. Members listened as Chamber staff gave an overview of events and programs, with added encouragement to get involved in every aspect possible. Eager to share who they were and what services or products their businesses could provide, each member presented a 30-second commercial. Enthusiasm is contagious, and attitude important especially now! What a great way to start off the 2009 New Member Reception Series! Thanks are due to the entire staff at Riverside Bank, our Presenting Sponsor for the 2009 New Member Receptions, and host Sponsor for February, for offering such a positive experience to get new members off to a great start.

Special thanks to Riverside Bank, the 2009 New Member Reception Presenting Sponsor and Host Sponsor for February.

e Chamber is proud to welcome 15 new members for February 2009
Through their membership in the Chamber, businesses invest in themselves and their community. We urge to 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!


Lakeland, FL 33810-3861 (863) 409-2600 Jason Burns Churches/Synagogues

Access Church

Creative Gift Consultants

Americom - South Lakeland
5698 S Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33813-2526 (863) 648-1914 D. J. Pearson Cellular Phones

106 Laguna Ct Sanford, FL 32773-5545 (863) 581-2705 Somer Huffman Gift Baskets

Patient First Clinic

Dragon Ice Cream Treats

Bubba Ques BBQ

2444 US Highway 92 East Lakeland, FL 33801-2671 (863) 665-4049 Fax: (863) 665-5650 Josh Reeves Restaurants

1732 W Olive St Lakeland, FL 33815-4045 (813) 892-5252 (863) 686-6628 Fax: (813) 286-7428 Heather Metoyer Ice Cream Shoppe

3021 Lakeland Highlands Rd Lakeland, FL 33803-4339 (863) 683-0900 Fax: (863) 683-7755 Matthew Folder Health & Wellness

PLANTZ (formerly Plant Manager)
(863) 686-2222 (866) 752-6899 Steve Stanford Plant Leasing & Maintenance/Interior

696 1st Ave N Ste 400 Saint Petersburg, FL 33701-3610 (727) 290-2342 (800) 238-5659 Brian Bell Marketing - Special Promotions

Capitol Marketing Concepts

1303 Tom Watson Rd Lakeland, FL 33801-6745 (863) 409-6985 Doug Evangelisto Home Improvements

Evangelisto's Home Repair Classes

TreeTop Software Co., LLC
PO Box 2100 Lakeland, FL 33806-2100 (863) 680-2828 Scott Fore Associations

5131 S Florida Ave Lakeland 33813 PO Box 6293 Lakeland, FL 33807-6293 (863) 644-5025 Fax: (863) 248-2773 William Masters Office Supplies/Equipment

Cartridge & Toner Zone

Lakeland, FL 33801-5259 (863) 698-2160 Fax: (863) 687-3749 Grant Miller Advertising

GGM Productions, Inc.

Lakeland, FL 33813-1808 (863) 370-2727 Sanford Bates Health & Wellness

My Health Coach, Inc.

3806 Manatee Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205-1714 (772) 286-1844 Fax: (772) 286-0738 Sanny Paningbatan Home Health Care

Visiting Nurse Association of Florida, Inc.

Navesys Medical Transcriptions

3730 Cleveland Heights Blvd Ste 2 Lakeland, FL 33803-0212 (863) 701-7470 (866) 794-4158 Dean Rustin Transcription/Medical & Administrative

No. 10

20+ Year Renewals

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

1921 - 88 Years Pickard & Pickard Inc. REALTORS 1944 - 65 Years Wachovia Bank 1950 - 59 Years WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio 1951 - 58 Years Payne Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. 1955 - 54 Years Universal Building Specialties 1959 - 50 Years Hardy’s Industries, Inc. 1965 - 44 Years Polk Pump & Irrigation Co., Inc. 1971 - 38 Years Juice Bowl Products, Inc. Santa Fe Animal Hospital 1972 - 37 Years Cleveland Heights Animal Hospital 1973 - 36 Years Imperial Manor M.H. Terrace Southern Glass Products Company, Inc. 1975 - 34 Years AAA Auto Club South 1977 - 32 Years BCI Engineers & Scientists, Inc. 1978 - 31 Years Anthony’s Health Hut & Restaurant Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In, Inc. 1981 - 28 Years Turfcare Unlimited 1983 - 26 Years Imperial Florida Sales Co. 1984 - 25 Years Peace River Center 1985 - 24 Years Family Eye Center South 1986 - 23 Years Cypress Lakes Dale Gardner Jacobs, PA 1988 - 21 Years Tri-County Human Services, Inc. First United Methodist Church 1989 - 20 Years Ed Ducar, Inc.

Family Worship Center Churches, Inc. American Red Cross/Polk County Chapter Bridges Optical

15 Year Renewals

Sav-A-Lot Food Stores Gulf Coast Avionics Corp. Lakeland Estates MHC

10 Year Renewals

Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc. Elena’s Cuban Café Dermatology Assoc. of Central Florida, P.A. H & R Block

5 Year Renewals


AFFORDABLE 863-682-1025
Assistance provided by the City of Lakeland and Polk County SHIP Programs.
Income limits and other qualifying requirements apply.

No. 12

During the month of February, our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and the Lakeland community. Relocation Response Mailings........................7 Accommodations...........................................0 Walk-in Visitors..........................................546 Winter Accommodations ...............................1 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries.....................195 Visitor Information Mailings .........................54


Business and Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. CPS Investment Advisors The Club at Eaglebrooke

Relocation Response (Walk In) ....................27

Thursday, April 16


EMERGE Lakeland Event, 5:30 p.m. The Club at Eaglebrooke

Tuesday, April 21

Business After Hours, 5:30 p.m. Luau/Downton On the Deck of Citizens Bank & Trust 402 S. Kentucky Ave.

Thursday, April 23

Government Affairs, 8:00 a.m. BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland, 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 8


Leadership Lakeland XXVII Nominations Due Leadership Lakeland XXVI Human Services Day

Thursday, April 9

Executive Committee Meeting 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15 Tuesday, April 21

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

Board of Directors Meeting, Noon Lakeland Yacht and Country Club 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive

Thursday, April 23

Investment Committee Meeting, 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28

Watson Clinic hosts February’s Business After Hours
To showcase their newest building, Watson Clinic welcomed Chamber members by the hundreds to the February Business After Hours. The healthcare organization’s Bella Vista Building not only houses many existing services, but also introduces a medical spa to their range of expertise. The sleek new building was impressive, as was the staff as they gave tours and welcomed members to this great health care facility. Everyone was greeted at the door, and after a short elevator ride to the 3rd floor, saw a large display of delicious food including a palm tree made of fruit and a beautiful ice sculpture. Live music and many gift baskets for door prizes followed an explanation of what the current and future plans for the building would be by long time chamber supporter, Dr. Lou Saco. Thanks to everyone at Watson Clinic’s Bella Vista Building for a first class event!

ere were an abundance of door prizes to be given away.

A beautiful ice sculpture graced the table of hors d’oeuvres.

Dr. Louis Saco, Watson Clinic, LLP, accepts the plaque of appreciation.
No. 14

The February Business & Breakfast was hosted by the YMCA of West Central Florida at their 3620 Cleveland Heights Blvd location. Dr. Franklin Schultz, Webster College, gave an engaging presentation on Stress Management. Attendees were treated to a delicious breakfast and a relaxing environment in which to learn about stress management. Dr. Schultz clarified that our goal was not to eliminate stress, but to manage it. He gave us a four step process for dealing with stress and encouraged us to practice it daily. The very serious subject of stress (and the statistics about the damage it does to our bodies) was approached with an excellent balance of humor and relevant, helpful information. This Business & Breakfast event ushered in a new program for the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. In order to better serve our members, audio from our professional development events will be available for download from our Web site and as a Podcast through iTunes. Thanks to podcasts, even if you could not attend the February event you can get all the great information for yourself! If you would like to subscribe to this and future podcasts, you can search the iTunes store for “Lakeland at:

YMCA of West Central Florida hosts February’s Business & Breakfast
We are looking forward to your feedback regarding the chamber podcasts. If you have any questions or comments, please email Matthew Wengerd at:

Pictured above, aer a delicious breakfast, attendees listen to presentation by Dr. Schultz. Pictured le, Jack English, YMCA Chairman of the Board and Alice Collins, YMCA President and CEO welcome everyone.

Dr. Franklin Schultz, Webster University, presents program on Stress Management

Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine, Inc.
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine is proud to present LVIM's premier community event, The Lakeland Derby. Presented by Rooms to Go Children's Fund, The Lakeland Derby captures the thrill of a race and the purity of sports entertainment in a hometown setting. The true essence of the Derby is the reward of knowing the proceeds will support Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, a vital local charity. In honor of the city's symbol, the main event will feature ten impressive fiberglass swans racing on Lake Mirror. The beautiful handcrafted swans, each with their own company sponsored jockey, will race to the finish line as spectators enjoy the second annual Lakeland Derby. A post race V.I.P. dinner will recognize area physicians who have contributed their time and expertise to LVIM's mission. Fireworks will cap off the memorable inaugural event. The Lakeland Derby will be April 25, 2009 from 5 - 9pm at the Lake Mirror Amphitheater. For media and press inquiries contact Claudia Jordan at 863/688-5846 EXT. 118.

Baron Realty, Inc.
The space on South Florida Avenue that formerly housed Spec’s Music and FYE did not stay empty long according to Cory Petcoff, President of Lakeland based Baron Realty, a commercial brokerage firm that represents the space. Pet Supermarket, a Boca Raton based pet supply chain has signed a lease and will begin renovations as soon as permits are issued by the City.

Southeastern University
Southeastern University has named Tommy Barnett, co-founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center, author, and mega-church pastor, as its Transitional Chancellor. The date he will assume this role is yet to be determined. Mark Rutland was recently approved as Oral Roberts University’s next president. However, he will remain SEU’s President until July 1.

Henkelman Construction, Inc.
Henkelman Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Rob Hennessey to their Construction Management team. Mr. Hennessey is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a degree in Building Construction. He will work as a Project Engineer.

Douglass Screen Printers
Lisa Hickey of Douglass Screen Printers, Inc. attended the National Advisory Council Meeting hosted by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Ms. Hickey is the immediate past president of NAWBO. The meeting was an opportunity for women business owners to meet with NAWBO’s leadership and corporate partners to learn about NAWBO’s strategic plan and focus for 2009. NAWBO engages key stakeholders in the women business owned community to share insight and perspective on women’s entrepreneurships. Lisa Hickey was recently recognized as the Honorary Chair of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s Dessert First Dinner and Auction in Lakeland, Florida. Ms. Hickey actively participated on the Steering Committee for the dinner and her company was a corporate sponsor. During the auction, Ms. Hickey personally challenged the audience to pledge funding cases of Girl Scout cookies to be sent overseas to the military, and fifty-six cases of Girl Scout cookies were pledged.

ASC geosciences, inc.
D.S. “Sax” Saxena, CEO of ASC geosciences, inc. of Lakeland, Florida and a board certified diplomate of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE), was an invited speaker at their annual meeting held in Austin, TX. His lecture was titled “Forensic Engineering Geotechnical Analysis of Florida Sinkholes”.
No. 16

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

Florida Southern College
The 2008-2009 edition of "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges" will include 26 students from Florida Southern College who have been named among the nation's outstanding campus leaders. The students were chosen based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular

activities, and potential for continues success. Students named this year from Florida Southern College are as follows: Robyn B. Baker, Justin D. Bertsch, Timothy D. Brown, Erin E. Conroy, Rachel A. Cook, Christopher W. Corbin, David C. Dill, Margaret M. Drumm, Alexandra Gauthier, Elissa A. Graeser, Kelly A. Higgins, Jennifer L. High, Alyssa R. Huebner, Katie J. Jared, Melissa S. Kelly, Kaci E. Kohlhepp,

Whitney S. Lear, James B. Manning, Christina M. Martin, Mollie M. McCullough, Allison B. Mitchell, Phyllis A. Morgan, Robyn E. Pinder, Jessica N. Reidling, Tara V. Saco and Martha S. Yates. The Florida Southern College forensic team had their strongest showing of the season to date at the University of West Florida Marks Invitational held in Pensacola, Florida. Eight students participated in the competition, walking away with 14 individual wins and a third place team sweepstake award. Florida Southern College then hosted the 2009 Florida Interstate Forensic Association (FIFA) state championship Feb 13-15 and earned five top placements in the competition. This is the first year that the team has had more than one finalist. Seven members of the FSC team have qualified this year to compete at the National Forensic Association Championship in April, which will be held in Springfield, MO. This weeklong tournament features competition amongst more than 100 colleges and universities from across the nation. Florida Southern College was named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second year in a row for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. The award recognizes the college’s leadership in helping to build a culture of service and civic engagement on campus.

CPS Investment Advisors
Chas P. Smith, CPA/PFS, president of CPS Investment Advisors was a guest speaker for the Florida Public Pension Plan Trustee School in St. Augustine, FL. His topic was “Basics in Stock Investment”.

Lakeland Habitat for Humanity
Lakeland Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Claire Twomey was among participants from 1,600 U.S. affiliated organizations that attended Habitat for Humanity International's national conference held in January 2009. The theme of the event was "No Hands but Yours". Habitat for Humanity of Lakeland held their 2008 Volunteer Recognition Dinner and awarded David Adams Volunteer of the Year 2008. Joe & Sue Mayo and Murray Harrison received awards for Outstanding Volunteer.

Bank of Central Florida
Paul Noris, President and CEO of the Bank of Central Florida announced Akiko LaGesse has joined the bank as Vice President/Private Banking Officer. Ms. LaGesse was most recently a Premier Client Manager with Bank of America.

• Continued on Page 19

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


1755 N. Florida Avenue, Lakeland, 33805 • 863/904-4654

Watson Clinic | Bella Vista Building

2315 Commerce Point Drive, Ste 140 & 150, Lakeland, 33801 • 863/904-4620

Florida Blood Services

1040 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lakeland, 33803 • 863/698-2242

Just Joan's Historic Barber Shop

5125 S Lakeland Drive, Suite 3, Lakeland, 33813 • 863/701-9717

Evans & Hurlburt CPA's, PA

1625 S. Florida Ave, Lakeland, 33803 • 863/686-7333

Senior Helpers

PO Box 3918 Lakeland 33802 • 813/997-6160

Rainbow Coach


Special thanks to Mayor Buddy Fletcher, City Commissioner Glenn Higgins and all of the board members and chamber champions who truly make these ceremonies a special event.

No. 18

22nd Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast
The 22nd Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast was held on January 15 at the Lakeland Center. This sell-out event was hosted by the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. More than 600 Chamber members and guests gathered to hear the highly anticipated economic predictions for 2009 presented by Brian Wesbury and Dr. Tony Villamil. Brain Wesbury is a nationally known economist who comes to Lakeland annually for this event. Wesbury is the Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors, L.P. in Chicago, IL. This was the second year that Dr. Villamil presented at the Economic Forecast Breakfast. He is the Dean for the School of Business of St. Thomas University of Florida and the Principal Advisor, for the Washington Economics Group, Inc. in Coral Gables, FL.

As always, this event was a tremendous success and an exceptional opportunity for Chamber members to gain insight into the economic forecast for 2009.

Keith Albritton (Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.), Laura Hawley (Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.), Brian Wesbury (Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors, L.P.), Kathleen Munson (Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce), Dr. Tony Villamil (Dean for the School of Business of St. omas University of Florida and the Principal Advisor, for the Washington Economics Group, Inc.), Ralph Allen (Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.).

On the Move
• Continued from Page 17

Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center L.L.P.
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), a leading gastrointestinal medical society, has recognized Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center, Lakeland, Florida, as part of its new program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center’s Endoscopy Unit is one of 56 endoscopy units to be granted the recognition in 2009.

Perpetual technology Solutions
The Learning Center at Perpetual Technology Solutions (PTS), a leading provider of computer software and professional IT training, is proud to announce it now offers SharePoint consulting for organizations throughout Central Florida. Organizations use SharePoint to simplify compliance efforts and keep business information more secure through a comprehensive set of tools to manage and control electronic content. Hewlett Packard (HP) has named perpetual Technology Solutions as a Premier Authorized Support Partner. “The Premier Authorized Support Partner designation is in recognition of your company’s achievement in meeting the business and operational requirements that place you in the top 10 percent of our Authorized Support Partners.” Said Michael Tortorici, HP US East Partner Service Delivery Manager.

The market expansion of a leader in the pharmacy benefit industry will bring more than 100 new jobs to Lakeland in 2009. WellDyneRx opened their world-class pharmacy mail service facility on March 5, 2009. The creation of 100 new jobs in 2009 is just the beginning of the hiring cycle. WellDyneRx is forecasting to add an additional 578 jobs through the end of 2010.

Polk Community College
All of the recent graduates of Polk Community College’s Health Information management (HIM) program who took the Registered Health Information Technology (RHIT) credentialing exam passed on their first attempt. On average, PCC’s HIM graduates scored 97%. The HIM graduates also scored above the national average in 12 of the 14 content domains on the RHIT exam.

DRy cLEan ThE HuLa skiRT anD TunE ThE ukuLELE.
It’s time for the 10th annual
a Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours

Luau Downtown,

Featuring the 7th annual “King of the Wing” Contest

Local restaurants and caterers compete for the honor of “Best Chicken Wings” in Lakeland. • Live Entertainment • Beverages • Food Samples from Area Restaurants • Great Place for Networking

Thursday, April 23
Hosted “On the Deck” of:
Gold Sponsors: • Fun Bike Center Motorsports • Focus Magazine • Bernie Little Distributors

5:30-7:30 pm.

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

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

402 S. Kentucky Avenue
Silver Sponsor: • Party People Celebration Co. Patron Sponsors: • Signs & Specialties, Inc. • Southside Package & Lounge

$10 Chamber Member - $30 Non-Member

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