this issue

Small Business of the Month: See who received the plaque for this monthly award. Page 5

Winners Announced: The winners of the 19th Annual Lakeland Chamber Scramble are announced. Page 16

Board Retreat: Frank Lloyd Wright visits annual Board Retreat Page 17

Buy Lakeland. It makes good cents! • visit


Have we seen the end? Is the worst behind us? Is the economy really rebounding? And what will Florida’s new, recovered economy look like once the dust settles?
Mark your calendars NOW because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to hear the latest economic predictions for 2010.

December 2009
Vol. XIX, No.12

us to offer his perspective on the future growth and economic potential of Polk County and the Central Florida region. Robert DON’T MISS OUT Lang has made a strong The Lakeland Chamber RESERVE TICKETS NOW mark as one of America’s of Commerce and Allen pre-eminent experts on & Company will host the the many faces - urban, 2010 ECONOMIC 23rd Annual Economic suburban and exurban – FORECAST BREAKFAST Forecast Breakfast at the of physical and population Lakeland Center on growth across North Thursday, January 14, 2010 January 14th. America. An urban 7:00 – 9:00 AM planning and policy The Lakeland Center Back by popular demand, expert, Dr. Lang focuses Brian Wesbury will offer on suburban studies; his perspective on the national economy. demographic and spatial analysis; metropolitan Mr. Wesbury is one of America’s prominent governance; the “built environment”; and economists and economic forecasters. He is other issues of environmental psychology. He the Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors is a director of the Metropolitan Institute at L.P., a financial services firm based in Lisle, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Illinois and serves on the Board of Advisors University and is research director for the to First Trust Capital Partners, an affiliated Brookings Mountain West Initiative with private-equity firm. Brian is a monthly the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. contributor for the American Spectator magazine and regularly published in the Wall To reserve tickets, call (863/688-8551, x228) Street Journal, and has been a CNBC or email Christine Murphy at contributor since 2007. Tickets are $25. You can also complete the ticket order New to our event, Dr. Robert Lang will join form found in this month’s FORUM insert.



Save the Date for the 64th Annual Tiger BBQ February 25, 2010 More information to follow online: and in your January 2010 FORUM FOR BUSINESS!

ALSO INSIDE: Upcoming Events • Chamber Accreditation • Ribbon Cuttings • Members on the Move

City of Lakeland runoff election set for Tuesday, Dec. 8
The City of Lakeland municipal election was held Tuesday, November 3rd. Voters re-elected Commissioner Howard Wiggs in the Lakeland At Large Seat 1 race and elected Don Selvage as a newly seated Commissioner in the Lakeland Southwest District C seat. The Chamber extends our congratulations to both Commissioner Wiggs and soon-to-be Commissioner Selvage! A runoff election is scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2009 to decide the Mayoral race and the Lakeland Northwest District A seat. The ballot will also include the special election for the Lakeland Southeast District D seat. The City of Lakeland Mayoral ballot includes Gow Fields and Jim Verplanck. Clarence Grier, Sr. and Phillip Walker will also compete in a runoff election to determine who will represent the NW District A seat on the Commission. Incumbent Commissioner Edie Yates and Patrick Jones will face each other in a special election for the SE District D seat scheduled for December 8th. Please remember to stress the importance of the December 8th elections to your friends, family and colleagues. This is a crucial election that will determine the path our City takes the next several years. Be heard on December 8th, VOTE. The entire November 3, 2009 Election Summary Report for the Lakeland Municipal Election is available on the Polk County Supervisor of Elections web site at

Thank You to Retiring Officers and Directors
The Chamber would like to recognize the following members of the executive committee and board of directors as they retire from service. Each has contributed unselfishly of their time, leadership and commitment to the Chamber and its members.

Dr. Marshall Goodman

University of South Florida Polytechnic Board of Directors, 2006-2009

Keith Albritton

Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. Vice Chair – Membership Development, 2005-2006 Vice Chair – Communications, 2008 Board of Directors, 2004-2009

Andy Hernandez

MIDFLORIDA Real Estate Sales, LLC Board of Directors, 2007-2009

Timothy F. Campbell

Clark, Campbell, Mawhinney & Lancaster, P.A. Vice Chair – Public Affairs, 2005 Vice Chair – Education & Public Policy, 2006 Chair-elect, 2007 Chairman of the Board, 2008 Immediate Past Chair, 2009 Board of Directors, 2003-2009 Chairman, Lakeland Area Chamber Foundation, Inc., 2009

Dr. Eileen Holden

Polk State College Board of Directors, 2007-2009

Mark Miller

Mayor Ralph L. “Buddy” Fletcher
City of Lakeland Board of Directors, 1997-2009

GrayRobinson, P.A. General Counsel, 2006 Board of Directors, 2006-2009

Paul Noris

Anu Saxena Chairman of the Board

Volume Information: December 2009 • Vol. XIX, No. 12 Kathleen L. Munson Publisher & President

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Forum For Business Monthly

Bank of Central Florida Vice Chair - Membership Development, 2004 Vice Chair – Internal Infrastructure, 2005 Chair-elect, 2006 Chairman of the Board, 2007 Immediate Past Chair, 2008 Board of Directors, 2002-2009 Chairman, Lakeland Area Chamber Foundation, Inc., 2008

Aaron Bates Managing Editor

Kingston Partners Design

No. 2

Lakeland Chamber Awarded Prestigious 5-Star Accreditation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently announced that the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce has been awarded its 40-Year Accreditation with a 5-Star rating. Less than 1% out of more than 7,000 chambers in the country have achieved this highest level of accreditation ranking. “We are extremely proud to be awarded our 40-year accreditation with Five-Star rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Accreditation is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and offers an excellent measurement tool for chambers of commerce to achieve the highest standards of organizational excellence in representing their member businesses and communities,” said Lakeland Chamber President Kathleen Munson. “Achieving the highest level of accreditation is a tribute to the outstanding leadership of our Chamber volunteer leaders and professional staff, who unselfishly contribute their time and talent to make Lakeland such a tremendous place to live and work.” The Accreditation program with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce defines organizational excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities. In order to achieve accreditation rating, chambers undergo a comprehensive evaluation in nine areas: governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, communications, technology, facilities and benchmarking. To successfully complete the accreditation application, Chairman of the Board Anu Saxena (ASC geosciences, inc.) appointed an Accreditation Review Task Force to lead the Chamber through the evaluation process. The Chamber would like to recognize the following leaders who worked with staff for more than six months to successfully complete the application: Chair...................................Melinda Harrison (Watson Clinic LLP) Governance .......................................................Timothy F. Campbell (Clark, Campbell, Mawhinney and Lancaster, P.A.) Finance ....................................................................Walker Wilkerson (The NCT Group, CPAs, LLP) Human Resources ............................................................Don Selvage (SHR Human Resources, LLC) Government Affairs ..................................................Mark E. Wilson (Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.) Program Development.............Maureen Shaw (Flower Cart Florist) Communication ................................................................Sam Nimah (Southern Wine and Spirits of Florida) Technology...........................Todd Baylis (Cipher Integrations, Inc.) Facilities............................................Joe L. Ruthven (The Ruthvens) Benchmarking ........................Paul Noris (Bank of Central Florida) The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,800 businesses in the Greater Lakeland area. The Chamber was first accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1968, and has successfully achieved its accreditation every five years since then.



Increase Your Business Potential in the New Year!

Each year, the Chamber offers it’s members the outstanding opportunity to meet and greet up to 20 businesses! Hats Off to Chamber Members has been scheduled for January 26, 2010. Please volunteer to deliver the 2010 Membership Materials to 20+ companies… it’s a perfect way to meet local business owners and provide assistance to the Chamber at the same time! Make sure you reserve your spot- there are a limited number of spaces available! Please call Terry Ottinger at 863/688-8551, Ext 231 for more details and to volunteer.

No. 4


Small Business of the Month Award presented
Creative Refinishing has been serving Lakeland and Central Florida area for almost thirty years with the finest quality antique restoration and wood refinishing. Through hard work and dedication Wayne Small has built a full service facility for furniture restoration. Wayne Small got started in the furniture restoration business in 1978. He came to Lakeland to attend Southeastern Bible College in 1977. After a year and a half, he began praying about a career and met a gentleman at church that owned “The Craftsman” a furniture restoration business and Wayne went to work with him for $3/hour. It was evident that Wayne was very talented, but lacked business skills. In three months he invested as a full partner and they remained partners for three years before he ventured out on his own starting Creative Refinishing. Located at 1041 East Rose Street, Creative Refinishing is the only full service antique restoration and wood refinishing company in Lakeland. They are able to provide just about any service related to furniture restoration. Wayne and his five employees restore wood furniture which includes repairs, refinishing, and fabrication of new parts, color touch-up/matching, chair caning and weaving. They also repair water damaged furniture. Creative Refinishing has superlative experience in applying all types of finishes. They use the best spray equipment in a dust free environmentally safe spray booth. Creative Refinishing believes in strong ethics, honesty and quality. 70% of Creative Refinishing customers are referred and 75% are repeat customers. When the final product is delivered or picked up the customers typically praise Wayne and his staff for the quality of their workmanship. Creative Refinishing believes in using traditional woodworking techniques and high quality finishing that will last for generations. Their service allows their customers to continue to use and enjoy their furniture for years to come. Lakeland is fortunate that Wayne Small is committed to quality and pride in the restoration of wood furniture and being one of the best in our community. We recognize his dedication by naming Creative Refinishing Small Business of the Month for November.

Creative Refinishing Wayne Small 1041 E. Rose Street Lakeland, FL 33801 863/688-8400 Phone 863/688-8404 Fax

November winner

Small Business of the Month Award Committee Member, Tim Jackson (NuJak Companies) presents the November Small Business of the Month Award to Wayne Small of Creative Refinishing. Also present to accept the award was (l-r) Abigail White, Ellery Cermeno, David Whitaker & Wendell Harris.

Apron’s Event ‘full-filling’ success
The United Way/EMERGE Apron’s Event on the evening of October 22nd proved to be fun, informative, and full-filling (in more ways than one). The event, held at Lone Palm, provided a wonderful opportunity for networking by the over 70 individuals in attendance including many EMERGE and United Way Young Leaders Society members. Chef Mick Grimes of Publix Apron’s showed his expertise as he demonstrated the preparation of the wonderful meal enjoyed by attendees. We owe our thanks to Mike Larson and Mark Bailey of Constellation Wines U.S. for their amazing selection of an accompanying Wine pared to each course. Lone Palm proved once again to be a most excellent venue for this annual event with Wayne Rath and his wonderful staff. Voted as one of the most favored EMERGE events – It is sure to be a “Do Not Miss Event” in 2010.

By Steve Madden President of Madden

Plan a better marketing strategy for 2010
content online. Make sure you are right in the middle of these online conversations. 6. Do I have a defined sales process? When you do things in the correct frequency and volume, results are predictable and measurable. 7. What are my competitors doing? In this economy, competitors may have left the marketplace. Be prepared to grab their market share with sound strategies. 8.Does my brand do a good job of portraying my company’s offering, culture and personality? Keep your brand in fighting shape – it may be time for a facelift. Start 2010 with a fresh commitment to your organization and a comprehensive marketing strategy that defines objectives and guides decision-making. Madden is a brand identity company specializing in strategic marketing, advertising, creative services, promotional products and branded apparel.

As 2009 comes to a close, now is a good time to take an inventory of your sales and marketing efforts. Review what you have executed over the past year and summarize the results. If your business is going to grow through this period, you need to adapt to the times. This means analyzing your sales and marketing strategy to ensure it still meets the needs of your market. Consumers are more savvy than ever before and to gain their attention, you have to make sure you are speaking their language when and where they want to hear it. Ask yourself these 8 questions and plan for results… 1. What is causing sales to happen in my organization? Identify these methods and do more of it. 2. Who are my best customers? Recognize

your current customers and they will reward you with continued loyalty. 3. What defines my ideal customer: frequency, profitability, location, industry? These customers may represent a vertical market for your company to pursue. 4. What am I currently doing to drive traffic to my website? Simple activities can produce greater site activity. Does your site motivate the consumer to take action? 5. Am I managing my online reputation? With the soaring popularity of social media, consumers are creating and sharing their experiences, opinion and

The New Member Reception got off to a great start as host sponsor Texas Cattle Company, located at 735 Main Street, brought out the delicious appetizers! New members networked and met with Chamber Champions to start them on the right path with their new endeavor. Presenting Sponsor Riverside Bank welcomed new members and offered a professional 30second commercial to help the new members create and deliver their own. Each new member was introduced to the group and

Texas Cattle Company hosts New Member Reception
business cards were exchanged. New Member Receptions are often the start of long-lasting relationships between members, and the crowd at Texas Cattle Company was eager to meet, share and get involved. Thanks to Texas Cattle Company for the warm and relaxed environment and the great food and thanks to Presenting Sponsor Riverside Bank for their continued support of the event and their willingness to help and serve new members.

New members listen as Chamber staff bring them up to date on programs and events available through their Chamber membership
No. 6

Chrissy Schaff, Riverside National Bank and Liz Craven of Pro-Ad Media networking.

No. 8

20+ Years Renewals

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

1952 -57 Years Badcock Home Furniture & more 1970 - 39 Years Gore's, Inc. 1971 - 38 Years The Nissen Group, LLC 1973 - 36 Years Straughn Trout Architects, LLC 1974 - 35 Years McGee Tire Stores, Inc. Florida Analytical, Inc. 1975 - 34 Years Florida Baptist Childrens'' Homes, Inc. 1978 - 31 Years Craig W. Valentine, D.M.D., P.A. 1980 - 29 Years SCMH Architects, Inc. Atlantic Filter of Polk County, Inc. 1983 - 26 Years Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, P.A. 1985 - 24 Years Bella Vista Manor & Vista Villas 1986 - 23 Years Lakeland Downtown Development Authority American Cancer Society Daryl A. Johnson, CPA R. Cline, Inc. Fun Bike Center Motorsports 1988 - 21 Years Town & Country Termite & Pest Control, Inc. 1989 - 20 Years Imperial Symphony Orchestra Mail Processing Associates, Inc. Action Home Care, Inc. Radio Training Network, Inc. Cannon's Appliance Service Jeffrey Reese Coffman, C.P.A. Wal-Mart Super Center #01-1245 Keller Williams Realty-Carolinas 15-Year Renewals Hickman Homes, Inc. Tapatios Restaurante Mexicano, Inc. Stinson's Home Design Center Comfort Inn & Suites Highland Park Church of the Nazarene 10-Year Renewals Carlton Arms of North Lakeland John Hancock Financial Network Southland Suites of Lakeland Madden Alternative Business Solutions Mobility America Save-A-Lot Food Stores 5-Year Renewals Superior Business Technologies, Inc Maid By Elizabeth

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


1st Priority Staffing LLC
4100 Frontage Road S Ste 111 Lakeland, FL 33815-3203 (863) 937-9170 Fax: (863) 614-0054 Cathy Ward-Bolger Employment Contractors

Chiropractic Center of Lakeland - South
5227 US Highway 98 S Lakeland FL 33812 PO Box 1417 Highland City, FL 33846-1417 (863) 709-1600 Dr. Michael Stratton Chiropractic Physicians

Mid Florida Villas

AFLAC/Les Middleton
5133 S Lakeland Dr Ste 3 Lakeland, FL 33813-2622 (863) 899-8458 Edward L. Middleton Insurance

Darby Law Group, P.A.

14344 Evans Ranch Rd Lakeland, FL 33809-9769 (863) 816-2574 (866) 387-4435 Fax: (863) 816-2639 Andrew & Bernadette Gilchrist Property Management

Anston-Greenlees, Inc.

1315 W Fletcher Ave Tampa, FL 33612-3310 (813) 963-1919 Fax: (813) 963-2815 Rob Anston, P.E. Bill Greenlees, P.E. Engineers - Electrical/Mechanical

500 S Florida Ave Ste 30 Lakeland 33801 PO Box 2971 Lakeland, FL 33806-2971 (863) 683-7400 Fax: (863) 683-7445 Ben Darby Attorneys

Richard Pahucki

4469 Fairway Oaks Dr Mulberry, FL 33860-8598 (863) 425-2868 Richard L. Pahucki Consulting Services

Elite Pursuit Investigations
PO Box 92415 Lakeland, FL 33804-2415 (863) 904-5936 Fax: (863) 904-5936 L. C. Jones Investigative Services

Ricky Lee Insurance

5131 S Florida Ave Ste 7 & 8 Lakeland, FL (863) 797-6107 (863) 248-4161 Barbara Beasley Ian McIntosh, LMT Kathleen Nowak Massage Therapy Lakeland, FL 33810-2678 (863) 660-5373 Fax: (863) 853-2766 Cynthia Cavanah Dave Wakefield Telecommunications

Body & Soul Massage Therapy & Wellness Center

2031 E Edgewood Dr Ste 1 Lakeland 33803 PO Box 2956 Lakeland, FL 33806-2956 (863) 816-5828 Ricky Lee Insurance

CD Communications

4798 S Florida Ave PMB 184 Lakeland, FL 33813-2181 (863) 521-4164 Elizabeth Willers Jock R. Willers Leadership/Team Building

The FALLS Adventure, Inc.

TLC Engineering for Architecture
874 Dixon Blvd Cocoa, FL 32922-5809 (321) 636-0274 Fax: (321) 639-8986 Matthew Craig Engineers - Structural

3010 Knights Station Rd Lakeland, FL 33810-2515 (863) 937-3645 Fax: (863) 937-9262 Neil Combee Lewis King Produce

Indian Summer Farms

Truly Nolen of America
1023 S Florida Ave Lakeland, FL 33803-1117 (863) 683-7378 Fax: (863) 686-8197 Ted Horton Pest Control

No. 10

The SPCA’s Campus of Kindness is visited by hundreds of animal lovers every day – adopting orphaned animals and utilizing our full-service animal medical center. Over 8,000 dogs and cats enter our adoption center every year, and the animal medical center serves the pets in our care and public pet owners, too. You can get involved by adopting, volunteering, fostering animals, inviting us to your next event or even using our animal medical center for your next veterinary visit. The SPCA is not funded by any national parent organization, such as the ASPCA. Our pets rely on your generosity every day.

hem s. t o t ve t o u e gi gi v We n yo u e wh • 863.646.7722
No. 12

During the month of October, our Visitor Information Center assisted hundreds of individuals, answering questions pertaining to Chamber member businesses and the Lakeland community. Walk-in Visitors..................................333 Relocation Response Mailings................9 Relocation Response (Walk In).............17 Accommodations...................................1 Winter Accommodations .......................3 Visitor Information Mailings ................ 36 Visitor Center E-mail Inquiries.............122


Thursday, December 10
Business & Breakfast, 7:30 AM Estates at Carpenters 1001 Carpenters Way


Business After Hours, 5:30 PM Fifth Third Bank & Stone Center 2205 E. Edgewood Dr.

Thursday, December 17

Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25
Chamber Closed in Observance of Christmas Holidays

Thursday, December 31
Chamber Closed for New Year’s Eve holiday Noon

Chamber Closed for New Year’s Day

Friday, January 1

Wednesday, December 9
Government Affairs, 8:00 AM


BusinessVoice, 9:00 AM
Executive Committee Meeting 4:00 PM Lakeland Yacht and Country Club 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive

Thursday, December 10
Leadership Lakeland XXVII County Government Day

EMERGE Lakeland Steering Committee Meeting, 3:45 PM

Tuesday, December 15

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

Wednesday, December 16

On October 6, the Catalyst Volunteers, led by Chair Nancy Cattarius (WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio) celebrated a victorious 10 week campaign by announcing a total of $291, 268 in Chamber sponsorship and advertising support. Congratulations to our volunteers! Nancy Cattarius, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio....$37,205 Phil Wegman, Furr & Wegman Architects, PA ..............$32,645 Mary McQueen, McQueen Marketing, LLC....................$29,565 Victor Rodriguez, Lakeland Regional Medical Center .....$24,853 Kathy Wallen, The NCT Group CPAs ............................$20,425 Cindy Green, Furr & Wegman Architects, PA ................$17,045 Sarah Case, JSK Consulting, Inc. .....................................$13,250 Brian Yates, CenterState Bank .........................................$12,780 Tom Eleazer, Florida Lifestyle Communities.....................$10,320 Jennifer Vaughn, Bank of Central Florida ..........................$7,380 Kathryn Koch O'Malley, Lanier Upshaw............................$7,295 Faye Sanders, Allen & Company of Florida .......................$6,100 Johnathan Crain, Two Men and a Truck ............................$5,045 Bryan Mau, CPS Investment Advisors ...............................$3,750 Thomas Lee, Allen & Company of Florida ........................$1,810 Krista Gospodinova, SunTrust Bank...................................$1,000 Steve Brechue, Lakeland Regional Medical Center..............$420 And for the support of corporate teams: Watson Clinic....................................................................$22,360 Catalyst Campaign Staff....................................................$19,270 Publix Super Markets, Inc .................................................$10,000 GEICO.................................................................................$7,000 Riverside Bank.....................................................................$1,750

Catalyst Campaign Closes with $291,268…

The Catalyst Campaign, the relationships that are formed, the opportunities to build business, and the progress for our community would not be possible without the support of the following companies:

No. 14

Trees Planted at Lake Mirror
• 2010 Chamber Board Chair Joe L. Ruthven•

2009 Chamber Annual Meeting
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:30 pm The Lakeland Center • Your invitation will be mailed this month!

This year, Catalyst Volunteers and Staff worked hard to design a green campaign. From organic foods and biodegradable party ware to the elimination of paper correspondence, everyone was in on the “Growing Green” initiative. In support of continued green space efforts at the City, 11 Chamber members also joined in by supporting the new Florida-friendly maples planted at Lake Mirror. Those Chamber members are:


Stop by the Chamber to see the renewable bamboo plaque that was created in honor of these fabulous sponsors!



The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be working with Target Marketing to produce a 2010 Lakeland Map this month, which will offer multiple affordable advertising opportunities for our members.

No. 15

19th Annual Bright House Chamber Scramble

1st Place Net Winner - Bank of Central Florida/Allen & Company Team L to R, Jimmy Waller, Guy Hill, Paul Noris, Mike Ryan, Sam Nimah, not pictured Fred Lopez 1st Place Gross Winner - Bright House Team L to R, Teddy Koukoulis, Dr. Richard Radocha, MD, Brian Bierwagen, Jack Myers, Drew Gillan and Jim Elswick.

Chairman Mike LaPan—having fun emceeing the Mid-Florida Awards Reception for the Bright House Scramble!

No. 16

Chamber holds board planning retreat
The Chamber’s Board of Directors took part in a very productive strategic planning retreat on October 2-3, at Florida Southern College (FSC). Directors voted to hold their retreat in Lakeland this year to support the “Buy Lakeland” campaign and to patronize local restaurants. Special thanks to FSC President Anne Kerr for generously allowing the Chamber to host our retreat on the FSC campus and for providing directors a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the exciting growth and restoration that is taking place there. As Chair-elect, Joe L. Ruthven (The Ruthvens) presided over the two-day planning session. On Friday morning, Maria Brous (Publix Super Markets, Inc.) presented highlights from the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s recent cornerstone report, “A Vision for Florida in 2030”. The report outlines six economic drivers that will position Florida as a global market leader. The presentation served as an excellent foundation for the strategic planning discussions during the retreat. During the Friday retreat session, Board members heard from the following Vice Chairs of the Chamber’s KSI (Key Strategic Issues) strategy groups that have met over the past six months to develop long-term goals tied to the Chamber’s strategic plan: Communications ..............................................................Sam Nimah (Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida) Education............................................................................Alice Hunt (Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc.) Organization Advancement..................................Melinda Harrison (Watson Clinic LLP) Public Policy....................................................................Mark Wilson (Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.) Smart Community ...........................................................Hugh Autry (Lakeland Regional Medical Center) On Friday evening, board members and their guests boarded buses and headed to four member restaurants located throughout the city. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed patronizing some of the excellent restaurants we have in Lakeland. On Saturday, directors worked in breakout sessions to prioritize KSI goals to implement in the Chamber’s strategic plan. Chair-elect Ruthven will now work with 2010 KSI Vice Chairs and staff to form strategy groups made up of board members to develop measurable goals to carry out the Chamber’s vision and mission. The Chamber would like to extend special thanks to the following sponsors for hosting this year’s retreat: Chairman’s Circle – Retreat Sponsor The Ruthvens – Luncheon Host Bank of Central Florida – Reception Host

Chamber Directors Don Bosko, Tony Martinez, Mark Wilson, Gary Cassard, Patrick Fagan and Stacy Campbell-Domineck participate in one of the several breakout sessions held in the McKay Archives Center during the retreat.

Pictured above: Chair-elect Joe L. Ruthven leads retreat discussion. Pictured le: e famous architect “Frank Lloyd Wright” (wonderfully portrayed by a FSC theater student) welcomes retreat attendees to Florida Southern College. e campus has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in the world.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Lakeland & Mulberry Pleased to honor with Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Service to Youth Awards: • Senator Paula Dockery - Outstanding Public Service; • Tim McCausland, City of Lakeland - 20 years; • Don Barclay, Rib Crib - 30 years; • Gene Strickland, Retired City of Lakeland - 40 years. Merit Awards: • John Burton, Sun-N-Fun • Leonard Mass, Drummond Company, Inc.

Lone Palm Golf Club Lone Palm is proud to announce new Executive Chef, David Jelenc. David joins us from the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota where he served briefly after a 15 year tenure at the former El Conquistador Country Club in Bradenton.

Shield Security Systems, Inc. We've changed our company name to 24/7 Shield Security & More since we offer more than just security systems, and we wanted to provide piece of mind to our customers knowing they are protected 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Alliance for Independence Proud to announce that Ashley Hall, AFI Communications Coordinator, has been elected to serve as Vice President of the North Lakeland Kiwanis Club for the 2009 – 2010 year. Ashley will also serve as the Public Relations Chair during this year. St. Joseph’s Academy St. Joseph’s School is now St. Joseph’s Academy (Preschool - 8th grade) and is located at 310 McDonald Street in the Historic Lake Morton District (former Southside Baptist facility). The new campus sits on 4.5 acres and has more than 66,000 square feet. The Mahoney Group, Inc. Maria Mahoney, President of The Mahoney Group, Inc. a Lakeland, Florida commercial real estate brokerage company recently attended the National Economic Summit for Women Business Owners and the WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy) Annual Legislative Meeting in Washington DC. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Presents the launch of the first-ever international home search application for iPhoneTM and AndroidTM-powered devices. The application literally puts homes in the hands of potential buyers and brings up instant information and property photos on the spot. Lanier Upshaw, Inc. Proud to announce that Mark J. (Josh) Szponar has joined the agency as Commercial Lines Risk Consultant.
No. 18

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

CPS Investment Advisors Bryan Mau, Regional Director of Retirement Services for CPS Investment Advisors was selected 2009 New Resident “Who’s Who of Central Florida”. Bryan was selected for his numerous hours volunteering for many different not-forprofit organizations and serves on several boards in the area. Pleased to announce that Jorge Rivera has joined the firm as Staff Accountant. Rubber & Accessories, Inc. Pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Bradford Merkel to its Outside Sales Staff. Senior Helpers Jorge Giraldo, MBA, CSA and CEO of Senior Helpers of Polk County recently joined the Board of Directors for Polk Family Caregivers. Polk Family Caregivers connects caregivers to the vital information and resources in the Polk County community.

Achievement Academy 2009 – 2011 Board members were installed: Randy Hollen, Bank of Central Florida-President, Adam Airth, Putnam, Creighton & Airth, PA-1st Vice President, Michael Peeples, Southern Homes- 2nd Vice President, Gilit Kontny, GG Graphic Designs-Member, Lynette Mitchell-Parent Representative. Central Florida Eye Associates/ Jay Mulaney, MD Dr. Jay Mulaney published a paper in the European Journal of Ophthalmology (Vol. 18) titled "Comparison of daytime efficacy and safety of dorzolamide / timolol maleate fixed combination versus latanoprost". J.Mulaney, S. Sonty, J.A. Stewart, W.C. Stewart. Straughn Trout Architects, LLC Is pleased to announce that Tim Hoeft and Aaron Banks were recognized in the AIA Tampa Bay’s “40 Under 40” exhibition. This event features forty images of built and theoretical projects from those 40 years of age or under.

Watson Clinic LLP Cardiologist John G. Canto, MD, MSPH, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FASE, was the senior author of a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which has received national recognition by renowned news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. Bright House Networks For the second year in a row, J.D. Power and Associates announced that Bright House Networks ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the South region as a result of the 2009 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM . The results of the study showed Bright House Networks Road Runner service having the highest overall performance in cost of service; customer service; and billing.


$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:

Members gather for October Business After Hours
Arbor Glen and Two Men and a Truck teamed up to host the October Business After Hours. It was a showcase of Chamber members, as Fresco’s Bakery & Bistro, Southside Package & Lounge, Outback Steakhouse, Tapatio’s Restaurante Mexicano, Chili’s, Hooter’s, Beef O Brady’s, Ciao Bella, Moe's Southwest Grill, Pipo’s Café, Subway, Smokey Bones, Regal Automotive Group and Dillard’s offered food, drink and door prizes for guests. Arbor Glen staff took members on a tour of the models available and encouraged everyone to register to win an

autographed Derrick Brooks football or fragrance gift basket from Dillard’s. The weather was warm, but the networking was hot, as members shared prospects and learned about fellow members. The Chamber’s “on call” sound guy, Ken Williams of Center Door Productions, provided a wonderful sound system, despite a little rain and preparations for Friday’s Lake Mirror Classic concert. Congratulations to Arbor Glen & Two Men and a Truck – small businesses working together!

e staff of Arbor Glen accepts the Plaque of Appreciation.

Door prizes always bring the crowd to attention.

Members network and exchange business cards

Jonathon Crain accepts the Plaque of Appreciation for Two Men and a Truck

No. 20

Habitat for Humanity hosts October Business & Breakfast
The October Business & Breakfast made its annual trip to Lakeland Habitat for Humanity ReStore located at 1317 George Jenkins Blvd. Claudia Tritton, Business Development Director at the Lakeland Economic Development Council brought members up to date on the economic growth of Lakeland and the surrounding area. The LEDC’s attention to attracting diverse businesses and high-skill high-wage jobs has lessened the impact of the recent economic conditions for the City. Showcasing new buildings and relocating businesses, Claudia’s presentation offered a positive look at Lakeland and

the commitment of local companies to building strong businesses and supporting a strong community. Statistical trends show promise as Lakeland and Polk county look to a brighter future and hopefully, a quick recovery. Lakeland Habitat for Humanity Executive Director, Claire Twomey shared information on new partnerships and opportunities for the community to get involved in building safe, affordable homes. Many thanks to Lakeland Habitat for Humanity, its staff and board of directors, for a wonderful breakfast, and a beautiful event setting!

Becky Bywater welcomes everyone to Lakeland Habitat for Humanity

Claudia Tritton, Lakeland Economic Development Council, brings everyone up to date on Lakeland’s business community.

Chamber wishes fond farewell to Mary Stevenson

On November 24th, after 19 years of service, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce said a fond farewell to one of its longest tenured staff members, Mary Stevenson. If you have joined the Chamber during the last 19 years, Mary has probably processed your membership application, made updates to your membership account, or answered your membership questions. You’ve seen her smiling face at Business After Hours, the Luau and a host of other Chamber events. A loyal and tireless employee, Mary epitomizes the dedication that makes the Lakeland Chamber so great. Congratulations and Best Wishes to Mary and her husband John, who is also retiring, as they fulfill their plans to travel and spend time with their family and especially grandchildren. Thanks, Mary, from all of the Chamber members and especially the staff for a job well done.

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


5729 S Florida Ave • Lakeland, FL 33813 863/701-9411 •

Flooring America of Lakeland

1015 S Florida Ave • Lakeland, FL 33803 863/682-2300 •

DC’S Sports Bar

3730 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Suite 2 Lakeland, FL 33803 863/395-4815 •

Navesys Incorporated

5925 Imperial Parkway, Suite 102 •Mulberry, FL 33860 863/647-1679 •

Property Management & Realty Innovations, Inc.


Special thanks to Mayor Buddy Fletcher, Commissioner Glenn Higgins, Commissioner Jim Verplanck, Commissioner Justin Troller and all of the board members and Chamber Champions who truly make these ceremonies a special event.
No. 22

4310 US Hwy 98 N • Lakeland, FL 33809 863/253-2050 •

AT&T Mobility

3710 DMG Drive • Lakeland, FL 33811 863/860-0491 •

U.S. Security Associates

Trinity Medical Center/Nite Owl Urgent Care
3242 S Florida Ave • Lakeland, FL 33803 863/646-4000 •

750 Hollingsworth Road • Lakeland, FL 33801-5818 863/499-2855 •

Harrison School for the Arts


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17 • 5:30 TO 7:30 P.M.

$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.

Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

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

Return Service Requested




Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful