Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM receives 2020 CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Award for Excellence in Customer Experience

Tony Reeves with Award


Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM today announced that it has received the honor of being named a 2020 CarGurus Top Rated Dealer. The CarGurus Top Rated Dealer awards are given to car dealerships that have received the highest average review ratings from shoppers who have submitted dealership reviews on the CarGurus platform. CarGurus uses verified dealership ratings along with other factors like pricing analytics to help shoppers search for a great deal on a vehicle.

“We are thrilled to recognize Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM as a 2020 Top Rated Dealer,” Ashley Karr, Vice President of B2B Marketing at CarGurus. “Customer reviews are at the core of CarGurus’ transparent shopping experience and is a part of why shoppers have come to trust us. The Top-Rated Dealer program gives dealerships like Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM the opportunity to showcase their customer service excellence, and we applaud their high standards.”

“Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM is honored to be named a CarGurus Top Rated Dealer in 2020, this award is an unbiased testament to the outstanding service that our customers experience,” said Tony Reeves, general manager of the dealership. In the years to come, we will continue to provide our customers with the same level of excellence that earned us this industry accolade.”

CarGurus invites shoppers to review and rate dealerships with whom they have interacted during their car shopping experience on the CarGurus platform. Dealer ratings and reviews are visible to the public on the site, and they are also factored in the algorithm that CarGurus uses to rank search results for shoppers.

About CarGurus

Founded in 2006, CarGurus (Nasdaq: CARG) is a global, online automotive marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of new and used cars. The Company uses proprietary technology, search algorithms and data analytics to bring trust and transparency to the automotive search experience and help users find great deals from top-rated dealers. CarGurus is the most visited automotive shopping site in the U.S. To learn more about CarGurus, visit www.cargurus.com.

About the Mahalak Auto Group (MAG): Ralph Mahalak Sr. opened his auto dealership in Monroe, Michigan in 1966. He was dedicated to providing reliable products and services to his community. In 1991, he handed over his business skills and motivation to his four sons, Ralph Jr, Mike, JP, and Alex. Now, the four brothers run six different family owned and operated dealerships committed to their communities. Four of which are in Florida; Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram of Winter Haven, Alfa Romeo Fiat of Winter Haven, Posner Park Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat in Davenport. In 2013, MAG purchased the Sorenson Schade Chrysler dealership in Lake Wales and re-named it Lake Wales Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM. In Monroe MI, the Monroe Superstore sells Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and RAM. The Buckeye Superstore in Shelby OH, sells Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, RAM and Fiat.

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SEU Releases Learning Series to Assist Parents During COVID-19 Pandemic

LAKELAND, Fla. – Today Southeastern University released “Going Remote,” a five-part learning series to help the millions of parents across the nation who are now faced with helping their school-aged children with learning from home. 

The free videos provide tips and encouragement from two SEU professors of education, Dr. Janet Deck and Dr. Sarah Yates. Together, the professors have more than 30 years of teaching experience. They have not only homeschooled their own children, but they have taught in the public school system in addition to currently teaching in the College of Education at SEU.

Each episode addresses helpful anecdotes and learning strategies to incorporate at home for each level of learning, from pre-K through high school. 

Professors in the College of Education wanted to provide assistance and encouragement to families navigating this uncertain time.

Deck assures parents, “You can do it! You have been teaching your kids since the day they were born. You may not have experience teaching in a formal educational setting, but natural learning is the best kind.”

The videos can be accessed at SEU.edu/parentconnection.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Deck or Dr. Yates, contact Dana Davis, chief communications officer, at dcdavis@seu.edu or 863.712.1997.




Polk State College to continue all classes online through summer 2020

Friday, March 27, 2020 — Polk State College will continue all classes online through the Summer 2020 Semester to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The College suspended instruction on March 16 and will resume all classes, including dual enrollment and Polk State’s three collegiate high schools, online on Monday, March 30, for the remainder of the Spring 2020 Semester. Due to the evolving public health emergency, faculty and staff are also preparing for a fully online summer semester.

“Polk State College is committed to ensuring our students have the opportunity and the resources they need to continue toward their educational goals during these challenging times,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “Faculty and staff are working diligently to make the transition to the online learning environment as smooth as possible for students so that they may be successful in their academic endeavors while remaining safe and healthy.”

The College has postponed summer registration dates to allow more time for students and prospective students to receive advising services.

  • Priority and dual-enrollment registration that was scheduled to start on March 30 will now begin on April 6.
  • Open enrollment that was scheduled to start on April 6 will now begin on April 13.
  • Summer classes will start online on May 6.

Prospective students must submit a free online application at www.polk.edu/admission-aid. Current students may register for classes through PASSPORT.

Advisors are available to assist students and prospective students with setting their academic goals, accessing information and services, and making responsible decisions consistent with their goals and degree requirements. Students may email registrar@polk.edu or call 863.297.1000.

Starting on April 1, students and prospective students will also be able to connect with advisors and other members of Student Services staff through Zoom, a remote-conferencing software program. They can easily access Zoom once a Polk State staff member provides a link via email. They can then use Zoom to video chat through a computer or through the Zoom app available for download on iOS and Android devices. A voice call option is also available.

“Although our students are not able to visit our campuses and centers to help prevent the spread of COIVD-19, they will still receive excellent service,” said Sylvester Little, Dean of Student Services on the Lakeland Campus. “We are doing everything we can to help our students through multiple means of communication.”

Students are also encouraged to begin the financial aid process as soon as possible. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who need assistance may email financialaid@polk.edu, call 863.297.1000, or view the College’s online FAFSA tutorial here.

Additionally, a list of resources for taking online classes is available here.

Throughout the registration and financial aid process, students should regularly check PASSPORT and their College email for important information. Students are also asked to monitor polk.edu and Polk State’s social media for updates related to COVID-19.


About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.


Florida SBDC Network Announces Changes to Bridge Loan Application Process

Applications must be submitted via online or by mail

TAMPA (March 26, 2020) – Due to the widespread impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program changed this week.

Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways:

Small businesses that already applied should not submit an additional application.

To qualify, applicants must be for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in Florida. Businesses must also be an employer with 2 to 100 employees. Loans are interest-free for one year. Businesses can qualify for up to $50,000 in most instances. Applications will be accepted through May 8.

The Florida SBDC at USF is currently working through hundreds of applications received before the change in process and continues to field new inquiries daily. Loan decisions are made by an independent committee made up of economic development and finance professionals from within the region. Financing is provided by the state of Florida using public funds.

For additional updates and to find information on other available programs and resources, please visit us online at SBDCTampaBay.com/coronavirus. Small business owners with questions regarding the loan program should contact DEO toll-free at 833-832-4494 or email FloridaBusinsesLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com. Applications must be completed by May 8, 2020.

About the Florida SBDC Network: 

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 624,331 hours of professional business consulting to 58,975 client businesses, resulting in 281,831 jobs impacted; $36.7 billion in sales generated; $2.7 billion in government contracts acquired; $1.6 billion in capital accessed; and 4,520 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.