All posts by Cory Skeates


Free SEU Event to Celebrate the Life of MLK

SEU Event to Celebrate the Life of MLK

LAKELAND, Fla. — A celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will be held at Southeastern University on Tuesday, January 21, at 7 p.m., in Bush Chapel. The event’s theme is “Where Do We Go from Here?” focusing on how to move forward and carry on the change that King made. Campus leaders and students will discuss the impact of King in their lives. Special music will also be featured by a choir from Faith Celebration Church in Lakeland.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Ray Allen, director of multicultural affairs, at 


Best Friends Animal Society Invests in Lifesaving Work of TLC PetSnip, Inc.

Grant of $55,000 will provide 1000 spay/neuter surgeries to at risk animals

Lakeland, FL — TLC PetSnip, Inc. announced it has been awarded a $55,000 grant from Best Friends Animals Society and The Rachel Ray Foundation to support spay/neuter services for at risk dogs and cats in Polk County.

Polk County Animal Control has the highest euthanasia rate and lowest adoption rate in Florida.  This grant funding specifically targets animals that are most at risk for euthanasia due to breed, age or medical need. The funding will be used to encourage rescue groups from across the state to take dogs and cats from this shelter for future adoption through their rescue group.

Emily Lorenzano, Executive Director of TLC PetSnip, Inc. says, “We are so honored to be the recipients of this grant from Best Friends Animal Society.  This grant funding will allow TLC PetSnip to make a large-scale impact on the euthanasia rate in Polk County.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to work with rescue partners and pulling at-risk dogs and cats to help them find loving homes.”

TLC PetSnip, Inc. offers affordable preventative and wellness services, in conjunction with spay neuter services, and strives to provide high-quality care at an affordable cost. TLC PetSnip, Inc. has three locations to serve residents in Polk, Hillsborough and Marion Counties.  All three locations will be utilized as surgical sites for dogs and cats that originate from Polk County Animal Control. TLC PetSnip will be opening their fourth location in early 2020 in Pasco County and that location will also used to provide spay/neuter services for animals from Polk County.

For more information about TLC PetSnip, Inc., visit  For more about Best Friends Animal Society visit

About TLC PetSnip, Inc.

TLC PetSnip, Inc. is a non-profit veterinary clinic and is a member of the ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance National Spay Neuter Response Team (NSNRT).  TLC PetSnip, Inc. has provided over 40,000 spay/neuter services between their Lakeland, East Tampa and Ocala surgery centers since opening in 2013. TLC PetSnip, Inc. offers affordable wellness and preventative care along with spay/neuter services. TLC PetSnip, Inc. is the only non-profit veterinary clinic in Polk County and Marion County that offers high-volume, high-quality spay neuter services.

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a national 501 (c) 3 organization and animal welfare society.  Best Friends brings rescue groups and shelters together to help animals nationwide.  Along with their work with shelters and rescues Best Friends operates an animal sanctuary and is an advocate for puppy mill awareness community cats, and Pitbull terriers.


“Crazy idea” Leads Florida Poly Students to Take on the Technology Services Market

LAKELAND, Fl – A group of Florida Polytechnic University students has found work with a great company that offers hands-on experience, flexible hours, fun co-workers, and the kind of boss most people only dream of – themselves.

Madd Technologies LLC, which stemmed from an idea friends had late one night, is a technology start-up helmed by Florida Poly students and focused on the consumer electronics and computer software markets. It provides services such as product design, website design, computer-aided design, app development, and more.

“We had this crazy idea to start a company,” said CEO Djuan Gayle, a senior majoring in computer engineering. “We’re going to a technology school and we want to change the world, so why not be able to put all of that under a company and just make it happen.”

That crazy idea and the company’s willingness to take on unusual projects are reflected in its name.

Recent Madd Technologies projects have included the design of a university app, and the design of a smart refractometer to measure grapes for peak ripeness for a client in the wine industry.

In addition to providing technology services for local businesses, Madd Technologies is working on developing its own products, such as an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to recommend clothing to customers.

“When you’re an engineer, everyone in the industry is looking for experience and as a student it can be difficult to gain that experience,” said Jaimie Davis, a junior electrical engineering major and the company’s technology officer. “Being a part of this company and working on project management skills and overall communication really helps all of us become better engineers.”

The eight-person company formed in 2018 and found guidance from Justin Heacock, Florida Poly’s entrepreneurship coordinator.

“It’s been a learning curve because it’s not like we’re going to business school, and Justin has been really good at helping with that,” Gayle said. “We go to him and he just finds the time.”

Gayle said the company is hoping to soon grow to about 15 team members and move into an office space in Lakeland and hopes to eventually be located near the University, providing both jobs and internships to other Florida Poly students.

“For the whole four years of college, we’ve been entrepreneurial-minded,” said Logan Carlson, a senior majoring in computer engineering and the company’s research and development officer.

Madd Technologies’ leadership said they hope other students will see their success and be motivated to follow their own “crazy ideas.”

“We learn by doing and one of the hallmarks of studying at Florida Poly is being able to get your hands on stuff,” Davis said. “But being in this company since my freshman year has really given me a lot more than I could ever expect from a college education.”

Students who would like to join Madd Technologies and businesses interested in the company’s services can email

For the most recent university news, visit Florida Poly News.

About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of the State University System of Florida. It is the only state university dedicated exclusively to STEM and offers ABET accredited degrees. Florida Poly is a powerful economic engine within the state of Florida, blending applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Connect with Florida Poly.


Bonnet Springs Park Receives Major Gift From Hollis Family

Lakeland, FL., January 14, 2020 – The Hollis Family, one of the most philanthropic families of Lakeland, announced a generous legacy gift today to fund the Bonnet Springs Park Welcome Center, set to open in 2021. First impressions are lasting impressions, especially for first-time visitors of Bonnet Springs Park. The two-story, 14,670 square-foot building will be the first of many to be built on the former Lakeland railyard site of 180 acres.

“Lakeland has been very important to our family for over one hundred years, and this is another opportunity for our family to be involved in this transformational project for the city of Lakeland, where our community has sought to improve our landscape. We are fortunate to be able to be involved with such a project,” said Lynn Hollis.

The Hollis Family Welcome Center is the flagship building for the park and the first of many beautifully designed spaces that visitors will first encounter upon arrival at Bonnet Springs Park. Hollis Family Welcome Center will feature a full-service restaurant with a chef-driven menu, regionally relevant selections, and contemporary food options that create the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner in an elegant and comfortable destination setting with views to the AgAmerica Heritage Gardens. The second floor of the Hollis Family Welcome Center will feature an exhibition space and administrative offices. The exhibit space will highlight Florida’s citrus legacy and the history of the railroad, prior to its reclamation by Bonnet Springs Park, the rail yard was the economic engine for the growth of Polk County in the late 1800’s, and the largest train repair yard in the state of Florida.

“The Hollis Family name is synonymous with generosity, vision for the community, and bringing beauty and well being to Lakeland. Their participation in this legacy park continues this storied history,” said Bill Tinsley, CEO of Bonnet Springs Park.

Bonnet Springs Park aims to enrich the community by combining and promoting the use of nature, culture, recreation, and education in the area. The Hollis Family Welcome Center will support the community by providing a space to escape, engage, and explore the area all while visitors learn about the extraordinary history of Central Florida’s founding industries.


About Bonnet Springs Park

Bonnet Springs Park is a blended urban/natural 180-acre park centrally located in Lakeland, Florida. Bonnet Springs Park is designed to create spaces to escape, engage, and explore while experiencing and learning about the extraordinary history of Central Florida. The park is slated for completion in 2021. Bonnet Springs Park is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to enrich the community through nature, culture, recreation, and education. The Park serves to unify Central Florida’s diverse population, offering public spaces that serve the needs of many by providing engaging and unique opportunities in education and recreation to residents and visitors. The vision of Bonnet Springs Park is to be a place within walking distance to our city’s urban core where art, recreation, fun, and tranquility intersect by design.


We encourage you to learn more about this one of a kind project by visiting: 

web: | FB: @BonnetSpringsPark | IG: @bonnetspringspark | Vimeo: | LinkedIn:



2nd Annual Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards

LAKELAND, FL (January 8th, 2020) — Catapult will be hosting the 2nd annual
Lakeland Entrepreneur Awards on January 28th, 2020, to highlight the city’s
entrepreneurs. The event will take place from 5:30pm-8pm at Haus 820, ( 820 N
Massachusetts Ave, Lakeland).
At the event, three awards will be given to honor the impact of entrepreneurs and
those who support them in our community. The ceremony will consist of a cocktail
hour, dinner, award delegation, and keynote speaker: Troy Carter.
Troy Carter is an entrepreneurial force that evolved from musician and legendary
talent manager to tech mogul, VC visionary, executive producer and member of the
Billboard Power 100. Troy Carter has early invested in some of the most famous
startups including Uber, Spotify, Dropbox, and more.