All posts by Cory Skeates


Downtown Lakeland Partnership Seeks Executive Director Applicants

Friday, May 19, 2017 (LAKELAND, FL) – The Downtown Lakeland Partnership is soliciting applications for the executive director position being vacated by Ellen Simms, whose retirement is effective May 31.

Interested applicants are asked to email a resume to the organization by June 2 at 5 p.m.

The DLP’s mission is to advocate for and promote Downtown Lakeland as an ideal location to shop, dine, work and play. It hosts monthly First Friday events, as well as Thursday Squared food truck rallies on the second Thursday of each month. The DLP is a membership-based organization that draws its strength from a diverse group of businesses and individuals. 

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for the executive director position, and a college degree – particularly a master’s degree in business administration is desired. The DLP’s Board of Directors also desires candidates with at least 10 years of senior management experience and a track record of effectively leading an organization.

The job description can be viewed in its entirety by visiting and clicking on the “News” section.

Send resumes to

Lorrie Delk Walker
Lorrie Walker Public Relations
Office: 863.614.0555 (preferred)
Mobile: 863.409.3034
Twitter: @PRLorrie



In July, a nominating committee headed by Chair-elect Weymon Snuggs (Citizens Bank and Trust) will begin work to nominate 12 new directors to serve a 3-year term on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2018.

Chamber members are asked to submit their name or names of active members in good-standing who possess outstanding leadership qualities and who demographically represent the membership of the organization.

Names of individuals will be submitted to the Nominating Committee, which is charged with selecting a representative slate of 12 directors to be presented to the membership for approval by September 1, 2017.

Names of proposed Board candidates should be submitted no later than Friday, July 7, 2017 to: Cory Skeates, President, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 3607, Lakeland, FL 33802-3607, by FAX: 683-7454, or by email: Questions regarding the nominations process may be directed to Cory at 688-8551, ext. 234 or at the above email address.

The membership of the Chamber is served by an elected 39-member Board of Directors and five ex officio members.

These dedicated volunteer leaders direct the governance of the Chamber and represent the interests of the membership.


Grasslands Campus Awarded Prestigious LEED Gold® Certification

Lakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to announce its Grasslands Campus has earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We are so proud that our team’s hard work on the new Grasslands Campus has earned LEED Gold certification,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “We look forward to providing the safest and highest quality care and experiences for the patients and families we serve in this beautiful and efficient venue for many years to come.”The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is a nationally recognized program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

The newly expanded Grassland Campus, 3030 Harden Blvd., is a medical home for patients seeking primary and specialty care. More than 30 physicians and their compassionate care teams provide expertise in such specialties as Primary Care; Ear, Nose & Throat; Obstetrics & Gynecology; Orthopedics; Pediatrics and Pulmonology. Grasslands also houses our physical rehabilitation program, with an expansive gym offering leading-edge therapy equipment and a 100-foot gait & safety system, dedicated pediatric gym, outdoor rehabilitation garden and state-of-the-art therapy pool. The design of the building was created with the concepts of “body, mind and soul” as part of the patient healing experience. Construction on the Grasslands Campus began in early 2015 and was completed in June 2016.

“We are grateful to our valuable design team partners and are proud to contribute to our local economy, investing in job creation as well as purchasing services and supplies from local vendors,” Dr. Thompson said.

“Demonstrating good stewardship of the resources entrusted to us by our community was an important part of our plans for the Grasslands Campus,” said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Being responsible with our water, energy and building materials is just one way we commit ourselves to strengthening the health of our community.”

“Lakeland Regional Health Grasslands Campus LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, U.S. Green Building Council President and CEO. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with healthy, green and high-performing buildings. The Grasslands Campus serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment.”

In addition, the architecture and design firm for two Lakeland Regional Health projects recently earned design awards from The American Institute of Architects Orlando at its annual Awards for Design Banquet. HuntonBrady Architects of Orlando received the Built Award of Excellence for its work on the expansion and renovation of the Hollis Cancer Center and the Built Award of Honor for its work on the expanded Grasslands Campus.

Enhancements at the Hollis Cancer Center, 3525 Lakeland Hills Blvd, include 40 new chemotherapy stations with lake views, pharmacy expansion, 250-seat teaching auditorium, additional parking, facility entry for stretchers and an intimate chapel area. Furr & Wegman Architects designed the state-of-the-art Campisi Family Auditorium.

“We are so proud our team members are being honored by the AIA Orlando for their outstanding designs,” said Steve Belflower, AIA, LEED AP, President of HuntonBrady Architects. “The Lakeland Regional Health Hollis Cancer Center expansion was a gratifying project for our team, and the Grasslands Campus inspired us to find innovative ways to best facilitate patients going through the physical rehabilitation process.”

About Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group
Lakeland Regional Health is a not-for-profit healthcare system that constantly seeks to care for its patients in new places and new ways. It employs more than 120 physicians and a robust team of clinical leaders who provide primary and walk-in care, and practice in over 25 specialties at its Hollis Cancer Center, Family Health Center and convenient care locations throughout Polk County and surrounding areas. For more information about Lakeland Regional Health, visit


Florida Southern College names Museum of Modern Art Director Dr. Glenn Lowry as Honorary Chancellor

Renowned expert in modern art and Frank Lloyd Wright visits campus

LAKELAND (March 30, 2017) – In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Florida Southern College will name New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Director Dr. Glenn Lowry as its honorary chancellor during the annual Founders Day Convocation on Friday, March 31.

The convocation, which begins at 11 a.m. in Branscomb Auditorium on campus, is not open to the public, but the media is welcome to attend.

Dr. Lowry has served as MoMA Director since 1995 and has led a $900 million expansion of the museum and its endowment, including new archives of Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect of FSC’s National Historic Landmark-designated West campus.

Each spring, Florida Southern celebrates Founders Day, and as part of the tradition choses an honorary chancellor. In recent years, honorary chancellors have included ocean explorer, conservationist and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau; media mogul and environmentalist Ted Turner; and Dr. Michael Griffin, Administrator of NASA; as well as many other luminaries who are revered for contributions they have made to our world in a wide variety of professions and disciplines.

“Naming an honorary chancellor is a cherished tradition here at Florida Southern,” said President Anne Kerr. “We seek to recognize a wide variety of people and bring them to campus, from former presidents and authors, to explorers and architects. With Dr. Lowry, we have a kindred spirit and someone who loves the arts and has a deep connection with the architecture of this campus.”

That connection flows through the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Florida Southern holds the world’s largest concentration of buildings designed by Wright, and Dr. Lowry has spearheaded the expansion of MoMA’s archives of Wright documents. To celebrate the recent 150th anniversary of the architect’s birth, the MoMA will host a major exhibit of Wright works, including approximately 450 architectural drawings, models, films, furniture, textiles, paintings, scrapbooks and other items rarely if ever publicly exhibited.

During Dr. Lowry’s visit, Florida Southern will also produce its first-ever “Pop -Up” art show, with 35 iconic photographs by the father of photomontage, Jerry Uelsmann. The Pop-Up runs from Friday, March 31st at 9 a.m. through Sunday, April 2 at 4 p.m. at the campus Melvin Gallery.

The convocation event will also feature the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award to three graduates who have made outstanding contributions in their professions and communities: Mr. Joe Capitano, Ybor City restorationist and founder and president of The Radiant Group, a Tampa franchise ownership company; Mr. M. Clayton Hollis, Jr., retired vice president of public affairs at Publix Super Markets, Inc.; and Mrs. Carol Prevatt Sipe, president and CEO of Summit Consulting in Lakeland, a leading provider of worker’s compensation insurance.

Additionally, the college will name the Honor Walk Student – the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduating senior who has demonstrated superior leadership, character and achievement.

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive college and the oldest college in Florida. Florida Southern maintains its commitment to academic excellence through more than 50 undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business, accounting, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 29 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Best Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a 2016 Top ROI College by Forbes; and included in The Princeton Review’s 381 Best Colleges and The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2017. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society. FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa and home to the world’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.

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Lakeland, FL — In observance of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, the Watson Clinic Foundation is pleased to host free skin evaluations with a team of experienced dermatology providers at two convenient Watson Clinic locations.

“Thorough skin screenings are essential in detecting possible cancers at their earliest stages when they are most curable,” says Watson Clinic Foundation Program Coordinator Peggy Garrett. “That’s why we’re committed to raising awareness on the importance of routine skin examinations, and to offering this series of free exams to community members who have not yet established their own dermatologist.”

The Watson Clinic Dermatology at Sun City Center facility, which is located at 924A Cypress Village Blvd. in Ruskin, will offer free exams on Friday, May 5 and Friday, May 12 from 8 am to 12 pm. These evaluations will be performed by Michelle Gordon, ARNP-C, an expert skin care specialist who works alongside board-certified dermatologist Ronald J. Patrick, MD.

Meanwhile, dermatology specialists Linwood D. Bond, Jr., MD, Luke M. Miller, MD, and Jason Kumlien, PA-C will provide free skin screenings on Saturday, May 13 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Watson Clinic South location at 1033 N Parkway Frontage Dr. in Lakeland.

Individuals who have not yet established their own dermatologist are encouraged to attend, and are asked to wear loose-fitted clothing and no makeup to assist in the screening process.

Appointments are required to take part in the screenings hosted at the Watson Clinic South location, but the Sun City Center event is being offered on a first come, first served basis. Please call 863-802-6220 to reserve an evaluation time at Watson Clinic South.

ABOUT THE WATSON CLINIC FOUNDATION:  Established in 1960, The Watson Clinic Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to promote community wellness through education, research and service.  The tax ID # is 59-1100876.

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