All posts by Cory Skeates


Learning Resource Center of Polk County Presents 2018 Summer Program Lineup

POLK COUNTY, FLA. (May 10, 2018) – The Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. (LRC) unveils its lineup of 2018 summer enrichment programs for kindergarten through high school levels.

Rising and repeating kindergartners can gain the skills necessary for school at Camp READY! featuring multi-sensory learning experiences in an engaging format at ten locations throughout Polk County. Camps will take place for four weeks during June 4-July 27, 2018. Dates and times vary by site. The cost is $25 for the entire month.

Elementary students have multiple options with Camp Discovery at All Saints Academy in Winter Haven, PEP Super Summer Science Camp at the Public Education Partnership Center in Winter Haven and Super Summer Success at South McKeel Academy in Lakeland, all beginning on June 4, 2018. Program dates, times and prices vary by site.

Middle school students will become more effective learners through time-tested strategies with Study Habits of Successful Students at the Learning Resource Center in Lakeland on July 9-13, 2018 for $155.

High school students will gain effective study techniques, leadership skills and service opportunities with Get REAL taking place at the Learning Resource Center on July 9-13, 2018 for $175.

High School students may also benefit from LRC’s summer test preparation courses designed to help students achieve confidence while earning their best possible score. ACT Summer Prep takes place July 16-20, 2018. SAT Summer Prep begins July 23-27, 2018. GED Prep runs for four weeks per subject with Social Studies launching May 22, 2018, Science on June 26, 2018 and Language Arts on July 31, 2018. All will take place at the Learning Resource Center. The cost of each full ACT & SAT course is $575 and includes a book and a gift card to Starbucks or Chick-fil-A. GED Prep costs $25. Students must take a pretest prior to enrolling in GED Prep.

LRC offers a Sliding Fee Scale based on gross family income with the assistance of United Way. For questions or to enroll in any of the courses, please visit the Learning Resource Center online at or call 863-688-9477.

About Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc.

The Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. is a nonprofit, United Way educational provider. LRC has a 43-year history of offering high-quality academic programs to help students maximize their learning potential. For more information, please visit LRC online at or call 863-688.9477.


Realtors® Find Remodeling Projects Gain Equity, Bring Joy to Homeowners

May is National Home Remodeling Month, a time of the year when many homeowners may daydream about sprucing up their home to gain equity, resale value or simply find more enjoyment from their property.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, many homeowners find the idea of a remodeling project too overwhelming to take on. In fact, 35 percent of homeowners in the U.S. said they would rather move than remodel their current home.

Yet, after completing a remodeling project, 75 percent of homeowners said they have a greater desire to be in their home; 65 percent say they have increased enjoyment in their home; and 77 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment when thinking of their completed project, according to NAR’s 2017 Remodeling Impact Report.

“Realtors® understand how remodeling a home can benefit the homeowner looking to sell, whether by impressing potential future buyers, increasing the number of offers or growing equity in the home. Interior projects, such as kitchen renovations, hardwood floor refinishing and insulation upgrades, often yield the largest financial returns for homeowners,” said Kyle Vreeland, 2018 Lakeland REALTORS® President.

Realtors® also understand that some homeowners undertake these projects to get more enjoyment from spending time at home. Below are four remodeling projects that scored a perfect Joy Score from consumers, indicating the greatest happiness from a completed project:

Added bathroom: The desire to improve livability, especially as a family grows, often leads to home renovation projects. According to the survey, 6 out of 10 homeowners said they have a greater desire to be home since adding a new bathroom, and nearly 80 percent of owners feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think of their project.

Complete kitchen renovation: One of the most used rooms in the home, consumers oftentimes draw up their plans for renovating their kitchen first. Ninety percent of consumers have a greater desire to be home since renovating their kitchen, and the top reason for the renovation was to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials.

Closet renovation: A dream renovation for many consumers, renovating a closet to improve organization and storage was the top reason for 50 percent of homeowners who flipped their closet. Seventy-one percent of homeowners have a greater desire to be home since completing their closet project and 65 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are home.

New fiberglass front door: Consumers have energy efficiency in mind for many renovation projects, with over 40 percent choosing to install a new fiberglass front door in their home. Consumers find that the most important benefit of a new fiberglass door is better functionality and livability, as well as durable and long-lasting results, materials, and appliances.

The 2017 Remodeling Impact Report surveyed Realtors® and consumers who have completed remodeling projects. The report explored homeowners reasons for remodeling, the success of certain remodeling projects and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed. Find the report at

Contact Lakeland REALTORS® or visit to connect with a Realtor® to learn more about buying or selling a home.

“REALTORS® are with you every step of the way.”

REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, please visit for a list of professional REALTORS® in your area today. ?

Special thanks to Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc. for the use of their new construction home, “The Carriage House” model for this video.


Leadership Lakeland Graduates 30 From Class XXXV

IMG_2082With leadership from Class XXXV Chair Timothy B. Darby (Darby Law Group, P.A.) and Chair-Elect Michelle B. Ledford (MADE), 30 participants officially graduated on Thursday, May 10, 2018. More than 130 alumni and friends attended the invitation-only Leadership Lakeland Graduation & Banquet at the RP Funding Center. Beginning in August, the class members undertook a rigorous schedule including overnight and full-day programs to immerse themselves in the community and in the development of leadership skills. Congratulations to the graduates of Leadership Lakeland Class XXXV:

  • Margarita Alfaro, NuJak Companies
  • Teresa Fay Aman, Watson Clinic LLP
  • Daniel Jay Berman, Alliance for Independence
  • Lisa K. Birket, True MD
  • Jessica Brown, Hall Communications, Inc.
  • Joshua Keith Brown, Peterson & Myers, P.A.
  • Anthony C. Camarillo, RP Funding Center/City of Lakeland
  • Ashley Cheek, Lakeland Economic Development Council
  • Julie A. Davis, Baylis & Company PA
  • Danielle Fogel, Publix Super Markets, Inc.
  • Alison M. Foley-Rothrock, Esq., Foley Immigration Law/Red Tent Initiative
  • Caroline Gay, Lakeland Regional Health
  • Louis Santo Giampavolo, Polk County Sheriff’s Office
  • Mary Catherine Green, Tenth Judicial Circuit
  • Paul “Sean” Harper, Harper Little Construction Mgmt/WebPro Realty, LLC
  • Marshall Hurley, Createch Machine and Design
  • Eunice Martinez Hutto, Southeastern University
  • Billy Clifton Langston II, Florida Southern College
  • Kristen Lowers, Saddle Creek Logistics Services
  • Lucas Dean Martin, Floralawn
  • Kevin M. McWilliams, Ameriprise Financial
  • Brandt William Merritt, First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland
  • LaTrice Moore, D.B.A., Polk State College
  • J. Scott Reed, Pilka & Associates, P.A.
  • William E. Roll, Jr., Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
  • Amy Hammack Royal, GiveWell Community Foundation
  • M. Kimberly Schell, Parker Street Ministries, Inc.
  • Shukethia C. Troutman, La Rosa Realty
  • Darren Vogel, P.E., Vogel Bros. Building Co.
  • Julie Howes Ward, Polk County Public Schools/Rochelle School of the Arts

Leadership Lakeland is an annual program designed to identify leadership and enhance existing leadership in our community. The program unites leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to improve their ability to lead effectively, offering its members a broad range of experiences and insights about the community, its people, its needs, and its services.

Also, congratulations to Chuck McDanal (Kindelan McDanal & Associates) who was announced as the upcoming Chair-Elect for Class XXXVI!


LRH Chief Operating Officer Danielle Drummond Named One of Nation’s Top 25 COOs in Healthcare

Danielle%20DrummondLakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to share that Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, is named one of the nation’s Top 25 COOs in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

Editors of the publication, a leading national source of news and information for healthcare executives, selected Ms. Drummond for her leadership and sustained contribution to the healthcare industry.

“This year’s class of the Top 25 COOs in Healthcare recognizes executives who have been pivotal to record growth and quality improvement for providers and payers,” said Aurora Aguilar, Editor of Modern Healthcare. “The COO is responsible for navigating all arms of the business, standardizing practices and getting staff to buy in.”

The award honors chief operating officers for working in the complex business of healthcare while delivering top results in quality, safety and efficiency.

“We are deeply proud of Ms. Drummond and the collaborative ways she leads our team to ensure that Lakeland Regional Health efficiently delivers world-class healthcare,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “She cultivates an environment of innovation and transformation, mindfully placing the patient and family at the heart of all she does.”

Accomplishments at Lakeland Regional Health under Ms. Drummond’s collaborative direction include:

  • Nimble and successful leadership as Incident Commander as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed directly over Lakeland.
  • Recruitment of more than 180 physicians and advanced practitioners brought critically needed healthcare providers to Polk County.
  • Maintenance of a strong operating margin to manage provision of care with an engaged and productive workforce, despite increasing patient volumes, a decline in state Medicaid reimbursement rates, and unplanned personnel expenses incurred during Hurricane Irma.
  • Reorganization of the cardiothoracic service line and construction of a bi-planar suite, where complex neurosurgical interventional procedures can be performed for the first time in Polk County, ensuring the availability of these critical lifesaving services in Polk County.
  • Construction and operationalization of the 32-bed Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.
  • Oversight of innovative capital projects, including the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, Hollis Cancer Center and Grasslands Campus.
  • Launch of Gemba, a LEAN-management philosophy, which produced a 28.5% improvement in central line infection rates and 15.2% in falls rates; and reduced readmission rates over the prior year of 16.0% for congestive heart failure, 23.7% for COPD, and 27.4% for pneumonia.

Ms. Drummond joins a prestigious list of COOs, including Dr. Kevin Churchwell of Boston Children’s Hospital, Samuel Hazen of HCA Healthcare, Robert Allen of InterMountain Healthcare, and Dr. Laura Forese, of New York-Presbyterian. For a complete list, visit

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 849-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates a Level II Trauma Center, a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine and the nation’s busiest single site Emergency Department.

About Modern Healthcare

This weekly print magazine, websites, e-newsletters, mobile products and events is ranked No 1 in readership among healthcare executives. Modern Healthcare leads the market in editorial excellence and has received awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors, Trade Association and Business Publications International and the Association of Health Care Journalists, affirming Modern Healthcare’s status as a top source for healthcare business and policy news, research and information.