All posts by Cory Skeates

02May/19

Timothy C. Ford Elected to the ABA Forum On Construction Law’s Governing Committee

TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is pleased to announce that shareholder, Timothy “Tim” C. Ford, has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the Governing Committee of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law (the Forum).

Mr. Ford has served the Forum since 2008, first as a steering committee member of Division 7 (Insurance, Surety, and Liens), then as inaugural editor of the Division 7 newsletter, and as overall Chair of Division 7. He also served as co-chair of the Forum’s 2015 Fall Meeting in Austin, Texas, and has contributed to the Forum’s marketing and education efforts.

Members of the Forum represent all segments of the construction industry: Owners, design professionals, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, suppliers, insurers and sureties. The Forum’s mission is to serve the construction industry through education and leadership while building the best construction lawyers.

Mr. Ford is a shareholder and practice co-chair in the firm’s Construction & Design Group. As a Board Certified Construction lawyer by The Florida Bar, he has experience representing owners, developers, contractors, construction managers, design professionals

and subcontractors in all phases of the construction process, with an emphasis on complex construction litigation.

Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with more than 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide

range of local, regional and national clients. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at www.hwhlaw.com.

02May/19

Bank Supports Miss Hardee County

 

Lakeland, Fla., May 2, 2019 – Jessica Kunkel, the reigning Miss Hardee County, received much support from friends and family for the pageant held earlier this year at the Hardee County Fair, including a sponsorship from Wauchula State Bank.

“I’m grateful for all the help I received from everyone involved,” she said.

“We were happy to support Jessica in her campaign for Miss Hardee County,” said bank President Donna McKown. “We’ve known Jessica since she was a child and she has always had an independent spirit and a sense of humor. We are happy that Jessica will have the opportunity to represent Hardee County throughout 2019.

“We know she will represent Hardee County well, and we are very proud of Jessica’s accomplishments,” McKown added.

A 16-year-old junior at Hardee County Senior High, Jessica the daughter of Dagmar Kunkel, who came to this country from Germany and serves as director of eServices in bank operations for Crews Bank Corp. (owner of Wauchula State Bank). Jessica Kunkel is proud to be a first generation American who speaks German.

Jessica is quite accomplished in the classroom. All of her current core classes are Advanced Placement and Honors courses, and she has been taking double science classes for the last two years. She received a Certificate of Achievement for attaining a perfect score on the Grade 10 FSA ELA (Florida Standard Assessment English Language Arts) from former Gov. Rick Scott.

She took first place in district and regional science fairs. She earned the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award, the “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Student Award for Geoscience Excellence from the Association for Women Geoscientists. She obtained Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at the end of her freshman year.

Jessica serves as reporter for the Hardee High Wildcat Scratches newspaper and also writes articles for the school section of the local paper. In addition, she works with UthMpact, the high school version of Drug Free Hardee County. Originally a chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), UthMpact has expanded its mission to include peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide.

Jessica is undecided as to what she wants to do in the future, although she is interested in attending Florida State University and definitely sees English and writing in her future. She said competing in the Miss Hardee County pageant helped her develop skills she plans to use in her future career and boosted her overall confidence.

“I discovered that if I put my mind to it, anything is possible,” she said.

 

ABOUT WAUCHULA STATE BANK – Based in Wauchula, Fla., Wauchula State Bank has served the Florida Heartland since 1929 as a family owned, locally managed community bank. The late J.W. Crews Sr. (father of the current vice chairman) purchased controlling interest in the bank in 1932, and the bank is still owned and operated by the Crews family. With over $640 million in assets and seven branches located in Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties, Wauchula State Bank is the largest among the family of banks under Crews Bank Corp., the others including Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Englewood Bank & Trust and Crews Bank & Trust. To learn more, visit www.wauchulastatebank.com. Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender

02May/19

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady to Address Florida Southern’s Spring Graduates

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LAKELAND (May 1, 2019) – Florida Southern will graduate a record number of students with superior talent at its 2018-2019 spring commencement, concluding the College’s 136th academic year at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at The RP Funding Center. Approximately 487 students — including 31 earning graduate degrees — will receive their diplomas, surpassing the record totals of spring graduates in 2017 and 2018.

The Honorable Charles T. Canady, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court and a former Congressional leader, will be the guest speaker for the spring commencement program. The College will confer upon Chief Justice Canady the Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa.

Justice Canady, who received degrees from Haverford College and the Yale Law School, practiced law in Lakeland with the firms of Holland & Knight and LaneTrohn, Bertrand, and VreelandP.A., before serving three terms in the Florida House of Representatives and four terms in the United States House of Representatives. He was a member of the House Judiciary Committee throughout his time in Congress, and served three terms as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Justice Canady to the Florida Second District Court of Appeal. In 2008, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Justice Canady to the Florida Supreme Court, where he served as Chief Justice from 2010 to 2012. His colleagues elected him to serve a second two-year term that started in July 2018.

During the spring commencement program, Florida Southern will confer an honorary Doctor of Business degree on alumnus Richard C. Jensen ’59, third-generation owner of the New Jersey-based building construction firm Michael Riesz and Co. and a member of the Florida Southern College Board of Trustees. Mr. Jensen’s firm has constructed commercial, educational, and institutional facilities throughout New Jersey, including the Tennis Pavilion Building for Princeton University and the Hospital Outpatient Surgical Center for Robert Wood Johnson University. Mr. Jensen lives in Edison, New Jersey, and has a home in Fort Lauderdale. Senior Speaker Marcos Martins, who is graduating with a double major in Theatre Arts and Communication, will deliver remarks on behalf of the Class of 2019.

Among Florida Southern’s highly accomplished 2019 graduates:

? Olivia Panda of DeLand and Kate Vita of Bayport, New York, are recipients of English Teaching Assistant Awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and the most selective and prestigious overseas study program in America. Olivia, who is graduating with degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish, will teach English in the Asturias province of Spain. Kate, who is graduating with a major in Elementary Education, will be teaching English to primary grades in Monnickendam in The Netherlands, as well as conducting research on international education at Breda University of Applied Sciences.

? Natalie Barton of Melbourne and Jordan Carr of Sarasota were named recipients of the 2019 Honor Walk award, Florida Southern’s highest student award, during the Founders Day Convocation in March. Only once before in the College’s history has the Honor Walk designation been awarded to co-recipients. Natalie, a President’s Scholar, honors student, and Hollingsworth Scholar was elected student body vice president in her junior year and served as president in her senior year. Graduating with a Nursing major and a Religion minor, she has been accepted into the Nursing Residency program at Duke University Hospital’s Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Natalie’s plans include earning her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Duke, specializing in neonatalogy. Jordan, also a President’s Scholar, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and is currently completing her MBA at FSC. She has been active in Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national pre-health honor society, has served as an officer in the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, and has volunteered with Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. Jordan’s plans include medical school, focusing on emergency medicine, and ultimately pursuing a career in hospital administration.

? Alec Bigness of Englewood was named as recipient of the 2019 President’s Scholar Medal during Florida Southern’s Founders Day Convocation in March. Graduating with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology, Alec has presented his research numerous times at both regional and national conferences of the American Chemical Society. He will be attending USF Morsani College of Medicine in the fall.

? Jake Griner of Auburndale is graduating with a major in Molecular Biology. In his sophomore year, Jake was awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which allowed him to continue a research project begun during an internship with the National Cancer Institute. Jake’s goal as a researcher is to develop an effective immunotherapy treatment for chordoma, a rare cancer of the skull and spine which led to his father’s death. He will attend the Medical University of South Carolina in the fall, where he is enrolled in the MD-PhD dual-degree program. Jake is planning to pursue a career in medical oncology and cancer immunology research.

? Allie Howard of Muncie, Indiana, is graduating with majors in Mathematics and Religion and minors in Dance and Spanish. While a student at Florida Southern, Allie participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program for mathematics research at the University of Texas, in addition to attending and performing in dance classes at the American College Dance Association. Currently weighing her post-graduate options, Allie plans to pursue either a master’s degree in Divinity at Yale Divinity School or in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

? W James of Naples is graduating with a degree in Communication, with concentrations in Multimedia Journalism and Film Studies. His senior thesis film project, “A Dream of Us,” is a short film exploring the end of a relationship. W will be pursuing his MFA in Motion Pictures at the University of Miami in the fall.

? Hannah Kistler of Mulberry is graduating with majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is proud to have received The Biochemistry Award from FSC’s Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics in April 2018, and she has worked as a veterinary technician at Brandon Equine Medical Center for the past two years. Hannah will be attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall to pursue a career as an Equine Veterinarian.

? Rob Marusko of Springboro, Ohio, is graduating with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He is a Hollingsworth Scholar and recently received the Spirit of the Cornerstone Award, a nomination-based monthly honor for students, registered student organizations, and athletic teams who most embody the tenets of the Florida Southern College Cornerstone. After a post-graduation trip to Canada and the west coast of the U.S., Rob will begin studying dentistry at The Ohio State University, with aspirations of becoming an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon.

? Nicole A. Mattson of Oviedo is graduating with a major in Applied Mathematics and Statistics: Business and Finance and minors in Computer Science and Business Administration. She played in the 2018 National Volleyball Championship her junior year and was awarded First Team All-American and South Region Player of the Year in both her junior and senior years. Nicole is planning to pursue a career in Data Analytics, possibly by continuing in her position as a Data Analytics Trainee in the Information Systems Department at Publix.

? James McKenna of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a Hollingsworth Scholar, is graduating with a major in English Writing and minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Business Administration. James was a 2018 summer intern at the Pulitzer-nominated Coffee House Press, a nonprofit independent press based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the fall, James will enter the MFA program at The University of Alabama as a Truman Capote Fellow.

  • Commencement Weekend Activities: The commencement ceremony culminates three days of activities, which begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 2, with the Water Dome Splash, an annual commencement-related tradition since 2011, at which graduating seniors are encouraged to frolic in Florida Southern’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed fountain. The construction of the Water Dome was completed in 2007, when the graduating seniors from 2011 were freshmen.

Activities continue at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 3, with the Spring ROTC Commissioning Ceremony in the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel on campus, followed by a reception in the Hollis Room of the Buckner Building. Twelve cadets in the Moccasin Battalion will be commissioned as military officers at the ceremony which will feature Brigadier General Stanley E. Budraitis of the Mississippi Army National Guard as guest speaker. BG Budraitis, who has served at every command level from Lieutenant to Brigadier General, is an Army Aviator with 25 years of experience and more than 2,000 helicopter flight hours.

At 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences will conduct its 2019 pinning ceremony for students receiving their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. A total of 59 graduates will receive BSN pins, symbolizing their entry into or advancement within the nursing profession. The keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Cindy Tofthagen, Senior Associate Consultant in the Department of Nursing at Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville. Dr. Tofthagen’s research focus is the management of symptoms related to cancer treatments, to find effective preventative or treatment methods to help patients better manage side effects at home. The ceremony will be held in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Lakeland.

  • More Information: The commencement ceremony is a ticketed event. A live stream of the ceremony will be accessible via the Florida Southern home page at www.flsouthern.edu.

 

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. 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. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was 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.

01May/19

Three Florida Southern Scholars Named 2019 Fulbright Award Recipients

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LAKELAND (April 30, 2019) – Two graduating seniors and a 2018 alumna of Florida Southern College have been named 2019 recipients of Fulbright Awards, exemplifying the College’s tradition of academic excellence. Current FSC students Olivia Panda of DeLand and Kate Vita of Bayport, New York, and 2018 graduate Abby Eskridge of Lakeland, received English Teaching Assistant Awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. 

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the most selective and prestigious overseas study program in America. It is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It offers opportunities for recent graduates and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide.

Each of these talented young scholars will travel to a participating country in Europe to spend one academic year helping to teach English while also serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States:

? Olivia Panda will teach English in the province of Asturias in northwestern Spain. As part of FSC’s Junior Journey program in 2017, she traveled to Alicante, a port city in the southeast of Spain, where she studied Spanish and took various regional excursions. In the summer of 2018, Panda taught English, math, and science in Carmona, Costa Rica. Currently interning as a 3rd grade instructor at Wendell Watson Elementary School in Lakeland, Panda will graduate in May with degrees in Elementary Education and Spanish.

? Kate Vita will teach English at Montessori School Landsmeer in historic Monnickendam, north of Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. She will also research international education at Breda University of Applied Sciences. Vita has participated in two service-based Junior Journeys, traveling to Panama with the Department of Nursing in 2017 to assist with the placement of children in a special-needs orphanage, and joining a Department of Education trip to Costa Rica in 2018 to teach pre-school English and study diverse education. She also spent a semester abroad in 2018, studying child development in Denmark and Finland. Currently interning at Cleveland Court Elementary School in Lakeland, Vita will graduate in May with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology.

? Abby Eskridge, who graduated from FSC in 2018 with degrees in History and Spanish, will teach English in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. For her Junior Journey trip in 2017, she studied for four weeks at Proyecto Español, a school for international students in Alicante, Spain. Currently, Eskridge works for Polk County Public Schools, teaching Spanish 1, government, and economics at Mulberry Senior High School. She plans to teach at the high school level for several years before working toward a doctorate in Spanish History.

“The many experiences Olivia, Kate, and Abby will encounter during their Fulbright Year,” stated Dr. Anne Kerr, “will help them to achieve the mission of Florida Southern College, which is to prepare students, through dynamic engaged learning opportunities, to make a positive and consequential impact on society. They will carry these transformative moments throughout their careers and lives.”

In 2018, four Florida Southern students were Fulbright Award recipients: Natalie Aleman ’16; Elise Barnes ’18; Leyna Stemle ’18; and Kylie Torres ’18.

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. 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. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was 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.