All posts by Cory Skeates


Catalyst Volunteers Celebrate Victory

On Tuesday, Catalyst campaign volunteers, board members, and Growing Green Partners gathered at the Lake Mirror Complex to celebrate the close out of the 2009 Catalyst Campaign and dedicate twelve new trees in the park.

Growing Green Partners

Representatives from the following companies partnered with the Chamber’s Catalyst Campaign to share twelve new trees around Lake Mirror: 2010 Board Chair Joe L. Ruthven, EMERGE Lakeland, Florida Refuse Services, Folsom Construction, Inc, JSK Consulting, Inc, Lakeland Electric, Leadership Lakeland Class XXVII, The Ledger, Magnify Credit Union, Saddle Creek Corporation and Turner Construction Company.


Campaign Chair Nancy Cattarius (WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio) and Vice Chairs Mary McQueen (McQueen Marketing LLC), Kathy Wallen (The NCT Group CPA’s, LLP) and Phil Wegman (Furr & Wegman Architects, PA) were on hand to recognize the accomplishments of the 18 corporate teams: Allen & Company of Florida, Bank of Central Florida, CenterState Bank, CPS Investment Advisors, Florida LIfestyle Communities, Furr & Wegman Architects, GEICO, JSK Consulting, Inc, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lanier Upshaw, McQueen Marketing LLC, The NCT Group CPA’s, LLP, Publix Super Markets, Inc, Riverside Bank, SunTrust Bank, Two Men and a Truck, Watson Clinic, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio.

With $37,205 in sales, Nancy Cattarius was presented the Platinum Producer Award. Furr & Wegman Architects was  awarded the Platinum Producer Team Award with $49,690 in total sales.



With help from Chair-Elect Joe L. Ruthven, Campaign Chair Nancy Cattarius announced a total of $291,018 to date, and more to come!

Congratulations campaign volunteers! And, thank you to all our sponsors- look for more detailed information in our Victory Edition!


RC – Games2U of Central Florida

RC - Games2U of Central  FL The days of having an average, run-of-the-mill birthday party are over for Central Florida kids. Games2U, a mobile video game theater, is rolling into town and is poised to fill a major void in the multi-billion dollar party segment.
Looking for a way to combine their entrepreneurial skills with their passion for having fun, Leonard Filipkowski is launching a Games2U franchise in Lakeland, which mixes two of the most popular entertainment segments for kids – video games and laser tag – into one vehicle that’s delivered to the door step of the party child.
“Kids are tired of going to a bowling alley or roller skating for their birthdays,” said Filipkowski. “We are offering everyone the chance to have a ‘rock star’ birthday party at an affordable price.”

Each party vehicle features multiple flat screens inside and outside; with the top games for video game systems like XBox 360 and Wii systems, among others and lets 20 gamers play at one time. High tech Laser tag guns function in daylight or dark, and can be set up in front or backyards or in neighborhood parks. Games2U party participants can also roll around in a giant Hamsterball or shoot customized air cannons.
Additionally, highly-trained game coaches oversee the entire experience and personally manage each Games2U Mobile Video Game Theater throughout the entire event, allowing parents and event coordinators the chance to relax and enjoy the party.

Founded in 2007 by brothers David and Stuart Pikoff, Games2U has quickly become the hottest party scene, especially among boys ages 7 to 14.
“We know we are succeeding when our follow-up surveys include responses like, `My son said this was the best birthday party in the world,” David Pikoff said.
Although birthday parties are the most commonly booked event for Games2U franchisees, owners also book plenty of school, church and corporate functions.
The Games2U of Lakeland, which features the Sprinter Van, serves residents from throughout the Central Florida area. To book events, log on to and click “Book a Party.”


RC – Broadway Real Estate Services

RC Broadway Real Estate Services is a new player to Lakeland’s office real estate market, making its presence immediately known with a portfolio of over 400,000 square feet of prime office space.  Ron Clark started the company together with his son, Matt Clark, and son-in-law, Tom Anderson.  Broadway also includes a commercial real estate brokerage business, Broadway Brokerage, LLC, which is headed by one of Lakeland’s best commercial brokers, Patricia Hendler.  Together, the Broadway team has over 60 years of commercial real estate experience in owning, leasing and managing office properties.

Broadway leases and manages the largest portfolio of Class “A” office buildings in the greater Lakeland area.  The office buildings include many of Lakeland’s prominent addresses in and around the downtown area.

Broadway brings with it a new style of proactive property management, which it intends to use to its advantage in today’s unique real estate market by building long lasting landlord/tenant relationships.

Broadway plans to aggressively expand its portfolio and acquire more prime office space in and around the Lakeland area, with a focus on the finest Class “A” office buildings available.

Broadway Real Estate Services 
500 S. Florida Ave, Suite 420
Lakeland, Florida  33801
T: 863-683-3425


RC – Grills Plus More

Ribbon Cutting Grills Plus More (formerly All About Grills II) first opened its doors in early October 2005.  Originally specializing in Custom Outdoor Kitchens, the product lines have grown to include wood pellet grills/smokers including the Fast Eddy’s Pellet Cooker, Fire  Magic and Luxor stainless steel outdoor kitchen grills and components.  In addition, they carry a number of sauces and rubs featuring local Polk County and Florida entrepreneurs as well as a large selection of grilling tools and accessories.  Check out the Pete’s Choice Prime Rib Rub as this is their first entry into the dry rub market place with their own line of products.
Grills Plus More is owned and operated by Nancy and Ron McKeehen.  They retired from corporate America in New England in 2003, traveled the country in their motor home and arrived in Florida in 2005.  The store concept was developed as a direct result of Ron’s passion for cooking and the fact that they wanted to be outside as much as possible at their new FL home.  After their search failed to find a source for building an outdoor kitchen that would withstand the FL elements and enhance their backyard experience, they decided to open their own store rather than go back to corporate jobs.
Grills Plus More is one of the largest dealers for wood pellet grills in the Southeast and was recently name as a Regional Distributor by Green Mountain Grills. Located at 2175 E. Edgewood Drive, Lakeland, FL  33803 –


RC – St Joseph’s Academy

RC St Joseph Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, Msgr. John Caulfield, Principal Lana Swartzwelder along with St. Joseph’s students, parishioners, alumni, local dignitaries and the Lakeland community celebrated the ribbon cutting and the school dedication on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.

St. Joseph’s Academy began its 71st year of providing quality Catholic education in a new location.  The school is now located at 310 McDonald Street in the Lake Morton Historic District.  The newly renovated campus sits on 4.5 acres and has more than 66,000 square feet.  SJA has SmartBoards in every classroom.  The campus also has a new soccer field.

St. Joseph’s Academy serves students from preschool through eighth grade.  To learn more about St. Joseph’s Academy, please visit