All posts by Rachel Lawrence

About Rachel Lawrence

Rachel hails by birth from a small town on the outskirts of Erie, PA and has recently dove into a new life in Lakeland, FL. A natural people-person and lover of the written word, Rachel is passionate about photography and creating a lovable brand and bringing it to the masses.



LAKELAND, FL (April 12, 2017) — Competition for the King of the Wings contest is heating up!  Last year’s winners – Mojo’s Wings, Burgers, Beer (winner of the 2016 Judges’ Choice King of the Wings) and Smokin’ Aces Bar-B-Q (winner of the 2016 Peoples’ Choice) have already committed to this year’s contest, along with several other local restaurants and caterers.

Each Spring for the last 18 years, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce hosts the Luau Business After Hours sponsored by Citizens Bank & Trust, to celebrate our business community and to offer a sampling of local tastes.  On Thursday, April 20, 2017, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, plan to enjoy an evening of sampling, sipping, and mingling “on the deck” at Citizens Bank & Trust downtown!

Mary Stephenson, Vice President and Mortgage Loan Officer, along with the staff at Citizens Bank & Trust Downtown help plan the annual event. “We love helping the Lakeland Chamber organize the event,” says Mary. “We are looking forward to another great event, with great food, music and guests. Citizens Bank & Trust is honored to serve as host and look forward to seeing over 700 members and guests and the opportunity to network with our community.”

The Lakeland Chamber expects a record crowd again– ready to sample and judge wings and other tasty foods! Each guest will cast his/her vote for the People’s King of the Wings, and an expertly appointed panel of judges will vote to determine the Judges’ King of the Wings!

King of the Wings Competitors:

Beef O’ Brady’s South Lakeland

Carter’s BBQ

Fred’s Market

Glory Days Grill

Miller’s Ale House


Smokey Bones

Smokin’ Aces BBQ


Food samples also provided by:  bd Mongolian Grill, Jet’s Pizza, Square 1 Burgers, and TooJay’s. Photo booth sponsored by Luis & Co.

Event Sponsors:

Presenting – Citizens Bank & Trust

Big Kahuna – Bernie Little Distributing, LLC

Tiki Sponsors – Republic Services, Southside Package & Lounge (Tuckers’), Spherion, and Whatever Tees Screen Printing and Embroidery


The casual, party atmosphere lends to productive networking.

This event is only $10 – chamber members and non-members.

Name:  18th Annual Luau Business After Hours hosted by Citizens Bank & Trust

Date:  April 20, 2017

Time:  5:30 PM – 7:30 PM EDT

Location:  On the Deck at Citizens Bank and Trust, 402 S Kentucky Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier (863) 688-8551 ext 229, or

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce represents 1,700 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:

Vision Statement

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice.

Mission Statement

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.


Orlando Magic Lakeland D-League Team to Make Special Announcement

WHAT: The Orlando Magic’s D-League Affiliate in Lakeland to Make Special Announcement

Announcement will be streamed live on Event not open to the public.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Crystal Lake Middle School, 2410 N. Crystal Lake Drive, Lakeland, Fla., 33801

WHO: NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner, Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins, Lakeland D-League President Shelly Wilkes

Media attending should arrive by 1 p.m. and check in through the school front office.

On Dec. 14, 2016, the Orlando Magic and the NBA Development League announced that the Magic purchased the Erie BayHawks with plans to relocate the team to Lakeland, Fla. and begin play during the 2017-18 season. With the purchase, the Magic became the 17th NBA team to own and operate their NBA D-League affiliate. The franchise will play its 24 home games at The Lakeland Center. The Magic’s Lakeland D-League season is made up of 50 regular-season games plus a postseason and runs from November to April.


Orlando’s NBA franchise since 1989, the Magic’s mission is to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. The Magic have seen great success in a relatively short history, winning five division championships (1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010) with seven 50-plus win seasons and capturing the Eastern Conference title in 1995 and 2009. Off the court, on an annual basis, the Orlando Magic gives more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorship’s of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants.

Orlando Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 100,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 7,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, with major support from OMYF over the last 27 years, more than $22 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, which serves at-risk youth. Ticket highlights for the Magic’s 2016-17 season in the Amway Center, honored with TheStadiumBusiness Awards’ 2013 Customer Experience Award and named SportsBusiness Journal’s 2012 Sports Facility of the Year, include: 2,500 seats priced $20 or less, 8,000 seats priced $40 or less and 9,000 seats priced $50 or under.

For ticket information log on to or call 407-89MAGIC.



LAKELAND, FLORIDA (April 10, 2017)—On Tuesday, April 11, at 4:45 PM, students from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk  (YEA!) will be visiting Maximize Digital Media, for a behind the scenes look at what it takes to brand, advertise and market a successful business.

Chrissanne Long and Craig Hosking, co-owners of Maximize Digital Media will help students learn about various advertising, marketing, and public relations strategies that are vital to small business success. Students will learn how to enhance their company’s brand while attracting customers and generating sales. Ms. Long will share her own entrepreneurial success story with the students.  YEA! students will hear where the business idea came from, what the challenges have been and what skills it takes to keep the business running.

Maximize Digital Media, a digital marketing company, specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with online marketing strategies. They are known for their coaching skills in the fields of Website Design, Internet Marketing, Social Media, and Search Engine Optimization.

Creating beautiful, obtainable websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs is their passion. Providing those same businesses with the marketing strategies to propel them forward is the work that makes them proud. And empowering others to learn and master the tools and techniques that will drive their continued success is their ultimate goal.

The Maximize Digital Media team is filled with people who live and breathe marketing strategy, who hold a brand’s website in the same regard as a piece of artwork, and who make it their personal mission to see a client succeed. They believe in telling a client’s story, painting a masterpiece with it, and marketing it with heart.

They are committed to making a meaningful difference in our community. Ms. Long and Mr. Hosking are the creators of Lakeland Business Leaders, a local business network that connects local solutions to customers in real-time. Maximize, together with LBL, stands behind small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups.

Transportation underwriting provided by Boring Business Systems.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that teaches students how to make a job, not just take a job! In addition to lessons inside the classroom, YEA! introduces students to all types of businesses through field trips, guest lectures, and networking with business mentors and community leaders.

YEA! is made possible by our Investor Sponsors:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., Bank of Central Florida, Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University, Keller Williams Realty, Publix Super Market Charities, and SunTrust; and our Scholarship Sponsors:   Hunt Berryman, Maximize Digital Media, Robert A. Mazur, and Spectrum (formerly Brighthouse Networks). The YEA! Sponsors and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce are helping to build the next generation of business leaders in Polk County.

To learn more about YEA! visit, or for information on our local chapter, please visit


CareerSource Polk Business Ethics Workshop

Please join us for our next

Employer Roundtable:

Business Ethics Workshop

Presenter: Dr. Tracy Whitfield, Business Program

Chair at Keiser University

Wednesday, April 12th, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Polk State College – Lakeland Campus | 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland

ROOM CHANGE:   Room LLC 2188 – Auditorium

You’ll learn an ethical aspect to business decision-making and behaviors:

The paramount learning point for the seminar is to take an in depth study into business ethics.

The second learning point is to highlight how business ethics affects managerial decisions, employees, employee interactions, corporate finances, and organizational growth.

The third learning point is to discuss multiple environments where business ethics can be enhanced.

The final learning point is to identify and implement ethical solutions to assist organizations, management, and employees in using ethical business practices in all areas and departments of daily operations.


Fuse Lenses Touching Down at Sun n’ Fun 2017

LAKELAND, FL, April 2017 — For the First time ever, Fuse Lenses is bringing the party from the sandy shores of Clearwater into Lakeland’s Sun n’ Fun Airshow as an official sponsor!

Make sure you don’t leave home without grabbing your favorite pair of sunglasses or digging through your junk drawer for shades that need a second chance; Fuse Lenses is cutting custom lenses all day long, on the spot! It takes only five minutes for your sunglasses to be transformed. You can spin our prize wheel for your chance to win a free set of Fuse +Plus polarized lenses, or another great take-away. If free lenses aren’t your thing, you can always snap a picture with one of our Fuse models or try your luck at corn hole, spikeball, and ring toss. You can also rock out to live music by The Time Travlrs, playing Friday and Saturday from 12- 6 p.m.

In addition to the all-day fun, mark your calendars for very special appearances from our sponsored teams! The Aeroshell Aerobatic Team will be at the Fuse Booth Saturday at 2 p.m. for an exclusive meet and greet and signing. The Paradigm Aerobatic Team will be at the Fuse Booth at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Make sure you stop by at least once to meet the world’s first performing aerobatic powered paragliding team!

The highlight of the week will be the Fuse Lenses’ After Party, happening 4- 6 p.m. on Saturday. Mingle with our sponsored athletes, the Fuse Crew — and most importantly, our beautiful Fuse models. It’s sure to be a great time with The Time Travlrs kicking it up a notch with live mixes into the evening – and it all wraps up in time to get the best seat in the house for the Saturday Night Airshow.

We hope to see you there! Thursday, April 6 – Sunday, April 9

Sun n’ Fun Airshow
Fuse Lenses Booth, Southeast Exhibitor Lot #11
Lakeland Regional Airport, Lakeland FL

About Fuse:
Fuse Lenses offers premium polycarbonate replacement lenses for any and every brand of sunglasses. You can easily give any pair of shades an updated look with their custom cut, interchangeable lenses. With 24 color options and high quality optics, you can get the vision you deserve in the colors you crave. Stop throwing your old, scratched shades away– instead, breathe new life into them with Fuse Lenses.

Chase Sellmeyer