11Apr/18

NEW BOOK BY FSC PROFESSOR RECOUNTS THE PERSONAL STORIES OF MARIEL BOATLIFT

LAKELAND (April 2, 2018) – One of the most dramatic and historic events of the 20th century, the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, is now told by the people who endured it in new book by a professor at Florida Southern College who survived the ordeal himself.

Voices from Mariel: Oral Histories of the 1980 Cuban Boatlift, by Dr. José M. Garcia, associate professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at FSC, has just been released by the University Press of Florida. In the book, Dr. Garcia recounts how his own family was among the 125,000 Cubans who fled the island, and he gives readers the stories of the emigrants in their own words. The book follows the award-winning 2011 documentary film of the same name, produced by NFocus Features, and based on Dr. Garcia’s work collecting the stories of his fellow refugees and his return trip to his homeland.

Dr. Garcia stressed that the book does not try to make a political point but to tell a human story.

“A lot has been written about the economic impact and the immigration policy issues of Mariel, but very little has been written in terms of hearing the testimonies of the people involved,” he commented. “This was Latin America’s biggest seaborne emigration in history. I had a need to share that.”

For more information about the reception, call (863) 680-4391 or (863) 680-3001.

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 30 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.

11Apr/18

Polk State Theatre’s 50th Year Concluding with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Winter Haven, April 5, 2018 — Polk State College will conclude its 50 years of theatre celebration with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
And on opening night, Thursday, April 12, Polk State Theatre and the Polk State College Foundation will host an event honoring former professor and Theatre director George Randolph. The Foundation and Polk State College Alumni Association will also hold a private reception for alumni and donors.
Performances of the Shakespearian comedy will continue through Sunday, April 15, and from Thursday, April 19, to Sunday, April 22, at the Winter Haven Campus Main Theatre, 999 Ave. H N.E. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for each performance except on Sundays, when the shows will begin at 2:30 p.m.
The box office opens one hour before show time. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at polk.edu/the-arts/box-office or by calling 863.297.1050. The play is free for students, faculty, and staff with their Polk State IDs.
“We selected a season of comedies for our 50th season, and we are finishing off with one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays,” Theatre Program Coordinator Mark Hartfield said. “‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is popular with modern audiences because the antics of ‘lovers and madmen’ still make us laugh 400 years later. It seems like the perfect way to cap our 50th season – with a show that’s both classic and entertaining!”
Prior to the show on opening night, the Theatre and Foundation will host a gathering in the Student Center in honor of Randolph, who passed away in December. He started his career at Polk State in 1975, teaching theatre, film history, humanities, and speech until retiring in 2009 after 34 years of service. He directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during his tenure.
“George Randolph was an integral part of the Theatre Department for many years, and we want to invite his former students and colleagues to remember him as we commemorate the program’s 50th anniversary,” Director of Development and Alumni Relations Marianne George said.
In addition to the evening of events, the Foundation and Alumni Association will hold a private reception for alumni and donors from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery. Space is limited. Alumni and donors may RSVP to Marianne George by emailing mgeorge@polk.edu or calling 863.292.3741.
The College’s first theatre production took place in the fall of 1967. In 1980, the 500-seat Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre was built, and today it boasts state-of-the-art computerized lighting, sound, and fly systems. The Polk State Theatre Program has built a reputation of excellence, with performances being adjudicated by the Florida College System Activities Association several times in the past decade.

About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools. Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.

11Apr/18

FSC TO DEDICATE PATRIOTS PLAZA IN TRIBUTE TO VETERANS

LAKELAND (April 10, 2018) – A permanent place of tribute to military men and women, past and present, will be dedicated on the Florida Southern College campus at 4 p.m. on April 12.

Patriots Plaza, located near the center of the campus at the entrance to the Barnett Athletic Complex, will be a place of honor and remembrance for veterans and active duty service members.  Its most distinctive feature is a recognition terrace paved with bricks purchased by donors, many of which are engraved with the names of military veterans and those who died in service to our nation.  At present, the Plaza contains about 260 engraved bricks, with many more expected to be added.

The Plaza was created through generous donations from many alumni and friends of the College. The naming gift for the Plaza was given by Fort Lauderdale businessman and U.S. Army veteran John J. “Jack” Smith of the Class of 1953. Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick (U.S. Army, ret.) of the Class of 1971 made the initial gift to launch the project’s campaign.

The plaza was also designed to serve as the site for ROTC programs and formations, as well as to welcome alumni and visitors to our campus. The circular plaza will display the flags of the United States, the State of Florida and Florida Southern College.

The Army ROTC program at Florida Southern has a long and distinguished history. It was begun in 1951 and has produced nine generals. The Moccasin Battalion at FSC was named the winner of the 2017 General Douglas MacArthur Award as the top ROTC program in the Army’s 6th Brigade, which consists of 39 programs in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

“Through the years, hundreds of Florida Southern alumni have served honorably in our armed forces, and some have made the ultimate sacrifice.” said President Anne Kerr. “Patriots Plaza is a beautiful tribute to those men and women that inspires deep gratitude for their service and great pride in our nation and College.”

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 30 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.

10Apr/18
Pictured in photo left to right:  Alexander Thomas, Miracle Murff, Zyad Elmasri, Skyler Hollinger, Om Taropawala, Sachin Sivakumar, Grant Gable, Shelby Claville.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FUNDED AT SHARK TANK EVENT

Shark Tank Students1

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (April 10, 2018) — Students from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk County (YEA! Polk) were awarded start-up funding to launch their businesses after pitching to a panel of local investors.

The event featured eight students, from middle through high school ages, all from Polk County, who are members of the 2017-18 Young Entrepreneur Academy of Polk, or YEA! Polk. They pitched their business ideas and plans to four local investors who would decide whether their ventures were worth funding.

The panel included community business leaders – Dr. Lyle Bowlin, Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University; Craig Hosking, Maximize Digital Media; Kate Lake, My Office & More; and, Harold M. McLeod, III, SunTrust – and awarded $6,500 in funding.

Here’s how the teen business owners fared:

  • Alexander Thomas, 14-year-old high school freshman and CEO of Aerial Perspective, a drone photography and videography service, was awarded $1,300.
  • Zyad Elmasri, 8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and CEO of Drink I.D., a dial label that can be put on cans or cups during parties that will help distinguish one can from another, was awarded $500.
  • Miracle Murff, graduating senior at Polk State Gateway to College High School and owner of HelpMate, a service that connects local small businesses with those in need, was awarded $200.
  • Om Taropawala, 7th grader at All Saints Academy and owner of InnovaTutors, a better way to tutor students using the students and teachers themselves as leaders, was awarded $500.
  • Grant Gable, 11th grader at Lake Wales IB and CEO of Just Ball, a basketball rebound netting, was awarded $925.
  • Sachin Sivakumar, 8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and owner of ScoutVenture, an app for Boy Scout Troops that helps Scouts manage themselves and plan for the future, was awarded $1,600.
  • Shelby Claville, graduating senior at Mulberry High School and CEO of ToGoGo, a catering delivery service, was awarded $225.
  • Skyler Hollinger, 7th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and CEO of UniqueForm, a company providing a better manufactured uniform that “Grows with the student,” was awarded $1,250.

Sachin Sivakumar of ScoutVenture was selected to represent the local Polk County Chapter at the YEA! Saunders Scholars National Competition in Rochester, New York in May. He will compete against almost 300 other semi-finalists – the best of the best. Skyler Hollinger of UniqueForm was selected as runner-up. The Annual YEA! Saunders Scholars Semi-Finals competition will kick off May 4 in Rochester, New York.

The students all attend a weekly class on the campus of Southeastern University for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to learn business practices and strategies. The classes began in October and will end in May with a graduation ceremony.

The direct mission of the Academy is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. The magic is that the Academy teaches kids to believe in themselves, to think big, and to understand that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.  In the process, students learn as much about leadership and self-empowerment as they do about planning, budgeting, and production.  Students in the Academy discover in themselves confidence, optimism, and capabilities they never knew they had.

Applications for the 2018-19 academic year of the Academy are available now:  http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce manages the Young Entrepreneurs Academy locally. Students are introduced to all facets of the business world including, but not limited to, advertising, attorneys, graphic designers and web developers. Students work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world.

YEA! is made possible by our Investor Sponsors:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University, Lakeland Chamber Foundation, Publix Super Markets, Inc., and SunTrust; and our Scholarship Sponsors:   Citrus Center Kiwanis, Maximize Digital Media, Mulberry Community Service Center, Suncoast Credit Union, and Got Candy & More! 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 yeausa.org, or for information on our local chapter, please visit http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA.

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 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 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 Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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29Mar/18

Middle and High School Students to Pitch to Local Investors

Citrus Center Kiwanis _ Maximize Digital Media _ MulbeLAKELAND, FLORIDA (March 29, 2018)—On Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 6:00 p.m., student entrepreneurs will take the stage to present their business plans before a panel of local leaders of industry and a public audience. The students are dressed as young professionals, and are ready to wow the crowd.

Nine students in grades 6 through 12 from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Polk County (YEA! Polk), a chapter of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce,  will have five minutes to pitch their business plans to prominent local members of the business community, during the program’s annual YEA! Shark Tank Investor Panel Event. Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, representatives from companies such as Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University, Maximize Digital Media, Publix Super Markets, and SunTrust will determine the amount of funds to allocate to each business. Investors may choose to fund one business at 100%, several at various percent’s, or all of the businesses equally.

The investors will also select one business to advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy National Saunders Scholars Competition, in Rochester, NY, where they will compete with students across the United States for college scholarships.

The students are all from Polk County – Bartow, Lake Alfred, Lakeland, Mulberry, and Winter Haven – and represent All Saints Academy, the International Baccalaureate School at Lake Wales High School, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Mulberry High School, Polk State Gateway High School, and the Thomas Christian Academy (home-school).

Student Businesses:

Aerial Perspective is a drone photography and videography service that will capture stunning views from both in the air and on the ground. The price to fly the drone would be per hour. My potential customers are realtors, property appraisers, and event planners. Once the business gets off the ground, Aerial Perspectives may add an infrared imaging service. The company would acquire the adapting infrared camera for the drone for inspecting roofs and may even fly into attics to look for water leaks and holes in the insulation. Our potential customers for the infrared camera would be inspectors, home insurance companies, and possibly energy companies. We plan to advertise to our customers by having a website, social media ads, fliers, and business cards. Since the CEO has experience flying drones, he feels he will be the ideal pilot once he turns 16 years old and is eligible for a FAA drone pilot’s license. He feels that his business will be successful.

Drink I.D. is a dial label that can be put on cans or cups during parties that will help distinguish one can from another. Buyers would include party planners, businesses planning to throw a party for employees, and sports fans. This label can work for any container, not only plastic cups. Especially cans.

HelpMate is a business idea that stemmed from experiencing the benefits of using a similar service. HelpMate plans to charge lower advertising rates on a more local scale to better connect smaller businesses. The business will be strictly website based until there is a need for a mobile app. Through the website a customer can browse qualified individuals and make contact with them for business measures. This idea will offer services that my target customers look for and are found in their local area.

Hidden Spray is an underground irrigation system that, instead of watering over ground, crops are watered underground because it targets the roots of the plant directly and allows no water to evaporate. This product is similar to drip irrigation where water is dripped into the ground near the roots in the spot where the roots of the plants are in order to conserve water from evaporating from the ground. The main difference is that my product is actually underground instead of drip irrigation. This fills the need of watering the crops less often because the water is already absorbed into the the soil and it is also more cost efficient because instead of farmers spending more money on a mobile over ground irrigation system, farmers would only have to install underground pipes and regulate the flow of water through the pipes.

The purpose of InnovaTutors is to provide a better way to tutor students using the students and teachers themselves as leaders! InnovaTutors targets the student, and their constant struggle to catch up or be higher than others in their class. It works by first requiring a school administrator to enroll their school in the program, then their website is customized to reflect their curriculum. By using this form of tutoring, teachers get to know their students better, students can find help easily, and allows helpers to become potential leaders in their community! This is a form of tutoring unlike any other, and differentiates completely from other services provided by competitors. It is completely safe, affordable, and a smart way to tutor within school.

Just Ball is basketball rebound netting. This product will cut the need for having to take time to chase after a ball because of a missed or bad shot. Instead of repetitively going after the ball in the yard, you can have it bounce back towards you. The net will also go behind the goal post instead of in front so it does not get in the way of the playing space like the competitors products do. The netting will be adjustable for both in-ground and portable goal posts and also goes up to the top of the backboard for total coverage. This is an opportunity because the simpler design doesn’t drive the material and production costs too high. It is also very appealing because of the useful purpose it serves and it does not require constant care or replacement.

ScoutVenture provides an app for Boy Scout Troops that helps Scouts manage themselves and plan for the future.

ToGoGo is a solution to the problem of when you want food but don’t necessarily want to leave your house and get into traffic to go get it. My company brings already made food from your favorite restaurants to your front door. The goal of ToGoGo is to satisfy consumers with the convenience of having food brought right to their house without them having to lift a finger.

UniqueForm is a better manufactured uniform that “Grows with the student” and is well needed. Better manufactured uniforms would be beneficial for the parent, due to its long lasting life and its affordable price. The kids would benefit by being able to adjust the uniform to better accustom their unique form.  Parents of tweens and teens at schools that still require them to wear uniforms would be my target market, since the parents would ideally be the ones purchasing the product. It is different because the UniqueForm uniform lasts longer than competitors and the quality manufacturing allows the uniform to accustom one’s unique form.

The event is free and open to the public.  Interviews with young entrepreneurs or members of the judging panel can be arranged.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk is made possible through the support of sponsors:

Investor Sponsors:

Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University

Lakeland Chamber Foundation

Publix Super Markets, Inc.

SunTrust Bank

Scholarship Sponsors:

Citrus Center Kiwanis

Maximize Digital Media

Mulberry Community Service Center

Suncoast Credit Union

Community Sponsor

Gary S Claville Trust

Got Candy & More

Location:  Buena Vida Auditorium, Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL  33801

Date/Time Information:  Wednesday, April 4, 2018

5:30 – 6:00 pm Meet & Greet with light refreshments from Got Candy & More
6:00 – 7:30 pm Investor Panel Presentation

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier (863) 688-8551 x 229

rfortier@lakelandchamber.com

Fees/Admission:  Free and open to the public. Registration requested.

YEA! teaches kids ages 11 to 18 how to identify their passions, develop a business idea, write a business plan, pitch investors for funding, and obtain all the necessary components to create a fully, formed and functioning business or social movement by the end of the 30-week class.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.

 

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 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 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 Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.