Category Archives: Announcements


Polk State Start Right Supply Giveaway to Prepare K-12, College Students for the School Year


Winter Haven, July 13, 2018 — The Polk State College Foundation and Polk State JD Alexander Center will host the second annual Start Right Campaign School Supply Giveaway event Saturday, July 28, at 9 a.m. in Lake Wales at 152 E. Central Ave., where students from kindergarten through college will each be eligible to receive a backpack stuffed with school supplies.
The event will also include food, music, and free haircuts provided by Gifted Cuts and Faded Fresh barbershops for students between the ages of 5 and 14.
Donations and supplies are needed, and can be provided by visiting or by delivering items to the Polk State JD Alexander Center by Monday, July 23.
The College launched the Start Right Campaign last year to help Lake Wales families provide school supplies to their students and to thank the Polk County community for its support of the Polk State JD Alexander Center.
“Many families struggle to provide their children with the school supplies they need. We want to lift that burden for parents and ensure that their students are prepared for a successful school year,” Polk State JD Alexander Center Director Andy Oguntola said. “We also want to give back to the community to say thank you for the continued support we receive from the residents of Polk County. We are grateful to be an integral part of this community, and we are proud to serve Lake Wales.”
The campaign plans to hand out 500 backpacks filled with supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks, and paper, as well as a note of encouragement written by a Polk State student. One backpack per student will be available while supplies last.
Oguntola expressed sincere gratitude to the many donors, volunteers, and colleagues who have committed to ensuring the event is a success, including the Lake Wales Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, Walmart, Duke Energy, CenterState Bank, The Story Companies, GST: The Family Church, and Wayne T. Fellows, Inc.
“Every contribution plays an important role in transforming lives through the power of philanthropy,” said Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation. “Together, we are ensuring that students of all ages are ready for a successful school year.”
“Great beginnings lead to great futures,” she added, “allowing our community to soar.”
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


SERVPRO Recognizes Local Business for Outstanding Revenue Performance

Lakeland, FL (Grassroots Newswire) July 12, 2018 – SERVPRO® of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands received the MILLIONAIRE’S Bronze award at the recent SERVPRO convention, held at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL, from June 25-29. David M. Touchton and Jeffrey K. Purtell of SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands and other high-performing franchisees were recognized during an Awards Extravaganza at the annual event, which was attended by nearly 3,000 owners, key staff, and corporate representatives.
“We’re proud to have earned this distinction and proud to be a member of the SERVPRO franchise family serving home and business owners in the SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands area,” said David M. Touchton, SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands Owner. “When you combine a dedicated team of disaster remediation professionals with the innovative tools, business framework, and ongoing training provided by the SERVPRO Franchise Network, you have a winning formula for success. We look forward to providing world class disaster cleanup, restoration and remediation services to home and business owners in our community for many years to come.”

Sue Steen, chief executive officer of Servpro Industries, Inc., said that the Awards Extravaganza event was the highlight of a convention packed with learning opportunities. This year’s event theme, “Bring the Brand to Life”, represented the four main areas of focus that help add life to any brand; Serve the Customer, Build the Brand, Management, and Leadership. The theme was a thread running through the 70 breakout sessions and three general sessions available to the franchise owners and key team members in attendance. “In addition, these entrepreneurs learned about new internal technical enhancements designed to help them streamline their business operations,” added Steen. “Our goal each year is to help our franchisees grow their businesses as they continue to provide best-in-class services to their clients.”

“Running a small business is a challenge,” said Steen, “and SERVPRO understands that. Our annual convention gives us the opportunity to recognize our top performing franchises while we provide each of our individual franchisees with the tools, knowledge, and group experience they need to help them excel at building their businesses. Our business owners are an extraordinary group of entrepreneurs. When they succeed, it does more than enhance SERVPRO’s reputation as an industry leader in disaster cleanup, restoration, and remediation services. It also ensures that these dedicated professionals have the tools they need to provide world-class service to their customers and their communities.”

For more information about SERVPRO of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands, please contact David M. Touchton at (863) 510-5962 or or visit

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.


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Bret Hamlin Appointed Incoming Chair of the Employee Benifits Committee of the ABA Taxation Section

Hamlin_Bret_HITAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is proud to announce that Bret T. Hamlin has been appointed incoming chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Taxation Section.

The Employee Benefits Committee of the ABA Taxation Section focuses on developments and issues relating to employee benefits under the Code, ERISA and other laws. The Committee also prepares comments to the IRS, Treasury and other government agencies on proposed guidance and emerging issues.

The mission of the ABA Section of Taxation is to serve its members and the public by providing education about taxes and tax systems, and by providing leadership to support the development of an equitable, efficient and workable tax system.

Mr. Hamlin is a shareholder in the firm’s Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group. He practices primarily in the areas of employee benefits, deferred compensation and trusts. Prior to entering the private practice of law, he provided plan design and consulting, third-party administration and investment, as well as retirement plan education services for clients.

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