Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Local and Regional Candidates to Participate in 2018 Hob Nob

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2018) – The 2018 Political Hob Nob being hosted at the Rocking H Ranch on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, provides an occasion to meet with local and state candidates and learn more about them.

In an effort to increase awareness of and participation in the elections process, the Lakeland Chamber provides this opportunity for the local community to speak with candidates and local clubs at their respective booths.  Attendees will vote in a Straw Poll administered by the Polk County Supervisor of Elections from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM with the results announced that evening at 7:45 PM.  Candidates will take the stage to introduce themselves.

The Rocking H Ranch provides the perfect “Old Florida” backdrop for the event.  Originally, an old Cattle Ranch, it now is one of the leading Agritourism spots in Florida.  Attendees will also enjoy great BBQ, beverages, valet parking and good company.

The event is made possible by underwriting from community-focused companies and organizations – Red Sponsors are Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A., Ledger Media Group, Rocking H Ranch, Spectrum Business; Gubernatorial Sponsors include A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., Reed Mawhinney & Link, PLLC, and Watson Clinic LLP. Other sponsors and supporters are Bernie Little Distributors, BTB Catering, Lakeland Valet, Polk County Supervisor of Elections, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio, and (Linking Community Now Inc.).

Candidates may register for a Table until Tuesday, August 7, 2018 using this link or by visiting and clicking on the Events Calendar tab.

Tickets to the event are $25 with advance purchase and $30 if purchased at the door.  Corporate 10-Packs are available for $200.  Sponsorships are available.  Tickets can be purchased by using this link or by visiting and clicking on the Events Calendar tab.

Candidates and clubs that are currently registered to attend are listed below.  Candidates will be added to our event page as they register – please visit and click the Events Calendar tab to view.

Representative in Congress, District 15:

Neil Combee

Sean Harper

Danny Kushmer

Ed Shoemaker

Ross Spano

Kristen Carlson

Andrew P. Learned

Representative in Congress, District 17:

Greg Steube


Philip Levine

Attorney General:

Ashley Moody

State Senator, District 22:

Kelli Stargel

State Senator, District 26:

Catherine Price

State Representative, District 39:

Josie Tomkow

State Representative, District 40:

Colleen Burton

Shandale Terrell

State Representative, District 56:

Melony Bell

Jeff Mann

County Commissioner, District 2:

Kathryn “Kat” Gates-Skipper

Rick Wilson

County Commissioner, District 4:

Jim Guth

Martha Santiago

Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Group 10:

Lee Cohen

Melissa Gravitt

Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Group 11:

Dana Y. Moore

Stephen Paul Pinket

School Board, District 3:

Sarah Fortney

Scott Jones

LaTrice Moore

Kala Tedder

School Board, District 5:

Terry L. Clark

Kay Fields

Jennifer Sabin

School Board, District 7:

David Byrd

Lisa Miller

Clubs and Organizations:

The Republican Club of Lakeland

The Democratic Women’s Club of Lakeland

The Republican Women’s Club of Lakeland, Federated
Event Sponsors:

Red Sponsors

Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A.

Rocking H Ranch

Ledger Media Group

Spectrum Business

Gubernatorial Sponsors

A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure

Reed Mawhinney & Link, PLLC

Watson Clinic LLP

Media Partners

Big 4 Radio – WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio (Linking Community Now Inc.)

Exclusive Beer Sponsor

Bernie Little Distributor

Event Sponsors

BTB Catering

Lakeland Valet

Event Partner

Polk County Supervisor of Elections

Location:  Rocking H Ranch, 2200 Ewell Rd, Lakeland, FL  33811

Date/Time Information:  Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier,


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.


S.T.E.A.M. FORWARD Camp in Haines City

HAINES CITY, FL –The City of Haines City in partnership with the University of South Florida, Florida Polytechnic University and Intel Corporation present S.T.E.A.M. FORWARD Camp for local middle school-aged children passionate about computer technology, engineering, gaming, programming, and robotics.
S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) camp is July 17, 2018, 9:00 am-3:30 pm at Lake Eva Event Center located at 799 Johns Ave, Haines City, FL 33844. The one day camp will include a light breakfast and a lunch sponsored by KFC Auburndale by Mr. and Mrs. George and Seretha Tinsley. Registration is FREE; however, spots are limited to 50 students/children.
The purpose of this camp is to introduce students to professionals in the S.T.E.A.M. career fields, learn about education and relevant career paths, and engage in a variety of hands-on activities and challenges to enhance collaboration and problem-solving skills.
S.T.E.A.M. professionals develop innovative, user-friendly products, such as smart home systems, face recognition, driverless vehicles, and robots, to help us live more advanced lives than ever before. This growing field needs young visionaries who are passionate and determined to create trending innovations of the future. S.T.E.A.M. FORWARD Camp is designed to ignite and explore this passion in the young leaders of tomorrow.

STEAM Forward Camp
Students will have an opportunity to experiences the excitement of drones, computer programming, and a chance to win three laptops. To register or for more information, please contact Haines City Parks & Recreation at (863) 421-3700.


Mid-State Industrial Maintenance Awarded Mosaic Service Contract

(LITHIA, Fla., July 5, 2018) – Mid-State Industrial Maintenance (Mid-State), a Polk County industrial maintenance company with over 460 Polk, Hillsborough and Hardee County employees, has been awarded a three-year general maintenance contract servicing Mosaic’s Central Florida mine sites as well as the Phosphoric Acid and Dry Products process areas at all four of Mosaic’s Florida fertilizer manufacturing facilities. Mid-State will serve as a principal partner assisting with on-going general maintenance.
In February 2018, Mosaic issued a Request for Proposals for its contract mechanical and general maintenance services in Florida. After a national search, Mosaic awarded the contract to a familiar partner, Mid-State. The company estimates tapping Mid-State for as many as 200,000 work hours a year which translates to nearly 100 jobs and an estimated spend of more than $15 million.
Chris Martus, Mosaic’s Vice President of Procurement said, “Since 1973, Mid-State has been a trusted resource for many companies in the phosphate industry, including Mosaic. As a publicly traded company, we have a responsibility to our employees and our shareholders to cast a wide net in terms of competitive contracts. When the strongest proposal comes from a locally-owned business, that’s a win-win for all.”
“We’re glad to continue this next chapter with Mosaic,” said Mid-State CEO Jeff Clyne “Our people are skilled in their crafts, know the Mosaic sites and most importantly share their commitment to safety. In addition Mosaic is proving their commitment to support our local communities and the families that live and play in them.
As part of its phosphate fertilizer production, Mosaic employs more than 3,000 directly in Florida and tens of thousands indirectly through contracted services. Mosaic encourages and supports spending activities with local suppliers. More than 80% of the Phosphate business segment’s supply chain purchases were made with local vendors.
About The Mosaic Company:
The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading combined producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Mosaic is a single source provider of phosphate and potash fertilizers and feed ingredients for the global agriculture industry. More information on the company is available at
About Mid-State Industrial Maintenance:
Mid-State Industrial Maintenance provides design, fabrication, and installation services to the agriculture, energy, and heavy industrial markets throughout North America and the Caribbean. Mid-State responds and resolves critical complex scenarios with efficiency and value-added knowledge that minimizes operational downtime and costs. More information on the company is available at
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Southeastern University Partners with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

seu news

LAKELAND, Fla. – Starting in the fall, freshman and sophomore students at Southeastern University who are planning to pursue a health professions career will be given a chance to secure a seat at the nation’s largest medical school. The College of Natural and Health Sciences at Southeastern University (SEU) is partnering with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) to guarantee the acceptance of 15 SEU students yearly into their medical, pharmacy and dental schools. Five students can be admitted to each of the three schools on a yearly basis.

A committee in the science department at SEU will identify high achievers who are freshmen or sophomores for consideration in the program. Students will then be interviewed by the committee before they are offered the chance to apply. The students will then go through the application process of LECOM. Those who are admitted will be guaranteed a spot at the school, even before taking the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).

“The main thing incoming students majoring in the sciences want to know is that Southeastern University offers a quality, competitive program that will prepare them for entrance to graduate and medical school,” said Megan Wagner, assistant professor of biology at SEU. “Participation in this program will allow us to recruit, retain and advance high achievers in the sciences at SEU.”

Students are required to complete all four years at SEU prior to entering their program of their choice at LECOM. Failure to do so would forfeit their seat at the school. Students who are accepted into the program must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher.

To further prepare students for medical school, SEU will introduce Problem Based Learning (PBL) courses starting in the fall of 2018. These courses give students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems. The PBL model is the pedagogy used by medical schools to apply and advance learning.

“At Southeastern, we will offer PBL and hands-on innovate research opportunities to all of our high-achieving students. When LECOM became aware of the development of our PBL program, they recognized recruiting our students would increase long-term graduate success within their own programs,” said Wagner.

The college also has a new technological addition — an Anatomage Table, a digital cadaver table. The three-dimensional table provides students with life-size images of cadaver samples often seen in medical schools.

“The 3D, interactive images available in the Anatomage will allow students to view, engage and interact with medical school-level cadavers. The table will be used in multiple courses mirroring graduate school dissections and diagnostic learning experiences,” said Wagner.

For more information on the partnership, visit or contact Megan Wagner at


Strickland Construction, Inc. Completes Phase One Renovation of Lakeland Public Library and Begins Phase Two


LAKELAND, FL (July 5, 2018)Strickland Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce completion of Phase One of Lakeland Public Library’s renovation project.  Phase One consisted of the interior renovation of approximately 2,000 square feet, which included administrative offices, an assistant area, break room area, supply room and supply room utility closet as well as circulation areas.  “It has been a pleasure working with Strickland Construction; they are always accessible, responsive and have met deadlines.” said Lisa Lilyquist, City Librarian.


Phase Two of the Lakeland Public Library project began in June and is scheduled for completion in September 2018.  The interior renovation project will create an additional location for Black & Brew Coffee House and Bistro.  This space consists of approximately 1,100 square feet including a coffee shop and café with seating, serving and prep areas. Guests will also be able to enjoy an outside patio while enjoying their coffee, socializing or just reading. “This is a wonderful enhancement to the Lakeland Public Library and our community will benefit greatly.” states Mike Strickland, President of Strickland Construction, Inc.

Strickland Construction, Inc. is licensed for commercial projects, both new construction and renovations throughout the state of Florida and has been doing business since 2001. We specialize in commercial construction, construction management and industrial projects. Our portfolio includes government, office, educational, medical and retail projects.