Category Archives: Community Info & Events


USF Poly Assists Chamber With Marketing Project

I owe a huge “thank you” to the folks at the USF Poly Office of Experiential & Applied Learning – and an even larger “thank you” to the students in Professor Carol Osborne’s Tuesday nigh Marketing class!

This semester, Professor Osborne’s class has been working on a project to identify some marketing recommendations for the Chamber. After a thorough analysis of the Chamber’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats, the class made three different presentations last night on ways that the Chamber can better identify itself and market itself to a new generation of business owners.

I am incredibly appreciative to all our members and Lakeland businesses who participated in interviews with the students! The ideas that they returned were interesting, fresh and well thought-out.

Your business can also benefit from the help of students at USF Poly! Give the Office of Experiential & Applied Learning a call at (863) 904-6676 to learn more!


Lakeland Community Theatre Offers Workshop for High School Performing Arts Auditions

Come learn the tips and tricks to a stellar theatre audition at a performing arts high school! No Experience Necessary… Instructors will cover specific tips on the following departments:

  • Theatre
  • Musical Theatre
  • Technical Theatre

Question & answer session for parents from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Attendees, please bring your audition materials such as monologues, 16-bar music scores, and/or creative projects. If you do not have something prepared, LCT instructors can help!

DATE: Tuesday, December 6

TIME: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Lakeland Community Theatre (at the Lake Mirror Complex on S Lake Ave)
INSTRUCTORS: Alan Reynolds, Maureen Whelan, Benedict Heaps, Debi Morgan, & Grant Reynolds

To sign up or for more information, please call the Lakeland Community Theatre Box Office at (863) 603-PLAY, visit, or email education director Maureen Whelan at

Attending this workshop does not guarantee acceptance into any performing arts high school program.


Polk State College Intramural Flag Football Team to Face Lakeland Raiders on Dec 6

Polk State College students will be chanting “Soar, Eagles!” as their intramural flag football team faces the Ultimate Indoor Football League’s (UIFL) Lakeland Raiders in the first “Seven on Seven” Eagle Battalion Celebrity Flag Football game slated for December 6 at 1 p.m.

The game will be free and open to the public. It will be played on the College’s newly renovated soccer field, located on the west side of the Lakeland Technology Building on the Lakeland campus.

The game will be the first public appearance for the newly organized Lakeland Raiders. Lakeland Raiders owner and head coach Mike Mink said the match-up against the Polk State intramural flag football team promises fun – and a healthy dose of competition.

“We are pumped to provide a fun game for the students of Polk State College and we are looking forward to a great fan turnout. Many of our players started out playing college ball, so this is a great way to give back and return to our roots. The Eagles had better be ready for some heat,” he said.

The event will be sponsored by the Polk State College Student Activities and Leadership Office. The first 50 spectators will receive a free event T-shirt, and refreshments will be served while supplies last.

Spectators will also have the chance to win Polk State College and Lakeland Raiders merchandise. Lakeland Raiders season ticket discount packages will be available for Polk State College students.

For more game information, visit For more information about the Lakeland Raiders and a complete 2012 game schedule, visit


The Importance of Small Business and Why Buying Lakeland Matters to All of Us

There’s a lot of talk this holiday season about buying local and shopping in small businesses – but do we know why? I thought I’d pull together some information from the Small Business Administration to quantify that “warm fuzzy feeling” that comes from supporting our locally owned businesses.

The SBA classifies small business as having less than 500 employees. Did you know that small firms:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

Locally, our Chamber membership employs more than 88,000 folks and77% of member businesses have 25 or fewer employees. That’s 88,000 pretty compelling reasons to support our Chamber members businesses!

This holiday season, and throughout the year, Lakeland businesses need our continued support. Look for local businesses at or on your mobile phone!


Natural Air Energy is Seeing the Need and Helping to Feed this Holiday Season

Drop off your nonperishable items to Natural Air Energy Saving Systems (heating & cooling) now through the end of the year to support Lighthouse Ministries. Please join us to help provide food boxes for families in need.

For stopping in and giving your donation, Natural Air Energy will give you a 20% off coupon. Please join us in making sure every family has a happy holiday season.

Location: Natural Air Energy Saving Systems (Heating & Cooling)

3340 Havendale Blvd

Winter Haven, FL 33881

Items Needed: Canned soup, veggies, fruit, tomato sauce pasta and noodles, mac & cheese, hamburger helper, canned chili. Cooking oil, tuna, rice, beans, potatoes, snacks, peanut butter, jelly, cake mix, flour, sugar, syrup, crackers, oatmeal, cereal and raisins.