Category Archives: Announcements


SCORE/Paychex Offer Free Seminar

SCOREEmployee Life Cycle: Interviewing, Hiring & What Comes Next, helps entrepreneurs select and develop productive and engaged employees.

We will cover:

  • Federal laws impacting hiring decisions
  • Progressive discipline for performance issues and policy violations
  • Legal matters with employee termination
  • Costs that come from poor hiring practices
  • How to implement an effective recruiting and hiring process

To register, click here.

SCORE also offers free and confidential mentoring sessions in addition to the seminar.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

9:00 am – 11:00 am

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

35 Lake Morton Dr, Lakeland, FL

Registration Required


Lakeland Regional Health Team Member News

Pagani_VirginiaVirginia Pagani, MD, joins Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. Dr. Pagani earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her Residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando. Dr. Pagani most recently served as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist for Health Central Hospital in Orlando. Certified by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Pagani sees patients at the Grasslands Campus, 3030 Harden Blvd, and also will see patients at the soon-to-open Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Wauchula State Bank Announces Leadership Changes for 2018

Donna McKownThe Wauchula State Bank Board of Directors recently confirmed the following changes in senior leadership:

  • W. “Jake” Crews IV – CEO and Chairman of the Board
  • W. “Bill” Crews Jr. – Vice Chairman
  • Donna McKown – President

A fourth generation Crews family member, Jake Crews moves from president to lead the bank as CEO. “We make banking easy by listening to our clients and offering flexible solutions and creative options based on our experience,” he said.

A graduate of Washington State University with a degree in finance, Crews worked for three years as a bank examiner for the state of Florida prior to formally joining the bank in 2010.

Bill Crews assumes the Vice Chairman role and continues his distinguished career that has included service with professional and community organizations. One of only three people to have served as president of both the Florida Bankers Association and the Community Bankers of Florida, he received the FBA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

As a seasoned banker, McKown has been in senior management at Wauchula State Bank for more than 20 years during her 35-year career with the bank. Her dedication to the organization and passion for helping customers reinforces the culture of Wauchula State Bank in providing service excellence with trust and integrity.

McKown was instrumental in expanding the branch network of the bank. A graduate of the Florida School of Banking at the University of Florida, she has leadership experience in all areas and functions of retail banking.

ABOUT WAUCHULA STATE BANK – Based in Wauchula, Fla., Wauchula State Bank has served the Florida Heartland since 1929 as a family owned, locally managed community bank. The late J.W. Crews Sr. (father of the current vice chairman) purchased controlling interest in the bank in 1932, and the bank is still owned and operated by the Crews family. With over $660 million in assets and seven branches located in Hardee, Polk and Highlands counties, Wauchula State Bank is the largest among the family of banks under Crews Bank Corp., the others including Charlotte State Bank & Trust, Englewood Bank & Trust and First State Bank of Arcadia. To learn more, visit Member FDIC / Equal Housing Lender


Paul Colee joins CenterState Bank Florida as Senior Vice President Commercial Banker

Paul ColeeCenterState Bank Regional President Dale E. Dreyer announced today the appointment of Paul Colee as Senior Vice President Commercial Banker.  In this capacity, he will be responsible for developing new commercial banking relationships while maintaining excellent relationships with existing highly-valued business clients throughout the Lakeland market.

In making the announcement Dreyer commented, “We are very happy to have Paul join our organization.  He has built a fine reputation as a career banker in the Lakeland business community. His outstanding experience and professionalism will help our organization continue its strong growth by offering exceptional service to our local businesses and community.”

Paul Colee joins CenterState Bank from his most recent position as Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender at Centennial Bank in Lakeland. Prior to joining Centennial Bank, Colee served in similar capacities with Citrus & Chemical Bank, SunTrust and Barnett Bank. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of South Florida in 1985. “I am thrilled to be joining Florida’s leading community bank and an outstanding team of commercial bankers,” Colee said of his new position.

CenterState Bank is a Florida based community bank and one of Florida’s largest publicly traded banks providing online banking, commercial lending, residential mortgages and investment services. CenterState has a history of quality service and community focus.  Our core values at CenterState focus on themes of sustainability, a long-term horizon and the career development of our team.  We believe that local ownership and local management translate into a better bank. For more information on CenterState Bank, please visit,


Polk Superintendent Byrd Presented Circle of Leaders Award

Circle-of-Leaders-02Recognizing her exceptional leadership at a difficult time for education, Polk County School Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd was presented the inaugural Circle of Leaders Award from the School of Education at Florida Southern College in a ceremony March 1 on the FSC campus.

The award is part of a new program, the School of Education Circle of Leaders at Florida Southern College, which recognizes and supports leaders who make a positive and consequential impact on education. In addition to the annual award, the Circle of Leaders program will provide professional development opportunities, an informational newsletter about educational strategies and current research and opportunities to connect educational leaders with one another.

In presenting the award, Dr. Tracey Tedder, dean of the FSC School of Education, said teachers and administrators make a difference each day in the lives of students.

“I don’t believe we can ever say thank you enough to those who lead our classrooms and those who lead our schools. However, today is an opportunity to recognize those for the difference they make in the lives of children and thus the future of our world,” she said.

In an inspirational acceptance speech, Mrs. Byrd thanked the college, saying she was excited and deeply honored to be the inaugural recipient of the Circle of Leaders Award. She also thanked her family for understanding “my passion for this 24/7 profession.”

Mrs. Byrd said she had not anticipated that her career would result in being in a position of leadership, noting that she worked as a secretary and a teacher before moving into educational administration.

“This journey has been an honor for me and a privilege I enjoyed immensely,” she said. “Leadership is something that is learned. Leadership is something you are always shaping, learning and reflecting to see ways you could have done things better than before.”

Mrs. Byrd said the two most important qualities for leadership are humility and the ability to listen carefully to others.

“These qualities foster a sense of true potential in those you lead,” she said. “If you are able to listen, you will be able to lead with much more confidence. Once I was understood how people around me react to agreements or disagreements, I then knew how to bring them along.”