Category Archives: Announcements

27Aug/08

oneSMARTlakeland & CEOs for Cities

In 2007 the Lakeland Chamber engaged in a Key Strategic Initiative (KSI) to make Lakeland a place that engages the Creative Class; a place where both young and old can thrive and be attracted to stay our urban corner of the world. So a mission was established, that could guide this new concept.

That mission:

"Enabling collaboration to encourage connectivity and integrate technology for the transformation of our community"

The concept, a ‘smart community’

  • Defined by http://www.smartcommunities.org/ is a community that has made a conscious effort to use information technology to transform life and work within its region in significant and fundamental rather than incremental ways. The goal of such an effort is more than the mere deployment of technology. Rather it is about preparing one’s community to meet the challenges of a global, knowledge economy.

 

  • Defined by the strategy group as "a community with a vision of the future that involves the use of information and communication technologies in new and innovative ways to empower its residents, institutions, and region as a whole" and defined in process by "Transforming life and work to meet the challenges of the new millennium."

This concept was introduced by Chamber Board Member & Vice President/CEO of USF Polytechnic, Dr. Marshall Goodman at the September 2006 Chamber retreat, in an effort to enable the Board to understand and engage the gravity of the challenges & effects of the global economy.

 

So with this basis the KSI members engaged in a process to effectively brand the idea, so people could grasp this concept. This was accomplished with the help of Kingston Partners and the final product being:

 

oneSMARTlakeland
 

With a commitment by Chamber President Kathleen Munson and Board Vice Chair Anu Saxena of ASC Geosciences, the Chamber joined a leading organization in the development of these smart communities: CEOs for Cities.

 

 

Lakeland was the second city in Florida to join the organization, which showed the progressiveness of the decision. Currently Lakeland is 1 of 3 cities in Florida (Tampa and Miami being the other two) to have organizations join this group; and 1 of only 43 cities nationwide. Not only has the Chamber joined this initiative, but the esteemed Lakeland EDC has also joined the cause.

 

At this point, I am sure your interested in why I am telling you all of this. Here is the exciting part…The Chamber in cooperation with  LEDCs High Skill Initiative are thrilled to announce that CEOs for Cities President, Carol Coletta, will be speaking at The Chamber’s Annual Board Retreat; in a presentation entitled "Transforming Lakeland’s DNA".  These are exciting times for Lakeland, and I hope that our Board will listen and engage in what Ms. Coletta has to tell us.

26Aug/08

Get out and Vote

BusinessVoice

The Primary Election are being held today Tuesday, August 26th, so don’t forget to head to the polls.  For more information on polling locations, please visit http://www.polkelections.com/content.asp?c=32&event_id=30

As a reminder, BusinessVoice, Inc. has endorsed the following candidates who will appear on tomorrow’s ballot:

Phillip Walker – State Representative District 64

Mike Horner – State Representative District 79

Bob English – Polk County Commission District 1

John Shamp – Polk County Commission District 3

Sam Johnson – Polk County Commission District 5

Brenda Reddout – Polk County School Board District 4

Marsha Faux – Polk County Property Appraiser

BusinessVoice, Inc. was created as an organization to support pro-business political candidates and to promote issues which impact the business community.  BusinessVoice, Inc. works to serve as an endorsement board for those individuals who personify the objectives of the business community.

For more information call the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce at 863/688-8551, ext. 241 or e-mail alink@lakelandchamber.com.

05Aug/08

Catalyst Volunteers Celebrate $200,453!

Just over 15 days into the Campaign, Chair Nancy Cattarius was proud to announce total production of $200,453! To celebrate, Foster Lanenga of Farris & Foster’s Chocolate Factory treated Catalyst volunteers to a fabulous Chocolate party! Each volunteer was able to leave with 1/2 pound of chocolate! Give them a call to schedule your own date night, party or team building event!

Catalyst Reward Session at Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Current Cruise winners were also announced at the reward reception! Congratulations to:

TRIPS FOR TWO ($15,000+)

Nancy Cattarius, WONN/WPVC/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

Victor Rodriguez, Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Kathryn Koch-O’Malley, Lanier Upshaw

Kathy Wallen, The NCT Group, CPA’s LLP

TRIPS FOR ONE ($10,000-$14,999)

Phil Wegman, Furr & Wegman Architects, PA

Mary McQueen, Tinsley McQueen + Ross

Tom Eleazer, Florida Lifestyle Communities

Cindy Green, Furr & Wegman Architects, PA

Catalyst Reward Session at Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

04Aug/08

Free Mini Entrepreneur Training & Entrepreneurial Academy

The Small Business Development Center at the CFDC will be presenting free training on Aug. 9th. in the PCC/USF Polytechnic’s LTB Auditorium. The event will be from 9 am to 5 pm. Tom Hagerty announced that the Training will focus on starting a new business, identifying customers, conducting research, and marketing.

That training would be a great way for new businesses to get ready for the Chamber’s more in depth Entrepreneurial Academy. A start-up program using a model from St. Petersburg, Florida, this 10 week program will offer entrepreneurs a curriculum that provides essential information needed to start, run and grow a successful business. Practical real-life instruction will be taught by local business professionals. Classes beginning September 3. Click here for Registration Information

10Jul/08

Century 21 A.H. Realty Merges with Century 21 Exchange Realty

Business is still pushing forward with the recent news that Century 21 A.H. Realty will merge with Century 21 Exchange Realty. The following is an excerpt from the press release:

“Joann Warren, Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Exchange Realty, and Andy Hernandez, Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 A.H. Realty, are pleased to announce the merger of the two companies. The merged company will continue to operate under the CENTURY 21 A. H. Realty name and specialize in Residential, Commercial and Property Management services. CENTURY 21 A.H. Realty will remain operating at 2510 S. Florida Avenue, Lakeland, and 5628 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven, Florida.”

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/2628400290_b745c61035.jpg

Pictured above: Joann Warren & Andy Hernandez

This is just another example that we can push on toward the prize. During these so called “rough times” we CAN accomplish great things. Now is the time to do our proverbial spring cleaning: reduce inventory, make that expansion you haven’t had time for, or rearrange the showroom or office. Even the baking industry is taking the time to consolidate. We will all be very busy again, remember it’s all cyclical. I will leave you with a lasting thought: I heard about a builders view on this “downturn”, a few years back he mapped out where he wanted to be in 10 years. He ended up making his goals a reality after 6 years and said that all he needs to do is wait out the sluggish market and eventually the brighter side will begin to shine again. We all should take that view, remember we are all in it for the long haul, so let’s all stay positive.