Category Archives: Announcements


New Chamber Web Site Introduction

The Chamber’s new Web site offers members, visitors & residents a wealth of information and opportunities. The Members Area on the site is particularly different, offering member the opportunities to subscribe to updates, keep contact information current and pay bills in addition to adding coupons and company descriptions.

With special thanks to Chrissanne Long from Marketing System Blueprints, the Chamber is proud to share this short video with some of the member features highlighted.


USF Poly’s Extended University offers spring programs

The University of South Florida Polytechnic’s Extended University is now accepting applications for the following spring 2011 programs.

  • Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) Review. Fridays, Jan. 21 – March 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. This comprehensive review seminar provides outstanding preparation for the NCEES Professional Engineering Exam for Electrical Engineering – Power. This seminar will cover each portion of the exam, which was totally restructured in April 2009. Registration: $550 (IEEE members: $400). Register online at
  • Project Management Certification Prep Course. Feb. 22-25, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. This offering will prepare students for the Project Management Professional (PMP) ® Certification Exam. PMStudy is a PMI-registered education provider and one of the largest PMP exam prep training providers in the United States and Canada, with a student pass rate over 98 percent. Topics include management of project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communication, risk, and procurement, as well as project management framework and professional responsibility. Early registration: $2000 (before Feb. 7). Regular registration: $2100. Register online at:
  • Board 491 Clinical Supervision. March 11-12, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. This 16-hour course meets the curriculum guidelines and education requirements for becoming a qualified supervisor for mental health, marriage and family, and social work interns in Florida (16 contact hours and 1.6 CEUs). Early registration: $200 (before Feb. 25). Regular registration: $225. Register online at

For more information contact Christina Pixley at (863) 667-7741or


10th Annual Lakeland Citizens Academy Now Registering

The City of Lakeland is offering its 10th Annual Citizens Academy to area residents starting February 23, 2011.  The Citizens Academy is a free, hands-on, interactive public information program that familiarizes citizens with City services and the functions of City Departments.

The Citizens Academy program will consist of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions, with one session per month.  The program will begin February 23, 2011 and is limited to 25 individuals aged 16 or older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  The first 25 people to sign-up for the class will be given enrollment.  Those that sign-up after the cut-off point will be automatically enrolled in the next Citizens Academy class.

2011 Citizens Academy Dates

February 23


March 23

Lakeland Police Department

April 27

Lakeland Fire Department

May 25

Public Works & Community Development

June 22

Utility Services

July 27

Parks & Recreation

The program will include the function of City Departments, explain the relationship between the City Commission and City Administration, allow an overview of the budgetary process and it will provide an outlet for citizen input. The Citizens Academy is an interactive program that is open to anyone interested.

All participants interested in the Citizens Academy are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program. All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are from 6-8 p.m. and will be held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue (pizza and soft drinks will be served).  During the course, several sessions will meet away from City Hall.  There will be maps and directions for each City building or facility that houses a Citizen Academy session.

The class will graduate with a certificate in “Governmentology”  at the end of the last session.  Those interested in participating should contact Kevin Cook at 865/834-6264 or to secure a spot on the roster.


Retired FBI Hostage Negotiator and FSC Alumnus to Speak at Florida Southern

Florida Southern College will host a presentation by retired FBI agent Gary Noesner on “Calm, Creative Communications in Crisis:  My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room of the Thad Buckner Building at FSC. The event, part of the annual Florida Lecture Series presented by the Lawton M. Chiles, Jr. Center for Florida History, is free and open to the public.

Noesner, who graduated from Florida Southern in 1972, was an FBI agent for 30 years, spending the last 10 as chief of its Crisis Negotiation Unit, Critical Incident Response Group. As chief, he led law enforcement’s response to prison riots, right-wing militia standoffs, religious zealot sieges, terrorist embassy takeovers, airplane hijackings, and overseas kidnappings involving American citizens. He was involved in some of the nation’s most high-profile FBI cases of that period, including the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship; the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas; and the Washington, D.C., sniper case. His first book, Stalling for Time, is a memoir about his career as an FBI hostage negotiator and was published in September 2010.

Since retiring in 2003, Noesner has served as a senior vice president with Control Risks, an international risk consultancy, and he works part-time in kidnap management consulting. He has appeared on television documentaries produced by A&E, the History Channel, Discovery, TLC, and National Geographic. Noesner is the founder of the National Council of Negotiation Associations, which represents negotiation organizations and law-enforcement negotiators nationwide.

Noesner said his lecture will focus on lessons learned from negotiation and handling crises that have day-to-day applications. “The same tenets of effective crisis management apply to effective negotiation in business and personal life situations,” he said.

“We are delighted to host Gary Noesner as this year’s Stahl lecturer,” noted James M. Denham, director of the Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History.  “Stalling for Time is a great read and has gotten many accolades over the last several months.”