Category Archives: Announcements


May 6 Polk Growth Matters Webinar: Housing Trends & Issues

Brian Walsh, Vice President of Purchasing and Production, at Highlands Homes in Lakeland will be the featured speaker at the May 6th Polk Growth Matters Workshop and Webinar. The topic will be Polk’s Housing Trends and Issues. The meeting is being co-hosted by the Polk County Builders Association and the Polk County Growth Management Department.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Green Building Trends:  Sustainability principles, materials, and practices including energy effectiveness, justifying the impact of construction on the environment, and reducing waste
  • Workforce Housing: Single-family homes for sale at prices that workforce families can afford.
  • Building Outlook: Prices, volume, and first time Home Buyers
  • Construction Technology Trends: Use of laptop computers in construction, prewired homes vs. wireless and how the use of technology helps keep builder costs down

Residents are encouraged to attend or watch online. The workshop will be at the Jim Miles Training Center 5204 US 98 Hwy South across from the Highland City Town Center, and begin at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary coffee and light refreshments.  Speaker presentations will begin at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are appreciated; to RSVP go to and click on Housing Trends and Issues or call (863) 534-6005.

The workshop will also be offered as a webinar for residents that would prefer to stay home and watch from their computer. Residents can also email questions to the workshop leaders to be discussed during the workshop.

The webinar is free and requires no pre-registration or enrollment. Anyone interested in participating can log on below.

Polk Growth Matters is a community forum hosted by the Polk County Growth Management Department.  Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for citizen education and constructive discussion on growth management issues.  It is intended to further a general and common understanding of current issues in Polk County.  Consistent with its focus on community education and dialogue, the forum is not used to advocate a position on issues.


Celebrate Your Small Business with FREE Business Development Seminars

In celebration of Small Business Week, the Small Business Development Center, at Central Florida Development Council, with collaboration from our partners, will be conducting all-day business training seminars in Polk County.  These will be held at the Jim Miles Professional Development Center, 5204 US Hwy 98 South, Lakeland, FL 33813.

May 24, 2010

  • Welcome/Opening Session, 8:30am – 9:00am
  • Certifications for Growth, 9:00am– 10:15am
  • Growing Globally, 10:30am–11:45am
  • Marketing for Growth, 12:30pm-1:45pm
  • Emedia Marketing, 2:00pm – 3:15pm
  • Financing Growth, 3:30pm – 4:45pm
  • Wrap-up session, 4:45 – 5:00pm

To register for a seminar, please visit the Web site: For more information, please contact the Small Business Development Center at (863) 667-7913.


All American Fire & Safety Partners With Local Non-Profit

All American Fire & Safety | (863) 838-5573

8240 US Highway 98 North

All American Fire & Safety, Inc is proud to announce they have contracted with Peace River Center (PRC) and Image Creations by Billie, Inc. to provide a split transitional employment position (TEP) for members of CLUB SUCCESS.

CLUB SUCCESS is a rehabilitation club for people with mental illnesses where real-life job skills are taught and used to achieve “meaningful work” as a contributing member of society. Temporary TEPs are negotiated with local businesses to provide members with the opportunity to learn responsibility develop self-esteem and communicate effectively while working in a professional environment.

The newly contracted TEP will be split between All American Fire and Safety, Inc. and Image Creations by Billie, Inc., which is mutually owned by husband and wife duo, Chris and Billie Porche.

Time spent at All American Fire and Safety, Inc. will require members to assist with fire extinguisher inspection and sales, and duties at Image Creations by Billie, Inc. will include helping with various screen and banner printing jobs.

The new TEP will begin in late April and is expected to be a favorite among club members. If you or anyone you know is interested in being a TEP provider please contact Luis Rivas at 863-413-3267.

All American Fire & Safety, Inc. opened in March of 2010 to help promote awareness of the fire safety codes for small businesses. “It is something that all small and large businesses must comply with, but very few understand what they must do to be compliant. This is where All American excels according to the owner, Chris Porche. They will travel to the customer’s location and inspect their fire extinguishers and safety lighting annually, perform any necessary maintenance and make sure they are and stay in compliance with the life safety codes. Chris has been in the fire equipment business for over 25 years and likes to share his experience with his customers. They will train your staff to use a fire extinguisher, and even provide live fire training for your staff.


Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of Polk County to Host First Annual “Warrior Walk”

On Saturday, July 31 2010 the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of Polk County in conjunction with the Polk County Veteran’s Council will  host the first annual “Warrior Walk” to honor and pay tribute to the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice during Operations Iraqi or Enduring Freedom. This event is part of an ongoing effort to inform, educate and empower the community to learn more about our local fallen heroes who have given their lives in the name of Freedom, and to support those who are still serving.

The Patriotic Ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church on Lake Hollingsworth located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive. The ceremony will provide special focus to those who have been killed in action.

Immediately following the ceremony participants will walk in honor of a fallen hero on a 2.7 mile track around beautiful Lake Hollingsworth.

Wear your red, white and blue and come out to show your support and patriotism. All veterans, veterans organizations, families of veterans, employers of veterans and supporters of veterans are invited to attend and participate.

We are also in need of event t-shirt sponsors. For more information or if you would like to sponsor, please contact Melissa Sanchez at or 863-899-9700.

For more information, please visit:


It’s Earth Day – Enjoy the Outdoors (and Better Memory) with a Nap!

In an article on today, better memory is linked to afternoon napping. Reading this headline made me remember back to “workplace napping day” where the benefits of napping during the workday were regaled. Don’t think I’ve forgotten that… or that I’ll forget it anytime soon. This is important business news and you can count on your Chamber to continue to cover every aspect!

So, even though Earth Day should probably warrant a post about corporate recycling with downtown Lakeland’s pilot program or biking to work in conjunction with our new bike co-op Veloswan, I’m going with napping.

It’s a beautiful day and we live in a beautiful city! Enjoy the warmth of the sun while you catch a cat-nap, I mean boost your memory! If your office isn’t on a beautiful park like ours, come by for a visit! We’d be glad to share our lawn!

Maybe napping isn’t the activity you choose for today, but I challenge you to get outside! Take a stroll around Lake Morton with our signature swans… Drop by a Downtown Business to use their Wi-Fi connection while you’re voting for Lakeland’s Google Fiber bid… Come on down to the Luau where we’ll be recycling the empty bottles of adult beverages… Just get outside and remember why we recognize Earth Day, and have for a marvelous 40 years.