Category Archives: Announcements


Business After Hours at SEU- Parking Update, Door Prizes and More!

This Thursday’s Business After Hours at Southeastern University will be full of fabulous food, outstanding networking opportunities, and valuable door prizes!

Because of construction along Longfellow Boulevard, we have some helpful instructions for finding your way to the festivities via the south entrance to campus.

Traveling east on N. Crystal Lake Drive, turn left onto Buttercup Road, then make an immediate left at the Gymnasium (#1 on the map below). Continue straight ahead around the front of the Gymnasium.  

Follow road to the stop sign at Prima Vista Blvd.  Travel on Prima Vista toward the main entrance.  Stop at the Security Office (#8) and an officer will direct you to reserved parking. 

The After Hours event will be held in Alta Vista Plaza, outside of the campus restaurant (#14). Student volunteers will be stationed in parking areas to direct you to the event.

SEU Campus Map_Page_1

(click to enlarge)

In addition to the gourmet food selection, the beautifully decorated campus and the networking with fellow Chamber members & guests, Southeastern University’s Development Office has provided some very valuable door prizes for the evening. Each year, the University hosts the National Leadership Forum with respected authors, speakers and leadership experts. One of the most sought after tickets is the Meet-the-Speakers luncheon in a small group setting. These tickets are valued at $100 each! Thanks to Southeastern University for sharing these valuable leadership opportunities with our members! Each door prize includes a “brown-bag” lunch and one (1) ticket for the following sessions:

  • March 11, 2010 – Marcus Buckingham
  • March 11, 2010 – Patrick Lencioni
  • March 12, 2010 – Jim Collins
  • March 12, 2010 – John Kotter
  • March 12, 2010 – Joyce Meyer

We’ll see you there!

Thursday, November 19, 2009 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.



clip_image001The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced this week that the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce has been awarded its 40-Year Five-Star Accreditation rating.  Only 55 chambers out of more than 7,000 chambers in the country have achieved this highest level of accreditation ranking. 

“We are extremely proud to be awarded our 40-year accreditation with Five-Star rating by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Accreditation is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and offers an excellent measurement tool for chambers of commerce to achieve the highest standards of organizational excellence in representing their member businesses and communities,” said Lakeland Chamber President Kathleen Munson. “Achieving the highest level of accreditation is a tribute to the outstanding leadership of our Chamber volunteer leaders and professional staff, who unselfishly contribute their time and talent to make Lakeland such a tremendous place to live and work.”

The Accreditation program with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce defines organizational excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities. In order to achieve accreditation rating, chambers undergo a comprehensive evaluation in nine areas:  governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, communications, technology, facilities and benchmarking.

To successfully complete the accreditation application, Chairman of the Board Anu Saxena (ASC geosciences, inc.) appointed an Accreditation Review Task Force to lead the Chamber through the evaluation process.  The Chamber would like to recognize the following leaders who worked with staff for more than six months to successfully complete the application:

Chair: Melinda Harrison (Watson Clinic LLP)

Governance: Timothy F. Campbell (Clark, Campbell, Mawhinney and Lancaster, P.A.)

Finance: Walker Wilkerson (The NCT Group, CPAs, LLP)

Human Resources: Don Selvage (SHR Human Resources, LLC)

Government Affairs: Mark E. Wilson (Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)

Program Development: Maureen Shaw (Flower Cart Florist)

Communication: Sam Nimah (Southern Wine and Spirits of Florida)

Technology: Todd Baylis (Cipher Integrations, Inc.)

Facilities: Joe L. Ruthven (The Ruthvens)

Benchmarking: Paul Noris (Bank of Central Florida)

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,800 businesses in the Greater Lakeland area.  The Chamber was first accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1968, and has successfully achieved its accreditation every five years since then. 


Lakeland InTown Bypass Ribbon Cutting Is Finally Here

Downtown ByPass Ribbon cutting

WHAT:  Ribbon Cutting/Road Opening Ceremony for Phase II of the Lakeland In-town Bypass

WHERE:  Kathleen Road – George Jenkins Road Intersection

WHEN: Friday, November 6th at 3 p.m.

They will drive a Citrus Connection bus through the ribbon to officially open the roadway. 

Speakers include Senator Paula Dockery, Lakeland Mayor Buddy Fletcher and Edward Gonzalez, FDOT District One Director of Transportation Operations.



Next Tuesday, November 3, Lakeland residents will elect four members to serve on the City Commission and a new Mayor.  This election will play a critically important role in shaping Lakeland’s future.  

Business Voice is pleased to confirm the following Lakeland Mayoral and City Commission candidates who have been endorsed by our organization: 

Gow Fields, Mayor

Edie Yates, SE District

Phillip Walker, NW District

Howard Wiggs, At Large

BusinessVoice met with Michael Dunn and Don Selvage, candidates running for the Lakeland City Commission, SW District seat.  Mr. Selvage withdrew himself from endorsement consideration due to his prior involvement as a BusinessVoice member; no endorsement was made in this race.

BusinessVoice is a political action committee (CCE & PC) created in 2000 as an organization to support pro-business candidates and to promote issues which impact the business community. BusinessVoice, the political arm of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, works to ensure the election of business-minded candidates who are committed to creating a healthy business climate that leads to job creation and higher paying jobs. 

 As part of its interview process, BusinessVoice asked candidates to respond to a ten-page questionnaire designed to demonstrate the candidate’s knowledge of issues facing our City.   All candidate questionnaires have been posted on our Web site,   Chamber members are encouraged to visit the Web site to learn more about each of the candidates. 

If you are a resident of the City of Lakeland, we encourage you to exercise your opportunity to vote on Tuesday, November 3.

Tim Rice

Chairman, BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland

Pd.pol.adv. Paid for and approved by BusinessVoice, Inc.



LAKELAND, FL (October 27, 2009) – Lakeland Electric was notified by the Department of Energy that the utility has been selected to receive funding as part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant for the installation of smart grid technology.

The Lakeland Electric smart grid initiative will allow customers to manage their own usage through devices that will be able to control the time appliances in a home are turned on or off.  Jim Stanfield, General Manager of Lakeland Electric said, “This technology has the capability of changing the way we do business through improved interaction with customers.”  He added, “A customer can program the operation of their appliances and with time of day pricing, they can choose to have their dishwasher, hot water heater or pool pump operate during non-peak times.  This will ultimately allow a customer to manage their usage and the rates they pay.”

Lakeland Electric requested a $20 million as part of the Federal Government’s Smart Grid Investment Grant.  The Lakeland Electric smart grid initiative is estimated to cost of $48 million.  The Department of Energy has tentatively scheduled an award briefing for the week of November 16, 2009 to discuss logistics of the project.  Lakeland Electric is on task to start the project with the first meters to be installed during the summer 2010.  Lakeland Electric’s smart system build out of 120,000 meters is scheduled to take three years to complete.

 With the installation of smart grid technology, the customer will receive an outside meter with two-way radio communications that talks to the electric system and an interior home display that shares information with the meter. The interior display has the ability for customers to program appliances inside the home and monitor the cost of energy as it is being consumed.  A smart grid system provides new features for the customer including more convenience and better, faster service; new rate choices through time of use rates and more control over energy bills.

 The $20 million Smart Grid Investment Grand awarded to Lakeland Electric is the 2nd largest project in the State of Florida and the 29th largest project awarded nationwide.