Category Archives: Announcements


Polk Growth Speakers

Another post from a press release, again I thought it was important. Just not enough time to summarize it for you.

Polk Growth Matters is a community forum sponsored by the Polk Growth Management Department and Polk Vision.  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.
Polk Growth Matters Speaker Series
Food for Thought …
Polk Growth Matters is pleased to announce the 2008-09 Speaker Series.  Join us for dinner meetings that include “food for thought.”  Meetings will include an educational presentation on growth-related topics and a time for questions and answers, as well as, group discussion.  Meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner served at cost and proceed with speaker presentations at 6:30 p.m.  Guests who are unable to attend the dinner may come for the meeting at this time.  There is no charge for people attending only the meeting.
The 2008-09 Speaker Series will include the following topics:

  • Water Star Program
  • Green Building Practices
  • Best Practices for Sustainability
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Brownfield Redevelopment

    Our first two sessions are scheduled as follows:
    Topic:  Green Building Practices              Topic:  Water Star Program
    Date:   Tuesday, September 30                Date:   Thursday, November 6
    Venue: Magnolia Building                        Venue: Jim Miles Training Center
    702 E. Orange Street, Lakeland               5204 US Hwy 98 South, Lakeland
    RSVP by: September 19                          RSVP by: October 28

The cost of dinner is $10.00.  Reservations may be made by e-mail at or (863) by telephone at (863) 534-6005. Please indicate whether you will be attending for the dinner portion of the program ($10.00 cost) or just for the speaker’s presentation (no cost).

Polk VisionCounty Logo


Polk Theatre Announces 2008-2009 Performing Arts Series

Sorry for the cut & paste, but time is limited today. This is from a Polk Theatre Press Release…


Variety is the name of the game at the Polk Theatre this year. Shows for the upcoming Performing Arts Series range from political to comedy, from tenors to rock to country.

The season opens on October 30 with the Capitol Steps, about whom former President George H. W. Bush said, “The Capitol Steps make it easier to leave public office.” Regardless of your political affiliation, you will find something to laugh about as they are equal opportunity offenders, and nothing political is off-limits. They have been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS. The only politicians who seem to object are those not included in the program.

You may feel the need for self-improvement after the elections. If so, Self-Help: The Comedy, on November 20, is your answer. This hilarious, tongue-in-cheek comedy pokes fun at America’s addiction to self-help gurus. This show features two very talented actresses, portraying nine outrageous characters, all of whom are self-promoting, snake-oil selling hucksters. You’ll feel better immediately.

The Three Tenors Take Venice was so popular last year, we’re bringing them back on January 8, 2009, this time as The Three Tenors Plus One. Davide la Verde, Fabio Valenti, and Mark Gizzi-Schmidt are joined on stage by soprano, Christina Bell. This is an evening of world-class entertainment.

If you still believe in rock ‘n roll, Rave On! The Buddy Holly Concert That Never Was is the show from you. Buddy Holly died tragically young in a plane crash on his way to perform a concert. This show, on February 10, 2009, is a 50th anniversary upbeat tribute to his life and his legacy to music. If you don’t remember Peggy Sue, That’ll Be the Day, or Maybe Baby, you will after this evening.

March 28 brings The Oak Ridge Boys to our stage. Theirs is one of the most recognizable sounds in the music industry. They have dozens of country hits and a #1 pop hit, and have earned Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM Awards. Their string of hits includes Elvira, Bobbie Sue, Dream On, and American Made, to name only a few. They have ten Gold and three Platinum albums, one Double Platinum album, one Double Platinum single, and more than a dozen number one singles. Don’t miss the chance to see them in an intimate setting.

Series subscriptions are $125, $100, and $80. Dress Circle subscriptions are also available at $250. To purchase, you may go on line at Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 682.7553. Singles tickets will go on sale October 1. Prices are $38, $27, and $20.

The Polk Theatre is located at 121 S. Florida Ave. in downtown Lakeland, one-half block south of Main Street. It is fully accessible to the handicapped.


Make Your Mark

Lakeland Vision is set to refresh the 10 year community  document that set strategies to guide the direction for our community. On Sept 16, Lakeland Vision will launch “Make your Mark”. A comprehensive visioning process that is described by a August 18th Lakeland Vision announcement as  a process to “gather and organize input from Lakeland citizens about Lakeland’s future.”



Lakeland Vision Logo 

They are starting the process off with “Idea Gathering”, so mark your calendars for the dates below:

  • September 16, 6-8pm, Lakeland High School
  • September 17, 11:30am-1:30pm, First Presbyterian Church – Lake Hollingsworth
  • September 18, 6-8pm, Lake Gibson High School
  • September 22, 6-8pm, Kathleen High School
  • September 23, 6-8pm, George Jenkins High School
  • September 25, 6-8pm, Heritage Baptist Church – Pipkin Creek Road


Please make sure you attend one of these sessions. They really do want you to “Make your Mark”.


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 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:



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.


Get out and Vote


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

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