Category Archives: Announcements


PGTV to Broadcast Census Webinar March 4

BARTOW, FL ( Feb. 19, 2010) – Learn how the 2010 Census will impact life in Polk County for the next decade during a live interactive webinar Thursday, March 4, from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

A panel of experts will discuss how being counted in the 2010 Census will affect funding for many kinds of services, local representation in Congress and our ability to plan for the future of our communities.

In the PGTV studio, you’ll hear from Skarrn Ryvnine, Local Census Office Manager for Polk and Highlands Counties; Lynne Simpkins and Lynn Ann Schindler, senior planners for the City of Lakeland; and Dr. Gail McKinzie, Polk County Superintendent of Schools. Also offering assistance as an online panelist is Felicia Harvey, U.S. Census Media Specialist.

This free webinar requires no pre-registration or enrollment and provides a great opportunity for anyone to ask specific questions about how the 2010 Census affects us! All you need is a computer with internet access to log on at any of the following host sites beginning at 11:30 a.m.:,,,,,, and

The webinar is produced through Polk Government Television (PGTV) as part of the County’s “Midday Q&A” series. Upcoming topics include City of Lakeland, Polk Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Central Florida Development Council, Sun ‘n Fun, School Summit, mental health education. For more information about the March 4 webinar or about the “Midday Q&A” series, visit or contact PGTV at (863) 534-5997.


Polk Future of Transit Workshop & Webinar March 2nd

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.

Join us on Tuesday, March 2nd, to learn about the Polk Transit Authority and the Future of Transit in Polk County. Speaker Danny Ours, Executive Director of the Polk Transit Authority, will speak to residents about the following topics:

•         History of Transit in Polk County
•         Value of Transit to the Community
•         Countywide Transit Study
•         Creation of Polk Transit Authority
•         Existing Transit Services & Ridership Trends
•         PTA 5-Year Plan and Proposed Transit Service Improvements
•         Current vs. Proposed Investment in Transit
•         Need for Additional Service to High Speed Rail Station
•         Need for Dedicated Funding (What happens with reduced operating funds)
•         Proposed Referendum

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.
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 at any of the following host sites:,,,, and

Reservations are appreciated and may be made by e-mail at by telephone at (863) 534-6005.


Leadership Lakeland Nominations Accepted Until April 9

Now is the time!  ‘The time for what?’ you ask.   It’s time to nominate someone for Leadership Lakeland’s next class.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, April 9th, but don’t wait until the last minute! Look around.  Who should you nominate for Leadership Lakeland?  Who in your sphere of influence has demonstrated their commitment to making Lakeland a better place to live and work? These are the types of people who Leadership Lakeland is looking for.  Maybe that person is YOU!

We welcome all nominations.

Step 1.  There is no limit to the number of people you can nominate.   You can find the nomination form on the Chamber’s website AND it was the centerfold of the March edition of the Forum for Business Monthly.

Step 2:  All those nominated (and only those nominated) will be invited to apply.  All applications are reviewed and selection for the next class is announced in July.  The dates for the next Leadership year are posted on the nomination form.

The Leadership Lakeland program has been around for 27 years!   The credibility of the program rests with those who have participated in it.    Read what a few class members have to say about their experience:

Xuchitl Coso, Florida Southern College:   “ I have only been in Lakeland for two and a half years and I am so impressed with this community and the involved individuals who make it their business to give back.  Every Leadership Lakeland Day is an eye opener filled with information and dedicated individuals who are the fabric of this excellent place we call ‘home’.”

Fred Koehler, Smart Creative:   “If your goal is to build a lasting career in the city of Lakeland through professional excellence and community involvement, there’s no better place to get plugged in than Leadership Lakeland.  You’ll be stretched and challenged in many new ways, learn more than you thought was possible, and exit the program a better citizen and a better person.”

Naomi Tillett, Keith and Schnars:    “By becoming a part of Leadership Lakeland, I have been awakened to the many amazing, talented, eclectic people that have the same passion and desire I have in making sure Lakeland continues to be a place that thrives in high family values, business partnering opportunities now and for the years to come.”

Rick Abbatiello, Publix: “In an age of instant ‘this’ and microwave ready to eat ‘that’, DSL and Blackberries, Leadership Lakeland offers you a rare, high speed dose of exposure and information on issues and people you only heard about…..maybe.    Great for us time-starved members of the community.”

Danita Frier, Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center:  “The ‘behind the scenes’ view of the operations of Lakeland is truly invaluable.  Not only is it just plain interesting but it has really helped me do a better job because I have more resources.  During the year that I was in Leadership Lakeland, I looked forward to every day that we were together.  I made 30 friends and feel like I could call on any one of them for help….that’s something you can’t put a price tag on!”


Share a Little Sunshine With Your Friends

Here in Lakeland, we’re gearing up for our busy “visitor season”! Between Spring Training with the Detroit Tigers; Winter visitors escaping snow & cold up north;  fans, families and athletes coming in for FSHAA Championships; and our own area events, let’s remember to show our hospitality to all the visitors who help improve our economy & keep 17,000 of our friends and family members employed in Polk County tourism jobs!

Last week, Governor Crist along with representatives from Flordia’s tourism industry re-launched the statewide “Share a Little Sunshine” campaign. This grassroots tourism campaign encourages all Floridians to send a personal E-mail to out-of-state friends and family, and invite them to visit the Sunshine State.

Each year, millions of people from around the world choose to spend their hard earned money and precious time here with us in Florida. Our state’s tourism industry alone employs more than one million Floridians, and the visitors these employees serve generate 21 percent of the state’s total sales tax revenue – money paid by non-residents that fund crucial needs such as roads, hospitals, firefighters and policemen.

We know that 85 visitors to the Sunshine State support one job, and that in 2008, tourism returned $3.9 billion to Florida in tax revenue and generated $65.2 billion in direct economic impact. Reach out and “Share a Little Sunshine” with your friends and family, and help increase visitation to the state and raise much-needed sales tax dollars.

At, Floridians can select one of several free video invitations or custom e-mail postcards that can be sent to friends and family directly from the site.  Each invitation carries with it information about special destinations from the sender’s geographic area. To encourage Floridians to send invitations, a Florida vacation package will be given away each quarter to someone who sent an invitation through


Press Release: Chamber Supports Further Evaluation of Kathleen and USF Polytechnic Stops

Lakeland, FL – The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is in strong support of the Central Florida High-Speed Rail System. The Central Florida High-Speed Rail project is not only critical to the mobility of the citizens and visitors of Florida, but will also serve as a catalyst for growth and development along the Interstate 4 corridor.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce supports further study of the proposed Polk high-speed rail stops, Kathleen Road and University of South Florida Polytechnic. We encourage the Florida Department of Transportation to evaluate both sites to determine their availability of land for site construction, existing and future ridership figures, and existing and future connectivity plans to determine the location that best serves the populations of the City of Lakeland and Polk County.

To read the Board Resolution in PDF format, please click here.