Category Archives: Announcements


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.


Schmooze a’Palooza is Back!

PrintThe last Schmooze a’Palooza of 2009 is just around the corner! Registration is open for this highly-anticipated lunch event. Schmooze a’Palooza is power networking the Lakeland Chamber Way! Each attendee should come prepared with at least 50 business cards and a 30-second commercial for their member business.

November 12, 2009 | 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Florida Southern College
Eleanor Searle Drawing Room

Limited Seating | Reservations Required | Chamber Members ONLY

$25, lunch included

Register today!

Location and parking details will be sent to registered attendees.

Questions? Email Amy Wiggins for additional details or information!

View Large Map


Catalyst Volunteers Celebrate Victory

On Tuesday, Catalyst campaign volunteers, board members, and Growing Green Partners gathered at the Lake Mirror Complex to celebrate the close out of the 2009 Catalyst Campaign and dedicate twelve new trees in the park.

Growing Green Partners

Representatives from the following companies partnered with the Chamber’s Catalyst Campaign to share twelve new trees around Lake Mirror: 2010 Board Chair Joe L. Ruthven, EMERGE Lakeland, Florida Refuse Services, Folsom Construction, Inc, JSK Consulting, Inc, Lakeland Electric, Leadership Lakeland Class XXVII, The Ledger, Magnify Credit Union, Saddle Creek Corporation and Turner Construction Company.


Campaign Chair Nancy Cattarius (WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio) and Vice Chairs Mary McQueen (McQueen Marketing LLC), Kathy Wallen (The NCT Group CPA’s, LLP) and Phil Wegman (Furr & Wegman Architects, PA) were on hand to recognize the accomplishments of the 18 corporate teams: Allen & Company of Florida, Bank of Central Florida, CenterState Bank, CPS Investment Advisors, Florida LIfestyle Communities, Furr & Wegman Architects, GEICO, JSK Consulting, Inc, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lanier Upshaw, McQueen Marketing LLC, The NCT Group CPA’s, LLP, Publix Super Markets, Inc, Riverside Bank, SunTrust Bank, Two Men and a Truck, Watson Clinic, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio.

With $37,205 in sales, Nancy Cattarius was presented the Platinum Producer Award. Furr & Wegman Architects was  awarded the Platinum Producer Team Award with $49,690 in total sales.



With help from Chair-Elect Joe L. Ruthven, Campaign Chair Nancy Cattarius announced a total of $291,018 to date, and more to come!

Congratulations campaign volunteers! And, thank you to all our sponsors- look for more detailed information in our Victory Edition!