Category Archives: Announcements


Century 21 A.H. Realty Merges with Century 21 Exchange Realty

Business is still pushing forward with the recent news that Century 21 A.H. Realty will merge with Century 21 Exchange Realty. The following is an excerpt from the press release:

“Joann Warren, Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Exchange Realty, and Andy Hernandez, Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 A.H. Realty, are pleased to announce the merger of the two companies. The merged company will continue to operate under the CENTURY 21 A. H. Realty name and specialize in Residential, Commercial and Property Management services. CENTURY 21 A.H. Realty will remain operating at 2510 S. Florida Avenue, Lakeland, and 5628 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven, Florida.”

Pictured above: Joann Warren & Andy Hernandez

This is just another example that we can push on toward the prize. During these so called “rough times” we CAN accomplish great things. Now is the time to do our proverbial spring cleaning: reduce inventory, make that expansion you haven’t had time for, or rearrange the showroom or office. Even the baking industry is taking the time to consolidate. We will all be very busy again, remember it’s all cyclical. I will leave you with a lasting thought: I heard about a builders view on this “downturn”, a few years back he mapped out where he wanted to be in 10 years. He ended up making his goals a reality after 6 years and said that all he needs to do is wait out the sluggish market and eventually the brighter side will begin to shine again. We all should take that view, remember we are all in it for the long haul, so let’s all stay positive.


Chamber Launches drive- Your Chance to Win!

Build the Strength of Businesses through the Chamber!

Beginning July 15, you can enter to win prizes and introduce your friends and vendors to the benefits of Chamber Membership! Remember- 63% of consumers are more likely to visit chamber-member businesses! By sending us your “warm leads”, you could be the winner of one of our fabulous prizes… it all depends on how well we do as a team!

· If the drive reaches 15-25 total memberships sold,

» $500 cash will be given away!

· If the drive reaches 26-49 total memberships sold,

» A big screen TV will be given away!

· If the drive reaches 50+ memberships sold,

» A trip for two (2) on the Catalyst Cruise will be given away!

If you’re in the market for $500 CASH, a big screen TV or a trip for two to the southern Caribbean, you’ll want to be a part of drive! For more information or to register, contact Terry Ottinger at 863/688-8551 Ext. 231 or!


Guns at Work

As you may know, the Lakeland and Florida Chambers have and continue to oppose guns at work. However, you might not know that our own Tim Rice was interviewed on the issue and quoted in Fortune. And on Friday, he was interviewed again by Rebecca Gomez and featured on Fox Business Happy Hour. You can view the Fox interview here or below. Tim did a great job in highlighting the business owners’ private property rights and concern for the safety of employees and customers.


Ashley Link, VP of Public Affairs, is the first of our staff to agree to publish, let her know your thoughts by commenting back.


Thank You’s

I wanted to say thank you to Lakeland Local for his post. We are still trying to feel out what exactly the blog will “look like”. My hope is that it will be ever evolving. In regards to other staff posting, I think that its a great idea. Now I must convince them.

I also wanted to thank Roy Lawson for our sole comment. He engaged in some very interesting commentary on blogging and what he would like to see happen here.

If you have ideas please let us know. Also, for those of you out there who have questions about blogging, or about implementing a blog, the Chamber is happy to be hosting the informal Polk County Bloggers for a meeting July 21st. The hope is to engage our businesses bloggers and hopefuls at a time that works well for them, lunch. Let me know if you will be coming with a comment or email and I will pass it on to the coordinators.


Bright Ag Ideas – The Importance of Agriculture and Ideas for its Future

I had a friend pass me a link to an interesting website/blog: The site, founded by U.S. Congressman Adam Putnam, hopes to educate as well as foster meaningful dialog on “…the importance of agriculture and ideas for its future.” Agriculture is an important topic in Polk County and the Lakeland Chamber recognizes that importance and remains steadily involved. In February, Chairman Tim Campbell wrote a letter regarding IFAS (Institute of Food and Agriculture) Funding to Dr. J. Bernard Machen, President of the University of Florida. In the letter Mr. Campbell notes how important agriculture is to the State of Florida and in particular to Polk County. Mr. Campbell states, “While Lakeland has diversified its economic base and variety of businesses, the ancillary economic benefits from the range of agribusinesses in Polk County are extremely important to the City of Lakeland.” Agriculture is the second largest industry in the state providing nearly $100 billion annually and a site dedicated to ongoing related topics and the fostering of open communication is a great way to insure the long term commitment and understanding of how important agriculture is. So go take a look.