Category Archives: Award Winners

Small Business of the Month award winners.


Shareholder Nathan S. Hatcher Receives Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association’s President’s Award

Hatcher_Nathan_HI TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson proudly announces that attorney Nathan Hatcher was recently honored with the Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association’s (SLAA) 2018 President’s Award. The SLAA’s President’s Award was presented to Mr. Hatcher at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in recognition of his outstanding leadership service to the Stetson community and beyond.

Mr. Hatcher is a 2008 graduate of the Stetson College of Law, and has served as the President of the Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association Board over the past two years.

According to the SLAA, “Nathan’s strategic vision and commitment to excellence has helped propel the board and association to new heights.”

In addition to his leadership service on the SLAA Board, Mr. Hatcher is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation where he serves in a leadership position within the Products Liability Committee, as co-chair of its Young Lawyers Subcommittee. Mr. Hatcher is also a member of the Development Council for the All Children’s Hospital, which promotes awareness, fundraising, and “friend-raising” for All Children’s Hospital.

Mr. Hatcher is a shareholder in the firm’s Products Liability and Personal Injury Litigation Groups. He defends consumer product manufacturers involved in high exposure personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage litigation. Primarily, Mr. Hatcher represents a major tobacco company involved in individual smoking and health litigation across the state of Florida.

Nathan Hatcher Stetson Presidents Award

Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with over 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide range of local, regional and national clients. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at


Florida Presbyterian Homes Earns 2018 Quality Award


 [Lakeland, Florida] – Florida Presbyterian Homes’ Assisted Living Facility has been recognized as a 2018 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The distinction is the first of three progressive award levels through the National Quality Award Program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the leading association for long term and post-acute care. The program honors association members across the country that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

“We are proud to be honored for our commitment to quality improvement,” said Alexis Bautz, Quality Coordinator of Florida Presbyterian Homes. “Our team is extremely proud of the work they do every day to improve our residents’ quality of life. Working together as a team has enabled us to reach this milestone.”

The National Quality Award Program, established by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which also serves as the foundation for the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige framework helps organizations among different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance.

The Award Program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Providers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision, mission statement, and key strengths and challenges. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, Florida Presbyterian Homes may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award criteria.

“I applaud Florida Presbyterian Homes for taking this important step towards quality improvement,” said the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers Chair Alana Wolfe. “I encourage them to continue on their path to achieving superior outcomes.” The awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 69th Annual Convention and Exposition in San Diego, California, October 7-10, 2018.


LRH Chief Operating Officer Danielle Drummond Named One of Nation’s Top 25 COOs in Healthcare

Danielle%20DrummondLakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to share that Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, is named one of the nation’s Top 25 COOs in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

Editors of the publication, a leading national source of news and information for healthcare executives, selected Ms. Drummond for her leadership and sustained contribution to the healthcare industry.

“This year’s class of the Top 25 COOs in Healthcare recognizes executives who have been pivotal to record growth and quality improvement for providers and payers,” said Aurora Aguilar, Editor of Modern Healthcare. “The COO is responsible for navigating all arms of the business, standardizing practices and getting staff to buy in.”

The award honors chief operating officers for working in the complex business of healthcare while delivering top results in quality, safety and efficiency.

“We are deeply proud of Ms. Drummond and the collaborative ways she leads our team to ensure that Lakeland Regional Health efficiently delivers world-class healthcare,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “She cultivates an environment of innovation and transformation, mindfully placing the patient and family at the heart of all she does.”

Accomplishments at Lakeland Regional Health under Ms. Drummond’s collaborative direction include:

  • Nimble and successful leadership as Incident Commander as the eye of Hurricane Irma passed directly over Lakeland.
  • Recruitment of more than 180 physicians and advanced practitioners brought critically needed healthcare providers to Polk County.
  • Maintenance of a strong operating margin to manage provision of care with an engaged and productive workforce, despite increasing patient volumes, a decline in state Medicaid reimbursement rates, and unplanned personnel expenses incurred during Hurricane Irma.
  • Reorganization of the cardiothoracic service line and construction of a bi-planar suite, where complex neurosurgical interventional procedures can be performed for the first time in Polk County, ensuring the availability of these critical lifesaving services in Polk County.
  • Construction and operationalization of the 32-bed Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.
  • Oversight of innovative capital projects, including the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, Hollis Cancer Center and Grasslands Campus.
  • Launch of Gemba, a LEAN-management philosophy, which produced a 28.5% improvement in central line infection rates and 15.2% in falls rates; and reduced readmission rates over the prior year of 16.0% for congestive heart failure, 23.7% for COPD, and 27.4% for pneumonia.

Ms. Drummond joins a prestigious list of COOs, including Dr. Kevin Churchwell of Boston Children’s Hospital, Samuel Hazen of HCA Healthcare, Robert Allen of InterMountain Healthcare, and Dr. Laura Forese, of New York-Presbyterian. For a complete list, visit

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 849-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates a Level II Trauma Center, a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine and the nation’s busiest single site Emergency Department.

About Modern Healthcare

This weekly print magazine, websites, e-newsletters, mobile products and events is ranked No 1 in readership among healthcare executives. Modern Healthcare leads the market in editorial excellence and has received awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors, Trade Association and Business Publications International and the Association of Health Care Journalists, affirming Modern Healthcare’s status as a top source for healthcare business and policy news, research and information.

8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy will represent Polk County at national competition.

Local Teen to Represent Polk County at National Competition

Local Teen to Represent Polk County at National Competition

More than $70,000 in scholarships to be awarded

LAKELAND, FL – April 27, 2018 – The Young Entrepreneurs Academy will host its 10th Annual Saunders Scholars National Conference and Competition on May 4, 2018.

Student semifinalists from YEA! chapters across the country will travel to the Rochester Institute of Technology to present their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Saunders Scholars is funded by entrepreneur and philanthropist E. Philip Saunders who began paving his business dreams while working at his dad’s gas station as a teenager. He recognized the need to provide truck drivers with more than just a fill up. He went on to create a national chain of truck stops known as Travel Centers of America.



Sachin Sivakumar, 8th grader and local YEA! Semifinalist (YEA! Polk)

Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Lakeland, FL

Star Scout, Boy Scout Troop 711

8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy will represent Polk County at national competition.

8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy will represent Polk County at national competition.


Sachin was selected to compete in the final competition after successfully pitching his business concept to local business leaders in the YEA! Semifinals, or Shark Tank, held on April 4, 2018, at Southeastern University.


His business, ScoutVenture, involves solving for a common problem faced by many Boy Scouts. ScoutVenture is an app that helps Boy Scout Troops manage themselves and plan for the future.


Sachin travels to New York on Thursday, May 3 but is available for interviews Monday through Wednesday upon request.

MEDIA CONTACT:          Rebecca Fortier, (863) 688-8551, ext. 229, or cell (863) 221-2678,

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THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ACADEMY (YEA!)                                                YEA! Is a national non-profit organization that teaches and empowers students ages 11 to 18 to launch and run their own real, small businesses through an exciting, projects-based program. Founded in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, today YEA! has empowered over 9,000 students at over 100 locations across the United States with international classes underway in India and Shanghai. YEA! graduates have been featured on TV’s hit show Shark Tank, raised tens of millions of dollars in seed capital, won millions of dollars in college scholarships, have been featured in the nation’s top publications, from The New York Times to Forbes Magazine, and have graduated from top business schools and colleges including the Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford, Cornell, RIT, Saunders, Simon, among others.

YEA! provides young people with the ability to recognize opportunities and shows them the power of their potential. YEA! students learn the magic formula on how to transform an idea—their idea—into an enterprise that creates value. YEA! teaches students how to unleash their imagination by introducing them to the formula of entrepreneurial success—at an early age.


Each year, students from every YEA! site across the country compete to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneur and win college scholarships at the YEA! Saunders Scholars National Competition. The Saunders Scholars program is named for and supported by Rochester area business magnate E. Philip Saunders. In 2008, the Saunders Foundation awarded YEA! a transformational gift to provide young entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors an opportunity to earn significant college scholarship awards.

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:

Vision Statement

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice.

Mission Statement

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

Pictured in photo left to right:  Alexander Thomas, Miracle Murff, Zyad Elmasri, Skyler Hollinger, Om Taropawala, Sachin Sivakumar, Grant Gable, Shelby Claville.


Shark Tank Students1

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (April 10, 2018) — Students from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk County (YEA! Polk) were awarded start-up funding to launch their businesses after pitching to a panel of local investors.

The event featured eight students, from middle through high school ages, all from Polk County, who are members of the 2017-18 Young Entrepreneur Academy of Polk, or YEA! Polk. They pitched their business ideas and plans to four local investors who would decide whether their ventures were worth funding.

The panel included community business leaders – Dr. Lyle Bowlin, Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University; Craig Hosking, Maximize Digital Media; Kate Lake, My Office & More; and, Harold M. McLeod, III, SunTrust – and awarded $6,500 in funding.

Here’s how the teen business owners fared:

  • Alexander Thomas, 14-year-old high school freshman and CEO of Aerial Perspective, a drone photography and videography service, was awarded $1,300.
  • Zyad Elmasri, 8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and CEO of Drink I.D., a dial label that can be put on cans or cups during parties that will help distinguish one can from another, was awarded $500.
  • Miracle Murff, graduating senior at Polk State Gateway to College High School and owner of HelpMate, a service that connects local small businesses with those in need, was awarded $200.
  • Om Taropawala, 7th grader at All Saints Academy and owner of InnovaTutors, a better way to tutor students using the students and teachers themselves as leaders, was awarded $500.
  • Grant Gable, 11th grader at Lake Wales IB and CEO of Just Ball, a basketball rebound netting, was awarded $925.
  • Sachin Sivakumar, 8th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and owner of ScoutVenture, an app for Boy Scout Troops that helps Scouts manage themselves and plan for the future, was awarded $1,600.
  • Shelby Claville, graduating senior at Mulberry High School and CEO of ToGoGo, a catering delivery service, was awarded $225.
  • Skyler Hollinger, 7th grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy and CEO of UniqueForm, a company providing a better manufactured uniform that “Grows with the student,” was awarded $1,250.

Sachin Sivakumar of ScoutVenture was selected to represent the local Polk County Chapter at the YEA! Saunders Scholars National Competition in Rochester, New York in May. He will compete against almost 300 other semi-finalists – the best of the best. Skyler Hollinger of UniqueForm was selected as runner-up. The Annual YEA! Saunders Scholars Semi-Finals competition will kick off May 4 in Rochester, New York.

The students all attend a weekly class on the campus of Southeastern University for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to learn business practices and strategies. The classes began in October and will end in May with a graduation ceremony.

The direct mission of the Academy is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. The magic is that the Academy teaches kids to believe in themselves, to think big, and to understand that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.  In the process, students learn as much about leadership and self-empowerment as they do about planning, budgeting, and production.  Students in the Academy discover in themselves confidence, optimism, and capabilities they never knew they had.

Applications for the 2018-19 academic year of the Academy are available now:

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce manages the Young Entrepreneurs Academy locally. Students are introduced to all facets of the business world including, but not limited to, advertising, attorneys, graphic designers and web developers. Students work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world.

YEA! is made possible by our Investor Sponsors:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University, Lakeland Chamber Foundation, Publix Super Markets, Inc., and SunTrust; and our Scholarship Sponsors:   Citrus Center Kiwanis, Maximize Digital Media, Mulberry Community Service Center, Suncoast Credit Union, and Got Candy & More! The YEA! Sponsors and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce are helping to build the next generation of business leaders in Polk County.

To learn more about YEA! visit, or for information on our local chapter, please visit

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:

Vision Statement

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice.

Mission Statement

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.

Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.

YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.