Category Archives: Business News


Bonnet Springs Park Announces Major Gift

bonnet springs park

LAKELAND, FL The Board of Directors of Bonnet Springs Park, Inc. a 501C3 corporation in Lakeland, Florida announced a major financial gift and establishment of a perpetual care fund at Givewell Community Foundation today. Allen and Company, a premier financial advisory firm with a long-standing reputation for community involvement, made a significant step in the enablement of Bonnet Springs Park today.

The associates at Allen and Company have once again demonstrated their commitment to the quality of life in the Lakeland/Winter Haven area through the establishment of a fund to support the sustainability of this new urban park that is going to change the way citizens and visitors see and live in Lakeland. The 180 acre park, being designed by world class landscape designers Sasaki and constructed on the former CSX rail yard site, will expand the very footprint of downtown Lakeland and connect the northwest quadrant of the City.

“A privately funded public park is a new paradigm to central Florida and will require significant community support to sustain.” Said Ralph Allen, Chairman of Allen and Company. “We want to continue the company tradition of supporting quality of life in our community and through this gift we are hoping to lead others in support of this incredible undertaking.”

The Bonnet Springs enablement team understands that the vision for Bonnet Springs Park received a major boost today.  Thinking beyond the park construction to operational expenses is a sound business strategy for future success of the park and the seeds are now in the ground.

We encourage you to learn more about this exciting new park by visiting us at


Ledger Media Group Hosts Upcoming Job Fair & Offers Chamber Members $50 off Booth Space

Chamber Members get $50 off booth space at this upcoming job fair put on by the Ledger Media Group!

The job fair is scheduled for November 1, 2018. Click the links below to view the flyer as well as the application for booth space.

Job Fair Flyer

Job Fair Contract


Leadercast Women Central Florida

Leadercast Women Facebook


Did you know that currently, women hold less than 4-percent of CEO positions worldwide? 

Studies show this leaves organizations at a disadvantage, as businesses are more effective when both men & women have an equal leadership voice.

And while the core values & behaviors of great leaders are certainly not gender-specific, it’s a fact that women often face unique life decisions and organizational challenges.

We invite women and men both to join us at the Leadercast Women Central Florida host site to be inspired and transformed by the exceptional women sharing their insights, experience and perspectives on how to be the best leader you can be.

October 12, 2018, 8:00AM – 3:30PM
Polk State College Center for Public Safety
1251 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33880

For more information, click here.

800x800Constitutional Revision Commission


LAKELAND, FL (August 31, 2018) – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce host the Constitutional Revision Commission – A Business Perspective with keynote speaker Christopher S. Emmanuel, Director of Infrastructure and Governance Policy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, September 25, 2018, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at Schalamar Creek Golf & Country Club, located midway between Lakeland and Winter Haven.

Emanuel Chris

Christopher Emmanuel 

Christopher Emmanuel is the Director of Infrastructure & Governance Policy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as the primary advocate for transportation, utilities, energy, and property rights issues on behalf of the state’s largest business association. Emmanuel sits on the Florida Transportation Plan and Strategic Intermodal System Implementation Committee, serves a Railroad Advocate for GoRail, and is a member of the James Madison Institute’s Board of Advisors.

Prior to the Florida Chamber, Emmanuel served as a Policy Advisor for Governor Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and for Governor Rick Scott’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign.  Emmanuel has served in the Florida House of Representatives as an analyst for the prominent Regulatory Affairs Committee. While completing his law degree, Emmanuel was selected as a Gubernatorial Fellow placed within the Department of Economic Opportunity and received the Jeb Bush Award for Policy.

Emmanuel holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Florida and J.D. from the Florida State College of Law.  He is a member of the Federalist Society, an alumnus of Florida Blue Key, and is admitted into the Florida Bar. Emmanuel and his wife Elizabeth live in Tallahassee.

Admission for members of the Lakeland and Greater Winter Haven Chambers is $15 each. Admission for non-members is $30 each. Lunch will be provided. Please register online as there will be no admissions at the door. Please see links below. Registration ends 9/20/18.

Register Now

Event Sponsorships are available.

800x800Constitutional Revision Commission


Event Name:  Constitutional Revision Commission – A Business Perspective

Location:  Schalamar Creek Golf & Country Club
4500 US Hwy 92 E, Ste 1030
Lakeland, FL 33801-9416

Date/Time Information:  Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier (863) 688-8551 Ext. 229 or

Fees/Admission:  $15 each – member of Lakeland Chamber and/or Winter Haven Chamber; $30 each – non-member



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.


Realtors® Offer Guidance for Foreign Buyers

lkld realtorsLAKELAND, FL-Foreign buyers continue to see the U.S. real estate market as a secure and safe investment as Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors®,  are experiencing an increase in the number of international clients over the past five years, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR’s 2018 Commercial Real Estate International Business Trends report analyzed cross-border commercial real estate transactions made by Realtors® during 2017. “Of the 59 percent of Realtors® who indicated they completed a commercial real estate transaction last year, 18 percent reported closing a deal for an international client. Realtors® have the expertise and knowledge of working with clients from different countries and real estate practices, so international buyers using a Realtor® are at a true advantage and can rely on their global market perspective,” said Kyle Vreeland, 2018 Lakeland REALTORS® President.

The study found that most Realtors® who specialize in commercial real estate reside in smaller commercial markets where the typical deal is less than $2.5 million. “Foreign investors are attracted to smaller-sized properties in secondary and tertiary markets, helping the profile of smaller commercial markets grow,” said Vreeland.

“Realtors®’ international clients found U.S. commercial real estate markets to be a good value last year. Seventy percent of Realtors® reported that international clients view U.S. prices to be about the same or less expensive than prices in their home country,” said Vreeland.

The top countries of origin for buyers were China (20 percent), Mexico (11 percent), Canada (8 percent) and the United Kingdom (6 percent). While sellers were typically from Mexico (20 percent), China (15 percent), and Brazil and Israel (both at 10 percent). Florida and Texas were the top two states where foreigners purchased and sold commercial property last year, with California being the third most popular buyer and seller destination.

Foreign buyers of commercial property typically bring more cash to the table than those purchasing residential real estate. Seventy percent of international transactions were closed with cash, while NAR’s 2017 residential survey found that half of buyers paid in cash.

NAR’s commercial community includes commercial members, real estate boards, committees, advisory boards and forums; and NAR commercial affiliate organizations – CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate.

Approximately 80,000 NAR members specialize in commercial real estate brokerage and related services including property management, land counseling and appraisal. In addition, more than 200,000 members are involved in commercial transactions as a secondary business.