Category Archives: Business News


Creating Healthier Workplaces: Local Company Upgrades Office Snacks

[Editor’s note: The Chamber loves publishing good news about our members! So, when I heard about one local office making changes in the breakroom, we had to share… Congratulations to CPS Investment Advisors for caring about your employees!]

Tonny Corrao chooses fruit as an afternoon snack from the CPS Investment Advisors employee breakroom.

Written by Jorge Rivera, CPS Group CPA’s PA

This is a story of CPS Group CPA’s PA, and how an owner is looking out for the best interests of his employees.

Everything started New Year’s Eve 2009; like so many other people,  I decided that my resolution would be to work out more often. I only wanted to lose the 20 pounds or so that I had put on since moving to Lakeland.

As is often the case, I wasn’t doing so well just one month later. In order to give my resolution a chance, as Season of Lent was approaching, I decided that I would give up a favorite vice of mine, fast-food!

With the loss of my midday feasts, I was going to have to find a way to keep my energy up. Instead of replacing fast food with candy and sweets at the office, I decided to start bringing in bags of apples and assorted fruits so I could snack during the day.

My boss, Chas Smith who is also a partner at CPS Investment Advisors, noticed that I had a plate of fruit on my desk whenever he would stop by to say hello in the mornings. If you have ever been to a public accountants’ office, you’ll notice that they often have a candy jar. It’s a way to keep the energy up, especially during tax season.

After Lent was over, Chas decided to implement a new office standard. Fresh whole fruit was now available to employees in the break rooms every week. I soon noticed that the same employees that would often take small breaks during to the day to load up on sweets were now snacking on healthy fruit.

I am proud to announce that I have lost the 20 pounds that I had hoped to lose and others in the office have begun to lose a few pounds of their own. All because an owner was looking out for the best interests of his employees.


Mornings With the Mayor: Making Local Government More Accessible

Mayor Gow Fields invites local residents to attend a new grassroots communication program called Mornings with the Mayor. These informal sessions will be held over breakfast at area restaurants with the first event taking place August 10th at Fred’s Southern Kitchen located at 2120 Harden Boulevard in Lakeland.  The event will start at 7 a.m.

Mayor Fields said, “I am very excited about this new endeavor.  We are constantly looking at ways of improving the flow of communications with our residents and this is just one way for Lakeland citizens to express their opinions in a face to face setting.”  He added, “Accessibility is one of the keys to local government and Mornings with the Mayor will allow residents to share their views, ask questions and provide feedback on issues of concern.”

Those attending will have to pay for their own breakfast but Fred’s Southern Kitchen features a morning breakfast buffet for $5. The premise behind the Mornings with the Mayor program is to make elected officials more accessible to residents in the community and to promote one-on-one communications.

This program allows residents an informal and comfortable forum in which to meet with the Mayor to talk about issues, ask questions, voice concerns and offer comments or suggestions.  Mayor Fields said, “It’s also an excellent way for us to gather candid feedback about how people feel things are going in our City; what amenities they particularly enjoy, areas they feel could use improvement, or what they’d like to see in the future.”


EMERGE Lakeland Program Helps Young Professionals Connect to Lakeland

EMERGE Lakeland is proud to announce its 3rd Annual P2P (Peer-To-Peer) Program!

P2P was developed for young professionals that are new to Lakeland or have recently returned to Lakeland. Participants in the P2P program do not have to be current EMERGE members.

P2P aims to enrich the professional development of Lakeland’s young professionals by partnering them with existing EMERGE Lakeland members. Each event is designed to connect the participant with the Lakeland community, helping to retain good local talent and providing volunteer opportunities within the community.

The year-long program introduces young professionals to local businesses, charities, political figures and more, all while encouraging networking.

The 2010 class is limited to 25 participants. Information and the program application is available by visiting


ASC geosciences, inc. joins KCI Technologies Inc.

KCI Technologies Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering firm with offices in the Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, is pleased to announce the acquisition of ASC geosciences inc., a Florida-based company specializing in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, materials testing, forensic engineering, and construction inspection.

With sales exceeding $3.3 million last year, ASC’s 21 employees will continue working from its three offices and laboratory facilities in Lake City, Lakeland, and Fort Myers, Florida, as well as KCI’s office in Tampa.

“This acquisition is a great opportunity for us to grow in the Southeast and position ourselves for the impending economic turnaround,” said KCI President Nathan J. Beil, PE. “Their addition allows us to offer geotechnical and materials testing services and supplement our existing construction inspection work force while extending our geographic reach. Their clients will benefit from the multi-discipline service offerings of KCI, while our clients will have access to local expertise not previously available through the firm.”

KCI and ASC are familiar with each other, having worked together on various projects for Sprint Nextel and TECO Energy. ASC’s president, Anu Saxena, PE, will serve as vice president and regional practice leader specializing in geotechnical engineering. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in geotechnical engineering and testing as well as forensic engineering and litigation support. A 1988 graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in civil engineering, Saxena is a registered professional engineer and a certified neutral evaluator in Florida. He currently serves on the board of the University of South Florida Foundation and recently completed a term as president of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. ASC Chief Executive Officer, D.S. “Sax” Saxena, PE, who founded the firm in 1984, has been named corporate practice leader of the KCI’s newly formed forensic engineering practice.

KCI Technologies

With sales of $131 million in 2009, KCI Technologies Inc. is ranked 83 on the Engineering News-Record’s current list of the top 500 engineering firms in the country. Roughly 850 KCI employee owners support clients from more than 20 offices throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. KCI offers environmental, transportation, telecommunications, construction, facilities and land development services to government, institutional and private-sector clients. For more information, visit