Category Archives: Chamber Events

Events held by or sponsored by the Lakeland Chamber

12Apr/18
Luau postcard-front (3)

Annual Networking Event Celebrates 19 Years

LAKELAND, FL (April 12, 2018) — For 19 years, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Citizens Bank & Trust has hosted one of the most popular networking events in Lakeland at their location downtown “on the deck.” The tradition continues this year and record attendance is anticipated. Thanks to the underwriting of Citizen Bank & Trust, the admission, only $10 per person, includes food samples and treats courtesy of local restaurants, live music by Norris Riggs and the Music Makers, photo booth, beverages, beer, and a chance to cast a vote for Lakeland’s annual King of the Wings competition.

Originally designed as an event to celebrate and thank loyal members of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce in 1999, the Luau After Hours has evolved into an annual restaurant competition and popular networking event with over 500 attendees representing local business and community leaders.

“Citizens Bank & Trust is proud to host this annual event once again and I know we will enjoy the festivities of the evening with everyone having a good time, networking and building relationships. Of course, we hope that the Luau will help generate new membership interest for the Lakeland Chamber and that’s why we have a $10 price for everyone – members and guests. Personally, this year’s event is special to me as the 2018 Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors,” says Weymon Snuggs, Executive Vice President, Citizens Bank & Trust.

This year, King of the Wings competitors include last year’s People’s Choice winner Smokin’ Aces BBQ and Judges’ Choice winner Beef O’Brady’s South. They will fight for the right to be the King of the Wings. Two restaurants return this year – Mojo’s Wings, Burgers, Beer (2016 winner) and The Winghouse of Lakeland. Newcomers include the Detroit Tigers / Flying Tigers, Duke’s Brewhouse Lakeland, Kick Yo’ Butt BBQ & Catering. Who will reign supreme for 2018?

For party-goers that want something other than wings, we invite them to try samples and treats at bd’s Mongolian Grill, Cold Stone Creamery, Got Candy & More Food Truck, Jet’s Pizza of Lakeland, Miller’s Ale House Lakeland, MOJO Federal Swine & Spirits, and the North Lakeland Rotary Club.

The Bernie Little Distributing Co. (BLD) has been integral in the success of the Luau After Hours by providing refreshing Budweiser products for attendees. This year, look for Michelob Ultra Golden and Bud Light Orange as BLD launches new products. And, they may even bring the Miss Budweiser hydroplane…

The event is sponsored by these community-minded local businesses:

Presenting Sponsor

Citizens Bank & Trust Downtown

Big Kahuna Sponsor

Bernie Little Distributing, Co. / Budweiser

Tiki Sponsors

Advanced Disposal

Premier Party Rentals

Tuckers’ Southside Package & Lounge

Spherion

Two Men and a Truck

Well-Done Events

Whatever Tees

To attend, please visit www.lakelandchamber.com/events, or https://bit.ly/2olzOSE and look for the 19th Annual Citizens Bank & Trust Luau After Hours to register.

Location:  

On the Deck at Citizens Bank and Trust

402 S Kentucky Ave

Lakeland, FL 33801

View a Map

Date/Time Information:

Thursday, April 19, 2018
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Contact Information:

Rebecca Fortier (863) 688-8551 ext 229

Send an Email

Fees/Admission:

$10 members & guests

The casual, party atmosphere lends to productive networking.

This event is only $10 – chamber members and non-members.

 

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

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

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10Apr/18
Pictured in photo left to right:  Alexander Thomas, Miracle Murff, Zyad Elmasri, Skyler Hollinger, Om Taropawala, Sachin Sivakumar, Grant Gable, Shelby Claville.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FUNDED AT SHARK TANK EVENT

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:  http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA

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 yeausa.org, or for information on our local chapter, please visit http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA.

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 yeausa.org.

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.

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29Mar/18

Middle and High School Students to Pitch to Local Investors

Citrus Center Kiwanis _ Maximize Digital Media _ MulbeLAKELAND, FLORIDA (March 29, 2018)—On Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 6:00 p.m., student entrepreneurs will take the stage to present their business plans before a panel of local leaders of industry and a public audience. The students are dressed as young professionals, and are ready to wow the crowd.

Nine students in grades 6 through 12 from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Polk County (YEA! Polk), a chapter of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce,  will have five minutes to pitch their business plans to prominent local members of the business community, during the program’s annual YEA! Shark Tank Investor Panel Event. Based on the appeal and merit of the students’ plans and presentations, representatives from companies such as Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University, Maximize Digital Media, Publix Super Markets, and SunTrust will determine the amount of funds to allocate to each business. Investors may choose to fund one business at 100%, several at various percent’s, or all of the businesses equally.

The investors will also select one business to advance to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy National Saunders Scholars Competition, in Rochester, NY, where they will compete with students across the United States for college scholarships.

The students are all from Polk County – Bartow, Lake Alfred, Lakeland, Mulberry, and Winter Haven – and represent All Saints Academy, the International Baccalaureate School at Lake Wales High School, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Mulberry High School, Polk State Gateway High School, and the Thomas Christian Academy (home-school).

Student Businesses:

Aerial Perspective is a drone photography and videography service that will capture stunning views from both in the air and on the ground. The price to fly the drone would be per hour. My potential customers are realtors, property appraisers, and event planners. Once the business gets off the ground, Aerial Perspectives may add an infrared imaging service. The company would acquire the adapting infrared camera for the drone for inspecting roofs and may even fly into attics to look for water leaks and holes in the insulation. Our potential customers for the infrared camera would be inspectors, home insurance companies, and possibly energy companies. We plan to advertise to our customers by having a website, social media ads, fliers, and business cards. Since the CEO has experience flying drones, he feels he will be the ideal pilot once he turns 16 years old and is eligible for a FAA drone pilot’s license. He feels that his business will be successful.

Drink I.D. is a dial label that can be put on cans or cups during parties that will help distinguish one can from another. Buyers would include party planners, businesses planning to throw a party for employees, and sports fans. This label can work for any container, not only plastic cups. Especially cans.

HelpMate is a business idea that stemmed from experiencing the benefits of using a similar service. HelpMate plans to charge lower advertising rates on a more local scale to better connect smaller businesses. The business will be strictly website based until there is a need for a mobile app. Through the website a customer can browse qualified individuals and make contact with them for business measures. This idea will offer services that my target customers look for and are found in their local area.

Hidden Spray is an underground irrigation system that, instead of watering over ground, crops are watered underground because it targets the roots of the plant directly and allows no water to evaporate. This product is similar to drip irrigation where water is dripped into the ground near the roots in the spot where the roots of the plants are in order to conserve water from evaporating from the ground. The main difference is that my product is actually underground instead of drip irrigation. This fills the need of watering the crops less often because the water is already absorbed into the the soil and it is also more cost efficient because instead of farmers spending more money on a mobile over ground irrigation system, farmers would only have to install underground pipes and regulate the flow of water through the pipes.

The purpose of InnovaTutors is to provide a better way to tutor students using the students and teachers themselves as leaders! InnovaTutors targets the student, and their constant struggle to catch up or be higher than others in their class. It works by first requiring a school administrator to enroll their school in the program, then their website is customized to reflect their curriculum. By using this form of tutoring, teachers get to know their students better, students can find help easily, and allows helpers to become potential leaders in their community! This is a form of tutoring unlike any other, and differentiates completely from other services provided by competitors. It is completely safe, affordable, and a smart way to tutor within school.

Just Ball is basketball rebound netting. This product will cut the need for having to take time to chase after a ball because of a missed or bad shot. Instead of repetitively going after the ball in the yard, you can have it bounce back towards you. The net will also go behind the goal post instead of in front so it does not get in the way of the playing space like the competitors products do. The netting will be adjustable for both in-ground and portable goal posts and also goes up to the top of the backboard for total coverage. This is an opportunity because the simpler design doesn’t drive the material and production costs too high. It is also very appealing because of the useful purpose it serves and it does not require constant care or replacement.

ScoutVenture provides an app for Boy Scout Troops that helps Scouts manage themselves and plan for the future.

ToGoGo is a solution to the problem of when you want food but don’t necessarily want to leave your house and get into traffic to go get it. My company brings already made food from your favorite restaurants to your front door. The goal of ToGoGo is to satisfy consumers with the convenience of having food brought right to their house without them having to lift a finger.

UniqueForm is a better manufactured uniform that “Grows with the student” and is well needed. Better manufactured uniforms would be beneficial for the parent, due to its long lasting life and its affordable price. The kids would benefit by being able to adjust the uniform to better accustom their unique form.  Parents of tweens and teens at schools that still require them to wear uniforms would be my target market, since the parents would ideally be the ones purchasing the product. It is different because the UniqueForm uniform lasts longer than competitors and the quality manufacturing allows the uniform to accustom one’s unique form.

The event is free and open to the public.  Interviews with young entrepreneurs or members of the judging panel can be arranged.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk is made possible through the support of sponsors:

Investor Sponsors:

Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University

Lakeland Chamber Foundation

Publix Super Markets, Inc.

SunTrust Bank

Scholarship Sponsors:

Citrus Center Kiwanis

Maximize Digital Media

Mulberry Community Service Center

Suncoast Credit Union

Community Sponsor

Gary S Claville Trust

Got Candy & More

Location:  Buena Vida Auditorium, Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL  33801

Date/Time Information:  Wednesday, April 4, 2018

5:30 – 6:00 pm Meet & Greet with light refreshments from Got Candy & More
6:00 – 7:30 pm Investor Panel Presentation

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier (863) 688-8551 x 229

rfortier@lakelandchamber.com

Fees/Admission:  Free and open to the public. Registration requested.

YEA! teaches kids ages 11 to 18 how to identify their passions, develop a business idea, write a business plan, pitch investors for funding, and obtain all the necessary components to create a fully, formed and functioning business or social movement by the end of the 30-week class.

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 yeausa.org.

 

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.

20Feb/18

ASPIRING TWEEN AND TEEN ENTREPRENEURS MEET WITH LOCAL CEOs

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (February 20, 2018) — Due to a scheduling conflict, R. Joseph Childs will not attend the Third Annual CEO Roundtable. In his place, Grant Nieddu, The Spark { SITES } Project, will take Mr. Childs’ spot on the panel. This event allows students of the local Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk (YEA! Polk) to explore issues regarding entrepreneurship – including addressing specific challenges, sharing stories of success and failure, and discussing the power of networking.

The five local CEOs providing advice and insight are:

  • Gary Claville, Retired-President, Dixie-Southern Constructors, Inc.
  • Katherine Lake, Chief Connections Officer, My Office & More
  • Marsha Leap, President, Leap Ahead Professional Development, LLC
  • Chrissanne Long, CEO and Co-Owner, Maximize Digital Media
  • Grant Nieddu, Chief Spark Instigator, The Spark { SITES } Project

The CEOs are volunteering their time to speak with the fourteen students in the 2017-18 academic year of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk, or YEA! Polk, in a roundtable setting, hosted by Lakeland Chamber member Kate Lake at her business My Office & More. “It is our privilege to partner with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Those students inspire us as we continue our mission to educate others about business,” says Kate.

The program will be moderated by Ken Farris, Counselor, at Central Florida SCORE, and also an instructor for the YEA! Polk program. This year, the businesses that the students are trying to launch include an irrigation system, and I.D. tag for beverages, drone services, adjustable school uniforms that “grow” with you, an app to help Boy Scouts – and several more.Copy of CEO Roundtable (1)

The CEO Roundtable for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, in the Meeting Room at My Office & More in Downtown Lakeland. The event is free and open to the public, with registration required:  http://bit.ly/2E0HyRl or at www.lakelandchamber.com under the Events tab.

Thank you to our Investor Sponsors that make this program possible:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc., Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Suncoast Credit Union, and SunTrust Bank.

YEA! teaches kids ages 11 to 18 how to identify their passions, develop a business idea, write a business plan, pitch investors for funding, and obtain all the necessary components to create a fully, formed and functioning business or social movement by the end of the 30-week class.

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 yeausa.org.

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.

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22Nov/17
EFB_2018_lakelandchamber_art_mech1

Registration Open for Annual Economic Update

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (November 21, 2017) – “The ‘human condition’ is always to push forward for the better and economics is the study of that process.” Chief Economist Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors, L.P., a nationally recognized economist, will return as our guest speaker for the 31st Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at the RP Funding Center.  Reporting the regional perspective is Dr. Tony Villamil, a nationally recognized business economist, with over thirty-five years of successful career as a senior economist, university Dean and high-level policymaker for both federal and state governments.

“This year has certainly been showered with events that continue to impact Americans”, comments Ralph Allen, Chairman of Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.  He further comments, “from historical hurricane activity in 2017 to unrelenting violence on both foreign and homeland soil.  These events define our thoughts, our actions and sometimes our financial well being.”  How these global stories influence the economies and ultimately our day-to-day lives is important to understand.

The doors will open at 6:45am for registration and breakfast at the RP Funding Center (formerly the Lakeland Center). This year all ticket purchases will be online.  Please register online at lakelandchamber.com where you will find all the details for the event.  Student tickets and tables are available by contacting Rebecca Fortier at the Lakeland Chamber. The early bird pricing ends December 15th.

About Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Since 1932 Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. has provided financial planning and wealth management services to the communities we serve.  Headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, with operations in Winter Haven and Viera, Allen & Company is Florida’s oldest investment firm.

About the Lakeland Chamber

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:  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; and, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

  EFB_2018_lakelandchamber_art_mech1

 

 

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