Category Archives: Business After Hours

05-15-18 Phantom of the Youkey TheaterFB

Networking with the Phantom of Youkey Theater

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (May 2, 2018) — You won’t want to miss this romantic and mysterious Business After Hours on Tuesday night, May 15, 2018. The RP Funding Center presents The Phantom of the Youkey Theater for one night only! Enjoy wonderful hors d’oeuvres, libations, and over 200 fellow member-investors. The classic black & white silent film, The Phantom of the Opera, will be playing as guests explore the Youkey Theater in hopes of catching a glimpse of the rumored Phantom of the Youkey Theater!

The party is starting earlier this month since we could not wait until our traditional Thursday to hold the event. So, please join us on Tuesday! We encourage you to adjust your schedule to attend this special event.

“The team and I at RP Funding Center are excited to host Business After Hours for a second year. We believe we have put together a Phantom of the Opera evening that will allow Chamber members to network and socialize in a special setting,” comments Tony Camarillo, Executive Director of the RP Funding Center.

The historic centerpiece of the RP Funding Center is the 2,226 seat Youkey Theater. The theater is named for Robert Youkey, former Lakeland City Manager, who had the vision to build the Lakeland Center for his community. The theater is home to the annual Broadway & Special engagements; the Imperial Symphony Orchestra; and is ideally suited for dance events, plays and concerts. The theater also offers the flexibility for meetings and general sessions and other corporate events.

05-15-18 Phantom of the Youkey TheaterFB

The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. in the title role of the disfigured Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he “loves” a star. The film remains most famous for Chaney’s ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film’s premiere. The film was released on November 25, 1925.

Before you enter the Youkey Theater, please take time to meet the teen CEOs from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk County (YEA! Polk). They will be displaying their product and services and are excited to meet with you. You won’t want to miss this! Meet new contacts! Reconnect with fellow members!

Name: Business After Hours with The Phantom of the Youkey Theater

Register Now:

Location: RP Funding Center, 701 W Lime St, Lakeland, FL 33815

Date/Time Information:  Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm EDT

Contact Information:  Katie McBride (863) 688-8551 ext 236, or

Fees/Admission:  $10 investors | $30 non-members


RP Funding Center

Central Florida’s premiere entertainment, sports and convention venue offers loads of indoor entertainment, and is within walking distance of downtown Lakeland’s unique shopping and dining options.

Arena, Theater, Exhibit Hall and Conference Center

The RP Funding Center is the only multipurpose facility in Central Florida with four distinct venues under one roof: the 10,000-seat George Jenkins Arena, 2,186-seat Youkey Theater, 28,000-square feet Exhibit Hall, and 34,000-square feet Conference Center.

Broadway Series

Theatre lovers enjoying a Central Florida vacation will enjoy The RP Funding Center’s annual Broadway Series, featuring five nationally touring productions. Enjoy upbeat musicals, on the edge-of-your-seat dramas and timeless classics. Locals who subscribe to their Broadway Series Subscription Package receive entrance into all five shows, free parking, priority seating, special discounts and 10 percent off pre-show dining.

Entertainment Series

The RP Funding Center’s annual Entertainment Series brings down the house with thrilling live concerts, ballets, standup comedy, dance performances and more.

Famous groups and performers who have and will take part in the entertainment series include The Tenors, Neil Sedaka, various Dancing with the Stars alumni, America’s Got Talent winner Jackie Evancho and Kathy Griffin.

Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic

If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic, you must go. Professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash, shiny gold buckles, and most importantly, the title of champion – it’s a boot scootin’ good time.

Public Ice Skating

One of the coolest things to do at The RP Funding Center in November and December is ice skating. Dates are scheduled to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and sometimes summer vacation.


Annual favorites for Central Florida visitors include Collectorama, featuring collectibles including currency, knives, watches more; Buckler Arts & Craft Show, which occurs in the summer and fall; The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in the winter; Snowbird Extravaganza, which features 50,000 sq. ft. of vendors and entertainment; the Log & Timber Home Show and Lakeland VW Classic, which is held outdoors and features multiple vendors and a parts swap. The RP Funding Center also hosts multiple knife and gun shows each year, and the occasional boating and hunting expo.

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.

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


Two Men and a Truck

Well-Done Events

Whatever Tees

To attend, please visit, or and look for the 19th Annual Citizens Bank & Trust Luau After Hours to register.


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


$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.



Ed Morse Mazda BAH (4)

Ed Morse Mazda Celebrates Over 65 Years of Automotive Excellence

Ed Morse Mazda BAH (4)

Since 1946, when Ed Morse founded Morse Motors with his father, the Morse name has stood for strength, integrity and trust.

More than 65 years later, Ed’s son, President/CEO Edward (Ted) Morse, Jr., has continued to build the family owned and operated Ed Morse Automotive Group into one of the nation’s most respected automotive dealer groups.

“When you put your family name on the businesses throughout the state all these years,” said Ted Morse, “you have given yourself and your family a standard to live up to, and that is exactly what we do with every customer who walks through our doors.”

The group consists of 15 dealerships that house 17 automotive franchises and 10 different brands – both domestic and import – throughout Florida.

Ted Morse sees great promise in the Lakeland market, and when General Motors closed the Saturn brand, he chose to continue as a Lakeland dealer when he purchased the Mazda franchise and renovated the facility as it is today.

The legacy that Ed Morse leaves behind is not just a successful business but also a strong commitment to the communities that the Ed Morse Automotive Group supports through is philanthropic activities.

Each year, the Ed Morse Automotive Group is an official sponsor for Toys-for-Tots and Feeding America, with each dealership serving as a drop off location. The annual Ed Morse Automotive Group MDA golf tournament raises money to help children attend the MDA camp each year, and has raised more than $2 million since the first tournament in 1994.

The Ed Morse Automotive Group also supports the American Red Cross, the Humane Society, the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Dan Marino Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association.

“The value of the trust others have in you,” said Ted, “is far beyond anything that can be measured. Building a reputation of integrity takes years; and, as a family, we continue my father’s commitment to our communities and to maintaining the reputation he worked so hard to build.”


Ed Morse Mazda Lakeland
1250 W Memorial Blvd
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 274-7240


Business After Hours Celebrates Beef’s 20th Anniversary on August 18

Celebrate with us on August 18!

Sponsored by…


It’s a 20th Anniversary party and you’re invited!

  • Share business cards!
  • Meet new contacts!
  • Reconnect with fellow members!

Harbsmeier DeZayas, LLP has teamed up with Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Pub to celebrate Beef’s 20th Anniversary with live music and awesome food & drinks.

And, who could forget about door prizes – we even hear there will be “Chicken Wings for Life” for one lucky attendee!

We’ll see you there!

Beefo O’Brady’s Family Sports Pub | 4810 S Florida Ave | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Register Today!


Hot Summer Night By a Cool Fountain – This Thursday!

Come out for some refreshment from the Summer heat on July 21!

Sponsored by…

Refresh your business by the Lakeside Village fountain at Business After Hours!

  • Share business cards!
  • Meet new contacts!
  • Reconnect with fellow members!

The merchants & management of Lakeside Village have prepared a beautiful night with live music and awesome food & drinks.

And, who could forget about door prizes?

Meet us at the main fountain area!

Lakeside Village | Harden Blvd & Polk Parkway | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Register Today!