Category Archives: Chamber Initiatives

Key Strategic Initiatives

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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27Jan/18

Lakeland Chamber Members Receive Recognition for Strong Tobacco Policies

Tobacco Free Polk Logo-01The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following companies for participating in the Chamber’s 2017 Smoke Free Business Initiative, sponsored by Tobacco Free Polk:

  • Burnetti, P.A.
  • Boring Business Systems
  • CPS Investment Advisors
  • Explorations V Children’s Museum
  • GiveWell Community Foundation
  • State Farm/Julie Gilileo
  • Lakeland Regional Health
  • Lanier Upshaw, Inc.
  • ORB Engineering, Inc.
  • Polk County Public Schools
  • Polk Museum of Art

We would also like to highlight several companies with Outstanding Tobacco Policies that include Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS—electronic cigarettes), Tobacco No Hire Policy, or Smoke Free/Tobacco Free Grounds: Boring Business Systems, CPS Investment Advisors, GiveWell Community Foundation, Lanier Upshaw, Inc., Lakeland Regional Health, and Polk County Public Schools.

In addition, Lakeland Regional Health and Polk County Public Schools also qualify for the Florida Tobacco Cessation Alliance’s Gold Level Award. We are thrilled to report that LRH is the recipient of the Gold Level Award, and is the first to receive the Gold Award in Polk and the 12th in all of Florida.

This initiative was created to recognize businesses for having a strong tobacco policy that also offers employees using tobacco the tools needed to help them quit. The businesses above completed the Tobacco Free Florida Worksite Wellness Assessment with the help of Tobacco Free Polk staff.

If your business would like to fill out the form in 2018, please contact Juli Davis at Juli.Davis@FLHealth.gov or (863) 578-2157. All Chamber businesses that complete the assessment, whether or not they qualify for the award, will receive two free tickets to an upcoming Lakeland Chamber Business After Hours event.

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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13Nov/17

Polk Goes Global III: Attendees will Gain Insight on Conducting International Business

The Lakeland and Winter Haven Chambers, in collaboration with the Central Florida Development Council, is pleased to host this year’s Polk Goes Global III – A Half-Day International Exporting Conference.

This exciting and informative event highlights the economic strength of Polk County’s international trade in cattle, citrus, manufacturers, and other goods and service exports. The county is centrally located between major Florida ports, with a free trade zone in the middle of the Tampa/Orlando area, plus a CSX intermodal logistics center. Ideally situated, Polk County is a hot spot for international distribution. Over $2 billion worth of economic activity occurs through the county each year. Polk Goes Global is sure to provide a wealth of information to any businessperson or investor looking to take advantage of the worldwide reach of Polk County.

The International sponsor of the event is Saddle Creek Logistics Services; additional event sponsors include Orlando International Airport, Polk State College Lakeland Campus and SunTrust Bank. The Keynote Speaker will be Manny Mencia, SVP of International Trade and Business Development at Enterprise Florida.  For over 30 years, Mencia has acquired extensive international trade expertise while serving at the Florida Department of Commerce in various executive roles (1977-1991) and then as vice president of World Marketing at The Beacon Council (1992-1996) before joining Enterprise Florida.  His keynote address promises to offer attendees unique insight into the opportunities surrounding the global market.

There will also be a number of speakers and panelists to share their experiences on conducting international business in Polk County, including:

  • Joseph Bell, Regional Director of Enterprise Florida
  • David Befus, Associate Professor of International Business at Southeastern University
  • Sandra Campbell, Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce – Clearwater Center
  • Torrey Chambliss, Manager of Foreign Trade Zone at Port Tampa Bay
  • Mauro Costa, Managing Member of SOS Universal
  • Rick Garcia, President of Gulf Coast Avionics
  • Javier Marin, Director of Business Development and Global Trace at the Central Florida Development Council
  • Sandro Murtas, Regional Manager at the Small Business Administration
  • Eileen Rodriguez, Director of the Small Business Development Center at USF
  • Joel Sellers, International Sales Manager of Florida’s Natural Growers
  • Jennifer Simpson, Regional Director at the Eastern Region EXIM Bank
  • Dan Tapia, Manager of International Strategy and Policy at the Florida Chamber of Commerce

Polk Goes Global III will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017, 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Polk State College, LTB Auditorium, located at 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, Florida, 33801. Admission to the event is $25 for members of the CFDC, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, and $35 for non-members. The price includes breakfast.

Attendees can register online by visiting the  Lakeland or Winter Haven Chamber websites or by going to LakelandChamber.com or WinterHavenchamber.com and clicking on the events tab.

For more information please contact:
Brianna Dingess

(863) 293-2138

brianna@winterhavenchamber.com

Rebecca Fortier

(863) 688-8551 ext. 229
rfortier@lakelandchamber.com

Javier Marin

(863) 937-4430

Javier@CFDC.org

18Oct/17
Allen & Company's team PHAT Assets, 2016 Champions

CORPORATE CHALLENGE 5K SUPPORTS COMMUNITY YOUTH

Allen and Co Phat AssetsCORPORATE CHALLENGE 5K SUPPORTS COMMUNITY YOUTH

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (October 18, 2017) — On Saturday, November 11, ten of your employees can run/walk the 5k event and compete against other organizations your size (small, medium or large) for bragging rights and possession of the traveling trophy for a year! Other employees can participate by making pledges to the existing runners which supports bullying and drug prevention in Polk County.

Our 2016 Corporate Challenge Champions, Allen & Company’s PHAT Assets team, dares other corporate teams to participate. Robin Chaddick, PHAT Assets team member and Director of Marketing at Allen of Company, says, “Bring your best game, Lakeland! We plan to keep the trophy!”

The trophies for the Corporate Challenge will be presented at the BIG Event by the Lakeland Chamber, at Lake Mirror that evening. Call the InnerAct Alliance if you need help setting up team!

Registration online:  http://www.redribbonhalf.com/

Fees:  $400 – by October 30; $500 – from October 31 – November 11

For questions & information:  InnerAct Alliance, 621 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL  33801 – TeamRedRibbon@inneractalliance.org – Tel: (863) 802-0777

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What is the BIG Event?

Saturday, November 11, 2017, 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The BIG Event Lakeland is a free music fest featuring local businesses, makers, and delicious food! The event kicks off with the Red Ribbon Run Corporate Award and the Watson Clinic Poster Contest Award, immediately followed by a special Salute to Veterans by Green Construction. Then enjoy nonstop entertainment! Celebrate the best of Lakeland at this FREE music fest! The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with InnerAct Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay present the second annual BIG Event Lakeland – and theme Pirates on the Promenade for 2017! The iconic and historical Frances Ford Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror Amphitheatre is the perfect backdrop for local fun on Saturday, November 11, 2017, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm!

What’s there to do?

Experience live music, family fun + great tastes – Lakeland style!

Exclusive Marketing Sponsor:

Tinsley Creative

Exclusive Beer Sponsor:

Bernie Little Distributing, LLC

Exclusive Wine Sponsor:

Tucker’s Southside Package & Lounge

Gold Sponsors:

Publix Super Markets, Inc.

“Big 4” WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

“Foodie” Partner:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay – serving Polk County since 1970

Silver Sponsor:

Watson Clinic LLP

Salute to Veterans Sponsor:

Green Construction

Bronze Sponsors:

Bank of Central Florida

CPS Investment Advisors

City of Lakeland;

GEICO

Heacock Insurance

Highland Homes

Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center

Lanier Upshaw, Inc.

SERVPRO of Lakeland

Community Partners:  JBT Corporation & Saddle Creek Logistics Services

Print Media Sponsor:  Ledger Media Group

Radio Sponsor:  “Big 4” WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

Bottled Water Sponsor:  Crystal Springs

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The 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.