Category Archives: Communications & Marketing


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 or and clicking on the events tab.

For more information please contact:
Brianna Dingess

(863) 293-2138

Rebecca Fortier

(863) 688-8551 ext. 229

Javier Marin

(863) 937-4430

Allen & Company's team PHAT Assets, 2016 Champions



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:

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

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


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.


“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;


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


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.


2015 Detroit Tiger BBQ Tickets On Sale

Join us in welcoming back our Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium during the Lakeland Chamber’s 69th Annual Tiger BBQ on Thursday, February 26th starting at 6 PM.

This Lakeland tradition kicks off the Detroit Tiger’s 79th Spring Training season and celebrates the 50th year of Tiger baseball at Joker Marchant Stadium—which translates each year into approximately $45 million in economic impact to our area!

Ticket holders will enjoy traditional southern BBQ, a commemorative 2015 souvenir mug and the opportunity support the longest standing Major League Baseball relationship in Spring Training history.   Please join us and fellow Tiger’s supporters in supporting the Chamber’s 69th Annual Tiger BBQ event by clicking here to order tickets.

Click here to order your ticket(s) or call Patty Smith at (863) 688-8551 Ext. 224

2015 Tiger BBQ
For more information on Spring Training, please go to or call 866-668.4437.


“First-Step” Workshop Designed to Attract Entrepreneurs

Lakeland Downtown Development Authority (LDDA), City of Lakeland Building Department and Central Florida SCORE are teaming up to advise potential new business owners and small developers on the first steps of starting a business and opening a location in Lakeland though the “First-Step” Workshop.  This free workshop will be held Tuesday, February 19, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. at Lakeland City Hall in the Building Department conference room.

The workshop is designed to provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. Local SCORE mentors will discuss how they can help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services.

Any successful venture begins with and is based on a plan.  An economic business case must be made for a market, for a product or service, a business location, a business style, cash investment, cash flow projection, planned growth and all other aspects of business. SCORE counseling and continued mentoring seeks to improve chances of success, said Pat Dooley, Central Florida SCORE Mentor.

Dan Gargas, Chief Building Official with the City of Lakeland plans to discuss the permitting process and pitfalls to avoid when planning and completing a construction project.

Starting a new business takes diligence. We want entrepreneurs to be familiar with City Hall and the Building Department so that they can better understand what types of building renovations and improvements need or do not need building permits,” said Jason Willey, Economic Development Coordinator for City of Lakeland.

The LDDA is sponsoring this workshop in hopes of connecting new businesses with vacant space Downtown.  “We want all businesses in Lakeland to be successful and feel that this workshop can provide resources and contacts to make that possible,” said Julie Townsend, Executive Director of the LDDA. “We also want to promote Downtown and all that it has to offer a new business.”

“This is just a first step for us as well.  If the workshop goes well, we’ll add more dates and expand on the topics,” adds Townsend.

If you’d like to participate in the workshop, please contact SCORE Mentor Becky Bywater at 863 284-5607 or 863 838-1079; e-mail For more information about SCORE visit www.


Senior Visual Arts Studen Exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art

Harrison School for the Arts is pleased to announce the Senior Visual Arts Exhibit at the Polk Museum of Art beginning on Friday, February 20th with an opening reception at 6:00 p.m.

The Polk Museum of Art and Harrison School for the Arts have been partners for over 25 years and PMoA graciously hosts this event annually which displays the seniors’ work for an extended period of time in which the exhibit is open to the public during regular museum hours.  In addition, the PMoA also provides a “Purchase Award” for Harrison seniors. This event is free and open to the public.

Polk Museum of Art is located at 800 E. Palmetto St and the show will run from February 20 through March 8, 2015.

If you have any questions, call (863) 688-7743 or visit