Category Archives: Chamber Initiatives

Key Strategic Initiatives

02Oct/18

SEU Hosts Event for Classical Conversations Students

seu newsLAKELAND, Fla. — Almost 200 Central Florida homeschool students will get a day-long taste of college life on Wednesday, October 3, at Southeastern University (SEU).

The students, who are a part of Classical Conversations homeschool communities, will participate in college-prep workshops, tour campus, attend athletic events and even participate in an impromptu speech competition for a $500 scholarship.

“Southeastern University has a longstanding commitment to homeschooling families and a deep affinity for Classical Conversations,” said Dr. Meghan Griffin, Academic Dean of the School of Unrestricted Education and a CC parent. “It’s a privilege to offer college credit as students complete their final years in the CC Challenge program. The partnership between SEU and CC is a natural fit as both organizations pursue the mission of Christ-centered education in homes and across the globe.”

Classical Conversations (CC) is the largest classical, homeschooling organization in the world and has about 125,000 homeschool students enrolled in its tutoring programs that follow the classical model of education. Southeastern University is CC’s largest dual-enrollment partner through its CC Plus program.

“Southeastern University has been a great partner for us in our CC Plus program,” said Robert Bortins, Classical Conversations CEO. “They have been so accommodating of our particular program of study, and our CC Plus students really enjoy SEU’s professors.”

Scheduled sessions include: an overview of the CC Plus program and how it fits in with a CC education, thesis consultations for CC Plus students enrolled in the English Composition II class in the spring, and a joint panel discussion with SEU staff and CC Directors about how to choose and apply for college. SEU offers eight online, dual-enrollment courses to CC students through CC Plus.

April Jung, a homeschool mother of four from Homestead, is bringing three of her children to the event.

“We’re really looking forward to the CC Plus Day at Southeastern University,” Jung said. “My son is a Challenge II (sophomore) student interested in taking CC Plus classes through SEU next year.  I’m also interested in him getting a taste for a college campus.”

Classical Conversations® is a classical education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 22 foreign countries. CC now has almost 125,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs, which are provided by more than 2,500 CC communities. CC provides resources, guidance and a community for a Christian homeschool curriculum using classical education in three developmental stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric.

Leigh Bortins started Classical Conversations in 1997. The family-owned company is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.classicalconversations.com.

21Sep/18

Saint Leo University Named As Best Value in South for 2019 by U.S. News

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LEO, FL – Saint Leo University was named as one of the best regional universities and best values in higher education in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, which was released Sept. 10. In addition, Saint Leo was named one of the Best Colleges for Veterans.

The university was No. 14 among Best Value Schools in the South. To determine which colleges and universities offer the best value for students, U.S. News takes into account both academic quality and cost.

This year, Saint Leo also claimed its spot in the top 50 “Best Regional Universities” and ranked 47th among Southern universities. This rank is up from last year’s rank of 61st among universities in the South. Regional universities offer a full range of undergraduate programs and provide graduate education at the master’s level. Saint Leo also offers three doctoral programs.

To receive a “Best Value School” ranking, U.S. News calculated the university’s academic quality as indicated by its 2019 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2017-2018 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” U.S. News & Report stated in its listings. “Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.”

The university also was named one of the Best Colleges for Veterans among regional universities in the South, ranking 31st. Saint Leo has a proud history of educating veterans and military students. Schools named to the list participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty servicemembers pay for their degrees.

“Saint Leo University provides a terrific educational value for students of all ages and from all backgrounds, and we are pleased that the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings recognize the quality and excellence offered by the university,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese, university president. “We’re proud of our Catholic heritage and commitment to higher education. These rankings point to our student-centered mission, our caring faculty and staff, and our dedication to student success.”

For information about Best Colleges 2019, visit https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University (www.saintleo.edu) is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

 

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 93,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

13Sep/18
Outrageous Competitions at Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest on 9/22/18.

Outrageous Oktoberfest-style Competitions at Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest

LAKELAND, FL (September 13, 2018) — Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland will feature plenty of German cheer along with a variety of exciting games and competitions on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Old favorites and new exciting challenges await competitors. There are individual games along with a partner competition in the Outrageous Olympiad at the event. Participation in all the events is more important than ever because there are bragging rights on the line. The Games are open to all Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland guests and are free to play.

The Mustache (& Beard) Competition is sponsored by three local barbers – Lakeland Barber Company, Mason Danger Beard Co, and Skully’s Mobile Barber Shop. There will be a number of categories to compete in, depending on your facial follicle preference. The pre-judging Qualification is at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Official Mustache Competition at 8:00 p.m. The categories for the Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest 2018 Mustache Competition are:  Natural Mustache, Freestyle Mustache, Natural Goatee, Freestyle Goatee (whether it’s a Fu Manchu, Musketeer, or your own styled creation this category is for you), Natural Full Beard (this category is sure to draw heated competition) and, Freestyle Full Beard. Prizes include Deluxe Beard Kits, T-shirts, and barber services.

How long can you hoist? Join us at Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Lakeland 2018 for your chance to become the 2018 Stein Hoisting Champion! ?Do some quick curls, then come on out and try your hardest to hold up a stein mug filled with delicious Oktoberfest beer the longest! ?The game is simple, how long can you hold a glass stein filled to the brim with liquid and held by a straight ninety degree (90°) arm in front of entrant, parallel to the floor with elbows locked. Once entrant’s elbow bends or spills or drops the stein, the entrant loses the contest. Longest time wins the contest.

Looking to partner up? Grab a friend and toss the bratwurst for the Brat Toss. Teams must complete a toss to-and-fro and catch the Brat in their bucket. Careful not to break it as you may end up tossing twice as much. The team that tosses the Brat the farthest distance wins!

The Chicken Dance is a competition for everybody and there will be plenty of opportunities to shake your tail feathers. Throughout the evening, make sure to join in the dance when you hear the song. Don’t worry about looking silly – that is the point! It is important to dance whenever you can to make sure your team has the most dancers by the songs end to win.

The children will not be left out! At Kinder Platz on Kentucky Avenue, competitions include Ein, Zwei, Drei… Halt! – also called the “Number Game” – is similar to “Red Light, Green Light.” The Koffer Packen game in English is “Packing a Suitcase” and is similar to a memory game. Finally, a Root Beer Stein Obstacle Race is a test of speed versus patience. How fast can you run around the obstacle course, both hands full of root beer, without spilling any precious root beer? Each racer will run the course holding two Steins full of root beer, one in each hand! Be careful not to spill any root beer because each ounce lost adds one second to your time!

Outrageous Competitions at Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest on 9/22/18.

Outrageous Competitions at Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest on 9/22/18.

Registration for all games is on the event website: www.SwantoberFest.com under the “More” tab, and then select “Game-Rules.”

The complete event schedule is listed below:

?Event Schedule:

Main Stage, Outrageous Olympiad & Family Cool Garten by Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

5:00 PM – Official SwantoberFest Willkommen by Suncoast Credit Union & Beer Tapping by Swan Brewing

5:30 PM – Pre-judging qualification for Official Mustache Competition

6:00 PM – The Europa Band performs!

6:30 PM – Chicken Dance Competition

6:45 PM – Stein Hoisting Competition for Adults

7:30 PM – Brat Toss

7:45 PM – Champion Olympiad for Top 10 Winner

8:00 PM – Official Mustache Competition & Treasure Hunt Winner Announcement

Business Expo (Ausstellers)

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Exhibitors and vendors display their goods & services for the community

Autobahn by Fields Auto Group / Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) / Fields BMW Lakeland

5:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Open (Tennessee Ave)

Kinder Platz by 2Infinity Entertainment Center (Kentucky Ave)

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Open with Got Candy Root Beer Garden, Bungee-Run, and more!

5:15 PM – Ein, Zwei, Drei… Halt! Game

6:15 PM – Koffer Packen Game

7:15 pm – Root Beer Stein Obstacle Race

German Feast Tent hosted & operated by the North Lakeland Rotary Club and the Christina Lakeland Rotary Club

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Traditional Bratwursts & Pretzels available for purchase

Beverage Tent by Budweiser & Beck’s

5:00 PM – Bottled Water, Beer, and Cider for purchase

9:30 PM – Last call for beer and cider

Lakeland Chamber Tent

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Purchase beverage tickets, bottled water, information, and media credentials

Official T-Shirts available for purchase at the Boondock Studios tent

VIP Experience Tent by Swan Brewing

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Open for VIP pass-holders to relax

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – VIP Experience at Explorations V Children’s Museum

Suncoast Credit Union larger

Title Sponsor:  Suncoast Credit Union

Artist Sponsor:  Boondock Studios

Print Media Sponsor:  Ledger Media Group

Radio Media Sponsor:  WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

Beverage Sponsor:  Bernie Little Distributors / Budweiser & Beck’s

German Feast Tent Sponsors:  Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina and Lakeland North Rotary Club

Food Sponsors:  Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated and Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Autobahn Sponsor:  Fields Auto Group – Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) and Fields BMW Lakeland

Family Cool Garten Sponsor:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Kinder Platz Sponsor:  2Infinity Entertainment Center

VIP Experience Sponsor:  Swan Brewing

Patron Sponsor:  Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Centers and Premier Party Rentals

Root Beer Garden Sponsor:  Got Candy & More Food Truck

Media Partners:  LkldNow.com, LKLD Haven Magazine, and The Ledger

ABOUT SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION SWANTOBERFEST

The Lakeland Chamber is proud to announce Suncoast Credit Union as the title sponsor of Lakeland’s only Oktoberfest-themed celebration! Like a traditional Oktoberfest, our event will offer sights, sounds, and tastes that are Bavarian-inspired. Lakeland residents will have a chance to celebrate Octoberfest-style in Munn Park in downtown Lakeland on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest is a time to unwind and make new friends, learn new customs and sing a few songs. Be there to help tap the inaugural keg at 5 PM on Saturday, September 22, as Lakeland’s Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest kicks off! This community-wide event in Munn Park will be free to attend and feature a business expo as an opportunity for Chamber member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting. Activities include German-style competitions, treasure hunt, and live music by The Europa Band.  VIP passes will be available for an extra-special experience, including a Child’s VIP pass – think Root Beer Garden! To register as vendor-exhibitor at the event, please click here or at https://bit.ly/2JlSL0m. To learn more about the event, visit the website at SwantoberFest.com.

 

ABOUT SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION 

Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 12th largest in the United States based on its more than $9.2 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 65 full-service branches and serves more than 785,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit: suncoastcreditunion.com, Facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU 

ABOUT 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.

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13Sep/18
Root Beer ingredients crop

Barks, Roots, Berries and Flowers: Local Food Truck Owner Brings Homemade Root Beer to Festival

LAKELAND, FL (September 13, 2018) – It is not often that you get to taste real root beer. We’re not talking about the root beer currently for sale on store shelves – those are fine root beers, but have you ever tasted the real stuff? When we were planning the Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest – Lakeland’s inaugural Oktoberfest celebration – we wanted something unique and fun for our young guests. So, we approached Lea Williams, owner of Got Candy & More Food Truck, and presented her with the challenge. Immediately, Williams was on a mission to find the best recipe, ingredients, and carbonation. She tested and tweaked several recipes to find the perfect one. A month later, she had perfected her root beer recipe and we sampled it. Talk about flavor! This root beer was creamy with a little bit of kick, and super refreshing – Sody-licious Root Beer was born!

Williams is keeping her recipe close to the vest, but acknowledges that her root beer is brewed with organic barks, roots, berries, and flowers. Today, most of the root beers commercially produced use artificial flavors. The original ingredients are often hard to source, or are expensive.

William’s hand-crafted, small batch Sody-licious Root Beer will be available for purchase from her food truck at the Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Admission to the event is free. In addition to her Root Beer, savory and sweet items will also be available for purchase. Visit Got Candy & More Food Truck between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the event.

This community-wide event in Munn Park is free to attend and feature a business expo as an opportunity for Chamber member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting. This event will include German-style competitions, German food & drink, an Autobahn, Kinder Platz (for the young at heart), a Family Cool Garten, and live music by The Europa Band.

Root Beer ingredients crop

Root Beer ingredients:  hop flowers, birch bark, sarsaparilla root, juniper berries

Suncoast Credit Union larger

Title Sponsor:  Suncoast Credit Union

Artist Sponsor:  Boondock Studios

Print Media Sponsor:  Ledger Media Group

Radio Media Sponsor:  WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

Beverage Sponsor:  Bernie Little Distributors / Budweiser & Beck’s

German Feast Tent Sponsors:  Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina and Lakeland North Rotary Club

Food Sponsors:  Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated and Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Autobahn Sponsor:  Fields Auto Group – Fields Motorcars (Mercedes) and Fields BMW Lakeland

Family Cool Garten Sponsor:  Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Kinder Platz Sponsor:  2Infinity Entertainment Center

VIP Experience Sponsor:  Swan Brewing

Patron Sponsor:  Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Centers and Premier Party Rentals

Root Beer Garden Sponsor:  Got Candy & More Food Truck

Media Partners:  LkldNow.com, LKLD Haven Magazine, and The Lakelander

ABOUT SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION SWANTOBERFEST

The Lakeland Chamber is proud to announce Suncoast Credit Union as the title sponsor of Lakeland’s only Oktoberfest-themed celebration! Like a traditional Oktoberfest, our event will offer sights, sounds, and tastes that are Bavarian-inspired. Lakeland residents will have a chance to celebrate Octoberfest-style in Munn Park in downtown Lakeland on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest is a time to unwind and make new friends, learn new customs and sing a few songs. Be there to help tap the inaugural keg at 5 PM on Saturday, September 22, as Lakeland’s Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest kicks off! This community-wide event in Munn Park will be free to attend and feature a business expo as an opportunity for Chamber member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting. Activities include German-style competitions, treasure hunt, and live music by The Europa Band.  VIP passes will be available for an extra-special experience, including a Child’s VIP pass – think Root Beer Garden! To register as vendor-exhibitor at the event, please click here or at https://bit.ly/2JlSL0m. To learn more about the event, visit the website at SwantoberFest.com.

ABOUT SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION 

Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 12th largest in the United States based on its more than $9.2 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 65 full-service branches and serves more than 785,000 members in the following Florida counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Dixie, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit: suncoastcreditunion.com, Facebook.com/SuncoastCreditUnion or @SuncoastCU 

ABOUT 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.