Category Archives: Member Announcements


First Baptist Church Presents Christmas Celebration; Benefits Local Non-Profit

Christmas Celebration is First Baptist Church at the Mall’s annual Christmas production designed to support local ministries and non-profits in Central Florida. This year, A Woman’s Choice Pregnancy Center will receive all donations. Christmas Celebration will run December 10th at 7pm, December 11th at 3pm and 7pm, and December 12th at 7pm. Tickets are available by phone at (863) 682-0163 or online at

Themed “A Baby Changes Everything”, this year’s production will feature the timeless music of Christmas alongside an original drama. Cast members hail from First Baptist Church at the Mall, Southeastern University, Florida Southern College, Rebekah’s Sole in Motion Dance Company, and for the first time, other local churches.

For more information, please contact First Baptist Church at the Mall at (863) 682-0163 or email


Mornings With the Mayor: December 13

Mayor Gow Fields invites local residents to attend the next Mornings with the Mayor event on Monday, December 13, 2010 at the Florida Presbyterian Homes located at 16 Lake Hunter Drive.  The event will start at 8:00 a.m. with a $5.00 breakfast buffet.  Mayor Fields will make his remarks and take questions from the audience at 8:30 a.m.

Those wishing to enjoy the $5.00 breakfast buffet must make reservations with Florida Presbyterian Homes Dining Room Hostess (phone: 863/577-6025) by Friday, December 10, 2010.  Parking is available on the grass strip between Lake Hunter Drive and Lake Hunter directly across from the Dining Room.  Parking signs will be posted in the area.

Mayor Fields said, “Accessibility is one of the keys to local government and Mornings with the Mayor provides the opportunity for our citizens to share their views, ask questions and provide feedback on issues that are directly affecting them.” He added, “Our first three events were very successful with about 40 residents attending each event.  I look forward to spending valuable face to face time with our residents listening to the concerns that they feel are facing our community.”

This program allows residents an informal and comfortable forum in which to meet with the Mayor to talk about issues, ask questions, voice concerns and offer comments or suggestions.  Mayor Fields said, “It’s also an excellent way for us to gather candid feedback about how people feel things are going in our City; what amenities they particularly enjoy, areas they feel could use improvement, or what they’d like to see in the future.”


IT Colloquium @ USFP Celebrates Entrepreneurship

Timed to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week, the University of South Florida Polytechnic will offer a special two-hour Information Technology Colloquium on Nov. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Lakeland Technology Building, room LTB1124.   The public is invited and admission is free.

Dr. Marshall Goodman, CEO of USF Poly, will discuss USF Polytechnic’s vision and focus on innovation. Eddie Hill, director of new venture development, will provide an overview of USF Polytechnic’s Blue Sky Incubator Program. Goodman will also announce the winners of the Faculty and Staff Entrepreneurship Challenge grants, and each winner will make a brief presentation.

“There may be opportunities mentioned for student research and paid internships, as well as some senior project topic ideas that could even lead to later employment in a cutting-edge, entrepreneurial firm,” says Dr. Dave Armitage, director, Division of Information Technology. “This would be a very good colloquium to attend!”
Each November, Global Entrepreneurship Week connects people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and many others participated in a range of activities, from online to face-to-face, and from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings.

Sponsored by USF Polytechnic’s IT department, the IT colloquium series, established in 2002, features programs designed to expand the scope of traditional computer science education. They provide faculty and students from a variety of academic disciplines to interact with guest experts and interested members of the public on a range of practical topics. Past events have featured themes such as IT in the transportation industry and virtualization trends.

“We use these colloquia as a chance to expose the academic enterprise to what is often described as ‘the real world,’” says Armitage. “We hope both scholars and practitioners can grow through that interaction. And, of course, it’s a great opportunity for our students.”

For more information contact Ray Hawat at 863-667-7090 or


Mosaic to unveil planned details of world-class resort in Polk

WHAT: More than 16,000 acres of formerly-mined phosphate land in Polk County, Fla., are being transformed into a resort and conference center by The Mosaic Company, the world’s leading producer and marketer of phosphate-based crop nutrients. During this news event, the resort name, design, amenities and other planned details will be announced.

One of Central Florida’s largest land owners, with approximately 250,000 acres under direct ownership, Mosaic is launching its first-ever venture into real-estate development on land located between Tampa and Orlando. Many of its former mining areas have been reclaimed for public recreational or environmental uses. Now the company plans to extend its land stewardship experience to building a destination resort that showcases the environmental beauty and commercial viability of reclaimed land.

WHO: Representatives from Mosaic, the resort architect, world-renowned golf course architects and local economic development officials will be available for interviews.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 17 | 10 a.m.

WHERE: Lake Myrtle Sports Complex | 2701 Lake Myrtle Park Road | Auburndale, Fla. 33823


Gunder’s Auto Center Gets in the Holiday Spirit

One of the things that resonates about Lakeland and Polk County is our spirit of community.

I got an email over the weekend from Gunder’s Auto Center telling me about plans for Auto Angels. Ray & his team have partnered with several other repair shops in the Polk County area with the goal of giving four free automobiles to local families this Christmas.

Here’s the best part… Ray didn’t email to ask for a donation, or media coverage. He emailed to ask for help identifying families to share this wonderful gift.

The email mentioned a couple of Chamber members who are participating, including:

My guess is that if you or your organization would like to help, suggest a family in need, or volunteer time or expertise, you should give Ray Gunder a call. They’re doing something awesome for our community.