Category Archives: Member Announcements


Let Red Elephant Pizza and Grill Host Your Next Meeting

The Red Elephant Pizza & Grill, located at 5216 S Florida Avenue offers a private dining room that can accommodate up to 26 guests. Our private dining room features state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment as wall as a glass door and shades to provide privacy and a noise barrier. This space is ideal for corporate luncheons, private dinners, holiday parties and happy hours. It is also a great place to have a fantasy league draft party or to schedule a viewing of collegiate or professional football games. There is no charge for use of this room. Please contact us at (863) 937-9141 to set up your private dining experience!


FSC’s Campus Among Nation’s Most Beautiful

Florida Southern College’s stunning campus is ninth on The Princeton Review’s “Most Beautiful Campus” list in the 2011 edition of its annual college guidebook.

The Princeton Review’s “Most Beautiful Campus” list, one of its strongest indicators of quality of life on college campuses, cites FSC’s campus as an inspiring place to live and study. In addition to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, the campus also boasts historic architecture from 1922, when the College moved to Lakeland, as well as contemporary designs by world-renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern.

From formal rose gardens to working citrus groves to environmentally sustainable native plant areas, the 100-acre campus on the shores of Lake Hollingsworth offers a wealth of natural oases and tropical retreats.

In addition, the Princeton Review touts the College’s intramural sports programs, ranking FSC No. 20 on a list titled “Everyone Plays Intramural Sports.”

The prestigious guide includes only about 15 percent of America’s four-year colleges and universities in “The Best 373 Colleges,” which is The Princeton Review’s flagship annual college guide. Profiles are based largely on institutional data and interviews with students from the featured colleges. The book also includes ranking lists in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review’s surveys of students attending the colleges.

In its profile on Florida Southern, The Princeton Review praises the College’s strong sense of community, committed and caring professors, and strong academics. The book extensively quotes from FSC students surveyed by The Princeton Review. One student is quoted as saying students can expect a “personalized education” at Florida Southern College, a small school that is “the perfect size for any student that doesn’t want to go unnoticed!” In addition, another student said: “FSC is about community. This small school is like a big family where you always have someone to talk to or to help you.”

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing and author of “The Best 373 Colleges, said: “We commend Florida Southern for its outstanding academics, which is the primary criteria for our selection of schools for the book. Our choices are based on institutional data we collect about schools, our visits to schools over the years, feedback we gather from students attending the schools, and the opinions of our staff and our 28-member National College Counselor Advisory Board. We also work to keep a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character.”

“The Best 373 Colleges” is the 19th edition of The Princeton Review’s annual “best colleges” book.  The school profiles and ranking lists in “The Best 371 Colleges” are posted on its Web site (, where users can read FAQs about the book, the survey, and the criteria for each of the ratings and rankings.

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive United Methodist-affiliated college. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 50 undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 12:1 student/faculty ratio; is a national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 27 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked in the Top 10 “Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South” by U.S. News & World Report and is included in The Princeton Review’s “373 Best Colleges” guide and The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society. Located on scenic Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.


Valencia Hills Invites You to Celebrate New Movie Theater Room

Valencia Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center is proud to announce the grand opening of our new Masterpiece Movie Theater Room. We invite you to be a part of our movie extravaganza as we celebrate a turning point in the Nursing Home Society as we know it. A special grand opening will be held on Thursday, August 12, 2010 from 4:30pm till 7:30pm.

We will be having appetizers, beer and wine to celebrate as we are the first Nursing home in Polk County to feature a full scale modern movie theater.

We have made several wonderful changes including a more tailored, contemporary- living lifestyle for our residents.

We are striving to make Valencia more of a home and less of an institution. Our rehabilitative wing offers plasma screen televisions, hardwood floors and ornate interior decorating – with a quiet lounge where visitors and residents can relax in plush, luxurious seating amongst a grand bay window. Our residents bathe in elegance in our newly remodeled, modernized decorative shower rooms, featuring a stylish grand whirlpool to wash their worries away.

As we continue to make changes, we are focusing on those little added touches that make living at Valencia Hills more fun and exciting.

1350 Sleepy Hill Rd | Lakeland, Fl 33810

RSVP’s are appreciated! Please contact Jeremy at (863) 858-4402.


Expanded ECON Gets New Ownership and Appoints Former County Manager Mike Herr as President

ECON (formerly McVay-Wood Engineering), a Lakeland based provider of engineering and design services, today announced the sale of the firm to a group of local businessmen and entrepreneurs.  All from Lakeland, ECON’s new owners include Brian Philpot, Rob Harper, Bob and Joel Adams, John McVay and Dennis Wood. Simultaneously, ECON will be merging with SouthEastern Carbon Solutions, LLC (SCS), a local environmental and renewable energy company, and will be naming Mike Herr, former Polk County Manager, as its new President.

“Despite the general economic malaise, we are bullish not only on economic growth in Central Florida, but also on what the future holds for sustainable development and renewable energy technology,” said Philpot.  “By investing in a professional company with 35 years of engineering experience in the area, and merging it with SCS, we hope to play an important role in both areas over the next decade.”

Philpot and Harper are both founding partners of Land South, and have for the last 10 years specialized in real estate investment, fund management, finance and development.  The father and son team of Robert J. “Bob” and Joel Adams are owners of Highland Homes, established in 1996, with Bob Adams having been active in the Polk County construction and real estate industry since 1966.

John McVay and Dennis Wood, who together built McVay-Wood into a successful engineering and design firm, will remain involved in daily operations, and are now poised to expand to the next level by adding SCS as its sustainable management and renewable energy division.

“ECON is uniquely positioned to provide local, regional, national and international clients with the most comprehensive array of engineering and sustainable solutions available to ensure project success, economic feasibility and environmental quality.” McVay, CEO of ECON, commented. “Even though recent years have proven very challenging for businesses, we clearly see than now is the time to begin taking advantage of new and exciting opportunities in the developmental services sector.

Through the merger, Thomas Holland, President of SCS, will be joining ECON as Vice President of Sustainable Management.  SCS, a previous member of the Land South Group, has since 2007 been a market leader in the area of environmental project origination, finance and management, and has operated in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

“In today’s evolving marketplace for technical services, the fields of engineering and environmental management can no longer be viewed as separate service categories,” Holland said.  “Sustainable development, ecological stewardship and proactive energy approaches are now all vital to implementing effective long term engineering solutions.”

Mike Herr will become president of ECON effective mid-October, 2010, and will be overseeing daily operations for the newly enhanced firm, which was confirmed through a collective announcement made by ECON’s new ownership today.  Mike Herr comes to ECON from his position as County Manager for Polk County, a position he has held since August of 2003, and remains widely respected for the role he has played during his tenure in effectively supervising county personnel, proposing an innovative budget process and getting capital projects completed for the benefit of citizens in Polk County.

“We are very pleased that Mike Herr will be joining ECON as its new President,” said Bob Adams, who joined fellow new owners in expressing their happiness with the decision. “Mike is a seasoned and versatile leader, bringing with him a wealth of experience in project oversight, resource management and technical services. He also has significant experience leading large, diverse organizations as well as a good record of achieving excellent results though strategic planning and maximization of human resources. All of his background will serve him well as he leads ECON forward into the future.”

Commenting on his move to ECON, Herr said, “The opportunity to join ECON as President to help move their ambitious vision into the future is something I look forward to doing. We want to cultivate relationships in the private and public sector as we grow our business. Our new firm can help meet the needs of the new economy in Polk County and internationally. I welcome this new challenge!”

As President, Herr will be leading ECON’s expansion of its service portfolio into a broader range of offerings in the areas of technical support, consulting and design, including:

  • Engineering and land planning
  • Site design, environmental permitting and remediation
  • Solid waste management
  • Agricultural biogas capture and utilization
  • Renewable energy project design and management
  • Energy efficiency retrofitting
  • Land surveying
  • Technical product assessment and marketing consulting
  • Emissions reductions project origination
  • Sustainable forestry management and conversion of woody biomass to energy

As part of its wider strategic objectives, ECON is also pursuing innovative new public private partnerships, as well as more effective collaboration with the academic community.  For example, through one of its projects, ECON is overseeing sustainable landfill design and construction efforts in Brazil that will entail technology sharing between municipal waste management experts hailing from Florida’s university system and their Brazilian counterparts from colleges in the state of Sao Paulo.

ECON plans to increase both its team and project portfolio over the next 18 months, with goals to add depth at the management level and additional staff to its engineering and sustainability divisions.

Contact Information:

John McVay – CEO


(863) 686-0544

About ECON

ECON, formerly McVay-Wood Engineering, a multi-disciplined engineering, planning, and surveying firm, has for more than three decades created better living and working environments, and endeavored to strike the ideal balance of business demands, environmental sensitivity, and the necessities of governmental compliance. ECON has a professional staff which includes Professional Engineers licensed in the State of Florida and multiple other states, as well as a robust team of Registered Surveyors.

About SCS

SouthEastern Carbon Solutions, LLC. (SCS) specializes in the origination and commercialization of environmental commodities and the creation of renewable energy. They are a multi-faceted, full spectrum sustainability service and environmental financial planning provider, helping to build collaborative relationships between US businesses on the one hand and international entities and markets on the other. SCS has a proven history in providing turnkey solutions for sustainable project design, management, capital procurement and the commercialization of green attributes and products. SCS was the sole carbon financial entity from the southeast of the US invited to the 2008 working conference, The American Response to Climate Change, charged with crafting policy frameworks for the US government.  In June of 2009, SCS was honored by the World Green Exchange with its Supplier Spotlight designation, in recognition of SCS’s achievements and commitment to high quality offset origination.


BloodnetUSA Hosts “O-Party” Call for Type O Donors

July 26, 2010 | 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Everything “O” including the food!

Catered lunch from Olive Garden | Oranges | Olives | Oreos

We will have random drawings for $25 gift cards to Olive Garden.

Everyone will get a pair of flip-flops

Donor Center Locations:

Bloodnet Main Center

3200 Lakeland Hills Blvd. | Lakeland, FL 33805


Bloodnet Commerce Point

2315 Commerce Point Dr | Lakeland, FL 33801


Bloodnet Plant City

2909 James L. Redmond Parkway | Plant City, FL 33563


Bloodnet Haines City

27 North Tenth St. | Haines City, FL 33844


Bloodnet Zephyrhills

38040 Market Square Dr. | Zephyrhills, FL 33542


Our web address is