Category Archives: Member Announcements


Every Cigarette Makes You Sick – Floridians can quit today for a healthy 2011

Every year, millions of Floridians attempt to quit smoking.  As 2010 comes to a close and Florida smokers consider making their 2011 New Year’s resolutions, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County, the Polk County Health Department, and Florida Department of Health and Tobacco Free Florida can help them quit for good with free support through phone, web and in-person quit smoking resources.

On the heels of the groundbreaking U.S. Surgeon General’s recent report, it is more important than ever before to quit smoking immediately.  The report emphasizes the importance of quitting early in life, in order to protect immunity and minimize the damage caused by each cigarette.  The report adds no level of exposure to tobacco smoke is safe.

Although permanently quitting tobacco is very difficult, it is not impossible.  Sixty-one percent of adult Floridians who have ever smoked have quit and there are more former smokers in Florida than current smokers.  In 2009, about 58 percent of Floridian smokers tried to quit.

Step One: Set a Date
The first step one needs to take is to set a quit date.  Once the quit date is set, cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters should be removed from the home, office and vehicle.

Step Two: Get Help
Tobacco Free Florida offers a number of free resources to help smokers quit.

  • Phone: Call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW to speak with a Quit Coach who will help assess the user’s addiction and create a personalized quit plan.
  • Online: Enroll in online counseling with the Florida Quitline, where each user can create a personalized, web-based quit plan. Visit to enroll.
  • In-person: Central Florida Area Health Education Center provides Quit Smoking Now classes throughout Polk County.  Call 1-877-252-6094 to enroll in an upcoming class.

Step Three: Keep Trying
“Quitting is only half the battle,” said Kim Berfield, Deputy Secretary of Policy and Advocacy for the Florida Department of Health.  “Relapses happen, but it’s important that people keep trying and trying.”

Most successful quitters make several attempts before finally quitting permanently.  In fact, the average number of attempts varies anywhere from five to more than 10.

The mission of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County is to form community partnerships with individuals and organizations to educate and serve the citizens of Polk County regarding tobacco use prevention, intervention, and cessation.  Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.

“Quitting tobacco use is the most important thing you can do to protect your health and loved ones,” says Jennifer Tempel, Polk County Health Department Tobacco Program Manager.

For more information on the Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County, contact Colleen Mangan with the Polk County Health Department at (863) 519-7900 x 11334.

Tobacco Free Florida (TFF) is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.  The program is managed by the Florida Department of Health, specifically the Bureau of Tobacco Prevention Program.  TFF’s mission is to combat the pervasive problem of tobacco use in the Sunshine State, where each year, more than 28,000 Floridians die from smoking and tobacco-related diseases cost the state an estimated $19.6 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity.


Florida Southern Graduates 136 in Winter Commencement Ceremony

Florida Southern College conferred degrees on 136 graduates at the winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 18, in Branscomb Auditorium.

The graduating class included 96 from the college’s traditional day program and the evening college. Forty students received their master’s degrees.

Colby George of Inverness, who graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in English Literature, was awarded the prestigious President’s Scholar Medal for outstanding academics and distinguished citizenship.

The College also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Business degree on Domingo Rafael Moreira, FSC ’67, who is chief executive and president of Ladex Corporation, the largest single-source producer, marketer and distributor of shrimp from Central and South America. Dr. Moreira is known both for his global agricultural leadership, and for his dedication and contributions to the cause of freedom in Cuba and to helping students in both Guatemala and the United States.

The commencement address was delivered by Peter S. Rummell, an international leader in the development of top hospitality and entertainment operations worldwide. Rummell encouraged the graduates with the words of many leaders and authors, both contemporary and classic. He focused on the writings of John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and the author of numerous books. Rummell encouraged the graduates, “Live a life of self-renewal and engagement.”


5 Earn LAR Awards at Annual Installation of Officers and Directors Luncheon

Each year the Lakeland Association of REALTORS® accepts nominations from their members for two prestigious awards: REALTOR of the Year and Affiliate of the Year. The purpose of these awards is to honor successful members who have contributed to the Association, the real estate profession and the community.

The 2010 REALTOR of the Year award was presented to Aaron Chandler of Brooks Chandler Realty on Wed. December 15th at the Lakeland Association of REALTORS® annual Installation & Awards Banquet/Lakeland Yacht & Country Club. Aaron Chandler is currently the President of MyFlorida Regional MLS and represents the real estate profession serving on numerous committees and task forces as well as being involved in various charity efforts including Guardian AdLitem, SPCA, and the American Kidney Foundation.

Jonathan Crain with Two Men & a Truck was awarded the Affiliate of The Year award for his hard work ethic and continuous support of the REALTOR community.

In addition to these awards, the Volunteer of the Year is selected by the LAR staff and went to Joanne Eager with Exit Realty, for her many hours dedicated to the Education program at the Lakeland Association of REALTORS.

This year LAR added a Rising Star award and a Humanitarian of the Year award. The Rising Star award was presented to Charlene Balleine with Coldwell Banker for her efforts in successfully completing the new member Mentoring Program.

The Humanitarian of the Year nominations were solicited through The Ledger and online social media. This award recognizes an individual in the community who has devoted time and/or resources on local, state, national or international to humanitarian efforts. This year’s recipient was Melissa Sanchez. Melissa is the Communications Coordinator at the Lakeland Association of REALTORS, and was presented the award for her efforts in serving our military personnel both past & present. As a former Army wife, she has given countless hours to
various projects, events and organizations representing our nation’s bravest heroes. She is alsothe driving force behind the Lakeland Warrior Walk, which earned her a Key to the City of Lakeland.

Congratulations to all of the outstanding award winners.


Dr. Kent Ingle named president of Southeastern University

Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., has named its next president with the selection of Dr. Kent Ingle of Washington state.

Meeting in special session Wednesday to consider their Presidential Search Committee’s recommendation, the Southeastern Board of Regents interviewed Dr. Ingle in the morning and then voted to elect him in the afternoon. Their action caps a 20-month search that the Board search committee conducted with the help of SIMA International, an executive search firm.

Dr. Ingle, 48, currently dean of the College of Ministry at Northwest University in Kirkland, Wash., is scheduled to begin serving his term as president of the central Florida private, liberal arts school on February 1. Northwest, like Southeastern, is one of 19 U.S. colleges and universities that are affiliated with the Assemblies of God USA. Together with its international organizations, the Assemblies of God is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination, and Southeastern University is its largest institution of higher education.

Dr. Ingle spent Tuesday touring the university and talking with its administration, faculty, staff, students, as well as some local business leaders.  Following Wednesday’s vote, those university groups seemed well pleased with his selection and excited about what they anticipate will be great days ahead under the Ingle administration.

The Rev. Wayne Blackburn, a member of the Board of Regents who was recently asked to chair the Presidential Search Committee, was very pleased with the selection of Ingle. “This (recommendation) came about after grueling interviews and expansive evaluations by the Search Committee and SIMA,” said Blackburn, pastor of Lakeland’s Victory Church and a Southeastern University alumnus. “Dr. Ingle surfaced as a credible candidate with a vision for the future, the academic credentials and an understanding of the university system, and a heart for students.  It became clear that he was the person who could best lead Southeastern University into the future. I believe that, after Dr. Ingle familiarizes himself with Southeastern and its faculty, staff and students, he will move forward with a vision plan that will lead us toward an even higher level of excellence.”

Dr. Ingle has been a Northwest dean since 2004 and an ordained Assemblies of God minister since 1988. He went to Vanguard University of Southern California to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and a master’s in Theological Studies; he earned a doctorate in Ministry from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Mo.

Dr. Ingle’s experience includes eight years as a college professor and 15 years of pastoral leadership to two congregations – one in Los Angeles and the other in Chicago.

Dr. Ingle will take charge of the 75-year-old private, liberal arts school which Acting President Charles Kelly recently described as “strong in every way – academics, spirituality, finances, enrollment, personnel, students, alumni, community support, and campus development.” During the past 10 years, student population nearly tripled, numerous academic courses and programs were added to the curricula, and the 87-acre campus underwent a massive upgrade. Last spring, the university graduated its largest class ever; 388 students received bachelor’s and master’s degrees at commencement.

During the past two years, while the country was experiencing a severe economic downturn, Southeastern fared remarkably well. For example, the university concluded its most recent fiscal year with an increase in total net assets from operating activities of close to $1.7 million.  Additionally, development of the campus master plan has continued; last spring, Southeastern completed a $3 million project that improved, widened and beautified the road that borders the campus’s west side and passes its front entrance. There are plans for other large projects, as well.

Enrollment has remained remarkably steady. While many other private colleges and universities are showing significant decreases in enrollment, Southeastern’s fall 2010 semester enrollment was 2,867, only 83 students, or 2.8 percent, down from the previous year’s fall enrollment.

After Dr. Ingle’s selection as president Wednesday, Dr. Kelly, a Southeastern alumnus and longtime member of the Board of Regents, said he was delighted by the committee’s recommendation and the board’s approval. He added that it was a “wonderful privilege and high honor” to have been of service as acting president during the transitional period.

Dr. Ingle and his wife, Karen, have three teen-age children who were adopted from Romania.

Southeastern University has 44 academic programs that lead to bachelor’s degrees and eight to master’s degrees. For more information, call (863) 667-5000 or visit the website at


FedEx National LTL Gives Back This Holiday

On Thursday, Dec. 9, FedEx and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation delivered 600 trees to military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla, which is home to approximately 7,500 military personnel. Col. Lenny Richoux, who is Commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, kicked off the tree giveaway by speaking about FedEx and the Christmas Spirit Foundation.

More than 40 team members and military personnel were on hand to help unload the trees from three trailers including two FedEx Special Delivery trucks. FedEx team members also assisted family members with their tree selection from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The trees were distributed to active duty military and their families on a first-come, first served basis. “It’s awesome. It’s very generous. Thank you,” shared one soldier. Another solider said, “I think it is a great opportunity and a great thing to do for all the troops. It is appreciated.”

Volunteer Tiffany Harkness, accounts payable representative in Lakeland, Fla., said, “A whole new meaning of Christmas was revealed to me when volunteering for Trees for Troops. The expression of happiness on the children’s faces is just indescribable.” Volunteer Michael Guerrero, manager- Development & Special Projects at FedEx National LTL, agreed, “Volunteering for Trees for Troops is my small way of showing my deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by our military and their families.”

“FedEx National LTL has participated in the Trees for Troops for five consecutive years and it is truly an honor for us and for me personally to have the opportunity to be part of this wonderful program. I am extremely grateful for all our service personnel do for our country,” said Jeff Baker, FedEx National LTL senior vice president-Operations.