Category Archives: Member Announcements


Lakeland Kiwanis Clubs Gearing Up for 9th Annual “Stuff the Bus”

Now that another school year is nothing more than a memory, Kiwanis Clubs throughout Lakeland are well into their planning of another successful “Stuff the Bus” campaign.

“Stuff the Bus” is an organized community effort to collect school supplies and then distribute them to 29 Lakeland area public elementary schools. “Stuff the Bus” has become a welcomed relief to the administrators, educators and countless families touched by the generosity shown by the citizens of Lakeland.  The Principals and Guidance Counselors are ultimately in charge of distributing the supplies assuring that the supplies reach the neediest of kids.  On average, “Stuff the Bus” distributes approximately $50,000 in supplies to the schools we serve.

As the economy tries to rebound, many families are struggling to just get by, and with the start of the school year just a couple of months out, the demands these families will face will be overwhelming.   A recent discussion with Superintendent Gail McKenzie informs us that the average family will spend at least $100 per child to send them back to school this fall; an expense many families just can’t afford.

The goal of trying to help these students and families has some side benefits other than just giving out product assistance.  The contributions from “Stuff the Bus” allow teachers to focus on teaching, those first few days of school, instead of trying to assist students to find the basic school supplies they need.  Teachers tell us it helps the self esteem of these young children to have the necessary supplies to start the school year.  In fact, many teachers tell us some students won’t show up those first few days of school because they don’t have the required amount of supplies kids are expected to bring with them when they return to school each fall.

The assistance we supply not only benefits the students and their families but also our hard working teachers. Teachers spend approximately $1,000 of their own money to help students like those we assist throughout the year.  Kiwanians hope to reduce this burden on our teachers.

We hope that you will join us on the bus this year.  To get involved call 686-5900.

Stuff the Bus | August 18 | 7:00 – 8:30 a.m.

404 W Lime Street (WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio)

Items needed include pencils, pens, scissors, glue sticks, folders, crayons, spiral binders & notebook paper

Donate today at your local Walgreens.

“Stuff the Bus” Community partners include: The Ledger, Citrus Connection, Publix, Victory Church, Wal-Mart, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio, Walgreens & the Junior League of Greater Lakeland.


Join DC’s Sports Bar as They Support Lakeland’s Newest Park

Fundraiser for the Sunflower Preschool Playground
DC’s Sports Bar, 1015 S. Florida Ave, Lakeland, Fl.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Please join us for a fun-filled evening of Karaoke to benefit The Sunflower Preschool Playground. This playground is a joint community project created and envisioned by the Lakeland Rotary (in memory of John Kyle Vreeland, Jr.), the Lakeland Kiwanis Club, the Barnett Family and the City of Lakeland. The playground will offer a wonderful playtime experience for preschoolers with their family and friends.

Take the stage yourself, or simply sit back and enjoy the voices of others singing some of their favorite songs for an evening of music and fun ($5.00 to sing or $5.00 to have someone else sing). The karaoke will get underway at 7:30 p.m. and conclude at 11:00 p.m. Guests are invited to stay on afterward to enjoy live music by the fantastic Dan Signor. Advance tickets are $25.00 and include one free drink, hors d’ouevres and entertainment. Raffles will also be held. All proceeds will benefit the playground.

Tickets may be purchased from DC’s Sports Bar, 1015 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland; or from any of the following Host Committee Members: Rob Tate, Fran Munson, Barbara Hart, Bill & Martha Tinsley, Will and Diane Curtis, Tom Conger, Susan Badcock, Jennifer Badcock, Carrie Douglas, Andy & Sheryl Norman, Rob & Laura Chase, Marlon & Katrina Lynn, Brad & Brandy Smith, David & Tina Edgar, Keith & Katie DeLoach, J. J. Weeks, Stacy Heacock, Jon & Vilma Macias, Jack & Holly Lowman, Gus & Lisa Palas, Sandy Gibbs & Mike Sayers, Andy & Chrissy Browne, Steve & Joy Browne.

For more information or to make a donation, please contact Sandy Gibbs (863-944-1829) or
Joy Browne (863-738-1554).

Visit our Facebook Page for more information!


ASC geosciences, inc. joins KCI Technologies Inc.

KCI Technologies Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering firm with offices in the Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, is pleased to announce the acquisition of ASC geosciences inc., a Florida-based company specializing in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, materials testing, forensic engineering, and construction inspection.

With sales exceeding $3.3 million last year, ASC’s 21 employees will continue working from its three offices and laboratory facilities in Lake City, Lakeland, and Fort Myers, Florida, as well as KCI’s office in Tampa.

“This acquisition is a great opportunity for us to grow in the Southeast and position ourselves for the impending economic turnaround,” said KCI President Nathan J. Beil, PE. “Their addition allows us to offer geotechnical and materials testing services and supplement our existing construction inspection work force while extending our geographic reach. Their clients will benefit from the multi-discipline service offerings of KCI, while our clients will have access to local expertise not previously available through the firm.”

KCI and ASC are familiar with each other, having worked together on various projects for Sprint Nextel and TECO Energy. ASC’s president, Anu Saxena, PE, will serve as vice president and regional practice leader specializing in geotechnical engineering. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in geotechnical engineering and testing as well as forensic engineering and litigation support. A 1988 graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in civil engineering, Saxena is a registered professional engineer and a certified neutral evaluator in Florida. He currently serves on the board of the University of South Florida Foundation and recently completed a term as president of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. ASC Chief Executive Officer, D.S. “Sax” Saxena, PE, who founded the firm in 1984, has been named corporate practice leader of the KCI’s newly formed forensic engineering practice.

KCI Technologies

With sales of $131 million in 2009, KCI Technologies Inc. is ranked 83 on the Engineering News-Record’s current list of the top 500 engineering firms in the country. Roughly 850 KCI employee owners support clients from more than 20 offices throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. KCI offers environmental, transportation, telecommunications, construction, facilities and land development services to government, institutional and private-sector clients. For more information, visit


Former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice to highlight Southeastern University 2011 Forum

Former President George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (2005-2009), will top the list of distinguished speakers at Southeastern University’s 5th Annual National Leadership Forum on its Lakeland campus next spring.

The March 8-10 symposium will feature separate addresses from both President Bush and Dr. Rice before the pair team up for a discussion that will be titled “Teamwork at the Highest Level.”

The National Leadership Forum draws some of the nation’s leading experts on leadership to the university’s campus each year for three days of challenging and inspirational teaching with a unique emphasis on servant leadership – one of the foundational principles of the university.  Servant leadership operates under the paradigm that the best leaders are those who seek first to serve and then to lead.

This will be Mr. Bush’s second appearance at Southeastern’s Forum; he and Mrs. Laura Bush were the keynote speakers at the 2010 Forum last March.

“The 2010 Forum literally took the conference to the next level with the appearance of former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush,” remarked Southeastern Chancellor Tommy Barnett, founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center. “Our country is in desperate need of leaders who emphasize integrity, collaboration and trust.”

“The 2011 Forum continues to ignite the passion for servant leadership worldwide by bringing internationally known and respected leaders to our campus,” said Southeastern Vice President for Development James. L. Davis, whose department organizes the Forum. “To have a former president of the United States and his secretary of state in Lakeland – on our stage, at the same time, speaking about leadership – will offer incredible insights on cooperation and leading for the greater good.”

Also scheduled to speak in 2011 are evangelist Franklin Graham; Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner; former advisor to four U.S. Presidents David Gergen; Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy; noted leadership authorities Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner, and Mark Sanborn; and Forum veterans Erwin McManus, Craig Groeschel, Ken Blanchard, Mark Floyd, Jim Blanchard and Tommy Barnett.

One unique aspect of the Forum is the caliber of the presenters. “The speakers at the Forum are the kinds of people who are the headliners for a conference. You normally go to a conference with four or five speakers and you get one of these speakers,” said Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church, talking about the conference’s lineup. “The mainline speakers have been everywhere, and they can go anywhere. The fact that this many say yes to Southeastern speaks well of the school and the leadership of the school.”

The conference, which has sold out every year, is held in an intimate venue, seating just over 700, on the university’s Mediterranean-style campus, allowing audience members to connect with the speakers, to feel “up close and personal” with them.

The Forum was originally developed as an avenue for Southeastern University to interweave students’ educational experiences with exposure to the teachings of world-class leaders. However, the Forum quickly developed into much more than that. Past participants have come from across the U.S. and several countries and represent a balanced mix of corporate, nonprofit and church leaders who aspire to lead their organizations with integrity. Students continue to be an integral part of the conference and are able to earn college credit for their participation in the Forum.

Each September Southeastern University provides a webcast of the National Leadership Forum.  Davis explained, “We are committed to expanding the global reach of the servant leadership message. The Forum webcast is a collaborative effort with our presenters that broadens the scope of our core university ideals to literally tens upon thousands of viewers.”

“Southeastern University is one of the few organizations that understands how to do leadership development for both the Christian and the business community,” said Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church.

Barnett explained it this way, “The Forum is a time when we bring together the most informed people in the world to pour out that information to the hearts of people. It is not just information; it is very heartfelt. It is a time where we can stop and reflect for three days and let these men and women pour out the wonderful knowledge God has given them.”

“These are not just talented people with great content,” said Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of, “but they are great people with a heart for integrity.”

Those thoughts are echoed by Ken Blanchard, author of The One-Minute Manager.  “I am a big fan of Southeastern’s Leadership Forum,” Blanchard said.  “So many leadership conferences want to get you in the head. While you have a lot of new information, what I love [about the Forum] is we are really getting at people’s hearts.”

“I don’t know how many men and women I have talked to over the past four years who have told me their life was literally transformed at Southeastern University’s leadership conference,” said Barnett. “It’s exciting to hear about the businesses and churches that have been impacted through the Forum.”

Forum tickets may be purchased at Sponsors for the 2011 Forum include APAC Southeast, Chick-fil-A, Convoy of Hope, Lakeland Automall, Peterson & Myers, P.A., The Ruthvens and Truline Industries.

In previous years, Forum speakers have included Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), Indianapolis Colts football coach Tony Dungy, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former General Electric chairman and CEO Jack Welch.

Southeastern University, the world’s largest Assemblies of God educational institution, celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year. With almost 3,000 students and more than 400 employees, it is a private, liberal arts school accredited to offer 44 programs leading to bachelor’s degrees and eight programs leading to master’s degrees. For more information, call (863) 667-5000 or visit the website at


Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County Encourages Tobacco-Free Workplaces

[Editor’s Note: The Chamber of Commerce partners with many agencies around the County, including the Polk County Health Department, to deliver information that is pertinent to businesses. Member agencies may submit press releases for consideration to]

Employees deserve to work in a tobacco-free environment. The Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County, in conjunction with the Polk County Health Department, encourages employers and workers to work together to make this happen. A tobacco-free worksite means freedom from the harmful effects of tobacco use and increased worker productivity. In recent years, many workplaces have adopted formal policies restricting or prohibiting smoking but the number of nonsmokers exposed to environmental smoke still remains high.

“No employee or customer should have to choose between their health and paycheck or services,” said Dr. Daniel Haight, director of the Polk County Health Department. “In addition, customers, children and employees should not have to navigate through cigarette smoke that is often present around doorways and outdoor seating areas.”

Becoming a tobacco-free workplace can be a difficult challenge for some businesses. The transition may be made easier by implementing a smoke free policy in stages and offering health counseling to employees who smoke. For information on how to offer free smoking cessation classes to your employees, contact the Polk County Health Department at (863) 519-7900 x 11054.

Why Tobacco-Free Worksites?

*     Smoking is responsible for over 440,000 premature deaths and $157 billion in costs.

*     Secondhand smoke exposure is the third-leading cause of preventable death.

*     Secondhand smoke is a known human carcinogen (cancer causing agent).

*     Policies establishing smoke-free environments are the most effective way to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke

*     Secondhand smoke and smoking by employees are both costly AND hazardous.

  • Increased Illnesses
  • Higher rates of absenteeism
  • Decreased productivity
  • Increased health and life insurance costs
  • Increased worker compensation payments
  • Accidents (fires, damages, etc)
  • Increased costs associated with maintenance and cleaning.

An employer should engage both its leadership and employees when working towards worksite tobacco free policies. Tips for making this important transition include:

*  Spending time researching successful policy change efforts in their industry.

* Effectively communicating with employees to gain commitment and address concerns.

* Aligning the policy with health benefits and tobacco cessation treatments.

* Creating a realistic timetable for the policy change process.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County is dedicated to helping workplaces make this important health transition.  For additional information on tobacco prevention, contact Jennifer Tempel with the Polk County Health Department at (863) 519-7900 x 11054 or via email at