Category Archives: Member Announcements


FSC Professor to be Guest Critic at Upcoming PMoA Event

On Friday, September 10, Polk Museum of Art will host another installment of View and Review, an informal art critique for emerging artists. This View and Review will be led by Wiliam Otremsky, Fine Art Professor at Florida Southern College, and he will offer participating artists feedback about their work. The event starts at 6:00pm. Artists who wish to have their work critiqued by Otremsky must pre-register, but the event is also open to people who are interested in simply hearing what is said.

According to his website, William Otremsky was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Edinboro University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1994. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Otremsky has been working in the classical style of figure painting for over 17 years. He has received multiple honors and awards for his work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the nation including shows in Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. His most recent solo exhibition was at the University of Texas at Tyler from October 2006 to January of 2007 where he showcased his Narcissus Series. Otremsky is an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Studio Art Program of the Department of Art and Art History at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL, where he has been employed since 1999. Examples of his artwork can be seen at

View & Review is one of Polk Museum of Art’s occasional programs, the goal of which is to bring local artists and art lovers together to discuss art. Artists are invited to bring one piece of artwork for feedback from a guest critic. Art lovers are welcome to come listen to and join in the discussion.

Admission is $15 for artists who are presenting artwork, and $5 for the audience. A cash bar will also be available. Artists must pre-register by calling 863-688-5423 by September 7.


Chamber Members Team Up to Achieve SWFWMD’s First Florida Water Star Commercial Certification

This Friday, Kyra InfoTech will become the first commercial property to receive a Florida Water StarSM certification from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Florida Water StarSM is a voluntary certification program for builders and developers, which is designed to increase water efficiency in landscapes, irrigation systems and indoors. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is encouraging good water stewardship to the building industry by offering this recognition program that focuses on water efficiency and water quality protection.

Partners in completing this project, which includes an innovative aerobic septic system which allows the use of treated waste water for irrigation were fellow members:

JSK Consulting, inc.

Furr & Wegman Architects, P.A.

Community Southern Bank

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Also involved were Oilvera Construction and Averett Septic – Britt Watson Engineering.

For additional information on the Florida Water StarSM program, please contact Susan Douglas at (352) 796-7211, Ext 4752.  For additional information on the open house/certification event, please contact Katie Eastburn at (863) 686-2271 Ext 100.


Creative Arts Social at Grass Root – Friday

The Grass Root is Lakeland’s organic, vegetarian & vegan watering hole. Spencer & Sabrina, the owners, are not only committed to providing sustainable, delicious food, but also to strengthening the creative community in Lakeland. Stop by on Friday night to join in the fun!

This Friday’s Creative Arts Social will be a treat for everyone local that has heard Joe Gavin, the guitarist.  He has been described as a brilliant, understated, and talented artist.  For those of you that will be entranced for the first time by Joe’s acoustic stylings, your ears are in for a real treat!  Cool guitar music and the atmosphere is just right.  Visit his website here.

A Grass Root staple, Dj.Breeze will share his eclectic mix of everything from cool reggae to upbeat jazz. While our resident artist, Richard James Bond, {whose art adorns our walls} paints another vibrant masterpiece, to be raffled off. You can indulge in some organic cuisine as always.   We also have another artist joining us that will create live art, just for you.

There will be a small window for courageous souls to share their words on the open mic Anyone for a game of Deluxe Scrabble or perhaps, Jenga? Raffle prizes include, artwork, Grass Root T-shirts, gift certificates and more! Children are allowed. Food, teas, coffee wine and desserts available. See you there!

Support the creative process, join the FREE FUN and register!


Creating Healthier Workplaces: Local Company Upgrades Office Snacks

[Editor’s note: The Chamber loves publishing good news about our members! So, when I heard about one local office making changes in the breakroom, we had to share… Congratulations to CPS Investment Advisors for caring about your employees!]

Tonny Corrao chooses fruit as an afternoon snack from the CPS Investment Advisors employee breakroom.

Written by Jorge Rivera, CPS Group CPA’s PA

This is a story of CPS Group CPA’s PA, and how an owner is looking out for the best interests of his employees.

Everything started New Year’s Eve 2009; like so many other people,  I decided that my resolution would be to work out more often. I only wanted to lose the 20 pounds or so that I had put on since moving to Lakeland.

As is often the case, I wasn’t doing so well just one month later. In order to give my resolution a chance, as Season of Lent was approaching, I decided that I would give up a favorite vice of mine, fast-food!

With the loss of my midday feasts, I was going to have to find a way to keep my energy up. Instead of replacing fast food with candy and sweets at the office, I decided to start bringing in bags of apples and assorted fruits so I could snack during the day.

My boss, Chas Smith who is also a partner at CPS Investment Advisors, noticed that I had a plate of fruit on my desk whenever he would stop by to say hello in the mornings. If you have ever been to a public accountants’ office, you’ll notice that they often have a candy jar. It’s a way to keep the energy up, especially during tax season.

After Lent was over, Chas decided to implement a new office standard. Fresh whole fruit was now available to employees in the break rooms every week. I soon noticed that the same employees that would often take small breaks during to the day to load up on sweets were now snacking on healthy fruit.

I am proud to announce that I have lost the 20 pounds that I had hoped to lose and others in the office have begun to lose a few pounds of their own. All because an owner was looking out for the best interests of his employees.