FSC to launch Doctor of Physical Therapy program








LAKELAND (May 24, 2018) – In response to an overwhelming regional need, Florida Southern College is launching a new doctor of physical therapy program that will supply highly trained physical therapists to healthcare facilities in central Florida and beyond each year.

Pending its candidacy with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the new program will begin its first classes in the fall of 2019. Applications will be accepted starting in June 2018. The doctor of physical therapy program will accept up to 36 students in each class, who will complete the course of study in 2½ years, including 36 weeks of clinical experiences.

Although students will perform their clinical rotations throughout the United States, local sites will include Watson Clinic and Lakeland Regional Health. Students and faculty will also provide pro bono services to underserved populations, as well as provide community outreach in education and screenings.

The founding program director and dean of the School of Physical Therapy is Dr. Nancy A. Nuzzo, who came to Florida Southern after starting the physical therapy program at the University of Jamestown in Fargo, N.D.  Dr. Nuzzo has over 25 years of experience in the field of physical therapy and has been teaching for 20 of those years while practicing as a physical therapist.

The program will be strategically housed in the former location of the Lakeland Association of Realtors in the Dixieland Historic District on South Florida Avenue.  The renovation of the 6,500-square-foot office building will include a new 11,000-square-foot addition.

Physical therapists are movement experts who treat people of all ages and abilities, helping them improve and maintain function and quality of life. Graduates of this program are considered clinical doctors similar to physicians, dentists and podiatrists and provide services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatients and inpatients clinics, home health agencies and nursing and assisted living facilities.

The decision to start the program was made recently by the college’s Board of Trustees following an extensive needs assessment study, said Dr. Kyle Fedler, FSC’s provost. Among its findings, the study reported:

  • The number of physical therapists nationwide is projected to increase 28 percent over the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • According to the Florida Hospital Association, physical therapist positions take longer to fill than any other health-related field with 60 percent of positions requiring at least 61 days to fill.
  • Polk County has the fourth lowest physical therapist distribution per 100,000 in central Florida despite having the fourth highest county population in the region, and only Sarasota County approaches the national average of physical therapist distribution.

“We believe this program will be a public service to Polk County and central Florida,” Dr. Fedler said. “Just as our School of Nursing and Health Sciences has supplied high-quality nurses to serve the healthcare needs of this region, the doctor of physical therapy program will fill a critical need as this region continues to expand.”

For more information about the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program at FSC, visit the website at www.flsouthern.edu/DPT.



About Florida Southern College


Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private comprehensive college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 72 undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 382 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. 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.  FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.


Nominations Sought for 2019 Board of Directors

2019 BOD nominations

Nominations Sought for 2019 Board of Directors


In July, a nominating committee headed by Chair-elect Michelle Ledford (MADE) will begin work to nominate 12 new directors to serve a three-year term on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2019.


Chamber members are asked to submit their name or names of active members in good-standing who possess outstanding leadership qualities and who demographically represent the membership of the organization. Names of individuals will be submitted to the Nominating Committee, which is charged with selecting a representative slate of 12 directors to be presented to the membership for approval by September 1, 2018.


Names of proposed board candidates should be submitted no later than Friday, July 13, 2018 to: Cory Skeates, President, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 3607, Lakeland, FL 33802-3607, by FAX: 683-7454 or by email:  cskeates@lakelandchamber.com. Questions regarding the nominations process may be directed to Cory at 688-8551, ext. 234 or at the above email address.


The membership of the Chamber is served by an elected 39-member board of directors and five ex officio members. These dedicated volunteer leaders direct the governance of the Chamber and represent the interests of the membership. As an active member, we encourage you to contact any of the following directors to provide input on how we as a business organization can better serve the diverse needs of our membership:


(centered) Executive Committee


Chairman of the Board: Weymon Snuggs (Citizens Bank and Trust) 686-1430

Chairman-elect: Michelle Ledford (MADE) 500-1477 Jonathan Crain (Two Men and a Truck) 646-6683

Immediate Past Chairman:  Janice Tedder Jones (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) 687-7000

Treasurer: Shane Kunze (Publix Super Markets, Inc.) 688-1188

Vice Chair, Advocacy: Will Link (Reed Mawhinney and Link, PLLC) 687-1771

Vice Chair, Communications/Marketing: Stacey Heacock Weeks (Heacock Insurance Group) 683-2228

Vice Chair, Engagement: Jonathan Crain (Two Men and a Truck) 646-6683

Vice Chair, Innovation: Matt Clark (Broadway Real Estate Services) 683-3425

Vice Chair, Investor Development: Gow Fields (Fields Insurance & Financial Group) 683-2816


President: Cory Skeates (Lakeland Chamber of Commerce) 688-8551 ext. 234


General Counsel: Sandra Sheets (GrayRobinson, P.A.) 284-2200



(centered) Directors


Dr. Steven Achinger (Watson Clinic LLP) 680-7252

Dr. Lyle Bowlin (Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership) 667-5402

David Brown (Bank of Central Florida) 226-0836

Brian Burns (Ledger Media Group) 802-7000

Jacqueline Byrd (Polk County Public Schools) 534-0521

Tony Camarillo (The RP Funding Center) 834-8133

Liz Craven (Pro-Ad Media) 604-0690

Tony Delgado (City of Lakeland) 834-6006

Danielle Drummond (Lakeland Regional Health) 687-1195

Dr. Angela Falconetti (Polk State College) 297-1098

Dr. Kyle Fedler (Florida Southern College) 680-4124

David Hallock, Jr. (GrayRobinson, P.A.) 284-2200

Holland Henderon (Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.) 616-6041

Rev. Eddie Lake (New Bethel A.M.E. Church) 687-1994

John Lancaster (Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A.) 647-5337

Chrissanne Long (Maximize Digital Media) 606-5994

Cindy Maddox (Omnia, Inc.) 619-8100

Maggie Mariucci (Florida Polytechnic University) 874-8462

Chuck McDanal (Kindelan McDanal & Associates) 877-1855

Harold McLeod (SunTrust Bank) 284-4683

Dr. Donna McWilliams (My Pet’s Animal Hospital) 646-3669

Matt Mucci (AT&T Florida) 582-2310

Bill Mutz (City of Lakeland) 834-6005

Derek Oxford (CPS Investment Advisors) 688-1725

David Robinson (DSM Technology Consultants) 802-8888

Jason Rodda (Rodda Construction, Inc.) 669-0990

Steve Scruggs (Lakeland Economic Development Council) 687-3788

Jim Sidou (Saddle Creek Logistics Services) 669-2799

Joe G. Tedder (JBT Properties, LLC) 712-4930

Katie Daughtrey Tinsley (Alliance for Independence) 665-3846

Ashley Troutman (Northwestern Mutual) 661-0414

Amanda Walls (Peterson & Myers PA) 683-6511

Shelly Wilkes (Lakeland Magic) 825-3262


Lakeland REALTORS® President Kyle Vreeland Joins Thousands of Realtors® in Nation’s Capital to Advocate Policy Issues Affecting Homeownership, Commercial Real Estate

CaptureLakeland, FL May 22nd – More than 9,000 Realtors® gathered in Washington, D.C. last week, during the 2018 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, to advocate for crucial real estate issues on behalf of current and future home and property owners across the country.

Lakeland REALTORS® leadership joined fellow Realtors® from throughout the U.S. to attend meetings and informational sessions, as well as meet with regulatory agency staff and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate real estate issues affecting the real estate industry, and their businesses, communities and clients.

Members of the National Association of Realtors® focused on several significant issues affecting the industry during the legislative-focused meetings, including fair housing, flood insurance and internet neutrality.

“Realtors® are the leading advocates for homeownership and commercial real estate, which is why it is so critical that we connect with lawmakers and ensure they understand the issues facing the real estate industry and their constituents – of which many are home and property owners,” said Vreeland, Lakeland REALTORS® President. “Supporting home and property owners through smart legislation and regulatory initiatives is essential to advancing our nation’s economy, as well as our communities, so Realtors® are continuing the fight to keep Congress’s attention on the issues that impact real estate most.”

While in Washington, Vreeland met with U.S Congressman, Dennis Ross on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate for public policy decisions affecting Americans’ ability to own, buy, rent and sell residential and commercial real estate.

When speaking with Ross, Vreeland and his fellow Realtors® acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and urged Congress to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, bringing it in line with NAR’s strict Code of Ethics. Additionally, Realtors® advocated for strong net neutrality protections; fought to extend and reform the National Flood Insurance Program; and urged Congress to index homeownership deductions for future inflation and permanently extend the tax exclusion on mortgage debt forgiveness.

“Realtors® are proud to lead the way toward greater equality in housing opportunities and are committed to furthering policies that support sustainable and inclusive communities without discrimination,” said Vreeland.

During the meetings, Vreeland and other attendees also heard from industry experts and leaders, including Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Mick Mulvaney, who spoke about the latest initiatives out of the CFPB, plans for improved efficiency of agency operations, as well as his perspectives on issues shaping the real estate industry.

In addition, attendees heard from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who discussed the nation’s commitment to fair housing during the conference’s General Session; U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri), who shared a personal story with attendees about the importance of safe and affordable housing for all



REALTOR?is a registered mark whichidentifies a professional inReal Estate who subscribesto a strict Code of Ethics as a member of the National Association ofREALTORS®.

Photo L-R: Deane Hart REALTOR®, Past President Richard Dempsey, Congressman Dennis Ross, Executive Vice President Barbara Barnes, 2018 President Kyle Vreeland, President-Elect Lisa Ruiz-Castanet


Young Entrepreneurs Academy III (2017-18) at 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports field trip. From L to R:  Mark Van Wagenen, Manager, 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports; Sachin Sivakumar; Skyler Hollinger; Alexander Thomas; Om Tarapawala; Angel Mendez (in back); Warin Ding; Shelby Claville; Grant Gable; Luke Shamoun; and, Mark Scolnick, Central Florida SCORE.


LAKELAND, FLORIDA (May 22, 2018) — The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is recruiting students for the fourth class of the Polk County chapter for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a 30-week program for students, ages 11-18, where students start and run their own business and form connections with community leaders. The direct mission of the Academy is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. The Academy teaches kids to believe in themselves, to think big, and to understand that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. In the process, students learn as much about leadership and self-empowerment as they do about planning, budgeting, and production. Students in the Academy discover in themselves confidence, optimism, and capabilities they never knew they had.

Alexander Thomas, graduate of the 2017-18 class and owner of Aerial Perspective, shares his experience at the Academy, “I have had a great time participating in YEA! Polk this year. I have learned the starting principles of how to develop, run, and manage a business. The business I founded, Aerial Perspective Drone Services, is advancing significantly. On April 4th, I pitched my business idea to the YEA! Shark Tank investors and I received $1,300. With the awarded cash I purchased the business’ first drone! During the weeks following the student business presentations, we had several guest speakers. Ms. Dawn Decaminada from Polk County Small Business spoke to us about what the government can do for small businesses. Also Mr. Mark Van Wagenen led us on a tour of 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports. My fellow students and I got to ‘jump’ after the tour! My class and I have also learned about advertising, marketing, taxes, banking, and continuity and exit strategies. We also met three people representing the media (The Ledger, Spectrum Bay News 9, and Hall Communications, who spoke to us about press releases and how to interview with a reporter. On May 15th six students, including me, set up booths for a Trade Show event hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce at the RP Funding Center. I was able to get several leads and received a lot of encouragement and advice. I am looking forward to running Aerial Perspective Drone Services to the best of my ability.”

Young Entrepreneurs Academy III (2017-18) at 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports field trip. From L to R:  Mark Van Wagenen, Manager, 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports; Sachin Sivakumar; Skyler Hollinger; Alexander Thomas; Om Tarapawala; Angel Mendez (in back); Warin Ding; Shelby Claville; Grant Gable; Luke Shamoun; and, Mark Scolnick, Central Florida SCORE.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy III (2017-18) at 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports field trip. From L to R:  Mark Van Wagenen, Manager, 2Infinity Extreme Air Sports; Sachin Sivakumar; Skyler Hollinger; Alexander Thomas; Om Tarapawala; Angel Mendez (in back); Warin Ding; Shelby Claville; Grant Gable; Luke Shamoun; and, Mark Scolnick, Central Florida SCORE.

A graduate of the 2016-17 Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Logan Soria, CEO/Owner of Stand Up!, comments on the program, “You are going to go through a part-time business boot camp. That isn’t something you should be afraid of. As an entrepreneur, you have to embrace the barriers ahead – whether it be a lack of knowledge, funds, or ability. Trust me, if you try your best, you will make it through those hard times and you will be rewarded by your success.”

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce chapter will accept up to 20 students; the early application deadline is June 30, 2018 and guarantees interviews for all applicants. The final application deadline is August 24, 2018, and students may be placed on a waiting list.

Classes will take place 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Southeastern University beginning in October.

The tuition for the program is $495, and there are need-based scholarships available.

The application for the Polk County program is available at http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA or http://yeausa.org/. For questions or additional information, please contact Rebecca Fortier at (863) 688-8551 ext. 229, or by email at rfortier@lakelandchamber.com

Media about our local Academy https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4779nhjk7576kez/AADk7CvpASvWxl34F6kah9hza?dl=0

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk Sponsors and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce are helping to build the next generation of business leaders in Central Florida.

Premier Sponsors:

Lakeland Chamber Foundation

Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University

Investor Panel Sponsors:

Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

Publix Super Markets, Inc.

SunTrust Bank

Scholarship Sponsors:

Citrus Center Kiwanis

Maximize Digital Media

Mulberry Community Service Center

Suncoast Credit Union Foundation

Community Sponsors:

Gary S Claville Trust

Got Candy & More Food Truck


Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.


Polk State College partners with Complete Florida offering degree finishing assistance

Polk State College is partnering with Complete Florida as one of their institutions in their program designed to help adults who have college credit, but no degree, to go back to school and finish. This program provides additional support services such as scholarships, advising, career advising, and mentorship to help potential students enter online degree programs across the state and complete their education.

CLICK to view program flyer