Business Disaster Survival Kit Now Available

Thinking about disaster preparedness may not be at the top of your priority list this Friday… in fact, at the top of mine was heading downtown to catch up on some much needed coffee & Facebook time. But let’s just keep that little plan to ourselves…

Thanks to the folks at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the Business Continuity Planning Alliance, The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Regional Planning Councils, (and Barb here in our office), we now have CDs to share!

Disaster and crisis response plans should be in place for everything from natural events and hazards to technological changes or threats. While many of us may not consider Lakeland to be in a threatened area, we’ve seen proof in other close-knit communities that disaster and violence are not reserved for the big city.

disaster CD In addition to the CD resource, there is also a Web site set up for businesses to explore. By visiting http://www.fldisasterkit.org, you and your business can be well on the way to developing your Business Continuity Plan. That, and there’s a pirate-themed “game” for you to play. It won’t seem like you’re learning, but I guarantee you will… This game, by the way, is the only game that I endorse as appropriate for business. If you try to use this post as evidence that Facebook is a viable use of work time, I will not vouch for you.

Please, stop by the Chamber to pick up your Business Disaster Survival Kit CD and take some time (after you’ve played the pirate game) to write down your Business Continuity Plan. When you do, and you can provide evidence of a plan, we’ll do a special feature here and in December’s Forum for Business Monthly of our member companies who are prepared.*

*Businesses that have a plan must provide evidence of that plan on or before October 23, 2009 by emailing Amy Wiggins or Terry Ottinger in order to be included in the December feature.


Twitter For the Rest of Us

I will be the first to admit that I am not the social media guru here or in my personal life. Recently, I’ve ventured into the Twitter-sphere with our Catalyst Campaign updates (twitter.com/CatalystLkld) as well as with a personal account (twitter.com/amysusannah). So far, I’m not very good at either one, but I’m trying!

I’ve decided that until I’m more interesting, the personal account will be good to get updates from my favorite stores & organizations. I just can’t seem to find a good reason to tell people what I’m doing yet- people are already sick and tired of hearing about my dog.

The Catalyst account allows me to share information and updates with followers. For the volunteers and others who follow, it’s nice to be able to mention their accomplishments (that’s when you put an @ symbol before their account name in your tweet) and disseminate information that is important to sales.

I came across this slideshow that helps put things into something concrete. Everyone has a very different learning style, and mine is remedial. There are not enough examples out there to keep me from forgetting how or why CatalystLkld even exists. So, in the spirit of progress, I decided to share!


Feel free to comment here and let us know what you think or how you’re using Twitter successfully in your business.


More Than Half Of Lakeland Schools An “A”

The Florida Department of Education released the FCAT grades for the 2008-2009 school year and more than half (51 percent)  of Lakeland schools received a grade of A.

The statistics for Lakeland schools:

A – 22     B- 7     C- 11     D-2     F- 1

Exactly two-thirds (67 percent) of Lakeland schools (29 schools) received an A or B. Ninety-three percent (40 schools) received an A, B or C. The Polk Public Schools received an overall grade of B from the state for the second consecutive year.  A listing of Lakeland schools by FCAT grade is listed below:

A- Blake Academy, Carlton Palmore Elementary, Cleveland Court Elementary, Dixieland Elementary, Griffin Elementary, Highlands Grove Elementary, Jesse Keen Elementary, Kathleen Elementary, Lakeland Highlands Middle, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Lincoln Avenue Academy, McKeel Academy, McKeel Elementary, North Lakeland Elementary, Phillip O’Brien Elementary, Rochelle School of the Arts, Scott Lake Elementary, Sikes Elementary, South McKeel Elementary, Southwest Middle, Valleyview Elementary, Wendell Watson Elementary.

B- Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary, Kathleen Middle, Lake Gibson Middle, Lakeland High, Padgett Elementary, R. Bruce Wagner Elementary, Southwest Elementary

C- Churchwell Elementary, Combee Elementary, Crystal Lake Elementary, Crystal Lake Middle, George Jenkins High, Lake Gibson High, Medulla Elementary, Sleepy Hill Elementary, Sleepy Hill Middle, Socrum Elementary, Winston Elementary.

D- Kathleen High, Tenoroc High

F- Oscar J. Pope Elementary


Education and Employment Fair- Free to Job Seekers and Exhibitors

Congressman Adam Putnam and Senator Mel Martinez will sponsor an Education and Employment Fair on August 4 in Plant City. The event is free to both individuals seeking employment and employers looking to hire. The following is a letter from Congressman Putnam.

Dear Friend,

        It is my pleasure to inform you of the upcoming Education and Employment Fair which I am hosting with my colleague in the United States Senate, The Honorable Mel Martinez.  The event is free to exhibitors and job seekers and will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at the Plant City Campus of Hillsborough Community College, John R. Trinkle Center, 1206 N. Park Road, Plant City, FL 33563 from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

        Due to the state of the economy and its affect on unemployment, the Senator and I would like to notify all businesses, education providers, non-profit agencies and job seekers in Polk & Hillsborough Counties about the fair.  It is our hope to attract all businesses in need of one or more workers to participate as exhibitors. Please feel free to share this with your business networks to assist in us gaining more employer exhibitors.

        Please be so kind as to inform your human resources department, organization members and any individual seeking employment of this great opportunity. An informational flyer and exhibitor registration form are attached for your review.

        If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pam Fuller or Cheryl Flood at 863-534-3530.  Thank you!


Adam H. Putnam

Member of Congress