Homeownership Preservation Forum on 10/4 in Lakeland

This just in from the Office of US Senator Mel Martinez:

Dear friends,

The Office of US Senator Mel Martinez will be holding a free seminar offering homeownership opportunities and foreclosure solutions. Information and assistance will be available in both English and Spanish.  The event will be held on Saturday, October 4, from 10am-2pm at the USF Polytechnic campus in Lakeland.  Please pass this flyer along to anyone who is interested in attending. 

For more information, see the attached flyer or call 407-318-2736.


RC – Tribute Center at Heath Funeral Chapel

Foster Heath and Bill Schichtel are pleased to announce the opening of The Tribute Center at Heath Funeral Chapel. This new addition will provide families a place to gather and have a fully catered reception, luncheon or more formal sit-down dinner at the facility. The Tribute Center includes a functional catering kitchen for meal services.

The Tribute Center features two reception rooms, The Heath Room for seating up to 130 guests, and the Purcell Room for seating up to 40 guests. The Heath room features state of the art audio and video equipment for viewing video tributes on a 100” screen.

In addition this site will house a new crematory as well. This new option will allow families that want to witness or participate in the actual cremation to do so in a comfortable but private area. With the introduction of a new crematory, the old one will now be used for pet cremations.

Heath Funeral Chapel was first opened by Doris and Foster Heath on November 21, 1959. The RC - Heath Funeral Homesbusiness was in a frame building, which was built around 1907. It faced East Lime Street. The original building is still in use with some modifications.

In 1971 the concrete block building, an air conditioned chapel was attached to the frame building. This building included viewing rooms and a modern embalming room. Since there was not a Crematory in Polk or Hillsborough County, they also built a Crematory there within the facility. In 1990 Bill Schichtel, the Heath’s son-in-law, joined them, and with his business background, we were able to make further progress. In 1994, they added another large viewing room, a dressing room and a ladies restroom.

With the volume of Funeral Services continuing to increase Heath’s was considering opening another branch with a tribute center in it. After much thought and council with their architect, the current location was selected.

Congratulations to Heath Funeral Chapel on opening a beautiful new building and a special thanks to Mayor Buddy Fletcher for officiating, to Paul Norris for representing the Chamber Board, and to various other city and county officials for coming and supporting Heath’s.


September Business After Hours – Fun Bike Center Motorsports

You won’t want to miss the September Business After Hours TODAY Thursday, 9/18! Hosted by Fun Bike Center Motorsports, the event promises to be a fun, energetic look into the Fun Bike Center Complex including several of the recently opened businesses.

Featured during the evening:
StuntWars Stunt shows
Mojo’s Appetizers & Wings
Poker Run for Prizes
Bonker’s Comedy Show to end the night!

Parking is available at Fun Bike Center, Taco Bell, the Boat ramp across Memorial Blvd and down Gary Road.

Cost to attend the September Business After Hours is $10 for Chamber members and $30 for non-Chamber members. Credit cards can not be processed at the event; reserve your space now online! Fun Bike Center

For more information , call the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce at 863/688-8551, ext. 301 or e-mail mstevenson@lakelandchamber.com by 12:00 PM the day of the event.

Picture by http://onlineadvertising.polkvoice.com


Ground Breaking – Citizen’s Bank & Trust

Members of the Citizens Bank & Trust Board joined officers and other guests Tuesday 9/16 in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the bank’s new 8,000-square foot branch office at the corner of Edgewood Drive and Lakeland Highlands Boulevard.  Architect Keith Hunnicutt and Contractor John Citizens Edgewood RenderingOlson were on hand to commemorate the start of the project, which is expected to be completed in 2009. Also tossing a shovel of dirt was David Touchton from the NCT group, who is one of the charter members of the bank’s Lakeland Advisory Board.

Bank President Greg Littleton expressed his appreciation to all who came to share in the celebration. The two-story building will replace the branch’s temporary location, which opened in December 2007 behind the construction site at 1959 Edgewood Avenue. Branch Manager Melinda Herrin and Assistant Manager Jane Fortin will be able to watch the progress from their front windows.  In addition to other bank officers, participants included Board Chairman P.T. Wilson and board members Jinx Wilson and Hood Craddock.

GB - Citizens (4)

Founded in 1920 in Frostproof, Citizens Bank & Trust is Polk County’s oldest bank still in existence. In the last 10 years, the bank has grown in assets from $65 million to nearly $370 million and from one branch to 12. The bank recently relocated its downtown Lakeland office to Kentucky Avenue in the 6-story Citizens Bank & Trust Plaza overlooking Lake Morton.  The bank also is working to open a third Lakeland office in the Christina area in late 2008 or early 2009.

Congratulations to Citizens we look forward to seeing your expansion here in Lakeland. If you would like to have one of your company events feature on our blog, please contact us at webmaster (at) lakelandchamber (dot) com.







Not all News is Bad News, Ask Hal Bolter

Editor’s Note: I solicited the following post from Hal Bolter, who is President of Florida Fluid System Technologies, Inc. and a member of the Chamber Board of Directors. If you have any good news or announcements that you would appreciate seeing here please email them to webmaster (at) lakelandchamber (dot) com. Thanks Hal for allowing us to spread your good news.

Aaron Bates, Vice President of Communications and “Master of Chamber Blogosphere”, overheard me answering the question “So, how’s business for you guys Hal?” at the Lakeland Chamber Board Meeting. After the meeting adjourned, Aaron leaned across the table and said, “Do you mind sending me your answer for our blog? I think our Chamber members would appreciate some good news.”

So here we go…good news.

First, let me say, Florida Fluid System Technologies, Inc. is blessed in many ways…

  • We have tremendous, dedicated, professional people on our team. They are committed to quality and integrity, and flat out love to please our customers.
  • We serve a very diverse market (not diversity like the Chamber thinks, but, let’s just call it industrial diversity). We serve the Power, Water, Marine, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Chemical, etc. markets…so we’re blessed not to have our eggs in one basket.
  • We represent an incredible manufacturer…Swagelok. You can check them out at www.swagelok.com. They are hard wired for high growth – are constantly making the right investments, developing the right strategies, and casting the right vision for high performance. It’s great to be on a very good team (Randy Moss was great with the Patriots…he was a non-factor for the Raiders).

Because we are part of a great organization, have a fantastic team, and incredible customers…I should always answer the question…”We’re doing Great!”

So Aaron, we’re doing great…business is up, we are on our way to a record year with several key financial measures exceeding all time highs, our people are growing, and we are developing a tremendous team of leaders. I wake up every day excited to get back at it.