Opening Session Bring Entrepreneurs Together

Last night, 20 of our community’s dreamers and doers embarked on a new journey in their careers. Some had business plans, some entrepreneurial dreams; some veteran business owners, others looking for an opportunity to work for themselves. The launch of the 2008 Entrepreneurial Academy was at hand.

Academy Sponsor WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio was represented by Nancy Cattarius who shared how proud the radio stations are to have committed to the program from the beginning. A huge “thank you” goes out to our local stations and their employees for exemplifying corporate citizenship and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in our community!

Chairman of the Chamber board of directors, Tim Campbell (Clark, Campbell & Mawhinney, PA) was also eager to welcome class members and congratulate them on taking this first step. The large number and great success of small businesses in our community is one quality of life benefit that the Chamber is proud to boast!

For the majority of the opening session, Carolyn Jackson, VP of Member Relations, introduced the group to the syllabus for the Academy and reviewed “house rules”. Questions were answered and attendees formulated expectations and goals for their participation.

Finally, everyone was asked to share a 10-second commercial about his or her idea or dream. As each person spoke, the room followed- making mental notes about questions and suggestions to share. At the end of class, no one stayed in seats; every person was up networking, sharing dreams and looking forward to what the Academy could offer to see their business succeed.

For the next 9 weeks, these 20 opportunity-seekers will learn the ins and outs of business ownership from leaders in our community who have lived the challenges and celebrated the successes. There’s no text book here, just real-life experiences and hard-earned lessons!


Polk Growth Speakers

Another post from a press release, again I thought it was important. Just not enough time to summarize it for you.

Polk Growth Matters is a community forum sponsored by the Polk Growth Management Department and Polk Vision.  Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for citizen education and constructive discussion on growth management issues.  It is intended to further a general and common understanding of current issues in Polk County.  Consistent with its focus on community education and dialogue, the forum is not used to advocate a position on issues.
Polk Growth Matters Speaker Series
Food for Thought …
Polk Growth Matters is pleased to announce the 2008-09 Speaker Series.  Join us for dinner meetings that include “food for thought.”  Meetings will include an educational presentation on growth-related topics and a time for questions and answers, as well as, group discussion.  Meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner served at cost and proceed with speaker presentations at 6:30 p.m.  Guests who are unable to attend the dinner may come for the meeting at this time.  There is no charge for people attending only the meeting.
The 2008-09 Speaker Series will include the following topics:

  • Water Star Program
  • Green Building Practices
  • Best Practices for Sustainability
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Brownfield Redevelopment

    Our first two sessions are scheduled as follows:
    Topic:  Green Building Practices              Topic:  Water Star Program
    Date:   Tuesday, September 30                Date:   Thursday, November 6
    Venue: Magnolia Building                        Venue: Jim Miles Training Center
    702 E. Orange Street, Lakeland               5204 US Hwy 98 South, Lakeland
    RSVP by: September 19                          RSVP by: October 28

The cost of dinner is $10.00.  Reservations may be made by e-mail at JanJohnson@polk-county.net or (863) by telephone at (863) 534-6005. Please indicate whether you will be attending for the dinner portion of the program ($10.00 cost) or just for the speaker’s presentation (no cost).

Polk VisionCounty Logo


Polk Theatre Announces 2008-2009 Performing Arts Series

Sorry for the cut & paste, but time is limited today. This is from a Polk Theatre Press Release…


Variety is the name of the game at the Polk Theatre this year. Shows for the upcoming Performing Arts Series range from political to comedy, from tenors to rock to country.

The season opens on October 30 with the Capitol Steps, about whom former President George H. W. Bush said, “The Capitol Steps make it easier to leave public office.” Regardless of your political affiliation, you will find something to laugh about as they are equal opportunity offenders, and nothing political is off-limits. They have been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS. The only politicians who seem to object are those not included in the program.

You may feel the need for self-improvement after the elections. If so, Self-Help: The Comedy, on November 20, is your answer. This hilarious, tongue-in-cheek comedy pokes fun at America’s addiction to self-help gurus. This show features two very talented actresses, portraying nine outrageous characters, all of whom are self-promoting, snake-oil selling hucksters. You’ll feel better immediately.

The Three Tenors Take Venice was so popular last year, we’re bringing them back on January 8, 2009, this time as The Three Tenors Plus One. Davide la Verde, Fabio Valenti, and Mark Gizzi-Schmidt are joined on stage by soprano, Christina Bell. This is an evening of world-class entertainment.

If you still believe in rock ‘n roll, Rave On! The Buddy Holly Concert That Never Was is the show from you. Buddy Holly died tragically young in a plane crash on his way to perform a concert. This show, on February 10, 2009, is a 50th anniversary upbeat tribute to his life and his legacy to music. If you don’t remember Peggy Sue, That’ll Be the Day, or Maybe Baby, you will after this evening.

March 28 brings The Oak Ridge Boys to our stage. Theirs is one of the most recognizable sounds in the music industry. They have dozens of country hits and a #1 pop hit, and have earned Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM Awards. Their string of hits includes Elvira, Bobbie Sue, Dream On, and American Made, to name only a few. They have ten Gold and three Platinum albums, one Double Platinum album, one Double Platinum single, and more than a dozen number one singles. Don’t miss the chance to see them in an intimate setting.

Series subscriptions are $125, $100, and $80. Dress Circle subscriptions are also available at $250. To purchase, you may go on line at www.polktheatre.org. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 682.7553. Singles tickets will go on sale October 1. Prices are $38, $27, and $20.

The Polk Theatre is located at 121 S. Florida Ave. in downtown Lakeland, one-half block south of Main Street. It is fully accessible to the handicapped.


Leadership Lakeland Class 26 Reception

LL Class 26 Reception


On Thursday August 14, Leadership Lakeland Class 26 was introduced to LL Alumni and guests. Stacy Campbell-Domineck, Polk Works, will serve as chair of this year’s class and Art Erickson, Florida Lifestyle Communities will serve as Chair-Elect. Congratulations to the following class members:

  • Christopher Asbill, Lanier Upshaw, Inc.
  • Kandis Baker-Buford, Polk County Board of County Commissioners
  • Sarah Case, JSK Consulting, Inc.
  • Kay Cochran, Marriott Vacation Club International
  • William Crowe, QMI/ITW
  • Jerome Ferson, The Ledger Publishing Company
  • Danita Frier, Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center
  • Dr. Tarek Garas, Watson Clinic LLP
  • Timothy Harris, School Board of Polk County
  • Ernie Ivey, Polk Community College
  • Frederick John Koehler, II, Smart Creative
  • Kelly Lane, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lakeland & Mulberry
  • Michael LaPan, The Lakeland Center
  • Gregory Madden, Madden
  • Dan McBride, Victory Church
  • Shawn McDonough, EXIT Realty of Lakeland
  • Michael Micallef, Community Southern Bank
  • Laura Newlin, Clark, Campbell & Mawhinney, P.A.
  • Cory Petcoff, Baron Realty, Inc.
  • James David Robinson, DSM Technology Consultants
  • Linda Skillern, Crowe Chizek & Company LLC
  • Jacquelyn Small, Polk Works
  • Michael Smith, Publix Super Markets, Inc.
  • Monti Sommer, AMI Lakeland
  • Anne Sullivan, The NCT Group CPA’s, LLP
  • Tracey Tedder, Florida Southern College
  • Naomi Tillett, Keith and Schnars, P.A.
  • Jennifer Vaughn, Bank of Central Florida

Make Your Mark

Lakeland Vision is set to refresh the 10 year community  document that set strategies to guide the direction for our community. On Sept 16, Lakeland Vision will launch “Make your Mark”. A comprehensive visioning process that is described by a August 18th Lakeland Vision announcement as  a process to “gather and organize input from Lakeland citizens about Lakeland’s future.”



Lakeland Vision Logo 

They are starting the process off with “Idea Gathering”, so mark your calendars for the dates below:

  • September 16, 6-8pm, Lakeland High School
  • September 17, 11:30am-1:30pm, First Presbyterian Church – Lake Hollingsworth
  • September 18, 6-8pm, Lake Gibson High School
  • September 22, 6-8pm, Kathleen High School
  • September 23, 6-8pm, George Jenkins High School
  • September 25, 6-8pm, Heritage Baptist Church – Pipkin Creek Road


Please make sure you attend one of these sessions. They really do want you to “Make your Mark”.