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.

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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.


September Business After Hours

You won’t want to miss the September Business After Hours this 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.

Fun Bike CenterFeatured 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!

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.


RC – My Pet’s Animal Hospital

The Chamber held the Ribbon Cutting for My Pet’s Animal Hospital last Thursday. The following is a press release from them:

My Pet’s Animal Hospital has received accreditation following a comprehensive evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association. The evaluation includes a quality assessment review of the hospital’s facility, medical equipment, practice methods and pet health care management.


RC - My Pet (1) by you.


Only 17 percent of all small animal veterinary practices in the U.S. have achieved accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association. In order to receive accredited status, My Pet’s Animal Hospital voluntarily submitted to an exhaustive evaluation process by one of the association’s trained consultants.

“My Pet’s Animal Hospital belongs to a select group of practices that are committed to meeting the highest standards in veterinary medicine,” says Michael P. Andrews, DVM, AAHA president. “AAHA hospitals pass a stringent evaluation of over 900 standards covering patient care, client service and medical protocols. By attaining accreditation, My Pet’s Animal Hospital is demonstrating its dedication to offering the best care to its patients and clients.”

The American Animal Hospital Association is an international organization of more than 36,000 veterinary care providers who treat companion animals. Established in 1933, the association is well known among veterinarians for its high standards for hospitals and pet health care. For pet care information or a referral to an AAHA hospital, pet owners can visit the AAHA website at www.healthypet.com.

My Pet’s Animal Hospital, located at 2225 Drane Field Rd., is conveniently located near the Polk Parkway (Exit 4), Lakeside Village, and Harden Rd. My Pet’s Animal Hospital was established more than 15 years ago, and was purchased by Donna McWilliams, DVM, CCRT, in May 2007. My Pet’s Animal Hospital is a full-service facility offering laser surgery, preventive medicine, grooming and boarding with fenced, outdoor play areas. The hospital currently employs two full-time veterinarians, Dr. McWilliams and Dr. Mark Downing. To learn more about My Pet’s Animal Hospital, please visit the practice’s website at www.floridavet.com.

Special thanks to Mayor Buddy Fletcher for officiating the ceremony!!