Tag Archives: Lakeland Chamber



BIG Sponsors ThanksLAKELAND, FLORIDA (July 12, 2017) — Community support helps ensure success of the second year of the BIG Event Lakeland. The Lakeland Chamber which hosts the event on Saturday, November 11, 2017 is excited to announce strategic sponsorships for this year’s event:

The Kids’ Breezeway is sponsored by Publix Super Markets, Inc., and the “Big 4” Stage is sponsored by Hall Communications / WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio. The BIG Event is also supported by the Ledger Media Group and Tinsley Creative as Print Media Sponsor and Marketing Sponsor, respectively. Sponsorships in support of First Aid, T-Shirts, Poster Contest, Tailgate, Treasure Hunt, and Costume Contest are confirmed with Watson Clinic LLP, Bank of Central Florida, CPS Investment Advisors, Heacock Insurance, Highland Homes, Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center, and Lanier Upshaw. For the second year in a row, Green Construction is sponsoring the Salute to Veterans.

The support received for the BIG Event helps to underwrite programs and initiatives of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Since 1921, the Lakeland Chamber has served as an advocate for business. The Chamber is a 501 (c) (6) not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper. It is the largest Chamber of Commerce in Polk County, and the 6th largest in the state, with over 1,400 investor businesses, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce continues to be an integral component of the Lakeland community by offering a wide variety of programs and initiatives that positively impact the economic vitality and quality of life in our region. Initiatives and Programs include:

  • Pro-Business Advocacy:  The Chamber monitors local and state issues that affect business and the quality of life through the Advocacy Committee and BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland, Inc.
  • Professional Development:  The Chamber offers seminars and educational activities throughout the year geared to assist the business community, specifically small business.
  • Convention & Visitors Bureau:  This bureau markets Lakeland and Polk County as an ideal convention and tourist destination.
  • Relocation Inquiries:  As the experts on Lakeland, families call the Chamber and visit LakelandChamber.com before they visit or move.  Allowing member businesses to be first to promote their product or service to these new residents before they establish their buying patterns.
  • Small Business Award:  A Chamber committee is responsible for selecting and recognizing one small business each month that epitomizes entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence and community involvement.  One of the 12 will be recognized at the end of the year with the Scott Linder Small Business of the Year Award.
  • Leadership Lakeland:  To identify and enhance future leadership for Lakeland; and, increase participants’ leadership skills and develop an “esprit de corps” among the participants which will provide a common ground for working together on present and future community and Chamber projects.
  • Public Leadership Institute of Polk County (PLI):  A nonpartisan “pre-campaign” candidate and public leadership school with the mission of identifying and educating local business-minded leaders who are interested in exploring the possibility of one-day seeking public office and using business principles to address public issues.
  • Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!:  A groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real  businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more! By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a job–not just take a job! YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom.
  • EMERGE Lakeland:  A meaningful networking organization of dedicated, talented young professionals ranging in age from 21-42 in Lakeland. This organization is a partnership of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Florida. Groundwork for such an organization began in 2003. The partnership offers a unique opportunity for collaboration between the two organizations for the continued strengthening of the community.
  • Lakeland Chamber Foundation:  Through the generous contributions of member businesses and individuals, the Foundation is able to award small grants to not-for-profit organizations in the Lakeland area to support specific community and education betterment projects.

Vendor Booth Registration for the BIG Event is available at http://goo.gl/nydmXE. The registration this year features an interactive map that allows vendors to select their booth location! Vendors are encouraged to sign up early as booth prices increase by $50 after July 31, 2017.

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with InnerAct Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters Polk present the second annual BIG Event Lakeland – and theme Pirates on the Promenade for 2017! The iconic and historical Frances Ford Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror Amphitheatre is the perfect backdrop for local fun on Saturday, November 11th, 2017, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm! The BIG Event Lakeland is a free music fest featuring local businesses, makers, and delicious food! The event kicks off with the Red Ribbon Run Corporate Awards at the Main Stage, immediately followed by a special Salute to Veterans.  Then enjoy non-stop entertainment! Celebrate the best of Lakeland at this FREE live music fest!

What:  BIG Event Lakeland – Pirates on the Promenade

When:  Saturday, November 11, 2017, 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Where:  Lake Mirror Amphitheatre, 121 S Lake Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801

Fees:  Free admission!

Vendor registration:             http://goo.gl/nydmXE

Additional information:      https://goo.gl/K7qgew

Video:                                              https://goo.gl/GPGCkA

Contact:  Rebecca Fortier at (863) 688-8551 ext. 229  or by email at rfortier@lakelandchamber.com.



The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice.



RC – Leukemia & Lymphoma’s Light the Night Walk

The 7th Annual Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Lakeland was this past Saturday. At Munn Park.

From the Light the Night Website: 

The Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s nationwide evening walk. Walkers carry illuminated balloons to celebrate and commemorate the lives touched by cancer. Funds raised will support our mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

It was a pleasure to see all the participants and enjoy some great food, thanks to Executive Director Carroll Franklin.



RC – Rita’s Water Ice

Rita’s Water Ice made its official debut in the Lakeland area this Saturday with a grand opening celebration – a true family affair.  The newest business venture of the Joseph family, Rita’s is managed by partners James Joseph and Victor Cuellar.

Rita's Italian Ice by you.Rita’s signature product is their Italian Ice, which is much smoother than a snow cone and combines ice with real fresh fruit; made daily on-site and served within 36-hours of mixing.  Also offered are Cream Ice (including the limited engagement “Pumpkin Pie” flavor) and Frozen Custard, offered plain or in combination with Italian Ice or Cream Ice. 

This latest location of the Rita’s franchise is located in Joseph Town Center at 2405 EF Griffin Road.  Many members of the Joseph family were joined by friends and customers to celebrate the grand opening, officiated by Lakeland’s mayor, the Honorable Buddy Fletcher.