Tag Archives: Lakeland


Local and Regional Candidates to Participate in 2018 Hob Nob

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2018) – The 2018 Political Hob Nob being hosted at the Rocking H Ranch on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, provides an occasion to meet with local and state candidates and learn more about them.

In an effort to increase awareness of and participation in the elections process, the Lakeland Chamber provides this opportunity for the local community to speak with candidates and local clubs at their respective booths.  Attendees will vote in a Straw Poll administered by the Polk County Supervisor of Elections from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM with the results announced that evening at 7:45 PM.  Candidates will take the stage to introduce themselves.

The Rocking H Ranch provides the perfect “Old Florida” backdrop for the event.  Originally, an old Cattle Ranch, it now is one of the leading Agritourism spots in Florida.  Attendees will also enjoy great BBQ, beverages, valet parking and good company.

The event is made possible by underwriting from community-focused companies and organizations – Red Sponsors are Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A., Ledger Media Group, Rocking H Ranch, Spectrum Business; Gubernatorial Sponsors include A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., Reed Mawhinney & Link, PLLC, and Watson Clinic LLP. Other sponsors and supporters are Bernie Little Distributors, BTB Catering, Lakeland Valet, Polk County Supervisor of Elections, WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio, and lkldnow.com (Linking Community Now Inc.).

Candidates may register for a Table until Tuesday, August 7, 2018 using this link https://bit.ly/2Hb8ZvU or by visiting http://www.lakelandchamber.com and clicking on the Events Calendar tab.

Tickets to the event are $25 with advance purchase and $30 if purchased at the door.  Corporate 10-Packs are available for $200.  Sponsorships are available.  Tickets can be purchased by using this link https://bit.ly/2Hb8ZvU or by visiting http://www.lakelandchamber.com and clicking on the Events Calendar tab.

Candidates and clubs that are currently registered to attend are listed below.  Candidates will be added to our event page as they register – please visit http://www.lakelandchamber.com and click the Events Calendar tab to view.

Representative in Congress, District 15:

Neil Combee

Sean Harper

Danny Kushmer

Ed Shoemaker

Ross Spano

Kristen Carlson

Andrew P. Learned

Representative in Congress, District 17:

Greg Steube


Philip Levine

Attorney General:

Ashley Moody

State Senator, District 22:

Kelli Stargel

State Senator, District 26:

Catherine Price

State Representative, District 39:

Josie Tomkow

State Representative, District 40:

Colleen Burton

Shandale Terrell

State Representative, District 56:

Melony Bell

Jeff Mann

County Commissioner, District 2:

Kathryn “Kat” Gates-Skipper

Rick Wilson

County Commissioner, District 4:

Jim Guth

Martha Santiago

Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Group 10:

Lee Cohen

Melissa Gravitt

Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Group 11:

Dana Y. Moore

Stephen Paul Pinket

School Board, District 3:

Sarah Fortney

Scott Jones

LaTrice Moore

Kala Tedder

School Board, District 5:

Terry L. Clark

Kay Fields

Jennifer Sabin

School Board, District 7:

David Byrd

Lisa Miller

Clubs and Organizations:

The Republican Club of Lakeland

The Democratic Women’s Club of Lakeland

The Republican Women’s Club of Lakeland, Federated
Event Sponsors:

Red Sponsors

Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A.

Rocking H Ranch

Ledger Media Group

Spectrum Business

Gubernatorial Sponsors

A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure

Reed Mawhinney & Link, PLLC

Watson Clinic LLP

Media Partners

Big 4 Radio – WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio

lkldnow.com (Linking Community Now Inc.)

Exclusive Beer Sponsor

Bernie Little Distributor

Event Sponsors

BTB Catering

Lakeland Valet

Event Partner

Polk County Supervisor of Elections

Location:  Rocking H Ranch, 2200 Ewell Rd, Lakeland, FL  33811

Date/Time Information:  Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Contact Information:  Rebecca Fortier, 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. Mission Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.


SPCA Florida Welcomes New Executive Director

spca logoLakeland, FL—After a four-month search SPCA Florida’s Board of Directors has selected Shelley Thayer as the next Executive Director to lead the 39-year-old non-profit animal welfare organization.

“We couldn’t be happier about Shelley leading the charge for our organization. She brings a strong set of philanthropic skills and understands the unique environment of animal welfare,” explains Karen Mitchell, SPCA Florida Board President.

Previously the executive director for Cat Depot in Sarasota, Thayer has worked with Best Friends Animal Society, assisting with several major rescue operations and co-authoring rapid response procedures. Thayer has led the charge and rallied for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, domestic animal rehabilitation, and big cat rescues. Thayer is the past president for the Florida Association of Animal Welfare Organizations (FAAWO) and now currently serves as a board member.

Before entering the nonprofit world, her career included twenty years of marketing. Shelley implemented national unveilings/events and new brand launches for name brands such as General Mills, PepsiCo, Universal, Disney and McCormick & Company. During Shelley’s marketing career, she remained connected to humane organizations as both a volunteer and fundraiser.

“SPCA Florida has made a serious commitment to homeless animals throughout our state,” said Shelley Thayer. “Their “no kill” initiative for Polk County which was implemented in 2012 is a mission I not only embrace but am dedicated to achieve. I am proud to join this amazing team as their new Executive Director.”

Thayer will officially join SPCA Florida in July. She and her family which includes three rescued cats and one rescued dog will reside in Lakeland.

About SPCA Florida

Founded in 1979, SPCA Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Lakeland, serving all of Polk County and the surrounding communities. Dedicated to improving the lives of pets and people, SPCA Florida provides caring, compassion and hope to more than 4,300 homeless animals entering our doors each year.

Open to the public, our Reva McClurg Animal Medical Center is a state-of-the-art veterinary facility that heals and helps 50,000 patients annually. Thousands more pets and people are served through our community outreach and education programs.

Simplistically, every $100 donated to SPCA Florida, or essentially the cost of an average adoption, equates to $3,000 worth of positive economic impact throughout Polk County, Central Florida, and the state. Additionally, we are proud of the fact that 92% of every dollar goes to program resources and helping homeless animals.



Shareholder Nathan S. Hatcher Receives Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association’s President’s Award

Hatcher_Nathan_HI TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson proudly announces that attorney Nathan Hatcher was recently honored with the Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association’s (SLAA) 2018 President’s Award. The SLAA’s President’s Award was presented to Mr. Hatcher at The Florida Bar Annual Convention in recognition of his outstanding leadership service to the Stetson community and beyond.

Mr. Hatcher is a 2008 graduate of the Stetson College of Law, and has served as the President of the Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association Board over the past two years.

According to the SLAA, “Nathan’s strategic vision and commitment to excellence has helped propel the board and association to new heights.”

In addition to his leadership service on the SLAA Board, Mr. Hatcher is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation where he serves in a leadership position within the Products Liability Committee, as co-chair of its Young Lawyers Subcommittee. Mr. Hatcher is also a member of the Development Council for the All Children’s Hospital, which promotes awareness, fundraising, and “friend-raising” for All Children’s Hospital.

Mr. Hatcher is a shareholder in the firm’s Products Liability and Personal Injury Litigation Groups. He defends consumer product manufacturers involved in high exposure personal injury, wrongful death, and property damage litigation. Primarily, Mr. Hatcher represents a major tobacco company involved in individual smoking and health litigation across the state of Florida.

Nathan Hatcher Stetson Presidents Award

Hill Ward Henderson is a full-service law firm with multi-disciplinary practices. Headquartered in downtown Tampa, with over 100 attorneys, the firm has a wide range of local, regional and national clients. For additional information, please visit the firm’s website at www.hwhlaw.com.


Lakeland Regional Health Launches Get Active! Community Program on June 23



Lakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health and YMCA of West Central Florida are excited to announce a new community health program called Get Active!

Beginning Saturday, June 23, members of the community will be able to take part in fitness classes and weekly walking groups – free of charge.

“We are dedicated to strengthening the health of our community in a variety of innovative ways,” said Lauren-Parkes Springfield, Lakeland Regional Health Manager of Community Health Outreach and Diabetes Services. “Our first FitChurch Challenge was received so well by our community earlier this year that we wanted to keep the commitment and energy going with an ongoing physical activity program. Get Active supports healthy lifestyle changes in a social atmosphere.”

The program offers a FREE monthly low-impact fitness class taught by Lakeland Regional Health’s wellness partner, the YMCA of West Central Florida, and a weekly walking group.

Classes are open to everyone, regardless of fitness level or experience, and will include cardio, strength training, yoga and Zumba. YMCA membership is not required to participate in the program. Class schedules are listed in the links above.

“Total body workouts offer many benefits to participants, including improved coordination, stamina, balance and flexibility,” said Laura Feliciano, Lakeland Family YMCA Wellness Director. “We are so excited to partner with Lakeland Regional Health to increase access to fitness and wellness opportunities.”

About Lakeland Regional Health

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, a Level II Trauma Center and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.

About YMCA of West Central Florida

The YMCA of West Central Florida is comprised of the Lakeland Family YMCA, Fontaine Gills Family YMCA and the YMCA Par 2. At the YMCA of West Central Florida, strengthening community is its cause, working side-by-side with neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, the YMCA of West Central Florida helps more than 200,000 youth, adults, and seniors improve their health, learn new skills, and have fun.