Membership Directory by Company
- Back Office
- Banks & Credit Unions
- Brokers & Developers
- Contractors & Subs
- Country Clubs
- Employment Services
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Health Services
- IT Services
- Legal Services
- Media & Advertising
- Private Equity
413 Hospitality Group, Inc.
413 Hospitality Group, Inc is the parent company of Frescos Southern Kitchen and Bar, Frescos Catering & Events and Frescos Cafe. Established in 2009, 413 Hospitality Group has grown to occupy over 10,000 square feet in the Carr Building on the corner of Lemon Street and Kentucky Avenue in Downtown Lakeland. The businesses currently employ over 65 people.
Tina Calhoon is Owner and President of 413 Hospitality Group, Inc. Serving as Executive Chef managing the day-today operations of Frescos Southern Kitchen and Bar, Frescos Catering and Events and Frescos Cafe. Tina comes from a strong 30 year plus small business owner background having owned and operated several restaurants in Downtown Little Rock
Tim Calhoon is Vice President and Director of Spirits. Tim joined 413 Hospitality Group, Inc full time in 2020 upon his retirement from Mead Johnson Nutrition after 33 years in the Central Florida area as Executive Territory Business Manager. As a 1984 Graduate of the University of South Florida, he oversees all financial aspects of the Corporation along with the Frescos' Spirits program.
A·C·T Environmental & Infrastructure
For more than 30 years, A·C·T has served as one of Lakeland’s premier multi-disciplined professional environmental sciences, engineering, contracting, and emergency response firms. A·C·T is driven by a commitment to bringing value to businesses. Recognized as an “employer of distinction,” on local, state and national levels, A·C·T applies a depth of experience and resources to tackle simple to complex problems. The company’s approach features a trained and motivated staff; seamless, inter-disciplinary teamwork; user-friendly information management systems; an emphasis on risk reduction/risk sharing; and synergistic partnering with clients. The combination of tried and true methods and innovative solutions help customers quickly reach their business objectives.
Jennifer Kincart Jonsson
Jennifer Kincart Jonsson serves as Vice President of A·C·T Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., which has been owned and operated by her family since 1987. An avid fan and active alumna, Jonsson earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida. Her drive and commitment are aimed at ensuring A·C·T’s success and she is passionate about improving the quality of life in our community. Among her many accolades, Jonsson holds the distinction of being the youngest professional to ever serve as the Chair of the Board for the United Way of Central Florida. Email
We build a culture where ideas are valued and questions are encouraged, giving our clients the freedom to collaborate, plan and realize dreams. We stand by our strong safety record, exceptional work ethic and quality craftsmanship, which speak for themselves in the number of new and repeat clients we work with each year. We lead with vision knowing that our strong roots allow us to eagerly accept the challenges and innovations necessary to evolve and grow.
- Construction Manager at Risk
- General Contractor
- Special Projects Group
- Design-Build Methods
- Self-Perform: Steel, Masonry, Concrete, Carpentry
- Sanitary & Process Piping
- Steam Supply and Return
- Chilled Water & Glycol Loops
- Compressed Air Piping
- Equipment Removal & Installation
- Daily Millwright & Preventive Maintenance Service
- Custom Carbon & Stainless Steel Fabrication
In-Field Technician Classifications
- Certified Welders
- SMAW, FCAW, GTAW
- 3G, 4G, 6G
- Combo Welders
- Pipe Fitters
In-house Technician Classifications
- Crane Operators
- Certified Riggers
- Hauling Resources
- 60+ Crew Members
- 10+ Service Vehicles
- Own 50T Crane
- Own Forklifts
- Principle Hardscape for Global Projects, Walt Disney Imagineering
Decorative Concrete – Worldwide
- Construction Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering
Toy Story Land – Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista, FL
- Show Design & Production Manager, Walt Disney Imagineering
Shanghai Disney Resort – Shanghai, China
- Hardscape Superintendent
Aulani Disney Resort and Spa – Ko Olina, HI
At AdventHealth, Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ is our mission. It calls us to be His hands and feet in helping people feel whole. Our story is one of hope — one that strives to heal and restore the body, mind and spirit. More than 80,000 skilled and compassionate caregivers in physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and hospice centers provide individualized, wholistic care. Our Christian mission, shared vision, common values and focus on whole-person health is our commitment to making communities healthier with a unified system: 50 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites in diverse markets throughout nine states.
As Market CEO in Polk County, Brian Adams oversees AdventHealth Heart of Florida and AdventHealth Lake Wales as well as AdventHealth Four Corners ER. Adams is also responsible for future growth of AdventHealth facilities in Polk County. Since coming to Polk County in 2019, Adams has supervised the infusion of more than $15 million in renovations and technology upgrades at AdventHealth Heart of Florida, a 202-bed facility located in Davenport and AdventHealth Lake Wales, a 160-bed facility in Lake Wales. Email
AgAmerica is a nationwide agriculture lender with over $1BB in assets under management. As part of its corporate structure, AgAmerica (the manager) operates the first agriculture mortgage REIT (mREIT) in the U.S. providing a niche agriculture debt investment vehicle.
Brian Philpot is the CEO and Principal Owner of AgAmerica Lending. His background includes extensive experience in real estate investing, agriculture lending, real estate law, market analysis, and negotiation. Brian received his B.S. in Finance, cum laude with honors in investments from Florida State University. He earned a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, University of Florida College of Law. Email
McAlpin Thomas “Mac” Miller has worked with AgAmerica for five years, moving up through different sectors, including evaluating and analyzing large real estate transactions, mobile home financing, as well as competitive office projects. Today he is on the lending side, heading the Transitional Lending department. Mac received his B.S. in Financial Management from Clemson University where he served as the University’s Interfraternity Council President. There, he was also a member of the Tiger Brotherhood, Blue Key Honor Society, CU Ducks Unlimited, and a member of the Wildlife Society. Email
Courtney Eelman joined the AgAmerica Lending team in July 2017. She is the Chief Strategy and Risk Officer and her focus is to align strategy, processes, people, technology and knowledge as AgAmerica manages risk throughout the lending process. Courtney holds more than 20 years of experience in agriculture lending. Since joining AgAmerica, Courtney has created efficiencies and processes that have led to improved loan volume with an overall increase of 150% since 2016. Courtney has established both the Credit and Servicing departments and was instrumental in obtaining Central Servicer status with one of the agriculture GSEs. Email
Allen & Company of Florida
At Allen & Company, it is our vision to be the primary Financial Advisor to individuals and businesses within the communities we serve. It is our mission to be the premier provider of comprehensive financial management services to our clients, guiding them to invest and diversify their wealth for its prudent transfer. We always place our clients’ interests first. We strive to be the best place to work, and we enhance the quality of life in our communities.
A Polk County native, Keith Albritton graduated from the University of Florida in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. While a student at Florida, he was also a 4-year letterman on the golf team, during which time, the team won over 15 team titles and 2 SEC Championships. Pursuing his passion for golf, Keith turned Pro in 1991, where his accomplishments included numerous highlights and eight wins as a Pro. In July 1996, Keith joined Allen & Company of Florida, Inc. as a Financial Advisor. Currently, serving as Sr. Vice President, additional leadership responsibilities include being a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Allen & Company. Email
Ralph is a Lakeland native and spent his summers during high school working for Allen & Company. After graduating from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, in North Carolina, in 1963 he joined the firm as a Financial Advisor Trainee. He became a Vice President in 1970 and assumed the role of Chairman of the Board and CEP upon the death of his father, J. Everett Allen in 1979. He is currently the Chairman of the Board at Allen & Company. Ralph holds Series 7, Series 65 and Series 24 licenses as well as Life and Variable Annuities. Email
Amazon’s dedicated air network is a critical conduit for delivering packages across longer distances. It’s a feat that would not be possible without the talented employees who continuously invent within our global operations, technical, and non-technical corporate teams. We work together to innovate on behalf of our rapidly growing number of Prime members who love fast delivery, low prices, and vast selection from Amazon.
In 2020 Amazon Air launched new gateway operations in Richmond, VA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Austin, TX, Maui and Kona, HI, Los Angeles, CA and New Orleans, LA and regional hubs in Lakeland FL, Rockford, IL and Baltimore, MD. These facilities support our air operations, which help enable fast, free package delivery for Prime customers. Our hubs and gateways process volume from the Amazon Fulfillment Centers, load and depart aircraft, arrive and offload aircraft, and process and depart the volume on linehaul for Last Mile delivery. Amazon Air has operations at more than 35 airports across the U.S., making two-day shipping possible almost anywhere in the country.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon.
AP+M and the AP4 Energy Group have moved their international headquarters, warehouse, and component repair operations to Lakeland, FL. The company provides OEM parts distribution, component repair services, and comprehensive field maintenance services to the power generation, oil & gas, and commercial & naval marine industries. Formerly based in Boynton Beach, FL, AP+M and the AP4 Energy Group recently expanded its business scope from aeroderivative OEM parts distribution and component repairs to include premier field engineering services specializing in GE aeroderivative controls, mapping and mechanical field services, O&M and Controls, Excitation & LCI Systems on Large Frame GE Gas and Steam Turbines via its field services division AP4 Energy Services.
AP4 Energy Services was formed after acquiring Aero Controls & DLE Consultants (AC-DLE - USA) and Turbine Controls and Excitation Group (TC&E) in June and December 2020 respectively. "The purchase of and relocation to the Lakeland facility was to support our continued growth initiatives and better serve our customers. By doubling the available warehouse and component repair footprint, this standalone 45,000 square foot (4500 sq m) facility rests on 7 acres and should accommodate our growth for the foreseeable future. Additionally, being in central Florida along the Interstate 4 corridor, halfway between Orlando and Tampa puts in closer proximity to numerous customers, provides superior logistics options and an excellent pool of prospective employees to support our future growth making this region ideal for our business”, said Greg Young, President & CEO of AP4 Energy Group. The company’s new headquarters is just off I-4, located at 7060 Havertys Way, Lakeland, Florida 33805, USA.
Aspyre Properties is a property management and leasing firm serving central Florida. The company has a portfolio of state of the art facilities to meet a variety of commercial property needs.
Wesley Beck is President of Aspyre Properties, a private equity firm focused on investments in a variety of industries and industrial development. He also serves as CEO of Advanced Concept Innovations, a medical device company and was formerly a founding partner in Florida Flavors, a specialty manufacturer of flavors and fragrances. Wesley is currently serving as chair of the LEDC High Skill Committee. Email
Bank of Central Florida
Bank of Central Florida brings intelligent banking to the local marketplace. Experienced bankers, knowledge of the business climate, and state-of-the-art technology combined with a true interest in the customer’s success result in greater customer satisfaction.
Paul Noris is the President and CEO of Bank of Central Florida. Prior to joining Bank of Central Florida, Paul was the Lakeland city president for SunTrust Bank, Mid-Florida. His time in the commercial area began as a relationship manager and progressed from managing a local unit to managing the commercial lending function for SunTrust, Mid-Florida, while also carrying the title of city president. Paul has lived in Lakeland since 1996 and has served on the boards of various civic organizations during that time. He is former chair of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the past president of the Explorations V Children’s Museum. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida. Email
Randy Hollen is Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender for the Bank of Central of Florida. A native of Pennsylvania, Randy received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Marietta College in 1983. He began his banking career immediately thereafter before moving to Florida in 1985. Since that time, Randy has worked with SunTrust Bank and two community banks in commercial lending roles, including all forms of commercial transactions such as real estate, equipment and tax exempt transactions. He has been a resident of Lakeland since 1991 and has served in various community service roles. He is a 1995 graduate of Louisiana State University’s School of Banking of the South. Email
Baron Realty is a real estate consulting firm that has served Lakeland for more than 20 years. It specializes in leasing management, and office and retail property sales. Baron offers full service property management services that promote worry free ownership.
Cory Petcoff, President of Baron Realty, is a seasoned commercial real estate professional with extensive background in investment analysis, property management and leasing. Petcoff is the recipient of the prestigious Top General Brokerage Producer Award in a seven county region offered by the Florida Gulf Coast Commercial Association of Realtors. He serves as the commercial real estate consultant and manager to multiple insurance companies who have diversified their investment portfolios through high quality investment grade commercial real estate. His background also includes forming and subsequently managing investor owned limited liability companies which seek to develop a high quality real estate portfolio. Petcoff is a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Agent as well as a Licensed Real Estate Broker. Email
Bartow Regional Medical Center – Baycare
Karen Kerr was appointed president of Bartow Regional Medical Center in February 2019. She has served as president of South Florida Baptist Hospital since August 2013 and continues in that role.
Kerr previously held a number of key leadership roles at both South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. As president of South Florida Baptist Hospital, she has worked to develop new initiatives for neurospine, surgery, obstetrics, radiology and patient experience.
Kerr received her Bachelor of Science/Nursing degree from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale. She has served as president of the Tampa Bay Organization of Nurse Executives, chairman of the Plant City Family YMCA, and chairman of the Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club. In 2016, she received the Plant City YMCA’s Strong Leader Award. Kerr serves as Chairman of the Plant City Economic Development Corporation and, in 2019, was inducted as chairman of the Plant City Chamber of Commerce.
The Beck Group delivers award-winning construction and architecture expertise through our unified delivery model. This meeting of the minds in dual disciplines lets Beck provide clients with swift and efficient project delivery. At every stage, their multi-disciplinary teams bring a full range of expertise and creative thinking to meet clients' needs and deliver singular results. Over the years, Beck's work has been recognized as both groundbreaking and trendsetting, and the firm has earned a reputation for progressive evolution, innovation and expansion. Through Beck's offices in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Tampa and Mexico City, they provide architecture, construction, sustainability and technology that support client needs, no matter the project challenge at hand. When you need unified excellence that you can depend on, you need Beck.
In his role as Regional Director, Ryan oversees all design and construction aspects of Beck’s Florida division. His expertise lies in his ability to create team synergies for the benefit of the project and its participants. Ryan’s propensity to understand complex design and construction challenges, find innovative solutions, and establish open and honest communication with owners and project team members results in successful projects from beginning to end.
Ryan grew up in Winter Haven, Florida and relocated to Tampa in 1994 to attend the University of South Florida. Ryan is married to his wife Charity and they have two sons, Isaac and Gabe. He is an avid University of South Florida Bulls fan, enjoys traveling, boating and spending time with his family. Email
BecKryger Capital Partners
BecKryger Capital Partners (BCP) is a private equity capital firm created to identify companies that are in need of an exit strategy or are in need of equity capital to allow for growth of an existing enterprise.
Wesley Beck is President of BecKryger Capital Partners LLLP, a private equity firm focused on investments in a variety of industries and industrial development. Wesley was formerly a founding partner in Florida Flavors Inc., a specialty manufacturer of flavors and fragrances. Email
Beechwood Hotel Group
Beechwood Lakeland Hotel II, LLC owns and manages Staybridge Suites Lakeland, Hilton Garden Inn Lakeland, and Hampton Inn Bartow. The company also manages eight other properties throughout the U. S. The new Staybridge Suites in Lakeland offers a more innovative hospitality experience in this market by meeting the needs of extended-stay travelers visiting for business or leisure travel. Staybridge is conveniently located next to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport and features a total of 79 suites.
Marci Johnson is the Regional Director of Sales for the Hilton Garden Inn Lakeland, Hampton Inn Bartow, and the NEW Staybridge Suites Lakeland. Marci has over 20 years of hotels sales experience in different markets in the United States including: California, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina and now Florida. She has always enjoyed serving on the tourist development and lodging association committees. Email
Bernie Little Distributors
Bernie Little Distributors is a locally owned beverage wholesaler since 1972. With 150 employees, 2 locations and 68,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space, the distributorship services Polk, Hardee, Highlands, and Okeechobee Counties. Since 2010, Bernie Little Distributors has been honored by Anheuser-Busch as an Ambassador of Excellence.
Biller Reinhart Engineering Group
BillerReinhart Engineering Group, founded in 2001, performs such tasks as site assessments, report preparation, structural analysis, structural design, deposition testimony, appraisal hearing testimony, and trial testimony. Robert J. Reinhart and Michael H. Biller actively manage the firm which has grown to a team of engineers with over 180 years of combined experience.
Robert J. Reinhart
Robert Reinhart, PE has extensive experience in the fields of structural engineering and building envelope consulting. Mr. Reinhart is a licensed professional engineer in Florida, Mississippi, Indiana, North Carolina, and Alabama with 25 years of experience. He serves as a consultant for legal issues involving buildings and other structures, including structural failures, building settlement related damage, storm/wind damage, insect damage, fire damage, and vehicular impact. Email
BKS Partners (Lanier Upshaw)
BKS Partners formerly Lanier Upshaw is one of Florida's largest privately-held providers for insurance and risk management. Founded in 1941, the company has grown to 70 employees in Lakeland and Tampa. BKS Partners offers unique risk management services with the appropriate insurance coverage for clients. The insurance provider can be an advisor, claims advocate, premium negotiator, and coverage designer. Simplifying employee benefits is also a way BKS Partners can resource clients in order to recruit top talent.
Blue Steel Development
Headquartered in Lakeland, FL, Blue Steel Development (BSD) is a privately held, commercial real estate development firm specializing in build-to-suit and speculative industrial projects.
- Pre-construction services
- Construction management
- Design and build
- General contracting
- Site development
When you work with BSD you see progress from the start. You’re not relying on a series of vendors to provide answers or waiting on what is often a lengthy back-and-forth process between outside parties to see progress. We move swiftly, eliminating all of the extra layers that are typically involved with other developers.
As a result, our clients realize significant savings in both time and money as resources are leveraged to complete projects expeditiously. We have worked with several Fortune 500 clients including FedEx Freight, The Home Depot, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ikea.
Blue Steel Development is your single source solution for your project vision. Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of working with an experienced and turnkey developer.
As a licensed certified General Contractor, Howard presents added value to clients when working with BSD in the development of their projects. His success in this arena is evidenced by the more than $1 billion in retail and industrial projects he has managed throughout the Southeast.
Boring Business Systems
Boring Business Systems is your comprehensive resource for all of your business needs, with one number to call for networking, electronic document storage, scanning, printing, copying, and faxing solutions. The company has gone through many changes over the last 90 years, growing with the times and the Lakeland community. Today, Boring Business Systems is located just east of downtown Lakeland in a historic building, not far from where the company was originally founded in 1924, and has over forty-five employees providing managed business services in Polk, Hillsborough, Highlands, & Hardee Counties.
Dean Boring is CEO of Boring Business systems. Dean grew up in the company, which was started by his grandfather in 1924 as Lakeland Typewriter & Supply Co. His focus on customer service is a value that has been passed down through generations of the Boring family. Dean has a history of serving the Lakeland community including public service as a city commissioner and member and officer on the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority. He encourages team members to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of others. Email
Brennan Investment Group
Brennan Investment Group is a value add industrial property owner led by a team of industrial specialists. The group has a national portfolio throughout major regions of the United States including Central Florida.
Robert J. Krueger
Robert J. Krueger is a Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Brennan Investment Group. He is responsible for industrial property transactions in Central Florida. Mr. Krueger is among the most accomplished industrial professionals in the Florida market, with 37 years of experience in construction, development, and acquisitions. From 1997 to 2009, Mr. Krueger was the key executive in building First Industrial’s portfolio in Central Florida. During his tenure with First Industrial Mr. Krueger acquired and developed over 5 million square feet of industrial and flex space in the Florida market for such tenants as Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Caterpillar Tractor, Haverty’s Furniture and Walgreen’s. Before leaving First Industrial, Mr. Krueger was in charge of managing First Industrial’s Florida portfolio of nearly 3 million square feet, and 821 acres, in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Email
Bobby Krueger is an Associate with Brennan Investment Group. In this capacity Mr. Krueger is responsible for financial and market analysis of industrial developments, single-tenant net leases, and corporate real estate acquisitions across Florida. While at Brennan Investment Group, Mr. Krueger has assisted in the acquisition, development, and recapitalization of over $170 million in transactions totaling approximately 3.7 million square feet.
Mr. Krueger graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Real Estate. He is a member of NAIOP and a licensed Real Estate Associate in the State of Florida. Email
Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc. (formerly Heacock Insurance)
Brown & Brown Insurance was founded in 1939 as a two-partner firm and has risen to become one of the largest insurance brokerages in the world. With a team that is as connected...
Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc. (formerly Heacock Insurance)
Brown & Brown Insurance was founded in 1939 as a two-partner firm and has risen to become one of the largest insurance brokerages in the world. With a team that is as connected locally as it is nationally, Brown & Brown provides the personalized, dedicated service you want from a boutique agency while delivering the peace of mind that you expect from a top brokerage.
Brandon Silk is a Commercial Insurance Producer at Brown & Brown, specializing in providing insurance and risk management solutions to businesses. With a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Polk State College, he brings a strong foundation in critical thinking and effective problem solving to his role. Beyond his professional responsibilities, Brandon actively contributes to his community as a current or former board member for organizations such as the Lakeland Kiwanis Club, Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, Camp Fire, The Wilson House, and EMERGE Lakeland. Alongside his high school sweetheart, Marissa, Brandon resides in Eagle Lake, with their two dogs. Email
Stacey Heacock Weeks
A Central Florida native, Stacey Heacock Weeks has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry after obtaining her degree in Risk Management and Insurance from Florida State University in 1995. Stacey’s current role is as Profit Center Leader for the Heacock Team of Brown & Brown, with offices in Lakeland and Sebring. Community involvement has been an important part of Stacey’s professional journey having served as the Chair for Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Board in 2022 and on various boards and committees for organizations throughout her career. Email
Buckner Commercial Properties
Whether a client is leasing, buying or selling a property, Buckner Commercial Properties will negotiate a fully competitive comprehensive arrangement, which meets the client’s goals and also covers the dozens of details that frequently make the difference in long-term satisfaction. Over the past 30 years David has served many well-known local, regional and national companies in leasing and sales assignments for office and industrial properties.
David Buckner, SIOR, entered the commercial and industrial real estate brokerage business in 1984 and has exclusively serviced the Lakeland, Central Florida market since 1994. David is widely recognized as one of the markets most professional and knowledgeable commercial brokers. Email
CareerSource Polk is one of 24 Regional Workforce Boards within the State of Florida providing workforce employment and training assistance to the Polk county community. The non-profit corporation is dedicated to preparing and upgrading a skilled workforce helping thousands of businesses find employees and remain leaders within their industry.
Stacy Campbell Domineck serves as the President & CEO for CareerSource Polk. Stacy leads a workforce system consisting of two full service career centers, a Mobile Unit, an Administrative Office and an Employer Services division within the fourth largest county in land mass in Florida. Stacy joined Polk Works WorkForce 2020 as the Assistant Director and within 2 years was promoted to Program Director, where she remained for four years before her appointment as President & CEO of CareerSource Polk (formerly Polk Works) in September 2006. Ten prior years as a college administrator has enhanced her expertise in the areas of counseling/coaching, training, and facilities and process management. Email
Carpenter Company is the world’s largest producer of comfort cushioning products. The company may not be well recognized, but people come in contact with its products every day. Carpenter helps make carpet cushier, furniture cozier, and bedding more plush. Carpenter's guiding principles of continuous improvement, innovation, customer service and integrity are as important now as they were at its founding in 1948. Their commitment to these principles drives everything they do, every day, for every customer, and has made Carpenter Company a worldwide leader in the industry, the industries they serve and the products they deliver. Carpenter truly strives to bring comfort to life. The Lakeland operation employs approximately 200 employees on a 33 acres site with nearly 500,000 sq/ft of manufacturing under roof.
Clint Novotny is the general manager at Carpenter Company. He's been with the cushioning products company since 2001. Email
Catapult Lakeland, Inc. was established in 2013 to help fuel the formation and development of start-up companies and innovative ideas in the Lakeland, Florida area through educational and mentoring programs. Catapult provides an atmosphere for education, mentoring, training and accelerating innovative ideas to help entrepreneurs learn how to build stronger businesses. We provide educational opportunities and resources that allow entrepreneurs to pitch and flush out ideas to catapult their businesses to the next level, as well as identify technologies or business gaps and provide value-added solutions. Catapult is a place where ideas can be shared and problems can be solved in an entrepreneurial culture that encourages and fosters innovation for the betterment of the Lakeland community.
Rian Smith, SIOR is the senior member of CBRE’s Industrial Services brokerage team consisting of Kris Courier and Courtney Vestal. Combined, the team has over 30 years of experience in sales, leasing and underwriting of industrial facilities including; both landlord and tenant representation, land transactions and institutional and private investments.
Since 2005, Rian has consistently been one of the Top Brokers in the Tampa Bay region. Prior to joining CBRE, Smith served as Director for Cushman & Wakefield’s Industrial Brokerage Group in Tampa, where he oversaw a portfolio in excess of six million square feet. He holds a B.A. in marketing from Dominican College. Email
Since its inception, Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED) has focused on meeting its customers’ electrical requirements – one customer at a time. Even though CED has one of the nations’s largest electrical distribution networks with over 580 locations from coast to coast, CED still does business based on the needs of the individual. That’s the way it was when CED began in 1957; and that’s the way it will always be. CED’s policy of “Service, Integrity, Reliability” is the driving force in every community served. Customer service is given highest priority at each CED location. By combining an acute awareness of the local community’s needs with the support of CED’s nationwide resources, customers are assured of a consistently high level of service.
Brian Samson, the manager of CED/Raybro Lakeland, is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Email
Central Florida Development
Central Florida Development (CFD) is a full service real estate development, construction, and property management company. CFD acquires and develops office and industrial buildings, while also serving as the General Contractor. In addition, CFD serves as its own property manager, and compliments its in-house leasing expertise with third-party broker representation, creating a unique "single" point of contact for its customers.
Following graduation from upstate New York’s Alfred University in 1972, Rich assumed the roles of President and Chief Executive Officer of Russell P. LeFrois Builder, Inc, a company founded by his father. Rich plays a major role in every LeFrois project as the leader of his management team and continuously provides valuable direction to all phases of his construction and development projects. His dynamic technical skills as well as his enthusiasm, genuine integrity and passion for success, make him the driving force behind the LeFrois companies growing and prospering in a highly competitive environment. Rich has brought his proven strategy for successful commercial development and construction to Lakeland, Florida. Currently, Central Florida Development is developing 300 acres in the Lakeland area. Email
Central Florida SurgiCenter
Central Florida SurgiCenter is a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center where surgeons perform a broad range of outpatient procedures. The center offers a safe, convenient, alternative to inpatient hospitalization. Fully licensed by both the State of Florida and the federal Medicare program, the center serves both Polk and Hillsborough counties.
Jan Townsend has served as the administrator of Central Florida SurgiCenter for over twenty years. CFSC is a multi-specialty surgery center that is privately owned. CFSC provides surgical services for ophthalmology, ENT, orthopedic, pain, podiatry, GI, general surgery and plastic surgery patients. Email
Charter Communications is America’s fastest growing TV, internet and voice company. The organization is committed to integrating the highest quality service with superior entertainment and communications products. Charter is at the intersection of technology and entertainment, facilitating essential communications that connect more than 26 million residential and business customers in 41 states. The bedrock of Charter’s business strategy is their commitment to serving customers and exceeding their expectations. This philosophy guides its 94,000 employees.
Chris is experienced in government administration, nonprofits, politics, policy analysis, and strategic planning. He joined Charter in 2018 and is the Director of State Government Affairs for Florida. Email
At Chastain-Skillman, we have one goal…to surpass our client’s expectations, combining innovative engineering, local expertise, and steady communication to deliver results that stand the test of time. Whether the project involves private development or public infrastructure, Chastain-Skillman will do it right, the first time, on time, and within budget. Our client’s success is the pendulum upon which we measure our success.
Jay Chastain was recently named the President of Chastain-Skillman, Inc. Jay is the third generation to assume the role of President as he carries on the tradition of his grandfather Roy Chastain, who founded the firm 65 years ago. Like his father, Jim, Jay was a fixture around the office during his teen years and learned much about the firm’s operations and computer systems from an early age. Under Jay’s leadership the firm went through a complete rebranding and implementation of a state-of-the-art IT system. Jay received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Florida and is a proud Gator. In addition to his involvement with the firm, Jay is an active in the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association, United Way, Leadership Winter Haven. Email
Cidrines Bakery is the undisputed leader in the bread and pastry market in Puerto Rico. We meet the daily needs and preferences of the bread and pastry market by supplying products and services of unbeatable value. At our plant in Arecibo we produce over 300,000 pounds of bread and over 200,000 items of pastry every week. More than quantity, the priority at Cidrines has always been quality which together with our commitment of innovation and creativity makes up our successful business model. We opened our US Baking Operations in Lakeland, FL in 2022.
We work hard every day to bring you the well made product that you deserve – a product that you can get hot and fresh at the precise moment that you want it and at your favorite store. Creativity, innovation, excellence and quality – that is our secret recipe. Our vision consists of providing a unique experience to our customer.
Citrus Connection-Mass Transit
Public transit in Polk County is provided by the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District, operating as Citrus Connection, which includes all public transportation within the county, as well as all paratransit service. For years, public transit was made up as three agencies operating independently of each other, creating some challenges for riders who want to utilize the transit system throughout the county. Today, those services, personnel and assets are together working to bring you a top quality transit system under one simplified banner, Citrus Connection. The latest Citrus Connection initiative is Re-Route 2020, a plan to provide more options for citizens and employees with a user-friendly bus system.
Tom Phillips is the Executive Director of the Lakeland Area Mass Transit District a/k/a The Citrus Connection and the Polk Transit Authority. Tom came to Citrus Connection from Michigan City, Indiana in August of 2011. He was employed at PACE Suburban Bus in Arlington Heights, Illinois as Senior Project Manager II, Paratransit Operations Support. He managed the largest US Paratransit site and nation’s largest Trapeze Paratransit site. He has a fixed route background from previous employment. Tom grew up in Minnetonka, Minneapolis before he earned his degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. He has been married to his wife Michelle since 2001. Email
City of Lakeland
More than 250,000 people live in the Lakeland urban area. The City of Lakeland owns Lakeland Electric, Lakeland’s Airport, the RP Funding Center, and employs over 2,600.
Mayor Bill Mutz
Bill Mutz, a native of Indianapolis and an Indiana University graduate, moved to Lakeland in 1996 where he became President of the Lakeland Automall. In 2012, Bill left the Lakeland Automall and took on the role of Managing Partner for both Greenstar Panels & Greenovative Homes. Then, in 2014, Bill became a Senior Consultant for Claridge Associates, where he remains today. Mayor Mutz and his wife, Pam, have been married for over 40 years and are parents of 12 children and have 19 grandchildren. Email
Prior to this appointment as City Manager, he served as Deputy City Manager for 2 years and as Assistant City Manager for 2 years prior to that promotion. Shawn has an A.A. degree in Public Administration from Polk State College, a B.A. in Management from Warner University, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Florida. Shawn is a lifelong resident of Lakeland; he is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland Class XXXVII and Leadership Polk Class IV. He serves as Treasurer for Leadership Polk Alumni Association. He also serves on the Camp Fire Sunshine Youth Development Central Florida Board of Directors. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the Florida City/County Management Association (FCCMA), having served on the Board of Directors in 2018 – 2019. Email
Clark, Campbell, Lancaster, Workman & Airth, P.A.
Clark, Campbell, Lancaster, Workman & Airth, P.A. is a general business firm with numerous Board certified attorneys whose practice areas include real estate development, purchase, sale, and lease transactions; title work; business law and transactions; land use and entitlements; mergers and acquisitions; tax, estate planning, probate, wills and trusts; commercial loan transactions; and commercial and real estate litigation.
Tim Campbell is a partner with the firm. Tim received his law degree from the University of Florida Law School in 1988. Tim is certified as an expert in both Real Estate Law and Local Government Law by the Florida Bar Board of Specialization, and practices primarily in the areas of Commercial Real Estate Development and Transactions; Land Use, Entitlements and Regulatory Law; Business Law and Transactions; Commercial Lending; and Environmental Law. Email
CNP consults with clients on advertising, brand development and online marketing projects in a variety of industries, including financial services, education, tourism, economic development and agriculture.
Alex Nikdel is President and a second generation partner at Clark/Nikdel/Powell (CNP). A Polk County native and graduate of the University of Florida, Alex has 15+ years of experience as a digital marketing consultant and led CNP’s transition from a traditional advertising design shop into a modern, digitally-focused marketing agency. He has prior experience at a search engine and online directory, a software development company and as a consultant in Walt Disney World’s Industrial Engineering department. Email
Colliers International-Tampa Bay
The Colliers team represents users, tenants and owners of industrial properties in Tampa Bay and the I-4 Corrridor. They are experienced in logistics and distribution, manufacturing, food services, cold storage and freezer facilities, retail and furniture distribution and environmentally impaired/ Brownfield Properties and have an extensive background in site development, land, portfolio leasing and industrial valuation and disposition. Clients current and former include First Industrial, ProLogis, The Rockefeller Group, Brennan Investments, Havertys, Ashley Furniture, Winn Dixie, Wells Fargo, IndCor, GLP, First Industrial, Duke Realty Services, Americold Logistics, Uriah Urban Farms, TA Associates.
Ed specializes in industrial sales, leasing, site selection, land and investment sales. a 20+ year veteran of the Tampa real estate market, he was managing partner of Corporate Real Estate Services prior to its merger with Colliers International Tampa Bay Florida. Ed’s specialties include market studies, valuation, acquisition, disposition, leasing, consultation and repositioning to increase value. He understands logistics and site layout. His market knowledge is thorough and current, with a history of personal experience, and interesting stories, on every industrial building and parcel of commercial land between Tampa and Orlando. The Miller/Seymour team has been recognized as an effective blend of experience, market knowledge, strategic planning, negotiation skills and process management. Email
Colorado Boxed Beef
Colorado Boxed Beef is a premier protein distributor in the United States and internationally. The company supplies the leading independent and chain grocery stores, cruise lines, food service distributors, restaurants, the United States Military, amusement –theme parks and many other food purveyors with quality products, competitive pricing and superior service. Partners home and abroad rely on our meat distribution expertise to complete more than 6,000 deliveries per week with a 99% on time and order completion rate.
John Rattigan is president and CEO of Colorado Boxed Beef with over twenty years of experience with the distributor. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida's College of Business Administration. Email
Core Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Core Wealth Advisors provides financial and tax planning, asset protection consulting, and wealth management services all in one place. We pride ourselves on partnering with our clients to deliver a crafted financial advisory experience encompassing all facets of our clients’ lives. As a fee-only fiduciary advisor, we sell no investment products. At CORE, clients gain access to our entire team which includes CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS) team members. CORE knows indiscriminate financial plans don’t work for individualized goals, and we aim to remove the clutter and confusion from our clients’ financial life so they can focus on their next step.
Chuck Foss is a co-founder of Core Wealth Advisors, Inc., a Certified Public Accountant and a Personal Financial Specialist, a designation recognized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He currently serves as the managing partner and focuses on strategic direction of the firm. He is also an integral member of the firm’s investment committee, and as a Financial Advisor enjoys working closely with clients to provide pathways for clients to achieve their goals. Chuck came to Lakeland in 1976 to attend Florida Southern College. He and his wife Lisa have two grown children, Ashley and Andrew, who both reside in Lakeland. They enjoy spending time with family and traveling to the mountains with their two Labrador retrievers, Bailey and Sadie. Email
CPS Investment Advisors
CPS Investment Advisors is a fee-only, independent financial advisory firm that began in Lakeland over forty years ago. Building trusting and long-lasting relationships with clients is the key to designing comprehensive financial plans that deliver long-term security and success.
James M. Luffman, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), currently serves as a Financial Advisor at CPS Investment Advisors. His professional journey commenced in Washington D.C., where he assumed the role of Operations Manager in the $3 billion Trust Department of American Security Bank. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Florida State University and is recognized by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a board-certified PFS. Furthermore, he has earned the Certificate of Educational Achievement in Personal Financial Planning. Jim's tenure with CPS dates back to 1986, affording him extensive expertise in investments, financial planning, accounting, and taxation. He is a seasoned lecturer, frequently sharing his insights on financial planning and investments. Email
Derek M. Oxford, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™️ and ACCREDITED ESTATE PLANNER, brings his extensive financial expertise to CPS Investment Advisors as a certified financial planner and accredited estate planner since 2008. Derek's educational background includes a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Florida State University, which he earned in 2004. With over two decades of experience in estate and financial planning, Derek has honed his skills to provide exceptional guidance to clients. Before joining CPS, Derek played a pivotal role on the 529 college planning team at Fidelity Investments and held a prestigious position on the institutional trading desk at Merrill Lynch. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Derek is deeply committed to his community and has made a significant impact by serving on various non-profit boards across diverse sectors, including education, special needs organizations, economic development agencies, and leadership programs. Email
A Philosophy Based on What’s Right, Not What’s Easy.
Creative Contractors Project Portfolio
Joshua M. Bomstein is President of Creative Contractors Inc., a leading commercial contractor building throughout West Central Florida. With annual volume in excess of $150M, Creative is consistently ranked in the Top 5 of construction firms by size in the region. Focused on healthcare, education, municipal, recreation, and cultural markets, clients include such notables as Lakeland Regional Health System, University of South Florida, Tampa General Hospital, Saint Leo University, BayCare Health System, Moffitt Cancer Center, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Pinellas County Schools, and Pasco County Schools. Josh is active in the Tampa Bay community with board service to multiple non-profits. Josh was born and raised in Dunedin, FL. He is a graduate of Emory University and currently lives in Tampa with his wife, Lindsay, son, Will, and daughters, Phoebe and Isabel
Criterion Calibration Services
Criterion Calibration Services, LLC. is a calibration startup with the purpose to provide a unique calibration experience to businesses of Lakeland and the surrounding cities of Polk County, and the state of Florida. With over a decade of experience in various industries such as aerospace, automotive, and industrial. With variety of skills and diverse backgrounds in test, inspection, and validation of tools, instruments and test equipment.
Christopher is the Calibration Manager and Owner of Criterion Calibration Services, LLC. A startup calibration lab in the city of Lakeland. Prior to his start as a entrepreneur, about 10 years ago Christopher was given an opportunity to learn about the calibration industry. Since then he has worked to develop an in-house calibration lab and at the age 18 and created an ISO complaint organization within the aviation industry. Email
Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. A market leader in the I-4 corridor, the firm is consistently ranked among the region's top brokerage firms and property managers since opening offices in the Tampa and Orlando over 35 years ago. Over the past several decades, Cushman & Wakefield has grown to employ close to 200 professional team members in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas who provide expertise in all of the company’s vertically integrated services.
Jared Bonshire joined Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. in September of 2006 as a brokerage associate, a hire as part of the Junior Executive in Training program. As a part of this program, Jared was able to experience and learn from some of the best brokers in the business in all phases of commercial real estate. During his career, Jared has completed retail, office, industrial, property management and capital market transactions because of this well rounded tutelage. In 2008, Jared decided to focus on Industrial Real Estate with a newly formed partnership with Lee Morris, one of the leading brokers in the Orlando market. Since coming together as a team, they have consistently proven themselves as market leaders on a production basis. Email
Jessica Mizrahi, SIOR is a broker on the Central Florida Cushman & Wakefield Industrial team. This team is the #1 industrial leasing and sales team where they collectively collaborate and oversee more than 14.5 million square feet of agency work throughout the region. In 2021, Mrs. Mizrahi together with the Tampa industrial team completed nearly 107 transactions equating to 12 million square feet of industrial space leased and estimated $2 billion in transaction value. Mrs. Mizrahi was ranked among the top 20 producing brokers in the Tampa C&W office in 2021.
As a trusted real estate advisor, it’s Mrs. Mizrahi’s goal to develop strategic plans to help capitalize on real estate services at industrial properties and achieve tenant satisfaction and retention by helping clients improve value, maximize cost savings, minimize risk and enhance their bottom line and grow their portfolios. Mrs. Mizrahi utilizes market analysis, leasing strategies, and best in class marketing materials to deliver exceptional results for her client’s. She is committed to promoting successful symbiotic relationships between the Tenant and Landlord. She has a strong foundation of industry knowledge and experience to guide both occupiers and clients make effective real estate decisions to achieve their business goals. Email
Dynamic Security of Florida
Dynamic Security of Florida provides consultative and design services for unique security solutions based on the needs of the client. The company specializes in designing access control, surveillance, intrusion detection, fire, and communications solutions for its clients, whether they be a local business or an international corporation. Dynamic prides itself on being centered around the open systems model, which mean clients are not locked into proprietary-based systems.
Ricardo Rivera is the general manager at Dynamic Security of Florida, responsible for projects in North and South America (Unlimited Electrical Contractor, LIC# EC13007202). He moved to Florida in 2015 and opened Dynamic Security of Florida, a branch of the New Jersey-based company, Dynamic Security. With over 21 years of experience in the security industry, Ricardo loves working alongside clients to design security systems that fit their individual needs. Email
Emily Rogers Consulting+Coaching
Since 2013, we have been dedicated to helping leaders and teams grow and realize their full potential in purposeful and balanced ways.
The 3 primary ways we serve leaders and teams:
Executive coaching designed to grow capacity to lead with excellence and achieve measurable results.
Team coaching and development intended to align teams around a common vision, build trust, foster collaboration, propel innovation, and strengthen engagement – resulting in increased accountability and accelerated progress toward the results that matter most to your organization.
Leadership development training designed to strengthen emerging leaders as they transition into management roles as well as experienced leaders as they gain broader responsibility for organizational success.
Our decades of real-world business experience, post-graduate education, and advanced training in executive coaching, team coaching, experiential learning, and mindfulness qualify us to be your trusted guide.
In 2013, after more than 4 years of C-suite experience and a dozen years advising Fortune 100 brands, professional sports teams, entertainment properties and global nonprofits on the business of sponsorship, Emily left her role as President & Chief Growth officer of IEG to focus her energy on developing leaders and teams. Her business, Emily Rogers Consulting + Coaching, exists to support leaders and teams in growing and realizing their full potential in purposeful and balanced ways. As an executive coach, she is passionate about emboldening leaders. For more than a decade, Emily has had the privilege of partnering with over 500 leaders across a myriad of industries, walks of life, and stages of careers – from young high-potentials, to entrepreneurs, to senior executives and CEO’s at Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 companies. As a leadership development trainer and team coach, she has facilitated more than 350 workshops and retreats. What lights her up is seeing how inner transformation creates positive outer change and powerful ripple effects across relationships, organizations, and communities. Email
Fairfield Inn & Suites Lakeland/Plant City – Hotel
The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott is owned and operated by Shaner Hotels which operates over 50 hotels in the USA and abroad. The 87 room hotel offers amenities such as comp...
Fairfield Inn & Suites Lakeland/Plant City – Hotel
The Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott is owned and operated by Shaner Hotels which operates over 50 hotels in the USA and abroad. The 87 room hotel offers amenities such as complimentary full hot breakfast buffet, free Wi- Fi, business center and complimentary local shuttle service just to name a few. Marriott and Shaner hotels are committed to each and every account and guest …offering personal service in the Marriott Tradition.
Angel is the Director of Sales for the Fairfield Inn and Suites which serves the Lakeland and Plant City communities and businesses. Angel has over 15 years of hotel, sales, and food & beverage experience in the local market. Email
Farm Credit of Central Florida
Farm Credit of Central Florida is a federally chartered, locally owned and operated cooperative. Farm Credit of Central Florida serves the agricultural and rural communities across thirteen Central Florida counties: Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Sumter, Lake, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Brevard. Farm Credit borrowers have long enjoyed the benefits of doing business with local offices, where people know their business, their community, and their market. We are headquartered in Lakeland and have brick and mortar locations in Apopka, Brooksville, and Plant City.
Farm Credit of Central Florida is part of the larger Farm Credit System, which is a nationwide network of borrower-owned lending institutions and specialized service organizations providing loans to farmers, ranchers, rural homeowners, aquatic producers, timber harvesters, agribusinesses, and agricultural and rural utility cooperatives. The Farm Credit System has been in existence since 1916.
Reggie Holt became the CEO of Farm Credit of Central Florida in April 2008. Reggie joined Farm Credit in 1982 and has spent his entire career serving the American farmer and rural communities. During his career with Farm Credit Reggie has had the opportunity to serve in various instrumental roles including branch manager, Area Vice President and SVP of Agribusiness Lending. Reggie has an MBA from Florida Southern College and a BA in Business Administration from East Carolina University. He is a graduate of the Graduate School of Baking at Louisiana State University and the Wedgworth Leadership Institute at the University of Florida. Reggie is an active member of the Plant City Rotary Club.
Johan Dam is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Risk Officer for Farm Credit of Central Florida. Johan began his career in the financial services industry in 1996 and eventually joined Farm Credit of Central Florida in 2007. Since joining Farm Credit of Central Florida Johan has held roles as a commercial loan officer, Chief Relationship Manager, Special Assets Manager, investment portfolio manager, and Director of Capital Markets. Johan holds a B.S. in Organization Management and Finance from Warner Southern College and an M.B.A. from the University of Florida and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $133 billion in assets and operates 15 affiliates with 1,309 full-service Banking Centers. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors.
Katrina is Vice President, Middle Market Relationship Manager and Market Manager for Fifth Third Bank serving Polk County and surrounding areas. A native Floridian, Katrina holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Troy State University. Katrina is experienced in small business and commercial lending, starting her career with Barnett Bank over 30 years ago. Email
Committed to cultivating community development strategies, managing community partnerships and providing impactful financial services and products leading to financially healthy people and sustainable communities. Also, responsible for managing and leading the region's compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act with thoughtful programs and partnerships supporting economic development and small business lending, affordable housing and home ownership initiatives as well as supporting efforts to improve the quality of life for underserved communities. Email
Florida Polytechnic University
Florida Poly is the newest of the state’s 12 public universities and the only polytechnic university in the State University System of Florida. A rigorous curriculum, advanced research equipment, and a focus on solving industry problems with creative solutions is contributing to the growth of a highly skilled technical workforce.
Dr. Randy Avent
Dr. Randy K. Avent is the founding president of Florida Polytechnic University. Dr. Avent brings a wealth of experience as an administrator, scientist, scholar, professor and researcher whose background includes serving in leadership roles at some of the nation’s top research universities and at the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to coming to Florida Poly, he was the Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and a Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Avent is responsible for the development and operation of the university and is committed to strategically developing Florida Poly as a research and jobs university, an agent for growth, and a beacon for the economy. Email
Maggie Mariucci currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of University Relations for Florida Polytechnic University. Maggie is a 5th generation Polk County resident and brings extensive knowledge of the community and the region to the University. She has had a fifteen year career focused on public affairs, community relations and development. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and has a BS in Public Relations. Email
Florida Southern College
Florida Southern College, the oldest private college in Florida, ranks among the nation's top colleges and universities. Features such as a thriving residential campus life, outstanding academics, engaged learning opportunities, and robust financial assistance produce students with the ability to solve real-world challenges.
Dr. Anne Kerr
Dr. Anne Kerr became the seventeenth president of Florida Southern College in June 2004. Prior to her presidency, Dr. Kerr held several distinguished positions in higher education administration, including vice president at the University of Richmond, vice president at Rollins College, and dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins. Dr. Kerr holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from The Florida State University and a B.A. from Mercer University. She is active in numerous arts and civic organizations and serves on the boards of SunTrust Bank, Mid-Florida; EarthLinked Technologies, Inc.; the Polk Museum of Art; and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Email
A graduate of Louisiana State University’s Ourso College of Business Administration, Terry holds the MBA degree from Florida Southern College. He has served Florida Southern College’s department for business affairs for 28 years. As the Vice President for Finance and Administration, his areas of oversight include all financial operations, administrative technology, construction, facilities maintenance, and auxiliary services. He currently serves on the City of Lakeland’s Utility Committee and previously served on the Planning and Zoning Board and the Historic Preservation Board.
Flowers Foods, ButterKrust Bakery
The bakery is a subsidiary of Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO). ButterKrust Bakery produces Nature’s Own, Wonder, and Merita breads and buns, and Cobblestone Bread Co. specialty breads that are sold to retail and foodservice customers throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas by other Flowers bakeries.
Government Employees Insurance Company began with a customer base of U.S. government employees and the military. Today the company provides insurance to a wide range of customers. A subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Fortune magazine has named this property-casualty insurance operation the most admired in the country.
Pionne Corbin is senior vice president of GEICO, with oversight responsibilities for GEICO’s Lakeland, Midwest, and Macon Southeast locations. Before taking on her current duties in 2018, Corbin had been regional vice president with responsibility for all operations in GEICO’s Buffalo, New York, regional office since 2016. Corbin graduated cum laude from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in economics. Email
Angela Rinella is vice president with responsibility for all operations in the Lakeland, Florida, regional office of Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). Prior to assuming her current duties in 2019, Rinella had served as vice president of claims in the company’s corporate headquarters in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with responsibility for all of GEICO’s claims operations since 2017. Rinella began her GEICO career in 2002. Rinella has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Medaille College. Email
GMF Steel Group, headquartered in Lakeland, Florida, also has offices in Orlando, Lake Nona, Tampa, Melbourne and Winston-Salem, NC. During our 40 years of business, we have become a premier provider of Structural Steel Design, Fabrication and Erection for the southeast United States. GMF has earned the opportunity to work along side many of the top general contractors in the country as well as working on several high profile projects such as Toy Story Land, Harry Potter World, JW Marriott, University of Florida Baseball Stadium, and more! GMF takes great pride in our tenacious work ethic, professionalism, and absolute commitment to customer service.
As Marketing & Public Relations at GMF Steel Group, Sara Taylor has a part in consistently innovating GMF's brand to be aligned with the standards of excellence. She also has the honor of being on the Talent Acquisition team where GMF is committed to developing A-Level Talent. After graduating college, Sara Taylor started as GMF’s Business Development Assistant where she monitored bid invitations and learned how to read construction drawings. After a year, she was promoted to Marketing & Public Relations where she now oversees social media, Talent Acquisition, supervises marketing interns, maintains promotional items, and coordinates events, recruiting, and branding.
Graham Packaging Co.
A global company that manufactures customized containers with the latest technologies. The Graham team can modify or invent materials, processes, or even new machinery, producing breakthroughs in virtually every plastic container category.
Kimberly Calvo serves as Graham Packaging’s Plant Controller in Lakeland, FL. Graham Packaging is a global leader in plastic packaging solutions. Graham serves customers large and small and offers a wide selection of stock bottles. Email
Chris Murray serves as Graham Packaging’s Plant Manager in Lakeland. Email
Grasslands Golf and Country Club
Grasslands, a private club in the heart of the Oakbridge community, provides members with the finest golf experience. The club offers an extensive collection of amenities including the golf course designed by Jerry Pate & Bob Cupp, a resort style swim & tennis club with five har-tru soft tennis courts, first class dining, event space, and warm hospitality.
Steve is the General Manager and PGA Director of Golf of Grasslands Golf & Country Club responsible for membership development and club operations. Steve has served the members of Grasslands since 1994 and is a PGA Master Professional and a member of the Club Managers Association of America. Email
GrayRobinson is a full-service law and lobbying firm with attorneys and government relations professionals throughout offices spanning the State of Florida and Washington, D.C. Our attorneys, consultants, and regulatory professionals provide legal and government relations services to our clients throughout Florida, our nations's capital, across the country and all over the world. GrayRobinson provides services to Fortune 500 companies, emerging businesses, lending institutions, local and state governments, developers, entrepreneurs and individuals.
David commenced the practice of law with the general practice department of a large firm in Miami, Florida. After practicing seven years in Miami, David moved to Lakeland, Florida, in 1997 to focus his practice in corporate business transactions. Presently, David is involved in corporate and business practice, including general corporate and business representation, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, tax, health care law, banking and wealth protection planning. Email
Jennifer is a senior associate in the Lakeland office, focusing her practice on litigation. Jennifer has extensive experience as a trial attorney, having tried more than 50 jury trials to completion and handled hundreds of motions before the court. Following her graduation from the Stetson University School of Law in 2010, she joined a boutique family law firm as an associate. Additionally, During her time as Assistant State Attorney, her cases ranged from home invasion robbery and drug trafficking, to DUI manslaughter and attempted murder. Her years spent as a trial attorney have helped mold her into a fierce advocate, a trait which she now uses to champion for her clients. Following her work in the State Attorney’s office, Jennifer served a public policy manager for child welfare where she took an active role in determining the impact of legislative and/or political activities at the federal, state, and/or local levels. Email
As a results based advertising and marketing agency, Great Impressions assesses a client’s existing marketing activity and works with clients to develop exceptional marketing initiatives designed to accelerate customer and revenue growth. Our range of services include:
Social Media Management
Media Planning & Buying
Design and Print
Logos and Branding
Point of Sale
Displays, Events, Exhibitions
Displays & Stands
John is an international advertising and marketing consultant. He works with Business Owners, Board Directors, and Marketing Managers to develop results-based integrated sales and marketing plans. He also provides advertising and marketing services through his advertising agency, Great Impressions. With a career spanning 40 years, John has worked for several leading advertising agencies, including Lintas and BBDO, managing campaigns in the UK, Middle East, North Africa, and the US markets. During this time, John has provided services to some of the world's leading brands. Notably, British Airways, British Petroleum, DHL, DP World, Emaar, Emirates, FrieslandCampina, Fonterra NZ, Géant Hypermarkets, General Motors, KLM, Mars, Microsoft, Pepsico, Qantas, and Unilever, to name a few. John moved to Florida in 2018.
Grindley Williams Engineering
Grindley Williams Engineering is a Florida-based, multi-disciplinary engineering firm offering structural design, forensic, geotechnical and geophysical engineering services. Since it’s beginning in 2015, GWE has grown from 13 employees to over 50, many of those being professional engineers. Our structural design team has partnered with architects, general contractors and developers throughout the southeastern U.S. to design more than 10 million square feet of tilt-up concrete warehouse buildings, high-end resort communities, banks, hotels, industrial structures and platforms. Alongside our structural design team, our geotechnical team designs and tests for construction projects including deep and shallow foundations, retaining structures, pond and pavement design for site development, subsurface remediation, and subsurface soil explorations for site suitability. Our forensic team is spread throughout the State of Florida, with offices currently opening in North and South Carolina, specializing in assessment of cause, origin, duration, and reparability of property damage from natural and unnatural perils. Our Geophysical team utilizes ground penetrating radar and other methods to assist in residential/commercial sinkhole studies, geotechnical site characterization, buried utility locating, underground storage tank locating and environmental studies.
Brett Blondell is a Business Development Associate for Grindley Williams Engineering and has worked in and around the construction industry for more than 10 years. Brett is a Lakeland native having attended Lakeland High School and Florida Southern College, where he played for the Mocs golf team from 2002-2006. Brett has acquired and managed a number of projects throughout the State of Florida. Email
Hamilton Engineering & Surveying, Inc. (HESI) is a civil engineering and surveying firm with more than 30 years of experience offering land planning, surveying and mapping, permitting, environmental, civil engineering, and drone services across Central Florida and the Gulf. HESI’s technical expertise includes rezoning, conducting a variety of surveys, designing master utility plans, permitting for local and federal agencies, stormwater modeling, and providing construction administration. Since the firm was established in Tampa (1989), it has expanded to a second office in Orlando, Florida. With a prominent presence in Central Florida, HESI’s services have significantly contributed to a variety of residential, commercial and industrial land development projects.
Jamie Hamilton is the Director of Business Development and Project Manager at Hamilton Engineering & Surveying, Inc. She started at HESI in 2016 as an Engineering Intern/Project Engineer working on stormwater drainage design, master utility design, stormwater modeling, grading, and paving design for large residential subdivisions and commercial projects. Ms. Hamilton is active in the Tampa Bay area and is a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Young Leaders Committee, Real Estate Investment Council (REIC), Young Professionals Committee, Society of Real Estate Professionals (SOREP), and Tampa Bay Builders Association (TBBA). She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and from University of Florida with a certificate degree in Geomatics. Ms. Hamilton expects to be a registered Professional Engineer by the end of 2020 and a Professional Mapper and Surveyor by 2024. Outside of the office, Ms. Hamilton is earning her pilot’s license and enjoys rollerblading on Bayshore Boulevard. Mail
Hancock Whitney understands that your ideals helps us deliver innovative financial services for your company. From operating accounts with great value to sophisticated financing, our job is to understand and anticipate the needs of your business. Hancock offers local expertise in all aspects of Commercial Banking, Treasury Services, International Banking, and specialized financial solutions.
A Florida native, Jason Holm was born in Ocala and moved to Lakeland in 1983. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1999 with a BA and earned his MBA from Webster University in 2008. Jason has been in banking since 2000; as commercial banker, he provides services in lending, cash flow conversion cycles, deposit needs and treasury management solutions that streamline efficiency. He has also worked as an adjunct at Florida Southern College teaching Managerial Finance for the Barney Barnett School of Business. When not at work Jason enjoys spending time with family, boating and fishing. Email
Harper Little Construction Mgmt
Harper Little has the dedicated team to complete all types of commercial construction. From design professionals, site contractors and qualified subcontractors, Harper Little has assembled Central Florida’s best team to complete your project. Our ability to self-perform key aspects of our projects allows us to be efficient with the budget and schedule. We have experience in all types of commercial construction and look forward to discussing how we can help with your company’s needs.
Harper Little Construction Management is a full-service design-build construction company in the commercial and residential market. Sean Harper has built over 150 custom homes, constructed numerous commercial projects and developed several residential communities throughout Polk County. Sean Harper graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1992. He was Polk County Builders Association Builder of the Year in 2013 and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Polk County Builders Association. Sean started in his family’s real estate business and has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He has built everything from 150 custom homes to commercial projects and numerous residential communities throughout Polk County. Sean holds a Florida Real Estate Broker’s License and Florida General Contractor’s License. Conservatism, faith and high ethical standards were instilled in Sean early on, and he continues promoting those values in his professional life today. His family is his life and motivation every day, and he works to provide the best experience for families throughout Polk County.
Harrell’s is a leading producer of quality custom blended fertilizers and distributor of chemicals and grass seed for golf course, sports turf, lawn care and horticulture industries. Harrell’s employs more than 300 service-minded employees, including 100 specialty golf, ornamental and turf & landscape products representatives living throughout the U.S. Harrell’s custom-blend fertilizer production exceeds 70,000 tons annually. They serve more than 10,000 customers in the U.S., across the Caribbean and Central and South America as well as the Middle East and Pacific Rim. Growth and success aside, the Harrell’s family remains focused on its 74-year mission: working hard to be the very best supplier and employer, all to further the glory of God’s kingdom.
Jack Harrell, Jr.
Jack Harrell Jr. is the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Harrell’s LLC based in Lakeland. Jack continues the tradition that his family began in 1941 of offering quality products and personal service. Email
Hauger-Bunch, Inc.-Commercial Real Estate
Hauger-Bunch, Inc. Realtors is a dynamic commercial, industrial and vacant land brokerage firm active within the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando. More than 800 Central Florida businesses have benefitted for over 45 years from the Hauger-Bunch in-depth knowledge of the area. The firm offers services in site assembly, sales and leasing, property development and site selection.
David has an extensive background in all phases of commercial real estate, including brokerage, management, development and consulting, with an emphasis on industrial land. He has been involved in the development of five corporate parks. A specialty of David’s is land assembly. He has assembled complicated sites for private uses, municipal, county, state, school board and college entities. David is currently involved, pro bono, in the organization and development of Bonnet Springs Park, a 200 acre multi-dimension park on the former CSX Railyards. He is a member of: SIOR, NAIOP and LAR. He is Past President of LAR, Salvation Army, Kiwanis, Polk Museum of Art and the YMCA. David is a graduate of Florida Southern College. David and wife Jean, an active volunteer, own and operate Bunch Ranch, a cattle operation, and popular go-to place for family and friend get-togethers. Email
Lisa Parks Abberger
Lisa is a Licensed Commercial Broker and industrial and land specialist with Hauger-Bunch, Inc. Realtors, the longest existing local commercial and industrial real estate firm in Polk County. Lisa’s work with HB has extended over 13 years servicing Polk County and eastern Hillsborough County markets. Unique among brokers, Lisa holds designations as both a SIOR (industrial specialist) as well as an AICP, a professional land planning designation, providing the ability to offer a specialized technical level of service to clients. She holds a Masters of Science in Planning, and was a Sr. Manager with Ernst & Young consulting. Lisa’s civic involvement includes serving as chairman of the Charter Commission for Polk County’s first public-referendum approved home rule charter, and she is known for her professionalism and sense of commitment to her clients. Email
Henkelman Construction, Inc.
Henkelman Construction, Inc. provides general contracting and construction management services throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The firm specializes in commercial and industrial construction working with a variety of clients including medical, churches, schools, universities, auto dealerships, and office. As President, Ron oversees the Business Development and Estimating departments within the organization. The company has received LEED(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation.
Ron Henkelman has been a certified General Contractor for over 35 years. After moving to Lakeland in 1980, armed with a degree in Building Construction from the University of Florida, Ron founded Henkelman Construction, Inc. in 1993. Email
Hill Ward Henderson
Since its inception in 1986, Hill Ward Henderson has grown steadily based on a client-centered philosophy. Today, the firm has over 100 attorneys offering a wide range of premier commercial legal services in nine different practice areas. Hill Ward Henderson also offers additional services such as: client advisories of legal and compliance updates, case law & legislative updates, professional development seminars, webinars, networking opportunities, and briefings regarding important legal issues or changes affecting business practices.
Kirsten Vignec is a Shareholder in the firm’s Corporate & Tax Group and practice Co-Chair of the Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group. She is currently active in both Florida and California. Kirsten’s practice primarily involves employee benefit matters, including legal matters associated with the design and administration of executive deferred compensation plans, welfare benefit plans, Section 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, and pension plans. Kirsten represents a number of tax-exempt entities as well as for-profit companies. She is a member of the Tax Sections of The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association, as well as the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar. Email
In the more than 30 years since its founding, IDX has
grown exponentially in products, services, employees, and culture. We provide limitless product types and imprint styles for promotional items, employee uniforms, onboarding kits, corporate gifts, and much more. But we are just getting started. Our vision is to be the best manufacturer of branded goods in the world. From idea to design to completion, every task begins and ends with talented people empowered to create the best work everyday.
IDX | Image Depot specializes in custom printed products such as screen-printed apparel, embroidered items, promotional products, and signage. Our promise of partnership - We do more than fulfill short-term product needs. We strive to become an extension of your internal teams, to understand who you are and how we can best serve you. We strive to understand your challenges, share your vision, and help you identify new opportunities. By intentionally building enduring, collaborative partnerships, we turn customers into clients, and clients into friends. The result is more fulfilling work, added value, and ultimately, our mutual sustained success.
I’m a “family man” with a burning passion for business and people. I’ve lived in Lakeland since high school and went to FSC for college. My wife and I love Lakeland, it’s close to everything and has a “small-town feel” with the opportunity and culture of a larger city. With two young children, there isn’t much time for hobbies but we love listening to live music and having dinner with friends. I am happiest when managing chaos and making a difference.
IGT prints lottery tickets for a majority of states in the U.S. and across the globe. Using a sophisticated production process, IGT is the global leader in gaming products.
Keith Cash is the vice president & general manager of IGT Instant Products and Services. Keith is responsible for overall management and leadership of IGT’s operation in Lakeland as well as developing and executing IGT’s global business strategy for instant lottery products. His leadership in the IGT organization is formed from more than 25 years of industry experience working with government run lottery organizations around the world. Before joining IGT, Keith began his career on the manufacturing floor and progressed through the ranks to vice president level positions in sales, product management, and operational areas. Keith’s educational background includes a BBA in Management & Marketing as well as an MBA in Management. Email
Rob Anderson is responsible for the day-to-day operations in the Lakeland instant game production facility including security, graphic design, game programming, prepress, quality control, printing, packaging, warehouse operations, and shipping/receiving. He has 15 years of lottery industry experience, and 23 years experience in production facility management. He also has a depth of knowledge in many printing technologies. Rob earned a BS in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University, and served for 9 years in the USAF. Email
Indie Atlantic Films
Indie Atlantic Films is a full service film production company made up of creative filmmakers. Based in Lakeland and Nashville, Tennessee. Indie uses quality production and beautiful storytelling to inspire others and leave a legacy that they're proud of.
Andy is founder and owner of Indie Atlantic Films. He has worked in video and digital media production for over 10 years and has produced films for clients all over the world. He has directed national TV shows and produced multiple commercial and brand story. Andy has also created films for many non-profit organizations locally and worldwide. He is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University and serves on several local and regional nonprofit boards. Email
JBT Corporation is a global technology solutions provider to the food processing and air transportation industries. Through the JBT FoodTech and JBT AeroTech segments, the company designs, manufactures, tests and services technically sophisticated systems and products. Headquartered in Chicago, JBT Corporation's large installed base of food processing systems and airport equipment provides the company with strong market positions within its major product lines.
Carlos Fernandez serves Executive Vice President of Customer Sustainability at JBT. He is a food processing technology executive and leader of global businesses, with demonstrated business acumen, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a reputation built on more than 20 years of experience. Aligns cost-effective solutions and transformational strategies that streamline processes and focus business growth in fast-paced, competitive environments. A compelling leader, who motivates teams to exceed aggressive business objectives. Email
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 91,000 as of March 31, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.
John Dunphy, Executive Vice President, is a 32-year veteran of the Tampa Bay industrial market. John leads the Tampa Bay industrial team, which handles occupier and investment sales for the greater Tampa Bay MSA. Prior to joining JLL, John was Managing Director of Industrial Services and Partner at Colliers International Tampa Bay specializing in the sale and leasing of user and investment property. Since 1988, he has sold and/or leased more than 12 million square feet of space and sold in excess of 20,000 acres of land, representing more than $2 billion in transaction value. John earned a B.A. in Finance from The University of South Florida. He received the CCIM designation from the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute and a SIOR designation from the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. Fewer than 2,000 commercial real estate brokers hold both of these prestigious designations. Email
Justin joined The Southern Group in 2018, bringing with him more than a decade of experience in government and political campaigns. Justin’s areas of expertise include agriculture, business regulation, charity regulation, consumer services, energy, food and beverage, natural resources, and water, among others. In addition to his role at Southern, Justin also serves as president of the Beer Industry of Florida, where he works to advance the policy priorities of Florida’s beer distributors.
Justin began his political career as deputy director of legislative affairs in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). During his tenure, he worked with House and Senate leadership to successfully transfer the more than $1 billion school nutrition program from the Florida Department of Education to FDACS. Additionally, he played a key role in developing and passing the state’s most comprehensive water policy in more than a decade.
Justin has run two statewide campaigns, first as the campaign manager for Adam Putnam’s successful 2014 reelection campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture. More recently, he served as chairman of the Florida Grown Political Committee, an organization supporting Adam Putnam’s run for governor. In this capacity, Justin was instrumental in helping to raise more than $37 million during the 2018 election cycle.
Justin lives in Lakeland, Florida, with his wife, Rachel, and their two children.
Keiser University is one of Florida's largest independent career universities. Founded to better serve adult learners seeking a career-focused education, Keiser now offers degrees in over 100 doctoral specialist, master's, bachelor's, and associate fields. In addition to the Lakeland campus, Keiser has locations in 20 other Florida communities.
Karen Steverson, JD, DBA
Dr. Steverson is currently the President of the Lakeland Campus with Keiser University. She has worked for Keiser 12 years, beginning as faculty then moving to the role of Academic Dean, and just prior to this recent appointment, she was the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, working with all campuses in the area of academic policies. She is a licensed attorney in Florida and handles pro bono cases and other specialized cases as time permits. She graduated with her DBA in Marketing through Keiser University, JD from Stetson University College of Law, MBA from Webber International University, and BA in Organizational Management from Warner University. She has a range of work experience, with over 20+ years in Higher Education, including adjunct faculty positions with Southeastern University, Webster University, Polk State College, and Warner University. She began her career with the former SunTrust Banks, where she worked for 11 years, and became the Branch Manager in North Lakeland the last 9 years of her career with them. Her legal career began at the State Attorney’s Office in Bartow. She enjoys music and time with family. Email
Keymark Corporation of Florida
In the Spring of 2014, Keymark invested $2.6 million in an extrusion press upgrade to our current large press in Lakeland. The aluminum extrusion press, capable of producing shapes up to 14″ in diameter, was equipped with a new state-of-the-art water quenching system, a double puller, and a kevlar belt conveyor handling system as well as improved cutting equipment. The upgrade improved its water quenching capabilities, production efficiencies, and surface finish quality as well as its cutting capabilities.
William L. Keller, III
William L. Keller, III is president of Keymark Corporation with operations in New York and Lakeland, FL. Email
Kimley-Horn & Associates
As one of the nation’s premier consulting engineering and land planning firms, Kimley-Horn provides a wide range of services to clients for the visible built environment and the less-visible elements related to these facilities. Working with both public- and private-sector clients, our engineers, planners, landscape architects, and environmental scientists bring a sense of urgency, an above-and-beyond mindset, and creative yet practical solutions that enable our clients to meet or exceed their project goals.
A third-generation Lakelander and active member of the business community, Mark Wilson is a graduate of Kathleen High School and the University of Central Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering. He started his career working alongside his father, engineer Robert Wilson, and joined North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn in 2002 to establish the firm’s Lakeland office. Mark is Sr. Vice President.
Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce
The Lakeland Chamber is the largest Chamber of Commerce in Polk County with over 1,400 investor businesses. The Chamber 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. Our investors capitalize on the contacts, resources and support provided by the Chamber.
Ryan currently serves as the Director of Business Advocacy and Engagement for the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his tenure with the Chamber, he served in several Student Services positions, most recently as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services for Keiser University. Ryan has volunteered his time in the Lakeland community as member of Career Source Polk Board, Rotary International, City of Lakeland Midtown CRA, the Building Healthier Polk Initiative, and Mid-Florida SHRM. Ryan received his Associate of Arts degree in Journalism from Polk State College, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of South Florida, and his M.B.A from Keiser University. Email
Lakeland Automall and their brands have been a part of the community for 70 years. Making Lakeland a better community as well as offering quality autos and service is a priority for the auto dealer.
Greg Balasco, Lakeland Automall President, has served in nearly every aspect of the auto industry in his 30 plus years. He joined the Lakeland Automall family in 2009 and took ownership in 2011. Lakeland Automall employs over 245 people and encompasses 16 acres on W. Memorial Blvd. Greg is married to Meredith who serves as commercial spokesperson. Email
Cory Neupauer, our Chief Financial Officer, started with Lakeland Automall on April 2, 2012 after spending 31 years with Asbury Automotive Group. He oversees all of our accounting operations as well as our financial reporting systems. Cory resides in Lakeland along with his wife Mary and their daughter Jillian. Email
Lakeland Downtown Dev. Auth.
The Lakeland Downtown Development Authority strives to help business owners, citizens, and visitors have the best downtown experience possible. The organization’s role has changed over the decades, as the city established additional CRA districts and the city commission became the CRA board. Today, the LDDA’s focus is more streamlined: Marketing – Maintenance – Management. The LDDA is an advocate for the businesses and property owners in its district, and oversees business development.
Julie Townsend is the Executive Director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority. Julie has been involved in advocating for and promoting Downtown for more than 10 years, first serving as a board member and then Executive Director of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership.”We want businesses to grow and prosper here and help by gathering data about the district and promoting it as a place to locate. We also communicate and facilitate a clean and safe community and work to enhance physical improvements.” Email
The municipal utility is the third largest public power utility in the State of Florida. Lakeland Electric is one of the first power systems established in Florida, dating back to 1889. Power is generated through two main power plants, including one of the most efficient coal-fired generation facilities in the southeast and one of the most efficient combined cycle natural gas generators in the nation. Lakeland Electric is dedicated to providing the community with exceptional service.
Mike graduated from Georgia Tech in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. He has held Engineering and Management positions with Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority and First Energy prior to accepting the role of Assistant General Manager of Energy Production with Lakeland Electric in 2015. He recently accepted the position of Interim General Manager of Lakeland Electric, effective April 14, 2022. This May, he and his wife, Teresa, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, and they have two daughters and two sons, the last of which will graduate from college this June. Email
Founded in January of 2019, Lakeland Leads is a 501c (3) nonprofit, independent, nonpartisan organization that produces research, and tangible public policy recommendations designed to help improve Lakeland’s K-12 education landscape and make Lakeland a better place to live, work and raise a family. In the K-12 education arena, Lakeland Leads promotes a high-quality education for all Lakeland children through finding the most promising and successful education reform initiatives from across America and supporting their launch or replication in Lakeland.
Dr. Melody Rider
Dr. Melody Rider is a dynamic operator with over 25 years of progressive experience and accomplishments in fast-paced education industry with experience in K-12 and higher education. Strategic leader with a proven history of maximizing revenue goals, bottom-line results, and improving key performance indicators. Results-driven blended with strong business acumen, leadership, marketing, and communication skills. Acknowledged team builder, community liaison and mentor, focused on training and developing staff to maximize potential. Inspires other to succeed. She was hired by Lakeland Leads to serve as their President in August 2022. Email
Lakeland Properties and Management
Lakeland Properties & Management was founded in 1978 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the property management business. As Lakeland’s largest professional property management firm, which today still remains a family owned and operated business, we continue to foster the mission to be the premier choice for residential property management services in our area. Our innovative business model integrates the customer service and management disciplines of the institutional property management industry at a local level.
Seth McKeel serves as Vice President of Lakeland Properties & Management. In addition to his work in property management, Seth has had a distinguished career in public service as a past Lakeland City Commissioner and a former Florida House Representative. A fifth generation Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida, Seth is committed to and engaged in the Lakeland community. Email
Lakeland Regional Health
Lakeland Regional Health, the fifth largest hospital in Florida, has a century old history. One of Lakeland's major employers, Lakeland Regional Health has a medical staff specializing in more than 25 specialties. Through a collaboration with Nemours Children's Health System, the health system offers pediatric specialty care in a variety of areas. Lakeland Regional is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, has had a pivotal role in Lakeland Regional Health becoming one of the leading health systems in the state and nation. Her expertise earned her prestigious inclusion among the nation’s Top 25 COOs in Healthcare for 2018, as selected by Modern Healthcare, and led to her selection as Lakeland Regional Health’s next CEO and President in January 2021. Ms. Drummond joined Lakeland Regional Health in 2013 and previously served as Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, overseeing strategic planning, business development and master facility planning. Email
Michael A. Spake, MHA, JD
Michael A. Spake, MHA, JD is the Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Compliance and Integrity Officer for Lakeland Regional Health. Educated in both law and health administration, Michael is responsible for the oversight and strategic management of governmental relations and community partnerships, as well as the creation, oversight and day- to-day operations of the Compliance & Integrity and Internal Audit Programs. Michael is a respected relationship builder who has helped to secure over $4 million in programmatic funding for the Family Health Center. He has successfully worked in partnership with legislators to mitigate Medicaid revenue reductions. He is also a member of the executive leadership team that is helping to establish a graduate medical education program. Email
Lakeland Square Mall-Brookfield Properties
Lakeland Square Mall is the largest shopping center in the area, and enjoys a prime location that is within walking distance of more than 1,500 homes. More than 140 retailers offer a wide array of choices for consumers. Combining shopping, dining, and entertainment provides a central gathering place for the community.
Lakeside Village is a 558,553 sf dynamic mixed-use complex that combines retail, hospitality, entertainment and office uses. Located in Lakeland’s upscale Grasslands area, its beautifully landscaped streets and courtyards encourage visitors to shop, dine, stroll and enjoy the vibrant, inviting village setting.
Kimberley Glerum, is a Plant City native with over 14 years of experience in retail property management as well as experience in new construction and development of residential and commercial projects. Kimberley is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. She is currently working towards obtaining her BS Degree as well as her real estate sales associates license. Email
LALToday is a digital media company and daily newsletter in Lakeland, Florida. LALToday is part of 6AM City, an organization built to engage local communities by creating new ways to consume, participate, and share local content. Through a conversational tone, editorial filter, and participatory approach, it strives to build communities driven by conversation, designed for maximum engagement.
Kaylee Holland is an Editor of LALtoday in conjunction with Abby Dell. Kaylee graduated from Southeastern University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations. She joined the team in August 2018, when LALtoday officially launched. Email
LBA Hotel Properties: Residence Inn & Courtyard
The Residence Inn is owned by BRE; the Courtyard is owned by Apple. Both hotels are managed by LBA Hospitality, which manages over 70 hotels in the lower 48 states. Both the Residence Inn and Courtyard hotels have 78 rooms. The Residence Inn is an all-suites hotel, boasting rooms with fully equipped kitchens and living space. The Residence Inn is perfect for any traveler, but is geared towards the extended stay guest. The hotel is perfect for project crews, insurance claims guests, business travelers, and sports families. The Residence Inn offers amenities such as complimentary full hot breakfast buffet, complimentary evening Social (The Mix) 3 nights a week, free Wi- Fi, business center, hot tub, pool, sports court and complimentary grocery shopping. Each suite provides a fully-equipped kitchen, living space, queen bed and pullout sofa bed. The hotel offers a complimentary hot breakfast daily, complimentary Wi-Fi, business center, fitness center, and our “Mix” on select evenings with food tastings and complimentary beer and wine. The Courtyard by Marriott is ideal for business and leisure travelers, and the Bistro serves breakfast and dinner at affordable pricing. Both the Courtyard and Residence Inn in Lakeland are located at the Lakeside Village Mall, and have been serving the community for more than 18 years.
Shirley McGovern is the Director of Sales for both the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott. She relocated to Lakeland in 2018 from West Palm Beach, lived in Miami and is originally from New York. She has 26 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has worked for IHG, Hilton, and Marriott properties. She is also bilingual and will be involved in local community events. Email
Courtyard Website Residence Inn Website
Lee and You
Robert Lee is a serial food and restaurant entrepreneur. Robert started in Lakeland owning China Max at Lakeland Square Mall’s food court and now has grown to operating Chinese Kitchens at five Publix Super Markets stores across Florida, including one at Lakeland’s Lake Miriam Square. His company Breezy Spring LLC also sells a line of bourbon chicken sauce and marinade, and a line of cold brew on-the-go green tea. Email
Lockheed Martin's financial services hub has employed hundreds in Lakeland for more than 25 years. The aerospace and global security company solves the world's toughest technology challenges. Nations around the world rely on Lockheed Martin to connect their citizens and advance scientific solutions through innovation.
Karen Turner is the Senior Manager of Billing and Fixed Assets Accounting for Lockheed Martin. She oversees a team that bills more than 300,000 invoices (approximately $42 billion) annually. In her current position, she is also responsible for the asset capitalization, maintenance, retirements, transfers and standard tax reporting for approximately $12.6 billion in gross assets. Karen has a diverse background in various staff and management positions and has held positions of progressive responsibilities in domestic and International Accounting and Finance. Karen began her career with IBM Federal Systems Division in Owego, N.Y. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Ala. and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Alabama A&M University as well as an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University. Email
Lone Palm Golf Club
Lone Palm Golf Club, established in 1964 by Publix Super Markets founder George Jenkins, offers 400 acres of beauty and nature on a championship golf course, fine dining, and flexible meeting space.
Wayne Raath serves as General Manager of Lone Palm Golf Club. Wayne earned a business degree in Sports Management at Florida Southern College as well as an MBA in Business Administration. He was a four time All-American golfer and a team member on three consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship Teams. After a brief professional golf career, Wayne joined Lone Palm as the controller and later was promoted to General Manager. His passion for golf fits very well with Lone Palm’s primary focus of promoting the game of golf. Wayne and his wife, Lori, have two daughters and live in Lakeland. Email
LoveLakeland is a non-profit organization dedicated to highlighting the energetic contributors in our community and taking action to improve our city and continue to encourage innovative thinking. It is LoveLakeland’s goal to shine a light on our community’s creative minds, inspirational leaders, activists, students and other engaged citizens in order to share our cities most brilliant resource–the people–with others. Because of these “CityMakers”, we live in a place that we are so lucky to call home.
R. Howard Wiggs began a storied career in public service when he was first elected to the City Commission on November 1, 1993; and became Mayor of the City of Lakeland on January 6, 2014; and
when Commissioner Wiggs assumed office, Sony Walkmans were everywhere, Sleepless in Seattle was a hit, Lawton Chiles was Governor; and electric cars were kid's toys.
Commissioner Wiggs became Mayor Wiggs after his election in November of 2013 and has since been committed to elevating the office of Mayor on a regional and statewide basis while representing the City at public functions continuously reminding people of how special a place Lakeland is and that it is a responsibility that all its citizens have, to preserve and protect its uniqueness; and Mayor Wiggs embraced his role as the City's ambassador, he became known for his positive attitude, for handing out Hershey kisses after meetings to his constituents and always rewarding citizens when they said the secret phrase "Love Lakeland" with a #LoveLakeland lapel pin; and Mayor Wiggs early on used up his "Mayors allotment for the creation of task forces," flaunting an unwritten rule for mayors that they each get 3, by creating a record number of task forces on various subjects thereby using up the allotment for future mayors thru year 2052.
Mayor Wiggs, throughout his tenure in public office, established himself as a moderate voice, one who recognizes the value of all citizens regardless of their clout or station in life, and as an advocate for City employees, an advocate for neighborhoods and for all citizens of Lakeland; and
Mayor Wiggs served with pride, honor, integrity and distinction -- having a major impact on what history will show will be some of the City's most important issues, such as the establishment of sound growth policies and planning, the renewed vibrancy of Downtown Lakeland, the Francis Langford Promenade, all of the Community Redevelopment Areas, Lakeland Regional Medical Center expansions and redevelopment, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, the RP Funding Center, numerous local and regional parks and recreational facilities, all projects that will serve Lakeland's citizens for decades to come; and was a relentless advocate and persistent voice for Home Rule in dealings with the state Legislature and was designated as a Home Rule Hero by the Florida League of Cities.
The Lunz Group is a full-service architectural and interior design firm headquartered in Lakeland. Since founding the firm in 1987, Edward Lunz has cultivated a values-driven culture that is grounded by a design-forward, client-first mentality. More than 30 years later, our firm continues to grow and innovate by creating a distinctive client-centered experience focused on delivering the best of our institutions’ talents, solutions and processes. Now with six office locations spanning coast-to-coast throughout Central Florida, the firm provides personalized service across the nation, serving global entertainment and aeronautics leaders, nationally recognized healthcare institutions, top-ranked educational research facilities, and more.
Bradley Lunz, AIA, LEED AP, GGP, NCARB joined The Lunz Group in 2008. Brad has over 15 years’ experience ranging from large commercial resorts development to higher education facility design. He is a registered architect in the state of Florida and Texas and a member of the Tampa Bay American Institute of Architects. Brad has a breadth of experience in resolving a client’s spatial and budgetary requirements while delivering a quality and creative design. Currently, Brad serves as President of The Lunz Group. Email
Steven has thirty plus years of experience as a licensed professional architect, battle tested in the arena of tackling tough problems. Steven’s forte is taking on clients with tight budgets and conceptual barriers and providing them with the vision, clarity, and confidence to maximize their return on investment. Steven is a registered architect in the state of Florida and California, and a member of the Tampa Bay American Institute of Architects. He is principal of The Lunz Group. Email
Marcobay Construction, Inc.
Marcobay Construction, Inc. is an employee owned general contracting firm headquartered in Lakeland. Founded in 1974, Marcobay is a leader in the construction industry with an emphasis in retail, industrial, institutional and office construction throughout the southeastern U.S. Marcobay Construction provides pre-construction, construction management, design/build and general contracting services to clients in every sector. The company self-performs its own concrete work including tilt up, place and finish, flatwork, and concrete paving. Marcobay brings a strong financial background to each project and our bonding capacity with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company exceeds $100,000,000. As the company continues to grow as a corporation, its attention to detail and dedication remain at the top of its priority list.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
Marriott Vacation Worldwide Corporation is a leading global vacation company that offers vacation ownership, exchange, rental and resort and property management, along with related businesses, products and services. The company maintains a diverse portfolio, including seven vacation ownership brands, exchange networks, membership programs, and management of other resorts and lodging properties. As a leader and innovator in the vacation industry, the company upholds the highest standards of excellence in serving its customers, investors and associates while maintaining exclusive, long-term relationships with Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels Corporation for the development, sales and marketing of vacation ownership products and services.
Tracy Wilson is the Senior Vice President, IT Strategy, Governance and Business Planning (Office of the CIO) for Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (MVWC) where she has worked in varying roles for 33 years. In the Office of the CIO, she is responsible for ensuring a consistent and strategic approach to the use of IT across the enterprise, and ensuring a consistent, transparent and efficient methodology to the way the IT organization delivers value to the business; including, financial management, portfolio management and PMO governance, business relationship management, and IT marketing and communications. Email
The box business at MaxPak was founded more than 25 years and has gone through several transitions. After Schwarz Partners Packaging LLC in Indianapolis, IN purchased MaxPak, more than $10 million has been invested in machinery improvements and upgrades. The investment will continue in 2015 with the purchase of over $3 million in new equipment. MaxPak’s sales has more than doubled since 2007 and has warehouse and distribution centers in Lakeland , Jacksonville, FL and Thomasville, GA; plus a 100MSF fulfillment operation in Lakeland. Building space in Lakeland now exceeds 350MSF. In addition to manufacturing corrugated boxes, MaxPak also sells packaging supplies and provides fulfillment services for their customers.
Kevin Bailey, General Manager of MaxPak, has served the forest products industry for over 23+ years with experience in sales, manufacturing, business development and management. Email
McKeel Team at Keller Williams Realty
The McKeel Team prioritizes relationships over single transactions. The McKeel Team's success is built on a history of integrity and satisfying customers in buying and selling homes.
Kim has been representing residential buyers and sellers in the Lakeland area for over 10 years. She is consistently one of the top producers in our area, and has a history of success and integrity in real estate that you can depend on. As an experienced negotiator with extensive knowledge of the Lakeland Real Estate Market in all price ranges, she remains laser focused on helping her clients get what they want. Additionally, her community involvement keeps her connected to what makes Lakeland so special, and she loves giving back to the community that she and her family love so much. Email
MidAmerica makes health and retirement benefits funding simple and effective for school employees, firefighters, law enforcement, and other public sector workers across the country. Founded in Lakeland in 1995, the MidAmerica administrative offices remain in our community continuing to provide services to more than one million participants in 33 states.
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union
As one of the top credit unions in the state, MIDFLORIDA provides a wide range of banking products and services, as well as over 40 convenient branch locations throughout Central Florida from coast to coast. MIDFLORIDA is headquartered in Downtown Lakeland. MIDFLORIDA offers retail banking, commercial banking services, mortgage loans, direct consumer financing at auto dealerships, retail investment services, realty services, and insurance services to over 200,000 existing members.
David Hand is Chief of Business Services manages the Business Services Department providing commercial lending and deposit services in MIDFLORIDA’ s central Florida market. He earned his B.S. in Economics from Auburn University and his MBA from Fairfield University. Email
Steve is Executive Vice President & President of MIDFLORIDA Financial Services. He oversees all branch retail operations, finance related functions, IT, mortgage operations, and realty services. Steve obtained his undergraduate degree from Stetson University and his MBA from Florida Southern College. Email
Midwestern Construction Inc.
Midwestern Construction Inc. in 2001, continuing his family’s multi-generational legacy in the construction industry. Headquartered in Orlando with additional offices in Florida, MCI is a FDOT pre-qualified firm providing statewide services to FDOT, government agencies, and utilities. These include roadside landscaping, tree planting and trimming, grass and sod installation, irrigation, fencing, grading, drainage, sidewalk, shoulder repair, infrastructure maintenance, and related services.
Midwestern Construction Inc. provides cost-effective roadside beautification, maintenance, and repair services. We are a FDOT pre-qualified company with strong, longstanding professional relationships with government bodies, landscape architects, and project managers across the state.
- Grass & sod installation
- Soil & mulch installation
- Tree & bush planting
- Tree & bush trimming
- Addressing canopy overhang
- Eliminating weeds & invasive plant life
- General landscape maintenance
- Resolving roadway line-of-sight problems
- Water drainage solutions
- Sidewalk, shoulder, & other infrastructure repair
- Line clearing & other utilities assistance
Miller Construction Management
Miller Construction Management, Inc. has been providing construction services throughout the Southeast since its inception in 2002. Its team of highly skilled construction professionals have experience in retail, office, municipal, educational, industrial, and general commercial construction. Their approach is based on practices that promote lean and efficient project management with client satisfaction as the basis of their decision making process.
Corey received his B.S. in Building Construction, with high honors from the University of Florida and is a member of Florida Blue Key. He holds general contracting licenses in Florida and other states throughout the Southeast. Email
Miller Law, P.A.
For 50-plus years we’ve worked to win complex real estate and legal challenges for clients like you. Our preference is to prevent your legal problems before they happen, so we’re always looking for better more efficient solutions. In 2020, realizing that our residential real estate clients needed dedicated service, we opened attorney-owned-and-operated Miller Title, LLC to meet those specialized needs. We’re proud that our attorneys are easy to talk to and our expert paralegal and closing staffs are ready and waiting to find the solutions you need.
Since 1977, Mission® has been creating fresh, authentic Mexican food products you can find in your local grocery store. Mission®, a subsidiary of Gruma Corporation, is the #1 tortilla company in the U.S. and manufactures a variety of authentic Mexican products. As we’ve grown, we’ve made sure to always put an emphasis on authentic flavors, while providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together.
Rich Schuh serves as Vice President of Regional Sales Gulf Coast for Mission Foods. He is responsible for sales and operations for Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, SE Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Panama. Email
Our Financial Advisors strive to earn the trust of many individuals, families and institutions while helping them achieve their goals. With a full suite of services, our objective is to deliver the resources that can best accomplish each client’s unique goals. We look forward to working together.
The Mosaic Company is the world's leading integrated producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash. The work of mining and processing phosphate and potash minerals is an energy and water intensive endeavor. Mosaic is an important driver of economic activity in its operating communities.
As the Public Affairs Specialist for The Mosaic Company, Morgan Odum serves as a principal liaison with local community, business leaders and elected officials. Morgan manages Mosaic’s community outreach and corporate philanthropy in Polk County while supporting the company’s manufacturing facilities and operations. Email
Murex – Welcome Developments
A Brooklyn apartment developer looking to expand into new markets has chosen a site off Old Tampa Highway, drawn by increased demand for housing for workers at large west Lakeland warehousing and shipping centers.
Welcome Canary, a 160-unit apartment complex, broke ground last week at 1010 Browning Road. It is a project by Welcome Developments, the Lakeland subsidiary of Murex Enterprise in New York. It’s scheduled to be completed by October 2023.
Brooklyn-based Murex Enterprises was founded by brothers David and Shlomo Sinay. Their portfolio includes dozens of builds in Brooklyn, most of them ground-up renovations, according to the Welcome Developments’ website.
Every successful duo is made up of a dreamer and a doer—vision meets execution—and while both co-founders of Welcome Developments take on those roles interchangeably, Shlomo is more the dreamer and David is more the doer.
More specifically, Shlomo designs the interior and exterior spaces while David handles acquiring and managing new properties. Expanded corridors and unique first impressions meet sound investment opportunities and timely project completion.
Nemours Children’s Health
Board-certified pediatric surgeons and specialists from Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando come to Lakeland to extend expert care for kids, newborns to age 18, in Polk County.
Specialties & Conditions Treated at the Lakeland location include:
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Ear, Hearing & Communication Center in Central Florida
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine Care Center, Florida
- Microtia & Ear Reconstruction
- Ophthalmology (Eye Care)
- Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat/ENT)
- Pediatric Cardiology
- Pediatric General Surgery
- Pediatric Neurology
- Pediatric Urology
- Radiology (Medical Imaging)
Jason Buchino, Site Administrator
I am a results-driven, energetic leader with a Master's Degree focused in Health Management and Policy from University of Michigan. I have extensive experience working in large, multi-site, multi-specialty physician practice settings operating in various reimbursement environments. I've demonstrated a proven ability to lead diverse cross-functional teams and cultivate effective relationships within all levels of the organization to achieve desired strategic objectives.
My expertise in streamlining operational and financial processes, enhancing efficiency and productivity levels, implementing process improvements, generating significant increases in patient satisfaction, contract negotiation / retention, as well as growth and profitability enhancements has bettered each organization I have served at. Some of my additional skills include expertise in planning, directing and supporting physician recruitment, as well as new business acquisitions, to match the company’s vision and mission.
Onicx Group is a Tampa-based private real estate firm with core competencies in development, construction, property acquisitions, property management, investments, and capital markets. Our primary focus is healthcare real estate, multifamily and mixed used projects.
As an integrated company, we use our knowledge to build long-term strategic partnerships that focus on our understanding of the complex challenges our clients face. Then, creating comprehensive solutions that deliver results.
Onicx Group has completed over $500MM of commercial real estate, including over a million SF within the healthcare sector alone since 2004.
Arjun Choudhary, Vice President
Arjun Choudhary is a member of Onicx Group’s executive leadership team where he is responsible for the investment analysis and market research on all prospective properties. He is focused on banking and investor relations and overall development strategy. Arjun drives Onicx’s future pipeline of activity, including development projects, acquisitions, and asset management. Recently, Arjun was named to the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list and serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the Indo-Us Chamber of Commerce.
Arjun has held responsibility in all aspects of raising equity, financing, acquisitions, dispositions and asset management, and has directed numerous ground-up development projects. He is experienced in the development of healthcare anchored mixed-use projects. He has developed medical office buildings, multifamily, hotels, and retail projects in the past. He also ensures the availability of new land inventory and appropriate site selection for the firm.
Arjun has worked on three continents and is also a former small business owner with cross- functional experience in business operations, strategy, and relationship management.
Along with his sister, Arjun conceptualized Aligned Studios in 2019. Aligned Studios is developing a team of architects, software engineers and animators to help innovate the building design process, partnering with architectural studios across the globe.
Arjun has a successful track record of innovating new ideas and developing new skills to meet the demands of changing markets and assure client fulfillment. He has been effective at translating high-level strategic vision into operational directives and driving implementation through effective communication and alignment with positive corporate culture. He has proven analytical and problem-solving skills and capability of improving processes, planning, and financial metrics.
Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $7.6 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States. Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in the St. Petersburg region. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows. The 3,200-bed system includes 16 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with FastMed Urgent Care. Nearly 4,500 physicians, representing more than 90 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 23,000 team members. In FY21, Orlando Health served nearly 160,000 inpatients and nearly 3.6 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $648 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at http://www.orlandohealth.com, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @orlandohealth.
Dawn Willis is the Community Relations Manager for Orlando Health South Central Region. Dawn has worked for Orlando Health since October 2018. Prior to joining Orlando Health, Dawn was the publisher of the Observer Media Group, joining the Observer Group in 2014. Prior to joining the Observer Dawn spent 17 Years in management positions with The New York Times and The Ledger Media Group publishing daily print and online newspapers and magazines in Polk County. Dawn has lived in Polk County for over 25 years with her family.
Dawn is an Alumni of Leadership Polk, Lakeland Leadership, Winter Haven Leadership and NE Polk County Leadership. Dawn is currently serving on the Marketing Committee for the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.
Dawn has served on The West Orange Chamber of Commerce Executive Board and Board of Directors 2017-2019 & 2020-2021. The Roper YMCA Board Chair in 2018-2020, Winter Garden Rotary Board of Directors 2018–2021. Apopka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2021. The West Orange Chamber of Commerce awarded Dawn, The Chairman’s Award In 2019. Dawn was awarded Who’s Who in Horizon West in March 2021.
Palmetto Capital Group
Palmetto Capital Group specializes in single tenant and small box multi-tenant development. Some of Palmetto's clients include Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, O'Reilly, Dunkin Donuts, Dollar General, and Flowers Foods. Palmetto assists businesses in expanding or relocating with turnkey Build-to-Site buildings that fit the clients objectives.
Justin is VP of Real Estate for the Florida Division for Palmetto Capital Group. He is responsible for creating strategic partnerships with growing companies and assisting with their build-to-suit real estate development needs. Email
Parkway Realty Management, LLC
We own, operate, and manage world-class commercial properties with an emphasis on investing in irreplaceable assets, driving innovation in the industry, and maintaining disciplined financial stewardship. With over a century of industry experience, our leadership creates value in high-growth markets across the Sun Belt. Contact us today to learn more about investing with Parkway. We look forward to partnering with you.
Managing Director | Development Whit brings a strong track record spanning over 35 years in the real estate industry to his role of overseeing Parkway's development projects throughout the U.S. Prior to joining Parkway in 2020, Duncan was with Crescent Communities for 22 years where he was President of the commercial business unit. Duncan has also overseen the development, leasing, management and disposition of over 13 million square feet of office, industrial and retail product. Most notable in Florida, Mr. Duncan spearheaded the land acquisition, entitlement and vertical development and leasing of Primera Office Park consisting of 6 buildings, Gateway Mixed-Use Park, 4 buildings in Orlando’s Research Park, and 2 million square feet of office and industrial buildings in Tampa.
Pepperidge Farm, Inc.
For more than 75 years Pepperidge Farm has brought wholesome happiness to consumers with Goldfish crackers, cookies, fresh breads, cakes, and frozen puff pastry. Started by an entrepreneur, Margaret Rudkin, in 1937, her challenge was always to find the next innovative idea, which has been critical to the company's success.
Lakeland’s Plant Manager, Steve Larkin, and his team are responsible for directing plant operations and overseeing the day-to-day activities in all departments. They develop and implement both short and long-term plans to support the company’s strategic roadmap. The Pepperidge Farm Lakeland Team provides the leadership to achieve key objectives in all areas of safety, quality, delivery, cost, and employee engagement. Email
Peterson & Myers, P.A.
Founded in 1948, Peterson & Myers, P.A. offers clients the resources & capabilities of a large law firm with personalized service by attorneys who are committed to the communities in which they live and work. The firm delivers legal services to clients with needs in Florida and we are proud of the long-term relationships we maintain with our clients. Offices are in Lakeland, Winter Haven and Lake Wales.
David A. Miller
David A. Miller is a shareholder at Peterson & Myers, P.A. and has a diversified transactional practice with significant experience in business law; corporate governance; mergers and acquisitions; agriculture law and developing strategic plans for large-scale agriculture properties; banking and finance; debt restructuring; office, retail, and mixed use lease transactions; and commercial real estate. Email
Pilgrim Associates focuses on individual consulting and as Chairman of Vistage Florida, provides a program of ongoing personal and professional development through monthly peer group meetings, executive coaching sessions and expert speakers. As an affiliate of Vistage International, Pilgrim provides members with access to over 16,000 members in 18 countries.
Dick is President/CEO and founder of Pilgrim associates which provides CEOs, business owners and senior level executives well defined business planning consulting and coaching on an individual basis as well as in group settings. Dick’s corporate life spanned 36 successful years in a variety of senior level management positions including being president of several multi-national corporations. Email
PLANTZ, a professional interior plant service provider, installs and services tropical and decorative plants in offices throughout Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. Enhancing work spaces to inspire productivity and creativity is at the heart of PLANTZ mission.
Steve Stanford is president of PLANTZ. He started the company in 2004 by combining two established plant service companies, and in 2006 merged with Lakeland’s Plant Manager (owned by Bruce Rumph). Through his leadership PLANTZ has grown to a customer base of almost 500 customers. A 1986 graduate of the University of Florida in Agriculture, Steve combines his plant, people and technology skills daily in his hands-on management of the company. He is a FL Certified Pest Control Operator, and is active in the community. Email
Polk County Government
Polk County is the fourth largest county with more than 600,000 residents and includes 17 municipalities. The administrative branch is responsible for all affairs of the county and executing the Board of County Commissioners policy direction.
Commissioner George Lindsey
Since his 2012 election to the commission, Lindsey has worked to attract new employers and remove barriers to the expansion of existing businesses in Polk County. He also is working to increase partnerships between the county and municipalities on matters such as planning, water supply and parks. He was elected chairman in 2014. Lindsey is also president and broker of Lindsey Realty & Development Corporation. He is an Honor Flight 15 guardian, University of Florida sports fan, and a Harley Davidson enthusiast. Email
County Manager Bill Beasley began his career with Polk County in 2006 as the Deputy County Manager over the county’s Infrastructure Group. As County Manager, Beasley is responsible for the proper administration of all affairs of the county and executes the Board of County Commissioners policy directions, manages budget and staffing resources, engages in community relations, fosters economic development, confers in land use planning and ensures regulatory compliance.
Prior to Beasley’s tenure with Polk County, he served in various engineering and administrative capacities with the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, the U.S. Department of Navy, and local government in the Charlotte Metropolitan Region in North Carolina. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Penn., a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a master’s degree in engineering administration from the George Washington University. He and his wife, Cynthia, have three children and three grandchildren. Email
Polk Museum of Art
The Polk Museum of Art improves the lives of our varied communities by bringing people and art together. The Museum’s outreach programs have an important educational and social impact, and its Citizen’s Bank Mayfaire-by-the-Lake fine art festival is ranked 64th in the nation. A 2014 study completed by Florida Southern College calculates the Museum’s economic impact in Lakeland at $12,693,558, with each $1 spent by the Polk Museum of Art worth $6.68 in economic impact.
H. Alexander Rich
Dr. H. Alexander Rich is Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College, a Smithsonian Affiliate and the only nationally accredited art museum in Polk County. Dr. Rich is also chair of the Department of Art History and Museum Studies at Florida Southern College and has worked previously in both curatorial and education capacities at museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. Email
Polk State College
Polk State College, established in 1964, is a multi-campus institution serving over 15,000 students annually with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools. Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics. We are the perfect place to soar. We are Polk.
Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti
Dr. Falconetti, a native Floridian, has extensive experience in all aspects of higher education administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University and master’s and doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida with specializations in Instructional Leadership and Postsecondary Education and Adult Learning. Email
Port of Tampa Bay
The Port of Tampa serves the Tampa/Orlando region, projected to be the fastest growing region of Florida for the next 20 years. The Port puts shippers closer to their primary Florida markets for food and beverage, citrus and juice, furniture, general merchandise, steel, fertilizer, and agricultural products.
Wade Elliott joined the Port in 2003 and is responsible for the marketing and business development activities of Port Tampa Bay. Wade has more than 25 years of port marketing, business development and research experience working with clients across the globe, including exporters, importers, ocean carriers, terminal operators and cruise lines. Wade is a graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he also worked as Research Associate conducting economic and policy research in the maritime sector. Wade is the Chairman of the Tampa Foreign Trade Zone, and serves on the board of directors of Tampa Port Ministries Seafarers’ Center and the Tampa Bay International Business Council. Email
Gonzalo Padron has more than 20 years of sales and business development experience within the maritime transportation industry. His responsibilities include Port Tampa Bay’s outreach and liaison with beneficial cargo owners and ocean carriers, with a particular focus on trade with Latin America. Gonzalo began his career working for ocean carriers Tecmarine Lines and Seaboard Marine, traveling the Caribbean and Latin America extensively. Prior to joining the Port Tampa Bay, he was employed by DHL Global Forwarding as Manager of Strategic Accounts, Datamyne as Business Development Manager – Maritime, and PIERS as Maritime Regional Manager. Email
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Premier Transportation is an Irregular Route Common and Contract Carrier which specializes in providing integrated transportation and logistics solutions to the retail and consumer products industries nationwide. Premier is able to provide numerous resources to meet customer needs, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including door-to-store deliveries, dedicated fleets, truckload transportation and yard management.
Mike moved to Atlanta in 1999 to take an equity stake in Premier Transportation with the objective of expanding Premier Transportations service offerings to our nation’s largest retailers. Mike joined Premier in 1999 and served as Vice President of Marketing until 2002 when he was promoted to Executive Vice President. He served in that capacity until being elected Chairman and CEO in 2006.
Prestige Worldwide Group
Gregory Fancelli is owner of property management and development company Prestige Worldwide Group. Born and raised in Florence Italy, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florence. For nearly fifteen years Gregory has focused his real estate efforts in Lakeland towards preservation and redevelopment of properties within Lakeland’s historic districts, placing particular effort on protecting the architectural character of Lakeland.
Preservation and re-development are crucial aspects of every city with high quality of life goals, for this reason Gregory and his company have teamed up with many local organizations such as Parker Street Ministries in order to repair and strengthen many of Lakeland’s inner city neighborhoods.
Several redevelopment projects have been completed in the Dixieland area, bringing revitalization and infusing new life into the area.
After serving four years on the Polk Museum’s Board of trustees and Florida Polytechnic University’s Foundation Board, Gregory is presently active with Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s Foundation Board and Historic Lakeland Inc.
Additionally Gregory serves on the George Jenkins Foundation board dedicated towards programs in education, welfare, health and human services.
With a deep appreciation for early 20th century architecture, Gregory enjoys traveling, photography, skiing and water sports.
Prime Meridian Bank
Prime Meridian Bank (PMB) brings the warmth and inviting personality of a community bank along with efficiency and operational excellence. You won't find typical bankers at Prime Meridian Bank. Our strength lies in our diversity. Each employee brings a wealth of experience and skills that, when combined, create the formula for our success. Our employees work to build the bank through honesty, partnership and service.
Scott Folsom is the Market President for Polk County, in charge of the Lakeland, FL office at 3340 South Florida Ave. Prime Meridian Bank strives to redefine community banking by emphasizing technology and innovation and focusing on personal attention hospitality and client services.
Primo Water North America
Primo Water is one of North America's largest bottled water companies. They deliver pure, great-tasting water to homes, businesses and retail locations across the U.S. and Canada with 12 regional and three national brands – Alhambra, Canadian Springs, Crystal Rock, Crystal Springs, Deep Rock, Hinckley Springs, Kentwood Springs, Labrador Source, Mountain Valley Water, Mount Olympus, Nursery, Primo, Sierra Springs, Sparkletts and Vermont Pure. They reach consumers where they live, work and shop, providing direct delivery to more than 1.8 million homes and business locations, covering 90% of the U.S. population and 80% of the Canadian population. They serve more than 35,000 retail locations through self-service water exchange and water refill operations as well as on-the-go water and offer customers a line of innovative water dispensers and water filtration solutions.
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Publix Super Markets Inc. is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the country. Publix employs over 200,000 people in seven states and is headquartered in Lakeland. The Fortune 100 company's mission is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.
Mike oversees the efforts of Publix’s manufacturing businesses, facilities, distribution facilities, industrial maintenance, industrial operations purchasing, industrial operations business development & IT, corporate quality assurance and the flight department. Email
According to Mastercard, 73 percent of Americans carry cash less frequently than they did a decade ago therefore efforts by philanthropic and religious organizations to obtain and maintain donations are more challenging than ever before. Qgiv provides organizations the ability to attract new supporters, retain loyal donors, and engage both through powerful technological tools.
Todd Baylis is President and a founder of Qgiv, a Lakeland-based company that enables organizations across the US and beyond to quickly, securely and easily receive donations and effectively manage event registrations. Todd is also President of Cipher Integrations, a network services, internet technology and software development provider in Lakeland. He holds a B.S. in Computer and Information Sciences from Florida State University and Masters in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University. Email
Rebel & Co.
Innovation in today’s market is complex and ambiguous but necessary for survival. With customers demanding more and new competitors entering the market every day, businesses are forced to move two speeds at once: slow and steady to maintain performance and fast and furious to stay ahead of the competition. Innovation should be strategic, moving the needle on business goals and creating a distinct competitive advantage. Our innovation teams partner with you to produce data-informed strategic plans and implementation, moving the needle on business objectives. Our services include:
- Market Research & Customer Insights
- Go-to-Market Strategies
- Pricing & Growth Strategies
- Brand Strategies
- New Products & Services
- Transforming Customer Experiences
- New Brands & Business Models
- Growth Strategies
- Innovation Strategies & Strategic Planning
Leah Hacker is the CEO and Founder of Rebel, a market research and strategy agency. During her career, Leah has been responsible for crafting user-centered strategy and data-driven scale for brands to create competitive solutions and sustainable, profitable growth through innovation. As a researcher, she focused her work on understanding what people expect from the brands they support and architecting how brands can deliver on those expectations. She is a published author, with her research work presented in academic journals and industry publications such as Forbes, AdWeek, Business Insider and Yahoo Finance. She is a frequent speaker, guest lecturer and angel investor to fast growth and diverse startups and has worked with brands such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Intuit, iDonate, Kodak Moments, Tecovas, Dell and many others. Email
Refresco is the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and America. The company offers customers total supply chain solutions addressing each part of the bottling process from planning and sourcing to production, warehousing and transportation. Innovation and technological development enables Refresco to deliver the best products and services, on budget and on time.
Regions Financial Corporation, with $122 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,650 banking offices, with 4 offices in Lakeland and 1 in Winter Haven. Regions bank rated “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Small Business Banking in the South” by J.D. Power & Assoc in 2014. Awarded “Most Reputable Bank in the U.S” by RepTrak in 2015.
Brenda Powers serves as Vice President for Regions Bank at the North Lakeland Office. Brenda is a Polk County native with 20 years of banking experience. Email
Register Construction and Engineering
Register Construction has a proven history of quality and performance- demonstrated through a variety of services and projects including: industrial & manufacturing, warehouse & distribution, cold storage, office, food service & bakeries, medical, automotive, special use, retail, education and worship facilities.
Lester D. "Buddy" Register founded Register Construction in 1971. Register defines success by the company's relationships and dedication to its clients. With over 47 years of construction expertise and leadership, the local company has missed zero deadlines and has completed over 16 million square feet of construction. Email
Cole graduated with a degree in Building Construction from Georgia Southern University in 2005 and returned to Lakeland as a project manager for Register Construction. He transitioned into the role of president in 2016. Cole is involved with all aspects of the company including sales, estimating, project management, and company development. Email
Transwestern Development Company develops office, industrial, multifamily, mixed-use and healthcare projects throughout the U.S. Lakeland Logistics Center, a central Florida project, is a two building, class A project with easy access and outparcels available for additional amenities.
Steve Kros serves as the executive vice president of Transwestern’s southeast development services team. Steve has over 20 years of high-level experience sourcing, underwriting, negotiating, communicating and executing real estate development and acquisition deals. Prior to joining Transwestern, he held positions as a vice president of investments and vice president of development with AMB Property Corporation. Steve spearheaded real estate development and acquisition investments in multiple east coast markets. He also was responsible for overall project management for an 11 million square foot development pipeline on 800 acres in six cities in throughout the southeast and mid-atlantic, representing a total investment of over $560 million. Steve is currently working on Lakeland Logistics Center, a 245,000 sf development park near Interstate 4 in Lakeland.
Rita Staffing has four offices in Polk County which include South and North Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Plant City. In addition to clerical, light industrial and professional placements, Rita Staffing owns and operates two other staffing companies which are Rita Technology founded in 1972, an IT Search & Consulting firm specializing in the recruitment and placement of Information Technology candidates in both direct hire and consulting positions, and Sunshine Staffing servicing Highlands, Hardee and DeSoto counties.
Rich has been with Rita Staffing since 1996 and currently serves as Chief Financial Officer. Rich graduated from the University of Georgia and was a budget analyst for The University System of Georgia prior to moving to Lakeland. He is active in many local groups and is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church. Email
Lisa Hall is a Business Development Manager and has been with Rita Staffing since 1998. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and graduated with her BA from the University of South Florida. Lisa serves on several community boards including, CareerSource Polk, the Mulberry Chamber of Commerce, and Business Alliance for Persons with Disabilities (BAPD). She currently volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem helping children in our foster care system and is active with Junior Achievement at South McKeel Academy. Email
Founded in 1989, Rodda Construction is Central Florida’s leading Construction Management firm. Rodda’s project experience is broad, boasting a successful track record of all types of commercial construction projects. Rodda provides the highest quality services in Construction Management and brings innovation to the project management process.
Jason Rodda is a life-long Lakelander, and is the CEO and President of their family company, Rodda Construction. He is married to Abby, and they have 4 children. He graduated from George Jenkins High School, received his undergraduate degree from Florida Southern College, and his Masters in Business Administration for the University of Florida. Jason is a state of Florida Certified General Contractor, LEED Accredited Professional, and Certified Healthcare Constructor. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Florida Southern College, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Givewell Community Foundation Board of Directors, and the Truist Polk County Advisory Board. He is the past President of Board for Explorations V Children’s Museum, an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, and a Manager at Lakeland City Baseball. Jason is a Graduate of Leadership Lakeland Class XXVIII, Leadership Polk Class V, and Connect Florida- Class III, and was named the 2020 Lakeland Chamber of Commerce “Businessman of the Year”. Email
Rooms To Go
Rooms To Go is the largest and fastest growing independent retail furniture company in America. The Lakeland distribution facilities of 2.3 million square feet employ over 800 associates on multiple shifts. Rooms To Go is the industry leader in time-to-deliver, financing, and product availability with the latest designs.
Saddle Creek Logistics Services
Saddle Creek is an omnichannel supply chain solutions company providing a variety of integrated logistics services, including warehousing, fulfillment and transportation. Our custom solutions leverage advanced operational methods and sophisticated technologies to help retailers, manufacturers and e-commerce companies get products where they need to be quickly, cost-effectively and seamlessly.
Mark Cabrera is CEO of Saddle Creek Logistics Services, an omnichannel supply chain solutions company headquartered in Lakeland. Cabrera, who joined Saddle Creek in 2001, was named CEO in July 2019. Previously, he served as chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) for the company. Prior to joining Saddle Creek, Cabrera spent 15 years in financial roles in a variety of industries for companies including Arthur Andersen LLP, GTE, National Insurance Services and Reeves Steel, Inc. Cabrera holds a degree from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., and is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland Class XX. He is a member of the International Warehouse Logistics Association Insurance Company (IWLAIC) executive committee and serves on Lakeland Economic Development Council’s High Skill Investors Group. Email
Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida is one of the largest community banks headquartered in Florida, with approximately $9.3 billion in assets and $7.8 billion in deposits as of June 30, 2021. The Company provides integrated financial services, including commercial and retail banking, wealth management, and mortgage services to customers through advanced banking solutions and 52 traditional branches of its locally-branded, wholly-owned subsidiary bank, Seacoast National Bank. Offices stretch from Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach north through the Daytona Beach area, west to Okeechobee and surrounding counties, into Orlando and Central Florida and west to the Tampa Bay market. More information about the Company is available at www.SeacoastBanking.com.
Sebastian Leon, External Affairs Manager, Tampa Bay
TECO Peoples Gas
Sebastian Leon is External Affairs Manager in the Tampa Bay area for TECO Peoples gas, where he focuses on corporate external affairs, economic development, and local government in the region.
Prior to joining TECO, he served as Deputy Director of State Operations for U.S. Senator Rick Scott. In this role, he oversaw external affairs and day-to-day operations for the Senator’s nine district offices in Florida. Prior to joining Senator Scott in the U.S. Senate, Sebastian worked in multiple roles for the Executive Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida State Senate, with experience in state legislation, gubernatorial appointments, communications, and external affairs.
Sebastian received both his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s degree in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University. In 2022, he was named a “Rising Star of Florida Politics'' by INFLUENCE MAGAZINE.
Seefried Industrial Properties
Ferdinand Seefried founded Seefried Properties in 1984, and the business is still 100 percent privately owned today. The firm specializes in the development, leasing and management of industrial real estate in core markets across the U.S. The primary focus is on development in core industrial markets and build-to-suits with corporate tenant uses in first and second-tier markets. Seefried has a seasoned team of development and construction professionals, guaranteeing the best prices and delivery.
Paul Seefried joined Seefried Industrial Properties in February 2011 as a project manager on the BTS development team. He has been actively involved in the development of over 12 million S.F. of industrial BTS developments around the country, in particular, regional distribution centers for Amazon.com in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida. He is now Vice President of Development and responsible for development in the Florida region. Prior to joining Seefried Industrial Properties, Paul spent 3 years working as a development analyst in the multifamily industry for the Lane Company, followed by 3 years of being a commercial broker in which he worked on a variety of real estate asset classes. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from University of Colorado at Boulder. Email
Southeastern University is one of the fastest-growing liberal arts universities in the nation. The university offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields including education, business, ministry, the arts, health care, behavioral sciences and more. Small class sizes provide an environment where students can connect one-on-one with some of the top professionals in their fields. SEU emphasizes career preparation and the exploration experiences and resources that equip students for life after college.
A champion of innovative educational design, Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of Southeastern University, one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. Under his leadership, the university has seen significant growth. Dr. Ingle has propelled the university’s enrollment from 2,546 students in 2011 to nearly 9,000 students currently, with more than 100 extension sites and 13 regional campuses nationwide. Additionally, multiple building projects have been completed during his tenure, including a 120,000-square-foot Live/Learn building, which houses students, classroom space and a food court. Dr. Ingle is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming SEU’s president in 2011, Dr. Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Email
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has a 1,090,000 sq ft distribution center in Lakeland with over 400 employees. Nationwide, the company distributes more than 150 million cases of wine and spirits annually across 44 U.S. markets, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Jason Witty is the Vice President of Operations for the State of Florida. Jason started with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of New Mexico in 2002, as the Information Technology Manager. In 2005, he and his family moved to Florida, to take the Director of Information Technology role. Jason has worked with both corporate supply chain leadership as well as the Florida Operations team to evolve the SGWS distribution network into an efficient, centralized service model. Jason has his undergraduate degree from Florida Southern College and his sons are pursuing their undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida. Email
At SouthState (formerly CenterState), our focus is on our customers first. As your trusted financial partner, we’re committed to providing more locations, enhanced products and services and innovative digital banking technology to make your life easier and more convenient. With more than 275 locations in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, The Carolinas and Virginia, SouthState is one of the leading regional banks in the Southeast. We offer robust banking solutions, including consumer banking, mortgage, small business banking, commercial banking and wealth management. Whatever success looks like to you, we’ll make sure you have what you need to take the next step forward. This is banking at its best. This is Banking Forward.
Dale Dreyer has over 25 years of banking experience and is the EVP/Southern Division President for SouthState Bank. Dale is responsible for all banking functions including retail banking, commercial banking, treasury management, residential lending, wealth management and consumer lending for Polk, Osceola, Orange and Seminole Counties. Dale’s management of the Central Florida Region includes, 2 Community Presidents, 2 Area Executives, 22 commercial RMs, 22 branch managers, 25 offices, with over 129 employees and over $2 billion in assets. Dale received his BS in Accounting and his MBA in Finance from Auburn University. He currently serves on multiple community boards including Lakeland Regional Health and the First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. Email
Michael Clanton has over 22 years of banking experience and is the Central Polk Regional President for SouthState Bank. Michael is responsible for all banking functions including retail banking, commercial banking, treasury management, wealth management and consumer lending for most of Polk County. His management of the Central Polk Region includes roughly $1 billion in assets. Michael received his BS in finance from The University of West Georgia. Michael is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland Class XXXIV, past Board Chair of Heartland for Children, and member of the Board of Trustees for The Schools of McKeel Academy. Email
We’re Spherion Central & Southwest Florida—a staffing and recruiting pioneer that’s been driving careers and helping businesses grow since 1986. Our locally owned and operated Lakeland office helps job seekers and employers connect throughout the Polk County area. We also have locations in Fort Myers, Leesburg, Naples, Ocala, and Sarasota.
While we specialize in clerical, light industrial, and professional placements, our team has the connections and insights needed to find the most capable employee for any company. Our workforce solutions focus on temporary staffing, temp-to-hire, on-premise staff management, and outsourced talent acquisition. To see how Spherion can get to work on your behalf, visit www.spherion.com/lakeland
David Miller is the Owner of Spherion Staffing in Lakeland, among six additional locations throughout Central and Southwest Florida. With a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, David has leveraged that with much success. As a seasoned professional, with over 25 years of staffing experience, David is responsible for fostering the strategic direction, performance, and continuous growth of his Spherion Staffing locations. Email David.
Springer Voss Construction
Our story began in with a family-owned business established in 1987 by Don and Rob Springer. The legacy continued to flourish when Cole Springer, son of Rob and Tammy Springer, joined forces in 2016, marking the evolution into a third-generation family enterprise. In 2019, Jeremy Voss and Cole Springer purchased Springer Construction from the Springer family, and they have skillfully led and managed the company since then. Over the past five years, our focus has been on building our reputation one project at a time, all while honoring the legacy that got us started. With a strong first five years behind us, now feels like the perfect moment to rebrand and symbolize the partnership of Cole Springer and Jeremy Voss, the driving forces behind the transformation of Springer Construction into what is now Springer Voss. We are grateful for the trust bestowed upon us by community members and clients who have chosen us as their construction partner. A big thank you goes out to the designers and trade partners who have played a crucial role in delivering numerous successful projects. Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to our amazing team, our work family – we wouldn't be where we are today without you!
Vice President | Springer Voss Construction
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lakeland
Welcome to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lakeland FL hotel, located near the RP Funding Center (formerly the Lakeland Civic Center and Lakeland Center) and only minutes from a variety of eateries, bars, and local shops. Our hotel is also near Lakeland Airport, Bryant Stadium, Florida Southern College and Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida. Enjoy spacious suites that are designed to blend how guests work and relax. Once your day is complete, enjoy a craft cocktail or local beer in our full-service bar featuring an evening menu with innovative food offerings. Our hotel also features 4,000 sq. ft. of flexible function space, perfect for corporate meetings, social gatherings, and sports groups visiting our Lakeland Convention Center hotel. Step outside and enjoy our outdoor pool and patio, plus our fit pit and plenty of space to relax and connect. Stylish surroundings and enhanced offerings will leave you feeling uplifted and at ease when you travel to our downtown Lakeland hotel.
John Loute, hospitality veteran serves as General Manager of SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lakeland. Loute is responsible for overseeing all operations for the 126-room, all-suites hotel, which opened in downtown Lakeland in spring 2020. Loute brings more than 22 years of hospitality management experience to the new SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lakeland. John served as General Manager for La Quinta Inn & Suites - Lakeland. Prior to his stint at La Quinta, he worked for Lakeland-based HI Development, Inc. as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Avenue Hotel in Lakeland, overseeing a sales team and directing the development and execution of the hotel's marketing plan. He attended the University of South Florida and currently serves on the boards of directors for the Lakeland Hotel/Motel Association and Visit Central Florida's Tourist Development Council. Email
StaffBuildersHR has been matching great people with great companies in the Lakeland area for over 10 years. In the spring of 2018, the company expanded and opened offices in Tampa and Atlanta. If you are looking for temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct-placement employees, StaffBuildersHR can help you. From office staff and welders to general warehouse labor and accountants, their experienced staff and technology-driven approach helps customers continously find successful candidates.
Stahl & Associates Insurance
Stahl & Associates Insurance is a leading provider of integrated benefits solutions. The company offers a full suite of services for a complete end-to-end benefits solution. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, Stahl & Associates helps companies communicate, enroll, and administer their employee benefit programs. A team of trained experts works with clients to design a custom benefits strategy that will boost the value of their employee benefits packages.
As a 29 year veteran of the Insurance Industry, “Tony” has held positions at both regional & home office levels with large insurance organizations such as Penn Mutual, AIG & USF&G. He’s held direct sales & sales management positions with Federated Mutual Insurance Companies. His career has taken him throughout the Mid Atlantic region of US and all over Florida & the Southeast. He’s spent the last 15 years working in the Independent agency system. First at Herndon & Associates & now at Stahl & Associates. After the Herndon acquisition, Stahl & Associates appointed Tony as Vice President Commercial Lines Sales where he handles the commercial insurance needs of the middle market segment. Although he handles a variety of risks, he specializes in addressing the needs of manufacturers, contractors, physician groups & auto/equipment dealers. Stahl & Associates has four (4) offices throughout Central Florida. Email
SteriPack is 100% focused on contract manufacturing services for medical device under ISO 13485 system and contract packaging services for the pharmaceutical industry under cGMP. Founded over 25 years ago in Ireland, SteriPack was born from a desire to do it better. Better customer focus, better lead times, better manufacturing processes, better quality control, but most importantly a better approach to solving customer problems. Our mission from the outset has been clear ‘to be the number one pain reliever for the world’s largest OEM & Pharmaceutical companies’. When you’ve identified a manufacturing pain point within your organization the next step should be to outsource this pain and make it better through SteriPack. Doing it better commits SteriPack to continually partner with our clients to create value through enhanced solutions for quality, service, products and processes.
SteriPack’s infrastructure has grown rapidly from its inception in order to cater for our ever-evolving customer needs. Today SteriPack hosts five ISO Class 7 & 8 clean room manufacturing facilities strategically located across Europe, Asia & North America. Each site is equipped for clean room injection molding, ultrasonic cleaning, assembly & contract packaging of medical device & combination products. Whether you are struggling for resources to complete a successful new product introduction or would prefer to have your resources focused on your highest value add activity consider outsourcing the rest to SteriPack – your trusted contract manufacturing partner for over 25 years.
Stonemont Financial Group
Stonemont is a private real estate firm founded on a simple strategy: to combine the experience and resources of a large institution with the creativity and flexibility of an entrepreneurial firm. We have maintained this philosophy throughout our growth, allowing us to stand out among our peers in the real estate investment management industry.
Today, Stonemont is a diversified investment manager for public and private institutions and private capital clients, with over $5 Billion in assets under management.
VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT/ACQUISITIONS
Avery joined Stonemont Financial Group in 2019 and currently serves as Vice President. Avery manages Stonemont’s capital deployment across Florida and the Southeast Port markets. He focuses on acquisitions and development (build-to-suit and speculative) of industrial and office properties. In these markets, he has overseen the development, leasing, management and disposition of over 10 million SF, with a total capitalization greater than $1.0 billion. Avery’s day-to-day responsibilities include originating new opportunities, capitalizing transactions and executing on each business plan.
Prior to Stonemont, Avery was a member of the Commercial Property Group, at Rialto Capital Management in Atlanta, GA. He was responsible for underwriting and sourcing opportunistic/value-add acquisitions of properties, including equity joint ventures and equity recapitalizations, across all property types. Also, Avery worked for PGIM Real Estate in New York, NY. At PGIM Real Estate, he focused on asset management and development of Class-A Multifamily properties across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern markets.
Avery graduated from the University of Florida with a Master of Science in Real Estate and a Bachelor of Science in Finance, while also completing an internship with Tavistock Development Company in Orlando, FL.
Straughn Trout Architects
Straughn Trout Architects is a team of creative professionals that brings a global perspective to every project. The firm applies a holistic and sustainable approach to each project and adds value through project-specific strategies and collaboration. Their portfolio spans over six decades with a focus on collaborative design to create spaces and places to live, work, play, learn, and worship and range from contemporary architecture to the restoration of historically significant structures. The firm has a long-standing reputation to design buildings that are functional and friendly, projects developed from clear thinking and thorough analysis, and architecture designed for people. The firm brings a "hands-on" approach to every project and an "always available attitude" to provide its clients with comprehensive professional services that include architectural, engineering, interior design, planning, landscape architecture, visioning facilitation and sustainable design. Straughn Trout's basic philosophy: good design results from creative solutions that reflect awareness to people's needs.
Jon Kirk, AIA, LEED AP became a principal at Straughn Trout Architects in 2019 with more than 21 years of design expertise. Jon is a licensed architect in the State of Florida and has achieved the designation of a LEED Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). He is also a former member of Historic Lakeland, Inc's. Board of Directors and has served as both vice president and president of the organization. He is a past member of the City of Lakeland's Historic Preservation Board, Platform Art Board, and is a volunteer for Lakeland City Baseball. In 2017, Jon was awarded the 2017 Florida Redevelopment Association Renovation Project of the Year for his work at Haus 820/Mass Market. Jon attended the University of Florida where he earned a Master of Architecture degree in addition to a Bachelor of Design degree. He is an alumni of Leadership Lakeland Class XXXII, member of AIA Tampa Bay, and is actively involved in the Lakeland community. Email
Summit Broadband is a leading fiber-optics telecommunications provider in Central and Southwest Florida. It provides voice, video, data and high-speed internet services to commercial and residential customers, as well as Ethernet and dark fiber transport to enterprise and carrier customers. Providing a superior customer service experience since 1994, the company owns and operates its own fiber-optic networks, with a reach of more than 2,300 fiber route miles, serving multiple industries and communities throughout our territory. Summit Broadband was acquired in 2020 by Grain Management LLC.
Dan Hakker joined Summit Broadband in June 2020. He has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, and oversees all sales and marketing activities for the company. Before joining Summit Broadband, Mr. Hakker was Vice President and General Manager of the Florida region for Windstream where he led an organization responsible for $150 million in annual revenue. His background includes roles in sales leadership and sales operations with a focus on the Enterprise Business Segment. Throughout his career, he has focused on developing a company culture that aligns cross-functional teams to the common goal of revenue growth. Mr. Hakker holds an Economics degree from State University of New York at Albany. Email
Kevin Coyne joined Summit Broadband in May 2020. With more than 20 years of telecommunications experience focused on fiber-optic and high-bandwidth solutions, he currently serves as CEO and leads the company as it continues the strategic expansion of its fiber-optic network into new enterprise, government, education and residential communities in Florida. Mr. Coyne is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an Accounting degree from Towson State University and a Master of Science degree in Taxation from the University of Baltimore. Email
Summit, a leading provider of workers’ compensation services in the southeastern United States, is a member of the Great American Insurance Group. Summit provides workers’ compensation services to businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Summit is based in Lakeland and has offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Gainesville, Georgia.
Donna De Stefano
Donna joined Summit Consulting, LLC in 2004 and has 40 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Donna is a Senior Business Projects Manager and in a dual role as the Director of Facilities encompassing Summit’s Corporate Office in Lakeland and two regional offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Gainesville, Georgia. She manages and facilitates multiple projects and initiatives varying in scope in a wide variety of functional groups upon request of the CEO. Email
Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union began in 1934 when a handful of local educators founded Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union. Throughout the years, we’ve grown and expanded our membership to include anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in the Florida counties we serve. Today, we’re proud to be the largest credit union in Florida. From our humble beginnings to all of the exciting developments along the way, Suncoast’s history is rich with memorable moments. And every one of them is thanks to our incredible members.
Alisha has lived in Lakeland for the last 20 years. 15 of those 20 years have been focused on commercial real estate. With degrees in Business Administration, Business Management, and International Business, she has originated, syndicated, and serviced over $1billion commercial loans with credit unions nationwide.
As the commercial lender for Suncoast Credit Union, I support all of West and Central Florida. Loan sizes we are seeking are $250,000 to $25million and offering competitive terms and interest rates. Email
SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty
SVN | Saunders Real Estate and SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Realty has a local presence but offers national and global branding. Founded by three recognized Central Florida brokers, who are all CCIM designated, the company brings together experts on all aspects of real estate.
Jonathan Barreras is the Chief Operating Officer for SVN. He brings leadership and vision to the task of ensuring the company’s operations are optimized and expandable. He institutes and manages proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems for the entire scope of the company’s business activities. Developing company culture and vision along with driving the company to surpass business objectives is part of Jonathan’s expertise. Jonathan is dedicated to ensuring the financial strength and operating efficiency vital to immediate and long-range performance objectives. He leads with a respectful, constructive and energetic style. Email
Tampa Maid Foods LLC
Tampa Maid Foods LLC is owned by Watkins Associated Industries, a family owned U.S. company. Tampa Maid is in the business of sourcing, processing and marketing quality value-added products from around the world to the foodservice and retail markets.
Shawn is a food industry veteran with 30 years of experience in general management, supply chain, manufacturing, commodity procurement, trading, and risk strategy. He has held executive roles with a notable list of food and beverage companies including Keebler Company, Sara Lee Brands, E&J Gallo Winery and ConAgra Brands. In May of this year, he joined Tampa Maid Foods, a leading manufacturer of retail and foodservice seafood and vegetable products as its President and COO. Prior to Tampa Maid, Shawn led JM Swank, LLC, a $500MM US food Ingredient distributor, as a division of ConAgra Brands and as its CEO under private equity ownership. In addition, Shawn is a co-founder and shareholder of Buck Creek Distributing, a growing distributor of inputs into the craft brewing and distilling industries, and he led Buck Creek as an entrepreneurial CEO through its successful start-up phase. Shawn is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BBA in Business Logistics and holds an MBA from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. Outside of work, Shawn is a multi-time ironman finisher, an avid outdoorsman, and an enthusiastic student of historical property renovation. In addition, Shawn has served on boards for both private equity-backed and non-profit organizations and is an active supporter of community-based efforts focused on child nutrition and food insecurity.
Tampa Electric, an investor owned electric utility who started business in 1899, serves the eastern part of Polk with 85,000 customers. Peoples Gas, a natural gas utility that started business in 1895, today has a Lakeland presence with 5800 customers.
Nick Plott is the Regional Manager of External Affairs for TECO Energy in Polk County, representing the company in the areas of local government, community relations and economic development. He currently serves on the Boards of United Way of Central Florida, Polk State College Foundation, Polk Vision, the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and JDRF- Tampa Bay. Nick received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Law from Western Carolina University.
Sebastian Leon is External Affairs Manager in the Tampa Bay area for TECO Peoples gas, where he focuses on corporate external affairs, economic development, and local government in the region. Prior to joining TECO, he served as Deputy Director of State Operations for U.S. Senator Rick Scott. In this role, he oversaw external affairs and day-to-day operations for the Senator’s nine district offices in Florida. Prior to joining Senator Scott in the U.S. Senate, Sebastian worked in multiple roles for the Executive Office of Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida State Senate, with experience in state legislation, gubernatorial appointments, communications, and external affairs. Sebastian received both his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s degree in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University. In 2022, he was named a “Rising Star of Florida Politics'' by INFLUENCE MAGAZINE.
Established 1924. Reopened 1998. Reinvented 2021
The Terrace Hotel was constructed during the "Roaring Twenties", in which flappers, the radio, and the Art Deco movement defined the age. As Lakeland, Florida's only full-service, luxury hotel, The Terrace Hotel has been beautifully restored in 2021 and will soon be reintroduced as The Terrace Hotel Lakeland, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Every Tapestry Collection property has its unique style and vibrant personality that allows an authentic connection to their destination. Considered by many to be the centerpiece of downtown Lakeland's rebirth, The Terrace Hotel is home to exceptional comfort and exquisite accommodations. Offering a relaxed, fine dining atmosphere and savory menu right on site, The Terrace Grille restaurant features masterfully restored historic architecture in addition to delectable menu selections. This elegant urban oasis appeals to all generations as a special place to gather and celebrate.
Bryan Waldron is a Regional Sales Manager that supports five properties across Central Florida for Naples Hotel Group, including The Terrace Hotel Lakeland, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Bryan’s main focus within the NHG Portfolio is the extended-stay market with new hotels in Downtown Orlando and Plant City. Working closely with the NHG Vice President of Sales, Revenue Management, and on-property sales and operations teams, Bryan drives occupancy and RevPAR growth through careful planning and customer service. Since joining NHG, Bryan has overseen two hotels being awarded New Hotel of the Year by Marriott and New Business of the Year by a local Chamber of Commerce.
Before joining NHG, Bryan was the Director of Sales for select-service hotels in Orlando and Lake Mary with experience in Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt brands while working with Peachtree Hotel Group, Aimbridge Hospitality, and Interstate Hotels. Bryan was the Director of Sales when one of his hotels was awarded Hotel of the Year for the highest overall RevPAR growth within his organization. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. Email
The Apiary is a creative services studio based out of Lakeland, Florida specializing in content creation and ideation. Our team of interdisciplinary artists bring decades of professional experience spanning animation, concepting, visualization and more. Designing content-driven experiences is what we do best, and by doing so, help tell stories, convey intent, and help secure funding for projects.
Maggie Briggs serves as the Director of The Apiary, a new creative services company in Lakeland that specializes in animation, previsualization, and content creation. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, she establishes direction, develops strategy, implements tactics, and oversees their execution as they align with business goals for the organization. Maggie brings ten years of experience in marketing for a wide variety of clients. While serving as a marketing coordinator for a local architecture firm, she found a passion for organizational process that led her to helping establish this new company.
The Ruthvens | www.ruthvens.com | (863) 686-3173
The Ruthvens, Central Florida’s warehouse specialists, have decades of expertise in industrial, manufacturing and distribution warehouse space, with a total capacity of over 5 million square feet. Our properties are located along the I-4 corridor between Tampa to Orlando. This location provides quick access to all major north, south, east, and west highways allowing for regional or state-wide distribution across Florida.
The Ruthvens are a 3rd generation, family-run company, dating back to 1957. We own and manage 90 buildings with decisions made quickly to allow your business to move forward and grow. We also represent an additional 30 properties to provide additional flexibility for Central Florida businesses.
Our customers can expand with us at any time during their lease term. Our unique scale and new development focus allow us to easily accommodate your business’ growth. Whether you need 1,000 square feet or 200,000 square feet, we are ready to be your long-term real estate partner in Central Florida.
Greg Ruthven, CCIM | Chairman and CEO | GRuthven@Ruthvens.com | (863) 581-4639
Born and raised in Lakeland, FL Greg started working with his father in 1984. Today, he serves as Chairman and CEO, and is a real estate broker and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). Greg is married with two children and three grandchildren, He spends his leisure time boating and staying abreast of politics. Greg has a Real Estate degree from Florida State University and is a Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute where he served as former regional and state President.
He has a dedicated history of community involvement including being the past President of the Central Florida Development Council and the Lakeland Downtown Rotary Club, which recognized him with the Paul Harris Award. Greg also serves on the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC), Leadership Lakeland Class 2, and Southeastern University Leadership Forum which recognized him with the Servant Leadership Award. Greg was named one of Florida Trend’s Florida 500 Most Influential Business Leaders from 2018-2021.
Greg is passionate about philanthropy and serves on the Bonnet Springs Foundation Board and is the past President of the Polk Museum of Art and Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center.
Brandon Clark | President | BClark@Ruthvens.com | (863) 450-9540
Brandon serves as President of The Ruthvens. He oversees all operations, development, leasing, financing and strategy for the Company. Brandon joined The Ruthvens in 2018 as Vice President. Prior to joining The Ruthvens, Brandon was a Vice President Corporate Banker with J.P. Morgan for eight years. In this role, he had responsibility for companies headquartered in Florida with revenue or market cap over $1 billion. Before joining J.P. Morgan, Brandon was a member of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s Financial Services and Technology group in Atlanta, GA.
Brandon has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is currently pursuing his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation and is a member of the Citizens Bank & Trust Advisory Board. He is excited to be part of the next generation of Lakeland’s growth and development with The Ruthvens. Brandon is married to his wife, Lauren, and they have three children Georgia (8), MaryCharlotte (5) and Sutton (4). He spends his free time with his family, boating, water-skiing and playing tennis.
Brandon serves the community as a member of the Lakeland Downtown Rotary Club, the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC), the Central Florida Development Council (CFDC), the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Lakeland Class of 37. With a great passion for philanthropy, he is involved with the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland, the Polk Museum of Art, the Young Life of Polk County, the Achievement Academy, and Ubuntu Sports Outreach.
The Southern Group
We are an influence firm.
When The Southern Group was founded twenty years ago, our firm pioneered the lobbying industry in Florida and beyond. We were the first to offer a unique type of advocacy that was driven by aligning the best and brightest candidates from business, government, and politics, and establishing a network of offices that offer our clients unparalleled access to local and state government.
Over the last two decades we have cultivated and retained a strong team of experts who help our clients build winning strategies, navigate the pathways to power, and connect with decision makers—whether in government or business. We know how to navigate the halls of government because most of us already served in them.
Today, the sharp lines between government, business, and constituencies have blurred. Applying calculated influence demands dynamic strategies that keep pace with societal trends and economic outlooks. Survival of the smartest, fastest, and most connected is the new norm. While lobbying will always be our foundation, tomorrow has reshaped who we are and how we access, advocate, and influence.
Justin Hollis joined The Southern Group in 2018, bringing with him more than a decade of experience in government and political campaigns. Justin’s areas of expertise include agriculture, business regulation, charity regulation, consumer services, energy, food and beverage, natural resources, and water, among others. In addition to his role at Southern, Justin also serves as president of the Beer Industry of Florida, where he works to advance the policy priorities of Florida’s beer distributors.
Justin began his political career as deputy director of legislative affairs in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). During his tenure, he worked with House and Senate leadership to successfully transfer the more than $1 billion school nutrition program from the Florida Department of Education to FDACS. Additionally, he played a key role in developing and passing the state’s most comprehensive water policy in more than a decade.
Justin has run two statewide campaigns, first as the campaign manager for Adam Putnam’s successful 2014 reelection campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture. More recently, he served as chairman of the Florida Grown Political Committee, an organization supporting Adam Putnam’s run for governor. In this capacity, Justin was instrumental in helping to raise more than $37 million during the 2018 election cycle.
Justin lives in Lakeland, Florida, with his wife, Rachel, and their two children.
Thomas Capital Partners LLC
Jeff Donalson is the co-founder and Manager of Thomas Capital Partners LLC, , a diversified real estate development and investment company. Since operations began in 2013, Thomas Capital Partners has successfully acquired and developed over 300,000 square feet of commercial real estate in downtown Winter Haven, Bartow, and Lakeland. One of the largest acquisitions includes to purchase of the Ledger building in downtown Lakeland in December 2016. Thomas Capital Partners has specialized in redeveloping value-add, distressed properties in urban areas. A core principal in Thomas Capital Partners redevelopment strategy is finding a way to connect the community with the real estate. In November 2013, the first project included over 13,000 +/- square feet (SF) and was fully leased and built out by October 2015. The total costs of the Project equaled approximately $1,600,000 and has remained 100% occupied since development was complete. Prior to the founding of TWC, from June 2011 through November 2013, Mr. Donalson worked as a project engineer and project manager for Reiss Engineering, Inc. at the Winter Haven, Florida office. Mr. Donalson’s responsibilities included local business development, project facilitation and budgeting, project management and project design. In 2013, Mr. Donalson led the design services and construction management duties for the City of Clearwater’s new reverse osmosis water treatment facility. With project costs exceeding $30,000,000, this facility now services the entire community of Clearwater, Florida with clean water, utilizing a delicate blend of fresh and brackish water methodically treated for human consumption with reverse osmosis filtration.
From June 2008 through January 2011, Mr. Donalson worked for Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. (now known as ARCADIS US) as an intern and staff engineer. In such capacity, Mr. Donalson performed project management, design, research, and compiled engineering reports for several engineering projects focused on water resources, and water and wastewater process design.
Mr. Donalson graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Engineering with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering degree in environmental engineering with a cum laude designation for academic achievement.
Tiger Concrete and Screed
Tiger Concrete and Screed is a full-service tilt-wall and concrete contractor founded in Lakeland, Florida. It is owned and operated by individuals with over 50 years of construction experience and provides services throughout the Southeastern United States. From panel layout to panel adjustment, Tiger Concrete has the experience and technology to deliver the highest quality craftsmanship in the industry. The company has completed millions of square feet of quality concrete work and is dedicated to investing in the development of infrastructure that will enhance communities economically and socially. Tiger Concrete has completed the concrete work for Catapult, Publix Supermarket Distribution Center, Lakeland Christian School Expansion, Southern Wine and Spirits Warehouse, and many other infrastructures that have helped grow and shape the Lakeland community.
Willie Aceves is the owner and president of Tiger Concrete and Screed. He is involved with all aspects of every project and assures that every client receives a quality deliverable. Email
Tomlinson Realty and Construction
Tomlinson Realty is a commercial real estate brokerage specializing in leasing, sales, and commercial property investment located in the historic Clonts Building on Kentucky Avenue in downtown Lakeland. Tomlinson Construction is a Florida certified general contractor, which has built projects in Texas, Virginia, Georgia, Colorado and central Florida and large custom residential and remodeling projects in Lakeland. Most of Tomlinson's work has been custom design build for repeat clientele.
Macon Tomlinson began his career in western Colorado building industrial and office projects for oil shale service companies long before the current fracking boom. He moved to Lakeland in 1985 and formed his company in 1989. He has built projects in several states and Florida. He is a licensed commercial real estate broker, builder, and investor. Email
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Hotels
The TownePlace Suites Lakeland is a proud member of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and is operated by Intermountain Hotels, which operates over 50 hotels nationally. Our 112 suite extended stay hotel offers full kitchens in all our suites as well as the following complimentary amenities: hot breakfast buffet, high speed internet access, business center services and fitness center. Our goal is to make our guests feel at home and stay productive with thoughtful service, comfortable spaces and local know-how.
Stephan is excited to be the Director of Sales for the TownePlace Suites Lakeland, the 300th TownePlace Suites by Marriott to open! His 25+ years of hospitality sales experience in the Central Florida area ranges from Cocoa Beach to Orlando and now to Lakeland. He is Past President of the Greater Orlando Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Stephan is a member of the Lakeland Hotel/Motel Association and the Visit Central Florida Sports & Special Events Committee. Email
Tratt Properties LLC
In the last 15 years, Tratt Properties LLC has developed and acquired over 7 million square feet of institutional grade logistics properties in key markets across the United States. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Tratt is a dedicated and experienced real estate and financial team engaged in the acquisition and development of institutional grade logistics properties in key markets throughout the United States. We are focused on delivering flexible and scalable global supply chain real estate solutions that go beyond basic transportation, warehousing, and distribution.
Jonathan Tratt is the founder and Managing Principal of Tratt Properties LLC, a Phoenix based commercial real estate development/investment firm. Mr. Tratt has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate and has been regarded for his extensive expertise in real estate development, acquisition and property management services for logistics and e-commerce properties. Mr. Tratt was the 2017 National Chairman for NAIOP, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association. He is on the Executive Committee of Valley Forge Military Academy & College Board of Trustees in Wayne, PA and is a Developer Associate Member of SIOR. Jonathan holds a Master of Business Administration in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton. Email
Treatt is a trusted ingredients manufacturer and solutions provider to the global flavour, fragrance and consumer goods markets. Founded in 1886, the company has grown to locations in the US, UK, China, and Kenya with over 370 experts. Treatt's brightest technical minds take pride in developing the ingredient solutions of the future and are supported by a global infrastructure that delivers results. The Lakeland facility is Treatt's biggest subsidiary representing about 70 percent of the business.
TRIZ Advisory’s representatives have been involved in numerous air rights and land assemblage negotiations with extensive experience working for both public and private institutions. For-profit real estate organizations comprise multi-generational families and newer developers. Recently, our representation includes additional activities in Florida.
Susan brings over 30 years of real estate experience from ground up development, investment, asset management, acquisition and underwriting, debt and equity placement, securitization, as well as workouts. From 1990 to 1997, Susan was with Fleet Real Estate Capital, where she managed a national portfolio of commercial properties on behalf of Lehman Brothers. These assets were either pool buyouts, recaps or in bankruptcy, giving her extensive knowledge of workouts and restructurings.
Additionally, Susan was then responsible for the real estate and hard asset portfolio for a Greenwich family office, which had been a private banking client. As the head of real estate, she dealt with the acquisition and disposition strategies for such assets as the purchase of a southeastern based defunct REIT, individual office and multifamily assets in the northeast, an oil terminal facility in Puerto Rico, and the holding/development strategy for 18,000+ acres in central Florida. Susan then went back to the private banking side of the business, both at Citi Group and then Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where she was responsible for identifying and developing suitable commercial real estate products to meet the needs of bank clients.
Susan earned a BA in economics from Boston University and a Real Estate Finance Certificate from Northeastern University.
Truist is an organization driven by purpose and a personal touch. Truist is passionate about Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by helping clients, teammates and communities achieve financial confidence. As one of the nation’s largest and strongest financial services companies, we offer a full suite of products and services designed to meet the needs of our consumer, business, corporate and institutional clients.
Rob McCollum is a Polk county native with over 25 years of banking experience. He began his banking career with SunTrust Bank in August 1997 and has served in many different roles. Prior roles include, Business Banking Team Leader for Business Bankers covering Polk, Highlands, Desoto, Okeechobee, Osceola, and Lake counties. He most recently served as a Commercial Banker working with clients in both Polk county and Agri Business clients throughout the state of Florida. Currently, he is serving as the Market President for the Commercial Community Bank in the Greater Polk County market. In his current role, he is responsible for coordinating SunTrust, BB&T now Truist’s efforts in the greater Polk county market. Email
Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Vogel Bros. Building Co., a fifth-generation construction services company, is a leading builder in varied market segments. This award winning company has earned recognition for commissioning large-scale and complex projects, innovation, new technologies, and making a difference in their community. The basis of their philosophy is building with values, solutions and accountability. Vogel Bros. employs 120 dedicated managers, craftsmen, and support staff in Madison, WI and Lakeland. They offer clients the accessibility and support of a local business with the stability and resources of a multi-million dollar organization.
Darren Vogel oversees the day-to-day operations of the Florida office where he plays an active role in each project. As a registered professional engineer, his experience in commercial, heavy civil and industrial construction make him uniquely qualified to coach field staff on pursuits unique to Florida. Email
Wall Titus has been helping clients identify and respond to a range of business and financial challenges since 1986. The Lakeland firm has a team of experts to guide clients in accounting, wealth management, and a variety of business services. The Wall Titus team is committed to being accessible to all clients and proactive in offering meaningful advice.
Ira graduated from Florida Southern College with a Bachelor of Science degree. He has spent the last 30 years working for local or national CPA firms overseeing their audit practices, serving companies in numerous industries, such as construction, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, and agriculture, with various complex accounting and auditing issues. Ira is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also Certified in Florida Sales and Use Tax (CFST) in the State of Florida. He has served on many not-for-profit boards, including Lakeland City Baseball, The Polk Museum of Art, The Polk Theatre, Girls, Inc., and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Polk County. Ira’s married to Alisa and has three children, Ian, Ava, and Asher. Email
Wards Air Conditioning
Wards Air Conditioning has served the Lakeland community since 1961. Wards Air Conditioning is a full service air conditioning contractor with one of the largest service departments in Polk County. Wards specializes in Design/Build contracting and is currently the largest Trane dealer in Central Florida.
Tim Rice has been the President and sole stock owner of Wards for over 25 years. Mr. Rice is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S. degree from the Fisher College of Business in MIS & Mathematical Statistics.
Jason brings over two decades of Healthcare Administration experience to Lakeland. Most recently, he was the COO of physician owned group in Champaign, Illinois and was instrumental in their growth, development and cultural transformation. As newly appointed CAO of Watson Clinic LLP, Mr. Hirsbrunner will oversee one of the largest and most successful medical groups in the Southeast. With a total staff of more than 1800 employees, over 300 physicians and providers, 40 diverse medical and surgical specialties and 19 state-of-the-art locations serving close to a million outpatient visits every year. Email
Wiginton Fire Systems
Wiginton incorporates a team of highly skilled and trained engineers, distributors, installers and service technicians. The company is 100% employee-owned. Wiginton has built a strong bond of loyalty and quality that is evident with the longevity and expertise reflected in the Wiginton team.
Williams handles approximately one third of the natural gas in the United States that is used every day to heat our homes, cook our food and generate our electricity. Williams works closely with customers to provide the necessary infrastructure to serve growing markets and safely deliver natural gas products to reliably fuel the clean energy economy. With interstate natural gas pipelines and gathering & processing operations throughout the country, we reliably deliver value to our employees, investors, customers and communities by running our business with authenticity and a safety-driven culture, leading our industry into the future.
Williams common stock (WMB) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Seth Blackwell is a Certified Professional Landman with extensive knowledge and experience in all facets of land development. Mr. Blackwell is part of the Corporate Strategic Development team for the Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB), where he focuses on project origination within the New Energy Ventures business unit.
Prior to joining the Williams Companies, Mr. Blackwell held the position of Executive Vice President of Land & Business Development for Lilis Energy & Ruckus Energy, where he grew their core positions to over 40,000 contiguous acres, added over $500MM in asset value, and oversaw multiple M&A transactions. Prior to that, he gained exposure to multiple oil and gas basins throughout the U.S. while working for Occidental Petroleum.
Mr. Blackwell holds a B.S. in Business Management from Fort Hays State University and a M.S. in Energy Business from The University of Tulsa. Email
Katie Estep is a Business Developer for Williams New Energy Ventures (NEV) organization. She is focused on commercializing innovative technologies, markets, and business models specifically in the solar and battery space. The NEV organization evaluates and implements projects to grow the clean energy business.
Prior to taking this role in 2022, Katie held several other positions at Williams to support the natural gas business including engineering, project management, and project development. In addition, she worked on the utility scale solar team for NextEra Energy developing solar projects in the Midwest. Katie earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of LaVerne. She is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana and Texas. Email
Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.
Wood operates in more than 60 countries, employing around 55,000 people, with revenues of around $11 billion through several divisions including Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. Wood is a diverse business, with around 6,000 people in about 175 offices. Our business locations reach from northern Canada to southern Chile and across the United Kingdom and Continental Europe and include Lakeland, Florida. We provide a full range of services to clients in the power, government, industrial, mining, transportation, pharmaceutical, water, and oil & gas sectors.
Michael Phelps is the Lakeland Office Manager for Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. and has more than 25 years of experience with a wide variety of engineering projects. Mike has managed hundreds of projects and continuing contracts for engineering services for counties and cities throughout Florida. Email
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