Boston's LPL Financial Announced in a press release on Wednesday their intention to purchase Allen & Company, one of Polk County's oldest businesses founded in 1932. LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LPLA) (collectively with its subsidiaries, “LPL”), has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Allen & Company, and Lakeland based broker/dealer and registered investment adviser. Allen & Company employs approximately 30 advisors and serves approximately $3 billion of client assets. Allen & Company has been a member of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber for at least 51 years, from when they established their Winter Haven office in 1968. Read the official press release below.
Community Health Systems (CHS) announced late Wednesday their intention to sell Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center and Lake Wales Medical Center to AdventHealth (formerly the Florida Hospital network). Advent Health is a faith-based, non-profit system undergoing rapid expansion in the Florida market. It was assumed they had intentions to expand into Polk County, as they had also purchased land close to Florida Polytechnic University.
CHS, a for-profit hospital network, anticipates that the sale will be final in early fall. A definitive agreement has been signed and the due diligence period now begins. The purchase price for the sale has not been disclosed.
Polk Museum of Art (PMoA) announced Wednesday that Dr. Alex Rich, the museum's curator and director of galleries and exhibitions and an associate professor of art history at Florida Southern College will take over as the museum's executive director and chief curator. The current executive director, Claire Orologas, recently announced her intention to retire after 7 years with the museum. Claire is also a member of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber Board of Directors.
Claire has led the museum out of the recession and carefully through a transition into a partnership with Florida Southern College. She has improved the countywide reach of the museum and impacted the arts community throughout our area through education and advocacy. We want to thank Claire for her tireless and passionate leadership of the museum and for always striving for it to truly be POLK's museum and accessible to all of our citizens and visitors. Claire and her team have brought in work from both classical and new artists, most of which help us to challenge the way we think about art, and ourselves. Claire, you will be missed!
The City of Winter Haven is delighted to announce good news about a member of the City team. Senior Planner (Neighborhoods) Anita Silwal was awarded with the “She Knows Where She is Going” award by Girls Inc. of Lakeland and Bartow. This award celebrates and honors exceptional women who serve as positive role models for girls and young women as evidenced by their personal and professional accomplishments and community spirit. There were 10 nominees from Polk County in attendance and three were selected as the final recipients of the award. Anita shares, “I was incredibly proud to hear my name followed by City of Winter Haven.”
Anita was born and raised in Nepal, and is the founder of Welcome Womanhood, a nonprofit organization to empower young women and raising awareness about several female issues. In Nepal, Anita was an acclaimed journalist and media figure. Anita currently serves as a Senior Neighborhood Planner for the City of Winter Haven. She has a master’s degree in Sociology and recently graduated from Florida Polytechnic University with an additional Master’s degree in Innovation and Technology. Anita is an incredible asset to the City of Winter Haven team and it is only fitting that she is recognized with such as significant honor.
Polk County Tourism, Polk County Emergency Management and Publix Partner to Distribute 2019 Polk County Public Shelters Maps
In preparation for hurricane season, which begins on June 1, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing and Polk County Emergency Management have again partnered with Publix Super Markets to produce and distribute the "Polk County Public Shelters" maps for 2019. This annual map is designed to assist both resident and tourist evacuees in finding shelter during an impending storm.
SPCA Florida recently received a $25,000 grant from the Petco Foundation. The Petco Foundation has been a community supporter of SPCA Florida, providing funding and community collaboration opportunities for many years. In addition to working with the Petco Foundation, SPCA Florida currently partners with many Petco locations across the state of Florida for animal adoptions and community events.
“The missions of our two organizations align perfectly and we applaud Petco Foundation for its continued involvement and support of SPCA Florida animals,” said SPCA Florida Media & Partnership Relations Manager, Randa Richter.
She grew up in Chicago and went to an all-girls school specializing in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). Now, Megan Sheeran ’18 is a member of the growing community of Florida Polytechnic University alumni. Through internships as well as research opportunities with faculty, Sheeran is looking forward to the next step in her academic life – graduate school.
Florida Polytechnic University student Christian Lomenzo is the new EA Madden NFL 19 Challenge champion, after surprising the sports gaming world with an incredible play in overtime that sealed his victory and a $35,000 grand prize. The nationwide competition was held at the EA headquarters in Redwood City, California, on March 15-17.
During April’s Coffee & Conversation, sponsored by Tinsley Family Concessions, we had the pleasure of having State Attorney Brian Haas speak about the importance of safeguarding your business and personal life. In our digital age, it has become easier and easier for criminals to access our personal information, money, social media accounts and communication systems. Brian shared practical ways to keep your important business, client and personal information safe.
Officials from Florida Polytechnic University and the Australian-American Fulbright Commission (Fulbright Australia) formalized an agreement at a ceremonial signing, March 1, at the U.S. Embassy in the Australian capital of Canberra. The agreement allows the University to begin accepting graduate students and faculty from Australia beginning in the fall of 2019.
Florida Polytechnic University announced plans to build another iconic building on its campus that will serve as a research hub for the Central Florida region, becoming a magnet for high-tech development around the school. The final details and renderings of the project were presented at the Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, March 13.
A panel of travel and horticultural experts nominated Bok Tower Gardens to compete in the annual 10Best Readers’ Choice Poll presented by USA TODAY.
Twenty prestigious gardens and arboretums from across the continent are currently competing for the honor of being included in the top ten list. The national contest invites fans to vote once a day for their favorite garden and polls close on Monday, April 22 at noon. Winners are announced on May 3. Currently, Bok Tower Gardens is ranked number 8!
Fans of Bok Tower Gardens can vote each day now through April 22 at:
The top 10 leaderboard includes Missouri Botanical Garden, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden, San Diego Botanic Garden, Bok Tower Gardens, Chanticleer Garden and Montreal Botanical Garden.
Since 2003, CareerSource Polk has recognized the Best Places to Work in Polk County through a competitive application process that honors employers who exemplify best practices in their workplace and who are committed to improving the quality of life for their employees.
The application period for the 2018 cycle is April 1 to June 1, 2019. The awards will be presented at the CareerSource Polk Annual Meeting and Best Places to Work Awards on August 22, 2019 in Lakeland.
For questions or comments regarding the application process contact Kathy Suttles at 863-508-1600 ext. 1103. Kathy.Suttles@careersourcepolk.com.
Enrollment for the summer and fall 2019 semesters at Polk State College has started with priority registration for students who have completed 30 credit hours or more. Students can check their credit-hour status and whether they qualify for priority registration onPASSPORT. Open enrollment will begin for summer April 8, which is also when current students will be able to enroll in classes for fall. Open enrollment for fall will begin June 3. Classes start May 7 and August 19, respectively.
Michaela McLean, of Clermont, sponsored by Pro Citrus Network, was crowned the new 2019 Miss Florida Citrus and Juliana Fray, of Tampa, sponsored by Straughn & Turner, P.A., was crowned the new Miss Winter Haven at Polk State College’s Fine Arts Theatre in Winter Haven, Fla. on March 23, 2019.
Hosted by David Lang, of Regalia Magnificent Apparel, the Miss America preliminary pageant contestants were judged on their Personal Interview, Evening Wear/On Stage Question, Talent and Swimsuit, with over $3,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the top five finalists. Both titleholders will go on to compete in the Miss Florida Pageant, which takes place in Lakeland June 25—June 29, 2019, the winner of which will compete in the Miss America pageant.
Thousands of participating charities across Belk’s 16-state footprint benefit from Belk’s semi-annual charity sales. Belk believes in supporting the communities it serves and wants to continue that tradition.
Belk’s spring charity sale will take place Saturday, May 4 from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. in all Belk stores. The in-store shopping event is an excellent fundraising tool for participating organizations that sell $5 tickets to their supporters. It’s also an opportunity for customers to give back to local nonprofits, while taking advantage of special in-store discounts on purchases during the event.
THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD opened to enthusiastic visitors for the first time today at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, taking guests on an immersive journey from the theater to the theme park!
Created in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and LEGO®, the newest expansion features three new rides and numerous attractions, all inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO® MOVIE™ and the exciting big-screen animated adventure sequel THE LEGO® MOVIE™ 2: The Second Part.
Dunkin Donuts of Winter Haven was awarded Small Business of the Month for March! Al Mustafa, Owner of Dunkin Donuts at 1578 3rd Street SW, has always made his local relationships and organizations a top priority. Many people drive by chain stores like Dunkin Donuts and assume they are disconnected from their communities, but this family owned franchise has humbly and quietly been helping the Winter Haven community for almost 10 years.
If you were to Google "female entrepreneur who epitomizes what it means to pay-it-forward" a photo of Nikki Smith may just be your first search result. From humble beginnings sixteen years ago running her business, ASAP Prints, out of her home with a part-time assistant, to now having clients such as Chick-fil-A and Google, Nikki's business journey has exceeded her wildest expectations.
Bank of Central Florida is pleased to welcome Carman Rich as Vice President and Private Banking Officer. Ms. Rich will work from the Winter Haven office and be responsible for establishing private banking relationships that are centered around helping clients find the right solutions to meet their unique financial needs.
“We’re very pleased to have Carman join our Private Banking team,” said Executive Vice President & Chief Sales Officer Joe Furnari. “With Carman focusing on private banking relationships and Bo Boyte handling commercial lending for our Winter Haven market, we are excited about the future.
Saint Leo University has announced it will offer a significant new scholarship to help make higher education more accessible to Catholic high school students in Florida.
Available for students beginning in the Fall 2019 Semester, the Catholic Promise Scholarship will award Florida students who have attended four years at a Catholic high school with an annual scholarship of $14,000 toward their tuition at Saint Leo University’s University Campus. The scholarship is renewable each year for up to four years and will provide up to $56,000 in financial aid by the time the student graduates. When combined with the Florida Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) grant of $3,500 per year and an annual $5,500 to $7,500 in Stafford Loans, Saint Leo University’s annual tuition will be significantly reduced for recipients of the Catholic Promise Scholarship every year.
Information provided by PCPS:
It was another momentous day for our ELITE teacher education program, as students from Bartow High began their journey to a career in the classroom. The students took part in a ceremonial signing event at Bartow High and formally announced their plans to join the ELITE program. Similar events were held last week at Haines City and Ridge Community high schools.
Information provided by PCPS:
Suzie Nelson from Chain of Lakes Elementary is our district’s 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year!
Nelson is PCPS’ nominee for the statewide Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award, which recognizes “exemplary assistant principals for their contributions to their schools and communities.”
The Florida Department of Education program honors assistant principals who have utilized teamwork and leadership skills to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments, and establish partnerships with parents and community members.
One winner will ultimately be chosen as Florida’s 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort is just days away from taking guests from the theater to the theme park with the launch of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD. Created in partnership with Warner Bros., this impressive expansion features three new rides and numerous attractions, all inspired by the characters and themes of the worldwide blockbuster THE LEGO MOVIE and the exciting new big-screen animated adventure sequel THE LEGO MOVIE™ 2: The Second Part.