The Annual Meeting and Partnership Celebration of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) held recently in Tampa provided a great opportunity to surprise Polk Education Foundation (PEF) Executive Director Susan Copeland with a special recognition for her volunteer leadership in the statewide organization.
On June 22nd, Webber International University sent eight members and one advisor, Joanne Muniz, from their Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) organization to San Antonio, TX for the 2019 National Leadership Conference (NLC) where more than 2,000 students from across the U.S. competed in over 65 events!
This six-day event was the culmination of a year's worth of hard work by Webber's PBL, who competed in District and State competitions at Valencia College and at the Doubletree Seaworld Orlando Resort, respectively, to earn their places in San Antonio.
Polk County Public Schools is opening a call center to handle school bus inquiries and issues for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Parents and guardians can dial 863-534-7300 for assistance from Monday, July 29 through Friday, Aug. 23. The temporary call center will be staffed on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.* Staff will be able to provide help with all manner of transportation questions, including student bus numbers; stop times and locations; transportation eligibility; bus delays and other topics.
Polk County Public Schools kept its positive momentum with another B grade in 2018-19, according to data released today by the Florida Department of Education. It was PCPS’ second consecutive year as a “B” district. PCPS had previously been a C-rated district for seven straight years.
“I’m absolutely elated by the news that Polk County Public Schools has maintained its B. What a fantastic day for our school district,” said Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd. “We are a district headed in the right direction, where academic achievement among our students is truly on the rise. This is a testament to the hard work of every student, employee, parent and supporter of PCPS. I am overjoyed and immensely proud of the progress we are making as a district. Well done, PCPS.”
Residential Lender Julie Whitmire recently celebrated her 30th anniversary at Wauchula State Bank. Whitmire is based at the bank’s downtown Lake Placid office, 102 East Interlake Blvd. “We appreciate Julie’s years of service,” said Wauchula State Bank President Donna McKown. “She has used her knowledge and experience to help countless residents acquire their homes. She always puts her customers first and believes service is our most important product.”
Webber International University has announced its intention to compete in Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse. While the first competitive match won’t occur until next season, the University is currently performing a nationwide search for head coaches for each team and is enrolling athletes interested in building the team from a development team to a competitive powerhouse.
James Sharak is the new Grand Knight of Knights of Columbus Council 7091 of Cypress Gardens. He presided at the council’s first meeting of the 2019-20 Columbian Year on July 9 in the Poinsettia Room at the Quality Inn/EconoLodge in Winter Haven. This represents a return to the council’s highest office for Sharak who served as Grand Knight in the 2014-15 Columbian Year. He succeeds Sal Porta who now serves the council as a Trustee. Other knights serving as officers are Deputy Grand Knight Scott Sharak,
Treasurer Jerry Melnitzke, Recorder Ken Nelson, Warden John Ondrovic, Advocate Ed Sheehan, Chancellor David Faber, Outside Guard Andrew Brownyard and Inside Guard Bob Bigg. Serving on the Board of Trustees along with Porta are Phil Pierpont and Ed Luteran. Ruben Sanabria continues serving in the appointive position of Financial Secretary.
Dieter Deussen and his five-year-old son Julian just completed the trip of a lifetime. In a span of 13 days, the duo from Germany visited seven different countries and eight different cities on their way to visiting all of the LEGOLAND® Parks throughout the world! “The key to this trip was to have fun and enjoy extensive time with my son,” said Deussen while embracing Julian. “It’s a memory that we’ll have forever.”
Boswell & Dunlap, LLP, established in 1900, is pleased to announce that Jillian T. Spangler has joined the firm. Ms. Spangler, a 2018 recipient of the Polk Emerging Leader Award, past president of the Rotary Club of Winter Haven and current chair of Endeavor Winter Haven, brings to the firm a diversified transactional practice in business law, corporate governance, commercial and residential real estate, estate planning and equine law. Jillian earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from Rollins College in 2010, a Masters of Business Administration, with a focus on international business, management, and marketing, from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College in 2012, and a Juris Doctorate from the Stetson University College of Law in 2014. The firm, Polk County’s oldest, is thrilled to welcome her.
Webber International University Hires Program Director for itsNew Sports Performance, Health, and Fitness Program
Webber International University announced today that it has hired Dr. Carleigh H. Boone to lead its new Sports Performance, Health, and Fitness program on its Babson Park, Florida Campus. Dr. Charles Shieh, the University’s Chief Academic Officer and the Florida Campus’ Academic Dean, said, “Dr. Boone brings both a solid academic background and significant university teaching experience to the program.”
“When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream and succeed, great things happen! That is what Kiwanis is about!” according to Ms. Cynthia Rignanese. The Florida District of Kiwanis is one of the largest and most successful districts in Kiwanis International. Because of that, the Florida District served as Host for the 104 International Convention in Orlando from June 27- 30, 2019.
NASCAR driver Aric Almirola typically enjoys life in the fast lane. However, the two-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner and Florida native slowed down this week to spend some much beloved family time at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
Are you a small business owner who would love the opportunity to have a professionally filmed commercial to use on social media, but you just dont have the budget? Our Chamber member Dolphin Image Studios is here to help! They will partner with one lucky winner to produce, film and edit a short info-mercial or 30 second commercial at either the winner's location or at there fully equipped film studio right here in Winter Haven.
Florida Poly News
Stanley Pierre Gilles, 17, said he sees himself as a corporate lawyer when he pictures the future. At least those were his plans before participating in the second Summer STEAM Boot Camp at Florida Polytechnic University, designed for first-generation-in-college and low-income high school students in Polk County. “Normally I shy away from engineering and physics because I’m not that strong in math,” said Gilles, who attends Haines City High School. “But this camp has taught me that the most important part is not the math, it’s the details about the process.”
Florida Poly News
On June 23, International Women in Engineering Day will celebrate the achievements of women in the field and encourage more females to enter engineering and related areas. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Transform the Future,” a goal female students and faculty at Florida Polytechnic University work toward every day in the traditionally male-dominated field.
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union invites car collectors and enthusiasts to register their vehicles in the 20th MIDFLORIDA Auto Show & Lake Mirror Concours, taking place the weekend of Oct. 18-20. Participants can register online at www.midfloridaautoshow.com before Aug. 31 to receive an early bird discount. Registration closes on Oct. 1.
Calling all artists - The Lakeland Magic wants YOU to design their next uniform. The contest is open to the public for submissions through July 21, 2019 and will open to fans for voting starting on August 1, 2019. Player worn jerseys will be auctioned off with proceeds benefitting the winner's Polk County charity of choice. Click here to learn more!
Knights of Columbus Council 7091 Donates $1,000 to Catholic Charities, 52 Loaves of Bread to Needy Folks
Knights of Columbus Council 7091 of Cypress Gardens made a donation of $1,000 to Catholic Charities Polk County Ministries to help the charity carry out its mission of providing food and other necessities for needy people in the eastern part of Polk County. Martha Murphy, a case manager assigned to the Catholic Charities Polk County Ministries office on the campus of St. Joseph Church in Winter Haven, accepted the donation from knight Billy Bob Morris, who chairs the council’s charity committee.
Aktion Parks & USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation are pleased to announce the Grand Opening of Auburndale’s very own watersports park, Elite Cable Park, that will be open to the public Saturday, July 13th. Please join them for the Grand Opening where industry executives, local dignitaries, water sports enthusiasts, and Auburndale locals will celebrate together. Tantrums Dockside Grill, Elite Cable Park’s restaurant, will also open with a spectacular lakeside view with a wide variety of food. Read more for schedule.
SPCA Florida volunteers will depart Saturday, June 29 th to drive 25 homeless kittens to their new home in New Hampshire. Monadnock Humane Society staff and volunteers will welcome the eight-week-old kittens on Sunday, June 30. SPCA Florida spayed and neutered half of the 25 kittens and Monadnock Humane Society will spay and neuter the other half according to an agreement between the two no-kill organizations.
Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida has partnered with Costa® Sunglasses in the Kick Plastic® Ambassador Program. Costa launched the Kick Plastic campaign in 2015 to take action against single-use plastic that is polluting our watery world and we are one of the select Eye Care professionals to be invited to become Ambassadors and support the campaign. In an effort to address the 420 million plastic lenses disposed by the optical industry every two years*, Costa launched an ambitious new plan, paving the way for Eye Care professionals and the optical industry to tackle the problem. The Kick Plastic Lens Recycling Program is an innovative program that encourages Eye Care professionals to collect, recycle and repurpose any type or brand of plastic lenses.
Bright Smiles of Winter Haven, a leading pediatric dental practice in Winter Haven, Florida, is excited to announce that Dr. Eva Dupay, a Pediatric Dentist, will join their practice. Bright Smiles of Winter Haven has been the town’s ‘haven’ for pediatric dentistry since 1964. The practice was purchased by Dr. Ken Rogers, D.M.D., in 1990. He was joined by Dr. Tiffany Y. Chen, D.D.S., M.S. in 2010. Today, Dr. Rogers and Dr. Chen are a dynamic duo making smiles shine brightly across Polk County where Bright Smiles is a thriving and growing practice. Dr. Rogers and Dr. Chen are excited to have Dr. Dupay join them, as she shares their enthusiasm for their work and love of their patients.
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Kicks Off Awe-Summer Event Series with Independence Day Celebration Red, White and Boom
For three consecutive nights (July 4-6) LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will light the night sky with colorful fireworks as the park built for kids celebrates Independence Day with a special summer event, Red, White & Boom. As part of the Awe-summer event series at LEGOLAND Florida, Red, White and Boom will provide guests the opportunity to start their 4th of July celebration with a fun day at the park and end it with a night of vibrant fireworks booming over beautiful Lake Eloise. Also part of the summer celebration, guests can help create a giant U.S. flag that’ll be created from thousands of LEGO bricks.
Won't you be my neighbor?
It's a phrase multiple generations grew up with from the wise lesson of Mr. Rogers. Learning how to be each others neighbor meant taking care of each other, knowing about each other, helping each other out.
It seems like such an elemental lesson, but one people these days struggle more and more to adhere too. That's why it is exciting to hear about the City of Winter Haven's focus on bringing neighborhoods back together.
At today's Coffee and Conversation, a series presented thanks to the generous sponsorship of Tinsley Family Concessions, we heard from City Manager Mike Herr, Public Safety Director Charlie Bird and Neighborhood Planner Anita Silwal speak on the topic of moving our neighborhoods forward. Chief Bird gave an update on their code enforcement initiative, Neighborhoods on the Move, where they are using new ways to give the community resources on "coming into compliance". This initiative isn't just about giving residents a citation and expecting them to comply. That approach isn't effective, so Chief feels that this new technique will yield greater results.
Axiom Bank N.A., a Maitland-based, leading community bank, recently named Scott Leitner as VP, Commercial Relationship Manager. In this role, Leitner will develop commercial relationships and drive revenue growth. “Scott’s diverse background in law and business brings a wealth of knowledge to our team,” said Ted Sheppe, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking of Axiom Bank. “His experience helping small businesses reach and exceed their financial goals through innovative solutions is a valuable asset as we continue expanding our services.”
As a licensed Florida Bar attorney, Leitner boasts nearly a decade of legal experience, including real estate litigation, commercial banking, as well as experience in account management. He previously served as Assistant Vice President, Small Business Banker at a national bank. For more information about Axiom Bank and to find the nearest location, visit AxiomBanking.com.