June 2005 Archives

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New Downtown Coffee House & Bistro - June 23, 2005

EMERGE Lakleand members Chris McArthur and Isaac Hartmann are part of a group that is opening a new restuarant in downtown Lakeland. The Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro will be located at 205 E. Main Street, directly across from Munn Park. Construction has already begun!

I talked to Chris about the new venture, here's what he had to say:

The new restaurant is a fusion between the coffee products of Starbucks and the deli-like sandwiches of a Crispers or Panera Bread.

In addition, we thought that there needed to be something else to do in Lakeland on the weekend besides the movies, bar hopping or eating out. We will offer live blues, jazz or accoustic style music in a very social environment each Friday and Saturday night. We'll leave Thursday nights for "open mic."

If everything goes as planned, Black & Brew should be open by the first week of August. I'll post an update once the opening is a bit closer. Perhaps we can schedule an EMERGE only preview night.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Other Upcoming Events - June 23, 2005

A few upcoming events in the Lakeland area that might interest EMERGE members:

- Polk Museum of Art has posted their July events, including quite a few movies.

- The City of Lakeland's DIVE-IN movie series at the Gandy Pool might skew a bit younger than our membership, but movies like the Incredbiles on August 12th appeal to all ages.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Death of the Car Salesman - June 23, 2005

My order had been placed six weeks ago, yet here I was, three missed appointments later, complaining to the customer service representative, again.

Finally, after holding for 45 minutes, I decided to drive to the store to speak to someone in person. Had the days when people were eager to have your business and eager to provide good customer service passed away? As I drove to the store, I passed a car dealership and as I looked on I became jealous, noticing the attentiveness of the car salesman.

We are all familiar with the stereotype of a car salesman and many of us cringe at the thought of being compared to one.

Maybe though, in our own occupations, we should all strive to be more like the car salesman because, in reality, a 'car salesman' offers good customer service.

Here's why:

A car salesman...

1. is always happy to see you
2. will go out of his/her way to ensure your complete understanding of the product
3. always lets you 'test-drive' the merchandise
4. acknowledges your needs
5. is eager to return your phone calls
6. knows the importance of negotiating
7. is friendly to your family or other decision-makers
8. dresses like a professional
9. has good follow-up
10. possesses a sense of urgency

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Posted by Samantha Hocker

Friday Night with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - June 21, 2005

This Friday June 24th is 'Young Professionals Night' at Tropicana Field. Enjoy a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game with members of EMERGE Tampa, Manatee Young Professionals and the Young Professionals Group of the Sarasota Chamber. This event is a great opportunity to meet other young professionals outside the Lakeland area.

Tickets are only $10 for the 'Beach' section. The game starts at 7:15pm at Tropicana Field and should last about 3 hours.

Now comes the important part: Contact Rays Representative Barry Jones at (727) 825-3123, or e-mail bjones@devilrays.com for the special ticket price. This offer is NOT available through Tropicana Field Box Offices, Devil Rays Dugout Store or Ticketmaster. No refunds or exchanges-- Subject to availability.

If you are interested in going contact Barry for tickets and leave a comment below.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Recap of Lake Mirror Tower Event - June 14, 2005

Last week we had a great crowd come out to see the new Lake Mirror Tower for our June event. The Tower graciously hosted over 80 EMERGE members and guests, which comprises our largest attendance at a monthly event to date.

EMERGE Lakeland at Lake Mirror Tower

The evening began with a networking game and then we heard from Jim Malless, President of Historic Lakeland (pictured below). He gave a great in depth presentation on the history of the project, as well as the adjacent Promenade, and also took us through a timeline of Historic Lakeland dating back from the 1920's to the present.

Lakeland Historic Society

Next, two of the Lake Mirror Tower hosts conducted tours of the building and then everyone gathered back in the common area for some raffle drawings.

The Tower has been restored back to its original grandeur and is certainly a prominent component in our downtown area. They are still leasing apartments so anyone who is looking to move to a great location and setting should definitely visit and check it out.

More photos can be found on Flickr.

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Posted by Angie Register

City of Lakeland 4th of July Plans - June 13, 2005

The City of Lakeland will host Red, White & Kaboom on July 1, 2005 as part of a weekend celebrating independence and freedom with a fireworks display over Lake Mirror as the highlight of the evening.

Red, White & Kaboom will take place at Lake Mirror and downtown Lakeland from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. The evening will include entertainment from jazz saxophonist, Eric Darius and his quartet at the Lake Mirror Amphitheatre. Downtown streets will be filled with military vehicles, a car show and displays representing City of Lakeland Departments. A Karaoke contest in Munn Park and bucket truck rides are among the many attractions. Downtown shops and restaurants will remain open until 9:00 p.m. as part of First Friday.

Joker Marchant Stadium will also host a fireworks display on July 4th as part of an afternoon celebration that starts with a Lakeland Tigers baseball game and ends with fireworks at 9 p.m.

Eric "Smooth Breeze" Darius will take the stage at Lake Mirror on July 1st during Red, White & Kaboom at 6 p.m. His popular jazz quartet will play three sets of music ending at 9 p.m. to an awesome fireworks display over Lake Mirror.

Downtown shops and restaurants will remain open and downtown streets will be filled with activity including military vehicles, City displays, a classic car show and entertainment. Food and drink vendors will be located along Lake Mirror so family and friends are invited to arrive early for a complete evening of music, fireworks and more.

Any EMERGE members thinking about going?

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Guest Blogger: Terry Worthington - June 13, 2005

Next up in our 'Guest Blogger' series is Terry Worthington, President of the United Way of Central Florida.

Where have all the leaders gone?

The yellowed pages of the scrapbooks revealed many of the same faces that sit at the heads of the boardroom tables around Polk County a quarter of a century later. They were the faces of the people that chaired the Girls Cub wreath sale, Big Brother Big Sisters Gourmet Dinner or the Rotary Auction. They were young, and frankly, most were not as good looking in 1980 as they became in their forties, fifties and sixties.

Even the group of "senior" community leaders that created the United Way of Central Florida from the independent United Ways of Greater Lakeland, Greater Bartow and the Lake Region were mostly familiar faces. While the first chair of this newly formed organization, John McKnight, passed away several years ago, he was central to the recent creation of Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine. Bob Madden, another founding Board member serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and is a frequent advisor to the United Way. The American Cancer Society and United Way consider Jack Pines, who celebrates his 80th birthday this month, an individual uniquely capable of pulling together disparate county interests.

Just weeks ago the Publisher of the Winter Haven News Chief, Wayne Ezell, announced his acceptance of a position with a newspaper in Jacksonville. Wayne currently serves as Co-Chair of Polk Vision and was scheduled to be the United Way Campaign Chair in 2007. He serves on the Boards of The Polk Museum of Art, Winter Haven Chamber, United Way, Winter Haven Vision and in various other volunteer capacities, including key fundraising roles with Polk Community College. Who will assume Wayne's volunteer responsibilities?

Community Leadership requires no special talent. The prerequisites include caring about the quality of life for those who follow us.

Over 2000 nonprofit organizations have tax exempt status in Polk County. All require volunteer leadership in order to serve the community. Opportunities to lead are plentiful.

Might we find you in the "2005 scrapbook" as we prepare for anniversaries in 2030?

About Terry Worthington
Terry Worthington has served as President of the United Way of Central Florida since April of 1996. After working as a case manager with the Epilepsy Foundation, he began his United Way career in 1987 as a Campaign Associate with this United Way. In 1991, he moved to the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula as Associate Executive Director and then to the United Way of Middle Tennessee (Nashville) where he was Vice President of Resource Development. Terry graduated from Ohio University with both a Bachelors degree in Communications and a Masters degree in Education.

Terry currently serves as a board member of Polk Works and chairs the Resources Committee. He is also a board member of Polk Citizens for World Class Schools, the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland, United Way of Florida and chairs the Board Development Committee for the Polk Community College Corporate College. He has also served as a Commissioner with Volunteer Florida, the Governor's Commission on Community Service, since 1999.

Terry and his wife Marilyn are the parents of 21-year-old triplets, Chelsea and Katie are recent graduates from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and Ryan attends the University of Florida in Gainesville.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

What Restaurant is Lakeland Missing? - June 7, 2005

It seems a few times each year there is a small celebration that Lakeland 'got' one of 'those' restaurants. You know, one of the major chains has decided to open a location in Lakeland. There is always much fanfare and anticipation of the new eatery.

Remember when Lakeland 'got' an Outback Steakhouse or the cheers when Carraba's arrived? How about the first Quiznos? Too long ago for you? How about some more recent examples like Bonefish Grill, Smokey Bones BBQ or Panera Bread?

When the new Lakeside Village was announced, rumors surfaced that The Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang's would come to Lakeland. No luck yet.

So what restaurant are we missing? Leave a comment below.

Or perhaps you want the chains to stay away so that local restaurants can thrive in their absence.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Agenda for June Event- Lake Mirror Tower - June 1, 2005

Below is the agenda for our next event at the new Lake Mirror Tower Apartment Complex. The Tower is located at 103 S. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland, FL.

You may RSVP here.

5:30 p.m.- Arrival, Begin Networking Activity
6:00- Announcements, Presentation from Jim Malless, President of Historic Lakeland
6:15- Tour of Tower, conducted by Cheryl Meehan
6:45- Regroup for Raffle Drawings and Prizes
After the event, everyone is welcome to join the EMERGE steering committee at The Terrace for drinks, dinner, etc.

There is parking onsite at the Lake Mirror Tower garage. The lower level can be utilized. Once this is full, please park at the Main Street Downtown Lakeland garage and walk across Massachusetts Ave. to the Tower.

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Posted by Angie Register

*All blog posts and comments are the opinions of the blog author or comment poster and do not necessarily represent the views of EMERGE Lakeland.

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