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Get Your MBA at Florida Southern - January 4, 2011

There’s more competition than ever when it comes to getting ahead in the business world. Why not set yourself apart with an MBA? Florida Southern College offers an accelerated 16-month MBA program and begins a 16-month Saturday-only cohort in Fall 2011. The Florida Southern MBA, whether taken Saturdays or weekdays, is unique: it’s open to non-business majors without business experience, and promises real-world experience to help you land that position or promotion. Learn more at an information session at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Rogers Building student lounge. Go to to register and for more information.

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

Calling all Young Entrepreneurs - December 9, 2009

Posted by Amy Wiggins on December 8th, 2009
I love, love, love that I get emails and tweets and comments and more that alert me to the newest and coolest things online. Sometimes I feel like there is just so much information out there, that it would be easier to ignore than to try to sift through it all!

Somehow along the way, I signed up for an E-newsletter from some online radio show about small business trends. Each week, I graciously pull up the email in my reader pane and glance to see if anything looks like it would benefit me or the Chamber. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is never enough time for learning when it comes to small business, big business, or even life- so don’t glance too quickly! There’s a tidbit in every newsletter, but only if you’re open to finding it.

Back on track, today’s radio show features (at 1:30 p.m. Eastern):

Natalie MacNeil co-founded Garage Entrepreneurs shortly after starting her first business as a student entrepreneur. Garage Entrepreneurs is the community she says she wished she had when she started her first business. Natalie is passionate about encouraging young people to consider entrepreneurship as a career option. She shares her insights on young entrepreneurs, what it takes to build a successful business, and the impact of the recession on new businesses.

What an awesome concept! Garage Entrepreneurs offers support and sounding boards to students & young entrepreneurs. It’s a free site with tons of resources and plenty of support from peers.

I certainly don’t expect that everyone who reads this blog will run right our and join the site, but I hope that you’ll at least keep it in your memory banks to share with the next budding sticky note developer or search engine genius. But, in the mean time, keep building your business with your Chamber membership- it’s fun & it usually includes food. What more could you ask for?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 10:06 am and is filed under Announcements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

Blue Sky: High Tech Incubator- The Perfect Place to Grow - August 7, 2009

USF Polytechnic and its partners are proud to announce our region's first business incubator to nurture the development of high tech companies, allowing them to "hatch and grow" -- maximizing their viability and economic impact at the heart of Florida's High Tech Corridor.

Incubated companies will benefit from the proximity to and resources of a national research university as well as the assets of economic development networks.

Operational infrastructure, including office space, equipment and technology
University resources, such as faculty experts, technology consults, and student interns
Entrepreneurial education and training programs

For more information please visit their website

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

15 New Year's Resolutions for 2007 - December 29, 2006


I resolve....

to appreciate my family, friends, and colleagues for who they are, what they mean to me and others, and to gracefully overlook some things they do (or don't do!). None of us is perfect and accepting that reality is a good thing.

to not ignore a wrong that needs righting, a crass statement that needs correction, or an offense that demands a just response. We can set a positive example by not accepting negativity in others.

to be a valuable teammate and to trust others to do their best. Each of us should know what team position we play best, and regularly practice our skills.

to listen to the voices of children and elders. The wisdom of innocence and experience is both free and priceless.

to speak truth to power, but to be both polite and persistent. There's a fine line between persistence and pestilence. Resist aggressiveness, but advocate with assertion.

to accept that I don't know everything. There are others who know more about most things, and together we can form a great brain trust if we meet and blend expertise.

to pleasantly surprise someone every day with an unexpected kindness in word and deed. Life's subtle gifts of concern and cordiality are cherished.

to respect the diversity of faiths, feelings, and fashions. Differences are natural and honoring each other's beliefs creates mutual admiration.

to exercise artistic expression for its intrinsic value. The vitality of the physical, instrumental, literary, visual or vocal arts fuels the soul and expands the mind to new possibilities.

to invest a thoughtful minute before I speak or act. Regret is often preventable. Reversing harm is one of life's most vexing challenges.

to honor those who courageously sacrifice for us at home and abroad, care for our health, educate us, and perform all manner of healing and helping arts so that our quality of life is improved.

to share even if I think I don't have enough. Setting an example by gifting to others in need is one of the best lessons for children to observe.

to protect and defend people who rely on me. Give special attention to the needs of others who may not know how find their own voice.

to preserve natural environments for their beauty and bounty. Natural settings are home to plantlife and species which are too often victims of our wants, not our needs.

to never give up on a person or a cause, despite the challenges faced. Perseverance is an attitude that personifies leadership, attracts allies, and creates meaningful change.

I'm often asked for my definition of advocacy. While it can be summed up as "speaking up for someone or some cause you believe in" I think it's important to define it more broadly as a set of attributes which, in combination, set the stage for effective advocacy. Here's my list of Top Ten Advocacy's a work in progress, so I welcome your response.

Top Ten Advocacy Attributes

Kindness and connectivity create access.

Enthusiasm and energy create action.

Sensitivity and sensibility create attraction.

Care and concern create warmth.

Openness and originality create opportunity.

Fairness and frankness create justice.

Love and levity create responsiveness.

Courage and commitment create leadership.

Voice and vitality create vision.

Persuasion and persistence create power.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Veterans' Day and Post Election Message - November 13, 2006

Veterans Day is our nation's commemoration of the sacrifices made by those whose lives were put on the line for the freedoms we hold sacred. Whether our veterans survived their military service, or were lost on the field of battle, our country owes each of them, and their families, a debt of gratitude.

I am not a veteran. In the Summer of 1970, the year of the second draft lottery, my birthday, June 26th, had number 308 drawn. For those not aware of the significance of that, my birthday could have come up Number One or number 365. I was fortunate to be so far down the list, and therefore assured to be free from the call up to the Vietnam War.

One of my closest friends drew number six, another the low 20's. Both were ineligible for student deferment and were drafted. One was sent to duty at a NATO base in Europe because he had strong language skills, the other was deployed to Vietnam where he was seriously wounded in 1971 and sent home. He never fully recovered from his neck, shoulder and arm wounds.

As we look back at the wars promoted by presidents, declared by Congress, and supported to varying degrees by our citizens, let's remember that none of these conflicts were or, to this day, are immune from political and social controversy. But we should never confuse debate over military policy with the need to be respectful of those whose lives are at risk on the battlefield, in the air, or on the seas.

Our nation has been the destination of choice for great waves of immigrants from the world's most frightening and freedomless nations. My father and maternal grandparents were three of those immigrants, and perhaps your family has its story of freedom-seeking relatives. Even for our African-American neighbors, whose ancestors came shackled in the holds of slave ships, and Native-Americans whose ancestors were slaughtered or subjected to racist cruelties, the children of most American families enjoy the opportunity to be free from the threats of oppression and terror. That freedom was earned, bled for, and in many cases, died for.

Veterans Day presents the chance to gather our thoughts and honor the military service of our parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. Individuals who either volunteered or were drafted, wore the uniform of our armed forces, and gave all or a portion of their lives in service to our nation and its allies.

In our veterans' name, let's not be passive about the importance of their sacrifice. In their honor, let's pledge to participate in the following advocacy activities:

· Actively communicate with our elected officials about issues affecting families.

· Share your thoughts in the media by writing letters to the editor and interviewing with reporters. Media is our most cost-effective megaphone.

· Motivate youth to exercise their voice in matters which affect them. The next generation of advocates needs good role modeling.

· Confront those who think that complaining about problems is all they should do. Whining is not as good as winning!

· Compliment community leadership and promote active involvement by friends, colleagues and neighbors.

· Support causes which focus on advocating positive change, and invite others to join you in supportive activities. Spectatorism doesn't produce progress.

· Contribute your time, talent, and treasure to make our community a better place for children and families across the generations.

My Post-Election Day Thoughts......

Whether you're feeling celebratory or shell-shocked from this week's pivotal election results, I think you'll agree with me that democracy is not simple or easy. And I trust you do share my pleasure to not have to be subjected to the flood of political ads....for now!

I've been through many victories and disappointments in observing politics for most of my life, but I hold to my belief that all candidates deserve to be honored for their willingness to run for office. Who among us is courageous enough to step across the line and commit to being a candidate? Representative democracy depends upon those few who consider elective public service as an important expression of leadership. While I may disagree with some of their policies, I never forget to thank them for their willingness to serve.

While some of us take the step of congratulating the victors, how many of us send messages to those who were defeated....this time around? I urge you to let those who did not "win" know that their effort is appreciated. Please remember that many candidates do choose to run again, and today's "loser" may well be a "winner" in the future.

Every election is a multiple choice test.....the candidates are the focus of attention, of course, but what amazes me is how many qualified citizens choose to let others make the decisions. To me, not voting is the most inexcusable act of neglect in a democracy.

One ideal for all of us to strive for, no matter our political leanings, is to inspire greater participation in our process of government at all levels. Informed voting is one step, but keeping in touch with our public officials is a key to effective advocacy. Winning an election is only the first step in public service. Acting to bring positive change is the job description for all of us, and each of us is obligated to be vocal advocates for the policies and programs we believe need attention.

Anonymity is the antithesis of effectiveness in a democracy. Knowing our elected officials, and having them know us, is our obligation and greatest opportunity to exercise influence.

I am committed to be in touch with you as opportunities arise to send new messages and develop new partnerships. There are strategies to contemplate, skills to hone, and plans of action to be implemented. We have work to do and challenges to face.

It's time to unify as much as possible, and pledge to work together to create a positive future. I trust you will continue to exercise your rights and take your responsibilities seriously as we move forward to improve our nation.

Jack Levine, Founder
4Generations Institute

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Membership Price Reduced for Remainder of 2006! - June 27, 2006

Don't miss out on a great opportunity to join EMERGE Lakeland for the remainder of the year for a reduced price of only $30!!! Click here to sign up online or print out the snail mail version. If you have any questions please email

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

June's Event at YMCA Par 3 - June 27, 2006

June's EMERGE event was held at YMCA Par 3, home of the First Tee of Lakeland. Members enjoyed playing golf on the course, getting lessons from the golf professional, and putting for a chance at $5,000. During the golfing, members enjoyed tasty food provided by Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille and Zohra's Tea Room.

Frank Lansford putting.jpg

group on putting green.jpg


YMCA Par 3 is open to the public, 7 days a week, from 8 am - 9 pm. The facility featurews a nine-hole Par 3 course, lighted driving range, and golf lessons are available. 18 hole green fees are $7 for youth, $10 for adult, and $8 for seniors. Also, range balls are available at $2 for youth, $4 for small, and $7 for large.
For more information on the facility or volunteer opportunities, please call: 863-577-0236.

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Posted by minnella

Emerge Member Seeking Help for Local Family - April 5, 2006

Cauney Bamberg's brother-in-law is the pastor of a local church and a recent fire has caused a family to be displaced with very limited resources. The following information is from the pastor's wife:

We have a family in our church that had a fire in there apartment complex over the weekend. The had a lot of smoke damage and lost all of their clothes and etcetera. They do not have renters insurance. If anyone has or know of children that would donate clothes here are their sizes
Cody - 16 yr old boy 29/32 (thin & tall)
Jake - 16 yr old boy 28/30
Becky - 12 yr old girl - girls sizes 10/12
Ashley - 6 yr old girl 6x

They could also use towels (bath as well as kitchen). Just think of anything fabric you use on a daily basis and that is what was lost.
We have made the need know also in our church, but as you know it is a small church and I thought if I could network as many as possible we could get them more assistance.
Even if you are unable to donate items - please more than anything keep them in your prayers. If you have never experienced a fire in your home, it is extremely devastating......

If anyone has anything they are able to donate to please contact Cauney Bamberg on her cell at (863) 944-4574.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Need Lakeland Tiger's Playoff Tickets? - September 8, 2005

EMERGE Lakeland member Patrick Fagan has 50 tickets to the Lakeland Tiger Playoff Game on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005. He is giving these tickets away first come, first serve. If you are interested in tickets email Patrick or call him at 863-513-1026. Anyone interested needs to contact Patrick before 5:00 on Friday, Sept. 9th

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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

ReCap of May Event- The Salvation Army - May 18, 2005

Last night, we had a nice group visit the Salvation Army Center of Hope facility. A tour of the facility was given and then EMERGE members participated in serving the clients of the Salvation Army dinner. There was great discussion and questions asked by our group and we learned some of the needs of the Salvation Army.

They include volunteers, the adoption of an aparment in their transitional living facility, and the donation of playground equipment that meets their safety requirements. With the adoption of a transitional living apartment, you would basically furnish it with linens, towels, kitchen utensils, pretty things to make it feel like home, and cooking “stuff” for the new families who come in. The families can live there for 2 years, and are able take everything with them when they leave to help them get set up on their own.

One of the highlights of the evening came when we had a personal testimony from one of our EMERGE members who has a cousin who is living in the Salvation Army’s transitional living center, and how the experience had really been a blessing. It was great to hear a firsthand account of the impact that the Salvation Army has had on our community.

I know the Salvation Army was very appreciative of our coming to learn more about their organization and interacting with their clients. Thanks to everyone who attended the event!

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Posted by Angie Register

Polk Museum Event Today 5:30 p.m. - April 14, 2005

We are looking forward to seeing you tonight at the Polk Museum event. We are very excited about this one in terms of location, activities, and the music and food. It will be a great time, so please join us even if you have not RSVP'd!

Our next event, Cocktails with the Commodore, at the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club is free for members to attend, so we hope you can come to this one, too, on Tuesday April 26th at 5:30 p.m.

If you have any questions about any of our events, please e-mail anyone on the steering committee or post a comment. Thanks!

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Posted by Angie Register

Welcome to the Emerge Website - April 5, 2005

As the Co-Chairs of Emerge, we would like to welcome you to the Emerge website. We are very excited to have the website officially up and running. The creation of a website was a key area of concern for us when we initially formed Emerge. We wanted our members and guests to have quick access to information concerning Emerge as well as a forum to communicate online with other Emerge members and guests.

We encourage you to visit the site frequently and participate and post your comments in the blog. And, please send the URL address to your friends and spread the word about Emerge Lakeland!

Angie and Kim

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Posted by Angie Register

What is RSS and how do I use it? - March 29, 2005

The EMERGE Lakeland blog provides a RSS feed of all the content posted. You may be asking, 'What is RSS and how do I use it?'

RSS allows you to quickly read news and content from a variety of web sites. A web site by the name of Common Craft has one of the best explanations on what RSS is and how you can use it. Click here to read it.

Another local site that provides a RSS feeds is The Ledger. You can read their description of RSS here.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Meet the EMERGE Lakeland Bloggers - March 28, 2005

The EMERGE Lakeland Blog is a collaborative effort of five individuals. We will attempt to frequently post items that directly or indirectly effect EMERGE Lakeland members as well as other items of interest about the Lakeland area. The contributing authors are:

Kim McKeel: Keller-Williams
EMERGE Lakeland Co-Chair

Angie Register: Register Construction
EMERGE Lakeland Co-Chair

Josh Hallett: hyku, llc
EMERGE Lakeland Steering Committee

Cauney Boydston
United Way of Central Florida Liason

Carolyn Jackson
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce Liason

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us or post them in the comments section of the blog.

From time-to-time we will also be posting items from 'Guest Bloggers' under one of our names. More on that later.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

*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.

P 863/688-8551 ext. 228