The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce recognized its members today (1.22.20) at Stonebridge Golf Club by presenting six awards and $9,000.
Taking home two awards and the $9,000 was the Lakeland School System (LSS) and its superintendent, Dr. Ted Horrell. He was recognized as Person of the Year with LSS named as Business Organization of the Year. The Chamber donated $9,000 to Lakeland Schools.
Wil Ashworth, Chamber president, said, “We are excited to announce we are donating $9,000 again this year to Lakeland Schools.” Representing LSS along with Dr. Horrell were Joretha Lockhart, Lakeland Elementary School (LES) principal; Matt Adler, Lakeland Middle Preparatory School principal (LMPS); Angie Delloso, assistant superintendent of academics and exception learning; Kembree Darakshani, LES PTA; and Monica Pitts, LMPS PTO.
Dr. Horrell said he has the best job in the world. He recognized his staff, the Lakeland School Board and everyone in the room. “I appreciate this so much and look forward to getting the high school built.” The School System is to start construction on its first high school which is to open to 9th graders in August 2022. Currently the System has two schools serving grades K-8 and the new building, to be adjacent to the current middle school, will give Lakeland a complete K-12 System.
In recognizing Dr. Horrell for his award, Mr. Ashworth said, “Dr. Horrell has been dedicated to our Lakeland Elementary and our Lakeland Middle Preparatory School. He was also instrumental in bringing to fruition the new Lakeland Prep High School, opening in 2022.”
Of the School System award, Mr. Ashworth said, “The Lakeland K-8 System is one of the highest performing in the state. The System was named an Exemplary School District three times in four years. And both schools were 2018-19 Reward Schools.
List of awards presented today
Outstanding New Business Partner – Cannon Chiropractic
Outstanding Business Partner – Bob Browder, MBA, CPA
Outstanding Business Partner – Renaissance Development (Doug Swink was unable to attend)
Outstanding Community Partner – The Lake District
Person of the Year – Dr. Ted Horrell
Business Organization of the Year – Lakeland School System
Attending from Lakeland were Commissioners Richard Gonzales, Jr. and Wesley Wright and City Manager Shane Horn.
Complimenting Cannon Chiropractic, Mr. Ashworth said, “They have sponsored the Golf Tournament and Chamber luncheons and been a part of the summer LAMP concerts.”
In recognizing Mr. Browder, Mr. Ashworth said, “Mr. Browder has provided services for the Lakeland Chamber and many of the Chamber members. He is always striving for shared success.”
Acknowledging Doug Swink with Renaissance, Mr. Ashworth said, “He has been dedicated to the Lakeland community and instrumental in getting the St. Jude Dream Home built in Lakeland for the second consecutive year. He supported the Chamber by being a Gold and Title sponsor for the Golf Tournament.”
Of Community Partner Yehuda Netanel with The Lake District (TLD), Mr. Ashworth said, “We celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit as demonstrated by Mr. Netanel. He led a fundraising campaign for the Lakeland Education Foundation that resulted in a $10,000 donation. His vision for The Lake District will bring commercial success to Lakeland, a place for all ages of Lakeland residents to enjoy and a destination for those seeking the amenities offered.”
Wearing a tie emblazoned with The Lake District logo, Mr. Netanel thanked Chamber members for the award and noted The Lake District will be the biggest such project in Lakeland. “It has been the most vilified project in Shelby County and Lakeland,” he said of the project at I-40 and Canada Road. He referenced various groups and individuals who have made negative comments ranging from the logo of the project to whether the development would ever come to fruition.
A sign package for the development came before the Lakeland Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) last week and was questioned by citizens in the community. Mr. Netanel pulled the package from the agenda before it came to a vote because he felt MPC members and City officials did not understand the package or the City code. “Signs do matter,” said Mr. Netanel. “They are creative and inspiring.”
He challenged attendees to attend the February MPC meeting and show support for the sign package and the development. To those men who attend and speak in support of the project, he said, a TLD tie would be given to each. “It’s time for the quiet, invisible majority to rise up.” he said.
Mr. Netanel also announced there will be an official groundbreaking ceremony early next month to start the vertical work on the mixed-use community. And, he said, his goal is to give $1.5 million each year to Dr. Horrell and the School System, once the 160-acre project is fully open Phase 1 is scheduled for fall 2020 in time for holiday shopping. Value for the entire project is $400 million.
Other announcements from the meeting
Mr. Ashworth identified the Chamber Board of Directors as well as new Chamber members and those renewing their memberships.
The next monthly luncheon will be Feb. 26th at Stonebridge Golf Club with Wanda Allen with Follow Up Sales Strategies as the speaker.
Upcoming fundraisers are the 3rd Annual Clay Shoot April 24th and the Annual Golf Tournament Sept. 28th.
… Photos courtesy of Anna Stonestreet Smith