With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, and with the spirit of thanksgiving a cornerstone of the holiday season, it’s a grand opportunity for my staff and I to publicly mention and thank many people and organizations that richly contribute time, talent, resources, and “heart” for the betterment of greater Lake Wales and, in many ways, to the work of the Lake Wales Area Chamber & Economic Development Council.
From CHARLOTTE KOSEK
Chamber Services and Operation Manager
I have been with the Chamber for 11 years and have watched it grow. The best part is that I know it is only the beginning. I am grateful for our caring community, with its many nonprofit and civic organizations that really do make a difference in our town.
Examples of caring come from the wonderful people who volunteer as Chamber ambassadors — Allen Tatem, Beth DuChene, Howard Kay, John Adkinson, Sandra Wolf, Jolee Martin, Kris Bender, Robbie Shields, and Terri Miller.
Lake Wales is home to local banks and large businesses that employ many and are super supportive of our small town. Our Lake Wales Medical Center not only provides doctors and health care to the community, it is expanding and improving its services every year. We have downtown merchants that are working hard to keep our beautiful city alive and growing. Bok Tower Gardens is a gem and no longer our ‘best-kept secret.’ The expansion there has brought more tourists, more events, and more jobs to the area.
We are the “heart of Florida,” at the crossroads of routes 27 and 60. We have a state-of-the art Intermodal Logistics Center just outside of our border.
Lake Wales has room for growth, and as I watch it growing, I am thankful to be a part of this great city.
From ALLISON SNYDER
I have been the accountant at the Chamber for 2 ½ years. I am grateful for several local organizations, specifically Lake Wales American Legion Post 71, the Green & Gold Foundation, and the Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales, whose primary objectives are to help people achieve their personal and professional goals.
The Lake Wales American Legion’s primary purpose is to help veterans, but it’s leaders and members do not stop there. They have extended themselves throughout the community. The Green & Gold Foundation manages the B Street Community Service Center, primarily providing help for low-income residents but also to anyone else who needs it. The Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales focuses on adult and early childhood education.
These organizations continue to be instrumental in helping people become and remain functioning and productive members of society, and for that I am very grateful and proud to be associated with them.”
From AUTUMN COOMES
Chamber Member Services Assistant
I have had the pleasure of working for the Chamber for 15 months.
I am grateful for many local businesses and organizations, particularly the city of Lake Wales, Warner University and Career Source Polk, whose prime aspirations are to build a strong community and help people achieve their objectives.
The city of Lake Wales has provided many wonderful activities for our community. The city built new parks for children to play in; it has updated the basketball courts where games can be played; and it has revamped The Shores of Lake Wailes with beautiful new landscaping, a wider bike path, a new pier for community enjoyment, and benches to sit down on and take in the astonishing views of the lake.
Warner University is an extraordinary institute! As a graduate of Warner, I can say that I am grateful for the opportunities that were provided to me to have a successful future. The professors are amazing and they care about their students. Warner’s mission is to graduate individuals who exemplify academic excellence and Christian character and who are prepared to lead, and who are committed to serve.
Career Source Polk is a phenomenal nonprofit corporation that helps individuals locate employment and career-development opportunities. I am thankful for their resources that aid individuals to succeed and provide a better future for themselves and their families.
Our businesses and organizations continue to be influential to our community in so many valuable ways, and I am so thankful and honored to be affiliated with them.
And from me, KEVIN J. KIEFT, CEcD
President/CEO, Lake Wales Chamber & EDC
I am grateful for a really great staff that makes my job less stressful and also makes it fun.
I am grateful for a EDC board that is engaged, knowledgeable, and always ready to assist in all of our projects and endeavors. Board partners are:
- All County Real Estate Services
- Bunting, Tripp & Ingley
- CenterState Bank, Lake Wales Office
- Chemical Containers, Inc.
- Citizens Bank & Trust, Lake Wales Office
- City of Lake Wales
- Duke Energy
- Envisors, A Division of Pennoni
- Florida’s Natural Growers
- GrowHealthy Holdings, LLC
- Hunt Bros., Inc.
- Joseph F. Miranda, Inc.
- Lake Wales Medical Center
- Lake Wales Charter Schools
- Pat Cain Wealth Solutions/Raymond James
- Peterson & Myers, P.A.
- Polk County Board of County Commissioners
- Polk State College
And I am grateful for a community that really cares and wants to be successful. After all, the local residents and the businesses are responsible for the health of the community and its future success.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. We hope it’s a great start to a wonderful holiday season for everyone in greater Lake Wales and beyond.