SPOTLIGHTS

Lakeland Ledger Entrepreneur Spotlights

Each week the Ledger highlights one Catapult entrepreneur.

Micheal Thompson

After an immense professional career, Micheal created a fun, interactive way to teach younger generations.

Eddie Maldonado

After serving our country in the military, Eddie wanted to continue making a difference.

Wayne Buning

It was natural for Wayne to extend his technical + mechanical expertise into his own business.

Chris Finlayson

Chris recently jumped into the Lakeland community and develops custom software for businesses.

Jeremy Reyes

Jeremy started his own business because of his two biggest passions: entrepreneurship + community.

Randy Lopez

Randy has always been passionate about technology + its tangible impact on our society.

Sarah Keener

Sarah has been enthralled by the world of general contracting since she was 14.

Julie Hasson

Julie speaks to educator groups, sharing the themes found in stories she has collected.

Mike Dodge

Mike is a long-time Lakeland native who had life-long aspirations of starting his own business.

Ian Thomas

Since moving back, Ian + his wife Molly have always dreamed about planting a church in Lakeland.

Roderick Henderson

Roderick’s diverse + eclectic professional history led him to workforce development.

Katie Blondell

Katie worked in marketing + public relations before she made the leap into becoming a business owner.

Will English

Will and his friends started a business to create video games from scratch.

Kidane Henry

Kidane hopes to give opportunities to soccer players everywhere regardless of their socio-economic background.

Tom Pollock

Tom found commercial lending to be outdated +inefficient, but worked tirelessly to find a solution.

Mario Garcia

Mario has worked with his daughter to bring an idea she had for a product to life.

Trey Smith

Trey is a 13-year Air Force veteran who works to help others reach their fitness goals.

Jenny Heidtman

Jenny runs a non-profit performing arts venue breathing new life into the artistic community in Polk County.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy loves sharing her healthy, small-batch kombucha with the Lakeland community.

Anastasia Zivic

Anastasia left the corporate world to begin her very own boutique entertainment agency.

Dynamic Security

Lakeland was perfectly sized for Ricardo to run his full-service physical security business.

Atenea Lara

Atenea runs a online fitness coaching enterprise whose mission is to help women reach their fitness goals.

Jason Lyles

Jason works for small businesses to help develop solutions to collect, analyze, and present their data.

Cora Ligon

Cora felt limited by the one-way avenue of media sales, so she started her own marketing agency.

Jessi Rae Varnum

Jessi Rae has dreamed of owning her own bridal salon to incorporate her love of fashion and helping others.

Noel Rosa

Noel received funding to launch is custom, thin-body acoustic guitar company, New Sound Acoustics.

Kevin O’Brien

Kevin just finished his first feature film with help from our funding program.

Mark Lutter

Mark thought that sharing his beer with Lakeland would be a great way to enjoy his retirement.

Jonathan Gilbert

For Jonathan, advertising and marketing is all about telling the client’s story.

Kelly Riley

Kelly takes her traveling textile and vintage goods shop to markets all over Central Florida.

Nyrka Riskin

Nyrka strategically advises and supports businesses, teams, and individuals both near and far.

Nancye Black

Nancye envisioned an educational system that empowered every teacher and student to succeed.

Wesley + Jestin

Wesley + Jestin’s app gives users the opportunity to auction off their parking space via a mini-bid system.

Lucky Puppy

After spending over a decade in a vet clinic, Debi knew there had to be a better process for canine nail care.

Leah Hacker

Leah analyzes the market to provide a cross-functional strategy for product, business, and growth.

Jenario Johnson

Jenario has designed a motion-tracking device to help combat-sport athletes train smarter.

Benjamin Slayter

Benjamin works to provide grant funding for large-scale participatory art.

Corey Plummer

Corey delivers quality craft sodas in the name of his young daughter, Sparrow.

Javi Reyes Jr.

Javi fell in love with photography and at the start of 2017, he began his own business.

Chris Grainger

In 2009, Chris took a leap of faith to start his own DJ service Graingertainment.

Jim Roberts

After working in the corporate marketing world for 35 years, Jim began his very own firm.

Hemant + Shilpa Dalvi

A passion for delicious, authentic Indian cuisine led Hemant and Shilpa to begin their own culinary startup.

Charlie McNulty

After graduating, Charlie found himself wanting to take ministry outside the walls of a church.

Karen Spencer

Karen’s idea came from personal experience, as 3 of her kids have faced challenges with disabilities.

Catalyst John

John works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to provoke change and accelerate business growth.

Yahaira Morales

For over 20 years, Yahaira has encouraged others to live their lives to their full potential.

Josh Nederveld

Josh believes that every business, big or small, deserves a good website they can afford.

Susan Hokanson

Susan has always loved to bake and on the weekends, she is at the local markets selling her treats!

Sara Lasseter

Sara’s passion for photography was not realized until six years ago when her family started showing cattle.

Gina Bullock

Gina quit her corporate job to pursue pet-sitting and dog-walking full time with the Pet Nanny Lakeland.

Denzel Thomas

Denzel learned everything he could about economics to help businesses all over the world.

Dave Pappas

For the past 14 years, Dave has provided creative direction for a wide range of organizations.

David Young

David Young is an accountant who found a new career opportunity in the growing industry of drones.

Kristina Madden

Kristina worked in all different kinds of industries until she found her calling in digital marketing.

Brock McKean

Brock’s journey of entrepreneurship as a software engineer brought him back to his hometown, Lakeland.

Stephen Roe

Stephen’s love for writing and people collided to create a blog called Thoughtful Growth.

Daniel and Stacy Tabb

Daniel and Stacy share a diverse artistic history that led to the ideation and creation of their business.

Maegan Carroll

Maegan is driven by the entrepreneurial buzz in Lakeland and her passion to create.

Janira Rodriguez

Janira was inspired to start her own business to help others live out their purpose and fully experience life.

Chrissanne Long

Chrissanne discovered that digital marketing could leave a significant impact on the Lakeland community.

Ruben Pizarro

Ruben has worked with computers his whole life and now focuses on web design and marketing.

Candy Hart

Candy loves training the canine community to see them become a reliable member of the family.

Cindy + David Southworth

Cindy + David found that there are no shortcuts in marriage, which led them to teach others the same.

Shannon Harper

Shannon loves helping others grow their business through search engine optimization.

Brad Klapprott

ISO Par Consulting helps businesses develop & document processes to provide structure for growth.

Jeremy Thrush

Love Beets offers a variety of beet products including powders, juices, and packaged + peeled beets.

Robert Bohrer

Trimit Consulting, LLC is a business process improvement driven by a focus on quality + consistency.

David Perrera

The Honest Worm provides natural feed supplements for backyard chicken enthusiasts.

Barbara Herrington

After she became her mother-in-law’s caregiver, Barbara knew there was a need for more Aging Life Care.

Chelsea Brown

Chelsea has a desire to make a snack that tasted great and was good for you through her business.

Laura Helm

Laura began Ashton Events to allow the art of storytelling to work with planning and logistics.

Naomi Suchy

Naomi is a fun-loving photographer that builds a connection with her clients through smiles and stories.

Chris McArthur

After opening Black & Brew, Chris attended roasting school, purchased a roaster, and started Patriot Coffee.

Ricardo Rivera

Ricardo’s business, Dynamic Security, offers hardware technology, and surveillance + intrusion detection.

Mayra Benitez

Mayra is passionate about the educational impact she is offering to future generations.

Barry Friedman

Barry is passionate about exploring effective ways to keep people informed and engaged.

Renee Lopez

Renee has coached for 17 years and started RL Academy to focus on leadership and sports consulting.

Collins McBride

Collins combined her love of dogs + passion for sewing and creating things to create Donzimade.

Tom Williams

Tom has been in the timber industry for 25 years and works to promote sustainable forestry.

Rebeccah Lipson

Strings in Need is dedicated to providing students with expert training in the art of strings.

Glenda Thurmond

Glenda uses her expertise for theatre to connect with at-risk youth in Lakeland.

Ben Daniels

LOGS provides a guide and all the gear to make Lakeland’s scenic nature more accessible.

Matthew Antolick

Matthew combines the best that philosophy, counseling, coaching, and consulting has to offer.

James Holloway

James is committed to finding better ways for small businesses to connect with their customers.

Dion Koch

Dion truly believes that cotton candy is a nostalgic treat that creates and triggers sweet memories.

Ben Arnold

Ben is dedicated to seeing his community be active in a really fun way!

Dan Thumberg

Dan is a third generation entrepreneur who loves all things beer-related.

Chris Florence

Chris believes that there should be an ongoing relationship between business and clients.

Jason Weiland

Jason is passionate about serving those that struggle with mental health issues.

Matthew Wengerd

Through A Fine Press​, Matthew is dedicated to telling stories and creating something meaningful.

Adrian Lucas

Adrian is dedicated to helping people and organizations solve their greatest challenges.

Brian Sutherland

Brian first became hooked on playing music after his parents bought him a harmonica from Cracker Barrel.

Anthony Randolph

It is Anthony’s goal and passion to use sports to develop people for success on and off the field.

Jamie Clemens

Jamie’s mission is to ensure that his clients at Loud Life Productions are seen and heard.

Brannen Padgett

Brannen, of Redemption Church, believes that without love, you’ll miss everything.

JD Arbuckle

JD uses his knowledge of business strategy to help individuals reach their maximum potential.

Kevin O’Brien

Journey Box Media produces films that move people to live better stories.

Dustin Prickett

Dustin is passionate about creating imagery which is authentic, emotional, and timeless.

Patrick & Sarah Mulcahy

This duo makes the best ice cream sandwich, using organic pasture-raised dairy & local ingredients.

Sarah Bisesi

Sarah is deeply moved by the intimate relationship between parents and their children.

Brian Seeley

Brian is passionate about both business and caring for those in need.

Jon Sierra

Jon is an independent art director and graphic designer with over 10 years of experience.

Brian White

Brian believes that aWhiSpa can be the leader of healing clinics in this community.

Jordan Weiland

Jordan believes that capturing real moments is better than recreating poses.

Caleb Randall

Caleb has the passion to create an experience with his films while telling stories that make an impact.

Dena Goldfine

Dena has spent the last 25 years working in the food, supplement, and body care industry.

Holly Parrish

Before launching PH Solutions, Holly spent 15 years working as a full-time fundraising professional.

Jason Demeo

Jason was born with a love for design and entrepreneurship. He loves the idea of crafting his own future.

Josh Watson

Josh and his former partner left their jobs at a large firm to start their own company in 2011.

Corey Plummer

Corey traded in his day job to start a speciality coffee company that specializes in Coffee Pop.

Jenna Adams

Jenna’s passion for photography began in middle-school when she received the gift of her first camera.

Fred Koehler

A lifelong entrepreneur and artist, Fred built his agency as a way to tell the stories of his clients.