OUR STARTUPS

OUR STARTUPS

Shannon Abitbol

Shannon Abitbol

GiveVisuals
Shannon Abitbol

Shannon Abitbol

GiveVisuals

I love to help people and bring my heart to everything that I do. I came to Lakeland three years ago, very reluctantly, and have since fallen in love with it and never want to leave. I am so grateful for this community and am glad to be a part of it.

Hunter Abramson

Hunter Abramson

Rapid Blast
Hunter Abramson

Hunter Abramson

Rapid Blast

I love to build businesses. That's my passion. I grew up in Lakeland since I was 7 after moving from Los Angeles. I went to Florida State University and headed back to LA for pursue marketing and funding in entertainment. Since I have come back and started a business that caters to the local and regional businesses and community.

Kyle Ashcraft

Kyle Ashcraft

Maxwell CPA Review, LLC
Kyle Ashcraft

Kyle Ashcraft

Maxwell CPA Review, LLC

Kyle is a bilingual CPA that loves traveling. He has been a tutor for the past 12 years, whether it be for English, math, or the CPA exams. He has combined his experience tutoring with his accounting knowledge to launch Maxwell CPA Review, LLC, an online exam prep company that helps students pass the CPA accounting exams.

Tyler Auerbacher

Tyler Auerbacher

Dippidi
I am a Co-Founder at Dippidi, a digital marketing company based here in Lakeland. We are entering into our 2nd year and are experiencing exponential growth to the point we are hiring our first employee in January, hence the move to have a space to meet/hang/train our future employee!
Emma Bairo

Emma Bairo

The Take Heart Project
Emma Bairo

Emma Bairo

The Take Heart Project

My name is Emma Bairo, and I am from Louisville, Kentucky. Though I was born and raised there, I am happy to now call Lakeland home. I have been here for the last three and half years attending Florida Southern College, but as I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, I wasn't ready to leave this city I had grown to love. For four months, I have interned with The Take Heart Project everywhere from workspaces in Catapult to villages in Kenya. I am grateful that in the coming weeks, we will return from Kenya, and I will continue to complete my master's degree in Business Administration, as well as continue working with this incredible organization.

Isabelle Baker

Isabelle Baker

Isabelle Media
Isabelle Baker

Isabelle Baker

Isabelle Media
Born in Plant City, Florida, my family relocated to Pasco county, north of Tampa, to live on a small farm, making a concerted effort to be self-sufficient. As a teenager, I accepted a position as a nanny in Tampa and had the opportunity to travel a lot. Ultimately, I chose to locate to Lakeland where much of my family lives. I provide support services to entrepreneurs during the launch of their product or service, including but not limited to concierge and V.A. services. Additionally, I provide personal and administrative services to C-Level executive.
Brittany Bandi

Brittany Bandi

Sow Exotic
Brittany Bandi

Brittany Bandi

Sow Exotic
Brittany is an entrepreneur and small business owner.  She co-founded Sow Exotic, digitally native rare fruiting and medicinal plant nursery, with her partner Jared in 2016.  Together, they have made it their mission to enrich life through cultural connection and community while making the world a better, greener place.
The Sow Exotic nursery specializes in growing tropical fruit trees, medicinal herbs, and rare fruiting plants from around.  Sow Exotic ships plants nationwide in plantable pots with 100% plastic-free compostable shipping materials.
Karissa Barber

Karissa Barber

Strong Tower
Karissa Barber

Karissa Barber

Strong Tower

As a professional actress, I quickly found that marketing was a large part of the industry that wasn't taught in my college theatre classes. I self-taught branding, marketing, and basic business as I hustled as a professional actress launched a photography business, wrote and produced live theatre, and currently apply all I learned to my current work at a non-profit as a communications director. I came to Lakeland to attend Southeastern University, married my college sweetheart, and stayed in this city because we love it. I'm an entrepreneur at heart, a mom of 4 kids by lifestyle, and deeply love to laugh with friends, all things ethical fashion, and living a slow life with my husband of 16 years and children.

Teresa Baxter

Teresa Baxter

We Jammin’
Teresa Baxter

Teresa Baxter

We Jammin’
I am from NY and I moved to Lakeland to go to Florida Southern College. I received a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, and I have been teaching for 14 years now. Cooking is my other great passion in life. Coming from an Italian family, food has always been the center of EVERYTHING! I want to spend my talent and passion with anyone willing to taste!
I have been making and perfecting my jams and Candied Jalapeños for about 8 years. I’ve done Fancy Flea and other markets over the years. After I had my daughter, I took a small break, but my heart has always been in it. Cooking has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. My business actually started as a hobby, but then I realized that I really could begin to profit off it. FYI, most teachers have side gigs. Lol! I just started trying out different off the wall flavors. I would only sell the ones that I absolutely loved. If I was not in love with my product, I would give it away. Currently, my Candied Jalapeños and Carrot Cake Jam are my best sellers! I want to share my craft with the world, one bite at a time!
Larry Becker

Larry Becker

Great On Camera
Larry Becker

Larry Becker

Great On Camera

Even though he works on both sides of the camera, Larry Becker is mostly known for his on-camera presentations for Fortune 100 companies, as a spokesman and a camera reviewer. Larry hosts conventions annually, he has hosted countless web based photography shows, live webcasts, authored camera and software tutorials, and served as an official NAB Show Live anchor as well as an on-camera trainer for Canon USA.

Larry spent years managing a video production team in the KelbyOne studios, with clients including Canon, B&H Photo, and others. Larry's latest book "Great On Camera" is the foundation of much of Larry's current coaching work.

When Larry isn’t on camera as a spokesperson, he coaches still shooters who want to learn video, and coaches on-camera talent to be great on camera.

Adam Bell

Adam Bell

Patriot Academy
Adam Bell

Adam Bell

Patriot Academy

Recently relocated to Lakeland (from Texas) to be near family/in-laws. This is my wife's home town and an area I lived in (Bartow) as a teenager, with multiple visits over the years. Fortunate to be a remote worker for a Texas-based national non-profit in the education/civic participation lane. Not much spare time with five children, but outside of work, I am an occasional vocal/theatrical performer and avid soccer fan.

Jarrett and Michelle Benavides

Jarrett and Michelle Benavides

Cult Legume

Jarrett and Michelle are the owners of Cult Legume, a vegan food company that aims to eliminate the obstacles to healthy eating that are so common these days: confusion about what constitutes healthy ingredients, lack of time to prepare quality meals, and the myth of high costs associated with plant ingredients. They believe that health-promoting plant foods can be familiar, tasty, and easy to prepare.

Chris Blackwell

Chris Blackwell

Brasfield and Gorrie
Chris Blackwell

Chris Blackwell

Brasfield and Gorrie

My name is Chris Blackwell. I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Construction Management. I started working with Brasfield and Gorrie (B&G) soon after graduating and have been with them for the last 12 years. My current position within the company is Senior Project Manager. I am in Lakeland because B&G recently won a bid to construct a new commercial office space in Lakeland, FL, and I have been assigned primary Project Manager.

Robert Bohrer

Robert Bohrer

Streamalign
Robert Bohrer

Robert Bohrer

Streamalign

StreamAlign equips businesses to make a lasting impact on their customers and their community.

We understand how hard it is to gain traction with your most important goals when you are buried in the urgent demands of the business.

StreamAlign guides businesses through a process to transform their systems. Those systems create an engaged workforce, aligned to a clear vision; compelling the organization to exceed the expectations of its customers.

We want to help you achieve SUCCESS through happy customers, engaged employees, sustainable & ever-improving business, a culture aligned for impact and reduced cost & increased revenue.

Corey Bouillez

Corey Bouillez

Dippidi
Corey Bouillez

Corey Bouillez

Dippidi
My name is Corey and I was born and raised in Lakeland, Fl. I went to school at UCF and made my way back after graduation. I started a Digitial marketing agency named Dippidi a few short years after. I love to play golf on my days off and spend time with my family and friends.
Joshua Bowlby

Joshua Bowlby

Joxhua Creative
Joshua Bowlby

Joshua Bowlby

Joxhua Creative
Hey, I'm Joshua. I'm a Creative Strategist who's been in the creative field for over 8 years. During this time, I've truly discovered what's important when it comes to your vision. I specialize in brand management and videography.
Nicole Bradham

Nicole Bradham

Mindset Marketing
Nicole Bradham

Nicole Bradham

Mindset Marketing

Nicole Bradham owns Mindset Marketing & Consulting, a full-service marketing agency partnering with businesses across a variety of industries. She also recently launched an influencer management agency called HotMod Agency.

Nicole is passionate about working with small businesses and promoting Lakeland. On a normal day, you will find her working at her desk at Catapult Lakeland, meeting with clients and filming videos for social media. As a board member for the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, she takes serving the community to heart. To keep up with all things social media, follow Nicole on Instagram @mindsetmarketinglakeland and @hotmodagency.

Jonathan Bucklew

Jonathan Bucklew

Seventeen20
Jonathan Bucklew

Jonathan Bucklew

Seventeen20

I grew up in Lakeland and have a strong desire to be a part of cultivating craftsmanship and vibrant entrepreneurial ventures locally.

We've been in business since 2012, steadily growing a honing in our craft. We design and fabricate hand crafted, made to-order furniture.
Emily Burke

Emily Burke

Dippidi
Emily Burke

Emily Burke

Dippidi

Dippidi Employee

James Clemens

James Clemens

Loud Life Productions
James Clemens

James Clemens

Loud Life Productions

Loud Life Productions helps businesses be seen and heard through the power of strong messaging and engaging video visuals.

Mona Cranor

Mona Cranor

Light Up Digital Marketing
Mona Cranor

Mona Cranor

Light Up Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing services, SSM, Social Ads, Website, Coaching, etc.

Dorcas Crumbley

Dorcas Crumbley

Essential Catering Solutions
Dorcas Crumbley

Dorcas Crumbley

Essential Catering Solutions

A full-service catering company, dedicated to creating your best experience, offering personalized event services with soulful cuisine.

~ CARE MEAL DELIVERY

Rather than flowers, send a meal.

Full meal delivery to your funeral repast or family gathering

~ OUR FOOD

Picture perfect memories and complete satisfaction

Herbs and spices & mouth-watering flavors.

Culturally & ethnic cuisine offerings

~ OUR VAST NETWORK

An experienced team of chefs, bakers, event planners, publicists, designers, media specialists, travel agents, entertainment artists & more.

~ HOW WE DO IT

NO COOKIE CUTTER MENUS OR PRICING. IT'S ALL PERSONALIZED JUST FOR YOU.

Dominic DAgostino

Dominic DAgostino

Ketone Technologies
Dominic DAgostino

Dominic DAgostino

Ketone Technologies

I am a research professor at USF Morsani College of Medicine with a high interest in developing and testing technologies that can improve human health and performance.

Csilla Ari Dagostino

Csilla Ari Dagostino

Fortis World
Csilla Ari Dagostino

Csilla Ari Dagostino

Fortis World

I have been working on developing the ideal ketone supplement in the last 3 years, based on the scientific research I conduct at USF. Recently, I started incorporating the ketone molecules into food products and experimenting with formulations for sales through e.g. vending machines.

Deedre Daniel

Deedre Daniel

The Interesting Conversations Company
Deedre Daniel

Deedre Daniel

The Interesting Conversations Company

Before creating her business, The Interesting Conversations Company®️, Deedre spent nearly two decades at GEICO, where she rose through the ranks from call center sales associate to head of the Affinity Marketing division. Her team was responsible for the marketing strategy to millions of members belonging to more than 800 organizations. Those associations and businesses had multiple networking events and conferences each year, and attending those made Deedre officially a “paid professional schmoozer.”(She was on the road so much she amassed more than 1,200 nights at Marriott hotels!) She noticed most people struggled to have interesting conversations at these networking events - and pretty much anywhere in general. This increasing inability to connect inspired her to write a training class called “How to be More Interesting Than a Cell Phone®️.” People loved the seminar and frequently asked for ways to practice what they learned in her class. This led Deedre to invent “The Very Interesting Game™️“which is for sale on Amazon. You may also order an autographed copy directly from her. With the arrival of COVID-19, the demand for conference speakers and in-person corporate trainers instantly dried up. So she modified her game to be played remotely using Zoom and other similar platforms. She is also creating an on-line course and writing a book. She has another passion: a 501(c)(3) she founded in January 2019 called, The Big Fat Tip™️. It enlists the help of volunteers to surprise those working in the service industry with unusually large gratuities of $1,000. They have given out $13,000 (thirteen $1,000 surprise tips) and are looking for appropriate ways to fundraise and distribute more tips under the latest pandemic/circumstances.Deedre is a graduate of Florida Southern College and lives in Lakeland, Florida, with her husband, Robert, her active imagination, and eventually a puppy.

Brian Davis

Brian Davis

CognITek Group
Brian Davis

Brian Davis

CognITek Group
Entrepreneur and published author that thrives on the challenge of starting and growing businesses. I have been a board member and held C-level positions on multiple companies in the business-to-business services sector. My experience lies in developing and leading international sales teams with multiple product lines and offerings. I am always open to new technology and investment opportunities in the recruitment and energy sectors.
Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis

828 Boutique
Caroline Davis

Caroline Davis

828 Boutique

My name is Caroline Davis and I am the owner of 8.28 Boutique! I was born and raised in Lakeland and then lived in Birmingham, Alabama for 7 years. I just moved back to Lakeland in May with my husband. I love to travel, read, play with my 4 nephews, go to the beach, and dream of companies to start with my husband!

Ryan Delliveniri

Ryan Delliveniri

DellCo

I’m a “family man” with a burning passion for business and people. I’ve lived in Lakeland since high school and went to FSC for college. My wife and I love Lakeland, it’s close to everything and has a “small-town feel” with the opportunity and culture of a larger city. With two young children, there isn’t much time for hobbies but we love listening to live music and having dinner with friends. I am happiest when managing chaos and making a difference.

Sherrita Denson

Sherrita Denson

Chocolate Covered
Sherrita Denson

Sherrita Denson

Chocolate Covered

Sherrita is a wife, mother, small business consultant, planner, and Southeastern University doctoral student. Although she has an extensive history in the social service and non-profit industries, her real passion is event planning and entertaining. Sherrita and her husband, Antonio, were born and raised in the Bartow/Lakeland area. Their combined love of food, travel, and people fuel their entrepreneurial creativity and desire to bring new ideas and concepts to Lakeland, FL.

Hannah Dinsmore

Hannah Dinsmore

Greenhouse Acai
Hannah Dinsmore

Hannah Dinsmore

Greenhouse Acai
I'm Hannah and I make acai bowls and smoothies! I was born & raised in Lakeland and currently work as a barista/supervisor at Black and Brew in downtown Lakeland. I'm looking to bring my product to the Downtown Farmer's Curb Market and other markets, and eventually own a brick and mortar.
Uwe Doeringer

Uwe Doeringer

Carambola Consulting
Uwe Doeringer

Uwe Doeringer

Carambola Consulting
I was born and raised in Germany where I met my American wife Gillian. After she had lived there for several years, we decided to move to the US and settled in Miami for almost 20 years. Our two sons were born in Miami and due to a new job opportunity for my wife we decided to move to Lakeland in 2018. I love exploring Florida in all kinds of ways - primarily by kayaking, biking or hiking.
I received my Masters in Divinity from the University of Freiburg/Germany and then worked for a German non-profit focused on social justice issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. After moving to the US I did research for a German publishing company on a book project. During the dotcom era I developed content for a multilingual children's learning website. After 9/11, I rebuilt and grew (with my business partner) over the course of 14 years an ecological-, historical- and cultural tour company targeting the corporate and incentive travel market. There I was mainly managing product development, systems, HR, staff training, and finances.
Will English

Will English

Realistic Picture Group
Will English

Will English

Realistic Picture Group

As a freelance 3D rendering artist l provide high-quality image synthesis to my clients locally and worldwide.

Computer graphics are time-proven technology that empower us to turn rough ideas into images that are indistinguishable from reality.

I have the privilege to work with a diverse range of clients; from video producers, motion designers, and video game developers, to architecture, food service, engineering, and aerospace.

I'm a lifelong learner operating in the zone between art and science. I'm continuously trying to master skills and find ways of leveraging new technology to solve problems in simple, cost-effective ways.

Giovanna Favilli

Giovanna Favilli

Casita Verde
Giovanna Favilli

Giovanna Favilli

Casita Verde
My name is Gio and I am a chef. I grew up in Lakeland always dreaming of having my own spot in town. A couple years ago I moved to New York to go to culinary school. Over that time I worked in all kinds of kitchens, food media company's, and bakeries. Everything I gained from those experiences went straight to conceptualizing my dream. I moved back a few months ago and have decided I am ready to take the first steps towards building my business - and I would love to do that with Catapult.
Adriana Florez

Adriana Florez

Yummi Foods Co.
Adriana Florez

Adriana Florez

Yummi Foods Co.

Adriana is the 3rd generation of entrepreneurs of her family and the Founder of Yummi Foods! Born and raised in Colombia, South America. She started cooking when she was a little girl with her grandma and her mom, who exposed her to the exotic flavors of the tropics and taught her how to cook with a Latino twist. Her love for her mom, passion for food and healing with nutrition, inspired her to create delicious and nutritious recipes that nurtured her mother back to health. And now she is on the mission to do the same for others! She created baked goods, cooking, and baking mixes that are gluten-free, diabetic, keto and paleo-friendly, low carb, and grain-free. The story of Yummi Foods is still being written and there are more products to come and make more people smile while enjoying her food. Eat Yummi, Live Healthy!

Chuck Foss

Chuck Foss

Core Wealth Advisors
Chuck Foss

Chuck Foss

Core Wealth Advisors
At Core Wealth Advisors we deliver a crafted financial advisory experience encompassing all the facets of your life. We offer financial planning and wealth management services tailored to your specific needs.
Jared Freeman

Jared Freeman

Dippidi
Jared Freeman

Jared Freeman

Dippidi

We’re a done-for-you social media advertising company for real estate brokerages, teams, and agents.

To keep it NOT so nerdy here 😂 - clients hire us and we become an extension to their team to take custom social media advertising and hyper-local website content creation off their plate.

The biggest thing to note is that we are highly custom, communicative, and very hands-on. We work 1:1 with each of our clients to take their specific input and then create unique ads, targeting, and strategies that match their team’s goals each and every quarter. We also help develop our clients quarterly content marketing plans where we create unique blog content and upload/manage it to/on their website too.

👇 This is a good video overview too:

https://youtu.be/uGszBjDq_vQ

Here are some more links too:

https://www.dippidi.com/why-choose-us
https://www.dippidi.com/our-work
https://www.dippidi.com/case-studies
https://dippidi.dubb.com/v/ZaDUCY

Mark Gai

Mark Gai

MG Consulting
Mark Gai

Mark Gai

MG Consulting

Mark is an experienced business coach, keynote speaker and a TEDx speaker. He holds graduate degrees in Business Management and Finance.

In 2015 at Las Vegas, Nevada- Mark reached the semi-finals of the world’s largest speech contest sponsored by Toastmasters International. As a business coach, Mark has over 15 years of business and sales experience in various industries from residential construction to banking and executive coaching.

Mark works with business leaders to help implement superior leadership development and sales training. His popular leadership podcast called “Speak Brave” has a Five Star rating on iTunes and reaches international audiences with messages of inspiration and encouragement.

Peter Gibbons

Peter Gibbons

Catalyst Culinary, LLC
Peter Gibbons

Peter Gibbons

Catalyst Culinary, LLC

Peter is on chapter two of his career.  After spending 25+ years leading Product Development and R&D teams for some of the biggest restaurant companies in the country, he and his wife, Minta opened Catalyst Culinary, LLC in 2020.  Armed with a "Golden Rolodex" and a career's worth of experience, Catalyst is focused on providing services to food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers in three key areas:  Business Development, Strategic sales representation, and customized product development.

Jeff Goin

Jeff Goin

Reaction Simulation LLC
Jeff Goin

Jeff Goin

Reaction Simulation LLC

Critical thinker who wants to make the world a more rational place. But more relevantly, who wants to change the way airline pilots use their iPads to stay current on emergency procedures. That's the business drive. Personally, I love flying (paramotors, jets, helicopters), having fun (who doesn't), music (piano mostly), cool computer programs (writing them), and playing in the dirt. What brought to Lakeland? A big blue jet. Seriously, LOVE LOVE the weather. Sorry, the people rock, but you can find awesome people anywhere if you're sufficiently awesome back. And Lakeland is a cool mid-sized town to locate our (hopefully) soon-to-grow business.

Dena Goldfine

Dena Goldfine

Higher Heights Group
Dena Goldfine

Dena Goldfine

Higher Heights Group

Dena Goldfine founder of Higher Heights Group, started out in the vitamin and wellness department working as a team member. Her work background has predominately been in the health food industry Now she sells products to Health Food Stores.

Maximiliano Gomez

Maximiliano Gomez

Mk Boba

Maximiliano Gomez is someone trying to find his place in the world. He may not be the smartest, tallest, or anything but he sure does give his 110% in what he believes in. Not native to Lakeland, Max moved here when he was 9 years old. 15 years later & Max has embraced Lakeland & is wanting to give back to his community with Boba. Mk Boba is here to bring high-quality flavorful teas with delicious boba pearls!

Matt Gross

Matt Gross

YelloWhistle
Matt Gross

Matt Gross

YelloWhistle
We are a Digital Advertising Agency that helps to scale eCommerce brands.
Candace Gross

Candace Gross

YelloWhistle LLC
Candace Gross

Candace Gross

YelloWhistle LLC
YelloWhistle is a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in profitably scaling eCommerce brands using Facebook and Instagram advertising.
Ainsley Hart

Ainsley Hart

Ruby Rae Collection
Ainsley Hart

Ainsley Hart

Ruby Rae Collection

I am currently a student at Florida Southern College. I attended a tour at Catapult recently and thought it would be an amazing opportunity for my business. I currently run a small business with an online presence focusing on custom signage, apparel, etc. I used to outsource my products, however, I love figuring out how to do as much as I can by myself and have bought a good amount of equipment to be able to do so.

Claire Henry

Claire Henry

The Purple Panda
Claire Henry

Claire Henry

The Purple Panda

The Purple Panda works with making new, Asian-Infused ice cream flavors.

Hollie Hepler

Hollie Hepler

Grace City Church
Hollie Hepler

Hollie Hepler

Grace City Church

Grace City's mission is to lead people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chris Hinojosa

Chris Hinojosa

Light Up Digital Marketing
Chris Hinojosa

Chris Hinojosa

Light Up Digital Marketing

I arrived in Lakeland in 2005 as a Music Education major at Southeastern University. Little did I know that I would end up falling in love with this town and staying rather than returning to Michigan to be a music teacher. I've been developing my skills in marketing, graphic design, web design and more since 2005.

Jeff Hogan

Jeff Hogan

Hogan Fine Jewelry
Jeff Hogan

Jeff Hogan

Hogan Fine Jewelry

Jeff Hogan is the founder and president of Hogan Fine Jewelry. His previous pharmaceutical career brought him and his wife, Trish to Lakeland in 1993. Jeff loves to exercise, listen to records, do woodwork, paint, and create. He and Trish love spending time with their 5 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, and grandson who all live in the area.

Kaylee Holland

Kaylee Holland

LALtoday
Kaylee Holland

Kaylee Holland

LALtoday
The best of what you need to know about Lakeland, FL – curated, condensed, and delivered to your inbox and social feeds every day. #LALtoday
Josh Holt

Josh Holt

Stateside Media
Josh Holt

Josh Holt

Stateside Media

Helping businesses strategically create marketing materials that allow them to continue growing their businesses - and look good doing it.

Torrius Hooper

Torrius Hooper

Torrius Inc
Torrius Hooper

Torrius Hooper

Torrius Inc
I am a wife, mom ,HR guru, social media influencer and I love to cook. Ive catered in the past for a few companies, and social events in PA but somehow recently became a trending topic on TIKTOK with cooking videos with over 3 million views on my name & hashtag #torrius alone! Its Super exciting to say the least. I own a HR Consulting company Torrius Inc, but have now decided to also* fulfill my passion of opening a food service business.
Ashlynn Hotchkiss

Ashlynn Hotchkiss

Two Attached Podcast
Ashlynn Hotchkiss

Ashlynn Hotchkiss

Two Attached Podcast
A podcast by two best friends, young mothers and wives about foster care. We are both from Lakeland and love bringing light to the foster care system through social media and our podcast. We are passionate about these kids and their families.
Taylor Irby

Taylor Irby

East of These
Taylor Irby

Taylor Irby

East of These
Taylor Irby is a Charleston, South Carolina native who has been in Lakeland for the last 9 years with her 10 year old daughter Inslee and 8 year old son Anderson.
Taylor has a heart to create beauty from unlikely places and does so through her small business, East Of These.
East Of These employs recovering homeless women from Gospel Inc. Ministries to make quality, handmade, custom apparel
products for boutique retailers. You can learn more at www.eastofthese.com
Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

22Zero Follow Me
Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

22Zero Follow Me

I served in Iraq for 15 months and Afghanistan for 12 months as a combat infantryman. I came very close to becoming a statistic and ending my own life in 2013 while on active duty. Now I stand in the gap and provide services to veterans, military and first responders that end PTSD, thus saving lives, ask me how you can help.

Austin St. Jean

Austin St. Jean

Dippidi
Austin St. Jean

Austin St. Jean

Dippidi

My name is Austin. I’ve lived in Lakeland for my entire life, excluding my stay in Orlando for college at UCF.

I have a passion for people and enjoy finding ways to help people. I love golf, my wife, family, finance, content creation, and implementing my creativity.

I was brought to Lakeland from a stork and dropped off at my parent’s house. At least that’s what they told me when I asked.

Stacey Jones

Stacey Jones

Simply Creative Designing Inc
Stacey Jones

Stacey Jones

Simply Creative Designing Inc

I am a talented Design Mogul, Fine Artist, Branding Innovator, Mentor, and Business Woman that provides simplistic, sophisticated visual branding. I'm the minimalist, Graphic Designer that is well versed in taking a simple approach to a good idea and helping my clients turn that into a living, breathing entity, from concept to execution. Known to many as the "Branding Genius" my business' motto goes hand in hand, "#GreatBrandsGreatDesigns!" Early on achieving my Bachelors of Fine Arts in both Graphic Design and another in Fine Arts Drawing, I'm a creativepreneur has acquired a keen skillset for captivating the eye through design. I have aligned my passion for art and mixed it with my purpose for giving and helping others through my business. For me, it's not just about creating a visual, its about creating the right visual for the right need. Design has afforded me the opportunity to collaborate with many aspiring new brands/entrepreneurs with their brand identity and development. My design knowledge and aesthetics are helping me pave my way in my industry, in which is also a valuable asset to helping others pave their ways in their respective industries as well.

Dory Rodriguez Joseph

Dory Rodriguez Joseph

Homes for Heroes
Dory Rodriguez Joseph

Dory Rodriguez Joseph

Homes for Heroes

Dory Joseph, originally from Puerto Rico, has called Lakeland her home for 22 years. She is the broker of her own business, DRJ Real Estate, and has been in the real estate business for 18 years. Her background as a dual bachelor’s degree holder in Architectural Design and Accounting allows her to provide her clients with a different perspective as they go through their journey to being homeowners. However, being a real estate broker is only one of the many hats she wears. She is also a wife and a mother. She and her husband, James Joseph, have been married for twelve wonderful years and together they have a beautiful 6-year-old daughter, Nanishy Joseph. To top it all off, Dory also co-pastors a house church called Corridor Church Network and serves as a co-director at a para-church ministry called United City.

David Judy

David Judy

ReVuFetch
David Judy

David Judy

ReVuFetch

I am originally from West Virginia and moved to Florida after reading the book Disney Wars and wanted to see what it was all about. I have a lot of great hobbies... I am into adventure sports that include being a Master Diver, Toyama Ryu ranked swordsman, Mountain biker, paddle boarder, land border, kayaker, woodworker, photographer, spelunking, and mountain climber. I even went on an expedition to look for Noah's ark. These hobbies started the seed to another hobby that I am turning into a business.

Nathaniel Kendrick

Nathaniel Kendrick

The Kendrick Company
Nathaniel Kendrick

Nathaniel Kendrick

The Kendrick Company

Nathaniel comes from a very structured background. His father was a math teacher for 30 years and a minister for nearly 15. During Nathaniel’s sophomore year of college, his father died unexpectantly, leaving Nathaniel to reevaluate his purpose and priorities. After graduation, he worked in accounting but quickly recognized that it was not where he wanted to be. With this in mind, Nathaniel launched a digital marketing company in 2016. He worked with local real estate firms, small businesses, and churches. With all of the experience Nathaniel gained from venturing out on his own, he pivoted from marketing a digital product to a physical product and launched his second company, YF LLC. Nathaniel also leverages his business expertise to consult start-ups in launching, branding and building their businesses.

Lisa Kirk

Lisa Kirk

Blended Family Foundation
Lisa Kirk

Lisa Kirk

Blended Family Foundation

Lisa Kirk, founder of Blended Family Foundation, loves to laugh and loves to help people overcome adversity. Live music, silence, and the beach are my self-care resources. We came to Lakeland because my husband kept his promise that once we retired as deputy or police chief, he would bring me "home", so here we are!

Ken Krause

Ken Krause

HCL Software
Ken Krause

Ken Krause

HCL Software

Ken Krause is the Global Lead for HCL Domino Volt. He is an innovative Career Technologist with over 25 years’ experience delivering creative, client-centric tools, with value-driven solutions. Proven leadership experience ranging from evaluating technology to discovered niche solutions for customers and partners.

Highly data-driven creationist committed to designing coherent enterprise engagement platforms with a wide range of technical domain expertise and business acumen.

Joshua Ladue

Joshua Ladue

FAQmedia.com, Sidemoola.com
Joshua Ladue

Joshua Ladue

FAQmedia.com, Sidemoola.com

Working on a few websites on my own while I work remotely for Step Up on Second. Step Up on Second is located in CA, FL GA, and the company's focus is to house Mentally Ill Homeless. They provide a Housing first approach to Homelessness

FAQMedia.com will be a Video blog/podcast about Current events
Sidemoola.com is intended to be a blog on ways to make a little extra cash

Drew Laing

Drew Laing

Freelance Copyrighter
Drew Laing

Drew Laing

Freelance Copyrighter
I was born and raised in Lakeland and continue to live here with my wife and two kids. I love writing and helping businesses communicate their value to their customers/prospects.
Chrissanne Long

Chrissanne Long

Maximize Digital Media
Chrissanne Long

Chrissanne Long

Maximize Digital Media

Chrissanne Long is the CEO and Co-Owner of Maximize Digital Media, a full-service digital marketing agency, specializing in Website Design, Social Media and Digital Advertising for various business industries and sizes.  She and her husband, Craig Hosking, who is the COO of Maximize have spent the last 12 years growing their business in Lakeland, FL together.

There is one thing that has remained constant for Chrissanne as she and Craig have grown their business: Their primary focus is always placed on developing authentic value through measurable digital marketing and advertising strategies that help their clients increase their bottom line. Each campaign they build is designed and executed with people at the forefront, because, as Chrissanne frequently reminds the team and her clients:

“Marketing, no matter whether it’s being done digitally or with more traditional channels, is about people. If we forget the people, we might as well forget marketing. If you want to stay relevant for a long time, don’t let your bottomline become more important than the customers you serve.

Chrissanne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English (Creative Writing) from Florida State University (Go Noles!) and a Master of Science Degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University.

She is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland, Class 30 and Leadership Polk Class 11. She is currently a member of the 2020-2021 Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association Board of Directors.

She is a past board member of the Learning Resource Center, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and Lakeland Vision.

Elizabeth Lovely

Elizabeth Lovely

Carambola Consulting
Elizabeth Lovely

Elizabeth Lovely

Carambola Consulting

Carambola Consulting brings the thinking, best practices, and proven marketing and communications strategies of successful brands to help both companies and non-profits tell their stories more effectively to drive results. Maybe a company or organization hasn’t had a CMO, in-house marketing, or communications expertise before. Maybe it just needs some fresh thinking and an outside perspective. Or, maybe they don't know what they need, they just know what has been done before won’t get them where they want to go. This is where Carambola Consulting comes in.

Nicolai Luther

Nicolai Luther

Predawn INC - BA - My Clean Buddy
Nicolai Luther

Nicolai Luther

Predawn INC - BA - My Clean Buddy
I was raised in Lakeland, and feel proud to be part of the development of the city. Watching my peers accomplish their dreams and being able to pursue mine in a city that is ever growing.
We have been a business for over a year as PreDawn, incorporated on the date above. We provide digital solutions to entrepreneurs and businesses and also do e-commerce. This all began because I started an affiliate marketing program for a Financial company which was successful and inspired every endeavor there after.
Shrunga Mangalvedkar

Shrunga Mangalvedkar

Homes for Heroes
Shrunga Mangalvedkar

Shrunga Mangalvedkar

Homes for Heroes

Shrunga Mangalvedkar enjoys being in the real estate world and helping with Homes for Heroes because she loves getting to meet different people, hear their stories, and help them see their dreams come true. She appreciates the work culture of DRJ Real Estate. Her colleagues all have a heart for the people, a desire to serve their community, and a commitment to doing everything they can to see that their clients have the best possible experience. She says that working with the Homes for Heroes program is the cherry on top, and that is very rewarding to work with people that are passionate about honoring the men and women in our community that serve us every day. Shungra has lived in Lakeland for almost her entire life, and comes from a very close-knit family. She is also engaged to a wonderful man and is looking forward to spending the rest of her life with him. When life gets a bit chaotic, her go-to stress relievers are praying, dancing, writing, and reading.

Chris McArthur

Chris McArthur

Patriot Coffee Roasters
Chris McArthur

Chris McArthur

Patriot Coffee Roasters

After finding success in opening Black & Brew Coffeehouse and Bistro, Chris began wondering how he could continue to make Lakeland a cool place to live. So, he attended roasting school, purchased a roaster, and started Patriot Coffee in 2015. Since then, he has raised over $16,500, purchased a 5 kilo US Roaster Corp drum roaster, moved into his own space, and continues to provide high-quality coffee to the residents of his beloved hometown of Lakeland and is a featured product at Lakeland’s very own hometown grocery store chain of Publix.

Melissa McClure

Melissa McClure

Southern Babies LLC
Melissa McClure

Melissa McClure

Southern Babies LLC

I love to create things that people can enjoy. What brought me to the Lakeland area well job opportunity. I live in Bartow but spend a lot of time in Lakeland because of all the different family things to do there.

Chad McLeod

Chad McLeod

McLeod Communications
Chad McLeod

Chad McLeod

McLeod Communications
We began with humble roots in 2012, two brothers working in public relations and marketing communications who wanted to join forces and build an agency known for its ability to develop a message and create change like no other. Successful PR strategy and organizational messaging have always been at our core. While we can get into tactical and technical work with the best of firms, our difference is in the strategy.

Led by experienced public relations practitioners Chad McLeod, APR, CPRC, and Joe McLeod, our firm exists to help clients effectively tell their stories by providing unmatched communications counsel and strategy. Based in Lakeland, Florida we work with clients at the local, state and national levels. We work with organizations every day on reputation and issues management, digital strategies, messaging and more.

Joe McLeod

Joe McLeod

McLeod Communications
Joe McLeod

Joe McLeod

McLeod Communications
I'm a fourth-generation Polk County resident. Moved away for nearly 10 years for college, military service, then graduate school. I moved back to Lakeland in 2008. I love running, mountain biking, traveling and reading. My family and I are involved at the Rock Community Church.
Our firm exists to help clients effectively tell their stories by providing unmatched communications counsel and strategy. Based in Lakeland, Florida we work with clients at the local, state and national levels. We work with organizations every day on reputation and issues management, digital strategies and messaging.
Bradley Mersereau

Bradley Mersereau

Chain Lake Apparel Company LLC
Bradley Mersereau

Bradley Mersereau

Chain Lake Apparel Company LLC

CLAC is going to be the Authority and identity representative for the lake lifestyle. If you live on, visit, or identify and/or most importantly, love the lifestyle that happens on the chain of lakes or any area like it around the world then this brand is catering to you. Pontoons, kayaks, paddle boarding, restaurants on the water, rope swings, and sand bars. Memories of good times and the feeling of something unique will create loyalty and connection. In short, what we’ll provide is a representation for those who love to live life to the fullest.

Alicia Mills

Alicia Mills

Makeup Sex Podcast
Alicia Mills

Alicia Mills

Makeup Sex Podcast
Craig Mozhdehi

Craig Mozhdehi

Ramp Systems
Craig Mozhdehi

Craig Mozhdehi

Ramp Systems

Ramp Systems is an Enterprise Software and Services Company dedicated to providing complete Solutions exclusively to the Logistics Industry. Software and services offered include Warehouse Management, Supply Chain Execution, EDI, eCommerce and Application Integration.

Rapid growth as a result of widespread adoption of Ramp Systems advanced solutions offering has resulted in approximately 350 customers in 10 countries using Ramp technology and services each day.

Joshua Nelson

Joshua Nelson

Nelpro Project Solutions
Joshua Nelson

Joshua Nelson

Nelpro Project Solutions

Nelpro offers services tailored to provide expert project management/scheduling services for industrial facilities during their most time-limited and critical turnaround/outage projects. When a power plant or chemical plant shuts down for any reason, they lose thousands of dollars an hour on loss generation or product. On top of the lost time of producing their product, they are executing complex repair or improvement projects during this time. Nelpro's goal is to provide their clients with a detailed plan on how to complete their desired projects in the most effective way possible.

Grant Nieddu

Grant Nieddu

State of the Spark
Grant Nieddu

Grant Nieddu

State of the Spark

State of the Spark trains and equips entrepreneurs launch quickly and effectively. We help others spark vision, ignite success, explode significance, and radiate purpose by offerings tools and training entrepreneurs need.

Spark SITES delivers: Professional Mobile Websites | Content Marketing & Support | Business Management Dashboard | Free Website Updates | www.SparkMySite.com

Grant is a trainer that helps entrepreneurs achieve more while making a meaningful impact. Grant has spent the last 19 years training individuals and teams to expand their client base and grow their passion-filled vision.

Adam Novak

Adam Novak

Drone Elevations
Adam Novak

Adam Novak

Drone Elevations

Adam is an Art Director, Graphic Designer, marketing expert and professional photographer of 20+ years. Adam beholds a unique skill set of technical knowledge combined with an artistic eye and a creative mind. Adam has been the CEO of Drone Elevations, LLC since 2016 and the CEO of NOVAK Brand Design, Inc. since 2007. Adam has flown for the following industries: construction, agriculture, aerial golf course management, roof inspection, advertising, video production and real estate ~ photographing over 600 homes!

• FAA Part 107 Certified Commercial Drone Pilot
• Licensed and Insured.
• Professional Photographer
• Member of AMA
• Member of PPA
• Member of SEN
• Business affiliate of LAR
• Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design - Kansas State University

Connor O’Brien

Connor O’Brien

THE COLLECTION MEDIA
Connor O’Brien

Connor O’Brien

THE COLLECTION MEDIA
Business co-owner of a video production company. I love to come alongside businesses, non-profits, and individuals in order to help them make a scene, get clients, and increase revenue.
Dave Pappas

Dave Pappas

Dave Pappas Creative Studio
Dave Pappas

Dave Pappas

Dave Pappas Creative Studio

dp Creative Studio is a design collective specializing in branding, video marketing, and user experience design. After 14 years in Brooklyn, NY, the studio lead, Dave Pappas, migrated south to call Lakeland it's new home base. Dave and team now travel nationwide to meet clients for hands-on workshops, design team assessments, project reviews and big idea discussions.

Rut Patel

Rut Patel

Voyager Industries
Rut Patel

Rut Patel

Voyager Industries

I moved to the USA in 2015 to follow my dream to start an engineering company and become an entrepreneur.

I am dedicated to solving problems and creating solutions that protect our planet and serve our communities.

I am the president of Voyager Industries. Voyager is an engineering company that specializes in creating solutions for Energy, Agriculture, and Infrastructure companies.

Dick Pelligrini

Dick Pelligrini

Pilgrim Associates
Dick Pelligrini

Dick Pelligrini

Pilgrim Associates

Richard “Dick”Pelligrini, is the president and founder of Pilgrim associates. He earned a Humanities degree from the University of Vermont followed by graduate study in business operations at Clark University and strategic marketing at Harvard University. He holds long-standing memberships in American Management Assoc., American Marketing Assoc., Turnaround Management Assoc., American Society of CEOs and Vistage. Dick also serves on several Boards of Directors in the business and community sectors. He generously facilitates Catapult's Catwalk program and comes alongside entrepreneurs as they are trying to scale and grow their businesses to the next level.

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Vanilla Exotics
Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

Vanilla Exotics
In my recent bio of the past 10 years I moved to Ecuador where I anticipated retiring and living a simple life—but that never happened. Instead, I learned Spanish, bought some land, and experimented with a few business ideas all revolving around food. In the end, a group of very special friends and I have selected growing vanilla for our own business and also as a way to help nearby Ecuadorian farmers cultivate a new type of crop that can make a difference in their lives and their community. With my background in Digital Marketing, I have found what I take for granted they don't have access to...and that is the ability to create an online marketing platform. I am excited to be in the position of working with people in Ecuador and Mexico, and now find with our new business having visibility online we are being contacted from other communities from Africa, the Comoros Islands, and island countries in the Pacific to help them commercialize their vanilla. This is something I have never imagined for our simple vanilla farm and I am humbled and honored to be in a position to help others from so many parts of the world.
Trevor Pierce

Trevor Pierce

Epic North
Trevor Pierce

Trevor Pierce

Epic North

Epic North is a software development consulting company. We provide custom software solutions across multiple technologies and for many different company sizes from startup to enterprise.

Garrett Poorbaugh

Garrett Poorbaugh

South State Bank
Garrett Poorbaugh

Garrett Poorbaugh

South State Bank

My name is Garrett Poorbaugh. I am currently a college student working towards a BAS in Management and Supervision with a focus on Information Technology. I have two jobs, one as a security architect and the other as an MSP. I am looking for a space that encourages learning and productivity. I look forward to using this area to further my work goals and career aspirations.

Robert Ratcliffe

Robert Ratcliffe

Vivid Church
Robert Ratcliffe

Robert Ratcliffe

Vivid Church
I am a business owner & church planter and I am born & raised in the Bartow/Lakeland area. Vivid Church exists to help people grow closer to God & people.

Campbell Rice

Campbell Rice

The Collection Media
Campbell Rice

Campbell Rice

The Collection Media
I love helping eager businesses grow and succeed through high-quality video work, I love making music, and I also love chipotle.
I was born and raised in Lakeland, and I have always wanted to live here forever! Lakeland is the BEST.
At The Collection Media, we come alongside eager businesses to tell their unique stories, and advertise who they are and what they do! We started a year and a half ago, but Connor O'Brien and I have been making video's together ever since middle school. Our passion is to tell the incredible stories of the people around us.
Brandan Ritchey

Brandan Ritchey

Brandan Ritchey Creative
Brandan Ritchey

Brandan Ritchey

Brandan Ritchey Creative

I love helping great people do great things by designing affordable logos and websites for leaders in every industry. I also am passionate about anything creative and love learning. I love running, biking, hiking and spending time with friends and family.

Ricardo Rivera

Ricardo Rivera

Dynamic Security of Fl
Ricardo Rivera

Ricardo Rivera

Dynamic Security of Fl

Ricardo, owner of Dynamics Security of Fl., arrived in Lakeland in October 2015 and after about a month he knew this is where he would be staying for the long haul; something about the town just felt right. A few months later he joined Catapult and this community made him feel confident in his decision. He was inspired by reading an interview in The Lakelander Magazine with Tim Rice, the senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian, describing how God spoke to him about the importance of planting roots. I instantly knew this was confirmation I had heard from God and landing in Lakeland was no coincidence. Ricardo said, “the Bible tells us in James that we are to rejoice for the steps of a righteous man are ordered by God. I continually pray that I will seek after God’s righteousness, especially in business affairs, so that He will continue to order my steps. I wake up every morning with purpose and renewed vigor, excited to see what’s in store as I continue to build this business.”

Stephen Robles

Stephen Robles

Story Group
Stephen Robles

Stephen Robles

Story Group

Alumni of Southeastern University, worked at several local churches and in the travel industry. Now I work at The Crossing Church Tampa and freelance in Lakeland. Also, love to podcast.

Camila Romero

Camila Romero

Pre Dawn Inc.
Camila Romero

Camila Romero

Pre Dawn Inc.
I love to create, learn and collaborate with others. I was brought to Lakeland through my husband and it has a very special place in my heart as I’ve seen it’s growth and opportunities.
Edie, Amy, & Jacquie Ross

Edie, Amy, & Jacquie Ross

Happy Hour Scones
Edie, Amy, & Jacquie Ross

Edie, Amy, & Jacquie Ross

Happy Hour Scones

We are three sisters who took a lively conversation over some yummy Jalapeño Lime Margaritas; used the cocktail in a favorite scone recipe; made more scones with more cocktail flavors, and then had the audacity to think others might love the outcome as much as ourselves. Before long we found ourselves members of this wonderful world called Catapult 2.0 that allows us to explore our love of flavors and gives us a chance to bake our hearts out for Saturday morning Farmer's Market here in Downtown Lakeland. With our cocktail-infused scones, it’s Happy Hour all day long! Cheers!

Angie Ruff

Angie Ruff

Compass Blending
Angie Ruff

Angie Ruff

Compass Blending

Angie was born and raised in North Carolina, but eventually found her way down to Lakeland. For nearly two decades, she has worked for other food manufacturers, filling senior roles in finance, sales + marketing, and serving as the Plant Manager and VP of Operations. Her entire professional career has been spent in manufacturing and after a long stint of serving as an employee, she decided it was time to run the show herself. Angie is a passionate maker– and who doesn’t love to make food? When she isn’t handling operations at Compass Blending, she is a mother to her four children, and an accomplished runner, having completed a number of marathons and half-marathons..

Travis Russi

Travis Russi

Russi Group
Travis Russi

Travis Russi

Russi Group
Early stage tech startup
Delta Ryan

Delta Ryan

The Take Heart Project
Delta Ryan

Delta Ryan

The Take Heart Project
The Take Heart Africa Project began in 2012 when Delta Ryan traveled to Kenya for the first time through a series of personal family events. The organization has radically developed since then to include multiple platforms of impact including a local fair trade store in downtown Lakeland and student development operations in rural Kenya through schools and universities. The fair trade store and artisan network generate sales that allow all Take Heart donors to give directly to the care of orphans and widows in Kenya. As a young non-profit, Take Heart represents great potential for sustainable development efforts through education, microfinance loans and fair trade empowerment.
Much of my life’s purpose and passion has themed across caring for the vulnerable, doing justice and overcoming adversity. Lakeland, FL has been my home for the majority of my life growing up as a local and enjoying the city as an adult with my family and two children. After graduating from the University of Florida, I served 22 years working as a Physician Assistant in the emergency room at Lakeland Regional. After encountering extreme poverty and oppression in rural Kenya on my first trip in 2012, my life was never the same. Since then, I have shifted my entire career and calling to founding and now leading a non-profit called The Take Heart Project, an organization based in Lakeland and dedicated to empowering aged-out orphans and widows. This community has become a support system, collaborative network and entrepreneurial platform to share this international yet local opportunity for sustainable development. Our organization operates through a brick and mortar store selling fair trade and handmade products from local artisans as well as weekly engagement in the downtown farmers market.
Heather Ryan

Heather Ryan

The Take Heart Project
Heather Ryan

Heather Ryan

The Take Heart Project
Unprecedented ideas come to life through disruptive innovation. Since graduating from the University of Florida in 2018, this principle has continued as a common theme of my time working as a young professional. Undergraduate studies in non-profit leadership and communications were just the starting point for a deepening passion toward organizational advancement. Before moving to Gainesville, I grew up in Lakeland my entire life loving the city and sharing a fondness for community development. I care most about partnering with organizational teams to improve their processes, strategize content and assess team dynamics. Most recently, I’ve loved in these capacities as a Communications & Marketing Coordinator at Greenhouse Church; however, despite changes in the COVID-19 pandemic, I have felt empowered to take a risk moving back to Lakeland and begin working for a local non-profit, The Take Heart Project, as the Director of Advancement. I’m greatly looking forward to returning to a familiar place that is now evolving daily with new innovation and teams to partner in greater efforts toward social change for our community and world we live in.
Ernesto Samuel

Ernesto Samuel

Covalent Learning Center
Ernesto Samuel

Ernesto Samuel

Covalent Learning Center

I am a biomedical executive interested in developing life science solutions for unmet needs. I relocated to Lakeland for open new businesses.

Rima Schillinger

Rima Schillinger

Vegetation Plant Food
Rima Schillinger

Rima Schillinger

Vegetation Plant Food

My grandmom was an incredible cook and encouraged me to experiment in the kitchen alongside her. I remember she fake-liked a pot of soup I made from carrots boiled in salty milk (aka creamy carrot soup) and led me to believe there was hope for my culinary success. My love of cooking joined my desire to prevent heart disease and promote optimal health in my own family. Since 2016 I’ve been loving a plant-based diet and having fun creating delicious, beautiful, and healthy food to share.

I’m cooking up plant-based meals for you to enjoy at home or work. Whether you’re eating more plants because it’s good for you, good for the environment, or good for the animals I want to send some delicious food your way. It’s my hope that my meals will energize you, inspire you to create plant-based meals of your own, and to eat like you love yourself.

Katelyn Schur

Katelyn Schur

LAL Today
Katelyn Schur

Katelyn Schur

LAL Today
LALtoday was built to engage local communities by creating new ways to consume, participate, and share local content. Through our conversational tone, editorial filter, and participatory approach, we aim to build communities driven by conversation, designed for maximum engagement.
My past two jobs (including this one as an editor at LALtoday) have brought me to Lakeland. When I'm not working I love going out to eat, spending time with family, going to Disney, and watching Netflix.
Preston Shreeve

Preston Shreeve

Green State Energy
Preston Shreeve

Preston Shreeve

Green State Energy

I was born and raised here. I’m starting a new venture and would love to be able to build it out from my hometown. I want the opportunity to help people especially entrepreneurs to take their business and personal lives to the next level. I love the facility and collaborative atmosphere at Catapult.

Jon Sierra

Jon Sierra

Sierra Creative
Jon Sierra

Jon Sierra

Sierra Creative

Jon wants to live in a world filled with people who value art and its process, a place where unicorns thrive and Jesus is wearing angel wings and is sitting front row at a Journey concert holding a $20 artisan bagel.

Originally a native of New York City, he is an independent art director and graphic designer with more than 10 years of experience. He has partnered with many companies such as Greenstar Panels, Allen & Company of Florida Inc., Free Life, Spano & Company, Eventrics, Ag America, Northway, along with many others. All the while, earning a Bachelors Degree at Southeastern University.

When he’s not creating, he’s still creating. As a lover of all mediums of Art, he also enjoys the occasional opportunity as a private chef. As a chef, he holds the honor of being chosen as Top 100 finalist of Season 5 of Masterchef on Fox. In addition to that, he has had a decade of experience as a Music Director and has also recently began a road toward holding a reputable name in the Fine Arts world. All the while, helping create 3 little girls with his, also very artistic, wife, Lindsey.

He is currently operating as Art Director for several projects and is searching for an opportunity in modern Street Art movement, along with continuing to hold the dream of owning an original restaurant concept.

Joel Sierra

Joel Sierra

Jed's Tech
Joel Sierra

Joel Sierra

Jed's Tech

Joel Sierra owns Jed's Tech, an information technology company. His focus is on people, meeting them at the places where they actually intersect with technology. He is passionate about how technology affects our daily life and its effects on our productivity.

Joshua Sitta

Joshua Sitta

Sittadel
Joshua Sitta

Joshua Sitta

Sittadel

Born and raised in Lakeland, I often bring the family downtown and just meander around. I feel connected to the city, and I want to contribute to it's growth in a meaningful way.

Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith

Carambola Consulting
Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith

Carambola Consulting

Carambola Consulting brings proven marketing and communications strategies of successful brands to companies and non-profits to help them reach their goals. Gillian has more than 20 years of experience with big companies and non-profits, including Burger King, Coca-Cola, LEGOLAND, and Teach For America. Her numerous accolades include being named an “Online All-Star” by MediaPost and a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age. She has won numerous awards, including Cannes Golden Lions, Effies, Association of National Advertisers Multicultural, Forrester Groundswell and Rosoff Awards for Diversity, Best Viral Advertising (Wall Street Journal), The One Show, Golden Marble Awards for Best Children’s Advertising, and even Best Campaign of the Century (according to The New York Times).

Scott Smith

Scott Smith

Remote Worker

Audrey Snow-Brine

Audrey Snow-Brine

Drone Launch Academy
Audrey Snow-Brine

Audrey Snow-Brine

Drone Launch Academy

I work for Drone Launch Academy as a marketing & communications associate. I help write content, emails, social posts, etc.

Carol Stanley

Carol Stanley

Liamuiga Tinctures and Teas
Carol Stanley

Carol Stanley

Liamuiga Tinctures and Teas
Liamuiga Tinctures and Teas was founded by the Stanley family in 2019. Carol and Trevor Stanley emigrated from the island of St. Kitts (formerly known as Liamuiga or fertile land) over thirty years ago, bringing with them treasured family recipes for teas, tinctures, and delicious baked goods. Our creations are influenced by the ancestral inhabitants of the island such as; the Caribs, Arawaks, African slaves, East Asian indentured servants, Spanish, French and British settlers. This eclectic mix of cultures provides us with deliciously unique fusion recipes that showcase mindfulness at the core of what we produce for our customers. We pride ourselves in offering flavor-packed preservative-free loose leaf tea blends, vinegar-based non - alcoholic tinctures and an array of baked goods.
TimO Strawbridge

TimO Strawbridge

Trinity Presbyterian Church
TimO Strawbridge

TimO Strawbridge

Trinity Presbyterian Church
I have lived in Lakeland my whole life except for my college years. I love Lakeland and am deeply indebted to this community for a lifetime of love, support, education and training. I am the last of 8 children and now one of 157 folks in the family with a majority calling Lakeland their home. My goals, dreams and ambitions are tied to reinvesting my gifts and talents in Lakeland and Polk County. I have a wife of 33 years and we have a daughter we think is pretty terrific.
Robin Sussingham

Robin Sussingham

Edible Tampa Bay
Robin Sussingham

Robin Sussingham

Edible Tampa Bay

I was born and raised in Lakeland. I went to Duke, married my college sweetheart, who became a USAF test pilot and traveled the world with him. When we were finally able to choose where we wanted to live, we came back to Lakeland. I love this town and have served on many volunteer boards including Temple Emanuel, NGA, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and public and private schools. I have a lot of family here, too. I love to play tennis, mahjong, and get out on the water. I have two pit bulls, and am a big advocate for them.

Denise Tessier

Denise Tessier

The Tessier Law Firm
Denise Tessier

Denise Tessier

The Tessier Law Firm

Denise Tessier, founder of The Tessier Law Firm, P.A., has been a lawyer for over 25 years, admitted in Florida, Massachusetts and Connecticut.   For many years, Denise served as in-house counsel and claim manager for large multinationals, international and start-up operations, rising to General Counsel and Compliance Officer roles. She has extensive expertise in highly complex areas such as, corporate law, global insurance, regulatory compliance, global data privacy and data protection, contract drafting, claims management, and dispute resolution. Now home in Lake Wales, she has transitioned her practice to serve individuals and families throughout Polk, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties. She focusses her practice on Life and Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Probate and Elder Law), as well as Small Business Legal Consulting. In all her endeavors, she enjoys helping others take charge of life’s transitions.   Denise has a particularly strong goal of enabling and promoting women-owned businesses, and is a LGBTQ community ally.

Denise is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), a national organization committed to providing quality estate planning through its strong network of member firms. In addition, she is an active member of a number of legal and community organizations, including:

  • Estate Planning and Real Property Chapter of the Florida Bar Association
  • National Academy of Elder Law Lawyers (NAELA), and Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA)
  • American Bar Association,  Real Estate, Trust & Estates Section (ABA)
  • Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) and
  • American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) (Lakeland Chapter)
  • Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce

 Denise is happily married to former British citizen, and enjoys international travel. She is an amateur painter and supports a wide range of museums, visual and performing arts. She enjoys pickleball, yoga, golf, and Brittany Spaniels, and volunteers as a Child Guardian Ad Litem for children in the foster care system. You will often find her at concerts and festivals, and hanging out with friends at craft breweries.

Michael Thigpen

Michael Thigpen

Strong Tower Church
Michael Thigpen

Michael Thigpen

Strong Tower Church
Worship Director at StrongTower Church.
Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas

Kelly Meets World Photography
Kelly Thomas

Kelly Thomas

Kelly Meets World Photography

Creative lifestyle photographer

Avni Tilvawala

Avni Tilvawala

One Good Knife
Avni Tilvawala

Avni Tilvawala

One Good Knife

Food is my passion. I've been working in the food industry for over 10 years. I was a chef but now am excited and keen on using my skill set and passion to start my own spice business. I've grown up with spices and love how they not only are delicious and healthy but also healing.

Mark Toledo

Mark Toledo

Radiant Promotional Group
Mark Toledo

Mark Toledo

Radiant Promotional Group

I love marketing, sales, and recruiting as professions and hobbies at the same time. I've lived across the country, but my immediate family brought me back to Lakeland. I have been in marketing/sales for over a decade. I am now creating my own recruiting and sales training agency to help supply multiple marketing and sales companies across the US.

Kathy Selvidge Tonner

Kathy Selvidge Tonner

SUNDOG DESIGN STUDIO
Kathy Selvidge Tonner

Kathy Selvidge Tonner

SUNDOG DESIGN STUDIO

I grew up in Lakeland, graduated from Lakeland High School and attended The University of Florida | School of Architecture - Go Gators! I am here now to be closer to my elderly parents. My two grown sons live in Atlanta. They are both SMART & HANDSOME!

My goal in life is to leave everything better than I found it! With passions for God, Family, Community, Education and Design; I actively advocate for women and animal welfare issues.

I am an Honest Advisor, trusted and responsible. A Facilitator who confronts disorder, and a Designer who loves to create balance for my clients by creating peaceful & functional spaces that enhance their daily lives.

Ben Turner

Ben Turner

Strong Tower Church
Ben Turner

Ben Turner

Strong Tower Church
I moved to Lakeland in 2005 and helped to start Strong Tower Church in 2014 as the Lead Pastor. I serve our church primarily through preaching, prayer, vision, and investing in leaders. I completed an MA in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. My wife Nicki, and I, are blessed with three daughters. I enjoy playing basketball, a good book or movie, and watching FSU football.
Pablo Del Valle

Pablo Del Valle

Pinnacle Technology
Pablo Del Valle

Pablo Del Valle

Pinnacle Technology
After spending 20 years in IT, 15 of which was specifically in corporate events, I am ready to venture on my own and begin my own IT enterprise. I think being a part of the Lakeland business community lets me connect with some of the best small business owners in the state. Now with Lakeland poising for growth, it is vital that my business be a part of that growth.
Gabriella Vigoreaux

Gabriella Vigoreaux

Vicky G's

Gabriella is the chef and owner of Vicky G's, a catering company that serves up a funky, fresh alternative to the traditional catering experience. The Caribbean-inspired menu stems from Gabriella's love of old-school Miami diners as well as her experience working as a chef and baker in Brooklyn. Gabriella hopes to eventually turn Vicky G's into a brick-and-mortar location where she can continue catering while also serving up coffee and her signature empanadas to the Lakeland community.

Steve Webster

Steve Webster

SW gApps
Steve Webster

Steve Webster

SW gApps

Steve Webster, founder of SW gApps LLC, has been solving problems and making improvements in the IT field for over 25 years, including 13 years at Marriott International as a Project Manager and Sr Developer. His Google experience includes being a Google Vendor, where he helped with the original Google Partner Connect website, which at the time became Google’s largest extranet site that securely connected 10,000+ partners around the world. Google has awarded him Product Expert status in Google Apps Script, Drive, and Docs. He has been a guest blogger for the G Suite Developers Blog, BetterCloud Monitor, conference speaker.

SW gApps specializes in custom software services, support, training and product development for Google's G Suite productivity software, as well as, stand-alone apps.

Adam Whelchel

Adam Whelchel

Spark Bookkeeping
Adam Whelchel

Adam Whelchel

Spark Bookkeeping
I have lived in Lakeland since 2012. I visited the city on and off for years and I always enjoyed the downtown area. I met my wife at Black & Brew on Main Street and have called Lakeland my home ever since. I enjoy the watersport activities and I'm a member of a wakeboarding club and a boating club and I frequently engage in various outdoor activities.
3 years ago I started finding business owners and bookkeepers on who needed training Quickbooks and Intuit digital products. I was also correct and reconstructing poorly bookkeeping files. I then offered an automation service that allowed me to help my clients connect multiple platforms to each other to improve their bookkeeping process, financial reporting, and provide more details and faster execution of basic tasks.
Julie Whitney

Julie Whitney

Location3 Media
Julie Whitney

Julie Whitney

Location3 Media
I have lived in Lakeland for over 20 years. I graduated from Florida Southern and married my college sweetheart. We have two teenagers, ages 14 and 17. I love to spend time with my family, travel, exercise, and am always on the hunt for an eclectic coffee shop and a good winery!
Location3 Media specializes in digital marketing for franchise brands and multi-location businesses. Our services include digital ads, SEO, Paid Media, Content Marketing and more.
Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson Piano
Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson Piano

Sean Wilson, a founder of Sean Wilson Piano LLC, loves teaching mathematics as a professor at Polk State College and HCC. Although he has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Ed, with a Master's Degree in Education Administration, his real love is inspiring upcoming musicians and showing them how to improvise on the piano

Nathan Yee

Nathan Yee

Omnivue Productions
Nathan Yee

Nathan Yee

Omnivue Productions
Omnivue Productions has been in business for almost four years now, with bumps along the way and many successes. We are a I.T. solutions company and offer a wide range of services such as Automation, CCTV, Access Control, Structured Networking and More. We started on accident when giving our word to someone saying that we had a business when we didn't and very shortly we started Omnivue Productions.
Office Size
David Young

David Young

Drone Launch Academy
David Young

David Young

Drone Launch Academy

David Young is the founder and CEO of Drone Launch Academy, LLC, a commercial drone training company that has trained over 13,000 pilots. Prior to starting Drone Launch Academy, David spent eight years with the FBI as a forensic accountant and financial analyst. While at the FBI, David also worked as a consultant for companies, such as Google and others, assisting with finance, accounting, and data analytics. David has a Masters in Finance from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Finance and Accounting from Florida State University. David holds a Private Pilot Certificate, Remote Pilot Certificate, and Advanced Ground Instructor Certificate with the FAA. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).

Richard Young

Richard Young

Up
The Up App, from Up Training Solutions, is a new mobile platform for sales training that builds and enforces productive habits, provides sales teams with on-demand, micro-module training content, and helps to strengthen communication and culture. The Up application for IOS and Android features a Patented, fully customizable KPI tracking feature that promotes engagement and teamwork through competitive tracking of daily productive activities for sales teams via a real-time leader board. After 9 months of development, the app was officially launched in March 2021.
Brooke Young

Brooke Young

UP Training Solutions
Brooke Young

Brooke Young

UP Training Solutions

The Up App, from Up Training Solutions, is a new mobile platform for sales training that builds and enforces productive habits, provides sales teams with on-demand, micro-module training content, and helps to strengthen communication and culture. The Up application for IOS and Android features a Patented, fully customizable KPI tracking feature that promotes engagement and teamwork through competitive tracking of daily productive activities for sales teams via a real-time leader board. After 9 months of development, the app was officially launched in March 2021.

Dawn Young

Dawn Young

Party Remarks
Dawn Young

Dawn Young

Party Remarks
The aim has always been to find a pre-existing product, add value to it, repackage and turn a profit.

Party Remarks identifies high opportunity products, with potential for high-profit margins, specifically party decor.