- Arts + Entertainment
- Health + Wellness
- Kitchen Members
- Photo + Film
Jordan JD ArbuckleHelm & Smart Inbound Marketing
Jordan JD Arbuckle
Jordan JD Arbuckle is the founder of Helm, a brand and platform to transform how young adults build positive mental health habits. Helm is currently being developed by Florida Poly students and other Catapult members.
JD is also the lead digital marketing consultant at Smart Inbound Marketing, providing strategy, web design, social media, email campaigns, and advertising services for startups and small-to-mid sized businesses.
Jordan received his M.B.A. at Florida Southern College, and carries Inbound Marketing and Google Analytics certifications. JD is the president of The Lakeland Lancers Rugby organization, enjoys primitive camping, and lives with his partner in the Lake Morton historic district.
Kyle AshcraftMaxwell 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.
Isabelle BakerIsabelle Media
Brittany BandiSow Exotic
As a music teacher, I experience a lot of different situations. One time in particular, I had a 5th grade student ask me for a feminine product in the middle of class, but she didn't know how to use it. It amazed me that of all the things kids know nowadays, she didn't know something so essential. That's when I realized that I needed to teach more than music. I started Bizzle to educate young girls about their first menstrual cycles and to give parents materials and resources to bridge the gap when it comes to having that conversation. I believe in empowering both young girls and their parents to make an uncomfortable conversation more natural.
Karissa BarberStrong 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 BaxterWe Jammin’
Larry BeckerGreat 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 BellPatriot 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.
Chris BlackwellBrasfield 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.
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.
Joshua BowlbyJoxhua Creative
Sarah BucklewThe Joinery
James ClemensLoud Life Productions
Loud Life Productions helps businesses be seen and heard through the power of strong messaging and engaging video visuals.
Mona CranorLight Up Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing services, SSM, Social Ads, Website, Coaching, etc.
Dorcas CrumbleyEssential 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 DAgostinoKetone 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.
Deedre DanielThe 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 DavisCognITek Group
Caroline Davis828 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!
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.
Uwe DoeringerCarambola Consulting
Will EnglishRealistic 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 FavilliCasita Verde
Chuck FossCore Wealth Advisors
Mark GaiMG 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.
Richard GarzarelliThe Social Media Detox
Passion for technology, health & fitness, and creative endeavors
Dena GoldfineHigher 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 GomezMk 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!
Candace GrossYelloWhistle LLC
Chris HinojosaLight 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 HoganHogan 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.
Josh HoltStateside Media
Helping businesses strategically create marketing materials that allow them to continue growing their businesses - and look good doing it.
Torrius HooperTorrius Inc
Taylor IrbyEast of These
Dan Jarvis22Zero 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. JeanDippidi
Austin St. Jean
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 JonesSimply 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 JosephHomes for Heroes
Dory Rodriguez Joseph
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.
Michael KanabyProfitability Works Inc
Profitability Works Inc. provides management consulting, training, workshops, and coaching to the construction industry across North America. Our specialty is helping integrate and optimize performance after a merger or for PE firms that have made multiple acquisitions in the same space.
Nathaniel KendrickThe 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.
Michael KinghamWinFactor, LLC
I was born in Polk county and started my business here shortly after graduating from college (1990). I am a graduate of Leadership Winter Haven (class #16) and serve on the board of the Ritz Theatre. My wife and three children moved from Winter Haven to Lakeland because two of my children go to school here (Pathways/SEU and Geneva). We love how beautiful the city is (and its restaurants). My passions are software development and electric cars.
Lisa KirkBlended 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 KrauseHCL 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 LadueFAQmedia.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 LaingFreelance Copyrighter
Atenea LaraInspiring Fitness
Atenea runs a successful online fitness coaching enterprise to inspire and help women reach their personal fitness goals.
Chrissanne LongMaximize 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.
Nicolai LutherPredawn INC - BA - My Clean Buddy
Shrunga MangalvedkarHomes 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 McArthurPatriot 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 McClureSouthern 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 McLeodMcLeod Communications
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 McLeodMcLeod Communications
Carmen MendozaPromo Mecca International
We currently invoice products from the U.S., Mexico, and China to Walmart in Honduras and El Salvador. In Honduras we have successfully launched OOLY a U.S. brand in the market B2C and using Social Media as the main vehicle for brand development. Launching OOLY in Guatemala in November.
Andrea MerrittDreaM Digital
DreaM Digital is a digital marketing agency which focuses on helping small businesses grow through the power of a good website, social media, e-mail marketing, online advertising, and more.
At the heart of DreaM Digital is a girl named anDREA Merritt (get it?!).
DreaM Digital was born from Andrea’s passion to help others achieve their business and personal goals.
Andrea’s career has been a varied journey that began in retail, took her into higher education, and most recently landed in the oil and gas industry. Along this seemingly arbitrary path, one thing has remained constant. In each of her roles, her experience and expertise with social media marketing, e-mail campaigns, website management, and other marketing tools helped drive the businesses to reach goals.
Alicia MillsMakeup Sex Podcast
Craig MozhdehiRamp 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.
Grant NiedduState 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 NovakDrone 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’BrienTHE COLLECTION MEDIA
Kevin O’BrienKevin O’Brien Films
I’m a director for commercials and films.
I love to tell short stories that move people toward empathy, summon goosebumps,
and ultimately connect brands with all the feels.
People love the feels.
And you want people to love your brand.
I help you connect those things in a sneaky, unassuming way.
I’ve been doing this for about a decade. I started by building a production company to quickly becoming a leader in online content for communicators. Then I made a feature film that won some awards. And now I help brands summon the goosebumps and feels to find new customers.
So let’s tell a story, you and I.
Dave PappasDave 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 PatelVoyager Industries
I am from India and I moved to the USA in April 2015 to follow my dreams of starting an engineering company and become an entrepreneur.
I enjoy building robots and cooking food. I chose Lakeland due to its location in between Tampa and Orlando and I also love the community and people.
Dick PelligriniPilgrim 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 PhillipsVanilla Exotics
Trevor PierceEpic 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 PoorbaughSouth 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 RatcliffeVivid Church
Campbell RiceThe Collection Media
I was born and raised in Lakeland, and I have always wanted to live here forever! Lakeland is the BEST.
Brandan RitcheyBrandan 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 RiveraDynamic 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 RoblesStory 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 RomeroPre Dawn Inc.
Krysti RowkerThriving Mama
I'm the founder of Thriving Mama and a Certified Master Health Coach. I'm dedicated to helping women minimize symptoms from chronic illness, fatigue, and depression caused by inflammation by sharing functional nutrition education and working with women to implement dietary changes designed to help the body heal naturally.
Angie RuffCompass 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..
Delta RyanThe Take Heart Project
Ernesto SamuelCovalent 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 SchillingerVegetation 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 SchurLAL Today
Kristy ScottThe Joinery
Preston ShreeveGreen 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 SierraSierra 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 SierraJed'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.
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 SmithCarambola 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).
Audrey Snow-BrineDrone Launch Academy
I work for Drone Launch Academy as a marketing & communications associate. I help write content, emails, social posts, etc.
Carol StanleyLiamuiga Tinctures and Teas
TimO StrawbridgeTrinity Presbyterian Church
Robin SussinghamEdible 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 TessierThe 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.
Kelly ThomasKelly Meets World Photography
Creative lifestyle photographer
Avni TilvawalaOne 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 ToledoRadiant 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 TonnerSUNDOG DESIGN STUDIO
Kathy Selvidge Tonner
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 TurnerStrong Tower Church
Pablo Del VallePinnacle Technology
Pablo Del Valle
Daniel Peralta VelezNovo Batteries
Daniel Peralta Velez
Daniel was serving in the US Navy for ten years as an Aircraft Mechanic. Now he is serving for Air National Guard. Originally from Puerto Rico, he is currently a student at Polk State College with a plan to complete his Bachelor's Degree. Joining Catapult has been an excellent opportunity for him to develop, start, and grow his business.
Gabriella VigoreauxVicky 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 WebsterSW 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 WhelchelSpark Bookkeeping
Julie WhitneyLocation3 Media
Sean WilsonSean 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
David YoungDrone 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).