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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Polk Vision Annual Meeting Inspires Area Leaders


Last updated 8/17/2023 at 8:45pm

Robert Connors

A large crowd filled the seats at the annual meeting of Polk Vision to join organization president Dr. Falconetti celebrate the 19th year of the organization engaged in networking, training, and building alliances to benefit the economic and cultural growth and development of Polk County.

A celebration of 19 years of contribution toward the development of community leaders drew some 200 guests to the annual meeting of Polk Vision Wednesday evening.

The gathering in the auditorium of Theatre Winter Haven included a review of the progress and growth of the community. During the nearly two decades of existence the program has held annual leadership classes offering deep dives into the forces that power the local economy, education, and government, among other topics.

Under a banner headlined "LEAD" were the related topics of "Learn about the issues, Engage knowledgeable community members, Align resources to address the root causes, and Develop lasting solutions resulting in systemic change."

Citing changed statistics, a series of presentations by organization leaders, led by organization chair Dr. Angela Falconetti, president of Polk State College, highlighted the significant efforts of the organization to enhance the Polk community, with a focus on education.

Robert Connors

Among the Lake Wales delegation present for the Polk Vision annual meeting were Tommy and Faith Frank (L), Rob Quam, and Susan Connors. The annual event highlighted many of the changing conditions in growing Polk County.

Polk Vision is funded through contributions from a long list of area businesses and government partners, including 12 area cities, Polk Schools, and the board of county commissioners. The event was hosted by Theatre Winter Haven, The City of Winter Haven, and the Ridge Art Association.

Guests enjoyed a tasty buffet of dishes and desserts prepared by students at the Lake Region Culinary Academy.

Theatre Winter Haven Producing Director Dan Chesnicka shared an inspiring presentation on the many ways the theatre company is contributing to Polk's cultural growth in an amazing array of programs.

Several representatives of the business community in southeastern Polk County, most graduates of one of the hosted leadership classes, were present for the celebration. Director Greg Littleton addressed the crowd as president of event co-sponsor Citizens Bank & Trust, engaging attendees in an entertaining round of Polk County trivia. Other sponsors included TECO Energy and Advent Health.


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