Winter Haven Chamber honors business leaders


Bond Clinic CEO, Dr. Iakovidis speaks after receiving award.

WINTER HAVEN — A new Banker’s Cup Man and Woman of the Year were recognized last week by the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce at the annual meeting as well as this year’s top businesses.

The event at Nora Mayo Hall was the 93rd in the city’s history.

Chris Hazelwood was presented with the Woman of the Year award. Hazelwood is owner of Lasater Flowers and started the nonprofit, Your Polk County Hub, which allows nonprofits to work together for the betterment of the community. Hazelwood is involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life among other organizations.

Greg Littleton, CEO of Citizen’s Bank and Trust, was named the Man of the Year. Littleton was recognized for his commitment to the United Way, Polk State College, Winter Haven Hospital and chamber among others.

“It was really an overwhelming feeling for me,” Littleton said. “When I look at the list of previous winners, it’s pretty humbling. People don’t do what we do for recognition but for love of our community. It’s what we’re passionate about and it’s part of our culture here.”

Earning Small Business of the Year honors was Central Florida Media Group. Since being founded in 2010, it has grown from one employee to nine with 38 other contract employees. The group is involved with more than 35 nonprofits and helps other small businesses in a variety of ways.

Bond Clinic earned the distinction of Large Business of the Year. The clinic has been in the community for 70 years and added 16 new healthcare providers this year alone. Bond Clinic had a 60-person team for the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball event and 40 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

“We are honored to have been awarded this prestigious recognition from the Winter Haven Chamber and for it to happen during our 70th anniversary year was icing on the cake,” Bond Clinic spokeswoman Ashley Scanlan said. “It is humbling for our local leaders to see all that we are doing and we hope to continue to bring the best medical care to our community.”

Kevin Ashley received the gavel as the new chairman of the chamber’s board of directors for the 2018-19 year.

“Wow,” City Manager Mike Herr said. “The number of millennials and younger people we have involved in our city is remarkable.”

Mike Ferguson can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7545. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson.

Original article published by The Ledger