South Lake was well represented at the 2022 Lake County Community Service Awards at the Venetian Center in Leesburg on Thursday evening. “The Chamber is proud to have successful and outstanding business and individuals to nominate and even more thrilled to have them be recognized for their achievements by earning Countywide awards,” says David Colby, President & CEO of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. These accomplished businesses and individuals illustrate leadership and the importance of giving back to their community. The following winners display a high-level of hard-work, dedication, and commitment to the overall success of their crafts.

South Lake winners include:

  • Lance Sewell and Orlando Health – South Lake Hospital – Health Care Provider Award
  • City Manager, Mike Hein and City of Groveland – Public Service Award
  • Otis Taylor of Give A Day Foundation– Volunteer Award
  • Metes & Bounds Title Company – Medium Business Award
  • Kaylin Whitney – Sports/Athletics Award

Lance Sewell, and Orlando Health South Lake Hospital – Health Care Provider Award

In 2006, Lance Sewell joined Orlando Health where he is now the President of Orlando Health South Lake Hospital. He has successfully guided the community-based, nonprofit organization through an ever-changing and challenging time for healthcare organizations. Mr. Sewell is heavily involved in the South Lake and Central Florida communities where he has served with South Lake Rotary and Leadership Lake County. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. In addition to his professional associations, he has also served as past board chair for the Community Foundation of South Lake, past board chair of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce and a board member for New Beginnings of Central Florida.

Orlando Health South Lake Hospital has provided healthcare to residents for over 70 years. This hospital includes 170 patient beds, an ambulatory surgery center, short-term rehabilitation facility and the National Training Center. As Lake County continues to grow, this 180-acre campus in Clermont will increase their healthcare services with new and exciting construction projects. In 2021, South Lake Hospital opened their brand-new Center for Specialty Surgery. In the late spring early summer of 2022, Orlando Health South Lake Hospital looks forward to complete renovations for the Women’s Health Center. In late fall of 2023, South Lake Hospital will add a 95-bed five-story patient tower that will add to the currently existing acute care hospital.

City Manager, Mike Hein, and the City of Groveland – Public Service Award

Mike Hein has played an intricate role in transforming the culture of all city departments and improving the services they provide. In recent years, he facilitated the rebranding of the City of Groveland as “the City of Natural Charm” and sparked economic prosperity in Lake County. His efforts have attracted significant business investment that has resulted in hundreds of well-paying jobs.

These accomplishments include:

The Grand Opening of Kroger in June 2021. This 375,00 square foot facility provides premier grocery delivery to our residents and added more than 600 jobs to our local economy. This project was recognized by the Florida Economic Development Council as 2021 ‘s Regional Deal of the Year.

Also in 2021, Amazon held a grand opening for a 1,000,000 square foot Last Mile Delivery Station that added more than 200 jobs to our local economy.

Construction is underway for a 425,000 square foot class A speculative Distribution Center on American Way in the Christopher C. Ford Commerce Park that is bringing $26 million dollars in investment to Lake County. This project is sure to bring more excellent jobs and prosperity to our local communities.

Otis Taylor – Volunteer Award

Otis Taylor displays exceptional volunteerism in our community. His efforts allow organizations, like the South Lake Chamber, to produce successful events throughout the year. Mr. Taylor volunteers his time to the chamber where he facilitates the setup and breakdown of our monthly and yearly events. He demonstrates supreme professionalism and reliability making him a pleasure to work with.

In 2020, Otis Taylor was voted by his peers as the Ambassador of the Year. An Ambassador is an official representative of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce and serves as a front­line volunteer. In 2021, Mr. Taylor was recognized by the Community Foundation of South Lake as South Lake’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. He provides support to various organizations throughout the community where they may need assistance.

Otis Taylor and Give a Day Foundation supplies a platform for organizations who need volunteers or individuals who are looking for volunteer opportunities. Give a Day Foundation has been successful in bridging the gap where these connections were arduous in the attempted of locating proficient volunteers. Otis Taylor and Give a Day Foundation offers volunteer opportunities for individuals of all ages who aspire to make an impact in their community.

Metes & Bounds Title Company – Medium Business Award

Metes and Bounds Title Company, a staple in the South Lake community has recently begun expanding to the North Lake Area. This medium business has won the South Lake Chamber “Best Title Company” award 3 years in a row and shows no signs of stopping. Owner Sharon Walker, a self-made success, brings tragedy and triumph with her on her journey- after losing her daughter, she began a non-profit in her daughter’s memory promoting organ donation, and recently, she was able to hear her late daughter’s heart beating in a transplant recipient. More recently, her husband needed specialty treatment after nearly succumbing to COVID- despite his prognosis and the odds stacked against them, she found a way to be with him for treatment- away from home- while successfully running her business. Sharon Walker’s inspirational strength uplifts her team and keeps a smile on her face. She will not give up or give in when faced with adversity.

Kaylin Whitney – Sports/Athletics Award

Kaylin Whitney is a native of Lake County and a 2016 graduate of East Ridge High School. The running phenom splashed onto the track-and-field scene as a teenager with wins at the 2014 World Junior Championships and 2015 Pan-American Games. With a bright future ahead of her, Kaylin turned pro right out of high school and would set out to participate in the 400-meter at the US Olympic Team Trails where she would eventually earn a trip to represent the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In her first trip as an US Olympian, Kaylin Whitney brought home two medals earning the gold medal as a participant in the 4×400-meter relay. She is not only an outstanding athlete, but an individual who also volunteers her time helping her former high school track team. Kaylin Whitney is a true role model in our community. Other Career Highlights include:

  • 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, 16th (100-meter)
  • 2015 USATF Outdoor Championships, 4th (200-meter)
  • 2014 IMF World Junior Championships, gold (200-meter, 4×100-meter), bronze (100-meter)
  • 2014 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, 1st (100-meter, 200-meter)

The South Lake Chamber congratulates the winners on this amazing accomplishment!

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