On the evening of Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce and 300 local business leaders gathered to celebrate their 5th Annual South Lake Business Awards. This community influenced voting and nomination process featured 450 local businesses broken down into 68 categories.
During this celebration, three individuals and their organizations were recognized for their efforts and influence they have established within our community.
2022 Citizen of the Year Award, presented by Dr. Kasey Kesselring of Montverde Academy, is among the most respected in the region. This annual award goes to a South Lake resident who has displayed extraordinary dedication to our community. Recent recipients include Dr. Kasey Kesselring, Chief Charles Broadway, John Moore, Rocky DeStafano, and Mike Bucher.
Michelle Michnoff has been very involved in many aspects of life here in Lake County for several years. She is a Past Chair of the Chamber Board and a Past Chair of the Boys and Girls Club of Lake and Sumter Counties. Her hard work and energy lead to the founding of Charities Across South Lake. She is the long time Chair of the South Lake Teacher Appreciation Breakfast and Taste of South Lake. As the Vice President and Regional Community Bank Manager for Seacoast Bank, she has facilitated the efforts for the Payroll Protection Plan for hundreds of local small businesses.
2022 Oakley Seaver Special Service Award, presented by Nancy Cummings from Cummings Collaborative and granddaughter of Oakley Seaver, is a prestigious award who honors a non-profit business that has contributed significantly to the community and has created a lasting impact.
Find, Feed & Restore is a non-profit that assists families with children. After 6 years of providing food, career development, computer training and job placement assistance, they realized the missing element. The actual foundation necessary for families with children to develop and grow in a stable environment for them to call home; they created and implemented three effective and strategic methods: (1) Housing First, no cost housing for 6 to 12 months (2) Permanent Housing Solutions, affordable housing for working families, and (3) Homelessness Avoidance.
Brian Broadway, a native of New York and Founder of Find, Feed & Restore, is married to Allison Broadway and together they have two beautiful daughters, Grace and Hannah. In 2004, Brian and his family relocated to South Lake and here they began their work. Heartbroken by the daily calls received by parents with children and no place to lay their heads, Brian established what is known as Find, Feed & Restore to meet the demand for homelessness in Lake County. Brian prides himself on providing a place for homeless families with children, rather than building multi-million-dollar facilities to conduct business. His passion to eradicate homelessness, has led Find, Feed & Restore to be recognized on local news channels, Style Magazine and named 2021 Non-Profit of the Year by Community Foundation of South Lake.
2022 Heritage Award, presented by Wendy Terry of Withum Audit Tax Advisors, recognizes a business or community that has shown continued contribution to the South Lake Business community. The City of Groveland is celebrating 32 years of Chamber membership in 2022. They are also celebrating their 100-year anniversary. This City has transformed the culture of all city departments and improved the services they provide. In recent years, the city has rebranded itself as “the City of Natural Charm” and has helped to create economic prosperity in Lake County. The City of Groveland has helped attract 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.
The Chamber is excited to support the City of Groveland Centennial Celebration later this year.