Clermont, FL (January 27th, 2023) – The South Lake Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 2023 Best of South Lake. This poll welcomes the community to vote for chamber members in 80 business categories. The 2023 Best of South Lake ballot tallied more than 19,000 votes and allowed the Chamber to facilitate high engagement from our community while promoting our members.
The Chamber presented awards to the winners at the 6th Annual South Lake Business Awards held at the Clermont Performing Arts Center on Thursday, January 26th, 2023. In addition to the 80 Best of South Lake awards, the Chamber also awarded the prestigious Heritage, Oakley Seaver Special Service, and Citizen of the Year Awards. The signature recognition awards are presented to outstanding businesses and individuals.
Erik Hulluska of Withum presented the The 2023 Heritage Award to Lake Catherine Farms. The Heritage Award recognizes businesses or organizations that have shown continued contributions to the business community. This award has been awarded every year since 2005 to a business that has been active in the community for more than 25 years. The Lowe family and farm have been serving our community for 100 years. This 66-acre family farm in Groveland raised pigs around the time Groveland established itself as a city. Later, chickens were raised for the production of eggs. This led to the establishment of orange groves and the creation of a thriving citrus business. Lake Catherine Farms continued to evolve and think outside of the box leading to the expansion of their business. Through innovation, this family began planting and harvesting blueberries. As time continued to change, the family now offers a new blend of products and services for their community. The Lowe family and farm are now leaders in the growing industry of agritourism.
Nancy H. Cummings of Cummings Collaborative presented the 2023 Oakley Seaver Special Service Award to Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative. The Oakley Seaver Award recognizes a nonprofit business, club, organization, educational institution, or healthcare facility that has contributed significantly to the community and created a lasting impact or benefit. Cornerstone Hospice provides end-of-life and palliative care support services for people with life-limiting illnesses, and temporary relief services. For decades they have been a great business neighbor and supportive of efforts to make South Lake the premier location for residents to enjoy health and wellness. Founded in 1981, Cornerstone Hospice is devoted to approaching each day with an eye on their mission through efforts of delivering extraordinary care to every individual they serve. As they celebrate their 42nd year, this organization has expanded its group to serve seven counties in Florida and four in Georgia. Our recipient extends compassion to everyone they encounter and displays their dedication to providing the best care.
Chief Charles Broadway of Clermont Police Department and Michelle Michnoff of Seacoast presented the 2023 South Lake Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award to Kay Simpson of Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation. The Citizen of the Year Award is among the most respected in Central Florida. This annual award goes to a South Lake resident who has displayed extraordinary dedication to our community and made a substantial contribution that benefited South Lake. This resident must be actively involved in at least two community organizations, perform community service on a voluntary basis, above and beyond what may be required as part of their employment. Kay was born in Hillsdale, Michigan, and was always known for her leadership and organization. Even at an early age, Kay believed she should become involved within her community and found participation in the local Methodist Youth Fellowship and Girl Scouts to be an incredibly rewarding experience. Through efforts of volunteerism and passion for this community, she is referred to as the “face to the community.” As the current treasurer and director for Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation, Kay is responsible for implementing and bringing Bras for the Cause to her organization. As the former owner of Papa’s Diner, she allowed Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation to utilize her space as their headquarters. Kay has been involved with Greater Clermont Cancer Foundation from the very beginning and it is number one in her heart. Ms. Simpson has displayed an exceptional heart for this community as she devotes her time to several organizations such as Christmas Across South Lake, Kiwanis, Fabulous Flockers, Thanksgiving feedings, Locks for Love, local food banks, driving patients to doctor appointments, and volunteering at many South Lake Chamber of Commerce events. Kay is truly an amazing individual and well deserving of this prestigious award.
The South Lake Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization of more than 800 members, founded in 1922. The Chamber is committed to building a pro-business culture through an engaged and informed membership, with a focus on strengthening the community and promoting our diverse and vibrant economy. It is the goal of the Chamber to facilitate the growth and sustainability of businesses within our local economy as we serve Clermont, Groveland, Masscotte, Minneola, Montverde, and the Four Corners area.
The South Lake Chamber of Commerce reminds you to buy local when you shop for products and services. Every dollar spent locally is circulated seven times within our economy. Your commitment to investing in our businesses leads to higher-paying jobs, better services, and an overall prosperous community. We encourage you to visit our website at www.southlakechamber-fl.com for a complete listing of Chamber members by business categories.