Lakeland, FL – The annual Polk Emerging Leaders Award Ceremony was held yesterday at the Bartow Civic Center. Tropics CEO and Owner Andrew Haines received a nomination for the award after being in the community for less then a year. Haines now serves on two non-profit boards, Junior Achievement and Habitat for Humanity, and has participated in over 30 community events since the Tropics were announced.

“It is an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award. Each and every one of the nominees is a leader within the community, and to be viewed among one of them is truly an honor. It is my goal to give everything I can back to this community. I am very thankful to be considered for this award, and look forward to what our organization can accomplish in continuing to build the sense of community throughout Polk County”.

Amongst Haines were 15 other nominees from companies across the county, all of which have proven to be leaders amongst their business and community. The full list of nominees included the following:

Amy Palmer – City of Auburndale
Andrew Haines – Florida Tropic SC & Central Florida Sports Ventures
Andy McEntire – Indie Atlantic Films
Betsy Cleveland – Haines City Area Chamber of Commerce
Brandie Gogel – Polk County School Board
Billie Hutto – P & J’s Recreation
Cari Herrington – All About Aging, LLC
Chad Tagtow – Citizens Bank & Trust
Clifford Parody – Journalist
Clint Edwards – Tom Edwards Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Danielle Baker – GEICO Insurance
Derek Oxford – CPS Investment Advisors
Erica Lupercio – Posto 9
Greta Dupuy – Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Hollie Hill – Perfect Form Wellness
Jorge Giraldo – Senior Helpers
Jude Dauphin – Spring Lake Rehabilitation Center
Kara Simm – MAXHome Inspections
Kathryn Bevilacqua – Madden Brand Agency
Kristen Hathcock – Denison Middle School
Lyndsey Ladewig – Gadd Case & Associates
Merissa Green – City of Auburndale
Michael Ehlenbeck – CPS Investment Advisors
Ronald Shell – Citrus Center Boys and Girls Club
Sarah Petty – Grace Manor Suites of Lakeland
Sarah Powers – Top Buttons, Inc.
Sha’Kia Young – Data B.I.T.S LLC
Stacy Walsh – YMCA of West Central Florida
Stuart McCutcheon – Haines City Fire Department
Tiffani Gozdur – Citizens Bank & Trust

Congratulations to the award nominees and recipients!

About Florida Tropics SC: Florida Tropics SC is a professional indoor soccer team that will begin play in November of 2016 at the Lakeland Center. The team will play at the highest level of professional indoor soccer in North America. To stay up to date on team information, player signings and special offers, “Like” the teams Facebook page ( For more information or to purchase tickets, call 863-333-5353 or visit


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