Advisory Council Goals

The goal of the Polk Academies Advisory Board is to link the resources of business, education, and local community in order to promote higher education, career pathways, and active civic participation. Board members assist academies by providing:

  1. Industry expertise to support Academy curriculum
  2. Assist in student recruitment
  3. Provide internships for academy students
  4. Encourage other community businesses to support academy initiatives
  5. Advocacy to promote workforce education to political leaders and the business community
  6. Financial assistance to secure funding for program activities, internships, and scholarships

With the current focus on “high skill, high wage, high demand” employment, it is critical that we work together to ensure that the next generation of employees and leaders are prepared to maintain the future growth of our economy.

Upcoming Meetings
There are no meetings currently scheduled.

Polk Academies Executive Advisory Board

Melony Bell

Board of County Commissioners

Alignment Chair

Dr. Naomi Boyer

Polk State College

Vice Chair

Debbie Burdett

Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center

Executive Board Chair & Academy Development Chair

Steven Cochran

Workforce Education


Kim Long

Polk Vision

Cindy McCalla

Lakeland Electric

Stephen Senn

Peterson & Myers, P.A.


Polk Academies Advisory Board


Badcock Home Furniture

Gospel Witte

Bartow High School

Dr. Brenda Hardman

Central Florida Development Council

Sean Malott

Central Florida EDC

Lindsey Zimmerman

City of Bartow

Jay Robinson

City of Lake Alfred

Ryan Leavengood

City of Lakeland PD

James Ring

City of Polk City

Patricia Jackson

Community Member

Trudy Block

Farm Bureau

Carole McKenzie


Carmen Smith

Greater Bartow Chamber

Trish Pfeiffer

Greater Mulberry Chamber of Commerce

Diana Simmons

Hunt Construction of Central Florida

Alice Hunt


John Clancey

Keiser University

Derek Adams

Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Council

Kevin Kieft CEcD

Lakeland Economic Development Council

Laura Taylor

Alaina Johnson Photo

Lakeland Regional Health

Alaina Johnson

Lakeland Regional Health

Michael Paruta M.S., ILR

Noble Hour

Wesley Barnett

Noble Hour

Ashley Bell Barnett

Polk Arts Alliance

Meri Mass

Polk County Property Appraiser

Carol Walker

Polk County School Board

Hazel Sellers

Polk County Schools

Jeanette Crowley

Polk Manufacturing Association / MSCA

Joy Clancey

Polk State College

Dr. Patricia Jones

Polk State College

Maria Lehoczky

Polk State College

Orthai Northern

Polk State College

Martina Warner

Polk State College-Corporate College

Robert Clancey

Polk State College-Corporate College

Howard Drake

Polk State College-Corporate College

Christopher Yannes


Gina Hunt


Michelle Patten Wilde

Puerto Rican / Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County, Inc

Ana Rivera

Ridge Techinical College

Dr. Wayne Dickens

Rockford Ettco Procunier

Larry Bull

Southeastern University

Amy Trimble


Danny Kushmner

Tinsley Family Concessions

Seretha Tinsley

Town of Dundee

Ryan Taylor

Traviss Techinical College

David Wiggs

Visit Central Florida

Mark Jackson

W.S. Badcock Corporation

Andrea Prather SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Warner University

David Byrd

Warner University

David McCraw

Winter Haven Economic Development Council

Bruce Lyon

Workforce Education

Shaquita Armstrong

Leann Bennett

Erik Berling

Steven Cochran

Amanda Cook

Tamarah Fields

Doug Harwell

Kristen Hathcock

Valarie Henry

Namita Jaitly

Henry Koger

Misty Lynn

Tanya Peavy

Serena Peeler

Tina Sparr

Paul Webb

Luke Witte

Derrick Woodard