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 Photo

Melony Bell

Board of County Commissioners

Alignment Chair

Naomi Boyer Photo

Dr. Naomi Boyer

Polk State College

Vice Chair

Debbie Burdett Photo

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 Photo

Stephen Senn

Peterson & Myers, P.A.


Polk Academies Advisory Board


Badcock Home Furniture

Gospel Witte

Brenda Hardman Photo

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

Patricia Jackson Photo

City of Polk City

Patricia Jackson

Community Member

Trudy Block

Carole McKenzie Photo

Farm Bureau

Carole McKenzie

Carmen Smith Photo


Carmen Smith

Greater Bartow Chamber

Trish Pfeiffer

Greater Mulberry Chamber of Commerce

Diana Simmons

Alice Hunt Photo

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

Laura Taylor Photo

Lakeland Economic Development Council

Laura Taylor

Alaina Johnson Photo

Lakeland Regional Health

Alaina Johnson

Michael Paruta Photo

Lakeland Regional Health

Michael Paruta M.S., ILR

Wesley Barnett Photo

Noble Hour

Wesley Barnett

Ashley Bell Barnett Photo

Noble Hour

Ashley Bell Barnett

Meri Mass Photo

Polk Arts Alliance

Meri Mass

Polk County Property Appraiser

Carol Walker

Hazel Sellers Photo

Polk County School Board

Hazel Sellers

Jeanette Crowley Photo

Polk County Schools

Jeanette Crowley

Polk Manufacturing Association / MSCA

Joy Clancey

Patricia Jones Photo

Polk State College

Dr. Patricia Jones

Maria Lehoczky Photo

Polk State College

Maria Lehoczky

Polk State College

Orthai Northern

Polk State College

Martina Warner

Robert Clancey Photo

Polk State College-Corporate College

Robert Clancey

Polk State College-Corporate College

Howard Drake

Christopher Yannes Photo

Polk State College-Corporate College

Christopher Yannes


Gina Hunt


Michelle Patten Wilde

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

Ana Rivera

Wayne Dickens Photo

Ridge Techinical College

Dr. Wayne Dickens

Rockford Ettco Procunier

Larry Bull

Southeastern University

Amy Trimble

Danny Kushmner Photo


Danny Kushmner

Seretha Tinsley Photo

Tinsley Family Concessions

Seretha Tinsley

Ryan Taylor Photo

Town of Dundee

Ryan Taylor

Traviss Techinical College

David Wiggs

Mark Jackson Photo

Visit Central Florida

Mark Jackson

W.S. Badcock Corporation

Andrea Prather SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Warner University

David Byrd

David McCraw Photo

Warner University

David McCraw

Winter Haven Economic Development Council

Bruce Lyon

Workforce Education

Shaquita Armstrong

Leann Bennett

Erik Berling

Steven Cochran

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