Lake Eva Center

Lake Eva Center

Business in East-Polk County is booming.

Proof of that can be seen at The Latin Business Expo celebration with a networking showcase and business gathering festival on Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Lake Eva Event Center, 799 Johns Avenue in Haines City from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Focusing on Latino-owned businesses throughout the Central Florida Region, the Expo is open to all entrepreneurs and individuals seeking networking, business development resources and invaluable information.

The Latin Business Expo will host vendors, workshops, a luncheon, and an after-hours social with special entertainment, guest speakers and VIPs throughout the day. This day has been planned to provide extensive resources, valuable networking, and business solutions that are practical for participants.

Workshops will be current for the needs of today’s business owner. The workshops include Marketing in Today’s New Norm, Building A Business Plan that Works for You, Small Business Grants & Creative Funding Resources and Small Business Financial Wellness. A special focus and mindfulness workshop will be provided by Dr. Yarissa Bonet, founder and owner of Fibrofit Wellness & Yoga. The luncheon will feature a festive menu provided by local Latin restaurants.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd will be the welcoming speaker.  Sheriff Judd began his career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office as a dispatcher, but quickly progressed through every rank – from corporal to colonel.  In 2004, Polk County overwhelmingly elected him to serve as their Sheriff.  

Polk County Commissioner Martha Santiago will be the keynote speaker and Polk State President, Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti will also be a speaker.  

Santiago is a retired provost for Polk State College’s Winter Haven campus, Center for Public Safety, Lake Wales centers and Northeast Polk satellite location. Santiago is also the owner of Leadership Consultants and serves on numerous community boards, including United Way of Central Florida, Polk Vision, the Northeast Polk Chamber of Commerce and AdventHealth Heart of Florida.  She holds a master’s degree from Florida International University and a doctorate from the University of South Florida. 

Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti was named Polk State College’s 5th president in 2017.  The native Floridian has more than two decades of service in three states and the District of Columbia.  Falconetti holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and education, a master’s degree and a doctorate in educational leadership.  She is an active leader in national and statewide organizations, including the Florida College System Council of Presidents as Chair, Excelencia in Education and Excelencia Action Network’s Presidents for Latino Student Success, the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, the Florida Chamber Foundation Board and Governor DeSantis’s transition education and workforce advisory committee.

The accomplished Latina women will tell their stories in an attempt to inspire others.

The after-hours social will feel less like networking and more like a festive gathering with entertainment and refreshments that celebrate the Latin community.  

For more information about being a vendor, participating in the luncheon or afterhours social, for the event, call 863-421-9938 or 863-421-5577 or go to the city’s website at

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