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Signature Programs

Each year, EMERGE provides the invaluable opportunity to its members to participate in a series of programs that directly contribute to the leadership pipeline in Lakeland.


EMERGE Serves is a program designed to provide comprehensive training for young professionals interested in community service. Founded by Baylis & Company PA in 2010 (in partnership with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Central Florida), the program aims to connect well-established community leaders with upcoming young professionals through instruction and lessons learned. The 10-hour training program delivers detailed fundamentals critical to effective board service, such as legal/corporate governance, financing, and strategic planning (among others). The program also focuses on required expectations and duties to guarantee board service readiness. EMERGE Serves presenters are well-respected community leaders and non-profit directors from various backgrounds and professions, many of whom are EMERGE Serves graduates. EMERGE Serves is offered on an annual basis. Keep an eye out for application information and series dates!

Signature Events

Each year, EMERGE hosts a series of time-honored events that are cherished by members, new and old. These events are a tradition within our organization and are guaranteed to be a hit!


Follow the Leaders

Follow the Leaders brings together leaders from Lakeland and the surrounding areas in a panel discussion, where speakers share advice and wisdom with EMERGE members and the community. Ranging from EMERGE alumni to C-Suite executives, from entrepreneurs to non-profit directors, speakers for this event serve as inspiration to the next generation of young professionals in Lakeland. This event provides a rare opportunity to interact one-on-one with community pacesetters and get to know them personally.


The EMERGing Race

Each fall, the EMERGing Race takes Downtown Lakeland by storm! This showdown between teams of four challenges participants both physically and mentally in an Amazing Race-style series of games, puzzles, and trivia. A new champion is crowned each year. The EMERGing Race is guaranteed to bring out competitive spirits and rely on teamwork. Will your team be the next champion? Downtown is waiting...GO!


The EMERGE Gala & Annual Meeting

The EMERGE Lakeland Annual Gala is an elegant evening held each fall, celebrating the organization’s achievements for the year, individual recognitions, and a formal “passing of the gavel” to the following year’s leadership.

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