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Elected President of FMEA
General Manager Joel Ivey

Members of the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) last week elected Joel Ivy, general manager for Lakeland Electric, as president of the organization’s board of directors.

“I’m a second-generation utility guy and have worked in the electric utility industry for more than three decades and in multiple states. I was drawn to Florida because of the incredible network of public power communities working together for the greater good of the industry and our customers,” said Ivy. “There are many opportunities before us and this is an exciting time for public power. I’m proud to serve my fellow public power communities and our association as president.”

Ivy has an extensive professional career in the power industry that began almost 30 years ago when he started as a lineman in 1983. He has had a steady career path that includes climbing utility poles to managing multi-hundred million dollar operations with start-ups, investor-owned and publicly owned utilities.

Past experience includes his tenure as Chief Operating Officer at Visible Light Solar Technologies and Vice President of New Mexico Operations for Public Service Company of New Mexico, an investor-owned utility with almost 500,000 customers. He has been general manager for Lakeland Electric for the last six years.

“Having dedicated his entire career to the power industry, Joel brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our board,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “His incredible work ethic and commitment to the association has made him an invaluable leader and I look forward to his continued service in the role of president.”

Other officers appointed to the FMEA board include President-elect Mike Poucher of Ocala, Vice President Allen Putnam of Jacksonville Beach and Secretary-Treasurer James Braddock of Wauchula.

FMEA is the statewide trade association representing Florida’s public power utilities. The association actively represents and advocates for member cities’ interests on a wide variety of state and federal issues, provides education and training for members and serves as a clearinghouse for industry news and information.

Public power utilities provide affordable, reliable electric service, and have been doing so for more than a century. As community-owned and locally managed organizations, these utilities are focused on serving local needs and interests while reinvesting back into the community for services, such as police and fire protection.

For more information on FMEA and Florida’s public power communities, please visit www.publicpower.com.


The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.

Community Giving Grant Opens on June 15, 2018

Community Giving Grant is an integral way Lakeland Electric creates strong partnerships with charities within our community. Every year, Lakeland Electric gives 30 organizations $1,000 sponsorships. Last year, like many years in the past, we received more applications that sponsorships allowed. The selection process is competitive because we at Lakeland Electric want to honor and help those who are doing the very best for our community. Two organizations that received sponsorships from the 2017 Community Giving Grant were Parker Street Ministries and Carpenters Home Estates.

Parker Street Ministry is a faith based 501c3 founded in 1999 in downtown Lakeland. Every day the dedicated volunteers of this organization improve the lives of those they work with. Timothy Mitchell, the founder of the organization is out to create true community and neighborly kindness. This past year, Parker Street Ministry was awarded one of our $1,000 Community Giving sponsorships. The sponsorship was used for their annual friendraiser: Taking Victory to the Streets. Kim Schell, the organizations Chief Operating Officer said, “Lakeland Electric led the way with an early sponsorship and was joined by 16 other sponsors to underwrite the cost of the event which served more than 300 Lakelanders. The event raised over $100,000. Attendees learned about [their] mission, about families held captive by generational poverty, and about the importance of the “power of stay,” of staying with a cause through its ups and downs.”

Carpenters Home Estates has been a part of the Lakeland community sing 1986. Carpenters Home Estates prides themselves in providing well rounded senior care that does not force its residents to settle for something less than perfect. This year, Mr. Brian Robare submitted the organizations Community Giving Grant Application. “While the Estates at Carpenters works to promote the general welfare of our residents and employees, we also enjoy this opportunity to work to help protect our community and our deputies. We appreciate the work that they do for us each and every day!” To help with continued protection of our officers, the sponsorship given to the Estates was set aside to help pay for a new PCSO K-9 when needed.

The sponsorships given through the Community Giving Grant program are aimed at helping charities that benefit the lives of those who live in our territory. To qualify for a grant, organizations must be State of Florida-registered charitable organization located within the Lakeland Electric territory. Lakeland Electric’s Community Giving Grant application period opens June 15th and ends August 1st. To learn more about this program and see if you qualify, visit www.lakelandelectric.com/About-us/Community-Giving.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Irma feels like it was just yesterday, but that does not mean now is the time to let our guard down. Hurricane season is about to start up again on June 1st. Now is the time to begin preparing for this year’s storms.

One way to prepare for the upcoming season is by coming out to the annual “Ready Night” baseball game. This year the game will be on May 23rd at Joker Marchant Stadium. Not only will you and the family enjoy watching the Flying Tigers take on the Palm Beach Cardinals, but you will also receive important information about how to prepare your home and loved ones for hurricanes. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m. Join us for a night of preparedness displays, trivia questions, PSA audio and video messages, and games/contests!

Another way to prepare for storm season is by checking out our Hurricane Guide. Every year, we provide both print and digital copies of our most up to date Hurricane information. There is something for the whole family in the guide: Parents, grandparents, kids, and even pets! Follow this link to find our guide and bookmark it on your computer: https://lakelandelectric.com/hurricaneguide You may even want to print out the guide and store it in a watertight container to make sure it is safe before, during, and after a storm hits.

An important way to ensure that your family is prepared for the season is to have a 3-Day Emergency kit stored safely in your home. Some items that should be in a hurricane kit include:

-          Battery Operated Items (NOAA radio, flashlights, etc.) and extra batteries

-          Canned and non-perishable food and a can opener. Include specialty food if needed

-          Drinking water in non-breakable containers (one gallon per day, per person)

-          Fully charged cell phone and car charger and/or back-up battery charger

-          First Aid Kit, Prescription Medicine, and personal aids such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.

-          Identification, credit cards, extra cash, extra car keys, and valuable papers and policies in a waterproof container

-          Specialty items for infants, elderly, disabled, and pets

-          One sleeping bag or blanket per person

-          A change of clothes and shoes per person

Before a storm hits, you should also check to make sure all necessary medical arrangements are in place. Have a plan for essential medicine or medical equipment that require power, such as oxygen concentrator, CPAP machine, insulin, etc. If special medical attention is needed, call the Polk County Special Needs Program to pre-register at 863-298-7027. Lakeland Electric understands that some customer’s medical condition requires the use of life-sustaining equipment that rely on power. Remember our Medically Essential Service Program is designed to provide reasonable prior notice of power interruption due to scheduled service maintenance. In an emergency power outage, like a hurricane, it is our customer’s responsibility to have a power back-up for their medical equipment, as well as an action plan for proceeding to the nearest medical facility. To sign-up for the Medically Essential Service Program to be notifies of non-emergency power interruption or to check if you or someone in your family qualifies click here: https://tinyurl.com/y856orgd

Before Hurricane season, be sure to call (863)834-9535 to verify your phone number with a customer service representative or go online to lakelandelectric.com/Customers. Click on “My Account” to log in and access your information. We need your current phone number on file for the automated outage system to work properly.

Now’s the time to start thinking of your plans for Hurricane season before it is too late. Make small efforts everyday so you and your family are not rushing around as a hurricane lingers off our coast. Now’s the time to prepare! Are you ready?