• Changes Announced to Downtown Lakeland Partnership Leadership

    Ellen Simms, executive director of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, announced her resignation Friday. Her last day will be May 31.

    Simms has served in the position since 2015. She has worked in other capacities with the DLP since 2004, including serving as President of the Board of Directors.

    Simms cited a desire to focus more attention on her Downtown Lakeland business, Two Hens and a Hound, as well as spending more time with her grandchildren, as the reasons for her decision.

    “Over the next several weeks, the Board will be actively seeking input from DLP members regarding administrative staffing,” said DLP President Lynn Dennis. “We will provide a method by which those who wish to offer input into the process can do so in a quick and efficient manner.”

    The DLP has been an active part of the downtown Lakeland community for more than 37 years.

    “For more than 12 years Ellen has worked side by side with other local businesses to promote and advocate for Downtown Lakeland,” Dennis said. “Under her leadership, the DLP has grown and flourished. For that, we are very grateful.”

    In other DLP news, the Board of Directors elected eight new members on Wednesday, April 26.

    New Board members are:

    • Tory King- Florida Southern College
    • Chuck McDanal- Lkld TV
    • Jared Weggeland- Focus Homes
    • Kevin Rios- Just Dance
    • Alaa-eldin Shalaby- Urban Appeal
    • Stephanie Donn- Broadway Real Estate
    • Heidi Campbell- Stationery Loft
    • Ashless Wright- New Beginnings High School

    The board will elect officers for the upcoming year at its May meeting.

    About the Downtown Lakeland Partnership
    The mission of the Downtown Lakeland Partnership is to promote and advocate for Downtown Lakeland. The non-profit organization hosts monthly First Friday events and Thursday Squared Food Truck rallies, quarterly Girls Night Out events, and the annual Holiday Walkabout. It consists of members who own downtown businesses or work downtown.