Lakeland Business Guide 2019 Chamber Guide_2019 - Page 31

Maureen Shaw An entrepreneur, Maureen Shaw is passionate about small business. Shaw and her husband, Jim, are florists and owners of Flower Cart. Located across from Lakeland Regional Health on Lakeland Hills Boulevard, this flower shop offers a wide and unique selection of free-spirited flower arrangements carefully and creatively designed for a variety of occasions. The family-owned business was founded in 1980 in Lakeland. First elected to serve on the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2001, Shaw went on to serve in a number of roles until 2009. In 2006, she became the second woman to serve as the chair of the board. As chair, she was involved in the “Buy Lakeland” advertising campaign, the introduction of a new vision statement, the launching of the Entrepreneurial Academy through a grant, and hosted numerous programs incorporating diversity, networking, and educational interests. She also played a role in reintroducing small businesses to the board. “A part of our visionary mindset at that time was creating a climate where business can prosper and can be a catalyst for economic growth,” says Shaw. During her tenure, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce was the recipient of the 2006 Florida Chamber of the Year. “It was based on numerous accomplishments that we painstakingly developed three years before I took over the gavel,” she adds. The Chamber was awarded for leading a countywide campaign to pass a half-cent sales tax referendum to fund school improvements and construction; plus other beneficial initiatives. Although Shaw is no longer on the board, she has continued to be a part of the Small Business of the Month Committee, a role she has held for more than 17 years. The committee recognizes a small business each month that exemplifies outstanding business characteristics and entrepreneurial spirit. Shaw adds that she believes the Chamber is significant in the community as it “keeps business strong in Lakeland and protects the rich quality of life we enjoy here.” 31