Contact Us


226 N. Kentucky Avenue, 2nd Floor
Lakeland, FL  33801


Steve Scruggs, President- LEDC

Steve Scruggs is President of the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC), a private, non-profit organization with approximately 135 member companies. Steve has been with the LEDC since 1987. The LEDC’s primary role is to create jobs and capital investment by attracting new companies as well as facilitating the expansion of existing companies in the Lakeland area. Steve’s responsibilities at the LEDC include; Board of Directors, Budget, Catapult, Investor Relations, High Skill High Wage, City Visits, Angel/Venture Capital, Government Affairs, Media Relations, Community Presentations, Existing Industry, LE’s Large Customers & Infrastructure.  Email Steve


Laura Taylor, Vice President Operations- LEDC

Laura Taylor is the Vice President of Operations for the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC), a private, non-profit organization with approximately 135 member companies. Laura has been with the LEDC since 2005. Laura’s responsibilities at the LEDC include; Manager of the Office & Facilities, Administration, Finance & Accounting, LEDC/Catapult Financials, Data Base Development, Demographics, Research, City Visit Administration, Board Meeting Agenda’s and Set-up, Annual Meetings, Workforce Development, Event Coordinator, IT & LEDC’s Website.  Email Laura


Kelly Deese, Vice President Business Development- LEDC

Kelly Deese, as the Vice President Business Development, is the first point of contact for prospects, developers, brokers, and site selectors. In addition to being a resource for new industry, Kelly builds relationships with existing industry and LEDC members identifying their needs for growth and a healthy business environment. Email Kelly  

Ashley Cheek, Business Development Director- LEDC

Ashley Cheek is the Business Development Director of the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC). Ashley join the team in May 2016 and was previously a Property Representative Manager for Publix Super Markets Real Estate Department in their Lakeland headquarters. Ashley interned with the LEDC in 2011 & 2012 and is a graduate of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Email Ashley


Lucia Forero, Project Manager - LEDC

Lucia Forero is the Project Manager for the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC). Lucia’s responsibilities include managing LEDC’s member meetings, evaluation and research, as well as special projects coordination such as City Visits. Email Lucia

Joy Davis, Office Manager- LEDC

Joy Davis is the Office Manager of the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC). Joy’s responsibilities will include: Manager of the Office & Facilities, Administration, Data Base Development, Demographics, Research, City Visit Administration, Board Meeting Agenda’s and Set-up, Purchasing, Website Manager & Event Coordinator. Email Joy


Meg Bellamy, Executive Director- Catapult Lakeland

Meg Bellamy is the Executive Director at Catapult, a place where entrepreneurs can flourish and develop ideas that result in thriving businesses in Lakeland. Meg is responsible for the overall strategic and operational success of Catapult’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. Meg ensures ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of collaborative workspace, education & funding.

Email Meg


Anna Marie Smith, Membership Director-Catapult Lakeland

Anna Marie is the Membership Director for Catapult. She provides organizational effectiveness for Catapult through membership management, policies, resources, operations of the facility, and connection to the community of entrepreneurs. Anna Marie is also responsible for managing all technology and resources dedicated to creating the best user experience for entrepreneurs. Email Anna Marie


John Kazaklis, Program Director-Catapult

John Kazaklis is the Program Director for Catapult. His primary focus is to create educational opportunities for Catapult members and the community through the facilitation of workshops and courses. The goal through these initiatives is to help entrepreneurs get to the next level in their business by going through the proper training that is needed. John will also develop the current mentorship program and create a social media strategy plan for Catapult. Email John


Connor Lockhart, Community Manager-Catapult

Connor Lockhart is the Community Manager for Catapult. Connor ensures that Catapult is operating smoothly and that members’ workspace needs are met.  He is responsible for all communication, social media, member events, content creation, customer relations, and maintaining analytics. Connor incorporates online tools and in-person networking to create relationships that ultimately build Catapult’s brand to the community. Email Connor

Natalia Camargo, Programs Assistant-Catapult

Natalia interned for Catapult part-time for two semesters and will be coming on as a full-time intern in January of 2018 with the goal of full-time employment in April of 2018. She will be the 3rd Catapult “intern turned full-time hire” and will be responsible for Boot Camp, Lunch & Learns, Offices Hours, and Seminars with the goal of educating and launching Catapult entrepreneurs and taking Catapult’s programs to the next level. Email Natalia

Maggie Leach, Kitchen Intern- Catapult

Maggie graduated from Southeastern University with a degree in Business Management. She attended culinary school through dual enrollment, and started working in the restaurant industry as a junior in high school. She is our kitchen intern at Catapult, and here to help with any and all kitchen inquiries. Please contact Maggie with any questions about our commissary kitchen, and she will be happy to assist! Email Maggie

Christina Graham, Executive Director- YLakeland

Christina started with the LEDC as a Catapult intern in 2014. After graduating from Southeastern University, Christina continued with Catapult as the Assistant Director before transitioning to YLakeland, a recruitment and retention initiative for college students and young professionals, full-time in the fall of 2015. Christina is responsible for the ongoing development of the YLakeland website, a resource for what’s happening in the Lakeland community. She also plans and coordinates several programs at YLakeland including: Summer Leadership Program, a leadership development program for interns and new hires, as well as Welcome Wednesday, a custom Lakeland tour offered to prospective high-level recruits from local companies. In addition, she oversees the soft skills training program in partnership with Fullbridge, and is planning the implementation of an internship program beginning in the fall of 2017. Email Christina



Amanda Calabrese, Assistant Director - YLakeland

Amanda Calabrese is the Assistant Director for YLakeland. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Studies from the State University of New York at Cortland. She is originally from New York, but came to Florida to work at iHeart Media Tampa Bay. She had several communication positions in the Tampa Bay area before beginning her current role at Publix Super Markets as the Associate Digital Communications Specialist. Her primary role at YLakeland will be managing our programs as well as assisting in the development of new programs. Email Amanda

Danika Thiele, Communication Director-YLakeland

Danika was contracted to write several pieces for YLakeland which led to being hired as Communication Director after graduating from Florida Southern College. Danika’s role within YLakeland is to create professional yet witty blog content that appeals to the target demographic and encourages them to explore localities. She also develops and maintains both the social and editorial calendar for the site. Danika utilizes her design skills by creating original promotional merchandise and materials supporting YLakeland and the LEDC. Responsible for the creation, editing, and distribution of the site’s weekly event newsletter, her goal is to significantly grow subscribers and general retention of talent within Lakeland. Email Danika