|Charles “Charlie” Lake|
|Term Expires: April 2021 – Seat 4|
Charles Lake, (he prefers to be called Charlie), a born and bred New Yorker, moved here in 2008 and quickly became a Floridian. He retired from a 50-year career in the magazine publishing business in NYC, where his jobs included Assistant Art Director on 3 monthly publications; Director of Production Operations; Production Director of Woman’s Day magazine and 3 other monthly publications and 18 Special Interest Magazines and Senior Production Director. He was also very involved in Industry Associations and one in particular, the Association of Publication Production Managers in which he was a member for over 40 years. There were close to 400 members, and he served as President two times, the only one to do so in its 65-year history and also served as Chairman of the Program Committee eight times. He designed the logo in 1963 and it was never changed in more than 40 years. Over the years he was the recipient of many awards, among them, Fellowship Award from the New York Club of Printing House Craftsman; Gold Key award from the New York Technical College International Graphic Arts Society; the Production Executive Hall of Fame award; the James E. West Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the APPM Production Person of the Year in 1989. Ironically this was an award he initiated 15 years earlier and was the 7th and last one to receive it. During his career he served on many committees and gave numerous educational presentations to the editorial and sales staff but one of his proudest and most difficult was the one at the United Nations International Center to a group of students from all over the world. A year after he retired the APPM honored him with an award for Outstanding Contribution for designing the first APPM website. Two years later the APPM was retired and merged with another production group.
Following his “retirement” in 2000, he immediately went to work at Michaels Arts & Crafts in Hightstown NJ. Then in 2002 he moved to Glassboro, New Jersey and went to work at Michaels Arts & Crafts and Home Depot. At the same time, he volunteered with the Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity where he was the team leader on the construction of five houses in a thirteen house community, served on the Board of Directors and designed and maintained their first website. He was also featured in an article in the local newspaper and local TV newscast for his work with Habitat.
In 2004 while visiting his brother in Auburndale, he decided to tour the local area. Following a couple of more visits, in 2008 he made a decision that Florida and Lake Alfred would be his future home. Here in Florida he has a brother, four nieces (one in Lake Alfred) and a nephew in Brandon. He has a son and daughter, 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren all who live in NJ.
In 2009, a year after moving to Lake Alfred, he applied for and was accepted to serve on the Planning Board. He also became a member of the Friends of the Library and designed their website to follow the construction of the new library. He became a member of the Chamber of Commerce and volunteered throughout the city wherever needed.
He was the subject of an article in the Lakeland Ledger titled “LAKE STAYS BUSY KEEPING HIS TOWN CONNECTED”.
In 2011 he was encouraged to run for a seat on the City Commission and, although he lost by a slim margin, he continued to serve the community and was selected to serve on the Chamber Board.
In mid-2012, following the resignation of the sitting Mayor, he was appointed to the City Commission to fill the seat for the remainder of the term. When the term ended in 2013 he ran for election was unopposed and was sworn in to serve a full 4- year term which ended in 2017. After serving two years (2013-2014, 2014-2015) as Vice Mayor he was nominated and chosen to serve as Mayor during the Centennial year 2015-2016 and reappointed for 2016-17. In 2017, he was up for re- election and was again unopposed and he was reappointed as Mayor for the third time for 2017-2018. In 2018 he was again appointed as Mayor for the fourth time 2018-2019. During his first term as Mayor he made a commitment to the citizens by initiating “Monday Morning with the Mayor”. This was an opportunity to get closer to the citizens and find out what is on their minds and to update them on what is going on in the city. He also invited candidates for local public office to come to the meetings and allow anyone to ask questions one on one. This was very popular. In 2014 he was featured in a News Chief article highlighting his volunteer work in the city. In 2018 he was instrumental in getting an article about Lake Alfred into the magazine 863 and another article in the Winter Haven Sun extolling the amenities of the city. After completing four consecutive years as Mayor and “Ambassador” he has stated that his work is not done and he will continue to represent the city in a positive way.
On a County level he is Chairman of the Transportation Disadvantaged Local Coordinating Board; Vice Chairman of the Transportation Planning Organization (soon to be Chairman); currently the alternate TPO representative on TBARTA; was the alternate on the Metropolitan Planning Advisory Board and served on the Energy and Environment Committee and now the Urban Administration Committee at the Florida League of Cities; city representative on the Polk County Regional Water Cooperative and member of the Ridge League Advocacy Committee. He was also instrumental in getting FDOT to install signs to help solve the wrong way problem at Pomelo and Lake Shore Way.
When Discovery High School was set to open he questioned FDOT and County regarding a traffic light at the corner of 557 and Evenhouse Road due to what would surely be a traffic headache. Three years later they finally installed a traffic signal to alleviate the traffic problem. His ongoing campaign is to get more traffic lights in the city especially at the Cummings Street school crossings at Haines Blvd at Shinn Blvd.
His continuous pressure on FDOT finally got them to move CR557 up to the number three priority for widening which moved it from 2030 to 2020. Making the city safer and better looking has been at the top of his agenda.
On a community level he serves on the Board of Directors at the POLK TRAINING CENTER (he designed their logo) and is the past President; a member of the Chamber of Commerce (he designed their logo); volunteers with East Polk County Habitat for Humanity (helped build the first and second Habitat house in Lake Alfred); designed the logo and designed and maintains the website for the VETERANS MEMORIAL; designed the logo and designed and maintains the website for the LAKE ALFRED PUBLIC LIBRARY; is a Board member of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY; designed the logo and designed and maintains their website; designs and produces the Chubb Newsletter, brochure and note cards; taught computer/tablet/phone classes for Senior Citizens at the library. He is also a member of the First Baptist Church of Lake Alfred where he served on the Property and Space Committee and helps whenever needed. Former President of the Magnolia Ridge Homeowners Association.
He is very much into education, volunteerism and strong community spirit. Charlie believes that you should use your past experience to make the future better. He also has a strong sense of paying it forward. “I always told anyone who worked with me that when I taught them something they were obligated to teach someone else.” Based on the Facebook feedback from his many “students” they have paid it forward and continue to do so.”
His adopted motto is “making a difference – it’s what I do”.