CityWorks(X)po Florida 

May 4th & 5th, 2023

a gathering to share big ideas for better places


What is CITYWORKS(X)po?

CityWorks(X)po FLorida is a gathering focused on sharing knowledge to build stronger communities. During the day, attendees will be immersed in thought-provoking presentations, performances and engaging dialogue. By night, the all inclusive conference continues with networking opportunities. Our hope is to provides a platform for sharing knowledge, stories, ideas, and projects with a focus on strengthening Florida cities of all sizes. Attendees will represent communities from across the state. (X)po is about connectivity between people, places and the projects that inspire them. Exploring impact topics like: Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Good Government, Music, Art & Design, Knowledge & New Technology, Outdoors & Recreation, Community & Social Justice and Food, Drink & Music and the effect they can have on a community. (X)po’s speakers, panelists, and participants will share what they have learned (successes and failures) about community building. CityWorks(X)po was created by Ed Walker, a visionary - connector - peacemaker, in Roanoke Virginia. Main StreetWinter Haven is honored to host this event for the State of Florida.
We hope you can join us for this unique eventdesigned to connect like minded people with a
common goal of making the place they live a better one for everyone.
CityWorks(X)po Florida opens with a welcome reception May 3rd,  5:30-7PM at the Historic Ritz Theatre. May 4th join us for light bites & coffee from 8-9 PM, first speaker begins at 9 AM. We will wrap up the day with Xpo attendees joining Main Street Winter Haven's Craft Beer Crawl, MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU (yes Star Wars themed, dress accordingly if you would like). May 5th, we will serve lite bites & coffee from 8-9 AM. We will kick off day two with a collaboration with the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce's Coffee & Conversation with Benjamin Vickers at 9 AM and wrap up around noon. Give us a call with Q's 863-295-9422.
Have a great day and we hope to see you at Xpo!

Ritz Theatre 264 Central Ave.
Winter Haven, FL 33880


Welcome to Xpo! Join us at the Historic Ritz Theater from 5:30-7PM for a social hour and early registration!

May 4th & 5th from 8am - 9am enjoy complimentary breakfast bites and coffee. Registration opens at 8 am

May 4th

May 5th

Coastal Acoustic Barefoot
Michael T. Stavres, City Manager
Anita Strang
William Larence
Elizabeth Suárez, P.E.
M.J. Carnevale
Lunch Break
Bud Strang
Charles Marohn
Dr. Freeze
Deek Epps
Erica Love
Wrap Up
Brad Dantzler, Mayor
Benjamin Vickers
Karen Thompson
Andy Palmer
John Marsh
FLMS Advocacy Panel
Wrap - UP

After Hours

Main Street Winter Haven invites you to join our "May the Fourth be with You" Downtown Craft Beer Crawl. Explore Downtown Winter Haven while enjoying 42 Craft Beers & Bites at our participating shops and businesses. All you need to do is go to the hospitality lounge as soon as we wrap up the speakers on May 4th, show your ID, get a wristband, a map, a tasting glass and you are on your way!


CityWorksXpo FL and Main Street Winter Haven
is excited to host the Florida Main Street quarterly conference.

2023 Speakers

CityWorks(X)po Florida Schedule

April 6, 2017

April 7, 2017

8 - 9   am     Registration & Morning Bites
9:00   am     Walter Parks
9:10   am     Welcome to CityWorks(X)po Florida
9:15   am     Josh McManus
9:50   am     Kennedy Smith
10:30 am     Johnette Isham & Catherine Ferrer
11:00 am     Lunch

1:00   pm     Reinaldo Borges
1:40   pm     Adrian Jones
2:10   pm     Walter Parks
2:30   pm     Ryan Frazier
2:40   pm     Steve Mouzon
3:20   pm     Ben Pila
3:30   pm     Andy Oguntola
3:50   PM     Neil Takemoto
4:30   PM     CASMORE SHAW
8 - 9   am     Registration & Morning Bites 
9:00   am     Dr.DeanBushey 
9:35   am     Nicole Travis
9:55   AM     Anthony Lyons
10:30 am     Rick Baker
11:00 am     Lunch

1:00   pm     Saba ghole
1:40   pm     Sharon West Mc Cormick
2:10   pm     John marsh
2:40   pm     Bob Kealing
3:10   pm     Josh Bowers & Denise Parris
3:40   PM     Music + Art + Food
4:25   PM     HIEP NGUYEN
4:40   pm     Anita Strang

Charles L. Marohn, Jr

Strong Towns

Charles Marohn, known as “Chuck” to friends and colleagues, is the founder and president of Strong Towns. He is a civil engineer and a land use planner with decades of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, both from the University of Minnesota.
Marohn is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, And of Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town.
He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America. Planetizen named him one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time.

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John Marsh

Marsh Collective-Redemptification

John Marsh is the Co-Founder of Marsh Collective, host of the Redemptification Podcast and investor helping steward over $1.5b in redemptive real estate in 12 small towns (with populations of  800-180k) around America.
Over the last 25 years, John and his wife Ashely have guided over 60 startup businesses in various industries, such as Hospitality, Construction, Real Estate Investing, Advertising, and multiple Restaurants. John and his wife have renovated 280+ buildings within ten blocks of downtown Opelika to help save their city. Today, John's current focus is helping others make generational differences in communities and companies. By helping patrons bridge the gap between redeeming vision, financial sustainability, and execution to pioneering a new asset class of real estate which we have coined "Irreplaceable Real Estate."

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William Larence

William Larence is a visual artist rooted and based in winter haven, fl. greatly inspired, following purpose with passion Bill has created Comm.unity love. A newly organized and ever growing collective with a vigorous approach to helping connect and elevate the community through art, nature, and love.

Karen Thompson

Lake Wales Main Street


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Pauline Eaton

Florida Downtown Association
Advocacy panel

Pauline eaton from eaton consulting is responsible for the development, application, organization, technical assistance, and training for Orlando's neighborhood commercial districts.

Pauline is actively involved in Downtown revitalization, economic development, tourism development and historic preservation. she is certified as a main street management professional from the national trust main street enter having graduated in 1999.

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Wayne Carter

Florida Downtown Association
Advocacy panel

Wayne Carter is the executive director of the award winning main street deland association. He began his involvement in Main street as a volunteer in 2005. with more than 18 years Main street experience, he is a founding member of the florida downtown association, formed to support the florida Main street program and local executive directors and communities throughout florida.

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Jessica Newman

Florida Downtown Association
Advocacy panel

Jessica Newman serves as the director of the wauchula community redevelopment agency. for the past 14 years she has worked to revitalize wauchula using the tools afforded by the cra program to facilitate growth. in this role she oversees the main street wauchula program. Jessica serves on the florida redevelopment association board of directorss and is past president of the florida downtowns association.

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Michael Stavres

WH City manager

Mr. Stavres has worked for the city of witner haven since 2001, serving as the Leisure servies director, director of community services, assistant city manager and deputy city manager and now as city manager. he earned a bachelor of science degree (1992) in leisure servies & studies and master of science degree (1997) in a certified public manager through florida state univeristy. he is recognized as a credentialed manager by the international city & County management association-one of only a handful in the entire state. he is also a certified parks and recreation professional through the national recreatin & park association and is a former president of the florida recreation & Park Association.

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brad dantzler

Mayor of Winter haven

Mayor bradley T. Dantzler was elected to seat #4 in a special election in spring 2013 and re-elected in 2013, 2017, and 2021. brad served as mayor in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & will be serving now in 2023. a winter haven native, brad is third generation winter haven city commissioner. he graduated from winter haven high schhol in 1980, university of florida in 1985 and earned a masters of business administration from nova southereastern univerity in 1991. he has been senior vice president and financial advisor at raymond james & associates for 26 years. he and his wife, susan, have two sons, two grandaughers, and one grandson.

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M.J. Carnevale

City of Winter Haven

"M.J. Carnevale is an accomplished Public Works Director with over 16 years of experience in the environmental field. He holds degrees in Forest Resource Management, Business with an agricultural specialization, and Soil and Water Science, and is passionate about finding ways for his city to live in balance with Florida's delicate ecosystems while improving quality of life. M.J. is a natural-born leader who radiates authenticity, concern, and altruism. He takes pride in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community, and is a firm believer in the people. With extensive experience managing people and budgets, M.J. is an expert in natural resource management, solid waste collection, maintenance of infrastructure, and the city's fleet of vehicles and equipment. He is a charismatic and reliable professional who is motivated by a sense of purpose and a desire to make a positive impact on the world."

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Benjamin Vickers

Honeycomb Bread Bakers

Benjamin has been a professional baker for 10 years in hotels, restaurants, resorts, and bakeries throughout New York, Tennessee, and Florida. He founded the artisan bakery Honeycomb in 2018 and now works with a team of 10 full-time artisans to diligently serve Winter Haven and greater Polk County.

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Erica Love

Evolve pickleball

From the first moment the plastic ball hit her wooden paddle on the gym fllors of a ymca, erica love was completely hooked on pickleball. Since the, she has become a 5.0 player, a highly sought after coach, and has successfully developed the pickleball programming in multiple communities from apolo beach to bradenton to lakewood ranch. Erica is not only the director of pickleball at terra ceia bay country club, but she has also created a Coaches development program and a community development program through her ability to build thriving programs with lessons, clinics, socials, leagues, tournaments, and so much more.

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Derick Epps

H.E.A.T Program

Derick Epps, also known as Deek Beats, founder of the H.e.a.t. Program. With over 20 years of experience as a dj and over six years as a music producer, i utilize hip-hop as a tool for communication to ignite positive change within communities.

Elizabeth Suarez, PE

Fehr & Peers

Elizabeth Suárez is a transportation designer/planner in fehr & peer's orlando office. she's in this industry because she realizes the impact, both positive and negative, that the transportation system has on peoples's lives. she wants to serve her community by planning and designing facilities that consider all residents and that mitigate negative impacts. elizabeth is also interested in how the transportation system is abused to facilitate human trafficking and has co-authored two articles on the topic for the institute of transportation engineers' ITE Journal.

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Andy Palmer, CPRE, CPM

City Of Winter Haven

Andy Palmer started his career in the public sector at 16 years old. Currently Andy is the Parks planning & strategic initiatives manager for the city of winter haven. He has worked as a grant writer, city planner, parks & recreation superintendent and has executed countless public projects.
one of those projects Andy and his team will be sharing is the Trail Town designation from the florida department of enviromental Protection.

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Carl "Bud" Strang


Bud Strang currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of , a privately held investment company based in Winter Haven, FL. Strang has been actively involved in the start-up, growth and development of a variety of business ventures including real estate, agriculture, software and business services. He is a managing member of Island Grove, LLC – one of the state’s largest blueberry farming operations – and is a director and officer of Gapway Grove Corporation, a closely held land and citrus business.

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LaQue is a Winter Haven based professional singer and songwriter. She is proficient in all genres of music, with a specialty in Jazz. She is passionate about spreading joy and providing comfort through singing. She believes “when all else fails, still music speaks”.

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Anita Strang

main street Winter Haven

Anita strang bio....

Welcome Florida Main Street

CityWorks(X)po Floirda will be the host site the Florida Main Street Quarterly Meeting.
What is Florida Main Street? Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, for traditional historic commercial corridors. The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida's historic resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy in achieving these goals in Florida's historic retail districts.

our generous sponsors

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