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September 2012 Check Presentation

Monday, September 24, 2012

It is mesmerizing to watch the transformation of a modest caterpillar into the magnificent beauty and freedom that embodies a butterfly, emerging seemingly by magic from its cocoon. Very similar is the phenomenon we witness when a student, brimming with potential that has yet to unfold, makes the transition into a fully-formed, thriving individual, with their colors vibrantly on display and with the freedom to soar to unstoppable heights.

Clark/Nikdel/Powell (CNP), with their powerful blend of hard work, dedication, generosity and creativity, help to make that dream a reality for so many Polk State College students by bringing the message of the Foundation’s fundraising activities and events gloriously to life and setting them free to soar into the community. 

Polk State College’s ultimate mission is to facilitate that transformational process for all students who walk through its doors.  And the talented people at Polk County-based CNP, an integrated marketing agency, have worked hand-in-hand with the Foundation for the past six years, creating materials for fundraising appeals and events and the Foundation’s website,, as well as creating Polk’s news website, CNP infuses each with a polished and professional creative look that truly represents Polk State well.

The result of the company’s magic touch has been powerful. More than $750,000 in support to Polk State College can be partly attributed to CNP’s creative and inspirational designs.

In addition, their passion for the College and Foundation missions have inspired them to donate $20,000 in gifts – both in cash and in-kind contributions — to support scholarships and programs at Polk.

CNP Principal Chris Nikdel said this passion comes from the company’s deep admiration of the work of the Foundation and the mission of the College to provide affordable, life-changing higher education to anyone who seeks it. This mission resonates in a personal way with Nikdel, who began her higher education at a community college before transferring to the University of Massachusetts; she also has a master’s from the University of Florida.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places and I’ve really never seen such a great, community-integrated college,” said Nikdel. “Polk is such a great force in the community, and they help so many people living there. They don’t exclude anyone.”

“Everything the College does every year is so special — We thoroughly enjoy working with the Polk State College Foundation team and other members of the College staff,” Nikdel said.

The strong bond between CNP and the College is also a personal one — among CNP’s staff of 16, two are Polk State graduates, two have taken classes at the College, and two have sent their children to the Polk State Kids at College program, a summer enrichment program for children.

Founded in 1991, the company which offers advertising, design, public relations, brand development, Web and social media services not only is in the business of helping organizations and companies shine, but also in the business of doing good for the community. Among the numerous organizations it supports in addition to the Foundation are the Polk County Humane Society, Women’s Resource Center, Guardian Ad Litem, and Imperial Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to her appreciation of the College’s mission, Nikdel said the commitment to non-profits that Polk State President Eileen Holden demonstrates is also inspiring. Holden is currently campaign chair for the United Way of Central Florida, but her list of community involvements is long and varied.

“She’s been a dynamo and we want to be a part of all that she and the College are doing,” Nikdel said.

In a check presentation ceremony on September 24, 2012 at the District Board of Trustees meeting on the Lakeland campus, the Polk State College Foundation gratefully honored CNP for its generous donation of $20,000 in cash and in-kind contributions and its immense dedication to the College. CNP partners Chris Nikdel, Anne Powell and Alex Nikdel were on hand to accept the honor. 

“The Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors and Team are thankful for the talent and generosity CNP provides for the benefit of Polk State students.  Their work and support has been critical to our success and we are most grateful!” said Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation.

Anu Saxena, Development Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors Anu Saxena, who introduced the company, also expressed heartfelt thanks.

“Chris, Anne and Alex, on behalf of the District Board, Foundation Board and students who ultimately benefit from your generosity, please accept my gratitude for all that you do for the College and Foundation,” said Saxena. 

Pictured left to right: Anu Saxena, Dan Dorrell, Linda Pilkington, Anne Powell, Dr. Eileen Holden, Chris Nikdel, Mark Turner, Alex Nikdel, Rick Garcia and Teresa Martinez.