238 239 WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA W inter Haven,Florida,a cityof approx- imately40,000 in PolkCounty,was incorporated in 1911.It is located in the midst of Central Florida’s famous Chain of Lakes,a series of 24 lakes that lie at the headwaters of the Peace River basin.In the 1920s and‘30s,the citrus industryexpanded throughout the area,and thousands of acres of orange groves grewalongside manyof their banks.Canals were built during that era, connecting the lakes to one another,in order to help move citrus from the outlying farms to the rail lines that ran through themiddle of town. In 1930,George Jenkins opened the first Publix “Food Store”inWinter Haven,and today,PublixSuper- markets,headquartered in nearbyLakeland,is one of the largest U.S.regional grocerychains in the U.S.with over 1,100 locations in seven states.During the 1930s and 1940s,citrusmagnate,JohnA.Snivelyoperated one of the largest fruit packing plants in theworld in Winter Haven,and in 1936,America’s first theme park, Cypress Gardens,was created byDickand Julie Pope.It ran for 73 years. ENGINE OF THE REGION Florida AT A GLANCE WINTER HAVEN, FLORIDA WHAT: A city of 40,000 WHERE: Polk County, Central Florida WEBSITE: wwww.mywinterhaven.com Today,Winter Haven finds itself in the center of what is known as the“FloridaSuperRegion,”anarea that encompasses15counties and7.2millionresidents,generating$300billionperyear ineconomic activity-making it the9th largest economyintheUnitedStates. KatieWorthington,the President of the GreaterWinter Haven Chamber of Commerce,is working hard tomake sure that,going forward,the“Chain of Lakes City”continues to be themain eco- nomic engine of the Florida Super Region.And she believes that goal will best be accomplished by teamwork.“The thing thatWinter Haven prides itself on themost is the collaboration between the