Lay of the Land Conference

Governor DeSantis at 2020 Lay of the Land Conference

Lay of the Land

The Lay of the Land Conference is an annual gathering of landowners, policymakers, investors and other industry affiliates who want the most accurate, current data about the Florida land market. Guest speakers will share economic, market, sales and regulatory expertise.

February 27-28, 2020

RP Funding Center
701 W Lime St.
Lakeland, FL 33815

Conference will begin in the afternoon on February 27 and continue until the afternoon on February 28.

The Lay of the Land conference is organized and sponsored exclusively by SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate and is offered to our clients, landowners and related interests. This is our primary audience and space is limited, so we respectfully ask that real estate brokers and licensed associates do not attend the event.


Our two-day conference features keynote speakers, breakout sessions, a social reception, and meals. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020


12:30 P.M. – Registrant Check-In

1:00 P.M.Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Welcome

1:05 P.M. – Kirk Goble, ALC, Hemp Industry
The Bell 5 Land Company

2:45 P.M. – Break

3:00 P.M. – Breakout Sessions

Room A
Amr T. Gawad, P.E., True Engineering
Garrett J. Kenny, Feltrim
Ken Pierce, CCIM, CIPS, Pierce 
Florida Realty

Room B
Rick Homans, Tampa Bay Partnership
Huiwei Shen, Florida DOT
William N. Watts, Jr., P.E., Florida DOT

4:00 P.M. – Break

4:15 P.M. – Breakout Sessions

Room A
Bartley E. Arrington, The Mosaic Company
Bill Calton, Weyerhaeuser
Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Lykes Bros. Inc.
Erik Jacobsen, AgReserves

Room B
Hemp Regulation
Ricardo Alvarez, FDACS
Kirk Goble, ALC, The Bell 5 Land Company
Daniel R. Russell, Dean Mead

5:15 P.M. – Break

5:30 P.M. – Reception

Friday, February 28, 2020


7:30 A.M. – Registrant Check-In & Breakfast Buffet

8:30 A.M.Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM, Welcome

8:35 A.M. – Marian P. Johnson, Legislative Updates
Florida Chamber Political Institute

9:00 A.M.Water Management Panel
Brian J. Armstrong P.D., SWFWMD
Drew Bartlett, SFWMD
Ann B. Shortelle, Ph.D., St. Johns River WMD
Hugh Thomas, Suwannee River WMD

10:15 A.M. – Break

10:45 A.M.Kevin Maggiacomo, National Commercial Real Estate
SVN International Corp.

11:15 A.M.Gary M. Ralston, CCIM, SIOR, Florida Economic Update
SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate

11:45 A.M.Governor Ron DeSantis

12:15 P.M. – Lunch
Mark Vitner, National Economic Outlook
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

1:30 P.M.Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM 2019 Lay of the Land Market Report
SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler Real Estate

Featured Speakers

Photo of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis, 46th Governor of Florida

Ron DeSantis is the 46th Governor of the state of Florida.  As governor of the third largest state in the country, Governor DeSantis is committed to taking the Sunshine State to the next level.

By working together with the Florida legislature from day one, Governor DeSantis marked the beginning of a new day in Florida with a bold emphasis on the environment, education, public safety and healthcare, putting people above politics with the commitment to leave Florida better than the way his administration found it.  Efforts on deregulation and tax relief, infrastructure and workforce development better suited for the 21 century, hurricane recovery and rebuilding, rule of law and safe communities, and protecting Florida’s most vulnerable populations are a priority for this Republican leader.

After active-duty service, Governor DeSantis served as a federal prosecutor, where he targeted and convicted child predators.  He was first elected to Congress in 2012, where he fought for term limits, the No Budget/No Pay Act, and lead efforts to cut taxes.  While serving in Congress, then Congressman DeSantis refused his Congressional pension and health insurance plan because he is against special deals for politicians.  He also sponsored legislation to make it easier for the military to prosecute sexual assault and authored the bill to end the secret taxpayer-funded slush fund for members of Congress to make hush payoffs for sexual harassment.

Kirk Goble, ALC

The Bell 5 Land Company
Broker, Accredited Land Consultant

Marian Johnson

Florida Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director, Florida Chamber Political Institute

Kevin Maggiacomo

SVN International Corporation
President & CEO


SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler
Managing Director &
Senior Advisor

Dean Saunders,

SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler
Founder, Managing Director &
Senior Advisor

Mark Vitner

Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
Managing Director
& Senior Economist


Thank you to our sponsors who underwrite more than half the cost of this event.

Hotel Information

Discounted rates have been arranged at the following hotels
for a limited number of rooms under the room block name "SVN Saunders
Ralston Dantzler". The discounted rates apply to Thursday night, February
27 only. We encourage you to reserve your room as soon as possible.

Terrace Hotel

Address: 329 E Main St, Lakeland, FL 33801

Phone: (863) 688-0800

Rate: $149 for Deluxe King or Deluxe 2 Doubles

Distance: .5 miles from the conference

Description: Historic full-service hotel located adjacent to Lakeland’s town square, the Lake Mirror Promenade with views of picturesque Lake Mirror. Terrace Grill Restaurant on-site regularly voted the best fine dining restaurant and best brunch in Polk County. Easy walking to area restaurants, entertainment, and locally owned retail stores. Rate includes complimentary valet parking and Wi-Fi.

TownePlace Suites

Address: 3370 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland FL 33805

Phone: (863) 680-1115

Rate: $159 for King Studio or Double Queen Studio

Distance: 4 miles from the conference (near I-4)

Description: This new hotel is located just off Exit 32 of Interstate 4. All rooms are suites that include full kitchens with refrigerator, microwave oven, stovetop, and dishwasher! Enjoy 32″ flat-screen smart TVs, complimentary wifi and hot breakfast. Grab a workout in the fitness center or a dip in the outdoor pool.

Lay Of The Land Market Report

As always, our guests will receive a copy of the exclusive Lay of the Land Market Report which continues to be the single source of verified Florida sales data used to evaluate market trends and land values throughout the year.

Downtown Lakeland
Visitors Guide

We are excited to host the 2020 Lay of the Land Conference near our home office this year. 

Check out the shops, restaurants, events and everyday things to do in Downtown Lakeland!