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About Me

Our founder, Joe P. Ruthven, was born and raised on a farm in Chesterfield, South Carolina where he learned about hard work, honesty, respect for one’s country, and the importance of community involvement.

In 1957 Joe P. moved to Lakeland, Florida after serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII to open a tire business. Soon after, he recognized the need and demand for warehouse space, subsequently founding The Ruthvens- a real estate development company. Joe P. remains active in the family business as a registered real estate broker.
He has remained true to his small-town values regarding community involvement, serving as City Commissioner and Mayor of Lakeland, as well as a wide variety of local and statewide leadership positions.

Family: In his spare time, Joe P. enjoys traveling with his wife, Judy, and is an avid reader and historian of WWII. He also enjoys spending time with his family including numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Education: Business Administration degree from the University of South Carolina

Community Leadership:

  • Former Mayor of Lakeland
  • Former City Commissioner
  • Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Board of Trustees
  • Florida Southern College, Board of Trustees
  • Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, former President
  • Polk Community College, Board of Trustees Chairman
  • Lakeland Yacht & Country Club, Commodore
  • Lakeland Lions Club, President

Industry Leadership:

  • Enterprise Florida, Board of Directors
  • Platinum Bank, Advisory Board
  • Barnett Bank of Lakeland, former Director
  • Tampa Bay Real Estate Hall of Fame, Member


  • Polk Museum of Art, former President
  • Lakeland Boys Club, former President
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Thunderbird District Scouts

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