Michael Maguire is an award-winning photographer and furniture designer who came to Lakeland, with his wife, Phyllis (now deceased), in 1984. The Maguires established a creative services company – The Maguires of Lakeland* – in 2000, after Michael left The Ledger, where he served as Operations Director.
Maguire spent more than 25 years in the newspaper business followed by several more as an industry consultant.
Since 2015, Maguire has published The City Zen Ship, a website that focuses on the actions and activities of the City Commission and the city’s management.
The Maguires also created a documentary chronicle of the construction of the Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house on the Florida Southern College campus.
In 2019, Maguire inaugurated a celebration of Lakeland history by recognizing homes in the Lake Morton Historic District that have reached the 100-year milestone.
This year saw the establishment of a "Little Free Library" as part of the national organization and in response to challenges to some books in Polk County school libraries.
In early 2023, a partnership of The Maguires, Platform Art, and the First United Methodist Church will unveil a public art installation: Lake Morton Place.
Maguire has been a persistent volunteer in the creative economy, has appeared in art shows across Polk county, and in 2014 had a 23-piece photo essay “Louisville & Nashville” on display in Lakeland’s City Hall.
Maguire most recently held the position of “consigliere” with Platform Art. He is a graduate of Leadership Lakeland, Class XVIII.
Maguire served on various boards over the last 35 years:
United Way of Central Florida
School Readiness Coalition
Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce
Girls Club of Lakeland
Imperial Symphony Orchestra
Citizens Budget Advisory Committee
* My father, as a first-generation American and well attached to his Irish heritage would occasionally wax poetic and remind us all that "the Maguires of Fermanagh, as 'tis very well known, had an ark of their own in the flood".
When Phyllis and I travelled there - to the southernmost county in Northern Ireland, well known for its plentiful lakes and outdoor activities - we discovered that Fermanagh's nickname is "Lakeland". Thus we became the Maguires of Lakeland on both sides of the ocean!