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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer

 We were one of the 100 RSVP's for the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer at the Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant on Route 528 in Madison which is where we at on Wednesday night. We really liked the mountain lodge ambiance of this location because it had a Christmas-like flavor to it and the wooden tables and chairs combined with the warm but-not-too-hot fireplace contributed a lot to the upbeat flavor of the event.

For entertainment, there was a brief concert of Christmas Carols provided by the "Perry Buccaneers Show Choir" from Perry High School under the direction of Ms. Beth Singer. Among the musical selections was a German Madrigal about saying goodbye that we had never heard before.

We made some new friends their including representatives of a staffing agency who told us that immigration issues do come up on occasion and a local businessperson who talked to us at length about ways to reach out to the Hispanic community. Sadly, we also met some people who had a good friend who reluctantly had to return to Europe due to complications with his/her visa; they said that they wished that they had known about our office a couple of weeks ago.

In between the good songs, good cheer, good food and good networking we were addressed by Mr. Allen Weaver who will assume the office of the presidency of the Eastern Lake County Chamber in January, 2017. Mr. Weaver reminded us that it was only last year at this time that final preparations were being made for the "marriage" of the Painesville and Madison-Perry chambers in order to produce the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce which officially came into being in January, 2016. Mr. Weaver spoke for all of us when he said "the marriage must be good" because he had "heard no cry for a divorce yet."

 It was also very gratifying for us to reconnect again with Mr. David Polakowski from the Downtown Painesville Organization (DPO) who we hadn't seen for a while. Mr. Polakowski was very glad that "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" will be doing on program on immigration on January 12th at the Morley Library in Painesville and asked for some materials about it so that they can be posted on the DPO website.

Finally, it was great to once more get to talk to Lake County Commissioner Kevin Malecek who unfortunately didn't succeed in his bid for election (he was appointed to his post so he was undergoing his first actual election, not re-election) last November. Commissioner Malecek, a democrat, had enjoyed a wide range of support from both democrats and republicans so his loss, attributed to the fact that many people simply voted the straight republican ticket in Lake County, was especially painful-perhaps in some ways even more so than Clinton losing to Trump because most of the time what happens at the local level of government affects our daily lives more than what takes place nationally.

Nevertheless, Commissioner Malecek behaved as professionally as ever and we believe that no matter what path he chooses to take, his future will be a bright one.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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