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Icebreaker Wind Supply Chain Open House

On Thursday afternoon, December 8th, we went to the Holiday Inn on Rockside Road in Independence to attend the "Icebreaker Wind Supply Chain Open House" put on by LEEDCo, Emerald Cities Cleveland, Fred. Olsen Renewables USA, and GLWN (a Cleveland-based advanced-energy supply chain advisory group) which, according a press release, "are working together to identify regional businesses that are capable and interested in being part of this extraordinary project."

We have written about the Icebreaker Wind project before so let us briefly recap by saying that it calls for 6 wind turbines to be built 8-10 miles offshore in Lake Erie. These turbines have the potential to generate power for 7,000 homes and construction is slated to begin in 2018. It is believed that these 6 wind turbines will be the starting point of "an offshore wind industry in Northeast Ohio" which will "create jobs and generate clean energy locally."

Heavily involved in this project is Fred.Olsen Renewables which is a Norway-based company that has been involved in the creation of a number of renewable energy projects in Europe. We met Mr. Oyvind Lund, Projects Director, and Mr. Arne Lonberg, Contracts and Procurement Manager.

We also met Ms. Sarah Robinson, Director of Economic Inclusion, from Emerald Cities Collaborative which specializes "in the design and implementation of diversity programs for energy, water, large construction and infrastructure projects that strengthen the resilience of our local economy and the built environment." 

Over 225 people representing all kinds of businesses turned out for this open house. They were addressed by Mr. Dave Karpinski, LEEDCo's Vice President of Operations, who reviewed the various opportunities for many of them to become involved in this massive and all inclusive endeavor and urged them all to go to a certain website to sign up to be in the directory which will be used by the main contractors/bidders when assistance is needed. 

We encountered a surprising number of people that we knew there like Cuyahoga County Councilperson Jack Shron, Ms. Jaime Hart who we had met the previous day at a Greater Cleveland Partnership function, and Mr. Joseph Jones from the Hampton Inn who has been working with LEEDCo for years.

The first person that we talked to after we arrived was Mr. Kenneth Niedhammer from T.D. Security Services who used to work at the Cleveland courts when he was involved with law enforcement back in the 1980's. He was thus very familiar with Ms. Margaret W. Wong and liked her a lot because he had observed her going out of her way to assist her clients. He believed that Ms. Wong's emphasis was "professionalism" instead of "payday".

Earlier on Thursday, for some reason we received an email inviting us to attend the annual meeting and holiday party for SNPJ Loyalties Lodge 158 at Recher Hall in Euclid where we go each year for the annual Button Box Jamboree.

We checked out the Lodge's website and learned that "everyone with an interest in Slovenian heritage and culture is always welcome to attend our meetings and social get-togethers" so we decided to drive on over; even though it was cold and there were snow flurries it was not far from our home.

Ms. Linda Gorjup, Region 3 Vice President SNPJ National Board, greeted us warmly and told us to stay by all means even though it took us a while to figure out just how we managed to get on the Lodge's email list. We finally decided that it was because we are on such a list for the Button Box Jamboree and that list might have gotten entangled with that of the Lodge since both are Slovenian connected.

After the meeting, we enjoyed having pizza and chatting with the membership and learning about SNPJ's various projects. Around 9pm, we went home but not before we were given a Slovene National Benefit Society calendar for 2017 which we really needed and shortly plan to hang on our wall.

As we were leaving, we were told that we just might get a phone call in the next several weeks inviting us to become a member of SNPJ Loyalties Lodge 158 which is fine by us; we already belong to all kinds of organizations so we just might take them up on it. 

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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