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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts; 29th Annual Meeting of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce

On the morning of Wednesday, January 25th, we attended two chamber of commerce events about fifty miles apart from each other in Ashtabula and Lorain counties.

First, we participated in an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce (that also takes in part of Ashtabula county) "Coffee Contacts East" held at the Lodge in Geneva-on-the-Lake where we talked to Ms. Helena Richardson, Branch Coordinator the Geneva Library, who told us that the Geneva/Ashtabula Libraries are conducting more Hispanic outreach and more writings in Spanish are being collected for prospective patrons. Along these lines, we conversed with Ms. Amanda Dolan, Director of Enrollment Management and Student Services, and Ms. Brie McGirr, Admissions Counselor, for Kent State University Ashtabula, about DACA students and those enrolled at their campus.

During announcements, we were especially drawn to one made by Mr. Christopher Carraher, who sits on the Board of Directors for the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, concerning a "Valentine's Day 2017 Challenge" from the Platt R. Spencer Historical Society of Geneva which is "dedicated to the preservation, education, and advancement of the legacy of Platt Roger Spencer, the Father of American penmanship." This challenge is to actually handwrite "a personal note to those close to your heart this February 14th!"

Mr. Carraher made available to us a flyer which contained statements that demonstrated how important a handwritten note can be. Among the reasons for this are that a handwritten note can actually make the writer happy; it confirms the importance of relationships; it is a classy thing to do; it matters the writer focus on the things that really matter; it can be a wonderful surprise; and it is a memorable way to connect with the people that the writer truly loves because "throughout history, thoughtful letters have been treasured and protected from generation to generation. Few things can have as positive an impact upon someone's life as handwritten words of inspiration and love."

After we left the Lodge, we had just enough time to drive to the Emerald Event Center in Avon so that we could take part in the 29th Annual Meeting of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce which was attended by more than 100 people.

According to what was said during the luncheon gathering, the Lorain Chamber enjoyed a very good year in 2016 since there was a 91% retention rate and 60 new members were added from all the communities and economic sectors of Lorain County.

We admired Mr. Tony Gallo, the chamber president, when he paid tribute to chamber staffers, Ms. Tammy Cascio and Ms. Kristy Lewandowski for working so hard to set up events like this one. "I get the glory," said Mr. Gallo, "and they get the headaches."

The topic of immigration came up when we spoke to a fellow chamber member who recently adopted a child from Ethiopia. And we learned about an arts festival coming up in September, 2017 at which Margaret W. Wong and Associates may want to table.

The 29th annual meeting received the sponsorship of over 30 local businesses and many of them were tabled there. We really liked visiting with the representatives of independent/family owned businesses who had operating in Lorain County for years which included "Sterling Computer Services" which is 11 years old; "Parties to Go" which has been in existence since 1963; the "Lorain Music and Vending Co." that was founded in 1946; and "Stewart's TV and Appliance" which was also founded in 1946 and has remained in the same location.

Amazing!

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

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