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4th annual Chamber 2017 Women's Expo

On Thursday, January 26th, we took part in the 4th annual Chamber 2017 Women's Expo at the Hilton Garden Inn on Wilcox Drive in Twinsburg that was put together via the Aurora, Solon and Twinsburg Chambers of Commerce.

Due to the uncertain weather, we left Cleveland very early and stopped for a delicious lunch composed of curry lentil soup at a woman-owned business called "Munch" on Miles Road in Solon. "Munch" was founded in 1997 by Ms. Jamie Hersch and features a variety of salads, soups and sandwiches and quite a few vegetarian options.

As it turned out, the weather was cold but not overly snowy or slushy so wound up being the second party to arrive at the Hilton Garden Inn exactly at the beginning of the set-up time which started at 1:30pm. The first to arrive were the "Breakaway Excursions, LLC" team of Ms. Pam Holliday and Mr. Doug Hershman because they had a lot of recreational equipment to display.

Soon other vendors arrived including Ms. Judith I. Caine of "Prosperity N.E.O." along with her team consisting of Ms. Danielle Johnson and Ms. Jewel Paynther. They served coffee to those who stopped by and we enjoyed two cups of it before we left later in the evening. Like Ms. Margaret W. Wong, Ms. Caine attends the Church of St. Dominic in Shaker Heights and asked us to express her condolences to Ms. Wong regarding her mother's passing.

Another vendor that we visited with for a couple of minutes was Ms. Christy Schumaker, a Licensed Massage Therapist/Reiki Master Teacher with "Chiromax" who attended the Women's March in Washington, DC the previous weekend.

Our booth for "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" was located almost directly across from that of the "Koewler Law Firm" (which does not practice immigration law) from Richfield which was staffed by Ms. Kathy Mocarski, its community liaison. We enjoyed talking to each other throughout the course of the event.

All told, there were 68 vendors at the Expo and probably 250-300 people walked through it between the hours of 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Our "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" shiny red plastic letter openers were quite popular and we must have given away 100 of them.

In terms of prospective business, one person who stopped by had relatives in the Philippines who may want to immigrate to the United States eventually and we spoke to a mother whose son met and married a Chinese woman while working there and is experiencing some difficult problems in terms of bringing her to the U.S.

It was also fascinating to meet and to converse with a private investigator, formerly a law enforcement officer, whose firm does fingerprinting for international clients. She (yes, it was a woman-we looked it up after we got home and discovered that 15% of private investigators are female and the percentage is increasing all of the time) told us that she often gets asked questions about U.S. immigration policies.

Speaking of percentages, a good percent of the people who stopped by our table smiled and said word to the effect that an immigration attorney's job must be really be getting more "interesting" due to President Trump's policies. We generally smile back and, in order to avoid a divisive political discussion, say "yes, we have been quite busy lately." Or, if pressed further, we come up with a statement like, "I'm not sure that the proposed wall between the United States and Mexico is going to be as all encompassing as one may think due to eminent domain issues..." More often than not the person who queried us pauses, then sighs and says, "I know" or "you may be right" and moves on.

We did, however, engage more fully with a person who said that she very troubled by the new policies particularly since her house of worship was sponsoring a refugee family who was scheduled to arrive in Cleveland next week but now this is very in doubt. 

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

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

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