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Valentine's Day Business After Hours networking

On Tuesday, February 14th, we went to a Valentine's Day Business After Hours networking event put on by the Lorain Chamber of Commerce at the Stocker Arts Center at Lorain County Community College which was appropriately billed as "Fall in Love with the Arts" because got to see some beautiful artworks on display in the "Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery" which were created by local middle and high school students and take a tour of the facility under the guidance of Ms. Julie Wingate, Theatre Coordinator, and Ms. Janet Baker Barlow, Director of the Stocker Arts Center.

What really impressed us was how the section containing the seats in the Cinema Hall was able to rotate (as we were sitting in them) to become part of the Orchestra Hall which was right next door. We were told that the Stocker Arts Center was one of only 60 some theatres in the United States that has "walls that spin" very much like a giant lazy susan.

In the course of the evening, everyone gathered together to listen to a short speech by Ms. Tracy A. Green, Lorain Community College's Vice President of Strategic and Institutional Development, who spoke of the need to support the arts. "The arts are vital to an innovation economy," said Ms. Green, " and innovation is what drives your business."

As far as networking, we talked to Ms. Ramadevi Rao (who immigrated to the United States some 30 years ago from India) and Ms. Kathy Yourkiewicz from "Block Advisor Tax and Business Services" who told us that they could assist our foreign-born clients by way of tax preparation and obtaining tax identification numbers. Ms. Rao remembered that Ms. Margaret W. Wong once sponsored an Indian event that she was involved with a few years ago.

We also had some time to talk to Mr. Bob Johnson, Lead Facilitator at the "Effective Leadership Academy" about the special problems faced by Spanish-only speaking students. It was good to encounter Mr. Michael Farago from the "Oswald Companies" located in downtown Cleveland and his wife, Amelia, both of whom we hadn't seen for a while. Mr. Farago told us that they live in the Lorain area so it was on their way home to stop off there.

At January's Business After Hours we had met Ms. Denise Gula Weller who was working hard to establish a new nonprofit called "Hearts of Patriots" which will focus on the needs of spouses of veterans suffering from PTSD. Things are going well and Ms. Gula Weller told us that she had invited us to a kickoff event for her organization that will take place in early March, 2017. Needless to say, we get a lot of emails so we were not sure that we had gotten hers. Thus we told her to send it again with "HEY READ THIS!!!" in the subject line. 


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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