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Out & About in Cleveland

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Coffee Contacts at The Lantern of Saybrook; Greater Cleveland Chinese Chamber of Commerce Networking Event

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Also on Wednesday, we attended two networking events, one early in the morning in Saybrook in Ashtabula County and the other in the early evening at Terminal Tower here in Cleveland. Our early event was a "Coffee Contacts East' put on by the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce that was held at the Lantern of Saybrook, a beautiful assisted living/memory care facility whose mission is "to facilitate healthy living, provide superior services consistent with the needs of the elderly, offer an environment that will support their personal needs and create an atmosphere that will stimulate creativity and enhance performance to their maximum potential. We are committed to provide a desired place that will physically, mentally, and emotionally satisfy the seniors."

Ms. Tiffany Chambers, Director of Sales of Marketing, took us on a tour of the building that employed different shades of lighting to reflect the particular time of the day that it was so that its inhabitants never lose touch with the world outside. All told, the rooms and various parlor were lovely and we hope that if we ever have to move into a retirement home that it be a place like that one.

During our time there we spoke with several health care providers including one person who took our contact information because she recently had a case wherein homeland security had contacted them about upgrading/renewing the immigration status of an elderly foreign-born person now suffering from dementia.

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Several weeks ago we received an invitation from our friend, Mr. William Sinn, President of Sinn & Co., LLC-Successful China Strategies, inviting us to attend the kickoff networking event for the "Greater Cleveland Chinese Chamber of Commerce" that would take place on Wednesday, February 22nd, at "Flashstarts" on the 2nd Floor of Terminal Tower. The creation of this organization was initiated by Ms. Grace Wang, Staff Attorney at "Calfee, Halter & Griswold, LLP" who will act as its Executive Director. We believe that a consortium such as this has been needed here in Cleveland for a long time; our friend Mr. Dan Hanson of "Clevelandpeople.com" told us that such chambers of have existed in Columbus and Cincinnati for at least a couple of years now.

Accordingly, we went to its website and learned that it considers its constituents to be Chinese American and Chinese business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs, and students in Northeast Ohio; Chinese companies that are interested in doing business in Northeast Ohio; and American companies and professional that want to learn more about doing business in China.

Thus, its goals are to support Chinese American business in Northeast Ohio; help Chinese professionals and students enter the mainstream American economy; facilitate Chinese investors to develop business opportunities in Northeast Ohio; offer resources, information, and business contacts for our members; connect local companies with partners from China to explore further ventures; and to assist members to better understand the business, legal and and cultural environment in both China and the U.S.

Apparently, many other people in Cleveland thought that the creation of this Chamber was a good idea for when it was Ms. Wang's turn to speak at the gathering, she said that she had been thinking of doing this for a year now but she was taken back the number of people who actually took time out of their schedules to attend this initial event because RSVP's totaled at least 200. In addition to ourselves, Ms. Judy Wong, Mr. Francis Fungsang and Ms. Sage Wen were all there from "Margaret W. Wong and Associates".

We had a good time networking and meeting several quite a few people of multiple ethnicities (not just Asian) who were motivated to come here. In terms of new business, we talked to a young person who already had an H1B visa and now wanted to see about obtaining a green card.  Ms. Judy Wong introduced us to her friend Mr. Todd Tucker, a Partner at the Calfee law firm who, has spent a lot of time in China and is very well-versed in Chinese IP law.

Mr. Eddie Ni, Chairman and President of the "Windfall Group", and key sponsor of the Chamber as well as a member of its Advisory Board, urged all Chinese-owned businesses in Cleveland and all those businesses doing business with these businesses to join up, to attend its programs, and to become involved.

Mr. Ni then introduced his mentor, Dr. Anthony Yen who gave a brief recollection of China's history from 1949 until now. He said that from 1949 until 1979 China really suffered due to the U.S. naval blockade but then rebounded after the blockade was lifted in 1979 and the "open market economy" became a staple. In fact, the "World Bank" reported in 2015 that 450 million people in China had risen from poverty to the middle class.  Thus, Dr. Yen believed that the creation of the "Greater Cleveland Chinese Chamber of Commerce" was very timely indeed.

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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