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Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NEOHCC) Summer Networking


On Thursday, June 29th, we attended the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NEOHCC) Summer Networking event that was held at "Barroco" on Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Mr. Richard Levitz, a longtime board member, spoke for a moment and said that one of the purposes of the NEOHCC was to make people aware of the richness and the diversity of Latin America. By our estimation, this event was attended by fifty people from very diverse businesses and backgrounds and we connected or re-connected with such individuals as:

***Professor Carlos Villagonez who came to the United States from Columbia about six months ago. Prof. Villagonez has 40 years experience as a marketer in his country of origin, taught college for many years, and written two books about marketing. He is currently looking for a position in Cleveland and we believe that for a talented man with a warm personality, it is only a matter of time.

***Ms. Kirsten Pomales, Field Director for "Americans for Prosperity" who used to work at the City Club. In fact, Ms. Pomales organized the youth forum about immigration that featured our own Mr. Scott Bratton.

***Mr. David A. Vargas, International Accounts Manager for "Noshok" which provides businesses dealing in oil and gas the instruments needed for exploration. Mr. Vargas has many customers in the Latin American region and once worked as a paralegal in the immigration division of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Of course, he knew our good friend Mr. Joseph Meissner who invited him to Saigon Plaza where he enjoyed a terrific meal.

***Ms. Amanda Wichnek who recently became the Manager of Business Development at "El Barrio Workforce Center" after serving in the Peace Corps in Europe. We introduced her to Professor Villagonez and they had a good conversation.

***Ms. Kristen Gramajo, Advisor and Site Coordinator for "College Now of Greater Cleveland" who thanked Ms. Margaret W. Wong for her support over the years.

***Mr. Kevin Gramajo, a student from OSU who was interning with the NEOHCC who is working on an interesting project in which he is compiling data about local Hispanic owned and run businesses so that all resources can be accounted form. Since his father and mother immigrated to the United States respectively from Guatemala and Mexico, Mr. Gramajo is first generation American but was ready to share with us his knowlege about the appetizers we were served called "tostones" which are twice-fried plantain slices that are delicious when eaten with guacamole and salsa.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC