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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts; Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) Summer Networking; Fundraiser for Ms. Betsy Rader


On Thursday, August 17th, we attended two networking events and one fundraiser that involved networking.

First of all we got up early and drove to Mentor-on-the-Lake to attend an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce "Coffee Contacts" that was held in the enclosed pavilion in Mentor Beach Park.

The event was sponsored by Mr. Tom Thielman, the Economic Development Administrator for the City of Mentor who addressed us for a few minutes about several of the projects planned for the Mentor area. Mr. Thielman emphasized that it was his role to assist small, often family-owned firms as well as larger businesses.


It was good to see our friend, Pastor Jeff Sivyer of "The Grove Church of Lake County" once again and on this day he brought along his good friend, Pastor Dave Bill of the "Victory Lane Assembly of God" whose church was launched approximately 14 years ago right there in Mentor Beach Park. Pastor Sivyer was very happy because his church had just received a grant from "100+ Women Who Care" which will be used to enrich their once-a-month Friday night suppers.

We also re-connected with Ms. Lucille Cimino, a music therapist who suggested to us that an immigrant or refugee could learn a lot about her/his new environment and culture through studying its music and perhaps establishing parallels between the music of the United States and that of her/his country of origin. Ms. Cimino really believed that her work might be a excellent asset for someone in transition.

At 5:30pm we went to "100th Bomb Group Restaurant" on Brookpark Road in Cleveland to attend a Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) summer networking event that took place indoors this year due to the ominous weather.


We could only stay for an hour but we still had a fascinating conversation with Mr. Nicholas J. Panno, Jr., Vice President of Sales and Engineering for "Innovative Artist Supplies, LLC" who recently developed new kinds of pencils and paint brushes that will assist the users by offering grayscales and serving as a measuring tool. Mr. Panno plans to eventually market these devices to school districts and we wish him the best.

While we were at the "100th Bomb Group" several people talked to us about immigration issues and we got to meet Mr. Martin King who immigrated to the U.S. from England years ago and became a United States citizen just a few months ago.

We then listened to the story a man who was forced to flee Columbia and come to the U.S. where he obtained asylum. He lived and worked here for fourteen years and established really established himself in his community before his asylum status was suddenly revoked and he was forced to return to Columbia at the end of February, 2017 along with his family. Most of the people who were listening agreed that the man and his family shouldn't have had to return to Columbia where conditions are truly dangerous.

We left the COSE event and hurried over to Shaker Heights to attend a fundraiser for Ms. Betsy Rader who is running for U.S. Congress in Ohio's 14th district which takes in all of Ashtabula, Lake and Geauga Counties as well as portions of eastern Cuyahoga County, northern Trumbull County, northern Portage County, and northeastern Summit County.


The fundraiser took place at the lovely home of Ms. Alison Battaglia on Coventry Road and was co-hosted by Ms. Battaglia and her good friend, Ms. Virginia Davidson who once served on the Cleveland board of the Federal Bar Association with Ms. Margaret W. Wong.

During the time we spent there, we encountered several familiar faces like Ms. Jan Roller, Ms. Cynthia Demsey, Mr. Andrew Kohn, Ms. Lana Moresky, and Cleveland Heights Councilperson Michael Ungar. We had a good time discussing local political trends with Mr. Dave Watson, Ms. Rader's husband, as well asMr. Dave Heintz and Ms. Malia Lewis, who are candidates for Cleveland Heights/University Heights Board of Education.

We really hope that Ms. Rader does well because, even though she came from a low-income family, through hard work and constant study she was able to obtain scholarships to Ohio State University and Yale Law School. Among the positions that she has held are director of Geauga County's advocacy program for abused children and Senior Counsel at the Cleveland Clinic. We also like it that she is a strong advocate for campaign finance and immigration reforms.

As her literature states (and she said so on this day during her short talk), her lifelong goal "to empower people by giving them a voice. I have spent my life advocating for people and for causes big and small in Northeast Ohio."


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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