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Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland Luncheon

On Monday, November 14th, we went to a luncheon put on by "Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland" which img_5992is also known as "SME Cleveland" which took place at Windows on the River. We had never been to any of its functions before and so we introduced ourselves to Ms. Mary Margaret Lavelle,  Mr. Greg McBride, and Mr. Anson Hall who were respectively its executive director, president and president-elect. Very briefly, "SME Cleveland", according to its website, assists "sales and marketing professionals reach their goals and improve their skills." It has been in existence for 92 years and has 275 members, 36 company members, and seven corporate sponsorships. Luncheons such as the one on this day are sponsored by "Advance Ohio" and "Medical Mutual."

Among the people we said "hello" to were Ms. Amy Neumann of "Advance Ohio" who we sometimes see at social functions in Cleveland; we both believe that the last one was a City Club youth forum a couple of weeks ago. We also talked to Ms. Judy Hilow, Executive Director of "Malachi House" whose husband, an attorney himself, has worked with "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" on several occasions. We sat next to Ms. Barbara Barclay of "Aerial Agents", which does aerial photography, who shared part of her hot pasta lunch with us after we took a salad.img_5998

The speaker for the day was our friend Mr. Chris Ronayne, Mayor of University Circle, as well as being the holder of several other prominent posts. Only a few hours previously, Mr. Ronayne had returned from a short visit to Columbia where he found himself in Cartagena during the Independence Day celebration. As a very renowned city planner, Mr. Ronayne loves to visit cities all over the world in order to learn what works and doesn't work there and bring this knowledge back to Cleveland with him.

Mr. Ronayne discussed the history of many areas of Cleveland and outlined plans for their futures. Among those he discussed were Mall B, Battery Park, Whiskey Island, Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway, Lakefront East, and, of course, University Circle. He expressed confidence that Cleveland is indeed undergoing a renaissance and in order to continue we must build upon our "anchors" which are education, healthcare, arts and culture. Along these lines, he indicated that the population of University Circle has increased 11% in recent years because it has been able to do just that thus making itself very attractive to internationals.

Of course we asked Mr. Ronayne about the role of immigrants in the future of Cleveland and he enthusiastically stated that people come here from all over the world to attend medical school as well as pursuing other courses of study and it should be our role to help these people remain here and start a business if they so want to. He just loved, as do we, the tremendous international "idea exchange" that is taking place and is working closely with Global Cleveland to make sure that this be continued.


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC



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