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Coffee Contacts at Shoppe In The City; Out of FUEL (Future Emerging Leaders of Lake County).

OIMG_3796n Thursday, August 18th, we attended two networking events in Lake County. The first one was an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce "coffee contacts" which was held at the Shoppe in the City on South Main Street in Painesville. This store sells products created in Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties. The coffee it sells, for instance, comes from Scribblers Coffee Company in Geneva.

The Shoppe is quite colorful containing all sorts of arts and crafts and is part of the "Vocational Solutions for Adults" network. We talked to Ms. Julie O'Neil and Ms. Stephanie Morton, who are, respectively, Director-Special Education and Manager of the Lake County EducationalIMG_3797 Service Center, and learned that the Shoppe is, as stated in its literature, "a venue for Vocational Solutions for adults.  The Shoppe sells merchandise that can be purchased separately or in baskets assembled by adults with disabilities. The store is staffed by the same adults....The goal of the Shoppe in the City is provide adults with disabilities supported, integral employment to help each of them reach the greatest level of independence, while also providing another avenue for local businesses to have exposure."

In the course of the gathering, Ms. Cathy Bieterman, Economic Development Director for the City of Painesville, said "kudos" to Ms. O'Neil and Ms. Morton for what they have done here with this IMG_3802project which is "new, innovative, and very difficult to do."

Another person that we spoke with at "coffee contacts" was Ms. Michelle Rodewald, Business Partnership Coordinator with the Auburn Career Center, who was distributing information about a permanent improvement levy regarding the upgrade/repair/maintenance of the building where the career center is located. We learned that the homeowner whose home had a market value of $100,000 would incur an annual cost of only $8.75 if this levy is passed. We were quite taken by Ms. Rodewald's analogy which was that for the cost of 1 pizza per family per year this needed work could be done. That seems like a pretty good deal to us.IMG_3803


That evening we went to Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord for an out of FUEL (Future Emerging Leaders of Lake County). Even though we were a bit older than the other people there, who were in their 20's and 30's, we were still welcomed. Several people from the morning event at the Shoppe were also at this one like Dr. IMG_3805Rachel Young and Ms. Lea Polter from Morris Chiropractic in Painesville. All of us gathered on the driving range to have wine and appetizers and to listen to Mr. Leonard Varacelli, who referred to himself as the "Italian Golf Pro" give us some pointers as to how to play golf effectively. Mr. Varacelli told us that he used to work in Florida where he successfully taught blind people to play golf and now some of the score in the 80's.

At both the morning and evening events, we renewed our acquaintances, made some new ones and passed out several business cards.



Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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