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Coffee Contacts at Timeless Photography; Equality Ohio Honors Benham

  On Tuesday morning we went to the Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts whichIMG_7440was held at Timeless Photography, a full service portrait studio, on Hubbard Road in Madison.

We talked to Mr. Shane and Ms. Kelly Hesson, the friendly owners of Timeless Photography, who told us that their business is two-half-years old and doing quite well. Possessing state of the art equipment, they photograph everything from professional portraits to weddings to horse shows.

For about an hour and fifteen minutes we mingled and IMG_7439exchanged contact information with about forty representatives from various local businesses, nonprofits and governmental agencies whose focuses ranged from home security, experimental learning, physical fitness, commercial lending, energy management, monuments for life events, and children's books.

There was even an owner of a vineyard there who was understandably feeling very grateful and upbeat because it has been a relatively mild winter for Northeast Ohio.

Later on Tuesday we drove to Columbus to attend a reception put on by Equality Ohio that honored Ms. IMG_7449Barbara Benham, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at Huntington Bank for her outstanding work as an ally of the LGBT community. According to a press release issued by Columbus Allies for Equality, Ms. Benham served as the founding executive sponsor of Huntington's LGBT business resource group and the space of just one year Huntington Bank jumped from a 50% on the Human Rights Campaign's corporation equality index to a perfect 100%.

Ms. Benham was very moved by the tribute and praised the work of Huntington Bank and other IMG_7448businesses that have adopted anti-discrimination policies. She also remembered how thrilling it was last June 26th when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of marriage equality.

This lead to the introduction of another special guest who was Mr. Jim Obergefell who was the lead plaintiff in that very historic case. Just last week Mr. Obergefell was in Washington, D.C. where he got to IMG_7444sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union speech. Of course this was wonderful but Mr. Obergefell said that what really made his contribution so special was the "personal interactions" that he has had with individuals who told him how much hope they have now due to the marriage equality victory. He particularly liked hearing from young people because they "deserve the right to grow up and be the people that they were meant to be."

The reception was held at the Strongwater Food and Spirits on West Town Street in Columbus and nearly 200 people attended in including the Mayor Andrew Ginther for whom we attended a fundraiser last year in Cleveland, 18th District Ohio State Rep. Kristin Boggs who had just been appointed to that post the previous day, and former First Lady of Ohio Frances Strickland who told us to be sure to say hello to her good friend Ms. Margaret W. Wong.IMG_7447

Besides us, quite a few people had journeyed from Cleveland to Columbus for this event including Ms. Catherine Toth and Ms. Maureen Povinelli who got married on the lawn next to Cleveland City Hall last June 26th very soon after the Supreme Court decision was announced.

Before we left we spoke to Mr. Marlon Moore and Mr. Matthew Hall who both work at Huntington Bank and believed that Ms. Benham was more than worthy of the honor she received.

We also managed to catch the ear of Ms. Alana Jochum, Managing Director of Equality Ohio, who told us that she was recently in Chicago where she saw an ad for Margaret W. Wong and Associates on a subway. Ms. Jochum said that she felt proud to share the same "hometown" with Ms. Wong.

 

Written by:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

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