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International Happy Hour at Heinen's and The Herb Ritts Exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

> On Thursday, March 12th, we attended three very different networking events. > > First, we started off the day by going to the "GE Corporate Supplier Summit" at the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) on Huron Road in Cleveland. This program was put on by the GCP and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) in order to expand opportunities for local companies to connect with GE by partnering, engaging, and identifying new technology solutions. > > We listened to presentations Mr. Cavitt Randall, Access GE Capital Americas; Ms. Jeri Kuck, Access GE Capital Americas; Mr. Antonio Maricocchi, Executive Supplier Development, GE Aviation; and Mr. Edward Herderick, Additive Technologies Leader, GE Corporate Supply Chain and Operations. In the course of the program, Mr. Herderick said that GE wants to have "a robust and diverse supply chain." > > We were very grateful to Mr. Vince Adamus, Vice President of Real Estate and Business Development of GCP, for introducing us to Ms. Kuck and saying what a great job that Ms. Margaret W. Wong does. We made about over 15 connections today including Mr. Howard Thompson of the OAI who said that he had a "very positive interaction" with Ms. Wong in the past when he was assisting some people who immigrated to the United States from Israel. Mr. David Salay from the OAI took our information to let others know about us and we met Mr. Joseph M. Geitz with Vicon Fabricating Company in Mentor who said that eventually his firm might want to do overseas business but might need some guidance. We suggested that he contact Ms. Kim Holizna the International Trade Administrator for the City of Mentor. > > We really enjoyed speaking with Mr. Richard Rivera who supervises Facilities and Guest Services for the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Mr. Rivera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, agreed with us that the United States is a nation of immigrants and comprehensive immigration reform is very much needed. He said that he had heard of Ms. Wong's work and believed that she did a great job. Mr. Rivera also does some work for the Marriott and received an award from them two years ago. Just before we left, we talked to Mr. Steve Baucher from the GCP who said that he is looking forward to having Ms. Wong over for an upcoming event that will be a sellout. > > As Ms. Kuck said during her presentation, "the coolest thing that we can do is make connections." > > Our next event in the early evening was an "International Happy Hour at Downtown Heinen's" put on by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA), International Business Network, and Women in International Trade in Northeast Ohio. > > We saw a lot of people that we already knew but were glad to see again like Dr. Truc Nguyen; Mr. David Delgado, the host of the radio program "Going Global" who will be moderating the event on April 18th at Metro Health regarding domestic violence that Ms. Wong will be participating in; and Mr. Ryan Ouellette, Ms. Jane Myers, Ms. Jenni Carney, and Ms. Neil McCarthy all from the CCWA. > > Among the first to arrive were Dr. Karl W. Hess and his wife, Ms. Betty Hess who really enjoyed the good appetizers the Heinen's was offering. > > We talked with Ms. Mercedez M. Hathcock about the City Club program that we both attended on Wednesday featuring Mr. Aaron David Miller. She told us that she liked it a lot and bought Mr. Miller's book for her son. > > We chatted with Ms. Danay Johnson who immigrated from Cambodia five years ago and is now a United States who owns her own business. Her husband, Mr. Keith P. Johnson, told us that they are looking for ways to assist Cambodians in the Cleveland area and have met with Ms. Wong about this. We took their contact information and promised to give some thought about possible contacts for them. > > Ms. Mary Lou Molina knows of Ms. Wong too because her uncle was Mr. Dan Molina who was an attorney who worked with Ms. Wong on several occasions. From Ms. Debbie Hayden we learned about a very promising event that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is putting on in Wade Park on May 16th. We are going to look into tabling there. > > Another person we met at this event who immigrated here from another country was Mr. Garvin Carrington who came here about 28 years ago from Trinidad. He has been living in Cleveland for about 17 years and became a citizen about that time. After we asked him if he planned to stay here in Cleveland, Mr. Carrington smiled at his girlfriend and told us that he had no plans to leave. > > Our last event was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was a preview of a new exhibition honoring the late Herb Ritts who was a "American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits often in the style of classical Greek sculpture." > > When we arrived we knew that we had heard the name of Mr. Ritts but were not sure in what capacity. Fortunately, we met Mr. Michael Sims, the Manager of Visitors' Services at the Rock Hall who gave us a flyer which had information about him. > > The event was structured so all of the attendees were assigned a time to go up to the 4th Floor and watch a film about Mr. Ritts and then walk through the exhibit. As soon as the film started we recognized a lot of the photographs that he had taken. The exhibit at the Rock Hall focused on his photographs of rock stars so we were treated to portraits of such renowned figures as Elton John, K.D. Lang, Cher, B.B. King, John Mellencamp, Aretha Franklin and Sting. There were many pictures of Madonna who he photographed 36 times since 1984. Mr. Mark McKenna from the Herb Ritz Foundation spoke for a few minutes and said that Mr. Ritts captured the "soul and the essence" of his subjects. > > We met several other people from the Rock Hall at this gathering including Dr. Lauren Onkey, Vice President of Education and Mr. Rod Sikora, Director of Development, who said that Ms. Margaret W. Wong was "a sweetheart". > > We sat with Ohio State Rep. Kent Smith during the film and took a photograph of Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed for our blog but we doubt if it was up to the caliber of Mr. Herb Ritts. > > We sat down for a few minutes and talked to Mr. Walt Waskawicz who owns Walken Frame and Art in at the West 78th Street Studios. Mr. Waskawicz provided the frames for many of the exhibits here. > > As we were leaving we stopped at the table of Mr. Patrick Cusick, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Health in Cleveland about the popularity of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mr. Cusick told us that his relatives traveled to Cleveland from Ireland to tour it. This is one reason why we are so glad to have such a treasure as the Rock Hall in Cleveland.