"Partnering for the Future" and Annual "3 Chamber 2016 Women's Expo"
On Thursday, January 28th, we went to two chamber of commerce events which were quite a distance from each other but we wanted to network and make connections. All told, it was a very fruitful day for us because we later counted up the business cards that we had collected and found that we had close to forty. The first event was the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce which we recently joined. It was conducted at the Spitzer Conference Center and at least one hundred people were there. The theme of the event was "Partnering for the Future" and we listened as the chamber President Anthony Gallo and its chamber Ed Oley reviewed the happenings of 2015 and what they hoped to accomplish in 2016 by forming or strengthening partnerships with nonprofits and governmental entities. During the course of their presentations, we learned about an upcoming event concerning diversity and inclusion that will be put on by the Lorain County Urban League that we will make a point of attending. We shared a table with Mr. Kevin Wm. Donovan several other attorneys from Fauver, Keyse-Walker and Donovan, a Legal Professional Association. Also at our table were Mayor Greg Zilka of Avon Lake and Ms. Mary F. Siwierka, Safety Service Director for Elyria and we had a good conversation about local government finances. Another person we talked to was Mr. Jerry D. Good, Economic Development Coordinator for the Lorain County Community Development Dept. who once worked for the State of Ohio under Governor Ted Strickland's tenure. It was interesting to hear his perspective about what was happening then as opposed to now. It took us just under an hour to drive to our second event which was the annual "3 Chamber 2016 Women's Expo" put on by the Solon, Aurora and Twinsburg chambers of commerce at the Hilton Garden Inn on Wilcox Drive in Twinsburg. Since Margaret W. Wong and Associates was one of the sponsors of this event, we got to table there. There were about 72 venders there and we set up our station next to Ms. Barb Lessman from CompManagement Health Systems, Inc. which deals with Workman's Comp and Ms. Cassie Via from Jockey International, Inc. which sells undergarments for men and women. By our own estimate, there were 200-300 attendees there between 4pm to 7pm. Several of them like Aurora Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin and Ms. Alissa Cunix of Porath Print Source were old friends of Ms. Margaret W. Wong and asked us to say hello to her. Quite a few of the venders represented restaurants/dining establishments so there was some good food to sample. We particularly liked the vegan offerings of the "Greenbridge Teahouse and Café" located in Twinsburg and the delicious greens, yam casserole and creamed corn prepared by Mr. Rupert Crawford of "Simply Southern Sides" in Macedonia. We had a long talk with Ms. Amanda Scopilliti of "Brooks House Assisted Living Community" and several good exchanges regarding immigration with those who passed by. These included: ***A person who had friends scheduled to travel to Vietnam. They might contact Margaret W. Wong and Associates to inquire about the necessary visas. ***A person who has volunteered a lot over the years for several social service organizations which have assisted immigrants. She really liked working with some people from China. ***A woman whose daughter studied in Hong Kong and became good friends with her roommate from China who plans to travel to the United States very soon. The entire family is eagerly awaiting her. ***Two people who said that they were glad to see us there because immigration is a very timely topic now. One of these people immigrated to the United States from England 25 years ago. ***A woman who immigrated to the United States from Europe talked to us about how her son would like to settle in the United States also but keeps experiencing bureaucratic snags. ***A man who said that both his maternal and paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Europe many years ago (i.e. from Poland and Slovakia). He paused and said that the process was quite different back then. From Ms. Lindsay Williams, a librarian from Twinsburg, we learned that a program is being planned that will teach both English and Spanish to people who would like to learn and bring everyone together so that they can converse. We also liked seeing Pastor Scott Low, who we have seen at other events, there tabling with Solon United Methodist Church. He wanted to draw attention to the beautiful banners created by a member of his congregation. Lastly there was a woman named Annie who now works for Primerica but used to work in Cleveland for a long time. Not only was she aware of Margaret W. Wong and Associates, she remembers seeing the trucks and the movers when we moved into our location at 3150 Chester years ago. Written by: Michael Patterson Community Liaison, Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.