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Hispanic Business Expo

On Thursday, June 12th, we attended two very good networking events, one right after the other. The first one concerned the 2014 Hispanic Business Expo at Corporate College East in Warrensville Heights whose networking reception started at 5pm. We got there early and started talking to four men dressed in white shirts and white hats who were setting up their instruments to play for us during the reception. The leader was Mr. Nelson Orta, an FCCH Quality Assurance Specialist for a firm called Starting Point in Cleveland, who loves to play the drums in his spare time. Mr. Orta told me that they were going to call themselves the "Mambo Group" but when we suggested that the name of their group be the "Mambo Kings" they all loved it so that's what they called themselves. Mr. Orta was more than happy to hear about Margaret W. Wong and Associates and we exchanged information.

Unfortunately not too many people stayed for the networking after being at the Expo all day but we still made some new contacts including someone who may need our help for his relative in India who would like to immigrate to the U.S. We also chatted with a very kind person from Elyria who gave us the names of a couple of organizations in Lorain who offer assistance to immigrants. Mr. James P. Morrow of APB & Associates recalled meeting us before last winter when we both attended an event regarding foreign commerce in Independence during a snow storm.

We met Richard K. Levitz, President of R.K. Levitz, LLC Environmental Design and Graphics, who knows Margaret W.Wong and has referred several clients to us over the years. When we met Mr. Levitz, he was standing next to Mr. Bernie Moreno of Collection Auto Group who also knows Ms. Wong and wishes her the best. And it is always good to see our dear from Lisa Wong from OCA who was there also.

After we finished here, we decided we had time to take in another networking event so off we went to Solon for a COSE (Council on Smaller Enterprises) gathering at the Signature of Solon. When we arrived we found out that the program had shifted away from networking and the keynote speaker was about to begin. We found out that the speaker was a person named Ryan Estis, a consultant who focuses on business development and growth which made us have second thoughts about staying because we were not sure we were in the mood to listen to a motivational speaker who are often quite predictable, artificial, and dull.

Fortunately, this was not the case with Mr. Estis who turned out to be a young man in his 30's who reminded us of the fine actor Mark Wahlberg and delivered his enthusiastic presentation with the one-two punch of a skilled boxer (come to think of it Mark Wahlberg played a boxer in "The Fighter"). Mr. Estis said he really loved doing what he does which is one of the keys to success. Other important elements he said, all started with the letter "r" and they were Reputations, Relationships and Referrals!

Mr. Estis recalled an instance when he was at an airport with a few minutes to spare before a flight so he went to Starbucks for come coffee and was served by a charming person named Lily (he even showed her picture on the screen) who went out of her way to create a pleasant atmosphere for her customers and to make their drinks just right. So pleased was Mr. Estis that whenever he is at this airport he will walk through a couple of terminals just to get a coffee from Lily.

As far as Starbucks goes, Mr. Estis shared inspirational conversations that he had with Howard Schultz of Starbucks as well as the Heinen brothers who all share his positive philosophy on making money and entrepreneurship. The two thoughts that Mr. Estis left us with were that "You are not really in business to make money. You are here to provide a valuable service to people you care about" and to "never give up" because he worked hard to create three businesses and two of these were shelved before they even opened.

Even though it was about time to go home, we decided to take Mr. Estis' advice and not give up on networking here tonight thus we worked the room and made about 10 new contacts including a person from a technologies firm who does a lot of business overseas and a person from a public relations firm knows someone with an immigration issue who he might refer to Margaret W. Wong and Associates. Additionally, we met a couple of people from a local shoe store who urged us to stop by for their Father's Day sale and we might take them up on this.

Best of all, however, was the mother of Mr. Estis who was here with him tonight. She is very proud of her son and very happy that he has achieved the success that he had worked so hard for. Incidentally, we were not the first people who believed that Mr. Estis looks like Mark Wahlberg because people have said this to his mother before and she sees it too. As for Mr. Estis, he is flattered by the comparison.

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