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Out & About in Cleveland

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North Coast Chamber of Commerce and Think Manufacturing Expo

On Wednesday, October 8th, our day started late in the morning when we drove to Avon Lake to attend the monthly North Coast Chamber of Commerce luncheon which was held at Taki's Greek Kitchen and Bar on Lear Road. Taki's is owned by Mr. Taki Diamantis who is a first generation American; his parents immigrated to the United States from Greece. The food was excellent and we had a special vegetarian wrap with fries that had just the right amount of crispness. We remember coming here last year when we first joined the chamber and we look forward to coming back here again next year. We knew most of the people at this luncheon but we got to talk to them and get to know them better. Everyone who wanted to got to stand up and give a "60 second commercial" about themselves and their business so we talked about Margaret W. Wong and Associates. There were several people here who had some good ideas for advertising our services so we took their information and emailed it back to the office.

We also got to visit with several representatives from banks that do have some customers who are immigrants including Mr. Jeffrey Moats from U.S. Bank on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Mr. Matthew R. Lay from First Federal on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood; and Mr. Martin E. DeVries from Dollar Bank on Lorain Road in North Olmsted.

Our next stop was later in the day when we attended the "Think Manufacturing Expo" which was held in the cafeteria of Willoughby South High School.

As the flyer for the event indicated, its purpose was to help local students and parents "learn about future high tech careers in manufacturing" and to "connect with local employers with immediate, rewarding opportunites and careers in manufacturing." It was put on by the Alliance for Working Together Foundation and the Lake County Chambers of Commerce including the Painesville and Mentor chambers of which we are members.

All told there were over twenty businesses tabling there as well as five schools that offered technical training. We decided to attend this event in order that we may talk to the representatives of the businesses and let them know that Margaret W. Wong and Associates was available to assist them if any of their workers might be experiencing a situation dealing with immigration or if one of their overseas contacts might want to immigrate to the United States either temporarily or permanently and need help with visas, green card, residency or citizenship.

Among the companies whose representatives we spoke to were Slabe Machine Products Company in Willoughby; Heisler Tool Company, Inc. in Willoughby; Cintas Corporation in Painesville; Midwest Materials in Perry; Spence Technologies in Willoughby; Fredon in Mentor; Performance Motorsports, Inc. (PMi) in Mentor; and Component Repair Technologies, Inc. in Mentor. Several of them did express an interest in our services because they do have some overseas contacts who might want to immigrate here particularly engineers.

We also talked to Ms. Diane S. Wrona who is the Human Resource Manager for Roll-Kraft, Inc. Ms. Wrona is acquainted with our office and speaks highly of us. Our friend Mr. Sanjay Singh is the Executive Vice President.

We are happy to report that this event was very well attended by many young people and the recruiters were very patient and took the time to talk to everyone who expressed an interest in their business. We are also happy that they took the time to give us a moment or two.

The last event for the day was a fundraiser at Tizzano's Party Center in Euclid for former Ohio State Representative Kenny Yuko who is the democratic candidate for Ohio State Senate District 25.

We really had a good time visiting with old friends and listening to Rick and Sharona, a wonderful husband and wife team who entertained us with some classic songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin like "My Kind of Town" and "That's Amore". Rick and Sharona were so good that State Rep. Yuko was inspired to get up and sing "Come Fly with Me" and a couple of other songs with them and his granddaughter Francesca, a very energetic toddler, joined in the fun.

When it came time to make introductions, State Rep. Yuko acknowledged the presence of Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik, Richmond Heights Mayor David H. Roche (who recently became mayor after the former mayor was recalled), Ohio State Representative John Rogers, and, of course, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Sunny Simon and praised all of them. He also recognized little Francesca by saying that the things that are done in Columbus today will affect his granddaughters in the future.

State Rep. Yuko's daughter Angela acted as emcee for part of the program and urged the attendees to be sure to vote in the November election because "what we do in Ohio shapes our country as well as the state."

We visited with State Rep. Yuko's sister Ms. Linda Silver who owns a jewelry store in Beachwood named Mann Jewelers that Ms. Margaret W. Wong has visited. Ms. Silver is also a friend of Ms. Rose Wong and told us that her husband, Mr. Dick Silver, used to love to play cards with them both.

We also visited with Mr. Peter Balint who is the executive director of the Ohio Independent Film Festival which will be held this year at the Atlas Cinemas Lakeshore on November 6th through November 9th. Mr. Balint really believes in what he does because, as he told us, the festival is about "giving every person who is a filmmaker a chance to have their work shown before an audience." What's more, he said that "we are a catalyst for filmmakers in Cleveland."

We really enjoyed visiting with Francesco and Josephine Catena who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary by attending this event because they admire State Rep. Yuko so much. We took their photo and told them that we would mention them in our blog which made them very happy. Mrs. Catena even phoned her daughter to obtain her email address so we could email her their photo. Mr. Catena invited us over to their restaurant which is the Mama Catena Ristorante on Babbitt Road in Euclid whose motto, on their business card, is "celebrating life, family, food and friends..." and we just might take them up on it because we love angel hair pasta with basil and olive oil and Mr. Catena assured us that they had plenty of that.

As we were leaving we took a flyer that advertised a November 4th election night party at Tizzano's featuring Kenny Yuko and Sunny Simon. We cannot think of two people that we would rather be with on election night so we plan to take them up on their offer too.

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