Nearly two years ago, Lake County officials began to prepare for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The hope was that the economic boost would extend east, including some delegates and VIPs being assigned to some of our hotels. Local government officials and business leaders began to meet on a regular basis to discuss how we could collaborate and make the best out of this opportunity.

The Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce contributed funds to the Lake County RNC 2016 Committee and was represented on the Executive Committee. These groups were non-partisan, focused on bringing more business to the area and helping welcome delegates and other visitors as warmly as possible.

Fast forward to today…and Mentor, in particular, fared rather well in terms of the RNC. I was honored to be asked to serve as Lead Ambassador at the Holiday Inn on 306, where we hosted more than 150 delegates and visitors from Hawaii and Minnesota. 25 volunteers helped me field questions from out-of-town guests all week long, ranging from restaurant preferences to shopping options to the best places to take a walk or see a good sunset. This was a great opportunity to promote our Chamber members and steer business in their direction. The News Herald even covered our efforts at the Holiday Inn! And as appreciation, the delegations invited a few of us to experience the Convention with them in person.

I want to take this opportunity to thank a few important groups of people who helped make the experience so enjoyable for our visitors:

  • The Mentor Police Department, which struck a perfect balance between being vigilant in its duties and friendly in its interactions with everyone. There was a heightened level of concern for safety given so many incidents of violence and unrest in our country in recent weeks, but our local law enforcement was praised repeatedly by delegates and other visitors.
  • The Holiday Inn Staff, which went out of its way to provide outstanding customer service to delegates, visitors, the MPD, and volunteers.
  • My volunteers, who took their responsibilities very seriously and answered every question with a smile and an eagerness to please.

We received dozens of compliments as people departed the Holiday Inn. I even handed out a few business cards to people who said they plan to return to the area when they have more time, because they didn’t know how much there is to do in Northeast Ohio and how friendly our people are. I am looking forward to calls and emails from some of my new friends to help them experience even more about what makes this area a great place to live, work, and play!

That, my friends, is what I call a successful RNC!

-AJD

Mentor Chamber

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