The busiest week of my first year as President and CEO of the Chamber is about to come to a close, and as is typical of Friday afternoons I am in reflection mode. 12 straight days of work, two major events, a fun social and networking outing, and now as I get ready to head out to fish fry at St. John Vianney to close the week I thought I would share a few thoughts.

Last weekend, the three Lake County Chambers of Commerce collaborated on the Home & Lifestyle Expo at Great Lakes Mall. A very busy three days of making sure our 40+ vendors were happy, promoting our small businesses to mall walkers, hitting the local media circuit and trying to blow up social media…all well worth it as we had a successful weekend. We even tried a new activity this year, partnering with Leadership Lake County on a nine-hole miniature golf course to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio and to add some kid-friendly entertainment. That was a success, as we raised $400 for BBBS and had a great time in the process!

Tuesday was our membership luncheon and it featured a new style of presentation around the MACC. As part of our “Leadership Development” theme for 2016, I invited four distinguished women to serve on our inaugural “Women in Leadership” panel: Jennifer McCarty (United Way of Lake County), Commissioner Judy Moran, Nancy Sanden (Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center) and Alyson Scott (Fredon Corporation). I was as nervous for this event as any in my time as head of the Chamber because this was my idea. Most of our Chamber speakers tend to me male and I wanted to spotlight the rise in women serving in important leadership roles in our community. I could not have been happier with the content of the program! Thank you to those who attended. I am hoping we can do more panels at upcoming luncheons to highlight more of our amazing Chamber members and community leaders.

Wednesday evening, we held a Business After Hours event at Red, Wine & Brew. They have a beautiful room upstairs called “The Loft” where you can host private events. We had nearly 50 people attend on a cold and dreary evening, and many stuck around to watch the Cavaliers win. It was an enjoyable balance of Board Directors, loyal Chamber folks, and newer members. Those are some of my favorite Chamber events, as I love seeing the interactions and networking between all different cross-sections of our membership.

So that’s it. A busy and successful week full of activity is coming to an end. This job never seems to be the same day to day…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Al DiFranco
President and CEO

Mentor Chamber

Leave a Comment