BY: Felicia Naoum
NORDONIA HILLS, Ohio
A long table filled with bright faces filled Chick-Fil-A restaurant on a sunny and early Tuesday morning; clearly everyone wanted to be there. No one was daydreaming, tapping their pen, or appearing eager to leave. As soon as I sat down, I learned why. This group was a place of support; encouragement; dream-building and team-building. This group is where every women should have the opportunity to be.
Meet Nordonia Hills Chamber of Commerce Women in Business group (NHCOC) that meets every Tuesday from 9am to 10am. The group begins with a an icebreaker: “What would you name your yacht?”, had everyone sharing fun and creative answers. Co-Chair (along with Judy Hamilton) of NHCOC, Laura Sparano said, “This is a way for everyone to get to know each other.”
Upon finishing the icebreaker, select members shared a ten-minute presentation of their business along with a learning experience to educate the other members. One of the presentations was conducted by Nancy Trube of RE/MAX Real Estate. An interesting fact about REMAX is that it has sold the most real estate consistently since 1999 compared to all other real estate companies. After the presentation, members volunteered to share testimonials in support of the presenter. Julia D’Alosio, President of Nordonia Hills.News shared, “Nancy has been helping us with real estate and housing. She helped my mom sell her farm in Ashtabula.” For more information, you can contact Nancy at 330-468-0502 or visit www.remax.com.
Other presenters included Darlene Dixon of Welcome Wagon. Welcome Wagon welcomes new homeowners and families into their community by providing them with information regarding local businesses and services that can be of benefit in their community. Welcome Wagon has been standing strong since 1928 as it has withstood a multitude of economic changes. For more information, visit: www.welcomewagon.com.
While promoting and supporting each other’s businesses is a big part of this group, the hearts of these women is an even bigger part. All it took was an article by Regina Brett in the Plain Dealer to put a plan of giving back in action. The women of NHCOC are putting their business efforts forth for a good cause, the Caring Clothes Project, which is a project that purchases new clothes for rape victims of Summit County to wear once they get to the hospital as their original clothes are taken from them for evidence. The women’s group want these victims to leave the hospital with even a little dignity to get them through. Donations can be dropped off at the Chamber Office – 159 E. Aurora, Northfield.
President of Panda Promotions (a company that aids in making your business look professional by creating various marketing products all while looking beyond “black and white”) as well as a group member, April Thomas, created t-shirts to raise money for the Caring Clothes Project. The mantra of these t-shirts is simple, but not always easy to come by – Spread Kindness. Buy a shirt, spread a positive message and help not only rape victims in need of clothes, but any person you come across who may need a reminder to be kind. Shirts can be ordered at www.livepositive.com or April can be contacted at 216-375-1153 or at www.PandaPromosinc.com for more information regarding business promotional products and “Be Kind” t-shirts.
If the above reasons are still not enough to consider joining NHCOC Women in Business group, then I’m not sure what is. Don’t live in the area? No problem, all are welcome. Don’t feel like dressing up or doing your make-up? No problem, you can come as you are. See, the difference between this group and others is that you don’t have to be approved to be in this group; there is no judging as Laura explained to me. The goal of this group is not to meet a standard, but to “leave feeling better”, added Laura.
Marilyn Knapp-Walko, Independent Beauty Consultant at Mary Kay, is one of the many who has met Laura’s goal, “I have met so many incredible women who have become friends while being able to network with them and help all of us reach our goals,” she said.
Along with the friendly faces, there are always a plethora of topics going around the table: dealing with people effectively; focus your time and money; never stop learning; take responsibility, etc., it is hard to not consider this group.
All meetings from here on out will be at the new location: Ferfolia Funeral Home on 356 W Aurora Road in Northfield every Tuesday at 9:00 am. The group has expanded so a bigger space is needed.
If you are a women in business in the area, you have nothing to lose and so much to gain; join the NHCOC Women in Business group today! You do not need to be a member of the Nordonia Hills Chamber of Commerce to join.
Click here for more information or for questions contact Laura Sparano: 330-467-8956.