Best of South Windsor Expo is a big hit

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Nov. 18, 2011
South Windsor Business Person of the Year Mike Blezard and South Windsor resident Athena Loukellis enjoy samples from Bellini's Italian Eatery, located in Evergreen Walk, provided by marketing director Stacey Siegel and catering manager Barbara Dempsey. Photos by Martha Marteney.
South Windsor Business Person of the Year Mike Blezard and South Windsor resident Athena Loukellis enjoy samples from Bellini's Italian Eatery, located in Evergreen Walk, provided by marketing director Stacey Siegel and catering manager Barbara Dempsey. Photos by Martha Marteney.

This year’s Best of South Windsor Expo was a success, both for the number of attendees and the positive feedback. A few changes made the event popular to a wide audience, and the new venue provided more room for vendors and for parking.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Stacy Camiros, organizational chair of the expo and South Windsor branch manager of Webster Bank, the Nov. 17 event’s signature sponsor. People even started arriving early, she said.

“The diversification of vendors we have is pretty impressive,” said Sharon Grodzicki, chair of the expo committee. “We increased our membership through this,” she added, noting that many of the vendors decided to join the South Windsor Chamber of Commerce.

The expo was organized into different “avenues,” such as Wellness Way, Business Boulevard, Consumer Court, Restaurant Way and the Crossroads. Attendees could focus on certain types of vendors on a specific avenue, or wander through various areas for more of an overview. Rather than having one guest speaker, demonstrations were held on the hour, including yoga, fitness, pie-baking and message therapy.

A new feature at this year’s expo was Restaurant Row, where guests could sample foods from area restaurants and caterers. “That has been a great feature,” said Grodzicki. “The food has been terrific.”

“It’s been a steady flow,” said Bellini’s Italian Eatery’s marketing director, Stacey Siegel. The expo provided the restaurant with an opportunity to introduce people to the restaurant.

“We’re excited,” said Hussam Saada, president of Precision Mortgage, about joining the Chamber. “They’ve really helped get our name out.”

“It’s been very busy,” Saada said about the expo. “There’s been a lot of faces I recognize.”

The South Windsor High School FIRST Robotics team brought their 2011 robot to the expo for demonstrations. State Rep. Bill Aman (R-14) presented the team with a proclamation in honor of the team’s achievements in the International Championships. The team took first place in 2007 and 2010, and second in 2011. “It’s a tremendous honor to have them as World Champions,” said Aman. He noted that their success showcases the strength of the technology program at the high school, as well as the quality of the volunteer technical advisors.

Rather than collect an entry fee, the Chamber asked attendees for a donation of a canned good or $1 for the South Windsor Food and Fuel Bank.

For more information about the South Windsor Chamber of Commerce, vendors at the Best of South Windsor Expo or any Chamber member, visit the website southwindsorchamber.com.


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