Businesses connect over breakfast
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland County - posted Thu., Jan. 17, 2013
The Tolland County Chamber of Commerce held a Business over Breakfast event at the Welles Country Village in the Talcottville section of Vernon on Jan. 17. The events have become popular, as each attending member gets an opportunity to introduce their business in the hopes of making connections with other businesses and possibly generating leads and partnerships. After the two-minute "commercials," networking was encouraged.
Violet Andrews - administrator of Welles Country Village - welcomed everyone and explained that the facility consists of 99 assisted-living apartments. She said people moving into the residence are of a higher average age than in the past. “It's about 83 years old,” she said. “This year we have a number of residents that will turn 100 years old. It's great to see that people are living longer.”
Ed Neumann of the Beringstar Insurance Agency, part of the Arbella Insurance Group, said he has special offers for Chamber members. “Beringstar offers to Chamber companies and members benefits which include a discount on auto and homeowners insurance,” he said. “Your people can actually save money on their insurance that [the average person] can't save.”
Brian McCarthy said he just expanded his Mansfield real estate business into Tolland. “Our intention of going into Tolland is expanding into Tolland, Ellington, Stafford Springs, Bolton and Manchester,” McCarthy said. “My intention is to help you grow your business and I'd like you to help me grow mine.”
Wellness consultant Heidi Lee of Juice Plus said she offers more than just products. “I do wellness presentations, like lunch-and-learns,” she said. “If you are looking to educate your employees on how to stay healthy, I do a series of educational talks.”
John Reilly of the Indian Valley YMCA said “the Y” has changed from the commonly held perception of a “gym and swim” facility, and is now including social responsibility among its pillars. “Now we are really, intentionally, reaching out and saying, 'How can we be a part of social responsibility in business and community collaborations?’” Reilly said, adding that there is also a Livestrong program, which enables any cancer survivor to come to the YMCA and participate in a free health program.
Sarah Vokey of Express Verizon explained the new device called the Square, which plugs into a cell phone and can take payments. “You can swipe credit cards anywhere you are,” she said, “[like] if you are at an event and selling products.”
Colleen Dunphy, the Chamber's membership sales representative, said there are many more opportunities for businesses to introduce themselves and connect.
The next Business over Breakfast event will take place Feb. 14 at Verizon Wireless – 175 West Road, in Ellington. There will also be a Business After Hours event on Feb. 19.
For more information, visit www.tollandcountychamber.org.