Happy new year! Please give a warm welcome to our newest members: iTrip Vacations, Mad Soaps Inc., rosequartz vibes and Severna Park Strength Performance. Thank you to our renewing members for keeping us “Chamber Strong!”
The Learn and Lead Committee headed by Jenn Triplett of Treebranch Group and Larry Sells of Larry Sells Consulting hosted a “Center Stage” event profiling David Orso of The David Orso Group. David began his working career at Coca Cola Enterprises, eventually investing in real estate. When the market crashed, he lost everything, but over time, he rebuilt his company into a multi-million-dollar business through hard work, team building, and a total focus on customer service. Each month, the committee will feature a business owner in the community, so please join us for these virtual presentations and get to know the people behind the businesses. These events are free and open to all.
On December 2, we held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of Absolute Design Studio in Millersville. The studio features 4,000 square feet of tile and stone products including porcelain, ceramic, glass, natural stone and more. Talented owner and designer Jessica Ford can help you bring your project to life within your budget. Donations were collected for Orphan Grain Train at the ribbon cutting.
Our holiday tree lighting and chamber open house was held on Friday, December 3, at the chamber. Community members flocked to see Santa and the Grinch and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. We enjoyed performances from The Dance Center of Severna Park, the Severna Park Elementary School chorus and Creative Force Dance Center. We were joined by County Executive Steuart Pittman, and our sponsors were Chick-fil-A of Severna Park, Steak ‘n Shake, The Big Bean, Delegate Heather Bagnall, COSTCO and United States Insurance Services. Revelers were treated to cookies, hot chocolate and Vermont cider (The Big Bean specialties), candy canes, and pictures in front of the beautiful tree. Many thanks to our sponsors, our elves from the Toast of Severna Park Toastmasters Club, ProSound Karaoke, Freeman Bagnall as Santa, and Jim League as the Grinch!
Our wonderful Holiday Taste and Sip 11th anniversary event was held at the Chartwell Golf and Country Club on December 9 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. This event featured our restaurants, caterers, liquor stores and bakeries all under one roof so you could taste and sip throughout the evening. The presenting sponsor was the Matt Wyble Team of Century 21 New Millennium. Gold sponsors were The Gardiner and Appel Group and What’s Up? magazine, the music sponsor was Spring Arbor of Severna Park, and bronze sponsors were Griswold Home Care, Meridiem DermSpa, Emerald Financial Group and the Treebranch Group.
Zachary’s Jewelers donated a gorgeous Alor designer bangle for our raffle, and the silent auction table was overflowing with wonderful donations from our local businesses. Mike Prager of Bulldog Schwinn and Sports generously donated a fantastic dual-purpose Challenger bike for another raffle.
We had live performances by the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus and a high school soloist provided by Pete Garvey of Stage and Screen Studios.
On Monday, December 13, our Successful Women in Business held its annual luncheon at Cafe Mezzanotte. The event was sponsored by Lisa’s Cakepops, and vendors include Skinlogic, Q Sciences, Silhouette Yoga, the Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi, Deca Wrap and Higgins and Friends Pet Sitting.
Our annual board meeting luncheon was held at Ledo Pizza in Severna Park on December 16.
As we begin the new year, we always want to remind and encourage our community to support local businesses and nonprofits. During the height of the pandemic, online purchases soared as our businesses were closed and working on creative ways to provide their goods and services. For many, much innovation came out of the lockdown; for some, they shut their doors forever.
Small business owners are neighbors, friends, and providers of jobs for us and our children. They pay local taxes, which strengthens our infrastructure, keeps our property values high, and keeps our communities desirable places to live.
We are looking forward to our 2022 new board installation dinner, to be held at the newly renovated Romilo’s Restaurant and Bar on February 17. Members are Dianna Lancione, The Voice Media (past president); Crystal Wiley-Gazic, Shore United Bank (president); Patrick Lee, Chesapeake Think Tank (first vice president); Tammie Neall, Anne Arundel Community College (second vice president); Christina Rawlings, Emerald Financial Partners (treasurer); Christina Prieto, Christina Josephs Salon (secretary); Sherri Norton, Live! Casino and Hotel (director); Melanie Ferragut, PNC Bank (director); Kristine Pennington, The Y of Central Maryland (director); Tommy Sommers, LogoZone Promotions (director); and Anita Dewling, Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (director). Congratulations to all and welcome!