"Business Was Booming" At Bamboo Bernie's

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Joint Mixer Equates To Good Partners

By Rochelle Karina
It was Tuesday night and the crowd was noisy, filling the room at Bamboo Bernie’s with laughter. No, it wasn’t game night, and it wasn’t a bachelor party; it was the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, Pasadena Business Association and Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce’s Joint Business Mixer on November 23.

Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce CEO Linda Zahn and PBA Executive Director Sandi Parrish sat near the entrance along with Nortern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (NAACCC) CEO Fran Schmidt, greeting members and handing out the name tags and wristbands identifying attendees. Around the rest of the room, a crowd gathered near the buffet and groups sat at tables, socializing and talking business.
“This is a terrific networking opportunity,” exclaimed Juli Blanton of Keller Williams, who was joined at a corner table by Mary Brodowski, Vice President at BB&T, and Lois Ann Gallagher, President of Your Contact Manager.
“It’s good for renewing friendships,” stated Brodowski. Gallagher added, “We’re building relationships.” Blanton agreed, “These are great groups, there is a lot of synergy.”
“We’ve been members of the PBA for over 30 years,” explained Winnie Maher of Maher’s Florist. “We’re one of the original members.” Maher attended the mixer with employee Joann Baker and daughter Kim Wharton. “We’re at the mixer to make new contacts,” said Wharton. “It gets our name out there.”
“I love talking to people, hearing their stories,” Aegis Title Associates owner Debi Smigovsky Grim shared. “At mixers like this, I can see more people.” She has been a member of the PBA for over 10 years.
Most of the attendees were at the mixer to meet and mingle with fellow business owners and managers. Susan Schwartzman, a mental health nurse who teaches at Howard University, is working with churches like Abundant Life to offer free anti-bullying workshops for parents.
“This is our first adventure to a mixer like this,” said Tina Hayden, party consultant at PT Murder Mystery Parties. “We came for networking, for new business,” agreed sister and partner Patricia Farnsworth. “We recognize that we need folks to see we’re out here.”
The sisters run a business offering mystery parties for kids as well as adults, focusing on businesses for team-building exercises.
“We do combined events frequently,” explained Linda Zahn, “because they are a great way to expand membership by giving business people the chance to network with those from other organizations. I thought this event went well and suggested we do another in warm weather at the same location.”
The evening did go well and the location could not have been better; Bamboo Bernie’s provided ample room for business, but a fun and festive atmosphere for all to enjoy.
“I think the mixer was great,” agreed Sandi Parrish. “Everyone I spoke to said it was one of the best mixers they’ve attended. And Bamboo Bernie’s always does a great job with every event.”
The event went well enough that both Parrish and Zahn are making plans for next year - at Bamboo Bernie’s, of course.

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