Chamber members and guests were invited to join Porter County's Largest Chamber Expo on Thursday afternoon at the Porter County Expo Center. This is one of the best events for local businesses to gather and show off their wares while learning about other businesses and making the community aware of their presence. It's the most positive triple threat you will ever see!
Things began at 3pm with private business to business networking. Vendors were able to seek out other vendors and check out the other livelihoods that were rooted in the communities. After that, the event was opened up to the public. People streamed in from all over to see what the local businesses had to offer. To end out the evening, an after hours segment was held where everyone could sit down and have a nice meal. Local restaurants got to shine here as all of the food was catered by them.
"Chamber Network Night is an event put on by the Portage Chamber of Commerce, Duneland Chamber of Commerce, and the Valpo Chamber of Commerce," Nancy Simpson, Office Manager for the Portage Chamber said. "We combine to bring businesses from all three Chambers together so they can network and get to know each other. I love this event."
People from all over Porter County as well as the neighboring Lake and La Porte Counties made their way through the huge expo, stopping by booths and chatting with the representatives that were stationed at each one. What made the night more interesting was the fact that it was scheduled close to Halloween. Many people dressed up to add a bit of fun and memorability to the night. Spartan cheerleaders, witches, a book fairy, the three musketeers, and many other characters were there doing what they do best.
Here is what some of the businesses had to say about the night.
"It's a great event. We make a lot of contacts and network with a lot of people so we find it beneficial and fun," Cathy Horning, Sales Manager for Sales and Catering at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa said.
"We have been part of this event for a few years because it's such a great opportunity to network with people and be part of the community," Paul Kuzemka, Senior Vice President and Director of the Valparaiso Market for Bison Financial Group said. "We love doing it and we have a lot of fun."
Tim Bucher, President of Buchertech said, "We love the interactions with people. That's how business is done by meeting people and talking to people so we like to be out and meet others and see what they need and see how we can help them."
"I believe that there is a big need out there for us in the community. I'm here to promote our services and to let the businesses out there know that we are here and we take care of people, with or without insurance," Faysha Carlson, Outreach Coordinator for NorthShore Health Centers said.
"This is a great event. You get your product out there and you not only get to meet with the public, you also get to meet other businesses in the area that you wouldn't normally meet," Cassy Dickerson, Marketing Assistant for NITCO said.
"We do this every year. It's a great event for the Chambers and for the community," Trish Wilson of Horizon Bank said.
"We started the Porter County Coalition which is the combination of the three Chambers," Maura Durham, Executive Director for the Duneland Chamber of Commerce said. "It's important for us to work together. We're in the same industry and we have many of the same members so we saw the need to get all of the members together in the same place at the same time. This is probably one of the biggest expos in Northwest Indiana and we hope to do it for many years to come."
This is the 9th year for the Chamber Network Night. As it was an obvious success, we can look forward to an excellent 10th year in 2015!
Sponsors: First Merchants Bank; Porter Regional Hospital; 1st Source Bank, Anton Insurance Agency; Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman; Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa; BMO Harris Bank; Buke Costanza & Carberry; Centier Bank; Comcast Business; Fagen Pharmacy; First State Bank of Porter; Franciscan Alliance; General Insurance Services; Hoeppner Wagner & Evans; Hogan Consulting Group, Inc.; Horizon Bank; IU Health - La Porte Hospital; The Korys Group; Vic Volom, CLU, CFP - Northwestern Mutual Financial Network; Kramer & Leonard Office Products; LaPorte Savings Bank; Methodist Hospitals; Metro Recycling; NIPSCO; NITCO; Ogletree Deakins; Peoples Bank; Purdue University North Central; Rittenhouse Senior Living; Shelter Insurance - Donette Heinze; St. Mary Medical Center; Teachers Credit Union; Tiger Lily Cafe; The Times Media Company; Uzelac & Associates, Weiss Entitles