PARKLAND, FL- Imagine that it’s a pandemic and suddenly the world is quarantined. At the same time, you just moved into a new neighborhood and don’t know a soul. This was the case with the residents in the newly developing subdivision of Cascata.
One of the residents had an idea. Deborah Gregg, owner of a burgeoning interior design and home staging business, thought “what if we could do more than just simply meet each other, but support each other's businesses as well?” Thus, the Cascata Business Referral Group (CBRG) was born in late March 2020.
“In a time when local businesses are challenged in this new environment, one could use all the friends and encouragement available”, Gregg emphatically shares. “The resources of our members are incredible and the foundation of support is just what I’d hoped for. We have members in a myriad of industries and it just keeps growing with every home closing.”
It was an instant success, beginning with months of weekly Zoom meetings, alternating in morning and afternoons to accommodate everyone’s schedules. CBRG members got to know each other on a personal level, as kids and pets occasionally came roaming into screens view. This inspiring group soon realized what a wealth of talent, skill, knowledge and experience they had to offer.
“What might have taken years to foster these friendships, the quarantine offered the space and time to virtually spend together." recalls Michael Salazar, a criminal defense, personal injury and real estate attorney and HOA board member in Cascata. “Since we are all working from home, literally around the corner from each other, this has been a great way to connect and grow."
Karen Johnson, a realtor and the very first resident of Cascata, shares, “It is such joy to see our growing neighborhood flourishing and connecting in so many ways, especially when we have been in isolation at home during these long months."
CBRG invites guest speakers to share information that is useful and interesting to members, and are working on a “giving back” component to the group.
“We realized that many of us enjoy volunteerism and feel strongly about sharing our success in different ways.”, states Jill Barkley, a health and wellness advocate.
Michael Hoshue, who is in the telecommunications industry agrees. “We have a great deal of shared knowledge and experience in our group, so giving back would feel very satisfying.”
“After 6 months of meeting only on Zoom, as the heat wave begins to break, we finally moved our meetings safely outdoors” said Bryce McLarney, the group's public adjuster.
“I’m secretly planning CBRG sports teams, as we have spontaneously begun playing kickball with neighbors on my street already.”
One of the other early Cascata neighbors, Crystal Moore, a licensed bartender and owner of a special events company, treats members to her unique and delicious mixed drinks, as it feels like a celebration of fortitude through these times. All agree, it's great to know your neighbors in Parkland!
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