For this Thursday’s September 22 event benefiting the C.H.O.W. food bank for the second year, the independent networking group PowerNet has put together a small-business exposition called PowerNet BizExpo to enable business people to mingle with consumers from the area. ( (

The South Orange contingent will include Stanley Malbranch from Stan’s Service Center, the gasoline, repair, and new-and-used car sales facility; dentist and former dental-school professor Art Dawson; marketing/PR/advertising consultant Joel Levin; and Drs. Stephen Levine and Mark Roczey of South Orange Chiropractic Center. As Levin observes, “PowerNet is a compact organization that does not allow itself to grow big and slow. I’m impressed at how this small group has succeeded at so many very ambitious projects.”

For 15 years, event sponsor PowerNet has been holding bi-weekly Friday breakfast meetings in Livingston for casual networking and business advice among Essex and Morris businesspeople and entrepreneurs, but lately has initiated community-service projects.

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In 2015, the group ran its first fundraiser for C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), and collected a generous amount of cash and about 600 pounds of canned goods, cereal, etc., plus paper products for distribution to the less privileged through the Livingston-based food pantry.

This year’s event runs from 6 p.m. through 9 p.m. at 316 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston, a little more than a quarter-mile north of the Route 10 Livingston traffic circle.  

President Michael Ipp of PowerNet says, “Come on out for a good time and also help the community. No RSVP is necessary. Simply show up at the SWS Architects two-story atrium office building in Livingston.”

  • The event is presented in casual walk-around trade show format for comfortable and efficient networking.
  • There are complimentary light refreshments, adult beverages, and soft drinks.  
  • Musical entertainment is by John Martin, a multi-brass and-reed player who has played with Aretha Franklin and the like.
  • Door prizes include the grand prize Caravelle chronograph watch, a gift certificate from Jay’s Shoes, wine from Organic Vintages, and a goody bag from Virtuous Closet.
  • Admission is by a donation of cash or a bag of non-perishable food.           

Promoting their businesses will be ShopRite of Livingston, Stan’s Service Center of South Orange, Safety NJ, ReStore of Randolph, Coldwell Banker of Livingston, Riviera Financial, South Orange Chiropractic Center, and the Virtuous Closet, in addition to about 15 PowerNet members representing professions ranging from law to personal insurance to musicianship.

Guests will feast on pretzels and dips from Livingston’s Philly Pretzel Factory, sandwiches, sweet tea, and lemonade from McAlister’s Deli in Livingston, vodkas and signature cocktails from Fairfield-based Claremont Distillery, and a selection of wines from Organic Vintages, a West Orange distributor of wines.