WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Chamber of Commerce (WOCC) continues to grow after members and non-members recently attended a “May Mixer” social hour at the Lobby of Courtyard by Marriott, where refreshments were provided by Regal Bank.

According to WOCC executive director Jessica Parkes, the event was held as part of the chamber’s ongoing effort to provide opportunities for local businesses to have face-to-face encounters.

"In an age where, I think, business leaders feel the pressure to sit in front of their computer, trying to connect through social media, we want to encourage local business owners to know that there is more available to them," said Parkes. "When you come to just hang out with other business folks, something special happens." 

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“There are thousands of businesses in West Orange, and although our events are already well-attended, there is an untapped business community out there and I am really making it my mission this year to bring out new faces," continued Parkes.

The WOCC currently has more than 120 active members who run the gambit from boutique to corporate, and include a large variety of industries including retail, healthcare, insurance, restaurants, professional services and more.

"It was a wonderful experience," said Tim Gerds, owner of TFG Products, who was attending his first WOCC function as a new member. "It was great to meet other business owners in the West Orange area. Overall, it was nice to be on a level playing field with everybody.”

Gerds added that he met a few people that he intends to follow up with.

“I have great optimism about that,” he said. “Being able to meet one-on-one in that kind of format is difficult to get to and this was a great chance to meet new people and I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise.” 

Tim Brennan, president of the WOCC was in attendance and was eager to meet members and to learn about their businesses.

"Our May Mixer was well-attended and I was happy to see a few new faces,” he said. “I also enjoyed having the opportunity to spend time with members that I knew but haven't connected with in some time.”

The WOCC is preparing more events including another Biz 2.0 Lunch & Learn, a multi-chamber BBQ and more.  Sign up for the WOCC newsletter HERE and like the Facebook page HERE for ongoing updates. 

Learn more about becoming a member HERE or contact Parkes at mail@westorangechamber.com.

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