DreamMaker showrooms, delicious food at networking by BETH ALTENA Bill and Jayne Wolf of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen know how to host a networking event. The September 12 Rockford Chamber After Hours held at the showrooms, 4658 West River Drive in Comstock Park, featured games for prizes and a Mini Taste of Rockford with samples from local restauranteurs and chefs. With a “treasure hunt” sheet directing visitors through the many showrooms at the DreamMaker building, Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) members learned about the options available for kitchen, bath, living and dining spaces and throughout the home. A large flatscreen showed examples of before and after projects completed by the builder and remodelers and show what a difference a new exterior can make on a home’s appearance. Food was provided by Twisted Vine, with owner Laura DeWilde offering her signature Cherry Peach Pumpkin Chili. The Grist Mill provided chicken wings that were a big hit, Herman’s Boy brought two smoked dips and crackers, and Polly VonEschen brought a large selection of her candy confections of Polly’s Passions. Jayne Wolf had cooked up a shrimp bisque that was amazing but, she noted, probably not a good food for those watching their weight. “You don’t want to know,” she said of the ingredients for the base. She admitted it involved cream cheese and milk. It was worth the calories anyway. RCC offers many opportunities for networking and business promotion throughout the year, as well as sponsoring such community-wide events as Harvest Fest, the Start of Summer Celebration and the annual Community Business Expo. Find out more by visiting the Chamber online at Rockfordmichamber.com, or in person at 598 Byrne Industrial Drive, Rockford. DreamMaker specializes in bath and kitchen design and remodeling. They can be found online at dreammakergr.com, in person at their showrooms, open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment. You can also or call (616) 632-2284 to discuss options for your own home remodel. DreamMaker’s consultants can discuss all types of home improvements, from additions to basement remodel, master bedrooms, sunrooms and specialty rooms.
Next networking event Sept. 12 at DreamMaker by BETH ALTENA In its 50th year, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce continues to adapt to meet the needs of its membership. As a result, a recent Chamber luncheon was a networking and work session on “Creating Your Elevator Speech.” Board member Mike McGovern introduced the topic and noted that each table at the luncheon held at the Rockford American Legion Post had a moderator to help the process flow smoothly. At the end, one attendee from each table was invited to present their “elevator speech” to the entire group. An elevator speech is the short introduction designed to make the most of a short time with a person you wish to tell about yourself—such as the brief time on an elevator. Four considerations should be covered. First, start with a “hook” that will grab the attention of the listener. Second, give your pitch, no longer than 30 seconds. It can be what you do, why you do it, how it could benefit your listener, why your offer is different and who your company is. Third, present the personal and passionate nature of your work. People want to see that you are excited about what you do. Finally, your elevator speech would be incomplete without the next step: ask for something. Can you get them to meet with you? Get a business card. Attendees at the luncheon were each provided with a worksheet to help identify key elements of their professional work. Three answers were required for each of the following questions. What are the three primary concerns your customers face? What are the three things you do to address these primary concerns? In addition, the following questions were posed on the worksheet. What does your company do? What do you do? Who do you work with and for? Why would someone care what you do and what’s in it for them? Why are you different from the competition? What one thing do you do better than anyone else? The Chamber provides a variety of opportunities for networking as well as sponsors annual events. The next chance to attend a chamber event is Monday, Sept. 12, when an informal After Hours event will be held at DreamMaker Bath […]