On January 18th, Jersey Media Network and Bella Mystique organized a big networking event in Red Bank, under the motto “Kick off the New Year in style!”. The event was named “New Year’s Resolution Business Networking Party and Red Carpet Event” and was meant to get together local entrepreneurs and help them establish new connections. Almost 250 people participated, representing small businesses, stores and restaurants from Monmouth County and beyond.
Some public officials also attended, in order to get the pulse of the local business community, including the Mayors of Red Bank (Pat Menna) and Atlantic Highlands (Fred Rast), and Monmouth County Deputy Freeholder Director, John Curley. Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna told us: “This event was phenomenal. Red Bank rocked on a blistery wet Tuesday night in January. The organizers created a joyful warm and welcoming energy level for all participants from all over the region. I am so grateful that we were able to host it at Taste. Congratulations Chris Fotache, Rosa Davis and all the wonderful organizers. This proves that with creativity our people respond to gathering in our entertainment places to support our local economy.”
The businesses attending the event reflected a broad spectrum of activities, from real estate and financial services to healthcare and home improvement. All the local Chambers of Commerce were heavily represented. Paul Morris said: “I enjoyed my time at the event held in Red Bank. As the Executive Director of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce it was the perfect venue to introduce other business owners to our Chamber. Also, our Chamber was able to achieve a strategic partnership at the event that will greatly benefit all who attended and our membership at large moving forward.”
Going further than a regular business meeting, this event featured a red carpet to showcase local entrepreneurs. Guests seemed to appreciate this twist, taking hundreds of photos with the sponsors and their new business contacts. Deborah Weiss of Keller Williams/Jersey Shore said: “What a great turnout, the DJ and the band were great and the Red Carpet was an added bonus and huge success”. Another real estate professional, Cynthia Hertlik of RE/MAX Generations added: “This networking event stood out amongst the traditional business card exchanges we typically see and attend as business owners. More proof that Red Bank and the surrounding area is THE place to be!”
The organizers were very grateful to all the sponsors who made this possible: Mike Grieco from Cat Limousine, Anthony Beshara from Bella Vista Country Club, Bernice Lopez from Affinity Federal Credit Union, Manny Carabel from MTC Photography, Vin Gopal from Community Publications, Deborah Weiss from Keller Williams/Jersey Shore, Donna Davis from Atlantic Eye Physicians, Cliff Moore from Keyport IHOP and Peter VanNortwick from VanNortwick Properties.
Having started at 6pm, the event was still going on more than 4 hours later, as guests were enjoying the combination of business networking and party atmosphere. Clem Lisitski from Primerica said: “It was the most exciting and fun networking event we have ever attended, it was more like a party night out and everyone was having lots of fun. We met some really nice people. Incredible job, you really know what your doing! Hope this turns our to be a new year tradition for us to all get together again.”. Another local entrepreneur, Dena K from Trainer2You, added: “It really was a great event! Very different than most networking events I’ve been to. There was a lot of variety, and always something and someone new to meet and explore! Most importantly, you could tell that everyone who was there was enjoying themselves and really wanted to be there.”
There were a few more special guests in the audience, including Kim Granatell (Kim G) from the TV show Real Housewives of NJ, who was very popular around the red carpet. Also, local artists A.Lewins Band came and performed a few songs towards the end of the evening.
The guests also enjoyed winning a variety of prizes donated by local businesses, including a Cancun vacation from Cathy Ruggiero of Rovia/WorldVentures, an AmEx gift card from Cynthia Hertlik of ReMax, chocolate from Suzi’s Sweet Shop, massage sessions from A Kneaded Vacation, free membership to the Red Bank YMCA or gift certificates to Tommy’s Café, Penelope Boutique, Sweetest Sin and much more. The 150lbs cake from Kimmee Masi at Confections of a Rockstar was also a big hit.
The event was the first collaboration between Jersey Media Network (a web development and online marketing company) and Bella Mystique (a fashion boutique in downtown Red Bank). They are planning more events in the following months.