Valley Businesses Network at Annual Joint Chamber Showcase

Matthew Leonard of Culligan won a raffle basket as he was showcasing his company.

HOLTVILLE – The Imperial Valley Joint Chambers of Commerce held their annual Business Showcase 2017 at the Imperial Palms at Barbara Worth Thursday.

In conjunction with other valley chambers, a new home was found for the many exhibitors booths, advocacy groups, and restaurants. The I.V. Expo Preble building had hosted the Showcase for the past 15 years.

Shelli Kirshner of Castillo Construction representing the Imperial Chamber of Commerce collected the small entrance fee along with Jeanette McLaughlin, event coordinator. Both agreed the Imperial Palms was a good change of venue.

“We are maxed out with exhibitor booths,” Castillo said. “I personally like the new location.”

The ballroom slightly limited the number of booths from the Preble Building, but every available angle was utilized to squeeze 80 exhibitors, businesses, advocacy groups, and a dozen restaurants from major chains like Applebee’s to Holtville’s newest diner, Little Bird Café, into the space.

Cash prize giveaways were called out, culminating in the grand prize of $1000 raffled as the finale. Exhibitors also raffled off prizes ensuring visitors left winners at the evening’s end.

Business networking at the Showcase is the prime benefit, as the public sees what the valley offers and businesses showcase their products and services.

Matthew Leonard with Culligan Water Softening was a first-time entry. Leonard is the salesperson for the local company owned by Greg Lyon. The five-month employee said the company has a strong brand name, but needing market awareness, decided to try out the valley-wide business showcase.

“This is a perfect market for Culligan, a water softening business. We are in a very hard water area,” said Leonard. “We are getting our name and business out here.”

Leonard’s boss, Greg Lyon is an marathon runner and has Leonard already practicing for the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll race coming up in San Diego.

Rabobank is a returning vendor for the Showcase and Jaycel Mendoza has represented the bank for three years. She noted the company had been participating for many years previous to her participation.

“I like coming and meeting our customers and making new friends. We are here for their needs, personal and commercial. We care for our customers and support them,” said Mendoza.

“Things went very well, it is an energetic crowd. We are very excited to be here. It is a great way to start the New Year, meeting with businesses and diverse industries,” added Victor Nava, Rabobank’s Retail Market Manager.

Melissa Rodriguez plans to spend her new-found wealth on new tires for her car.

Melissa Rodriguez of Imperial Printers also started her new year in a great way – she won the grand prize raffle of $1000 at the end of the evening.