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Expo offers businesses an opportunity to connect with each other, citizens

By Carol McIntire

Business to Business Expo
Businesses set up shop in Atwood Resort last Wednesday for a Business Expo to make connections with other businesses and area residents.

The most commonly used word at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Business expo was “connect.”

Whether it was an out-of-county business wanting to “connect” with other businesses in the community, a business wanting to “connect” with residents who attended or a company wanting to “connect” with the oil and gas industry, the word was certainly popular during the second annual event held last week at Atwood Lake Resort.

Scott Carpenter, who along with his brother, own Carpenter Metals, drove from Alliance to set up a booth. He was hoping to make inroads with the oil and gas industry.

Ed and Cynthia McClintock, who own McClintock Machine Services, a Carroll County business, had the same goal.

“We have something to offer them,” Cynthia said. “We are a small machine shop and we can turn jobs around quickly, something important in the oil and gas industry. We can be their live saver.” To emphasize their point, the couple had a bowl of lifesaver candy on the table, free for the taking.

Vicki Martin and Megan Hoffman of Citizens State Bank (which has branch offices in Dellroy and Sherrodsville) were first-time participants at the event. Both said they were having a good time promoting their bank and talking to people.

David W. Riehl drove from the Pittsburgh office of Hefron-Tillotson, Inc. to talk to folks about wealth management and financial planning. “We have a few clients in this area and we are looking to build relationships with others,” he said.

Betty Gray, owner of BJ Gray Realty Co. of Carrollton and president of the Stark County Women’s Board of Realtors, and her staff were promoting home listings and rental properties. “The rental business is really booming locally because out-of-town people don’t know how long they’ll be living here so renting is a better option than buying a home,” she said.

Buckeye Career Center officials were touting their Safeland USA program, which offers both in-house and mobile training to workers in the oil and gas industry.

Tom Puskas from N.L. General Contractors of Canton, a firm that does both residential and commercial construction, said he was looking for potential customers. “We’ve been in business for 35 years and do anything from pre-engineered metal buildings to hotels and apartments,” he said.

Health providers, insurance companies, landscapers, newspapers, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and others filled two rooms on the lower level of the resort, all looking to make “connections.” The public was invited to visit during the afternoon hours.

Amy Rutledge, Chamber of Commerce executive director, believed the event met it’s purpose.

“This is our second year,” she said. “Last year was a little cramped upstairs in the resort, but this year is much better. We have good participation from a variety of businesses located in Carroll County and from other counties. We also added sponsorship levels and we appreciate all those who committed to support the event.”

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