Lucky by design

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 27, 2010

By David Vitrano


LAPLACE – It was more than luck that brought scores of local business leaders to the Quality Inn in LaPlace Thursday evening as the River Region Chamber of Commerce held a St. Patrick’s Day-themed networking event called “Luck of the Chamber.”

Green was definitely the color of the evening, from dip to petit fours to the traditional St. Patrick’s Day libation, green beer.

And while green is the color most often associated with the Irish holiday, it is also associated with something else — money. And that’s exactly what the local businesses that attended or set up tables at the event had to gain according to Chamber Executive Director Chassity McComack.

McComack said businesses that participate in these events generally see an up tick in business. The Chamber is able to keep track of this by conducting post-event surveys of both the organizations that reserve tables and the general attendees.

“It’s a networking event, but it’s also for community awareness,” said McComack.

These events, she noted, raise awareness of not only the businesses involved but of the Chamber as well. “We hope for it to grow into a business expo someday,” she said.

The companies that reserved tables represented a good mix of both familiar faces and some new ones, but the aim of all was the same.

Said Phyllis Madere of RTC, “This is the third time we’ve gotten a table. It’s always fun. Hopefully, we’ll get some new customers.”

Kimmie Carlos of the River Parishes Tourist Commission said it was her first time reserving a table because traveling has caused her to miss many of these events previously, but her presence there Thursday signaled a shift in focus for the organization. “I really want to start focusing on the local community,” she said. “Come out and see what’s in your own backyard.”

Another theme that seemed to run through the mindset of everyone in attendance at the event was a belief in the work of the Chamber. “If you live in St. Charles, St. John or St. James, you should be a member of the Chamber,” said Greg Corr of Mass Mutual.

In all, 14 organizations paid the $50 to set up a table at the event, which was one of four such events the Chamber plans to host throughout the River Parishes in 2010.

The Chamber’s next similar event will be held at Oak Alley Plantation on June 24, and besides networking and tours of the home, it will also feature a sales seminar.

For more information on the Chamber, visit