By Bunny Ware
Cheers to a new year with better networking alongside the best businesses in the most wonderful city!
There is nothing like kicking off the new year at a new location with my friends at Downtown Business Association’s monthly meeting. Catching a ride to Victory North with purple-outfitted Marianne Ganem-Poppell, I arrive early for hugs from DBA’s ultimate fashionista Barbara Ruddy and ladies’ man David Minkovitz.
Speaking of fashion, Dale Parker gives me some juicy gossip on her third J. Parker Ltd. location at the Savannah Plant Riverside District. “We are opening March 5 on the west end at Unit 6A and will offer men and women’s clothing,” shares the vivacious business owner.
Next, I wave Savannah-Chatham CrimeStoppers’ Larry Branson and Brittany Herren over for an introduction to the sweetest man in town, Stratton Leopold of Leopold’s Ice Cream. Looking super-duper dapper in a red sweater, Stratton graciously agrees to buy 10 Boston Butts to support the CrimeStoppers fundraiser and donate them to the Downtown Precinct.
There’s a slew of familiar faces coming at me, like Tara Reese who makes sure I am attending her January 18 Dining in the Dark event at Embassy Suites and James T. Dowling with an invite to Thunderbolt Counseling Services 10th Anniversary on January 28 at 5:30 PM at 2247 East Victory Drive.
Coming through the door next is Facebook’s best free-styling posting person ever—John Davis. Lord, I love reading his unscripted stream of thought. I pull him over to introduce him to WJCL‘s Maddie Lee.
Super tall and super tired from producing an early morning show, I promise to be quick when I introduce Maddie to the friendliest vendor rep at Old Town Trolley—Stephen Plunk. Also, how is this guy still single? Somebody should snap him up!
Next I see his competition—the amiable Mickey Minick of Old Savannah Tours—walking over to take a seat with longtime friend and Friday golfing buddy Michael Plummer of Yates Astro.
Waving Chris Sweat over to take a pic of the two amigos, I glance back and see what has to be the entire Savannah Police Department arrive with Chief Minter. Multiple selfies later, I see dynamo Kathryn Murphy making her entrance.
Thrilled that this fierce female instantly says yes to buying five Boston Butts for the Central Precinct, I ask the Automated Business Resource president what all she has planned for the year. “I’m celebrating 35 years in business this year and we are the proud sponsor of the Savannah Golf Tournament.”
With new Buy Local president Courtney Rawlins arriving, I head up front to make sure DBA president Gina Peper has all the names she needs for today’s welcome and tell her I’m sad she is leaving Savannah but stoked that I have a Nashville, Tennessee connection. I mean who does not love a visit to Nash-Vegas, right?
Thrilled with DBA’s new hire decision, I head over to congratulate Jackie Schott but get sidetracked with Gaslight Group’s Carey Ferrara and Brian Huskey. Once again DBA members have stepped up to help CrimeStoppers and would love to buy some of their Boston Butts for their Midtown Precinct.
OK, I have snacked on some of Chef Cynthia Creighton-Jones’s fried chicken, drank a gallon of sweet tea, and now sit enthralled with speaker Clinton Edminster’s zany, passionate, and brilliant slideshow of his backyard.
Who knew that there have been over 35 businesses started around the Starland District in the past four years? And who knew how wicked wonderful Victory North is?!? Well done DBA—this was one slam-packed, kick-butt event! See you next month on the second Wednesday for this monthly meeting.