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Meeting a need

Ollie Gators event connects local businesses with the community

At Ollie Gators Pub for a recent meeting of businesses and community members were Mayor Rick Miller (clockwise from top left), Greater Berlin Business and Professional Association (GBBPA) President Betty Velie, GBBPA Vice President Kevin Lyons and Bunnycakes LLC owner Bunny Lyons.

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Berlin Borough recently hosted a meet-and-greet dinner at Ollie Gators Pub to emphasize and celebrate connections between local businesses and the community and celebrate the pub’s recent expansion.

Ollie Gators is a prized and longtime member of the Greater Berlin Business and Professional Association (GBBPA), whose president, Betty Velie, shared insights on the event and the association’s mission.

“One of our objectives is to be supportive of our business members,” she explained. “And in this instance, we were able to do so while also incorporating a meet-and-greet fundraiser.”

Mayor Rick Miller and Councilman Keith Hohing also attended the event.

” … They recognize the GBBPA’s objective of getting our businesses to network and be supportive of one another,” Velie noted.

The highlight of the meet and greet was the unveiling of Alysia Mackenzie’s 3D mural, which captures the essence of Ollie Gators’ New Orleans’ vibe.

“Everyone entering was enthralled by its vibrancy,” Velie remarked. “It completely transformed the room.”

She explained the association’s mission – in part – as a simple matter of bringing people together.

“We don’t have any planned strategies other than making everyone feel welcome,” she said, adding that she takes time to explain the organization, answer questions and introduces attendees to each other.

Velie even pointed out how the evening’s buffet created a comfortable environment for networking.

“Food and drinks are always a great incentive for an enjoyable evening,” she remarked.

The GBBPA also has members from Berlin and Waterford townships who support each other, Velie emphasized. Association events provide opportunities for that.

“It’s all about supporting the local businesses in our area,” added Velie, pointing to the highly anticipated Berlin fall festival, which even attracts people outside the state.

Velie outlined other upcoming events, including additional meet and greets. The association routinely plans ribbon-cutting ceremonies for businesses reopening or under construction.

The GBBPA’s role in promoting businsseses includes advertising special events through social media and flyers, encouraging member involvement and staying informed about community developments.

“We all have one goal,” Velie noted. “Helping our local businesses to succeed.”

For more information about GBBPA, visit https://greaterberlinbusiness.org


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