Terrific turnout for this year's Business EXPO 2000

“The Tacoma Hockey Team’s mascot, Ugh, welcomed EXPO exhibitors Debra Melleby, left, of Team Insurance, University Place; and Joann Oglesby, H&R Block, Tacoma; to his home turf. (Photo by Bonnie West). You could name a cat, win a trip, taste South Sound foods and, most importantly, network with other business owners at Business EXPO 2000 held Wednesday and Thursday at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.Over 100 exhibitors introduced their products and services in an atmosphere of fun.I came because the booths are very informative and the give-aways are great! said Marguerite Richard, of Seattle, an actress and singer who owns Pearl Productions.It’s a way for me to find out about resources for others artists too.Exhibitor Irene Mickelson and Ty Shadlow, owners of Pattie’s Galore Catering and Hall, Tacoma, were enjoying their first EXPO:I like it so far, Shadlow said. We’re getting pretty good exposure, added her partner.If there was a vote for which business got the most unique exposure at the EXPO, it would have to go to Action Business Furniture, Inc., of Tacoma.On their table, nestled in with the promotional materials about the company’s new and used office furniture was a tall, empty Meow Mix cat food bag.Owner Dennis Peters explained that a couple of months ago an employee brought in a cat that the employees were getting pretty attached to.He goes from desk to desk giving everyone head butts. Friendliest cat I ever met.That friendliness kept him in good standing with everyone, and Peters decided to have a cat-naming contest for the new orange and white male mascot. Everyone who dropped their business card in the Meow Mix bag with a name for the cat would also be eligible to win an ergonomic chair.The 117-year-old chamber unveiled its new logo at the chamber’s yearly breakfast meeting Thursday morning where chamber members met their new Chairman of the Board, Rick Larson, of Bank of America.Larson took on his role as Chairman of the Board for 2000-2001, from outgoing chairman, John Holtermann, of Regence BlueShield. The packed audience was also introduced to the new chamber logo and theme Power Through Connections.Dennis Johnson, media center director for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s EXPO had the best turn-out and more exhibitors than ever before.There was real enthusiasm in the community to reach out to one another. It fits well with the new theme of the chamber, ‘Power Through Connections.’ “