The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 1, 2013

Hundreds flock to Conneaut’s Business Expo

Staff Writer

CONNEAUT — From barking dogs to hot dogs, hundreds of folks found something worth seeing at Tuesday afternoon’s Business Expo at the Conneaut Human Resources Center.

The event, sponsored by the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce, attracted a capacity crowd to its annual extravaganza — a chance for local businesses, agencies and government offices to tout their wares to a curious public.

Heard over the crowd noise was the occasional bark from one of the dogs brought to the show by members of the Ashtabula County Animal Protection League. As in years past, proceeds from the Expo benefited the APL.

A $1 admission entitle ticket-holders to a free hot dog. Within one hour of the Expo’s start, the Chamber was out scouting the town for more wieners.

“The crowd is tremendous,” said Wendy DuBey, Chamber executive director.

Other food vendors doled out samples, including Conneaut’s Dairy Queen Restaurant.

Vendors were equally impressed. Some that have attended from year to year said they were ecstatic with the huge throng.

Ken Porter, a diversified industrial training coordinator with A-Tech Technical and Career Campus (formerly Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School) spent the afternoon manning impressive display near the entrance. He produced a clipboard that contained numerous names of people interested in A-Tech’s offerings, including continuing education and its General Education Diploma program.

“We’ve had a lot more inquiries about a wide range (of services),” Porter said.

Clint Penniman, of Penniman Brothers Landscaping in Conneaut, has attended a few Expos over the years. He was pleased with the turnout and the number of people who stopped by his table.

“We’ve made contacts and a lot of people have taken brochures,” he said. “It’s a nice group of people. It’s good to see some familiar faces.”

Stacey Penhollow, with Continuum Home Care, had nothing but praise for the event.

“So many wonderful people are coming through the door,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

First-timers to the Conneaut Expo were equally impressed. Leanne Callari, account sales representative with Associated Clinical Laboratories, said her company’s appearance generated “good exposure.”

Sharon Huff, representing Sam’s Club, admitted she “didn’t know what to expect” at the Expo.

“We’ve made some pretty good contacts,” she said. “It’s been busy.”