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Happy Hour

by Christina Paciolla
Important conversations that help guide the direction of your business don’t always happen within company walls. When it comes to networking, you never know when—or where—you’re going to make that next connection, whether it’s a new employee, lead or deal. Check out what local business representatives had to say about where they choose to go to network, and how sometimes the atmosphere makes all the difference.

Aaron Flamini, district sales manager, Vitamin Water
“I take my distributors or sales reps to Iron Hill Brewery in Maple Shade. It’s a central location and, often, we do a late lunch and get a drink. It’s one of the nicer bars in the area, and it’s impressive.”

Douglas H. Sell Jr., forensic accountant, Forensic Resolutions, Inc., Haddonfield
“I like to take current and potential clients to The Little Tuna in Haddonfield. It’s convenient because it’s in the epicenter of downtown. The ambience is fantastic, both inside and out, and the food is superb.”

Ken Miller, mortgage broker, Hyperion Bank, Philadelphia & Moorestown
“As far as a bar atmosphere to take a client, I go to PJ’s in Maple Shade. It’s local, the food is good, and it’s a clean place. You can actually have a conversation there. I go for lunch, dinner, drinks, business meetings, anything.”

Ronda Abbruzzese, director of economic development, City of Woodbury
“I take prospective restaurateurs I’m looking to attract here or potential developers to Marlene Mangia Bene in Woodbury. The atmosphere is very calm; there’s a little background music and it’s very attractive. It’s the new hot spot.”

Patrick Mattucci, senior systems designer, Hi-Fi Sales Company, Cherry Hill
“Manufacturers’ reps who I have been working with for years will oftentimes take me and the others to Andreotti’s Viennese Café in Cherry Hill. You can sit down for a multi-course meal with a wine pairing or you can just keep it to smaller appetizers if you want something informal.”

Matthew Hayden, Marketing of Everything, Washington Township
“We love Terra Nova in Sewell. It’s one of our favorite places, especially for the sushi bar. Our clients love it there because the menu is so diverse. The lighting is always low, so it’s nice and there’s never any loud music. It’s easy to have a conversation in there because you’re not battling the music.”

Chris Sciolla, president of Shadowfax Digital, Moorestown
“It depends on the clientele, but most of the time, I’m meeting with another business owner and it’s over a beer. We go to The Pour House in Haddon Township. It’s got a good atmosphere and it’s a good environment to have a business conversation.”

Adam Lasecki, sales representative, American Woodmark
“I bring clients to Maggiano’s in Cherry Hill. A lot of hotels in the area charge $500 to $1,000 to rent a room, then don’t allow you to bring outside food in. I do a two-day meeting for 50 people, so if you add that up, it’s between $3,000 and $3,500. Plus, they serve their food family-style, so everyone gets plenty to eat—appetizers, main course and dessert.”

Dolores Woodington, Century 21 Thomas Realty, Maple Shade
“[Cafe Madison] in Riverside is my favorite restaurant. I take my clients there because of the great food and atmosphere. It is relaxed and peaceful with the waterfall. You can actually have a conversation.”

Tom Bellia, co-owner, Bellia Printing & Bellia Office Furniture, Woodbury
“If we have morning meetings, we go to the Hollywood Diner in Woodbury Heights. They have enough room to accommodate us and it’s quiet enough, but we get a lot of service and the food is very good.”

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 1, Issue 12 (December, 2011).
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