We love our Chamber members! A big shout out to Gigi at Imagine in wonderful Warren. Shop local! — with Imagine Gifts RI. 5 Miller Street, Warren
We love our Chamber members! A great big shout out to the one and only Al Cerrone and Alfred at KC’s Classic Burger Bar in sunny Seekonk! Stop by for a unique burger and enjoy the 1950s car decor...you’ll be glad you did!
We love our Chamber members! Give Steve from i3 Broadband a call at 401-247-1250 for all your internet, television and phone needs. Welcome Home to i3 Broadband. They’re local!
We love our Chamber members! Contact TEAM DIVINE & ASSOCIATES. Mark and his team will provide the expertise and experience to manage all your tax and accounting matters with comfort.
401-254-0151, 386 Market Street, Warren. firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW MEMBER: MARSHALL BUILDING & REMODELING
Marshall Building & Remodeling is a local, family-owned roofing, siding, and window company providing superior service and products to RI and MA homeowners since 1983. Founded by Tom and Dave Marshall, the legacy of providing the highest quality work and service for an honest price is carried out today by Anne and Andy Marshall, Tom’s children.
Although new to the East Bay Chamber, this company has been a Riverside staple for generations. Marshall has built a foundation of business based on impeccable customer service, friendly staff members, and creating a stress-free experience for every homeowner. Their work speaks for itself with numerous 5-star online reviews, ten consecutive Angie's List Super Service Awards, and countless honors from manufacturers.
With a constantly growing customer base, it’s no surprise that even local radio personality, WPRO’s Matt Allen raves about his own experiences with the company. “I can’t say enough good things about the Marshalls. They’re RI’s best and most trusted roofing, siding, and window company, hands-down. Bottom line, they’re the people my family and I trust with our homes.” – Matt Allen
Respect, efficiency, craftsmanship, and pride are what you can expect from Marshall Building & Remodeling.
With Marshall, there’s no need to compromise. You can work with a small local business and still receive the best work for a fair price. Next time you’re in the market for roofing, siding or windows – don’t hesitate to call in and talk to Judy (401-438-1499). Their website also has a great area called the “Learning Center” with awesome tips and tricks for home maintenance and cleaning (marshallbr.com).
Stephanie Osborn from our PR Committee had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing chamber member Sarah Bisch and learning more about her and her business. Sarah is a Financial Advisor with Santander Bank and has been a financial advisor for 4 years. I asked Sarah the following six questions.
SO: How did you get started in your business?
SB:I was recruited while in retail banking to becme an assistant to a financial advisor and more recently I was recruited by Santander. Now I have team, and coach team members on both interpersonal and sales skills. I help team members learn how to speak to someone getting a mortgage to transition over to other financial products.
SO: What did you do before starting your business?
SB: I was an assistant to a financial advisor and before that I was in a retail banking call center assisting with sales.
SO: What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your line of work?
SB: Its ok to not know the answer. You want to answer everyone’s question, but if you don’t know the answer, saying “let me find out” is appreciated more by the client.
SO: What has been your greatest achievement/enjoyment since starting your business?
SB: I love being able to help people, especially someone who’s really worried about their finances, and being able to tell them they will be fine. I love taking away their stress about money.
SO: What advice, if any, would you give others who are interested in your field?
SB: I would tell them “don’t quit”. It can be very hard when the market gets bumpy, but it is a really successful, rewarding career.
SO: How do you envision your business in the next couple of years?
SB: I’d like to move home to Bristol and do more community work with the bank.
Greening the Sphere is an environmental education program that runs from November to May. This program offers opportunities for kids to learn environmental problem solving, listen to special guest speakers, go on field trips, and create repurposed art.
Greening the Sphere began as a grassroots movement to engage the community and educate kids on environmental issues. Shari Bitsis, founder, says the idea arose from a collective consciousness during a group meditation class that she led. This class included visual healing work directed towards the Earth. The six core members of that class became the founding members of Greening the Sphere.
Today the program has a full curriculum, open to middle school children in the East Bay. Shari describes the classes as using methods that utilize many genres, and experiential techniques that inspire whole brain creative thinking. In the first half of the program, children use strategic questioning to explore their relationship to the planet and investigate ways to improve that relationship. This is facilitated using fun activities that incorporate art and nature into class activities. During the second half of the program, children are asked to design an educational experience for the community. This experience will be on display at the annual Greening the Sphere Festival. Children are also activity involved in planning many aspects of the festival as well taking part in running it. Last year's festival included children's activities created from repurposed materials such as soda bottle bowling.
While the program is only open to middle school age students, high school and college students can participate as mentors and leaders. For more information about this program please contact Shari Bitsis at 401-465-4249.
By Beth Carter
Although there are several banks in the East Bay, Navigant Credit Union stands out because of the people working there according to Kathy Marabello, Vice President and Regional Branch Manager of the Warren, Riverside, and Rumford branches. She should know because Kathy has had a very successful career in banking for over 40 years. Kathy started as a teller at Citizens Bank while still attending Bristol High School. She moved up the ranks there and left after thirty-three years. Kathy did a brief stint in loan operations at Bank RI before joining Navigant nine years ago.
Currently she supervises four managers and 17 staff located in the three branches. Her engaging personality exemplifies the Navigant brand. When interviewing people to work for her, Kathy claims that although she cares about what is on a candidate's resume, she focuses more on their personality. "Being nice and empathetic to our members is the most important thing to me at the bank." That is why Navigant has been the recognized as the "Best Place to Work" for several years.
Kathy has learned over the years that confidentiality is very critical. To build solid relationships, one must be able to trust the people they interact with - both staff as well as with members. She feels that technology will continuously innovate banking but it is the personal touch that she wants her members to experience.
Kathy is very active in the community including serving on the Board of Directors of the East Bay Chamber of Commerce. Her strong work ethic, extensive banking knowledge, and her charm make her the one to go to with all your banking needs.
By Brian Barrett
Imagine Gift Store is located in historic Warren, RI. It is the largest gift store in New England! The building is located in the fully-restored Lyric Theatre. From the quirky, to the heartfelt, Imagine Gift Store has three floors full of every gift you could think of for that special someone or even yourself!
Remember that feeling you got when you first walked into a penny candy store? Re-live that experience with your children or grandchildren at Imagine Gift Store! Imagine Gift Store offers a wide assortment of over 500 different candies to choose from! Imagine also offers a seasonal 1950’s themed ice cream parlor! You can enjoy these tasty seasonal treats whenever you stop in starting April 1st!
With so many different flavors to choose from, we are sure to have your favorite frozen treat! At Imagine Gift Store, 4 Full-Sized Cows are featured on display both inside and outside the store, as well as miniature cows which can be purchased within the store! These cows come from the Cow Parade, the largest and most successful public art event in the world.
Michelle, the owner of Imagine Gift Store always had a vivid imagination growing up. However as far as specifically owning a retail business such as Imagine Gift Store, that is where fate jumped in. Michelle graduated from a college nearby Imagine Gift Store and during school the store quickly became her favorite gift shop. About five years after she graduated and heard the business was being sold she jumped on the opportunity and the rest is history.
Michelle cherishes the moments where she is able to meet and talk to her customers. She also looks forward to holidays every year and decorating the store. Imagine Gift Store also hosts many different events which Michelle loves participating in as well as community events. Be sure to check out the website to learn more about Imagine Gift Store!
Article by Beth Carter
Jeff Hirsch, owner of the Lobster Pot, is an artist in more than one way. Not only does his restaurant offer delicious food that is pleasing to the eye on the plate but he is also a jewelry designer. His love of design and his passion for making his customers happy has led to very happy moments and a great success as a business person.
Jeff grew up in Barrington and now lives in Warren. In his 20's, he had the opportunity to buy the Lobster Pot that had already been in existence for almost 60 years. Jeff had worked in restaurants while in high school and college but admits that he "tried to talk himself out of doing this". He does credit others who provided sound advice and support to buy this famous restaurant. Once he took ownership, he did a major renovation to "refresh" the place. He also kept it open year round (previously it was only open eight months of the year) and expanded to include having a lunch service and private event functions.
One thing that stands out when talking to Jeff is that he is very customer service focused. He really enjoys talking to customers to get their feedback and ideas. He incorporates those into new menus that he has several times of the year. He feels he is also perceptive and describes himself as the "quarterback" of his restaurant.
When asked what advice he would give others who want to get into the business, Jeff replied "follow your passions and be sensible." He recognizes you have to be business savvy but if you don't like what you are doing it will not matter.