SEPTEMBER 1997 Newsletter Design
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Ambassador Program Links
Star Members With Prospects,
New Recruits

Additional Ambassadors Sought to Represent Chamber

What's the best way to recruit new members into the Chamber and get them involved once they join? Pair each prospect with an Ambassador who serves as a special representative of the Chamber, making each potential member feel welcome and showing the ropes to new members.

"The Ambassador Program is the key to membership," says Membership VP Deede Blum. "It's what's going to get us to our goals of 120 new members and 86% retention this year by bringing new people in and getting the first year at-risk members involved."

The Ambassador Program provides one-on-one contact between a potential member and a Chamber representative. Once the prospect joins, the Ambassador serves as a `Chamber Buddy' to the new member during the first year, encouraging the new member to get the most out of Chamber membership by being active.

Ambassadors, who serve a two-month term, are responsible for:
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  • Contacting non-members prior to Chamber events like networking breakfasts, monthly lunches and after hours receptions;
  • Welcoming non-members at events and introducing them to other members;
  • Following up after events;
  • Attending orientation with new members who joined during their term (their buddies);
  • Encouraging their buddies to join committees and attend events;
  • Linking their buddies with their Business District liaisons;
  • Contacting their buddies monthly, including a six-month Chamber review.

The Ambassadors for September and October are Howard Beloff of CSRS, Tony Prutting of Meltzer and Associates, and Phill Scott of Scott Office Services, Inc. "I'm an Ambassador because I'm enthusiastic about being a Chamber member and I want to impart that enthusiasm to potential new members," says Howard.

When you see one of the Ambassadors (sporting a yellow Ambassador ribbon) with a potential or new member during the next two months, be sure to introduce yourself. If you would like to learn more about the Chamber while making it an even stronger organization by being an Ambassador, contact Membership Manager Margery Shrinsky (mshrinsky at the Chamber today.

Business & Industry Awards Nominations Due Sept. 12

If your company is having a stellar year and it makes a significant contribution to the community, nominate your business for the 1997 Business & Industry Awards of the local Chambers of Commerce of Montgomery County. Each Chamber submits an award winner, and the winners are announced at an Awards Luncheon on November 18. The nomination from the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber will be selected from nominations received by September 12.

The Luncheon will be held at the Burn Brae Dinner Theater in Burtonsville, and County Executive Doug Duncan will give the keynote address. The awards program is a unique opportunity for Bethesda-Chevy Chase to present an outstanding local business to the greater Montgomery County business community. To nominate your business, fill out the enclosed nomination form and return it to the Chamber by September 12.

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President's Column: The ICC's
Time Is Now

Walter C. Pennington

For a number of years, your Chamber has continued to support the Inter-County Connector (ICC) within the Master Plan Alignment. Now is a critical time in the life of this project.

The Master Plan route or alignment and several alternative routes are under review by the Planning Board with subsequent action needed at the county and state levels.

Meant as a link between I-270 near Gaithersburg and I-95 and Route 1 near Laurel, the ICC has been an integral part of Montgomery County's official Master Plan for over thirty years. This important project will relieve cross-county traffic congestion and is a vital component of our state and local economic development strategies.

Over 60% of the right-of-way for the ICC route identified in the Master Plan has already been protected by the county and the state. Land planning, zoning, and development (including residential communities) have occurred with knowledge and anticipation of the ICC Master Plan route.

Recent surveys show 66-83% of those surveyed in favor of the project.

While we recognize there are environmental challenges with respect to this project, these issues have been addressed in similar projects elsewhere and can certainly be managed here. We are pleased to join with seven other chambers from Montgomery County in issuing a joint statement of support for the ICC.

Now is the time to contact state and local representatives to let them know how important this project is and that the time has come to get the Inter-County Connector constructed.

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"Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright" at Caribbean Casino Night

Tropical Theme for Friday, November 21, 1997

Spin the wheel and shake the dice while jamming to the sounds of a steel drum band at the all-new Caribbean Casino Night, Friday, November 21, 1997 at the Bethesda Marriott. Casino Night (formerly Monte Carlo Night) is the Chamber's annual main FUNdraiser. This year's Casino Night, sponsored by First National Bank of Maryland, GrandBank and Ourisman Ford, features a Caribbean theme and will be hosted by WMAL Radio's afternoon drive team of Brooke Stevens and Chris Core. More than 500 partygoers entering this tropical paradise will test their skill at blackjack and other games of chance while sampling the culinary delights of local caterers. Silent and live auctions will give attendees the opportunity to bid on a treasure trove of valuable prizes.

"Casino Night is our area's best opportunity for people to support the community through the Chamber while enjoying great food and having a terrific time at the gaming tables," says Casino Night Chair Eileen Ascher. A portion of the event's proceeds is donated annually to a community organization selected as the event's community partner.

In addition to a new theme and a new location, there are new games and a new format for the auctions. For those looking for a low-key way to participate in the festivities, there are Beach Blanket Bingo and Tropical Tee-Off miniature golf in addition to the traditional games (Barnacle Blackjack, Rolling Waves Roulette and Caribbean Craps). Like the Silent Auction, this year's Live Auction will use real money and will offer a range of hard-to-find prizes. Attendees will be able to cash in their chips at the new Beach Boutique.

To purchase tickets, to volunteer, or to gain exposure for your organization, see the enclosed flyer, contact the appropriate Committee member or call the Chamber today.

Casino Night 1997 Committee: Chair - Eileen Ascher, First National Bank of Maryland; Tickets - Phill Scott, Scott Office Services; Sponsorship - Marlane Muller, Accountants on Call; Advertising in Souvenir Program - Gloria Freihage, American Inn of Bethesda; Prizes - Glynis Noyes, First National Bank of Maryland; Caterers - Marci McCalley, Stoy Malone & Company; Printing & Promotion - Andrew Berman, Sir Speedy of Bethesda; Volunteers - Marjorie Dick Stuart, Pardoe Real Estate. Casino Night is an activity of the Events Committee, chaired by Chamber Membership Development VP Michael Fitzgerald of Sequoia National Bank.

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Give Time & Toiletries

Join October 25th Service Day

By Anita Centofanti

Fired up by its challenging goals for the 1997-98 year, which include drawing hundreds of volunteers to Chamber-sponsored service events, the Community Development Committee is already planning for the Chamber's best-ever participation in the 11th Annual Community Service Day on Saturday, October 25, 1997.

Community Service Day is a half-day event organized by Volunteer Partnership Montgomery, Inc. to highlight the importance of volunteerism and allow non-profit and government agencies to get needed work done. In 1996, the BCC Chamber rallied more than 100 volunteers to benefit Glen Echo Park and Bethesda Cares. Throughout the county, thousands of volunteers worked on 270 projects, earning national recognition for the Partnership.

This year the Chamber will carry on this tradition of increasing the functional and aesthetic value of our community through this program benefiting Glen Echo Park and Bethesda Cares. You will not want to miss this opportunity for you (and your family and friends) to make a substantial and recognized contribution to our community. It will also be a good chance to forge new liaisons with other Chamber members. This year, we are delighted that the kick-off rally will be held at Glen Echo Park.

Greater BCC Chamber members will strengthen our community through their service on October 25 to these two local organizations:

Glen Echo Park is a turn-of-the- century amusement park that served the Washington area until 1968. Its centerpiece, the Dentzel Carousel, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Now the park serves as a cultural arts center and venue for an annual folk festival. The restoration and preservation of the Carousel, along with other historic treasures such as the Spanish Ballroom, have been entrusted to the National Park Service and the Glen Echo Park Foundation. For the p ast two years, the Chamber has made Glen Echo Park a focus of its volunteer efforts. We planted tulip bulbs, painted the ticket booth, repaired picnic tables, painted a classroom, cleaned windows, and cleared away trash and brush.

Bethesda Cares assists the homeless by sponsoring a lunch program at area churches, Saturday morning showers, and other needed services. For the past three years, the Chamber has collected unused, travel-sized toiletries as well as new white cotton underwear and socks to be distributed as part of the shower program. The items are collected in advance of Community Service Day and are brought to a central location for sorting by volunteers from area high schools. This program allows everyone to participate - even if you can't come out to work on October 25.

The Committee invites members who have ideas, skills, resources, contacts, time, energy or just plain good intentions to come forward and help make this a memorable and significant event. We need a few good leaders from our business community to help recruit volunteers and maximize participation. We also need people to help plan specific projects and coordinate volunteers on-site. Everyone is invited to attend the next Community Development Committee meeting on Thursday, September 11, 1997 at 8:00 am in the Chamber office, or call Anita Centofanti at 301-530-2780 to get involved today.

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Bring Two, You Go Free

September Networking Breakfast

The Chamber's monthly Networking Breakfasts give you the opportunity to meet a lot of people in a short period of time, and now you can network for free when you bring two first-time attendees. "The breakfasts are the first introduction to the Chamber for a lot of people," says Breakfast Chair Chris Brown of A.G. Edwards. "We want to reward regular attendees for bringing in new people." Simply register and pay for two new attendees and your breakfast is complimentary. It's a perfect way to get your clients and co-workers involved in the Chamber.

The breakfasts are structured to give everyone the chance to promote their business to dozens of people, as well as to learn about other businesses that they can use. The September breakfast will be held Thursday, September 18 at its new location, the Bethesda Ramada Hotel. The cost is just $13 for members who register by September 12 and $17 thereafter - or free if you register two additional first-time attendees, so register today by calling the Chamber office.

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Do "Gallons" Of Good: Stuff Blood Drive Goody Bags

By Kimberly Hooper

The Chamber Blood Drive will be held November 25, 1997, hosted by the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. This year, as a special thank you to all donors, we will be giving each donor a "goody bag," with free "goodies" donated from local businesses. The free items could be pens, notepads, plastic cups, coupons, etc. This is a great way of getting your business name and information out to the community. We have already received donations from McDonald's and Sandy Spring National Bank.

If your business is interested, please contact Blood Drive Chair Kimberly Hooper at Metropolitan Washington Blood Banks at 301-907-0264.

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Sea Seminar Offers Learning In Get-Away Setting

Get away from it all so you can focus on learning more about business - while networking in-depth with current and future clients. Cruise with the Chamber on the Chamber's first Seminar at Sea to be held March 6-7, 1998 on Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas. This four-day, three-night package includes roundtrip airfare from Washington to Miami, a cruise from Miami to Nassau and Coco Cay (a private island), Chamber business seminars, a private Chamber networking cocktail party, all meals, entertainment, tote bag, port charges, taxes and a $25 donation to the Chamber. Inside cabins start at $737.50 per person, based on double occupancy and oceanview cabins start at $787.50. Pre- and post-land stays can be arranged in Miami. A $100 refundable deposit is required to secure your cabin.

In addition to learning and networking, you can bask in the sun, walk around the deck, sightsee, snorkel, play volleyball, work out, stroll in the moonlight, shop and sing at the piano bar. For more information, contact Unforgettable Journeys at 301-654-0244.

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"Creative" Use Of Space Brings New Life TO Downtown

For years, 8011 Woodmont Avenue was a Bethesda landmark as diners enjoyed hearty fare at Sir Walter Raleigh's Restaurant. Since Sir Walter's closed, the site has had mixed success, and it has been vacant for more than 18 months. However, passersby will now see the dust flying as this former restaurant is transformed into the new location of Chamber member Creative Parties, Ltd.

The building will no longer be where parties are held - it will be where parties are conceived. Creative Parties offers planning for social and corporate events and a retail showroom for an extensive array of invitations, announcements and other stationery supplies.

"We are excited both about the opportunity to grow our business by moving into larger space and for Bethesda [as we] make substantial improvements to an abandoned property," says Tracy Bloom, Creative Parties Event Manager.

If you know of another property that is benefiting from a change of use in the greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, please forward information to the Chamber.

We're wired! You can e-mail Chamber staff at
[email protected]

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Showbiz '98 Showcases Business In Bethesda

Job Fair To Draw Top Talent

ShowBiz'98, to be held Friday, January 30, 1998 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, will draw hordes of attendees interested in doing business in Bethesda. ShowBiz is the Chamber's annual business fair, showcasing Chamber members' business-to-business and business-to-consumer products and services. ShowBiz, which drew more than 1,000 attendees last year, is the only event of its kind in the Bethesda area.

A new feature for 1998 is a job fair designed to link skilled job seekers with small to large-sized companies with job vacancies. The job fair will capitalize on Bethesda as a source of high-quality personnel. ShowBiz'98 Chair Tom Korengold notes, "Bethesda is a unique area, both in the range of businesses represented and in the caliber of those who work here. Both the single entrepreneur and the large companies headquartered here will find value in reaching those who do business, shop and live in our area. ShowBiz is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for these businesses to showcase their products and services and to recruit new personnel for much less than they'd pay for one weekend employment ad."

If you want to do business in Bethesda, reserve your space at ShowBiz'98 by contacting the Chamber today.

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Volunteers Needed For 1997 Taste Of Bethesda

Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. invites you to give back to your community by volunteering your time at the 1997 Taste of Bethesda, to be held Saturday, October 4, 1997 in conjunction with the "Best of Bethesda" celebration. Your commitment to work a two-hour shift is rewarded by complimentary Taste tickets. Volunteers are needed for set-up, ticket and information booths, volunteer relief and tear-down. To volunteer, contact Michelle Coggins at the Bethesda UP office at 301-215-6660.

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Members In The News

Guy Semmes, President of Hopkins & Porter Construction, Tim Faller, Vice-President of New Homes, and Jim Rill of Rill and Decker Architects are sponsoring their sixth free Custom Home Building Seminar on Tuesday, September 23, at 7:30 PM, at the Potomac Elementary School, 10311 River Road, Potomac. The seminar is open to the public. For information, reservations and directions, call 301-840-9121. Hopkins & Porter Construction with some friends are preserving for generations to come the majestic 200+ year old white oak that stands in the Glenvilah Shopping Center at the corner of Glen and Travilah Roads in Potomac. Friday, September 19th is the date set to dedicate the tree and to install a plaque.

The Healthcare Division of The J.R. Austin Company has been awarded a construction contract by Adventist Senior Living for a 10,000 sq.ft. addition and renovation to the Brandford Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clinton, MD.

Round House Theatre is delighted to announce that Frances Hughes Glendening, wife of Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, has accepted an invitation to serve as the Honorary Chairperson of Round House Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season. The MainStage season, which will feature several special celebratory events, runs from September 1997 through June 1998.

A to Z Publishing, which produces the map of Bethesda/Friendship Heights announces the recent launch of two new publications. The Map of Rockville Pike is designed to reduce consumer frustration and confusion about the relative positions of shopping centers and other businesses along Rockville Pike. "The Fax of Lunch"/Bethesda is a low cost advertising vehicle that is delivered by fax to hundreds of Bethesda offices.

Friends of the Bethesda Library invite you to the opening of the fall program series: "Taking Stock Of Your Investments: An Overview of Key Information Sources for Mutual Funds and Stocks" at the Bethesda Regional Library. Plan to attend the program and find out which print and electronic resources might be most useful for choosing and tracking your investments. The program will be repeated on two dates: Thursday, September 18, 10:30 AM to Noon and Thursday, September 25, 7:30-9 PM. For more information call 301-986-4300.

Adventure Theatre in historic Glen Echo Park presents the first show of its 46th season: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, playing from September 20th through October 26th, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 and 3:30 PM. Tickets are $5.00 per person regardless of age and there is a pre-paid group rate available. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Reservations are strongly suggested. For more information please call 301-320-5331.

F & M Bank-Allegiance is pleased to announce that Martha Foulon- Tonant, Senior Vice President has recently graduated from The American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking with honors. The American Bankers Association Stonier School of Banking is the nation's preeminent graduate banking school. Ms. Tonant is one of approximately 350 bankers from around the nation enrolled in the Stonier program this year and one of 130 bankers from around the country who are 1997 graduates of the program.

September events at The Writer's Center begin Wednesday, September 10, 7:30 PM at A Taste of the Workshops at Barnes and Nobel café. Dr. Philip Jason, co-editor of Poet Lore and a member of the Board of Directors, will lead a panel of writers and workshop leaders who will attempt to answer those eternal questions: "What happens in a workshop? Would it be good for my writing health?" Admission is free. On Sunday, September 21 at 2:00 PM, In the Garden: A Celebration of Jewish Poetry will be held. Admission is $5.00. On September 28 at 2:00 PM, a new center offering, Speculations, will offer good conversation about cutting edge ideas in a salon-like setting. For more information please call 301-654-8664.

Donohoe Construction Company has been selected to provide general contracting services for the new 130-unit Madonna House at Belmont, an independent living community in historic Fredericksburg, VA. Groundbreaking occurred on June 12th for this stick-built, 3- and 4-story complex which totals approximately 110,000 sq.ft.

Creative Partners Gallery announces the Flesh On Old Bones, Art Works by Ellouise Schoettler exhibit from September 2 - October 11 with the special event Storytelling Performance, Friday, September 12 from 7:30-9:30 PM. The fee is $7.00. For information/reservations call 301-951-1213.

Valerie Yokie, Mary Kay Cosmetics was recently honored with the Circle of Achievement award at Mary Kay's annual achievement recognition and business- building seminar held at the Dallas Convention center in July. The Circle of Achievement award marks a milestone for Independent May Kay Sales Directors who have exceeded unit retail production of $500,000 for the year-long contest period.

This September the Oakmont School's first students will walk through its doors in Gaithersburg. Most of the students walking through those doors will - for the first time - enter an environment specifically geared to their educational success. The new therapeutic, special education school is a project of the Boy's and Girls' Homes of Maryland and its community supporters. Youth coming to the Oakmont School have faced repeated failures in regular school settings due to emotional and learning challengers. At Oakmont, special education teachers, social workers and administrations will collaborate on education and emotional treatment plans for each child.

Stephan Heidenberger, President of Heidenberger Construction, Inc., announced that they have completed construction of the new O'Donnell's Restaurant located in Gaithersburg. The new restaurant was constructed to provide an atmosphere similar to the current Bethesda location.

Friendship Heights Chiropractic invites all Chamber members to attend their Wednesday Night Health Care Workshop. Attend this fun and informative evening with Dr. Charlotte Jensen and learn useful tips on exercise and natural ways to reach your maximum health potential. The workshops are held every Wednesday from 7:00-7:45 PM at 5100 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 215, Washington, DC. Parking is free and they are located one block from the Metro. For more information and to register call 301-362-0900.

Legum & Norman, Inc.of McLean, VA is pleased to announce it has been retained by King Farm Associates to provide consulting, budget development, transition, and management services for the King Farm Citizen's Assembly in Rockville. Ground was broken on the King Farm tract of land on November 14, 1996; it will be developed to house over 3,000 families.

The 1997 Suburban Hospital Golf & Tennis Tournament will be held on Monday, September 29 at Woodmont Country Club. Individual entries and corporate sponsorships are still available for both golf and tennis competitions. Proceeds from the annual event will support the renovation and upgrade of the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU). For more information contact the Suburban Hospital Foundation Office at 301-896-3971.

The Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts announced at their July 28 Annual General Meeting the following members of the community elected to serve as officers of the not-for-profit arts organization for the September 1997-August 1998 year: Mita M. Shaffer, President; J.J. Finkelstein, President-Elect; Barbara Berish Brown, Vice President/Development; Lauren Penn, Vice President/Education; Eugene Smith, Vice President/Theatre; Ronald M. Wolfsheimer, Treasurer; Stan Shulman, Secretary; George M. Borababy, Legal Counsel; and Rick Moyers, Governance.

The metro area Visiting Nurse Associations are now scheduling flu shot clinics for their fifth annual Fight the Flu campaign. The VNAs encourage businesses to help protect their employees from the flu by participating in this community immunization program which runs from September 27 through November 22. Corporations and organizations interested in scheduling flu shot clinics in the District or suburban Maryland may call the Fight the Flu program coordinator at 202-686-2862.

Golf enthusiasts and businesses are invited to participate in the Montgomery College Foundation's 12th Annual Golf Classic beginning at noon on Monday, September 22 at Woodmont County Club. For an entry fee of $225, golfers receive carts and greens fees, lunch prior to play, and admission to a post-tournament reception and awards ceremony. Players also have a chance to win a brand new car or a vacation to Hilton Head Island. Proceeds from the Golf Classic will help the Montgomery College Foundation to provide scholarships, keep technology current, and develop new ways to meet industry training needs. For more information call Anne White, Tournament Director at 301-251-7490 or Bernice G. Grossman, at 301-251-7496.

Mark Hausman, president of Strategic Communications Group, Inc., spoke to a group of Advanced Solutions International, Inc. resellers on the benefits of a well-planned public relations program at ASI's first iMIS Reseller and User Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Alexandria. Mr. Hausman addressed the crowd as part of a Selling and Marketing seminar designed to present ASI resellers with ideas for comprehensive, integrated, multi-media marketing programs. SCG has served as ASI's public relations firm for the past two years.

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Welcome New Members

The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome the following new members. We encourage you to take a few minutes to become acquainted with their business profiles and remember, whenever you need a particular service-do business with a fellow Chamber member! Need a referral? Call the Chamber office.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP)
6500 Rock Spring Drive, Suite 650
Bethesda, MD 20817
FAX 301-214-1140

Lauren DiClemente, District Manager
Business Profile: ADP is the provider of payroll and related services for small businesses. These services include payroll tax filing, direct deposit, benefit tracking and time clock options.

Sponsor: Margery Shrinsky, Manager, Membership & Administration
6110 Executive Blvd. Suite 670
Rockville, MD 20852
FAX 301-984-0203
E-mail: [email protected]

Business Profile: Carin & Company, PC is a public accounting firm that specializes in tax planning and preparation, financial management consulting and accounting.

Sponsor Lauren DiClemente, Automatic Data Processing(ADP)
Champion Mortgage
10400 Connecticut Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895
FAX 301-933-7024

Sam Zamrik, Branch Manager
Business Profile: Mortgage bankers specializing in first mortgage re-financing and second mortgage home equity loans.

Sponsor: Margery Shrinsky, Manager Membership & Administration

"And So On, And So On..."

Anne S. Core
Executive Director

Remember the commercial from the 70s where Joe Namath told two friends about his shampoo, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on? That image keeps popping into my head as I think about the Chamber priority of increasing member participation by 10 percent. If each Chamber member told two non-Chamber friends about something they should be involved in, and they each told two friends, even without any "and so ons" we'd have more than 5,000 active members. But how to start?

First, think of someone you'd like to get to know a little better. Rather than trying to schedule a round of golf, game of tennis or shopping spree around hectic evenings or weekends, invite him or her to mix business and pleasure at a Chamber networking event. September gives you the chance to sample the Southwest at Cottonwood, drive the Indy 500 at Dave & Buster's, or introduce your new friend to dozens of other new friends at breakfast. If it's someone you'd like to get to know really well, you could invite him or her to the Seminars at Sea, but that might be a little too much getting-to-know-you for someone new. (Though it's not until March, so you'd have plenty of time to get acquainted!)

That takes care of one friend. How about the other one? Ask a co-worker to volunteer with you. In addition to the Chamber's many committees, there are plenty of one-time volunteer opportunities. In the next few months you can clean up Glen Echo, help Bethesda Cares, give blood or escape to the tropics, all through the Chamber. No lengthy time commitment, lots of chances for networking while helping our.

Finally, for all you mailboxers: give it a try. A portion of the Chamber membership doesn't participate in committees and doesn't attend Chamber functions. They're perfectly happy supporting the community, receiving representation, getting referrals from the Community Guide and keeping up-to-date through the newsletter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, it's a bit like getting glasses for the first time. You could see fine without them, but once you put them on you find out how much richer the world is when you're wearing them. In that spirit, in the coming months, pick just one Chamber event to attend - there are dozens from which to choose.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go call two friends.

The ChamberNews is published eleven months a year by
The Greater BCC Chamber of Commerce
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1204
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
ARTICLE DEADLINE: The 15th of the preceding month.

Back to TOP Links -Web Page Sharpens The Buyer's Edge

By Neil Waldman and Tess Halle

Stephen Israel of The Buyer's Edge discovered two years ago that the Internet is the ideal advertising tool for attracting prospects. His company acts as exclusive buyer broker for those looking to buy a home. He got a solid lead within a week of establishing his page, and over the last two years a significant portion of his business has come from people who link to his site from other Internet sites, including the Member Marketplace section of the Chamber's web site (

"Our Web page paid for itself twice over in the first year, and today it's almost all gravy," says Steve. The initial outlay for design, copywriting and fine-tuning cost about $15,000, and Steve estimates the Edge recouped the cost in the first two to three months of operation. Revenues directly attributed to the Internet reached close to $3 million in the first year.

Steve's company pays fees for "banners" and direct links to many of the large, general sites like Homebuyers Network and Homefinder, and they in turn pay fees to the search engine, like Gopher, so they will show up on a search of "real estate." Today, maintaining the current site-updating information, making corrections and resubmitting to search engines-runs about $2,500-$3,000 per year. By now, Steve says, the Web pays for itself "many times over." The site itself is easy to follow and answers any imaginable question about his service and includes a copy of his contract and fee schedule.

In 1996, The Buyer's Edge hit the top rank of metropolitan Washington's real estate firms with sales of $26 million. Steve estimates about 40 to 50 percent of business leads come directly from the Web site, representing $4-5 million in revenue, or about 20% of annual earnings from actual transactions.

Many of the Edge's Internet clients are first-time home buyers, upwardly mobile young professionals in their late twenties and early thirties, with two incomes and no children, or families with pre-schoolers looking for room to grow. "It's not surprising," says Steve, "because professionals are the ones who use the Internet the most." In an actual case, a professional couple in Seattle planning to move to the DC area searched the Internet for information about area real estate, schools and jobs. They found The Buyer's Edge, and Steve found them a home in downtown Bethesda that resulted in a 3% commission on a $200,000-plus sale for his company. "There's no doubt the Internet has a significant positive impact on our bottom line," Steve says.

Visit The Buyer's Edge from the Chamber's Member Marketplace or by going directly to

" Links" features case studies of the Web in action. Send examples of how your company is using the Web to do business to Communications & Technology Committee member Neil Waldman at [email protected]

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Chamber Events





Time: Noon
Cottonwood Cafe
4844 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda

Reservations Requested. Pay $12 at the door. Enjoy the cuisine of a Chamber member restaurant while you discuss the topics of the day with colleagues.


Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Dave & Buster's - White Flint
11301 Rockville Pike, N. Bethesda

No Charge To Members and Guests

Reservations required, RSVP to the Chamber by Sept. 5th.
Dave & Buster's is a 60,000 sq.ft. restaurant, bar & entertainment complex located in White Flint. They opened their doors on November 21, 1996, to an excited community that enjoys their Million Dollar Midway which contains over 300 electronic simulators. Please join them and be prepared to power up your D&B game cards while networking with businessmen/women from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase business community.


Time: 7:15-9:00 AM

*"Bring Two Get One Free"
Bethesda Ramada Hotel

8400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda
Chamber Member Fee:
$13 Pre-registration by 9/12 - $17 Thereafter and at the door
Non-Chamber Member Fee:
$15 Pre-registration by 9/12 - $19 Thereafter and at the door

The monthly networking breakfast is an excellent venue for you to meet prospective clients, new colleagues and enjoy a continental breakfast. Reminder - Free parking is available at O'Donnell's Restaurant, 8301 Wisconsin Avenue, thanks to Bill Edelblut.


Time: 8:00-9:00 AM

BCC Chamber Office

Learn how to get the most out of your membership investment at this fast-paced 60-minute briefing on the Chamber, its programs, committees and benefits.



Time: Noon

Clyde's Of Chevy Chase (See September 3)
70 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase


Time: 5:00-7:00 PM

George Mason Bank
7626 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda

No Charge To Members and Guests Reservations required, RSVP to the Chamber by Oct. 6th.



Time: 5:30-7:00 PM

7401 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 300, Bethesda

No Charge To Members and Guests
Hear All About The Hot Shoppes Development
Reservations requested.

A broad spectrum of persons interested in the Commercial Real Estate industry gather to discuss trends, new development and socialize.

WEDNESDAY October 22

Time: 8:00 AM
BCC Chamber Office

WEDNESDAY October 22

Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Bethesda Marriott Hotel
5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda

$30 prior to October 15th, $35 thereafter and at the door Reservations Requested

SATURDAY October 25
(See article on page 5)

THURSDAY October 30

Time: 7:15-9:00 AM
Bethesda Ramada Hotel (See Sept. 18)
8400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda

A Look Ahead...

All New Casino Night November 21
Blood Drive November 25
ShowBiz'98 January 30
Golf & Tennis Classic May 18

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Chamber Officers
Walter C. Pennington, Dembo, Jones, Healy, Pennington & Ahalt, P.C.

President Elect
Thomas E. Korengold, Ourisman Ford Co., Inc.

Past President
C. Robert Dalrymple, Linowes and Blocher LLP

Vice President Budget & Finance
Phyllis Lieberman, Stage Two Communications, Inc.

Vice Presidents
Community Development & Education

Joseph Lagomarcino, AccuBanc Mortgage Corporation

Economic Development
Peter Carney, Bethesda Theatre Café

Government Relations
Peter Carney, Bethesda Theatre Café

Member Services
Michael Fitzgerald, Sequoia National Bank

Membership Development
Deede Blum, Unforgettable Journeys

Counsel to the Board
Robert G. Brewer, Jr., Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd.

John C. Alexander, AMR Commercial, L.L.C.
Edward Hall Asher, The Chevy Chase Land Company
Tracy Bloom, Creative Parties, Ltd.
Carolyn Brown, Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Cliff Chiet, Gazette Newspaper
Barry Cogan, Realty Network, Inc., REALTORs
M.G. Diamond, Abrams, West, Storm & Diamond, P.C.
Kathryn Foster, McDonald's Family Restaurant
Patricia Harris, Wilkes, Artis, Hedrick & Lane, Chtd.
Magdy Ibrahim, MBI-Interior and Architectural Design
Richard G. Kief, Suburban Hospital
Susan D. Lemmon, Sandy Spring National Bank
Barbara Reinike, Lockheed Martin
Randy Schools, N.I.H. Recreation and Welfare Association
Rynthia Manning Rost, GEICO
J. Christopher Smith, CommonWealth Financial Group

Executive Director
Anne S. Core
Director of Government Relations
James P. Goeden
Manager, Administration and Membership
Margery F. Shrinsky
Manager, Administration and Finance
Kathryn R. Stanton
Receptionist/Office Assistant
June A. Clark

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© Copyright 1997. The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce,
Bethesda, MD. 20814. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.