Lipstick Luncheon speakers share passion for business


On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the North Central Chamber of Commerce's (NCCC) Women in Business Council kicked off the first in a yearlong series of Lipstick Luncheons.

"We had four very interesting speakers and each lady offered insight into how they actually started their business," said Kelly Patz, the Chamber's new events coordinator.

The theme of Tuesday's luncheon, which was held at Pocasset Bay Retirement Living and featured a meal prepared by Executive Chef Steve Booker, was "Passion."

The speaking program featured Karen Dalton of Shop.Com, Amber Loxley-Kelley of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Rita Maron of the Academy Players and Jean Phillips, who owns and operates Decadent Designs. Each of the women explained how they used their passion and turned that into a successful business.

Kimberly Moore, a member of the NCCC's Board of Directors who is a financial planner and works for the Bulfinch Group, moderated what Patz called "an inspirational speaking program." Dorothy Swain, the director of the Greenville Library, is chairwoman of the NCCC's Women in Business Council.

Patz was pleased with Tuesday's turnout and said they are looking forward to future Lipstick Luncheons. No dates, however, have been set for the next meeting.

Nonetheless, Patz and NCCC President Deborah Ramos said the Chamber had a lot on its plate, including last week's Parent's Night Out and a scholarship fundraiser at Pizzeria UNO in Smithfield this past Monday. The restaurant, which has hosted a number of NCCC events in past years, donated 20 percent from participating customers' checks to the scholarship fund.

Gary McCauley, a former member of the NCCC's Board of Directors, is the general manager at UNO. The restaurant is also a long-time member of the Chamber.

Coming up next for the Chamber is the February Business After Hours, which will be hosted by Steve Lepre, who owns a number of physical therapy and wellness centers in Rhode Island.

That event is set for tonight, Feb. 21, at Lepre Physical Therapy and Wellness Center at 1525 Smith Street in North Providence. The networking event will run from 5 to 7 p.m. and is open to both NCCC members and non-members.

"It's a free networking opportunity for all our members," said Patz. "This will be the Chamber's first Business After Hours at Lepre Physical Therapy. It's a great facility and we urge people to bring lots of business cards. Food and drinks will be provided and we will continue the tradition of having raffles at this event."

The Chamber is actively seeking new members in the towns of Johnston, North Providence, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster and Glocester. For more information, call Ramos at 349-4674.


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