New Exhibitors, Diverse Displays at Business Showcase

BOARDMAN, Ohio – For Dan Gossard, a landscape lighting specialist at Edison Landscape & Deck Lighting LLC, his goal for exhibiting at the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber’s Business Showcase was similar to what he wants to accomplish for clients – calling attention to his business.

The Poland company, a first-year exhibitor at Thursday’s event, was particularly looking to call attention to its holiday lighting business, which is “sort of a new business venture for us,” Gossard said.

Customers include the venue where the Business Showcase was being held, Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center; the city of Youngstown; Mill Creek MetroParks; Aladdin’s Eatery; and Magic Tree Pub & Eatery

“It’s not just for the holidays. It really helps businesses promote their business,” he continued. The display lighting “just kind of pops and sticks out” when motorists are driving along roadways such as Market Street or U.S. Route 224, he said.

Edison Lighting was among several new exhibitors that joined familiar faces and logos on display at the Business Showcase. New exhibitors represented about a third of the more than 60 members with displays, said April Stanislaw, director of special events for the Regional Chamber.

“We had a membership drive where we gained over 350 members this year and we have several of those people who took advantage of the showcase this year,” she said.

Exhibitors represented a broad range of Mahoning Valley businesses that included dining, real estate development and management, recreation, professional services, banking, insurance and health care.

Among the new exhibitors at this year’s event was Cork & Cap Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, Warren. Co-owner Nick Uroseva says he and his wife purchased the business, which does wine and craft beer tastings, in 2012.

Cork & Cap just completed a renovation of its tasting room, he said. “We have not done any marketing on our business thus far,” he said. “We’re about at that point where it makes good business sense to do so.” In addition to increasing community awareness of his business, his goals included displaying custom-made wine labels for the holidays and special events.

Another first-year exhibitor, Wonderstruck Artisan Market & Classes, Canfield, was focusing on its business-to-business program, said owner Stephanie Miller.

“We do paint parties,” Miller said. “It’s more or less for the non-artist to come in. We make it step by step, nice and easy for you, and we’ll walk you through how to make your painting.”

Business is great, she reported. Operating just over two years, the company recently opened a second location in Poland. The vast majority of its clients – 98%, she estimates – are women. “It’s a hobby that people are finally starting to discover,” she said.

A Business Showcase exhibitor for many years, Valley Office Solutions, Boardman, was showcasing Peak IT, the new branding for its information technology business. The company brought an Xbox game system that allowed visitors to the booth to climb a virtual mountain.

“We like to have fun and our slogan is ‘Helping you climb every mountain’ so we thought we’d bring an Xbox out and do some climbing and have races,” Bryan Blakeman, general manager said.  He had considered renting an actual climbing wall but insurance issues discouraged that.

The new branding has contributed to an increase of about 30% in the company’s IT business in the past few months, Blakeman reported. “We’re excited about the future,” he remarked.

Admin Net Tech LLC, Boardman, which does business computer networking, hoped to call attention to its services by showing live computer hardware under what appeared to be water in a fish tank. The tank actually was filled with mineral oil, which does not conduct electricity.

“I figured it would be the best way to catch a little bit of attention,” said Stephen Koscelansky, vice president.  “You’ve never seen any electronics sitting in liquid.”

Pictured: The owners of Cork & Cap Bottle Shop & Tasting Room in Warren, Loretta and Nick Uroseva, display their wares at the Business Showcase.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.