On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce hosted its largest Showcase Catoosa Business Expo ever. The event was held at The Colonnade in Ringgold.

“We had 97 vendors,” says Chamber president and CEO Amy Jackson. “It takes a lot of work to do an event like this and we had a great expo committee, headed up by Lacey Cummings from FNB Bank.”

Businesses, governments, nonprofits and others set up booths to wow the attendees and showcase their products and services. They gave away food, candy and prizes in addition to a wealth of information. There were many mascots mingling with the crowd, from animals to traffic cones.

Jackson says she was especially pleased with how people at the expo were networking with each other and with attendees. “One vendor said if he could close on even a third of the contacts he made at the Expo he would meet his quota for the entire next year.”

The Chamber awarded three prizes to businesses: Judges’ Best Booth, won by the Colonnade; People’s choice, won by Homescape Pros; and the Golden Spoon award, won by Publix Deli.

The big door prize was two round-trip air tickets to any non-stop destination from Chattanooga, courtesy of the Chattanooga Airport Authority, won by Jimmie Dwyer. “Jimmie and his wife had wandered over to the expo from the seniors center,” says Jackson. “When he told his wife he’d won the door prize, she didn’t believe him.”

The five sponsors of the Expo this year were: The City of Fort Oglethorpe, FNB Bank, Center for Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics, NHC Healthcare of Fort Oglethorpe, and CHI Memorial.

Jackson says she looks forward to an even bigger event next year. “It just keeps growing. It’s very beneficial to businesses and a great and fun way for the public to learn about everything that’s available in their community.”

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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