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Series to provide casual setting for learning and networking

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GREENFIELD — The county’s three chambers of commerce and Hancock County Leaders In Navigating Knowledge are collaborating to launch a new brew of business resources open to all county residents.

The first in a series of Caffeinated Conversations starts Jan. 16 and will provide participants not only a new venue to connect and network, but give them the opportunity to drive the discussion.

“We want people to attend this event who want to learn things,” said Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Retta Livengood. “And the attendees will help formulate the program.

Organizers said the series, which they hope will become monthly gatherings, will follow a conference-style format with short breakout sessions based on what people say they want to learn.

“Each of the sessions will be about 10 minutes, and attendees can pick two,” said Danielle Daugherty, education development director for Hancock County LINK, the county’s local agency that connects residents with resources to continue their educations.

“We’re keeping it purposely vague at this point so that we can allow the topics to be relevant to what the group wants to hear,” Daugherty said.

Those attending the initial session will be asked to submit topics that they wish to learn more about, such as target marketing, customer service, navigating the maze of regulatory compliance or hiring and retention.

“We want to respond to what they want and need,” Livengood said. “We’ll find some experts on specific topics if necessary.”

As the momentum builds, the meetings will travel throughout the county at various locations to make them as accessible as possible for anyone who is interested.

  “We are looking forward to facilitating the series to share knowledge with businesses from every corner of the county,” said Nancy Strickland, executive director of the Fortville-McCordsville Chamber of Commerce.

“This series is for the entire county,” said Andrea Mallory, Greenfield chamber executive assistant.

The meetings will be geared as much for those already in the business sector as those who might be contemplating starting a business, and membership in any of the sponsoring chambers is not required. The topics will be limited only by the input organizers receive.

“The information participants take away from Caffeinated Conversations will be valuable to anyone in the business community,” said Caralee Griffith of the New Palestine Chamber of Commerce.

“We see this as a great catalyst for sharing, learning and connecting,” Daugherty said.

Seating for the first conversation is limited, and reservations are encouraged at www.educatehancockcounty.com.

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