Every 90 seconds a bell rang, giving the large room at Edmond Town Hall the feel of a trading floor. Forty-nine business owners and professionals seated around seven tables took turns giving their "elevator pitch" in The Power Network's Speed Networking event Tuesday evening.
The Power Network is a networking and leads group exclusive to members of the Newtown and Monroe chambers of commerce. Charter Business sponsored the organization's third annual Speed Networking.
Harriette Trevino, president of The Power Network and owner of Bull's Head Printers in Monroe, sought the help of her friend Ned Rosen in planning the Speed Networking. Rosen is a mathematics professor at Boston College.
"Our goal was to have every person meet every person in the room without duplication," Trevino recalled. "I wrote Ed asking, 'Is there any way you can help a damsel in distress?' And he said, 'Here I am on a white horse.'"
Rosen created an algorithm. Each participant followed a rotation card telling them what table to sit at for each round. There were seven tables and seven rounds.
Trevino said Rosen has been a professor for three decades and is retiring this year. "He told me this is the first useful thing he was able to apply his math to," Trevino said with a laugh. "This is confirmed to work."
Maureen Birden of Newtown Savings Bank served as the time keeper, while Janice Snyder, also of Newtown Savings Bank, rang the bell letting everyone know when their pitches were over and when the rounds had ended.
A wide range of businesses were represented, from insurance, fitness and Real Estate to carpet cleaning. They hailed from Monroe and Newtown, as well as several other area towns.
Monroe Chamber of Commerce President Raymond Giovanni, who is president of Union Savings Bank in Monroe, participated in the event, along with Newtown Chamber President Tim Haas.
Giovanni said the networking event was an example of how the communities of Monroe and Newtown are working together. "I'm really pleased with the turnout, with the results and the exchange," he said.