RYE, N.Y. -- Name tags, poster boards and pamphlets filled the Hilton Rye Town Thursday afternoon as businesses from across Westchester County looked to network, network, network at the 10th annual Business Council of Westchester Mega Mixer.
The Business Council of Westchester has more than 1,000 members and strives to grow the economy by creating opportunities for partnerships, such as the Mega Mixer, said Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council.
"The goal is really to connect businesses with each other," she said. "This is a chance for them to sell products, services, meet each other and connect in a way that promotes opportunities to build their businesses throughout the year."
Steven Frissora is the managing partner of Arcanna, a food and beverage marketing company that has been in Peekskill for about 20 years. Thursday was Arcanna's first time attending the Mega Mixer, which Frissora said was a trial run to see if the company could draw in new clients.
Like Arcanna, the Music Conservatory of Westchester , based in White Plains since 1929, was testing the waters this year, and found it to be just right.
"The whole atmosphere is, 'Let's do business together,' " said Christine Meyer, director of development for the conservatory, who wondered why the conservatory hadn't been doing this for the past nine years. "It's a wonderful place to talk to people about what we do. We have 2,000 students, but people still feel us to be one of the best-kept secrets in Westchester."
In addition to businesses, large and small, many nonprofits and public services were represented, including the Furniture Sharehouse . Kate Bialo, its executive director, sought to get its name out there, so that when people clean out their houses, they know they can donate belongings to a good cause.
"If it comes to us, we can guarantee it gets to a family in need, free of charge," Bialo said.
Similarly, the Westchester Library System set up a table to educate people on the services it provides, which often go unrecognized, said Patricia Braja, its director of development. In tough economic times, libraries provide people with free and accessible resources, she said.
"I think we have a lot to offer businesses, and we want to partner with businesses," Baja said.
The Mega Mixer also featured a green aisle, spotlighting 25 Westchester businesses that participate in the Green Business Challenge , a program designed to help all companies become more environmentally sustainable, while improving performance and saving money.