On Tuesday night I hopped in the car and drove what I call “east of Jesus” out to Manlius for a networking event called “PRIME – Over 40” hosted by one of my online friends that I finally got to meet in person, Wendy Cobrda; also finally learned how to pronounce her name. 🙂 Actually, she was more of the facilitator than host, as she stated during the night, and it’s probably a good thing because she’s good at it.

It was held at the Cavalry Club, which is a private club and golf course and I have to say that it’s a beautiful place. I don’t golf, and it was getting dark, but I hope some of the pictures I took of the place show just how cool it is. Golf courses are pretty to look at, especially in autumn; I’m still not playing.

There ended up being more than 30 people there and we had a buffet meal of cold cuts for the most part, with some ziti and soup, and some cookies. Okay, I have to say it, mainly because many of you know me and how I talk about desserts; I didn’t like the cookies. There, something bad, but hey, what are you going to do right?

The first 2/3rds of the event, after we got our food, was spent going around the room and having people talk about themselves and why they liked living in the Syracuse area. I think we got lucky; only one person stated he was ready to leave Syracuse, and it was for a business reason rather than a personal reason. I stated that I’ve loved this area since I got here in 1975, and compared to other places I’d lived or visited it’s just wonderful here. True, it’s not perfect; I’m not happy we lost the symphony and that we don’t have a Ruth Chris Steakhouse here, but there are so many other perks that I don’t mind those so much (and we could get a symphony back; that wouldn’t depress me one bit).

In being truthful, the final 1/3rd of the event was a bit disjointed, yet illuminating. You learn that people are passionate about their community, and that’s never a bad thing. You find that there’s a mix of people who think the bad things are worse than they are, the good things are better than they are, not enough or too much information is shared, Syracuse people have a complex or aren’t looking at the big picture, etc.

From what I understand that was what was expected at this particular meeting, since it wasn’t the first PRIME event, just the first one I’ve gone to. The idea was to see if there was something that, as a group, people wanted to advance, or just what they were hoping for in general.

Being me, I had my say here and there. To a suggestion that maybe we could set up a website or something where we’d all write articles I stated that type of thing almost never works because the work devolves into 2 or 3 people doing it all and thus it becomes expected of them, and if they’re not getting paid it’s not much fun. To something else I stated that I like talking about the positives of central New York when I leave town, and how I’ve read article that, instead of beating us up over the amount of snow we get, praise us and envy us for things such as the Carrier Dome and Armory Square, and how I’d love to see central New York as a convention center for visitors and an area promoted as having something for everyone, which it really does. And I said some other things I don’t remember right now; this was the over-40 group after all and memories aren’t what they used to be. lol

At the end of the night I was both confused and kind of happy I went. I was confused because I still wasn’t sure what the direction of the group was going to be, if there was going to be a direction. I was happy in that I got to meet some new people and see some people I already knew, and got reacquainted with some others. Here’s some of the folks I knew or remember and their Twitter links; I gave you Wendy’s above: Kelvin Ringold; Jill Hurst-Wahl; Robin Bridson; Bill Pfohl; Jerry Reed; Margaret Luttinger.

It was still somewhat impressive that they were able to get more than 30 people to an event via LinkedIn; I think that’s important because almost every other event I learned about through Twitter and I always knew LinkedIn could have that kind of power.

I think it’s important for business people, leaders and employees and just regular folks, to get together that have dreams and good memories about this area, and are willing to share those things. It was amazing how many people were actually from other places, ended up in central New York, and can’t even conceive not living here. It’s this type of thing all of us who are here should be proud of, and one of the reasons I created this blog in the first place. It’s not all good and it’s not all bad, but it’s our home and worth getting together to talk about. And who knows, we might even solve some things; now wouldn’t that be interesting! If you’re interested in seeing what people are saying take a look at the group on LinkedIn.

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