"Embracing the entrepreneurial spirit since 1998"
March 2014                                 Biz Buzz
Vol. 16, No.7
In This Issue
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Networking tips
Upcoming events
President's Message
Business Profile
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2013/14 Board of Directors

Donna Claimont

Vice President

Past President
Larry Summers
Linda Graceffo


Program Director



Community Events



Three great networking tips...


Sometimes people wonder why they don't get better results from their networking efforts.  Usually it is because they are not making the most of networking opportunities.


1. Arrive at meetings and group activities at least fifteen minutes early. Always attend the social hour if there is one.  This is the time when the most networking occurs.


Once the program for the evening has started there is usually little time for networking.


2. Stop waiting for something to happen.  Approach the event as if you were the host greeting people yourself.  Strike up a conversation.


If you smile and extend your hand, 99% of people you meet will smile back and introduce themselves in return.   


3.Carry a stack of business cards at all times. 



Upcoming events

The Mustard


will be at the Neighbourhood

Market on Saturday,

March 29th

from 10 a.m.

- to 1:00 p.m.

and on Sunday,

March 2nd and

16th at the

Little Red Church

in Comox from

10:00 a.m. -

2:00 p.m.  


Nancy Farey


250 792 3162

250 338 5147 

President's Message

stpattys_day3.jpg Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone. May the luck of the Irish bring you success in the coming months.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Board of Directors for the great job they have been doing this year.  I know there are still four meetings left but it's always nice to thank those who make my job so easy. Thank you! On that note, I hope you will consider joining the Board of Directors for the 2014/2015 year. Elections will be held at our Annual General Meeting in June.


March is going to be another great networking/round table discussion opportunity.  I personally like these meetings because it gives us the opportunity to ask questions and get suggestions from fellow members about issues we may be having in our respective businesses. So don't be shy! Bring your questions to this meeting. 


I hope you all have a great month. See you all in March.


Donna Clairmont
250-339-6785 - Email 
Directors' Reports

Program Report

Our March 6th meeting is breaking from the typical format of educational presentations, so guests and members have more time to tell each other what they do. Specifically, in lieu of a guest speaker, the meeting will be Power Networking and round table discussions. 

business-deal-illustration.jpg Each entrepreneur will present a one-to-two-minute summary of his or her business and what represents a good lead for that business. After the round-the-room introductions, the room will be open for networking.  


The meeting begins at 6pm with casual networking, is in the Evergreen Room (lower level) of the Florence Filberg Center on Anderton Avenue, Courtenay (behind the Sid Williams Theatre).


Door prizes are welcome and encouraged as an additional way to promote your individual business.


Janet Martyn
250 702 3633 - Email

Membership Report

Like every other association, the SBA is looking to increase its membership. One way to do this is to encourage current members to invite other business owners to come as guests to the monthly meetings. We keep track of this and, at our AGM in June, we will draw from the names of members who have brought guests throughout the year. One lucky member will win a free membership for the next year. So, look for the "I brought a guest" business card bowl at the check-in table at our monthly meetings, bring a guest and drop your business card in.


Another way to increase SBA exposure, for members who are participating in tradeshows and special eventsis to display our tent cards that say "Proud member of the CVSBA" and hand out our newly created bookmarks and business cards. We also have a brand new stand-up banner that we display at meetings and events, which increases our profile with our newly branded logo.


Linda Graceffo

Sparkling Graphics 

250 871 3323 - Email 


Social Report
We meet on the third Wednesday of each month, 5-7 pm at Chalk Lounge (Best Western, Courtenay). The next Social Night is March 19 - mark your calendars and see you there. 


Our annual awards night is coming up soon and it is time to start thinking about nominating fellow members. Nomination forms will be available on the website and at meetings very soon. 


Angela Zumbo   

The Mortgage Centre 

250 898 8821 - Email 

Newsletter Report

Please send in your submissions for the April newsletter by March 19.

Sarah Brune   

Inner Harmony Healing 
250 331 3228 - Email 
Business Profile
A business card is drawn at random for this feature.  

Your name:  Carolyn West-Price Touhey
Business name:  SmartBiz Strategy & Two Eagles Lodge

A business trip to Vancouver in 2004 changed Carolyn Touhey's life forever. She and her husband moved here from Maryland in 2006 and built Two Eagles Lodge, an award-winning, waterfront B&B on 12 pastoral acres in Union Bay.


The B&B is a separate wing on the house, with private baths/entrances facing the water. There is a guest lounge/kitchenette, and family-size vacation rental, too. Their home has also become a venue for weddings, celebrations of life, barbeques, private parties, and house concerts.


Two Eagles has also earned significant awards, including "Hospitality Business of the Year"-a Vancouver Island Business Excellence Award-and "Ambassadors of the Year" from the SBA, among others. The B&B is a five-star TripAdvisor property, as well.


While running the B&B with Steve, Carolyn continued her marketing consulting and opened SmartBiz Strategy in the Valley. She offers 25+ years of experience to help clients maximize the impact of their marketing efforts within tight budgets.


Getting a business off the ground with proper branding (name, logo, materials) is often a starting point. She does the strategy, writing, and conceptual design of pieces and then works with designers to create the print-ready or web-ready pieces.


Carolyn offers a free 30-minute consultation for business owners, but is offering to expand that to 60 minutes for SBA members.