Chamber showcases businesses

Business owners and managers looking for a leg up in hard times — together with residents hoping to gain insight into everything from insurance to entrepreneurship — can pick up tasty treats, valuable contacts and information at the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase on Wednesday.

More than three dozen businesses will staff informational booths, while several local restaurants will offer a taste of their specialties for the expected 300 to 400 attendees.

The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road.

"We are doing this because people are looking for new ways to build business in the current economy, because it is tough for them," said Judee Kendall, the chamber's executive vice president.

Kendall said Forest Lawn Memorial Park might bring a Los Angeles Dodgers-themed coffin to display, though the Dodgers' chances in the 2010 season were laid to rest more than a month ago. Other participants plan to offer information about their enterprises that will help other businesses thrive.

Kimberly Holland, executive director of the Glendale Community College Professional Development Center, said the annual event is a "very rewarding" way to connect with businesses seeking the training her group offers.

The organization offers state-funded programs on subjects ranging from computer training and management skills, to how to read a blueprint. Past clients have included Nestle USA, Porto's Bakery and start-ups with as few as three workers, she said.

Eric Hamilton, an agent-broker with Crescenta Valley Insurance Inc., will be wearing two hats at the event. His company has a booth, as does a cluster of local Rotary clubs. He anticipates questions from all corners.

"Are auto insurance rates down? Do smoke claims affect your service? How does health-care reform help you?" Hamilton said. "We are educators first, and agents second. Each agent in our office is going to take an hour in the booth and talk with people about what they are interested in."

Tickets to the event are $20. For more information, visit, call (818) 240-7870 or e-mail

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