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Albert College hosts business-card mingle for Belleville Chamber of Commerce

By Vanessa Stark [1] and Matthew Murray [2]

BELLEVILLE – One of Belleville’s oldest institutions hosted a Belleville Chamber of Commerce [3] meet and greet as part of its 160th anniversary celebrations [4] Thursday night.

Local business owners met at Albert College [5] for the chamber’s monthly business-card mingle. The mingle allows people to grow contacts and make business connections in the Quinte region. The college is one of 600 businesses and organizations that are members of the Belleville chamber.

Bill Saunders, the chamber’s chief executive officer, said that despite being in an age when businesses can make these connections over social media, there’s just something better about doing business in person.

“We know social media is important,” Saunders said, “but we still believe there’s a need, especially in a smaller community, for face-to-face contact.”

“You can’t have the same quality of conversation (over social media) that you can having a face-to-face conversation,” he added.

The casual atmosphere of the event helps business owners better develop local relationships, and that’s something that the chamber likes about the event, Saunders said.

This is the third time Albert College has hosted a business-card mingle for the chamber. While the college was celebrating its 160th anniversary at the event, the night was mostly focused on the chamber of commerce, saidKeith Stansfield, the head of Albert College.

“We’ve been a part of Belleville for as long as there’s been a Belleville,” he said. “We see ourselves as being an integral part of the community, and being a part of the chamber is a part of that.”

With over 100 employees, the college has a major financial impact on Belleville and hosts events like the business-card mingle to help be a part of the community, Stansfield said.

“We can’t exist without a vibrant community. We feel very much a part of the community and hope the community feels the same way about us.”

The college’s other plans for its 160th anniversary include a public gala in April as well as the John Davidson ’59 Memorial Golf Tournament in June. The chamber of commerce mingle on Thursday was the first event the college is hosting as part of the anniversary celebrations in 2017.