Being Bruce -: Where Would We Be Without Free Event Food?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where Would We Be Without Free Event Food?

This blog entry is really about a ribbon-cutting at a local bank, but it's lunchtime so I'm thinking about food. Yesterday they had great food at the ribbon-cutting of the new Leland branch of East Carolina Bank. I've worked in several professions, including teaching, counseling, high-tech freelance writing, and now real estate. One thing all those fields have in common is plenty of good food at hand, either because someone likes to bake cookies, or the office manager decides it's time for some calorie-fueled staff bonding, or, the best ever, when food is involved with public relations events. In the high tech journalism world fancy meals and parties abound, and we kept our journalistic integrity by eating with everyone, not singling out just one vendor. Real estate agents also have lots of food around - do you really think the cookies at open houses are for visitors? I've witnessed open houses with only three visitors where 2 dozen chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies disappeared (and yes, I do prefer home-made, but store bought are generally fine, too). OK, so anyway, with the final comment that therapist office food is usually pretty sparse (as I recall we'd get all worked up over a box of donuts!) and make sure you feel some sympathy for radio jocks, because radio stations have nothing to offer but very old, very thick, but still hot, black sludgy coffee.

Recently, however, I've found a whole new way to indulge my urges for carbs, protein, and fat (it's called the Equal Opportunity Eating Diet). Attending ribbon-cuttings and Business After Hours events held by members of the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce is a great excuse to sample homemade and restaurant food in abundance, and yesterday's ECB ribbon-cutting, catered by Charlie Macgrooder's restaurant in Leland, was no exception.

But enough about food! Here's the serious business announcement. Local notables and ECB executives and staff were on hand for the official ribbon-cutting of East Carolina's newest branch. The Leland location is ECB's the 24th office - not bad for a bank that started in a former barber shop in Engelhard, NC.

The nicest thing about the ribbon cutting was that the ribbon was stuck with $20 bills that after the ceremony were donated to Lynn Carlson, Executive Director of Hope Harbor Home Domestic Violence Shelter in Brunswick County. This charitable gesture is a super tradition with ECB, so hat's off to whoever started it and to those who continue the generosity. (I counted 32 $20 bills in the photo, but there may be a few more, so that's a bunch of bucks!).

Here's the lineup of the cast of characters in the photo above (not counting two or three people whose faces we can't see but were probably just getting in position to be the first at the buffet table anyway). From left to right: Miriam Lee, ECB Teller; Victor Pearsall, North Brunswick Chamber VP, and banker with Security Savings Bank; Jerry Brett, Regional Honcho and all-round good guy with ECB; Lynn Carlson, Executive Director, Hope Harbor Home; Debra Gill-Mason, Volunter Extraordinaire, NBCC; Susan Cruse, Branch Manager, ECB; Tony Vlach, Nationwide Insurance; Art Keeney, ECB President and CEO; Dorson White, ECB Executive VP and CFO; Brian Hartzell, ECB Business Banking; and Ashley Sander, ECB Senior Teller.

Staying true to their roots, ECB has a great name for their Automatic Teller Machines. They don't even point it out to people, so they must take it for granted, but I think it's hilarious that they call their outside ATM machines their "Outer Banker".

Leland's growing fast and it's great to have businesses that have a sense of giving and community support, that have a sense of humor, and also that serve great food at P.R. events.