New England Business Expo has heavy hitters as keynote speakers

WESTBOROUGH _ For wedding anniversaries, the traditional 20-year wedding gift is china. For the 20th anniversary of the New England Business Expo, presented each year by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, there are a host of “gifts” for attendees.

The business expo, scheduled for Oct. 19, at the DCU Center in Worcester, will feature keynote speaker for the daylong event J.D. Power III, of J.D. Powers and Associates, who will address attendees at a luncheon. His message will be one of integrating the voice of the customer into businesses day-to-day operations.

“Our business partners and volunteers really make the New England Business Expo happen. The show comes to life as a result of their contributions. Companies like Fallon Community Health Plan, PENTA Communications, Inc., the Telegram & Gazette, and Charter Communications are the cornerstone of our efforts to create a Business Expo that you don’t want to miss,”said Richard B. Kennedy, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The day’s events will begin with a Breakfast Club meeting; sponsored by PENTA Communications, Inc. The event will kick-off the Expo. and will honor area businesses for their various achievements and milestones. Keynote speaker for the event, scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., will be former Red Sox all-star Rico Petrocelli.

“Fallon Community Health Plan is pleased to once again sponsor this special edition of The Breakfast Club at the New England Business Expo. This event is an important way in which the Chamber recognizes achievements and milestones and we extend our congratulations to the honorees. We wish them and all of the region’s businesses much success,” said Fallon Community Health Plan Intermediary Sales Manager Kathy Mullen.

“The Breakfast Club is a signature event for the Chamber and we are pleased to partner with PENTA Communications who is supporting the Expo by bringing us Rico Petrocelli-making this event even more special as we kick off the New England Business Expo,”Kennedy said.

Petrocelli is a former Red Sox shortstop, who played exclusively for Major League Baseball with the Red Sox from 1963 to 1976. He was known as one of the league’s best fielders for well over a decade and led the league shortstops in fielding percentage in 1968 and 1969. He was also inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997.

Petrocelli will entertain attendees with stories from his days as a Red Sox player and will share some of his own personal insights on the current Red Sox team, as well as bring people up-to-date on his recent ventures. Currently Petrocelli has a strategic partnership alliance with PENTA Communications, Inc.

“The New England Business Expo is a great opportunity for area companies to get connected. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the Worcester Chamber’s 20th Anniversary Expo and look forward to a successful event,”said PENTA Communications CEO Deborah Penta.

At last year’s expo there were 120 vendors representing 170 booths. This year’s event will be just as large, according to Sharyn Williams, director of Marketing and Communications for the Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

Attendance was in the thousands last year and Williams expects it to go even higher this year.

“It’s free admission with a business card,”Williams said.

Additional events include seminars throughout the day, speed networking along with
great food and wine tasting.

“This year the New England Business Expo has been designed so that attendees can book themselves out of the office for the entire day. Our Internet café will allow people to work right from the show floor so they won’t have to miss a thing,”Kennedy said. “The day’s events are a win too – if you have customers, you won’t want to miss lunch with J.D. Power III, the founder of J.D. Power and Associates. Their research on customer satisfaction is an important message for any business to hear.”

Show room floor is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information log onto www.worcesterchamber.org.