Posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 3:00 am
It was one of those ideas that was everyone’s idea.
At least that’s the way Ken Riehl, Kerry McKenna and Mari Martin explain how the plan got hatched for the Cape Ann Divas to rock Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s Jan. 23 gala at Rockport’s Shalin Liu.
It’s the 94th year for the chamber’s annual gala, and for the 93 Januarys leading up to this one, all had faithfully followed the same tried and true, festive format of dinner, music and dancing.
But no matter how festive, no matter how great the food and mood, 93 years of tried and true can get a bit tired; so, says chamber CEO Riehl, “it just seemed time to mix it up a bit.”
McKenna, who is the chamber’s director of event planning and a former marketing professional, puts it another way. “We’re all about finding ways to do what we do better and better,” she says; and in the two years since she and Riehl joined the chamber, better has often meant braver. In a community not noted for embracing change, the pair have been agents for some big ones, including last fall’s relaunch of Cape Ann’s old Restaurant Week as the newly conceived, newly named and newly energized “Dine Out Cape Ann.”
“You never know what people will like till you try it,” says McKenna, who, for her part tried — with sizzling success — hosting a chamber’s women’s business group at the very unladylike likes of the Crow’s Nest.
Compared to the Crow’s Nest, the move to Shalin Liu was a no-brainer, laughs McKenna.
The idea began, she says, with the chamber “wanting to spread the love around” — in this case to Rockport, in honor of new incoming president Matt Anzivino, who reigns as managing director over Rockport Inn & Suites.
Enter the one-woman musical whirlwind of positive energy otherwise known as Mari Martin.
Read full article at Gloucestertimes.com