What does Dane Buy Local mean to EZ Office Products and its President Rose Molz? It does not mean just buying local. Rose says: “It’s about THINKING local FIRST. It’s about understanding that we can influence the state of our local economy.” Rose added: “Buying local is not just ‘you buy from me, I buy from you’. Dane County is like the hub of a wheel and all of the businesses in the county are its spokes. The healthier the spokes are, the better the county is as a whole.”
In support of the Dane County Buy Local Movement
, Rose and our General Manager Greg Gottschalk had the pleasure of attending a combined total of three recent events. For Rose, those events were the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce neXXpo
and the Dane Buy Local Gala
. Greg attended the Fitchburg Spring Business Expo
Selling out weeks prior to its event date of April 8, neXXpo was a highly anticipated expo that more than 800 people attended. As noted by Rose, it used to be called the Annual Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, but this year, it was given a fresh new name. In past years, it also followed the format of a traditional business expo. Our team would feature 14 different booths with different manufacturers, appropriately named the EZ Aisle. EZOP has been attending since we’ve been in business. This year, we sponsored the kickoff luncheon and Rose briefly spoke on behalf of EZOP to address that all businesses, regardless of industry, need to band together to make our economy strong and that local chambers of commerce are one of the best ways to do so.
“The GMCC theme of the event was ‘discover business in fast forward’. EZOP sponsored the luncheon as a way of paying it forward to the Chamber and community for their support since we’ve been in business,” Rose said.
The purpose of this event was to showcase startups in the Greater Madison Area. New this year was the Pressure Chamber
– a contest in which six startups pitched their business model to a panel of judges. The prize — a golden suitcase including trip to California to meet with venture capitalists — went to the Fishidy
team. This, in addition to Scott Aughenbaugh’s seminar, ‘Seven Revolutions: Scanning the Business Horizon Out to the Year 2035 and Beyond
’ stood out to Rose. “It’s one thing to read, study and try to understand, but was incredible to listen to Scott talk about what business is going to be like in such a short period of time.”
neXXpo was held at Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall. For more information, visit the Chamber’s website
Buy Local Gala
This year marks the 10th
anniversary of Dane Buy Local. The purpose of the Gala was to get all the members of Dane Buy Local (and some who are not) together. “It was our desire to make others aware of the different things our local businesses have to offer,” Rose said.
The gala was filled with great local food and great local people. It really was a gala event with everyone all decked out, dancing and a silent auction. In the silent auction, Rose’s bid won coffee with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
, which she’s really excited about. Rose mentioned that the event had a terrific turnout, especially for a Thursday night in April – a time when so many other things are going on. She added that there was electricity in the air and the energy was amazing. Left and right, business owners and community members were getting to know one another. This event was held at the Madison Masonic Center in the Grand Ballroom.
Fitchburg Spring Business Expo
More intimate than the other two events was the Fitchburg Spring Business Expo
held at Fitchburg Community Center. For the fifth year in a row, Greg attended. He said: “It’s a smaller event than most expos but I like that. There was a lot of business networking and on behalf of EZOP, I gave away two prizes.”
The expo was sponsored by two of our customers – Summit Credit Union
and the Wisconsin Brewing Company
. Many attendees played Business Bingo for the chance to win a grand prize package that consisted of gift certificates from several local businesses.
Before you make your next purchase, remember to THINK LOCAL FIRST.