Marion After Hours brings businesses together
Marion — A new group is getting Marion’s many entrepreneurs together for conversation and maybe collaboration.
Ryan Hill recently reignited Marion After Hours, a group that was dormant for many years, in an effort to strengthen the business community in town.
“Marion needs this group,” said Hill, an investment advisor who also owns Silvershell Inn with his wife Kate. “It really helps tie together the fabric of the community. It’s important to have that to continue to move Marion in a positive direction.”
Hill took on the job of organizing the group, gathering more than a hundred contacts from business leaders in town. When he sent out the initial correspondence asking for businesses to host the monthly gatherings, the response was immediate and positive.
“Within twenty-four hours it was booked for September to May,” said Ryan.
The meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month and bring together business owners from a variety of areas, from artists to investment bankers.
Anthi Frangiadis, an architect based on Spring Street, hosted the March meeting and invited New Bedford-based Duende Glass.
Duende co-founder Tracy Silva Barbosa put her artwork on display at the After Hours event. The elaborate layered pieces are etched, gold-leafed, painted and laminated. Duende's pieces are featured in hospitals as well as homes. The Marion gathering was an opportunity for Barbosa to a new her work to a new set of art appreciators.
Bringing people together is a hallmark of Frangiadis' business.
“I collaborate with about fifty artists in the shop,” she said. “Rising tides lift all ships.”
The hard part for business owners is taking time to interact with others outside their field, but there’s a real value to that, said Gregg Nourjian, an investment banker with “other entrepreneurial pursuits.”
“A lot of the time your head is so down in your business,” he said. “It helps to get out and see people.”
Kate Ross of Kate’s Simple Eats agreed and said Marion After Hours can only help with that.
“I’m very pro-business in Marion, and if people can mingle with each other and share ideas about how to make this a better community, it’s a valuable asset,” she said.
The next Marion After Hours is April 4 at the Marion Institute/Baldwin Brothers at 204 Spring St. from 5-7 p.m. For more information and to sign up for the email list, contact Ryan Hill at email@example.com.