Connections MADE: Meet & Eat
Connections MADE: Meet & Eat is Mason Deerfield Chamber's popular networking event and offers lunch provided by a rotating member restaurant or venue. During the meeting members have a brief opportunity to introduce themselves and their business to the group, connect with new members, and expand their personal and professional networks. Each event also includes a featured speaker, or panel of speakers, who will be discussing their business journeys and topics of interest concerning the greater MADE region.
About November's EventNovember's featured speakers are each 2022 Gems of Excellence award nominees, including: Mark Allen with Focal Point Business Coaching & Training, Cody Gonzalez with Carrabba's Italian Grill, Zach McCollum with Countryside YMCA, and Colleen Pfaller with A Slice of HR.
Focal Point Business Coaching
Cody GonzalezCarrabba's Italian Grill
2022 Hospitality Hero Nominee
Zach McCollumCountryside YMCA
2022 Rising Star Nominee
Collee PfallerA Slice of HR
2022 Innovative Business of the Year Nominee
Focal Point Business Coaching and Training
Mark Allen is a Business Coach and Training Professional for FocalPoint Business Coaching. His practice combines Mark’s 30+ years of business and leadership experience with the powerful results-based content and practical, effective tools.
Mark got his start in business helping run part of his family’s manufacturing business in California. Mark then spent the majority of his corporate career honing his skills at three Fortune 100 organizations. He has a history of leading teams through transitions, growth periods and down-turns. He has served as an executive leader overseeing numerous high volume, multi-location departments, including: Operations, Customer Service, Marketing, Customer Correspondence, Billing Statement Production and Remittance processing, Human Resource Communications, and Benefit and Retirement Plan Administration
Mark brings a wealth of talent development, team building and leadership experience to his role as a business and executive coach. In his career, he has worked for and with all types of businesses, from large international corporations to locally owned entrepreneurships.
Throughout his life, he has learned the key factors to personal and business success……Be genuine and be deliberate in your drive and passion to achieve your goals. Mark is proud of the impact he has on his clients and is dedicated to improving business teams and their results.
Carrabba's Italina Grill
Meet Cody Gonzalez, the passionate owner of Carrabba's Italian Grill. With a focus on excellent hospitality and community involvement, Cody is setting the standard for the service industry.
Hospitality to Cody is about creating an atmosphere where guests feel cherished and valued. Every guest who walks through the doors of Carrabba's is treated like family.
Cody actively supports local charities, fundraisers, and community events. Whether it's sponsoring local teams or organizing dine to donate events. Cody ensures that Carrabba's is not just a restaurant but an active member of the community.
Cody is committed to creating memorable experiences both in the dining room and in our community!
Zach McCollum was born and raised in Greater Cincinnati. Shortly after graduating from Asbury University, he began working for Countryside YMCA and has now been there for 21 years in a variety of capacities. He and his wife, Christy, have been married since 2016 and live in the Eastgate area.
A Slice of HR
Colleen Pfaller is the CEO and Founder of the HR & Recruiting Firm, A Slice of HR.
Xavier University Alumni, who earned her BA & MS In Human Resources Management and holds a Senior Human Resources Management Certification (SPHR) and Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certification (SHRM - SCP).
Prior to starting her business in Mason, Ohio, Colleen’s professional background includes 15 years of experience in the field, with companies such as Samuel Adams Brewery, Comair, and Jim Beam.
She launched A Slice of HR in 2017 , which all paired nicely with the growing business need, yet flexible schedule for a growing family, and a passion for building dynamic teams.
Outside of work, she enjoys Avenger movie nights, Xavier basketball, Sycamore Youth Sports, long travel drives with weird tourist traps, and everything else that comes with hanging out with her husband, Keith, and their three active boys.
Colleen has been featured in Money Magazine, NPR’s Marketplace, Thrive Global, CareerBuilder, Spark Hire, National SHRM, Disrupt HR, and HR Today. A Slice of HR has been recognized by Mason Chamber of Commerce as one of the area’s most innovative businesses in 2023, voted Best HR Firm by Cincinnati Magazine for two consecutive years, is a Score 2023 Business of the Year nominee and has been named one of the top 50 Best Workplaces by Ohio Business Magazine.