Getting To Know Stone Oak

By Stefanie Young

The Stone Oak and 10 West Business Associations are committed to creating a friendly network among its business members and the community. They provide a fun way to get to know the businesses that influence the community around them and give insight into the needs and demands of running a business, making changes for the better and expanding markets. Each month, the associations hold networking meetings open to both members and non-members, and every event offers a new and unique experience to those who attend.

SOBA and the 10 West Business Association kicked off the year in January with a combined speed-networking event at Canyon Springs Golf Club. Those in attendance used the opportunity to meet other like-minded businesses and make connections.

On March 20, 2014 the association hosted the first breakfast mixer of the year at The Egg and I. More than 50 people were in attendance and took part in the introductions, festivities and networking, all while enjoying a delicious meal.
“These breakfast events are unique and fun,” Said Sierra Hernandez, an organizer for the event. “Everyone gets to start their day the right way, have breakfast while helping to grow their business.”

This was just one event that the Stone Oak and 10 West Business Associations organized to provide their growing communities with networking opportunities and a free exchange of information as well as mutual support.

On April 24 SOBA held their 12th Annual business expo, as a fundraising opportunity to help the SOBA scholarship program benefit both Reagan and Johnson High School. The event took place on the Reagan High School campus and provided an opportunity for more than 60 local businesses to set up booths and market to the public.

“This is a regular event that has a good cause,” said a SOBA representative. “The proceeds go to college scholarships for high school seniors, but everyone who attends has a good time. Our goal is to get the community to come out. Community businesses win by having a chance to market, students win by receiving scholarships, and parents win by learning of new opportunities that may assist them.”

The Expo drew a variety of businesses (including both SOBA members and non-members alike) that all share the belief that marketing can support education. Many area restaurants provided free samples, while other businesses offered drawings and giveaways. Local businesses donated dozens of prizes that were raffled away to lucky winners throughout the evening, adding to the fun. By purchasing a booth at the expo, vendors contributed to making multiple student scholarships possible.

SOBA, taking into consideration the importance of correctly running a business, hosted a free three-part lecture informing guests about litigation dangers facing small business owners during its May breakfast mixer. The networking meeting and first half of the lecture took place on May 8th at The Egg & I on Sonterra Boulevard. Those in attendance received a complementary breakfast with coffee before Charles Vethan, founder of the Vethan Law Firm P.C., spoke about potential lawsuits facing small businesses.

“I think this was a fantastic meeting. A lot of business owners and decision makers were here, so the information presented benefits them, and it allows us to meet with them one on one,” Vethan said. “Our law firm is a very specialized firm – we have a very narrow focus, focusing on aggressively growing businesses, and what SOBA had here today is ideal. It was a mutually beneficial breakfast, and hopefully we met some new friends.”

The second half of the lecture took place on August 13th where Vethan picked up the discussion where he left off and spoke about establishing dispute resolution procedures before the need arises with the third discussion covering non-compete contracts and high management positions within a company on October 22nd. He also discussed how to keep the intellectual property of a business within the company.

After so much talk of business, SOBA decided to host a night of good company, delicious drinks and the sweet taste of Texas BBQ during the SOBA’s Summer Rodeo on August 22. The event took place at Tejas Rodeo located on Obst Road, in Bulverde, and offered its guests a chance to converse and exchange contact information while enjoying live music and relaxing within an old-fashioned atmosphere. This event was a mixer that brought guests back to the original idea behind SOBA: networking. Mixers such as these help small business owners meet as many new people as possible and create new useful contacts.

With the business expo in April being overwhelmingly more successful than anticipated, SOBA welcomed the opportunity to help businesses once again and hosted a second expo in September at Johnson High School.

The event took place in the cafeteria and courtyard area where more than 60 businesses set up booths and tables to market to the public. The event drew a diverse group of businesses together for a chance to market to the public while supporting education in our community. Health services, communication enhancements, tutoring, construction groups, home and auto repair businesses, and restaurants showcased their goods and services with tastings and demonstrations.

Prizes were donated by the businesses participating and were raffled off throughout the event while guests enjoyed samples of good and giveaways at individual booths.

“The money that is raised goes toward scholarships for the kids and that’s the important thing,” Chickie from Independence Hill explained when asked what she enjoyed about participating in the event. “Of course it’s always great when you make great connections and meet new people.”

The Stone Oak Business Association is dedicated to providing the growing communities with networking opportunities, a free exchange of information as well as mutual support. The organization will continue to hold monthly networking events and look for new ways to bring its members together and provide fun, working opportunities for companies to become more involved in their business community.

To find out more about the Stone Oak Business Association, the 10 West Business Association or the monthly meetings, email soba@satx.rr.com or call 210-348-8233.