01
Feb

The Sandoval Economic Alliance and Club Rio Rancho partnered Tuesday to host and sponsor a party aimed at attracting Albuquerque and statewide business to the City of Vision.

The event was held at Club Rio Rancho and showcased businesses featured in the February “coffee” issue of Albuquerque the Magazine, including St. James Tea Room and Villa Myriam Coffee. The publication has a launch party each month.

“So as part of that, we thought, ‘Well, we might as well join them and sponsor an event, bring them over to Rio Rancho,” said Jami Grindatto, SEA president and CEO.

Grindatto said the party should help show Albuquerque business owners that Rio Rancho is not only a good location to expand their business, but also not too far from the Duke City.

“There’s a lot of businesses here that are not from Rio Rancho,” he said. “What we’re hoping is, one, to convey the fact that it’s not that far to come over to Rio Rancho and, two, to showcase the community and especially Club Rio Rancho, which has just been marvelously renovated and is really rekindling a lot of good opportunities.”

During his address, Grindatto asked for a show of hands about how long it took to travel to the event. With one last hand standing at 45 minutes, Grindatto gave the attendee from Albuquerque’s South Valley a bouquet of flowers.

There were activities for businesses to play and network in, starting with a putting competition outside the ballroom and later representatives from businesses playing coffee pong. Barbara Hoffman and Pam Gung, volunteers at Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico, managed to a sink a few shots into the plastic cups of coffee — Roger Rodriguez, Rio Rancho Sprint call center HR manager had no such luck.

“We like to be involved in any kind of economic development activities in Rio Rancho,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s a great beginning. I think we’ll continue to attend future events.”

With Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico nominated as one of the top five places in the area to adopt a pet, Hoffman said the non-profit attended the event to reach out to the community.

“We just wanted to meet more of the people in this part of our neighborhood,” she said.

Joshua Hernandez, public information officer at Club Rio Rancho, said the alliance’s choice to host the event at the renovated country club is indicative of its embrace of finding new business for established employers.

“The Sandoval Economic Alliance using Club Rio Rancho is kind of what it’s all about,” he said. “Rio Rancho is pushing really hard right now to not only use new businesses but to expand existing businesses.”

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