Businesses network with OktoberFest drinks, food

By Kristin Maglabe

Businesses of DeKalb came together to network in a more laid-back fashion at the DeKalb Chamber OktoberFest After Hours Tuesday.

DeKalb Chamber OktoberFest After Hours was held at Aspen Ridge Business Park, 700 Peace Road. Michael Embrey, executive artistic director of FunME Events, said on average 125-135 people attend every year. Matt Duffy, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce executive director, said OktoberFest After Hours is held to get businesses talking with each other.

“This is a way for people to find out about other businesses with the additives of food and drinks, but the goal is to network,” Duffy said.

The event consisted of catered food and drinks. There was a raffle with prizes ranging from White Sox tickets to NIU T-shirts.

Embrey said that thanks to the space provided by Jeff Richardson, Aspen Ridge Business Park owner, there is room for the businesses to come together and do whatever they please.

“After Hours events are every month, but this is a bigger opportunity for everyone to get to know each other,” Embrey said.

Richardson said Embrey thought of OktoberFest five years ago as a way to get businesses together and to unite owners as a community.

“It was Mike’s idea five years ago and he asked me to come aboard,” Richardson said. “He supports the event financially.”

Richardson said the event is held for the surrounding community and for the tenants in Aspen Ridge Business Park. He said last year’s OktoberFest was held at the airport.

“This event has been growing in the past years thanks to my tenants bringing in more people,” Richardson said.

Zendy Lopez, Flamingo Ice Cream Inc. manager, said she likes meeting people through this event and said they are friendly. Tuesday’s event was the second year in a row Flamingo Ice Cream Inc. has provided ice cream at the event.