Monday, 15 July 2024

Online network helps local businesses network


MIDDLETOWN Middletown now has its own online Ryze network, thanks to Althea Garner, a real estate broker and business networking expert living in Fountain View.

Garner is a native of South Africa, who became an American citizen just last year. However, it was in 2005 that she ventured north from her home outside Los Angeles bound for Middletown.

She came in time to participate in Middletown's famous western parade and festival, Middletown Days. She also came to share her business networking expertise through a special seminar, which was held at the Calpine Visitor Center.

Garner knows how to win friends and influence people. When she attended the pancake breakfast at the local Middletown Fire Station the day of the parade, she made a point of introducing herself to everyone there. Of course, everyone there was a total stranger to her. But, that did not matter. She engaged everyone in conversation. Many asked to have their picture taken with her. So, she definitely made a positive impact with people in Middletown.

For the past two years through Garner's Ryze network, B2B Networking, people around the world have been talking about Middletown. In fact, just last year an international buzz for the town was created by Ryzers, 30 Middletown High School students, a local marketing company called CDMM and a Lake County press kit.

This buzz culminated in the Fox News Channel choosing to visit Middletown Days for the first time in the 45-year history of its event. This is truly amazing when you consider that the Fox News Channel only has four remote units to cover ALL of the news in the Western United States.

Nevertheless, Fox's international news correspondent, Adam Housley, not only came to Middletown, but also addressed the parade crowd from the reviewing stand on behalf of the network. He thanked the high school students for writing to the network. Then, he wowed the crowd by telling them that all day long when the weatherman did the weather report he would point to Middletown on the California map and tell the world that we were having a parade and festival and that Fox News wished them well.

Garner is keenly aware of some of the issues facing Middletown and wants to help. That is why she decided to donate the Ryze network. She believes that increasing the communication capability between businesses and organizations is a positive step toward solving issues confronting the town.

This gift could not come at a better time as the Middletown Area Town Hall just elected its first governing board. Now, it is just as easy for board members to communicate privately with one another through a network as it is publicly with all of Middletown or Ryze’s online world that has joined the network, Project-Middletown.

Use of this Ryze network is totally free for anyone who takes the time to subscribe. It really is no surprise that people from around the world have already started to subscribe to this network. You will find that individuals form Atlanta, Philadelphia, Southern California, New Zealand and Australia have already joined the network. Is it not amazing the amount of passion that can be created through use of the Internet?

It is hoped that organizations like the Middletown Area Town Hall, Middletown Area Business Association, Middletown Rotary Club, Middletown Lion's Club and the Middletown Central Park Association (the folks who put on Middletown Days) as well as local businesses will take full advantage of this wonderful resource to both grow and preserve the quality of life here in Middletown.


To join Project–Middletown, visit



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