I am traveling to California next week to mingle with the MerchantCircle Team. The tentative itinerary is as follows;
After a long day of travel on Wednesday, I look forward to participating in MerchantCircle’s 3rd Annual Shotgun and Chardonnay Event on Thursday. I’m not sure what that is all about, but I’m sure it will be fun with guns and wine involved…
Thursday night will be an after party at The Basin in Saratoga. I’ve never been but it sounds great!
Friday will be some round table discussions with the product and engineering teams at the MerchantCircle headquarters in Mountain View. Friday night is the big 5 Year Anniversary Party and Bocci Ball Tournament at Campo di Bocce.
I’ve never been to silicon valley so I look forward to the experience and I am very grateful to MerchantCircle for the invite.
Stay tuned for the post trip update and pics!
I had a blast with the MerchantCircle team in California. On Wednesday I spent the day getting there. I left Daytona Beach at 6:00am. After stops in Atlanta and Salt Lake City I arrived in San Jose at 12:15pm local time. When I got off the plane the weather was exactly like it was in Daytona.
After checking into the hotel in Los Gatos I had a chance to take a walk and explore. About a block from the hotel was a park with a fountain.
Seeing the kids playing in the fountain so reminds me of Florida. Los Gatos is a very nice little town. The houses and other buildings downtown are well preserved examples of Queen Anne, Mission/Spanish Revival, and Romanesque architecture built between 1949 and 1975. The movie theater really caught my eye.
After a nice walk I returned to the hotel. With the 3 hour time difference I was ready for bed before the sun even went down.
MerchantCircle 3rd Annual Trap Shooting Event and Wine Tasting
The next day I had the pleasure of meeting 5 great people, Monte Tareski, Michele Gorham, Carolyn Klosowsky, ShaOn Blodgett, and Jason Stevens. I was acquainted with these folks from our interaction online as community leaders, but this was my first opportunity to meet them in person. Over the next couple of days, we would build great friendships and I am very glad I had the privilege of getting to know all of them.
A car picked us up at the hotel and transported us to the MerchantCircle 3rd Annual Trap Shooting Event. This was pure fun. No contest or keeping score. Just go out and shoot. What a great time we had. MerchantCircle catered in BBQ and it was the best.
Our next destination was the wine tasting event. Just down the road from the gun range is the Savannah Chanelle Vineyards. The country side was just gorgeous.
This was also a great time. I was privileged to have an opportunity to talk with Reza Hajebi, CTO of Reply.com. We had a very good discussion about Reply.com’s business model and how his company is going to improve the services and products MerchantCircle offers to their merchants, as well as to consumers.
At the end of the wine tasting, MerchantCircle brought in a taco truck and we stuffed our faces. The weather was fantastic and a great time was had by all.
After the wine tasting the MerchantCircle team was kind enough to take us out for margarretas and an after party. We returned to the hotel about 10:00pm and I think we all were pretty tired.
Meeting the engineers
On Friday we spent the day at the MerchantCircle office in nearby Mountain View, CA. After an informative presentation by Ben Smith, CEO of Merchantcircle and Payam Zamani, CEO of Reply.com, the MerchantCircle team had lunch brought in and as usual it was great.
After lunch we had a chance to sit down with the engineers at MerchantCircle. These are the guys that make MerchantCircle work. I know the purpose of the meeting was for us to give them input, but they were very open and I think I came away with more useful information than they did. :)
5 Year Anniversary Party and Bocci Ball Tournament at Campo di Bocce
The meeting with the engineers went so well that we stayed an extra hour and a half in Mountain View. When we returned to the hotel we only had 45 minutes to get ready for the 5-Year Anniversary and Merchant Appreciation Celebration. But everyone made it and we were on time for the big event.
We had some fantastic food, met some very nice people and made some great connections. This was truly a great event and I know it was appreciated by all the merchants that attended.
The only bad thing about the whole trip was the hour and a half wait for a cab to take us back to the hotel Friday night. However it did give me an opportunity to catch our community leaders at their best. Sorry Michele… lol
Everyone returned home Saturday safe and sound, but exhausted.
I want to thank my fellow community leaders from left to right, Carolyn Klosowsky of K and K Kreations Floral and Design, ShaOn Blodgett of Psinergy Natural Health, Michele Gorham of Cookie Central, Monte Tareski of Cascading Creations and the Spokane Grapevine, and Jason Stevens The Fan Man. I truly enjoyed our time together and I’ve learned a lot from all of you. I wish you all much success in the future and I hope we get a chance to get together again soon.
I also want to thank MerchantCircle and Ben Smith for your generous hospitality. It is truly appreciated. A big thank you to Robyn Hannah. You did a great job of coordinating everything and it was a pleasure to finally meet you. And a special thanks to all of the MerchantCircle team for the warm welcome we received and for the open and honest way information flowed both ways. It was a great experience for me and for my fellow community leaders. Thank You!