Tag Archives: After-5 Mixer

March After-5 Mixer at Simply Spa

Once again it is time to look back at the monthly gathering of business and community that is the Sante Chamber After-5 Mixer.  This time the fun took place on Thursday, March 18, at Simply Spa next to Ross in Town Center.  Usual host and co-owner Thomas Hootman was unavailable, so his wife and partner Caroline took over the role.  It was a good turn-out, and even included the outgoing and incoming Miss and Miss Teen Santees.

By now regular readers know that the After-5 Mixer is one of the Chamber’s monthly business networking events (along with Sunrise Santee).  Each month a different business hosts the mixer, providing an opportunity to showcase what they do and where they are located.  During the mixer business owners have the chance to mingle, chat, share ideas, and get to know each other better.  The mixer always includes group introduction time, updates and announcements of events coming up, and a raffle.  This month the raffle prizes included a 60-minute massage gift certificate for Simply Spa and the 50/50 drawing.  The monthly Membership Drawing business, Dr. Byron Cosgrove, was not in attendance, so the amount goes up for April.  The next After-5 Mixer will be hosted by the Lions Club at Italia Ristorante, 8919 Carlton Hills Blvd, on April 15.

L-R: 2010 Miss Santee Teen, Taylor Shelton, 2010 Miss Santee Teen, Kimberly Swank, Santee Princess Madison, 2009 Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke, 2009 Miss Santee, Sierra Billock

Networking at the March After-5 Mixer

L-R: Rob McNellis, Past Chamber President, Warren Savage, Chamber Executive Director, John Morley, Chamber Vice President

Host Caroline Hootman (R) and Staff Members

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February After-5 Mixer

The one problem with February is that it is too short.  Well, at least that’s my excuse for running behind with my posts on the month’s events.  On Thursday, February 18, the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its monthly mixer at Hungry Howie’s restaurant in the Carlton Oaks Center.  By now most of my readers know that the monthly After-5 Mixer is a chance for Chamber members to meet, network, share ideas, and catch up on what’s happening.  The evening always includes announcements of upcoming Chamber events, time for introductions and sharing, and the monthly raffle drawings.  This month the raffle prizes included Hungry Howie’s gift certificates, a Color Me Mine certificate, tickets to the San Diego Zoo, the regular 50-50, and the membership drawing.  This month, for the first time ever, the winner of the membership drawing was the mixer host – Hungry Howie’s.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Hungry Howie’s, the chain has been around since the early 1970s and has over 500 franchises in 22 states.  The Santee location has been in business for 18 years and is the last one left in San Diego County – the next closest are in Temecula and Calexico.  Mother and son Judy and Sean Foster, along with Mario Foster, have owned the local franchise for 7 years this April, but like many other businesses they are struggling.  So if you are up for a pizza, why not give them a try.  We want to support all of our Santee businesses as much as we can.

Judy and Sean Foster

Networking at the After-5 Mixer

Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke (L), in one of her last official events

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January Mixer at Liberty Tax Service

I realize this is a bit late, but the new year is starting off rather busy for me.  The January After-5 Mixer was held on Thursday, January 21, at Liberty Tax Service, located across Mission Gorge Rd. from the Post Office.  In spite of the blustery weather, a good crowd showed up to network and share ideas.  Among those in attendance were Chamber leaders, other local business owners, and members of both Kiwanis and Lions Club.

After networking time and introductions, the monthly raffle took place.  Items on the table included free tax preparation from Liberty Tax Service, SDSU baseball tickets, a $10 gift certificate at Filippi’s Pizza, and, of course, the 50/50 split.  Winners included Express Blinds, Instant Signs of Santee, and Pina Business Services.  The Membership Drawing business was Santee Orange Book, which was not in attendance.

The next After-5 Mixer will be February 18 at Hungry Howie’s Pizza, located at 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd., near the Santee Library.

Networking at the January Mixer

Liberty Tax Service Owners Sam Ward (L) and Mark Manis (R) with Office Manager Linda Hobson

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2009, A Santee Review – Part 4

We have gone back over 2009 in chunks: first January through April, then May and June, and last July through September. And now, at long last, we reach the final months of the year.

The first event I covered in October was the monthly Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixer, this time at Pinnacle Peak Steak House. This restaurant has been in Santee for many years, and has built a reputation on their food – which is quite delicious. For the Mixer they set out some of their pork ribs and signature baked beans, along with other goodies. It was one of the best-attended Mixers I’ve seen.

The main event for the month was the annual Chamber Awards Night, this year held at Barona Resort and Casino. This is an opportunity to recognize the people and businesses that help make Santee a special place to live. Among the recipients in 2009 were Ronn Hall Insurance as Small Business of the Year, GTM General Discount Store as Medium Business of the Year, and Barona Resort and Casino as Large Business of the Year. There was also special recognition for Santee’s two adopted USMC units: 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines from Camp Pendleton and Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 from Miramar MCAS.

Other posts for October included previews and promotions for the CYT East production of Bridge to Terebithia, a Chamber Business Partnership presentation, Grossmont Center’s Shop for a Cure to support the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Breast Health Navigator Program, and the Auction Stampede 2009 fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County.

November featured two grand openings. The first was Aloha Pet Grooming, located on the west side of Santee; the second opening was Nutrition Zone in the Vons Center. Both are on Mission Gorge Road. Both of these were very well attended, and showed the feeling of community and support Santee has for new businesses. A very special event, although I didn’t get a post up until December, was a fundraiser held at Philippi’s Pizza for a young Santee girl severely injured in an auto accident.

Also in November was the annual Santee Pancake Breakfast to support Santee Santas. This event is held at Fire Station 4 and is hosted by the Santee Firefighters and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The Firefighters cook, the Deputies serve, and the community gets involved both as donors and sponsors and as hungry guests. All proceeds go toward helping struggling families in Santee.

December kicked off with a preview of the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, then went back to cover two important November events. The first of these was the fundraiser at Philippi’s Pizza Grotto to help the family of Jordyn Niemiec, who was severely inured in an auto accident in October. The event was coordinated by a wonderful group of family and friends who call themselves Team Jordyn, Philippi’s donated a room and a percentage of proceeds, and host duties were shared by local radio personality Clint August and businessman/DJ Thomas Hootman. People came literally from all over East County to help this little girl and her family, donating a total of nearly $8,000.

The other big November event I wrote about in December was the annual Holiday Lighting Celebration at Santee Trolley Square. The Celebration always includes music, community booths, carriage rides, and the lighting of the tree on the amphitheater stage. This year’s entertainment featured Singing Solo and the U.S. Navy Band Southwest Brass Quintet. Even though the overall event was a bit lower-key than the previous year’s, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

December’s big event was the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, which raises funds, food, and toys for Santee Santas. Union Bank in the CVS/Best Buy Center hosts this evening, which brings together restaurants and other food businesses with Chamber members and other community members. Among the dignitaries attending were Mayor Randy Voepel, Councilmember John Minto, Chamber CEO Warren Savage, and incoming Chamber President John Olsen.

Just before the holiday school break, the Lakeside Middle School Show Choir performed a selection of holiday songs at the Trolley Square Amphitheater. The Lakeside Farms Elementary School choir joined the older kids in sharing the musical fun. Other stories I covered in December were a DUI checkpoint conducted by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the planned closure of SR-67 for construction, and the demolition of the old Edgemoor Hospital facilities. Finally, I started off a new Business Spotlight with a post on Prestige Beauty Supply.

This brings us to the end of 2009 – a year with its share of bad news, but still a lot of positives for Santee. January 2010 will bring us new challenges as well as new opportunities to show just what it is that makes this city special. The first event of the year will be the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner for the new officers. I also plan to continue On Food Patrol and Business Spotlight, and I plan to kick off a Meet Your Neighbor series to introduce you to some of the people who make Santee special.

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Interest “Peaks” for October Chamber Mixer

Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

One of the best-attended Santee Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixers took place on Thursday, October 15, as around three dozen members and guests gathered at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse. Maybe they were there to help support and celebrate the great efforts the Chamber makes for the local business community, or possibly for the networking and camaraderie. But no doubt a major draw was just being at a place renowned for its food, and Pinnacle Peak did not disappoint anyone. With a fare that included their signature baked beans, pork ribs, fruit, cake samples, and more, there was more than enough for everyone.

Warren Savage Celebrates Another Birthday

Chamber President Rob McNelis was there to host the evening, which included a special surprise celebration of Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage’s “27th” birthday (or some anniversary of it, at least). The evening also included announcements of upcoming events, several of which will be announced in future posts, and the raffle and Membership drawings. This was one of the more successful mixers, in large part because of the number of attendees. And that is the real reason for the mixer, so local business owners can meet to share ideas, exchange information, and possibly find or create new opportunities.


The raffle winners for this month were Greg Hagen of Smoothie King (9 holes of golf at Sun Valley), Patty MacKey of Costco (1 night stay at Barona Resort plus a dinner), and Robert Lloyd of Lloyd’s Collision (50/50 drawing for $92). This month finally saw a winner for the Membership Drawing for $150 provided by Rob McNelis and One Stop Lending and Realty. Congratulations to Code 3 Electrical (“Where There’s a Wire, There’s a Way”). Next month the drawing starts back up at $25 and goes up each month it isn’t won. The November After-5 Mixer will be at Cookies by Design at 30 Town Center Pkwy.

Congratulations to Code 3 Electrical

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Santee Chamber of Commerce Events

The Santee Chamber of Commerce has several events coming up over the next week. First, the monthly After-5 Mixer is this today – Thursday, October 15 – at Pinnacle Peak Restaurant beginning at 5:30 pm. This is a great way to meet other local business people, and have some really good food as well. Pinnacle Peak is located 7927 Mission Gorge Rd. Cost is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for guests.

Tomorrow night, Friday, October 16, is the annual Awards Night where businesses and citizens are honored for their efforts and accomplishments. The celebration will take place at Barona Resort and Casino (no gambling is planned) at 1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd. in Lakeside. It might be too late now to sign up for this event, but you can always call the Chamber at 619-449-6572 or check through the website.

Next Tuesday, October 20, is the monthly Sunrise Santee at Hometown Buffet (275 Town Center Pkwy across the parking lot from Home Depot). The event includes breakfast, networking, and usually some type of presentation. Cost is $5 for breakfast and $1 for 50/50 raffle.

The following weekend, October 24 & 25, will be the Fall Frenzy Craft Fair in the Wal-Mart parking lot (170 Town Center Pkwy). The Fair runs from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.

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The Week Ahead – August 17-23


A little late, but let’s see what’s happening the rest of the week.

Santee Summer Concerts: Thursday, August 20, the final concert in the series features The Corvettesand their Doo Wop and Motown sounds.  The fun starts at 6:30 pm and goes until 8:00 pm.

Sunrise Santee: Tuesday, August 18, at the Santee Hometown Buffet (275 Town Center Parkway, across the parking lot from The Home Depot), beginning at 7:25 am.  This is a monthly mixer sponsored by the Santee Chamber of Commerce.  This month’s speaker is Amy Keefe of Cox Business.  Cost is $5 for breakfast and $1 for raffle and 50/50 drawing.

After-5 Mixer: Thursday, August 20, the monthly After-5 business mixer will be held at Simply Spa(278 Town Center Parkway, Suite 101, next to Ross).  The mixer runs from 5:30-7:30 pm and is a good opportunity to meet business owners from around Santee.  Cost is $5 for members and $10 for guests, plus whatever you want to spend for raffle tickets.

Frubble Events: This week Frubble will host Karaoke Evening on Thursday, August 20, and Open Mic Night on Friday, August 21.  Both events start at 8:00 pm.  Frubble is located at 9628 Carlton Hills Blvd., in the Pathways Community Church Center.

Mission Trails Regional Park: This week the Park will hold another week-long class called “Creepy Crawlies” for kids 6-10.  The class runs from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, but it may be too late to sign up.  Also this week there are Guided Nature Walks on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday starting at 9:30 am.

Movies by the Lake: The final movie in the series, Bolt, plays at Santee Lakes on Friday, August 21.  You can start setting up around 6:00 pm, games for kids start around 7:00 pm, and the movie starts around 8:00 pm.  Cost is $8 per car for parking, so load up the minivan or SUV and head on out.

If you have an event you think should be on the list, please let me know and I will update it.

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July Chamber Mixer

July After-5 Mixer

The July Santee Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixer was held on Thursday, July 16, at the recently opened PakMail in the Albertson’s center.  The event was well attended by local business owners, community groups, and political representatives.  Among those attending were the local representative of U.S. Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a Placement Specialist from Partnerships with Industry, and several members of the Chamber leadership.

Ted & Kelli Tamez of PakMail

The Mixer hosts were Ted and Kelli Tamez, PakMail franchise owners and Area Developers for Arizona and Southern California.  The Tamezes are proud of their company’s ability to pack and ship just about anything a customer might want to send, from a tea service, to a guitar, to a pocket bike.  And yes, they have done them all.

July Mixer

As always, the Mixer ended with raffle and membership drawings.  Your humble blogger won a $25 gift certificate to The Omlette Factory and two tickets to the Bulls Only Rodeo in Lakeside (which my daughter and her husband enjoyed using last Friday).  Barbara Leetch, former board member of Santee Santas, won a $50 gift certificate to Golden Spoon Yogurt and the 50/50 drawing.  Terry Summers, of Partnerships with Industry, won a PakMail gift bag.  The big winner was Greg Hagen, owner of Smoothie King, who won a Barona Resort and Casino Pack which included two nights at the resort and much more.  The Membership Drawing winner was Colin Goldman, who was not present and so must come to a Mixer and put his card back into the box to be eligible again.

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Santee Chamber’s June After-5 Mixer

Santee Chamber of Commerce June After-5 Mixer

Thursday, June 18, was the Santee Chamber of Commerce’s monthly After-5 Mixer.  This time the hosts were the folks at RiverView MD Spa, located in the new business center just north of the Santee Trolley Center.  By now, everyone should know what the mixer is and why it’s important for business owners to pop in and network.  But just in case you haven’t read a previous Mixer review, this is where ideas start, collaborations get off the ground, and information is shared.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun to meet with other people who have similar goals and challenges.

Great Refreshments

As always, the Mixer included some good eats – this time provided in part by Olive Garden.  The event finished off with the raffle drawing – winners were Greg Hagen of Smoothie King (passes on the Bahia Belle), Dan O’Brien of O’Brien Insurance (a Kids Fun Pack from Santee Lakes), Erica Bozic-O’Brien of RiverView MD Spa (In-N-Out Goodie Pack), Richelle Lopez of Extra Space Storage (free night at the new Rodeway Inn), and Ronn Hall of Ronn Hall Insurance (50/50 Drawing).  The Membership Drawing business was the Original Roadhouse Grill, but since they were not present the prize rolls over to next month.  By the way, when a business is pulled for the Membership Drawing, but is not present, they are pulled out of the drawing until someone comes to a Mixer and puts it back in the box.  Another good reason to come every time.

(L-R) Ronn Hall, Richelle Lopez, Erica Bozic-O’Brien, Dan O’Brien, and Greg Hagen

Raffle Winners

From RiverView MD Spa: (L-R) Shirin Dorin (Dental Director), Nancy Assouline (COO), Kelly Buffo (Massage Therapy), Erica Bozic-O’Brien (Esthetician) – not shown: Tracie Cook (Nurse Specialist)

RiverView MD Spa Team

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May Santee Chamber Mixer

May Chamber Mixer

Thursday, May 21, was the monthly Santee Chamber After-5 Mixer.  This month the mixer was held at the office of Ronn Hall, near the Santee Library on Carlton Hills Blvd.  About two dozen local business owners and representatives met to network and share ideas.  The mixers are a good way to find out more about some of the businesses in Santee as well as to make connections that can bring benefits.  It is also a fun way to spend an evening with excited and forward-thinking people who want to make Santee even better.  At the end of the mixer drawings were held for Golf for 4 at Willowbrook, Two Tickets to Sea World (won by Kelly Fox of Express Blinds and More), gift bags from Allstate (won by Hartha Jackson of Jackson Publishing and Scott of Code Three Electrical), and the 50/50 (won by John Morley of Morley & Son Signs).  The Member Drawing pulled Affordable Massage, however they were not present, so the prize rolls over to next month.

Cake by Eccentric International Chefs

Cake by Eccentric International Chefs

Hosts Ronn and Virginia Hall with Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage

Virginia Hall, Ronn Hall, Warren Savage

Cafe 67 and the Halls provided the refreshments


The folks from COSTCO are always on hand to help check people in

Check In

Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke, and Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, joined Chamber Board Member Dan O’Brien

Nicole Ehlke, Sierra Billock, Dan O'Brien

Next month the After-5 Mixer will be at One Stop Lending and Realty, 9025 Carlton Hills Blvd.

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