January 2019 Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of OneZone The folks at OneZone are excited to announce a brand new morning program, Caffeinated Conversation, with its first scheduled program to be held at the new MJ Insurance headquarters on January 15 featuring the City of Carmel as its speaker. We sat down with Mo Merhoff, president at OneZone, and Jack Russell, COO at OneZone, to learn more about the purpose and goals of the organization’s latest program offering. “The new morning program, Caffeinated Conversation, will run from 8-9 a.m. and will be held on the third Tuesday of each month,” Russell shared. “Our goal is to keep the attendance at or around 30 people. The program will be in a casual but informative setting. Our first one is scheduled at MJ Insurance, and our February program is scheduled to be at The Palladium. The speaker for February will be the Hamilton County Community Foundation.” Russell confirmed both MJ Insurance and The Center for the Performing Arts are members of OneZone and are looking forward to hosting the program and displaying their respective venues to attendees. “One of the things that we looked at going into 2019 and part of our strategic plan is our advocacy,” Russell stated. “We were looking at finding creative ways to provide a great opportunity for education about where we work and live. The City of Carmel is going to talk a little bit about TIF (Tax Increment Financing) and about projects that are going on along the Monon, and in February, the Hamilton County Community Foundation will discuss who they are and what they do.” Russell added that another goal of the program is to bring in quality speakers and talk about things that are relevant and important to OneZone members and residents of the Carmel and Fishers communities. “We are great conveners and connectors,” Merhoff said. “This is an opportunity for us to really connect the communities and people who are interested in what is going on. Our members have made it clear to us that this was something that people were interested in, and there’s nothing better than grabbing a cup of coffee and learning more about what makes Hamilton County, Carmel and Fishers such great places to work and live in.” Taste of the Chamber 2019 OneZone’s annual business-building and networking event, Taste of the Chamber, will take place at Ritz Charles January 17 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. The annual Taste of the Chamber has been bringing hundreds of OneZone members as well as local residents and guests together for well over a decade. The main purpose of the event is to create an opportunity for 145 exhibitors and over 1,000 guests to enjoy tastings from several area restaurants, breweries, bakeries and wineries while networking with businesses from Carmel and Fishers. The Taste has become a highly anticipated reunion of sorts for many seasoned OneZone members who have come to enjoy the event as an annual meet-up with associates and friends. The event creates the perfect opportunity for young professionals to come and enjoy a welcoming environment along with their peers and meet fellow members. “We’ve been at this for 15 years, and it has developed its own personality,” Merhoff said. “If I were to choose one word to describe it, it’s fun. The Taste is an opportunity, in the middle of winter, for a natural gathering spot. You walk around and talk with people that you don’t get to see all the time, and there is incredible food. It’s a progressive dinner, and it’s like you’re walking your neighborhood. People always have a good time.” Russell added, “It’s a perfect event for young professionals because it is in a casual setting, and even though there are 1,000 people in the room, it doesn’t feel that way. People are able to make personal connections, and that’s another exciting thing about it. If people are looking to grow their businesses and make connections, this is the ideal event.” Shuttle service will be provided by The Stratford in Carmel. For ticket and additional information about the Taste of the Chamber and upcoming events/programs such as Caffeinated Conversation, visit onezonecommerce.com.