Talk about a surprise! Well, NYNMA's CyberSuds on Thursday, January 28th, was one to me. Not only were most of NYNMA's board members there, but many top Alleyites were too. It was unexpected because I arrived early to assist in the membership development committee "meeting," which was a loosely organized opportunity to snack on cheese cubes and sip a beverage while chatting up NYNMA with early attendees. The vast, spacious 2nd floor of 417 Fifth Avenue, a Cushman & Wakefield property (who sponsors some of Hymn's events) filled up quickly between the hours of six and seven o'clock. Alex Chudnoff, a representative of C&W, was playing the busy host role well and one of his colleagues, David Lowery, was a budding professional networker as he came right up, announced his name and shook my hand. My personal task was to introduce my good friend and producer of the "MetroByte" show, Chip Lewis, to as many unique Alley people and companies as I could. He's been at the helm of trying to include more Silicon Alley people in Cablevision's consumer-based show on computers. I met Catherine Winchester, CEO of Soliloquy, Inc., who I'd heard about before but never met and who explained the nature of her company to me. Interesting company in that the name indicates speaking alone and the product is about conversing with a computer. Standing by Oven Digital's display table I saw Michael Hughes of Oracle, who sent me a most interesting link the other day about Oracle and its new $100 million venture fund to foster companies that leverage its Oracle8i internet computing platform. There's an incentive!
Just to my right were Chip Austin, president and CEO of bol.com and Eric Goldberg, founder of Crossover Technologies, who while brilliant, informed me that he hasn’t actually built a game in a few years. However, the fact that his company is the one of the only game developers in Manhattan proper, makes the work Eric and his company do quite significant in the Alley.
Allison Tucker, a marketing and e-commerce specialist, and E-com Advisors partners Larry Pearl and Sandeep Thakrar (formerly of NetGrocer) were early arrivals. Reps from our new media PR firms were out in numbers -- namely Don Middleberg, Mark Pasetsky and Rob Argento of Middleberg PR and Renee Edelman, Whitney Gould, Adam Martini and Chris Ward of PR 21. Mark Holdreith, president of PIC, LLC approached me expressing interest in volunteering for some of the exciting Member Relations Committees special events that we've got lined up. And Dianne Baasch, Director of the Independent Schools Multi-Media Center explained a bit about how she coordinates multi-media programs for over 20 independent schools in the city. Wired Cyberspace writer Christopher Allbritton from the AP was smartly about without his nametag and Stephanie Secchia a rep from Qwest was there. Katie Hobson introduced some of her colleagues from TheStreet.com to me. Mark Stahlman, Debbie Newman (who moved over from N2K to DejaNews), Andrew Klein of Wit Capital and Bill Rudin of Rudin Management all showed their support for NYNMA and the schmooze-opportunity that CyberSuds presents. Well, all in all, I'd say almost everybody was there!