Thursday, February 24, 2000

The "Cocktails with Courtney" Boston debut

Not skipping a beat, I skipped up North and landed in Boston for the debut Boston "Cocktails with Courtney" on February 24th. Overlooking historical landmarks like the Old North Church and The Constitution ship, the party was in the Bay Tower restaurant on the top floor of the Prudential building downtown.

Trademark sparkly confetti and sweet treats adorned the tables and a lavish spread of fruits, cheeses and a Mexican fiesta were laid out for guests. The special sponsors for this landmark day were Continental Resources, Imperial Bank and LavaStorm. With their support we drew a reputable assortment of interested attendees to our cocktail concept.

I got to meet Andrew Hirsch of The Parthenon Group, his guest from Deutsch Bank and Colin Earnst of iXL. Gib Hammond, a partner at Deloitte Touche, spent some quality time talking with Oscar Jazdowski (SVP, East Coast Region), Marion Schouten (Assistant VP), Bill Sweeney (First VP, East Coast Region) and Donna Connolly (Assistant VP, East Coast Region) of sponsor Imperial Bank. This bank, which also has offices in San Francisco, has been making its mark on the scene by focusing on the emerging growth sector in Boston for over three years. Wayne Howe of Boston Internet Group, Gerald Willoughby of The Willoughby Group, Mark Sullivan of Hewlett Packard and Shawn Stovall of Sontra came by and met guests Jill Selvitella and Glenn Kennedy of THINK New Ideas. Frank Mottolo and Bill Floyd of Electrical Publications told me of their plans for their electrical-industry focused vertical portal. John Innamorato of DLC Corp. (a SFX company) told me about all the time he is spending on the website and booking talent for major clubs and venues. Jill Zeikel and Bill Crowley of Open Market came to mingle with folks from TMP Target, Strategic Interactive Group and Gomez Advisors.

After Tony Serino of Serino Associates won a Palm Vx in our raffle, donated by sponsor LavaStorm, and a brief word from the hostess, the party resumed. Rene Martinez told me that his firm has been building hardware and software for major corporations for many years, and been profitable since day one. Elizabeth DeSmet of Highland Capital Partners and Michiel Maaskant of Harpell/Martins & Company stayed for some cocktails and chatted amongst guests. I caught up with Ron Kustal of Virtual Growth's NY office and Kevin Dyer of the Boston office, and Sean Jacobson of eLance flew in for the cocktail party and the heady Cyberposium this weekend.

As things winded down, I chatted with Mousumi Shaw of HireEngine, Steven Glick of Boston Consulting Group, Linda Swain of Fairmarket, and Jill Andrerson and Todd Santiago of HBS's MBA 2000 class. Psychologist Sharon Melnick told me that she helps companies determine how users interact with websites. Representatives from Boston's banks and new media firms also turned out to survey the scene. I expect the momentum to build in Boston. Stay tuned for the next one!