Friday, May 25, 2001

The Cyber Scene in San Diego ~ by Lilia Phleger Benjamin

A couple of weeks ago I attended the belated Cinco de Mayo celebration called "Ocho de Mayo" at netHappyHour As usual, Michael's Bar and Grill at the Hyatt Aventine La Jolla was filled to capacity, and it was a bit daunting to actually take the plunge! However, once in with nametag donned, it was off to find some happy faces willing to share their stories...

Radware was the evening's sponsor, however, I was not able to talk to anyone at their table, so I satisfied myself with a cool purple pen and headed further into the crowd. I met Gabriel Bissell of Global Orbit and talked about his use of a virtual work team based on project needs. In fact, virtual work teams seemed to be the talk of the day, as I caught the phrase again while chatting with Richard Sims, president of Human Systems Consulting. His company offers management consulting and business development services, and based on a client's needs, he custom creates a virtual team of experts. Richard can be reached via email at

Moving along, I was introduced to Amy Vavrunek, one of the co-founders of netHappyHour along with Craig Nelson and Brian Yui. Amy is the president of Artemis, which is the design agency responsible for the very cool netHappyHour invitations. I also ran into my good friend Jennifer Beckey, president of Maptrace and head of the San Diego chapter of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs We chatted with the energetic Vicki Campbell, who works with Artemis and also heads her own company, Vavoom Design It turns out that Vicki gets her tremendous energy from teaching spinning of these days I have GOT to explore the world of regular exercise.

Speaking of the FWE, the following week I attended their monthly chapter meeting that included a presentation by Brad Grob of the Cambrix Consulting Group entitled "Developing Successful Strategic Alliances." He regaled the group with stories of alliances chaired by Cambrix for such companies as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, CNET,, and Earthlink. The audience of women entrepreneurs in high-tech and life sciences seemed to agree strongly with his key points, and judging by the number of women in attendance, it appears as though the new San Diego chapter is off to a good start!

At the meeting, I introduced myself to Nicolle Paradise, a technical recruiter for the Kronos Group The Kronos Group recruits all levels of open positions including I.T. professionals, and their goal is to help small businesses hire the right people to grow their business. Finding a good recruiter these days is crucial, and a sure way for both the employee and company to save time and money!

Melissa Graham of DigiVision, a video enhancement supplier, spoke to me about how they were moving into the consumer electronics field after a solid track record in the medical field. Think of those surgeries on cable TV, and you'll get an idea of what they do. They are moving forward with funding and are looking to create partnerships with several key providers in the home electronics arena.

And finally, I traded business cards with Teri McCready, CEO of 360 Web After checking out her website(s), I am looking forward to talking with her at the next FWE meeting!

Until next time!