Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Dinners between Friends is Impactful ~ by Tery Spataro

Dining amongst friends has become the new networking theme. Groups of friends are eating and
drinking while sharing stories of "the way it was back then" to "what are we
doing now." The dining trend is towards more impactful and longer lasting
relationships both in business and in personal lives. I've had pleasure over
the past few weeks to be invited to some very meaningful dinners. One such dinner was served up by Lisa Napoli and Peter Hirshberg. During dinner the classic film "Network," was screened. This 1976 satirical film with Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall was about sensationalized television and seems to echo our zeitgeist. It's a must see if you haven't already and a must re-see if it's been a few years since you've last viewed it.

Most recently, Howard Greenstein gathered a group of delightful old friends for dinner and conversation. It felt like a 10-year reunion, and for some of us it was. Visiting face to face rather than years of sending email back and forward, was a pleasure and one I hope to enjoy again. The evening ended for me with a special ride home on Greg Elin's new BMW motorcycle! You recall Greg did the first Internet motorcycle ride across the states. (Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley). [Publishers note: Greg's second ride is archived here:]

Over the past year I noticed more invites to business meals. Like GasPedal's
"Let's Make A Deal Executive Feast" and "Last Man Standing CEO Dinner," which had goals of "eating, drinking and making business." It appears the times have changed from the 100's of people attending networking parties to a more intimate setting of having a meal and discussing business. "Let's get to know each over a meal and then let's discuss business."

Wendy Dubit did a excellent job for Dining to Make a Difference. In this
case dining helped to build community and rebuild business for downtown's
restaurant industry while raising awareness and funds for affiliated
charities. Wendy gathered close friends to raise support.

I do prefer more intimate settings and have been using my apartment more
often for small dinner parties. Having relearned the joys of cooking by
serving up my mother's famous recipe for fresh tomato sauce and pasta (though I take some liberties) to friends who are pleasantly surprised by the
taste in exchange for meaningful conversations about life, love,
relationships and the arts.