Published December 24, 2009
Invitations have been sent out for the "BIZ OFF 2010" on December 29th at Rosetta Stone Cafe. The "Social Mixer" begins at 5:30, but the main attraction (enlarged with red, 18pt font on the group's Web site) is "Jim Traficant" as guest speaker. After you've been pumped up by the inspirational success story that is Jim Traficant, you can enjoy a buffet style dinner and social networking.
Infinity Design Advertising, Greenwood Chevrolet, Arbonne and Joy Studio are all sponsoring the event, which sounds tame enough:
This event will feature a local politician / celebrity and will be held in a local dining spot. The purpose of The Biz Society is to provide an online social community that has roots in local communities and also provides the opportunity for live networking communities. This is an opportunity to build business while supporting and growing community. All Biz Society chapters are required to meet in and support local establishments, as well as donating 5% of dues back to the community. Additionally, Biz Society chapters pick a “cause” within the community to focus on, delivering specific support and attention from the group.
We have worked to bring this event together to help other local businesses start the year off right. This event is about taking pride in and responsibility for our local communities. Please come out and help grow your business and give back to your community by attending. Tickets will be sold online at www.thebizsociety.com/events.php, as well as at the door on a first come, first serve basis.
But somehow featuring Jim Traficant at an event purportinng to take "responsibility for our local communities" doesn't add up. (What's next--inviting a U.S. President who just sent 57,000 additional troops into the Middle East to accept the Nobel Peace Prize?!) Jim Traficant still hasn't accepted responsibility for his conviction, not to mention his deeds. On top of that he was a key player in the cloud of corruption that made doing business locally a joke, not to mention the shadow Traficant's image cast on his constituents in the national and international psyche.
BIZ Society National Director Grant Sevek assured me if I reviewed the Web site I would see he and his organization were "truly and totally geared towards helping business grow and also giving back to the community," assuring me "It was never intended to personally offend anyone." If I'm being too harsh, it's only because the one thing we can learn from Jim Traficant is that intention doesn't count when action contradicts it.
Mr. Sevek and his sponsors should admit the gross inappropriateness that Traficant's invitation represents and locate an actual business or political leader instead. I'll be happy to supply a list, or perhaps readers can add their suggestions in the comments. The community has moved beyond Traficant's capacity to lead, so let's acknowledge that together and move on.