Sunday, June 17, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 6th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 48 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 48

Hobnobbing With Helen


What a marvelous party this was.

It was Rizzoli’s Automotive’s turn to play host to a regular monthly networking event for Chamber of Commerce members.

Jim, Karen, Kay, and Kyle Rizzoli (pictured left to right) were hosts to the Rizzoli’s Automotive Chamber of Commerce Mixer on Jan. 17. Jim is president of Rizzoli’s Automotive; his daughter Karen does customer service; wife Kay is CFO, and son Kyle is general manager.

Kay Rizzoli, the firm’s CFO, does not do parties by halves. She went all out and put on a most engaging event (mixer and open house) at Rizzoli’s Automotive near McCoy and Skyway.

Said this dynamic, effervescent lady, “I wanted to have a mixer that I would want to come to.”

To give you an idea of her success and reputation for entertaining, 325 people showed up to network and schmooze and to eat, drink, and be merry on Thurs., Jan. 17, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The complimentary food was an all-star line-up.

Santa Maria County Club Manager Joe Priddy arrived with a crew that included Food and Beverage Manager Jennifer Biely. The Country Club’s tasty food buffet—ham sliders, pasta salad, spicy shrimp cocktails, and roast beef wraps (with wonderful tortillas made with sun-dried tomatoes)—spoke well for their kitchen.

Teri Lee Coleman, Joe Priddy (manager of the Santa Maria Country Club), and David Merlo (left to right) chatted at the January Chamber of Commerce Mixer.

Byron and Cambria wineries provided libations for the evening. Jan Zilli, recently re-elected to an Orcutt School Board, “manned” the Cambria wine table. Byron brought along several bottles of their wonderful pinot blanco, which went fast and garnered many kudos.

Starry Sky Coffee, which runs a beverage kiosk on the Allan Hancock campus, served refreshing Italian drinks (Perrier with your choice of flavored syrup; pomegranate was a favorite!). Starry Sky’s owners told me that they also serve (on campus) pastries made by students in the school’s Culinary Program.

Gina’s Piece of Cake sent over a tray of her highly acclaimed cream puffs, chocolate éclairs, cupcakes, and cookies. Were there any of these left at the end of the evening? I don’t think so.

Honestly, Santa Marians love Doc Burnstein! It looked like everyone was nibbling on an ice cream cone. There was always a line at Doc Burnstein’s ice cream table.

The flavors served were the very popular “Merlot Raspberry Truffle” and, appropriately, “Motor Oil,” a combination of dark chocolate, Kahlua, and fudge.

Discount coupons for ice cream were included in the Swag Bags that each of us got to take home.

This fully restored, classic 1955 Mercedes Benz SL Gullwing was on display at the regular monthly Chamber of Commerce Mixer held Jan. 17.

Tony Gonzalez, popular radio DJ from Mega 97.1, provided background music and announced raffle winners. He had no trouble getting people’s attention. Gonzalez said that the radio station is happy to turn up gratis for nonprofit and community events.

Jolynn Lutz was the lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate to a very popular local restaurant. Among the other raffle prizes were a year’s worth of oil changes at Rizzoli’s, bottles of wine, and a beautiful plant.

It was a night for Jims. Jim O’Neill and Jim Bray mingled with the crowd, while Chamber Ambassadors (identifiable by white jackets) Jim and Julie Colegrove greeted arrivals.

Laurie Pipan, now with Greka Energy, schmoozed with former colleague (at KCOY) Kim Tuttobene.

Priddy was happy to expound on the benefits of country club membership to prospective members and to explain the lower-priced social membership (dining room and swimming pool privileges—no golf or tennis).

As part of their current membership promotion, the Country Club is charging no initiation fee or dues for the first month of membership (for non-equity memberships). The promotion runs until March 1. For info, call 937-2025.

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at

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