Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles View All Posts

photo of Laura Rowles at GGCC

About Your Success is Our Business by Laura Rowles

Laura Rowles is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) serving almost 400 members by hosting over 30 networking events each year, as well as providing educational seminars and special events. The Chamber hosts numerous events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five’s, ribbon cuttings... Read more

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Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber Members Support Toys for Tots & Give Thanks

Roughly 60 toys were donated to the Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape fundraising & toy drive collection for Toys for Tots at the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber networking event on Thursday, November 27, 2018.
(photo credit: Weston Trussell, Weston Trussell Creative)

So much of what we all have to be thankful for are the people in our lives – and that includes our Chamber members.

On the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce (GGCC) had the opportunity to bring some joy to over fifty Montgomery County children by giving back – through donations of toys towards Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape Toys for Tots annual drive.

We give back because it teaches us to find compassion within ourselves and to stay attached to values that are linked to the common good.

“It’s great to see our members give back”, said Marilyn Balcombe, GGCC President and CEO

No matter how tough we think our life is, there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than ours. Our biggest and sole reward is the realization that we’ve made a significant change in someone’s life.

The GGCC held its Annual “Give Thanks” cocktail mixer at Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape. Chamber Members were able to network, enjoy a cocktail, and enjoy food compliments of Chick Fil-A Kentlands Square. At the Chamber, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve our local businesses, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our members. Our members demonstrate a significant commitment to helping the Chamber achieve its vision to be the premier voice for business and drive high impact economic development.

We are thankful to Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape and Chick Fil-A Kentlands Square for their sponsorship of this annual event. Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape have hosted the Fall cocktail reception for ten years in a row. Both businesses’ sponsorship and support of the Chamber is priceless.

The mixer was free to attend with a donation of a toy to support Toys for Tots. For the past five years, Pinky & Pepe’s goal is to brighten the holidays for many Montgomery County children. Pinky & Pepe Rodger’s son is a Marine, so this program holds a special place in their heart. The Toys for Tots program was started in 1948 by the United States Marine Corps and has been running steadily ever since. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters. Roughly sixty gifts were collected due to the generosity of the Chamber Members.

Pinky & Pepe’s Grape Escape is a wine and lager bar offering a vast variety of fine wines & craft beers from around the world. They are the wine sponsor of our Annual Wine Tasting in May and they are a huge asset in planning and executing that event and going above & beyond. They were also the recipient of the chamber’s 2014 Small Business of the Year and they were a nominee for the 2015 Montgomery County Small Business of the Year.

Chick Fil-A Kentlands Square is a quick service restaurant that serves chicken, a variety of sandwiches sides and catering.

We will get a chance to say thank you for another great year at our annual Celebration Dinner & Awards Ceremony on Dec. 6 at the Hilton Gaithersburg. At this event, we will have the opportunity to thank our Chamber Members who have been involved and supported us over the past year. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber. We are grateful for all our members and have hopes for all to prosper and grow in the years ahead. We are excited at what the future has in store for us and we hope you are too.


The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber promotes and fosters a favorable business climate through networking, advocacy, and educational opportunities for the benefit of Chamber Members and our community. The GGCC is located at 910 Clopper Road, Suite 205N, Gaithersburg, MD. To learn more about the GGCC visit us at

Find us on Facebook at:; on Twitters at: @GGCCNEWS; and on Instagram at gburggermantownchamber.


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About Laura Rowles

Laura authors the blog Your Success is Our Business on MyMCMedia. Laura is the Director of Events & Marketing for the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce - a member-based organization of businesses that have joined together for the purpose of promoting the civic, commercial and industrial progress in our communities. The area's economic well-being is a result of the caliber of work that is done by the Chamber. The Chamber has a major impact on business, income and future growth of the area. My position at the Chamber - Director of Events & Marketing - affords me the opportunity to plan quality events for our Members and market the Chamber is a variety of avenues. At the GGCC, we typically have around 30 events each year including: breakfasts, lunches, after-five's, ribbon cuttings and special events. The consensus is we have high quality events with good energy. In 2012, we had over 2,040 people visit our events. Most our events are free to Members so securing sponsorships for all events. Additionally, I am responsible for planning networking, overseeing the budget and marketing of all events in order to make them successful. Lastly, I coordinate all marketing and communication efforts of the GGCC including weekly email blasts, its quarterly newsletter, all social media platforms, media relations and community outreach.


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