Thursday, October 19, 2017

MEET. GREET. THINK

A young Las Vegas entrepreneur is redefining how people are introduced to one another.

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

Jeremy Washington, founder of "Mr. Jeremy's Social Mixer and Topic Parties. PHOTO l TINAMARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Las Vegas has long had a reputation for revolutionizing entertainment, and now a native of the city is setting out to redefine one of the most basic elements of socializing: the meet-and-greet.

The scion of a storied local family (his great-great- grandfather, Rev. V.C.L. Coleman, was the fourth pastor of Second Baptist Church and a legendary leader in Las Vegas’ African American community), Jeremy R. Washington has known for some time that he wanted to make his mark by offering adults an alternative way of coming together to meet new people.

“My concept for creating Mr. Jeremy’s Twist-Social Mixers and Provocative Topics began as a need to add something more to my life,” he said. “I have always been a hard worker — working two jobs at one time. I found that my house seemed like a hotel where I would just come and go. I wanted to have more people in my life, so I started having cocktail parties and great discussions amongst my guests. As more and more people started attending my parties, I expanded the events to take place at Jimmy’s Cheyenne Market. I promoted it on Facebook and we are holding the next event at The Red Label Lounge on West Sahara.”

That three-hour event, set for Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., is expected to draw up to 80 people. Like many mixers, the Twist involves dancing and a DJ spinning smooth R&B sounds. What sets it apart: attendees are also engage in dialogue on controversial matters such as politics, religion and current events. Some examples of the topics explored include “Should the church pass out condoms to the youth?” and “When should a child stop sitting on a man’s lap?” With Washington’s engaging, charismatic personality informing the monthly soiree, the minglers can’t help enjoying themselves and getting to know one another better through honest, frank conversation.

“I had to first appreciate and know that I had to define my worth and I didn’t want to be like anyone else with my events,” Washington explained. “When I was able to find my individual talents, then I was able to build my empire as a young African-American male and encourage and inspire people. I have a love for people, and have always been very social. Growing up in Las Vegas, I saw people who didn’t aspire to do much in their lives. I want young people to know that you don’t have to be 60 or 80 years of age to attain things and to travel to see the world. But things don’t just drop in your lap either.”

The mixers also serve to promote small businesses. “I like to use the mixers to also help small businesses and offer sponsorships for the mixers along with product exposure,” said Washington. “The event helps with business networking, to expose the goods and services of our local black businesses.”

Washington says that one of the biggest surprises is that, “People who attend the mixers have given me testimonies that the topics addressed at the events and the responses from others have really helped them.” Along with his events, Washington is also quickly gaining local renown as a dessert-maker. He describes Mr. Jeremy’s Homemade Sweet Potato Pies as “fresh, smooth, creamy, no lumps or strings, cradled in a buttery crust. I have been making pies for a few years— all of them by hand, myself. This past Thanksgiving I had 270 orders.”

For additional information, contact (702) 111-1111.

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