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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Our popular quarterly breakfast will happen again on July 12, from 7:30-8:45am at Pam’s Corner Restaurant on 10th Street in downtown Toledo.  For this event, our speaker has changed.  We are truly excited and awed to have Gene Poor coming to share his entrepreneurial ideas with us.  Gene was awarded the Hamilton Professor of Entrepreneurship and also along the way has started several very successful businesses. Currently, Poor is the Chairman of the Board for Lifeformations, the company that makes lifelike figures and dioramas. They are considered the leading force in the creation and evolution of animatronic figures.  This is one you won’t want to miss.   Please make a special effort to be there and to also bring a friend.   Remember, it doesn’t cost anything to attend AND you can purchase a yummy breakfast from Pam.
Summer Picnic
Plan to just socialize with other CNers and their families and guests at the annual CN picnic at Debby Peters and Steve Cotner’s home on Sunday, August 7 from 2-5 PM.  Keeping the cost the same as last year:  they are $6 for adults and $3 for children.  Plan on lots of food including hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey burgers and salmon burgers.  CN will also provide the sides.  We are signing volunteers to bring dessert and there is a rumor that we will again have the dessert contest.  The meal will be served shortly after 2, but food will be available through the afternoon.  We provide pop, water and lemonade, you can bring the rest.  Swimming, kayaking and fishing are usually enjoyed by all.
Quarterly Lunch
We usually don’t have two events in one month, but this summer we will!  Our next quarterly lunch is  August 15 at Smokey Bones in Maumee.  It starts at 11:30 and ends at one.  Pay $13 at the door with a check or cash.

Using the CN Emailing List
Many of you are users of the CN email list where you can address your communication to just one address and then it goes out to all our students and grads.  It is one benefit of being part of the community!
      A few facts about this benefit:
  1. It is a moderated list, so your email will first be OK’d by CN Grad, Jennifer Bazeley, who refers to the guidelines that the BOA set up for usage of the list. Jennifer has just volunteered to assume this duty from Ernie Lewis who has provided this oversight for many years.
  2. The address to use is
  3. You MUST implement your message from the email that the CN group knows you by.  If you don’t, the system will reject you.  If you’re not sure what that address is, you can contact Debby.
We know that so many members gain benefit from getting little problems or challenges solved by using the feature and we hope to continue offering this benefit in the future.

Social Media
To find our page, either key in Connext Nation in the search bar of FB or using this link.  What Barb Wilson keeps the page updated and you’ll be able to keep abreast of all that’s happening in your community. Plus you might see your face there if you attend one of our events.

Member Spotlight:

Sandy Pirwitz
by Ray Meiers


Sandy Pirwitz has been a CN Instructor since 2008, after her second retirement!  Sandy worked as a nurse for over thirty years.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Toledo and a Masters in Infection Control and Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.  She was a Department Head at the Cleveland Clinic when she retired from nursing in 1996.
After this first retirement, Sandy opened a resale shop.  Sandy’s appreciation for clothing probably came about as a result of her childhood, when money was tight.  She retired for the second time and closed the shop in 2008. 
Sandy took the CN class in 2006.  The class was extremely beneficial to her and she welcomed the opportunity to teach others.  Debby offered Sandy the instructor position in 2011.  Since then, she has taught dozens of CN grads.
Sandy was also a Director Consultant for BNI for several years, retiring (for the third time) last year. Sandy’s fourth retirement is now in sight. She will cease teaching at in 2017.  Her new career as a professional reader and traveler will then begin.  She will also be able to spend more time enjoying her two, fifteen by fifteen walk-in closets. 
Sandy and her husband Dick have two sons, one in town (Paul) and the other (Dave) in Seattle.  Dave’s daughter Emme (11) is the apple of their eyes.  Happily, Dave and Emme will be in town next month.
In the meantime, Sandy welcomes any referrals to her target market.  She is looking for team leaders in multi-level marketing businesses.


CN Horn Tooting


Sarah Krafty, Krafty Travel, just returned from the islands of O'ahu and Maui in Hawaii where she completed destination training and she is now a Hawaii Islands Specialist through the Hawaii CVB.

Sandy Kosmyna, is retired from The University of Toledo on June 30. She has had a long career in higher education (21 years with UT and 8 years with Monroe County Community College). She plans to keep busy by traveling and volunteering in the community.  If any CN members need help with an event, let her know.

Jennifer Brouwer, The Janet Pleghar Foundation, is moving “home” after being in Georgia for several years.  She and her husband and daughter will arrive August 1.

Michelle Quilter, Genoa Bank, reports that after a few short months of managing the Perrysburg/Rossford office of Genoa Bank, she was transferred to the corporate office as branch manager.

Cy Connors, Molly Maid of Greater Toledo/Bowling Green and also serving Monroe and Lenawee counties, shares that due to the growth of Molly Maid customers and now having 9 teams to serve customers, they are moving to a larger location at 1611 Henthorne Dr, Maumee.

Debbie Priest, now the Community Services Representative at The Lakes of Monclova. Also, she was elected president -elect for the St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary. 

Jeff Ogg, Jeffrey P. Ogg, C.P.A., was recently installed to a one year term as President of the Toledo Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association for the 2016-17 year.

Tony Szczechowski, Pro Edge Lawn Care, Ltd., was featured in a national magazine, Landscape Management.  The 3 page article can be read at this link: 

Simon Ellett, Jager Consulting, has been chosen to present at COSE Small Business Convention in October. 

Kym Cragel, reports that this summer Bodyfix LLC, is teaching over 20 children through adults how to swim and be safe around water. After only 1 lesson one 4 year old fell into a neighbor's pool, but knew what to do and didn't panic. His 7 year old brother was able to assist in his rescue by yelling, throwing, but not going into the water.

Deb Olejownik , DJC Core Consulting, earned her Advanced Communicator Bronze award on Friday, June 17, 2016 from her Westgate Toastmasters Club. Her final speech in this series was from two excerpts from the Think & Grow Rich manuscript by Napoleon Hill. They were Three Feet Short from Gold, and A Fifty-cent Lesson in Persistence.

Nick Nigro, Davis College, shares that he was invited by Jean Schoen from Cancer Connection of NW Ohio to join their Board. After some reflection, he accepted the invitation. Like most of us, Nick’s life has been touched by cancer. He will use his networking skills to help a very important and necessary resource for our community. 

David Bodner completed his first Olympic distance triathlon, the Maumee Bay State Park Triathlon. He swan 1 mile, cycled 24 miles and ran 6 miles.
The Power of CN...and Word of Mouth
by Monica Knoll,
Tiffany Robinson is a corporate employee for American Family Insurance who has decided to work in my office for the past couple of weeks. Currently she lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Tiffany and Monica sat down and talked about life and business and Tiffany said she was one of the first CN grads! She mentioned that she still uses the CN techniques in her essential oils business today.
So, here is the line of connection.  Tiffany Robinson and Jeanette Weinstein, another CN grad, are high school friends. Tiffany referred Jeanette to Debby Peters when Jeanette was starting her business, Parent Connect. When Monica started working, Jeanette told her she HAD to take the CN class. All very random, but we all are all making connections everywhere. 
When you are doing business are your clients referring you even when you do not know it (just like CN teaches)?


Are You an "Innie" or an "Outie"?
By Deb Olejownik,

 You can network better and navigate through networking by understanding the direction of your energy. This refers to your preference for extroversion or introversion. Extroversion – you prefer to direct your energy outward towards people and situations. Introversion – you prefer to direct your energy towards ideas, thoughts or beliefs.

 Several years ago, I was invited to a networking event where I knew only one person, the person who invited me. I had my reservations about going, I wanted to meet new people in the business world but it was painfully uncomfortable for me. However, I put those feelings aside and decided to attend the event. 

Upon arrival, I was totally out of my comfort zone, so much so that I showed up at the end when most people were leaving. Has this ever happened to you?

 Years later, I discovered the personality preferences of introversion and extroversion. More specifically how having introversion or extroversion tendencies influence networking. Knowing this will help you to recognize how you can use your energy to network with others.  For example, if you have a preference for extroversion, you are great at working the inner room.  Perhaps it’s time to head to the edge of the room and talk with those you have not met. In conversation, the tip is to listen more. The person you are communicating with will appreciate the effort you make to get to know them personally. The same is true if you have a preference for introversion, you are great at listening and developing personal relationships and you prefer the outer edge of the room. Again it’s time to gradually ease your way towards people you have not yet met. Be the first to introduce yourself, find some common ground and start a conversation.

In 2012, I discovered CN and I felt ready to challenge myself and stretch my comfort zone. I understood my direction of energy and used my energy coupled with the masterful techniques of the CN program to learn and grow my business and enhance building my referral networking skills. The benefits outweighed my expectations. As a result, I have grown exponentially. 

Don’t let what happened to me all those years ago, happen to you. Whatever your direction of energy, I know from personal experience that small talk can turn people off from networking due to the discomfort of it all. Use your energy to widen that zone and propel yourself forward.

Thank you to a BOA Member

We’d like to acknowledge and thank, Hiliary Hinz, Decorating Den, for her service to the Connext Nation Board of Action.  With the addition of her wonderful daughter to her family, Hilary decided to focus on her family and her business making the decision to step away from the board at this time. We will miss her quiet ways and her eye for organization. Thanks Hilary for all you gave during your tenure!

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