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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Next Graduation
We know that you like to get events on your calendar in advance.  In Toledo, the graduation for our current classes is scheduled for Monday, May 16, from 5:30-7:30 PM.  This is a date change from the original so be sure to check your calendar.

May After Hours
In collaboration with Meet Toledo, CN will be hosting a social event, Cocktails and Chatter, at the Charlie’s Taverna on Tollagate, just off Dussel, in Maumee on Tuesday, May 24, from 4-6:30.

July Breakfast
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, we will have a panel of marketing experts that will share ideas with us on how to better reach our prospects.

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.  More info will come later, but for now, just reserve that date and time on your calendar.

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:

Laura Osborne
by Jenn Wenzke


A witty sense of humor and gentle easy-going spirit are only two of the many wonderful attributes that describe this determined and talented businesswoman.

Laura was born in Toledo and then moved with her family to Illinois where she lived for 12 years.  She returned to her hometown to attend the University of Toledo. She earned a degree in Fine Arts specializing in Drawing.  She lovingly calls her degree a “Major in Crayons.”

How did it all begin?
Laura’s love for framing began when she worked for another frame shop for 8 years.  “I made sure that I learned from the best.”

Laura and her father decided to become partners and open their own framing business – Laura’s Framing Place. They are perfect partners, he is the master of the money and she is the master of the framing.  In January 2015 they moved from their original location at Parkway Plaza to their current shop at 4400 Heatherdowns Blvd. 

Because of her love for the arts, Laura has designated an area in her shop that is called the “Gallery of the Local Unknowns”.  It’s a place for local artists to spotlight their work on consignment.  When Laura first graduated from the University of Toledo she tried to find galleries that would showcase her work.  She was turned down and she doesn’t want other artists to experience that same disappointment. 

Laura’s business goal is to boost sales so she can hire 2-3 new employees.  The objective?  To give her time away from the shop so she can network which will help her grow her business even more.

Laura is a 1-2-1 Style of Networker.
Laura has been a member of BNI for 20 years and was in Toastmasters for 9 years.  She prefers meeting with people 1-2-1 over speaking in front of large groups. 

“I call the 10-minute BNI presentation, the 10-minute sweat and during my 9 years with Toastmasters I only gave 12 speeches.”

Laura met Debby Peters when she joined BNI in 1997 and later took the CN course in 2006.  Through the course she learned that it’s necessary to develop relationships first in order to have enough of a trust factor to do business with one another.

What’s Unique about Laura?
When you visit Laura’s shop you will always find a furry animal hanging about.  Her first was a dog named, Maxie, and her current companion is a friendly Lab Doberman mix, named Tori.

Laura is extremely active in her church, the Zion United Methodist Church in South Toledo.  She is on the Board of Trustees, sings soprano in the choir, and participates in the hand bell choir.  She calls it her Family Church.  Why? Because her parents were married there, she was baptized there, and her grandparents were also members.

WOW – I had no idea!
Most of Laura’s friends know that techie gadgets are not one of her favorite things.  I say, who needs technology when you have Laura’s level of framing expertise! Not only does Laura specialize in hand-made, custom-designed wood frames, she can preserve your memorabilia in a custom-designed shadow box.

Just look at a few of her shadow box creations:
> Photos of a Grandma & Grandpa with their Individual Pipes
> A Pet Memorial that Features Photos, Dog Collar, Toys and Paw Prints
> A 4-Generation Christening Gown
> A Hole-In-One Display that Includes an Entire Golf Ball, Flag and Score Card
> The First Base from the Very First Mud Hens Game - Signed by Every Player on the Team!

CONNECT with Laura!
Do yourself a favor and make it a point to spend time in the welcoming, brilliant and many times hilarious space of Laura Osborne.  Make sure to “LIKE” her FACEBOOK page – Laura’s Framing Place - and check out all of her unusual framing projects.


CN Horn Tooting


Patti Leupp, doTerra, presented at the "Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: An Evidenced Based Discussion" at the Region III+Perinatal Education Consortium, Childbirth Educators' Network meeting on Friday, April 15. The goal was to show how patient care, outcomes and satisfaction can be improved using these modalities.

Shannon Benge, Beyond Business, announced that in partnership with Kerri Brock, she has opened a FastSigns store in Maumee.  They are in the plaza at 1470 Ford Street (near Panera on Dussel). Drop by to see them if you are in the area or call them at 419-740-1258! Also, save May 19th from 4 to 7pm for their Grand Opening Celebration!

Cy Connors, reports that Molly Maid of Greater Toledo/Bowling Green and also now Monroe & Lenawee Counties was the Region 3 (of 5) winner in sales growth for 2015.  Molly Maid now has 9 teams to service their growing customer base.

Deb Olejownik, DJC Core Consulting, will be presenting, “Tips & Tools To Get of the Fish Bowl.” This lunch & learn will be held at The Pinnacle Toledo, 1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee, OH 43537 on May 11, 2016 from 11:30 - 1:00PM. Registration is through Eventbrite, Facebook, and

Kristinna Clauson, Genoa Bank, proudly announces that her baby girl Arabella Louise Clauson was born on March 23.  Kristinna is so proud to be her momma!  She also says that she will see everyone in a couple months!  

Kym Cragel, reports that on April 20 she completed her Master's degree in Sport Psychology.  She maintained a 4.0 grade point average and has expanded Bodyfix, LLC by specializing as a Sport Psychology Consultant.

Jason Conklin, J Conklin Consulting, shares that The Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department hosted an Open House on Sunday, April 3. They unveiled their new $1,000,000 Community Fire Station that was entirely funded by private donations from a capital campaign in 2014. The newly renovated community meeting room was named in honor of Jason and Jennifer Conklin in appreciation for all their hard work and dedication that made the entire project possible. In addition, for showing leadership in the fire service, Ohio Fire Marshal Larry Flowers presented the department with a State of Ohio flag, and certificate that stated that the flag was flown over the state house,. Check out the story from 13 ABC: 

Krisi Vadnais, Doterra, is excited to announce that she won 1st place in the Division International Speech Competition for public speaking through Toastmasters. She will be moving on to the District level competition in Windsor, Ontario on May 6th.

Phyllis Sheets, My Shop on Rugby Drive and Tami Norris, Custom Training Solutions, have been elected co-presidents of the Beta Phi Beta alumni chapter of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.  In addition to working with the alumni members in the Toledo area they provide support for the collegiate chapters at BGSU and UT. Congratulation to both women!

Michael Temple, Temple Development Corporation, has been awarded projects by both Poggemeyer Design Group and International Surface Fabrication Association. He will be building extensive web sites for both organizations. Both projects will involve not only responsive (mobile friendly) sites, but extensive database driven backend capabilities for member management and marketing.
The Rolodex in Your Head!
by Debby Peters, 

If you have to ask, “What’s a Rolodex?” I understand.  For your knowledge, this item was used in the past to keep track of all our business contacts.  We now use contact management systems on our computer (or phone!) to do so. A Rolodex was a round dial on a stand, where individual business cards could be inserted.  When you wanted to find someone, you just spun the dial at the side.  Very rudimentary, but it worked at the time.

Why a rolodex in your head?  It is a visual that is good to keep imprinted in your brain.  When you go into a networking event, you can think about all those people in your system and how someone you might meet at the event can help some else in your network.  So many people attempt networking from the point of view of selling and usually none of us go to a networking event to buy.

What’s the point?  When you are willing to be the connector, the person who glues others together; then you become the go-to person and are considered a valued resource for everyone to be on a first name basis.  Of course, this doesn’t give you direct business, but long term, the relationships you develop using this method, mean that sometime in the future, you can ask for help for yourself and most will jump to assist  you.  They want to stay a positive member of your network.

An additional reason is that it just makes good sense to help others be successful.  The more you send out, the more the energy wants to return.  Or you can look at it as payment for others who have helped you in the past.  What goes around comes around!

For me when I sold telecommunications consulting early in my sales career, a gentleman, John Steele, took me under his wing.  He also was a sales person in this business, but really was at the end of a very successful sales management career and was just working to keep busy after the death of his wife.  Everyday John connected with me to help me get better at what I did.  Usually we had lunch together daily. While the conversation was not all about sales, the little bits John slipped in subliminally entered my sales brain.  To this day, I will never have done enough for others to pay back the kindness that John showed to me.  For me, I have to do this....and I also want to do it.

Asking good questions will help you to know who needs what or whom.  A couple queries that I think are helpful are:

Tell me a little bit about what you do in your business. What do you do? This is especially good if their job description is a “mystery” title.  When someone is the Director of Something I usually say, “So what does that mean you do for your job?”

In your free time, what are you interested in? Again this tells you a bit more about the person and usually will give you an idea of someone else that has the same interest.  

What do you need right now? Or sometimes I phrase the question as, “What did you hope to accomplish by attending this event?”  Many times people won’t know the answer to that question.  But it gets them to thinking.  Sometimes people just want new friends.  You can make those connections too!

I hope you can now see that carrying an antiquated visual in your head will make the world a better place for all of us!

How Some New Stuff from Facebook Affects You
by Barb Wilson,

 Are you looking for a new way to reach your fans and followers on your Facebook Business Page, Group, or Event? Many people get upset when their Facebook personal page changes. Often things will be in different places or new buttons will be added. Most recently on the personal page side, Facebook provided you a new way to express emotions on friends post. The “like” button is still there, but if you hold it down now you can click on different emojis like love, haha, wow, sad, and angry to express how you feel about the post. For years people have asked Facebook for a dislike button. The emojis is a step in that direction.

Usually the hatred for the changes subsides and people move on with their lives. After all Facebook has lots of engineers working to make these changes that will keep the app fresh and get you to continue to use it. In that regard, Facebook has developed a live video feature for verified pages (celebrities, famous people, etc.) to reach their fans. Now, they have started to offer this exciting feature for brand pages, groups, and events!

If you have a live event, or you have something you want to broadcast to your fans, you now have that option through the Facebook app or through the Facebook Pages app on your mobile phone. It appears right now that this is only offered through the Apple iOS platform. But never fear Android users, the availability for droids will soon be there. Facebook is actually late to the live streaming game. For example, Twitter launched its mobile streaming service called Periscope a few months ago. But with Periscope, the recording of your live event only stays on the app for a couple of hours, while Facebook will allow your video to stay on your brand page as a “post”.  
Here is a screenshot of how it works:

When you click on the publish button in the app, you will see the four icons above the keyboard, click on the far right icon. The first time, it will ask for permission to access your camera and microphone. It is also important to have a good connection with either WiFi or 4G. Some users are also reporting that it will deplete the battery on your phone very quickly. You also may need to think about a way to keep the phone steady to avoid a shaky video that may turn off your viewing audience.

Are you already thinking about ways to use this exciting new feature? SM3 sure is! 


The Big Puzzle Lunch
by Debby Peters,


April 18th saw 46 CN Grads and guests gathered for the annual Fantastic Four lunch. Debby does her best to organize the tables of three or four people based on target market.  Of course, she does have to sometimes get a bit creative in order to make it all work!  There was lots of noise as attendees first arrived, but soon they got down to business sharing their ideas with their tablemates.  The best question of the day that most of the tables reported on was, “What do you wish you had known about networking before you started your business or career?”  And now we want to know what your answer would have been to that question!

If you’re sorry you missed this lunch, be on the lookout for it next year when it is announced.

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