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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Celebrating Our 16th Year of Helping Our Grads to REALLY Connect!

Comfort Food Cookoff
Because it is winter and because CNers are so competitive, we have scheduled a Comfort Food Cook-off for February 12 from 5-7 PM at Kingston Healthcare in Perrysburg.  We have room for 20 electrical requests for equipment such as crockpots or warmers.  Of course, you can enter other items that don’t need to be warm, because as Linda Everhardt Kardux says, “Chocolate cake doesn’t need to be hot!”  The event is free and there will be tickets to purchase that will be used for voting.  We also will have a Lottery tree that can be won by using the same tickets to enter for the drawing. You must register in advance to compete especially if you need electrical.  You can do so at this link:

‘I’m Not Irish’ After Hours Event!
Knowing the time around March 17 is already busy for many establishments, your Board of Action decided that we would bypass that date and instead have an after hours social event on March 19 titled, “I’m NOT Irish!”  It will be at Charlie’s Taverna on Tollgate in Maumee. They have a great bar there, and plenty of room to network. Bring your friends for a fun early evening and then you can go on to dinner or other events.  It will be from 5:30-7:30 PM.  No need to  register but if you would go to our Facebook page at let the world know that you are attending, that would be wonderful! 

Social Media
Stay in the Know!!
Never miss out on a networking event again!  As CN confirms an event, it is set up under the Events tab on our Facebook page with all of the info and links to register if applicable. Did you know you have the option to subscribe so that you receive a notification on Facebook to those events so you don't miss out? While on our Facebook page, simply click on the Events tab and you will see the Subscribe button on the right just above the list of events. Click on it and you are set to go! You can also invite people to the events and share them to your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today!

Member Spotlight:

Kevin Webb, David R. Webb Builder

by Kerri Brimmer,

Kevin Webb, of David R. Webb Builder, has some seriously strong batteries. Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going and going....

Kevin's constant activity may have started when he began helping his father with his custom home building company at a very young age.  Webb Builders began creating custom homes in September of 1975. In the next decades they began offering room additions, home remodels, and then insurance restoration. Kevin left the business to serve in the US Air Force from 1995-99, and then returned to Webb Builders, focusing on the insurance restoration segment. Today, insurance restoration accounts for fifty percent of the annual revenue.

Kevin, who says he has only had two jobs, law-enforcement and construction, was deployed for 2 years after the 9-11-01 attack, returning again to the family business by day and serving part-time as a police officer by night and on weekends.  Since January of 2006 Kevin has served the company as estimator/job superintendent. He finds that combining those two positions gives Webb an advantage over the competition. He is able to see jobs through from quote to completion and also provides the customer a link directly to company management rather than through a chain of command.  It perfectly suits his type-A, OCD personality.

Kevin's finds the insurance restoration side of the construction business shares the urgency of the law-enforcement field. "You never know when the phone rings whether there is a disaster or a simple drywall repair," he says. He likes the adrenaline rush of the 24/7 on-call lifestyle and finds the biggest reward of his job is succeeding on an "impossible" mission... like stopping a damaged building from collapsing due to vehicle damage, ground movement, or fire.  Kevin says he has several emergencies per year, but not all are as dramatic as a building collapsing.

Kevin's most rewarding jobs, besides the adrenaline rush jobs, are insurance repairs in the inner city. He finds the customers are so appreciative of the work because it is such a big improvement. He rarely leaves an inner city job without a hug, a “Thank You,” and a “God Bless you.”  He also likes the non-insurance kitchen and bath remodels because the customers are appreciative, not undergoing the stress of a disaster since the remodel is planned in advance rather than the surprise being popped on them by a sudden or accidental loss.

In his free time, Kevin enjoys family activities with his two teenage sons and lovely wife of 20 years. His favorites list includes scuba diving, piloting an airplane, boating, scenic drives, frequent travel, and camping.  He regularly attends classes at UT... accumulating degrees and knowledge to give himself new things to think about when he is off work.  His first degree was awarded in 2000 and his next one is coming in May 2018.  He doesn’t recall the dates of the others.  He is deciding which program to start in August 2018. (Yep. Energizer Bunny.) 

CN taught Kevin not to put all his eggs in one basket. Referrals are a huge source of work for construction, and he finds that building several strong relationships has allowed him to enjoy regular work from the resulting referral partners. He says, "quality referrals from quality relationships."  He still thinks of VCP, finding the "Visible" level provides a few small referrals and small projects from several acquaintance-type referral partners. He prefers to work at the  "Profitable" level with a few high quality referral partners for more larger, higher quality projects.

Kevin is active in CN, WEN and meets regularly with his informal group of networking partners. He also networks with fellow members of his aviation club, Michigan Flyers at the Ann Arbor Airport.  His Ask? Kevin would love to be connected with more local P&C agents and adjusters to create long-term know-like-and-trust relationships. 

Kevin warns people to look at the insurance policy they have and consider the agent they have hired.  He finds customers do not get as good of claims service from a "1-800-dial-an-agent” who may be cheaper in price than a local agent, but are not as willing to stand up for you during a claim as the local agent.  He suggests hiring a local agent that knows you as a person rather than as a number on a spreadsheet.  You can get more tips from Kevin's experience by setting up a 1-to-1 with him today.  419-654-1555


CN Horn Tooting


Allen Film & Video in Findlay was pleased to take part in documenting Findlay's leg of this Christmas's "Wreaths Across America" along with Garner Trucking, whose Freedom Truck is a part of the honor fleet that carries wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery, and then on to Findlay.  CN'er, KC Allen, documented the laying of over 1,100 wreaths and the honoring of veterans at Findlay's Maple Grove Cemetery in December, which was also attended by Mayor Lydia Mihalik, Judge Mark Miller, County Commissioner Tim Bechtol and State Representative Robert Sprague.  (

Simon Ellett reports that Jager Consulting is expanding. They have taken on a new part-time coach, Lee Pickler, who is a business professor at Baldwin Wallace and specializes in Japanese Healthcare. Simon has recently completed a Gestalt Coaching course allowing him to provide Executive coaching to C-suite and senior level executives in larger corporations.

Kendra Bill, owner of In Bloom Flowers and Gifts, was sworn in at the January luncheon of the Maumee Chamber Luncheon as the 2018 Maumee Chamber Board President.

Barb Wilson, shares that her company, SM3, is excited to celebrate its 7 year anniversary on January 31. She has provided services for businesses/events here in NW OH, but also in many other cities around the US. This would not be possible if it wasn't for her wonderful network of business professionals. Barb says, “Thank you and I look forward to many more years of serving you!” 

Over the past year and a half,
Laura Grayce Beck has gone through a bit of a metamorphosis. While she still loves promoting Beautycounter, she’s revived a dormant passion,advertising and marketing with the emphasis on creative writing. In the spring of 2017 she became Google Adwords/Analytics certified and now works with various clients to ensure that google is finding them.  Additionally she is now also writing professional blogs for companies; from information for a pool company to a walk in medical clinic.

Tami Norris, tells us that Northwest State Community College/Custom Training Solutions was awarded a $50,000 one-year grant from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The grant enables Northwest State to implement the Accenture Learning Exchange Digital Literacy and IT bridge curricula to students at its UT-Scott Park campus in Toledo, through the LISC national Bridges to Career Opportunities initiative. Students who go through the free program will learn vital base level computer skills to increase their employability prospects. The program also provides a foundation should the students want to continue on in one of the other programs at the Toledo training center.

Jeff LaCourse recently decided to partner with Affinity Advisory Network. His role is designing plans for business owners who want to provide a retirement program for themselves and their employees without the being associated with a traditional 401k. In addition, he designs succession plans to assist owners prepare for a time when they either want to leave their business or are no longer able to work.  Additionally for the past few months, he has also been part of a group that is building a new BNI startup chapter in downtown Toledo. They meet at lunch time and are looking for more referral partners. They still need to fill a few categories that are traditionally hard to find openings for. Let him know if you would like to visit. 

Angela Crosby, 2006 CN grad, has been riding the diet roller coaster for years. Down 20-30 pounds, up 20-30 pounds. Recently she discovered Optavia and under this program, saw the results personally with little to no exercise, and Angela made the step to become an Independent Health Coach for Optavia. Her goal is to assist others in achieving their life-long transformation, one healthy habit at a time. 

New Year...New Business Strategies to Consider
by Chris Kapelski
  You may be one of many people that has decided to take the beginning of a new year as an opportunity for self or business improvements. OR, you may already be sick and tired of hearing “new year, new me”. No matter which side of the coin you find yourself on, here is a short list of business strategies to consider that will help keep you on the right track all year long. 
  1. Keep your business information up to date. Okay this may not be a new concept, but with the ever-growing amount of information that needs updating it’s a critical part of successful business. If you find yourself making changes to your website, business information, products, services, etc. over the course of the year make sure your change that information everywhere. Inconsistent information is the number one cause of customer dissatisfaction and new you or not, no business owner wants that. If you’re short on time you may even consider using a software or hiring a company to help manage your businesses online presence. 
  2. Look at new trends. Great business owners are constantly trying to find ways their business can evolve and stand out within their industry. Are there new networking organizations you should be a part of? Social media platforms you should be participating in? One of the best ways to discover new trends is by reading articles, browsing the web, meeting with experts, and immersing yourself in as much industry specific knowledge as possible. Don’t just learn about the trends. Take the time to think about how those trends may evolve and what that would mean for your industry and your business in the future. Once you understand the important trends start to think of ways you can utilize them to gain the upper hand on your competition
  3. Promote your new products and services. If you have been in business awhile and already have an existing customer base this is a strategy that could instantly increase your bottom line. Take a step back and think about how you are currently servicing your clients. Do you have a new product or service that could benefit them? Consider sending out an email blast or making a few phone calls to introduce the new piece to your existing client base. If you have already built up positive relationships you will likely be pleasantly surprised at how receptive your clients are to the new options. 

Strategic Networking?
by Debby Peters,

Have you ever wondered as you sat in front of your computer, “who should I call next?”  I have a couple ideas that might prove helpful.

Old People
Think about the ART (or VCP for Certified Networker grads) and remember back to class when we talked about paying attention to those most developed relationships in your network.  It would be those in the high C or R for many of you.  Review those people in your network and determine if you need to connect with them.  Has it been awhile since you strategized with them?  Can you think of ways to help them?  Or has it been so long since you talked that you just have to work on re-building the relationship again? And by the way, if this is someone you should be meeting regularly, just schedule the 2nd meeting with them when you are reaching out for the first!

New People
While paying attention first to strong relationships makes sense, it also is wise to add some new contacts on a regular basis. You just never know what a new face will bring to the table and additionally they might be exactly the one that your current contacts need to meet! You probably have a hand full of business cards from people you have met in the last couple weeks.  Give them a call or shoot them an email letting them know that you would like to get to know them.  You could even make a goal to set aside some time every Friday to initiate these calls so you have an ongoing funnel of new contacts.

Recently, I was meeting with a networking contact, Lisa, and she was meeting with someone right before; someone I didn’t know.  Quickly, Lisa introduced me to Susie. After Susie moved on and Lisa told me about her, I realized that Susie would be a perfect person to come to our Mini class. My relationship with Lisa was strong enough to allow me to ask her to make a personal intro.  And of course during the meeting, we discovered several people that I need to introduce to Lisa. Lisa is a good friend, but I can tell you that if we hadn’t met in person, neither of us would have realized the opportunities that we have for each other.  It’s not that we don’t want to help, it’s just the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” With these two challenges, you can become a better resource to your current contacts and you might also find future customers for yourself!

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