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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Announcement #1 Save the Date For Fun on September 18th!
September is the month in the quarter where Toledo does NOT have a lunch, but instead has an after-hours social. There is no set program except for great networking! Sponsored by Debra Gorman from The Chocolate Shoppe on September 18 we are meeting at Max & Erma’s on Dussel in Maumee from 5-7 PM. Appetizers are free and there will be a cash bar. Come connect with old CN friends and also bring a guest.

Announcement #2 Findlay will host a healthy networking event on September 23
Sponsored by Lori Powell of State Farm Insurance and lead by our ever creative, David Trisel, graf-x-cape, Findlay CN will be throwing a “healthy” party on September 23 at Rolling Thunder Skating & Family Fun Center, 2225 Keith Parkway in Findlay. Along with CN networking, there will be many exhibitors representing healthy offerings. Participants will visit each booth in order to be eligible for a door prize drawing. This event will begin at 5:30 pm and end at 7:30.

Member Spotlight:

Matt Lee of Accessible Renovations
by Rick Reichow – Farmers Insurance,

What a pleasure to meet 2005 graduate of Connext Nation and member of the Madison Avenue Chapter of BNI, Matt Lee of Accessible Renovations. After reuniting with college classmate, Patrick Andrews, and through many conversations, Matt and Patrick decided to start their business 10 years ago. Throughout our conversation I could tell the excitement and passion that Matt has towards his life, family, and his business. He thoroughly enjoys creating the best room in the home for each and every individual he works for. He said that the statistics for people turning 65 each and every day in this country alone are staggering and out of curiosity I “Googled” it. It is projected that approximately 8,000-10,000 people will be turning 65 each day for the next 15 years and ARI is intricately positioned to provide home modifications which will meet the needs of this growing demographic.

This statistic alone prompted Matt to start Accessible Renovations along with the desire for a more flexibile schedule for his family. Matt and his wife Suzanne had their first son twenty years ago and weren’t fortunate enough to have others but they always knew they wanted more kids. At that time Matt was managing projects all over the country for HCR ManorCare, which didn’t allow as much time as he would have liked with his first born. So when they adopted the twin boys in 2004 he knew that his help was going to be more important and he wanted that flexibility of schedule to allow him to be there for the twins as they grew up. They didn’t know that they were even going to get twins, but the day the attorney called changed their lives forever. The startup of ARI was just four month removed from the arrival of the twins because the timing seemed right for the partners to start their own thing and their combined knowledge of construction was the perfect fit in a growing need.

Matt’s wife, Suzanne, is a yoga instructor and has been practicing for 7 years. During Matt’s free time he loves to golf, play racquet ball, and tennis. He even had a hand in building the Perrysburg Tennis Center where he now plays league tennis. His home life is all about the kids. Family is central to his life. He is excited to say that he’s coaching the twins' basketball team and they will be starting football for first time as fifth graders at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH).

Accessible Renovations is a licensed contractor in NW Ohio and will handle any type of remodeling work but they’ve carved out a focus of independence for the handicap and the elderly. This focus has them working to modify homes by widening doors, adding ramps, adding assistive equipment like porch lifts and stair lifts or his primary focus of modifying bathrooms. His target market is elderly parents or their children that are helping them make tough decisions about retrofitting their existing homes. Various rehab facilities are also a good referral source because of modification needed upon the return to a home after rehab. Matt’s knowledge of the home is a perfect fit for the PT, OT and Social Workers wanting to seamlessly transition their patients back into their own homes. If you know of someone facing these tough decisions or anyone working in these various therapies, give Matt a call and he could be a strong part of your team. 

CN Horn Tooting


Alison Avendt recently took on some new areas within ProMedica. In addition to her position of Vice President of Operations for ProMedica Toledo Hospital, she is now also President of ProMedica Transportation Network. (PTN) This division includes all of their Air and Mobile transportation for ProMedica.

C.J. Nelson, C. Julia Photography, also includes special event planning as one offer in her menu of services. Along those lines, CJP just pulled off the planning and successful execution of the largest private event ever held at the Great Lakes Science Center since it opened in 1998. Serving more than 12,000 people over the course of four nights, with more than 80 staff and volunteers working each night, this family appreciation event brought more than 6 figures into the non-profit organization, which will be a necessary piece of the puzzle when balancing its budget for year 2015. 

Dave Bodner, Mass Mutual, Financial Group, completed the Sylvania Sprint Triathlon and came in second place in his age group and 23rd place out of 249 participants.

Debbie J. Papay, Attorney, was asked to teach this fall in the adult interest program at the Arrowhead Park Campus of Owens Community College.  The class is entitled "Estate & Disability Planning - Age 18 to 108: What you need to know."  Students will receive, free of charge, all three books Debbie has written over the last three years. 

Mary Nyitray, Optical Arts, is excited to announce that she will be attending the Las Vegas International Vision Expo to pick out all the newest and latest frames in the industry! 

Michelle Donnelly, American Home Shield, has two wonderful things to toot about. (1) She has completed her Bachelors in Business and Marketing at Lourdes University with a 3.71 Magna Cum Laude. (2) She arranged an event for a friend who has MS and they were able to raise over $11,000. This meant they were able to purchase a newer model van that will make travels to doctor appointments so much easier.

Ray Meiers, Remarck Law Group, will be giving a presentation on "The Patentability of Software" on September 16. The presentation is free, but sign-up is required. Details can be found at

Chapter Review, Chapter 10, “Get Noticed at Community Events”

By Debby Peters,

Chapter Review, Chapter 10, “Get Noticed at Community Events”
The very last chapter in the Connext Nation class packs a wallop when using the information at the networking events you attend. Many times you are asked to give a commercial or introduction of some sort. This chapter makes it easy for each attempt to gain you the results you want.
There are four templates to help you create each message, each based on the amount of time allowed. For example the first one is for 20 second intros. Then next three are for 30, 60 and 2 or more minutes. As more time is allowed, another component is added. With the twenty second intro, usually there is just enough time for name, company and a request. Conversely, the 2 minute version, can include, name, company, one feature, one benefit and a short story along with the request. The very short version might be used at a chamber function and the very long one might be used at a speed networking event.
Using these templates will help you to be prepared in advance for your forays to networking that will generate a better chance of return on your investment of your time.
If you would like a copy of these templates, contact Debby at

Connext Nation Summer Picnic

by Debby Peters,

Sunday, July 27 was a great day for CNers to gather at Debby Peters and Steve Cotner’s home just south of Perrysburg. The weather cooperated this year so that everyone felt comfortable being outside. Debby also loved spending her birthday with all her CN friends.

Rick Reichow, Farmer’s Insurance and Steve Cotner, Corporate Intelligence Consultants, manned the big grille, cooking Rick’s burgers, Debby’s turkey burgers and Costco’s salmon burgers. We all loved Pam Weirauch’s sides from her restaurant, Pam’s Corner.

We reprised the dessert contest and Barb WilsonSocial Media Marketing Matters, was the crowd favorite with her eclair dessert. I can’t tell you how good it was because it was all gone before I got a chance to taste! A wonderful dessert surprise came from Randy and Teresa Raymond, Marbee Printing. They brought fresh, homemade vanilla ice cream. And I can tell you that it was yum! I actually had two servings because it was so good. Being the birthday girl, I thought I deserved it!

The picnic is always fun, because it is just a time to socialize. No agenda, no goals, no plan other than to just have fun. And we did just that!

 Findlay Visits The Pool and

Johari’s Window!

by Debby Peters,
Findlay’s BOA hosted a morning event in August instead of the usual monthly lunch. We were able to enjoy sitting around the pool at Lakeview Pool Clubhouse. Ernie Lewis, E.A. Lewis Consulting, was the sponsor of this event. David Trisel, gra-X-cape and Flag City Online, hosted the event and also provided quite an insightful networking exercise. He presented to idea of the Johari’s Window. This is a tool to see how much you have told others about you and also what they perceive or know about you. If you would like to find out more about how you could use this to become better known in your network, David would be a good person to ask for a one-to-one meeting.

Cleveland Graduates the First CNers!


Three CN grads from NW Ohio along with Debby, hosted the first CN graduation in NE Ohio on August 19. Thanks to Andrew Stainbrook, Dotnet Technologies, Bob Werner, Re/Max Masters and Deb Olejownik, DJC Consulting, the graduation was produced without a hitch.
First ever grads, C.J. Nelson, C. Julia Photography, Jason Lukz, 212 Capital Group, Phil Vedda, Vedda Printing+, Jim Boone, Cuyahoga Community College and Peggy Cook, Vedda Printing+ all received their official CN name badges.
Class MVP, Peggy Cook, was surprised that she was chosen, but she was a standout in the class, doing her homework each week, contributing to class discussion and just generally being a positive impact on everyone else. Her favorite charity, The American Heart Association, received a check in her honor. Peggy said, “I selected this charity because I have heart disease and they are also a client of mine.”
This small pocket of grads will be the strong nucleus of a new community in Cleveland
 New Member for BOA
Toledo’s very active BOA was in recruitment mode in the months of July and August and as a result, Barb Wilson, Social Media Marketing Matters, has agreed to join this group of grads that help to manage the community.  Barb is excited about this prospect because she is very interested in seeing how she can give back to the CN world!  We look forward to Barb’s positive input!
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