We are celebrating the 18th year of helping our grads to REALLY connect!

Monthly Lunches Are Back! 
It’s back!  Monthly lunches are continuing for 2020.  We will again be at Smokey Bones 512 W Dussel Blvd, Maumee.  They will be from 11:30-1.

The dates of the lunches in the next three months are:
March 16 -
During Feb and March, we are going to be supporting Build-a-Bed by bringing bedding for twin size beds to the lunch.
April 20
May 18

This is the third Monday of the month.  We are going to ask you to register in advance which means you can use your business credit card to do so making it easier to track that expense.  The fee for lunch is $16 and the link to register is:
Did You Know?
Connext Nation is nationally certified to provide CPEs credits for CPAs. For the mini class, CPAs get 2 credits and for the ten-week class they get 24.  Our next Toledo 10 week series starts next spring on March 13, 2020, but there is a mini class yet in March both in Toledo and Cleveland.  The Cleveland starting date for the ten-week class is March 11. We will also be offering Ann Arbor classes beginning in 2020.
Board of Action
At a recent BOA meeting, the members were asked, “What is the Super Bowl commercial you remember?”  The answers were all over the map from the Google add with the older gentleman speaking about Lorraine, his wife; to the Walmart ad with all being from all over picking up groceries. 
What one was your favorite and why?
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 on your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today!

Member Spotlight – Krisi Vadnais,
by Guest Contributor, Jeff LaCourse,
Those of you who have recently graduated from CN probably know Krisi well, as she is the current instructor for the Toledo classes. For those of you, like me, who have not been as involved recently, I would like to introduce you to one of the busiest people you may ever meet.
Not only is Krisi a CN instructor, she is also the manager of The Bard’s Coffee Shop in Perrysburg. They opened last year, and the shop is a result of a relationship built by Connext Nation. Krisi and Chris Watson met in a CN class and Toastmasters. The friendship they built and a common love for coffee led to the creation of The Bard’s Coffee. When Chris decided to open the business, he asked Krisi to be involved. Today, they have created a space for coffee lovers and networkers to get together in a comfortable environment. She said that she loves the daily conversations with their regular clientele.
Along with the coffee shop, Krisi is also a successful DoTerra essential oils representative and an Ambassador for Profile by Sanford. She is also a member of the Perrysburg BNI chapter. “Where does she find the time?” you ask. Well, there is more!
Krisi is also a single mom to two very active young boys, Alex and Toby. Alex is a 2nd grader who is in the gifted program at school and recently started in Cub Scouts. He will be competing in his first Pinewood Derby the day that I write this article. Toby is a 5 year old who will be starting Kindergarten in the fall and keeps mom busy. They have two rescue puppies, Dobbie and Griffin, and a 20-yr old cat named Charlie.
In her “free time”, Krisi is a competitive public speaker in Toastmasters. Of 330,000 members, she has made it to the semifinals in Washington DC. That represents the top 100 competitors in the organization. She has goals of going much further in the near future.
When Krisi took the CN class, she was looking to build her essential oils business. She loved the lessons learned from her class, and started to live the principles taught to her. When she graduated, she became a Graduate Assistant for former instructor Sandy Pirwitz. When Sandy decided to retire, she recommended Krisi to replace her, because she was the best GA ever.
As an instructor, Krisi takes her role very seriously and believes it’s important to take the time to meet with every student one on one to make sure they are getting the most out of their class. She says “I don’t love CN because I teach it, I teach CN because I love it”.
Krisi has two burning desires. First, she plans to visit Greece in the near future, hopefully next summer. Second, she plans to make it to the Toastmaster finals, which is the top 7 speakers in the entire world.
If you would like to get to know Krisi better, she isn’t hard to find. Stop by The Bard’s and she will likely be there to greet you with a smile and recommend her favorite local coffees. Or friend her on Facebook to follow her life as she approaches life always with humor.

Heidi Hooper, Ultimate Air Shuttle, is organizing the 3rd Annual Women's Business Expo 2020 in April at Burke Lakefront Airport on behalf of the Rocky River Ladies Lunch Bunch. This expo is designed to show off your business to others. New this year is a speaker series. All table fees will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Please 'like,' 'share,' attend, and/or exhibit.

Kerri Brimmer, Brimming Design, who specializes in being the outsourced creative department for businesses and organizations that don’t have someone on staff has a new service.   She is offering a free weekly newsletter, Monday Marketing, that will provide a quick tip about marketing and branding your business each week. The useful tips are short, to the point, and may help your business grow. Sign up at

Debby Peters, Connext Nation, is proud to announce that she was asked to write an article for BNI’s SuccessNet newsletter that goes out to the worldwide membership of BNI. Ivan MIsner, the founder of BNI asked her to write it.  It was published recently and can be read at this link.

Tell Me Exactly What to Say 
By: Debby Peters,


Excerpt from Tell Me Exactly What to Say

Approaching the Speaker
You're probably thinking, “Why in the world do I even want to talk with the speaker?”
There are a number of very good reasons. First and foremost, speakers want feedback and recognition that what they just delivered made an impact. At the minimum, you can tell him what you liked about the presentation. Even better, you can ask a question related to the talk. Let's see what that conversation might look like.
Kathy: Thank you so much for your presentation.
Speaker: Why thank you for being part of such a great audience. Tell me about what you do.
Kathy: I just opened a new restaurant in town and I was really interested in what you had to say about marketing hacks. I don't have a lot of extra time, so I loved that they don't take much time. Do you have a book or anything where I can get more ideas?
Speaker: Well, if you want to know a bit more in small doses, I have free tips, each one a marketing hack that I send out every Wednesday morning. They are free. Here is my card with the website. Click on the 52 Tips tab and that will take you to the spot to sign up. Additionally, my cell number is on my card. If you have any additional questions just text me. Also, I am in the last stages of writing a book on this topic and would love to add you to my list of people to send an advance notice announcing when it has been published. If that’s ok, you can either write a book on the back of your card or send me an email with a book in the subject line.
Kathy: That is so generous. What can I do for you in return?
Speaker: Actually, if you send your questions, it will help me complete my book. So we'll be even. By the way, if I use your question, I’ll give you credit in my book.
If you would like to read this book in its entirety, you can order directly from Amazon at or you can reach out to Debby at

3 Must-Have Skills to
Network Like a Pro

By: Debby Peters,
If you’re in sales or running a business yourself you have undoubtedly been to multiple networking events. Take the time to stop and think about your last five networking events. Did you set a goal? Did you accomplish your goal? Often people go to networking events for the fun of meeting others and entirely forget about the business at hand. These 3 tips will help you sharpen your skills and network like a pro.
Practice Makes Perfect.
Amazing networkers aren’t born, they develop their skills over time with lots of practice. It’s easy to make excuses for why you can’t make that next networking event. The kids, you’re busy, the in-laws are in town, it’s too far. If you want to be a truly great networker you need to throw those excuses out the window and GO. But don’t stop there! Once you’re at an event get outside of your comfort zone and practice the skills you’re not great at. If you’re shy, force yourself to talk to people you don’t know. Want to work on your speaking? Volunteer to give an introduction. Whatever your weakness is, find it, understand it, and fix it through repeated practice at every event. Before you know it, you’ll be networking like a pro.
Be a Great Listener.
I’ve heard a lot of great quotes over the years about listening. Even the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. But how can you listen better? One way is to ask pointed questions, then stop, and turn on your ears. Truly listen to their reply. Don’t think of another question, don’t get distracted by outside events, listen. From there you can digest the information better and show you were listening by using a conversation skill known as mirroring. Google it. It’s well worth the time.
Give More Than You Take.
Above all else, I truly consider this to be the golden rule of networking. No matter what type of situation you find yourself in, your goal should be to give more than you take. But be careful about what you give. Just because you have something to give doesn’t mean the person you’re interacting with will find it valuable. Give value. To give appropriately I look for a couple of things. First, did the person ask for something I can help with? This happens most often when people talk about the struggles they’re experiencing. If you can suggest something to solve their problem, go for it. The second thing I look for are ways to make introductions. I am by no means an expert at everything. However, I know a lot of experts in many different fields. If an opportunity presents itself where the person can use one of the people I know, I tactfully find a way to bring it up.
That’s it! Before you go to your next networking event review these three things and make a game plan. I’m willing to bet you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re networking like a pro.
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