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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

May’s lunch at Smokey Bones is EARLY in the month!  Show up on May 4 at Smokey Bones for our regular monthly event at 11:30.  If you would like, bring a guest.  Think about someone that needs to be introduced to a member of our community.  Bring your guest and call the CN member to get that person to attend too.  Let’s blow out the walls of Smokey’s!
On May 18, WEN is having a special lunch.  Hazel Walker, will be back for an encore presentation as the keynote speaker.  For registration information call Linda Everhardt Kardux at 419-578-2661.  The time of the lunch is from 11am-1pm at the Pinnacle.
There is no CN lunch in June.
June is scheduled to be an after hours event.  More details later!
July 20 is our next Fantastic Four lunch.
Social Media
Along with Facebook, we are also active on Linkedin.  All of our events get special attention on both of these platforms.  If you haven’t "liked" us, please do so, so you can comment and add to the fun!

Member Spotlight:

Deb Olejownik, DJC Core Consulting,
by Jenn Wenzke, So Now Coaching


“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean’s quote is one of Deb’s favorites.  And it is apparent why!  Deb has adjusted her sails many times over the years to point herself in the direction and ultimately the destination of her dreams.

Deb has been married to Bob for 34 years and has two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Kim.  She has a Boston Terrier, Beau and two Grand puppies, Binks and Rion.  The three dogs are inspiring her to write the book, “How Binks Bounces Back from Burn-Out.”  Offering a humorous twist to explaining a very real problem in the workplace.

Deb retired from the Toledo Public Schools, after 32 years, in 2011. Retirement to Deb meant jumping back into life all over again.  The first thing she did was finish her master’s degree at Lourdes University.  Deb and another student, Cindy Patterson, were initially assigned to the same project in Graduate school and developed a wonderful friendship over the next 2 1/2 years.  As graduation day approached, Deb said to Cindy, “Oh My Gosh, school is almost over – and I don’t want our friendship to end so let’s open a business together.”  And the rest is history.  Cindy and Deb started DJC Core Consulting and have helped 500 people with stress and burnout through their signature program “Bouncing Back from Burn-Out”.  This fall they plan to unveil a second signature program, “Communication 101”.  Deb is passionate about helping others discover how to identify their signs of burn out because of her first hand experience on how stress and burnout can destroy mental and physical health.

In addition to managing DJC Core Consulting, Deb is a writing tutor and coach at Lourdes University. Deb created a program for the students at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.  It was called “Taking Stress Management to the Work Force.”  One of her students was so grateful for the course and he shared with Deb, “I wish my mom could have taken this course, as you would have saved her life.”  Just another moment in Deb’s career validating why she loves what she does.

Deb sits on numerous boards in the community – Harbor House, CN and the So Now Professional Network for Women - to name a few.  She is also the past president of the Alumni Association at Lourdes University, secretary for KAPPA National honor society, and treasurer for her toastmaster chapter.
Deb’s voice rises two decibels when she talks about her experience with Toastmasters.  “You are not going to believe this – I won second place at the International Toastmaster speaking contest, in my first year and a half! The title of my speech was, ‘The Metamorphous of my Wings’ - inspired by the butterfly. I used scarves to compare the layers of a chrysalis with the beliefs that are holding people back.  I removed the scarves one by one – showing how we can break free of the beliefs that aren’t serving us – layer by layer – to reveal our personal greatness - just like when the chrysalis shows it’s beauty when it opens up into a butterfly.”

Deb loves to read non-fiction books – devouring anything she can get her hands on about stress and burn out.  When asked what her OVER THE MOON goal is, Deb is quick to respond, “To speak on a national stage.”  She sparkles all over when she talks about it and is confident that her dream will come true!


CN Horn Tooting


Cyrus Connors, local Molly Maid owner, was awarded Rookie All-Star at the Molly Maid convention March 14th in Dallas, TX in recognition of his business growth and exceptional quality. 
Karen Kiemnec, Accredited Journey practitioner,  is now doing private guided visualizations - 1/2 hour of peace, calm, and quiet!
After completing four classes toward her masters degree in Sports Psychology, Kym Cragel, Wellness Fix, has a grade point average of 4.0.
New CNer, Liz Thees, is proud to announce that The Pinnacle won "Best Wedding Venue" through The Toledo City Paper.
Tami Norris of Custom Training Solutions received the Karen S. House Service to The Association Award at the Ohio Continuing Higher Education Association's annual conference.  "This award recognizes individuals who have exhibited prestigious leadership and performance in their service roles within the Association and within their own institution."  Tami is a past president of the organization and served on this year's conference committee.
David Bodner, Mass Mutual Financial Group,  is a board member of the Maumee Rotary Service Foundation (MRSF). He is proud to report that their annual auction netted over $75,000. This year's "special ask" charity was the Family House of Toledo, a local not for profit dedicated to keeping families together in times of crises. They will receive a check for $25,000.   The MRSF has supported many charities in the recent past including: Sunshine Home of Maumee, Honor Flight of NW Ohio, St. Luke's Diabetes Center, and Polio Plus (eradication of polio in the world).
Jodi Turnwald, owner of the Findlay Hearing Center, will be celebrating her grand re-opening on May 7 from 5-7pm. After purchasing the company (a 15 year dream) in late 2014, she has been working on a total transformation.  She says, “It’s more than a simple coat of paint. We have completely transformed our office and it is time to celebrate!" Please join her and her team on May 7th and cheers to better hearing in Findlay, Ohio!
David Trisel, graf-X-cape, is excited to announce that is all new and re-launched on March 23. The site originated with Karla Lewis, now with SouthWestern Consulting, in 2003.  The re-design and re-launch was possible with Tiffany Miracle, Watchtower Consulting IT Services.  The site is a directory that creates listings for local businesses that are eager to be found online.  The site has been and remains an SEO dream come true. This is an excellent time to have a one-to-one with David if you want to know more.

Narrow the Focus! 

by Debby Peters, as told by Kerri Brimmer, Brimming Designs,

What do you do when the audience for what you sell shrinks?  Some business people take on more diversified offerings, figuring that if they sell different “stuff” that they will have more opportunity.  That is certainly one way to solve this problem.

Kerri Brimmer, graphic artist in the current CN class that Jason Madasz teaches on Friday mornings, did just the opposite.  Kerri founded a card company 20 years ago and at one time the company was a good size.  But with changes to the world of cards, she has had to downsize considerably over the years.  Being the smart entrepreneur, she realized that if she could narrow her focus, she could still stay in business and garner a decent income.  Kerri looked at all the types of designs she offered and found a few that were the big sellers.  With that knowledge, she expanded within just those designs to include not only cards, but invitations and other supplies that a person would need to organize a party or event.  As a result, she has fewer lines to manage, but stays busy with those offerings.

This is so compatible with what CN teaches.  Find what you’re good at and then become the expert in that area.  Simple but sometimes so emotionally difficult!

CN/BNI Work Together

What is happening that has never happened before??  CN and BNI are working together in an event to help both the members of each become more successful.
Jason Madasz, Executive Director of BNI of Northwest Ohio, has announced that he will be sponsoring a CN Mini Course at the BNI training room on June 3, from 11 am – 1 pm.  This is a very special endeavor, because it will be limited to BNI members AND additionally, CN grad Pam Weirauch of Pam’s Corner will be sponsoring lunch that day.  The usual course fee of $25 has been reduced to only $5 for this session, a real benefit for BNI members.  We can only take 20 members, so don’t miss out by waiting too long.  Spread this info to your chapters because it will help your business if your members are better educated.
Madasz says, "We are partnering with Connext Nation to offer our members the CN Networking Mini-Course!  When I took CN, way back in 2009, I had no idea it would help me as much as it has.  The best part was that I learned how to really explain my business at my BNI meeting, so I finally began to get the referrals I wanted."  He adds, "CN has helped me both personally and professionally. Now all of our BNI members can learn new word-of-mouth marketing techniques that will help them to get even more out of their BNI Memberships!"


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