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

Monthly Lunches!
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:
April 20
May 18
June 15

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:
Social Event
You won’t want to miss our semi-annual taco night at Rusty Taco in Maumee which is scheduled for May 14, from 5:30-7:30 PM.  We already have three wonderful sponsors, Patty Cavins, Higher Ground Advantage, Laura Osborne, Laura’s Framing and Bill Rickman, Tutor Doctor and FranNet which means we will have plenty of tacos.  Get it on your calendar now!  Rusty Taco is providing a $20 gift certificate for a door prize, too.
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 fall on September 4, 2020, but there are  mini classes in May, June, July and August both in Toledo and Cleveland.  The Cleveland starting date for the 10 week class is Sept 9.
Board of Action
The BOA gives great feedback on events within the community of how to make them better.  For our recent 1-2-1 Challenge, they said that the directions need to be simpler; we need to have places to meet after work along with coffee shops and they also brainstormed other locations to include next year when we revisit this event in February.
Theresa Emrick
It was with great sadness that we learned of the March death of longtime CN grad, Theresa Emrick.  She graduated from the course in ’05 and was the Admissions Director at Notre Dame Academy at that time.  She had a way about her that made everyone she met immediately like her.  She will be missed.
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 – Rick Adkins,
by Debby Peters,
Rick Adkins is a wonderful guy with a dry sense of humor and a big heart.  When we talked at 8 pm recently, he was doing the dishes, something he does every night. He shared, “Holly (his wife and also a CN grad) does the cooking and I clean up, which is good because Holly is a much better cook than I and I rival her in clean up detail.”  Rick is all about family, in fact, his daughter and 3-year-old grandson had shared dinner with them that evening.  Rick is all excited about the new granddaughter that will be joining his daughter’s family in July when their second adoption takes place.  Rick and Holly had a boy and a girl and now this is being repeated.
Rick’s son was an athlete like his dad, playing soccer all the way through school including college.  Rick shared that his son was recruited by some big colleges, but he chose Cleveland State so his parents could come to watch his games. In his younger days, Rick played football and ran track.  He was a cornerback in football because “I like hitting instead of being hit!  The defense was where I wanted to be.”  Today he continues to run every other night for about 30 minutes through the Bay Village streets.  On the weekends he goes a bit longer.  He explained, “I run at night after work during the week and at 62, I’m just a little more tired at the end of the day.  But I do it because it keeps my blood pressure where it needs to be.”
Rick spent his first 11 years in Oklahoma City. Beyond that, he and Holly have lived most of their lives in Bay Village in Holly’s parent’s house.  They moved away to Boardman, OH for about 18 months for a job that didn’t work out. Then when they came back to Bay Village, Rick’s parents were getting ready to move to Florida, so they bought that house.  Family is a strong thread in their lives. They also had a very old canvas topped trailer at Meri-Dor Beach, but they won’t have it this year.  Rick explains, “It broke!”  When asked what he meant by that, he explained that the roof caved in, probably because of a tree limb poking a hole in it.  He laughed and said, “Well, now our yard in Bay Village will look better this summer!”  They plan to still go to the lake and rent a cottage from time to time, but it just won’t be the same without the 30-year-old place.
Rick loves to read, mainly fiction and he does like self-help books too. Right now he is reading, “Where Be the Dragon” which Holly picked up thinking it was a Sci-Fi tome, but it is more historical fiction.  He loved Robert Ludlum when he was alive and likes how Clive Cussler writes his books to have a good, closed ending.
Having been educated as an accountant, Rick is continuing to work in a job that came his way a couple of years ago.  He is the controller for Dental Management Co., which provides the backend services for 25 dental practices.  When asked what he would like to yet accomplish, his humor poked through with, “retire!”  He said that he also wants to have time to be closer to his Lord and also to give more than he is giving currently, both in time and treasure. 
One other fact about Rick is that he was the catalyst for the book, “Tell Me Exactly What to Say.”  He asked how to introduce two people in his network to each other.  The rest is history.  Rick makes a difference in this world in whatever he does.  Reach out and have a fun conversation with him.

Bill McConnell, President, Dunright Building Services, shares that his company was just voted Best Homebuilder/Remodeler for the 2019 Best of Toledo in the City Paper.  We were honored with the award at Premier Hall on March 6, 2020!  It is the second consecutive win in this category!  Thanks to all the CN grads who voted for us!
Feeling very lucky, Debby Peters, Connext Nation, was interviewed by Ivan Misner, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI (Business Network International) about her book, “Tell Me Exactly What to Say.”  The podcast will be posted on April 8 and is #653.  This will go out worldwide to over 270,000 members.  Additionally, she recently chatted with a BNI member in South Africa, therefore pegging her first international 1-2-1 meeting.
Ellen Critchley, is retired from the Toledo Symphony Orchestra but she continues to have the great privilege of being tour director for the TSO-sponsored annual trip to Chautauqua Institution, this year called “CHAT 20.”  All kinds of education and entertainment opportunities await them during the August trip.
Tell Me Exactly What to Say 
By: Debby Peters,

Excerpt from Tell Me Exactly What to Say
(This book can be ordered from Amazon or directly from Debby Peters)
There comes a time in all our lives that we need to reach out to those who we have not stayed in contact with.  It could be a job hunt or even just trying to get an introduction from them. No matter, it can feel a little awkward, especially if you are the person who lets the relationship lapse.
The first thing you have to think about is, “Why are you re-establishing contact.”  That will help you to select the right conversation.  Let’s choose the first situation; you are looking for a job.   Most of us are reticent about asking for help, but that is the best method in this circumstance.  See how it works below.
Conversation to have when you are reaching out to someone you haven’t talked with in a while…..
Tonya: “Sandy, it has been a while since we talked, but I hope you are doing well.  The last time we chatted I think you were going back to school to get your nursing degree.  Have you graduated and if so, where are you working?
Sandy:  “Well, this is a blast from the past!  You are so right, I had just started back at the university and now four years later I have graduated and I am working at a doctor’s office.  I really like it because the hours are so much better than working twelve-hour shifts in a hospital.”
Tonya: “Certainly congratulations are in order!  I am very happy for you.  Funny that we should be talking about work, because that is one of the reasons I am reaching out. I left my job last week after being there for 15 years.  I am excited about what is going to come next, I just don’t yet know what that is.  I know that when you started nursing school you did the same thing leaving a job that you had held forever.  I would love to pick your brain on what you did to figure it all out.  Could I buy you a drink after work in the next week or so?”
Sandy:  “We are on vacation next week, but the week after, I could do it either Tuesday or Thursday around 5.  Would that work for you?
Tonya:  “Yep, what about Thursday?  Can we meet at the new restaurant downtown?  Or do you work in the ‘burbs?
Sandy:  “Downtown will be great.  I have wanted to try that restaurant anyway.  Perhaps we should have dinner, too.
Tonya: “Let’s do it. Again my treat.”
Let’s look at another scenario where you want to gain an introduction to someone that this person knows..
Elisha:  “Hi Randy, we haven’t talked in a long time, but I thought of you this week.  I am trying to make a connection with Josh Long.  I was doing some research on LinkedIn and it shows that you are connected with him.  I wondered if you would be willing to help me make that connection.”
Randy:  “Elisha Grey, when was the last time we talked?  When your name came up on the caller ID, I had to think for a second as to who it was.”
Elisha:  “I know, I felt a little bit guilty about asking you.  But you have always been so willing to help people and back many years ago, you did some things that made a huge difference in my career.  I always admire what you have been able to accomplish.  When I grow up I want to be like you.”
Randy:  “Well I don’t know about that, but what is it that you need help with?”
Elisha:  “I would like to get a personal introduction to Josh Long.  I am trying to do some work in his industry and would like to just have a chat with him to learn more about that industry and what he sees as their challenges in the future.  He has a very efficient administrative assistant and I have not been able to reach him on my own.”
Randy: “Let me see what I can do.  What’s the best way for me to get back to you?  I’ll call him today and see what he says.”
Elisha:  “Thank you so much.  Now in the meantime, what do you need help with?”
Coronavirus and Networking.
What should I do?

By Chris Kapelski, Interactive Design Solutions,
Over the last month, the spread of Coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on our society worldwide. Massive venues, local chambers, and many other organizations are canceling events left and right. If you’re like me, you were planning on attending these events to network and grow your business. So now that they’re canceled, we are all left wondering. What should I do? My thought, network online.
The advancement of technology over the last decade has brought us some amazing things. From the rise of cell phones and social media to in-home assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, much of our lives now depend on technology. Networking is no different. You no longer have to meet face to face to have a productive meeting. You can use Zoom. You don’t have to be in the cubicle next to someone to have consistent communication. You can use Slack. You don’t even have to attend networking events to build a business network. You can use LinkedIn. There’s enough technology available right now that with its adoption most of our businesses would be barely impacted by our current crisis.
Instead of panicking and running out to buy the last few rolls of toilet paper available, take a deep breath. Do some research to find what technology can benefit your business. Start familiarizing yourself with it and create a plan to integrate it into your business. Why? Because even if this current crisis all blows over in a few months, it’s just a matter of time before another challenge comes along to take its place. Not to mention, this is largely the way many businesses are moving as a part of the bigger picture. Getting a jump on these things now may just put you a step or two ahead in the future.
Networking Creatively
by Debby Peters,
As Chris’ above article says, our world is being challenged right now.  While my personal opinion is that there is a bit of hysteria about the whole virus issue, my opinion does not count when policy decisions are being made. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you about my first international 1-2-1 one meeting. 
I was contacted by Lisanya Pillay, President of the Vesuvius BNI chapter in Johannesburg, South Africa.  We then connected via Skype. I have to admit that I had never used that application before and in fact, had to download it to my  I-Pad.  I asked someone to help me “practice” a couple of days before the official call so I would know what to do. As you all know, I am technologically challenged!
Interestingly, the technology worked pretty well. My speed to the internet is very slow and as a result, her audio was a little garbled.  We worked through that with my request to LIsanya to speak more slowly.  What did trip us is laughable.  The time difference which we thought we had worked out, taking into consideration the change to Daylight Savings Time, didn’t play out as planned.  Our call was originally planned for the Monday after the time change.  We botched it because we figured the difference in the wrong way.  I now have a website called that will help to eliminate that issue entirely because you can enter the actual date of the call. It does all the figuring behind the scenes.
Using an application like Skype or Zoom allows you to see the other person, which is helpful in getting to know him or her.  Body language says so much.  Even though my call crossed continents, perhaps yours only has to travel several miles.  No matter, it is a way to staying connected when, for whatever reason, you can’t do so in person.  If you would like to Skype with me to gain some practice (and to give me some) just let me know and we can get it on the schedule.
If you would like to hear Greg and Debby’s podcast on this subject, go to where we chat about the various ways to stay randomly connected both new and old!
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