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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Announcement #1: Save the Date for Holiday Fun! November 6
Findlay is kicking off the holiday season with a fun get-together for CN grads and their guests. It is Thursday evening, November 6 from 7-9:30 pm at the combined location of Coffee Amici, Watchtower Consulting IT Services and graf-X-cape. All are neighbors of each other at 330 S Main St, and 314 S Main Street. Lynne Calvelage, owner of Coffee Amici, will allow us behind the “bar” to learn how to make our own coffee drinks! Tiffany Brunson and David Trisel are organizing the area for us to gather in their space. There will be tasty morsels to try. BYOB if you would like to add something extra to your coffee!
We ask that everyone bring a canned good or two to donate. (See article 3) There will be a drawing that evening and the winner of the drawing will get the honor of deciding where our donation goes! Last year we had about 30 people come to this event and we would love to surpass that number this year.
Announcement #2
 The 2nd Fantastic Four Power Lunch is making its entrance on November 10. Our first one held in May of this year had rousing reviews from the attendees. Here’s what you need to know. The time is different on this lunch because the event takes a little longer than normal. We will begin at 11 am and end at 1 pm at Smokey Bones restaurant on Dussel in Maumee. You must register and pay in advance because you are going to share your target market as part of the registration process. This will help us to better coordinate who sits at each table. The fee for the lunch is $17 thru Sunday, November 9. Any registrations the day of the lunch will be $20.
At the lunch each table of four will have a table leader who will facilitate the three questions of the day. As soon as you register, we will send out those questions so you can think about them in advance. We will limit the participation to 60 and we did have that many at the lunch in May so don’t wait. You can register at this link.
Announcement #3
 Our last CN class of the year will celebrate with our famous networking event on Tuesday, November 18, from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Maumee Indoor Theater. Come enjoy goodies from Pam’s Corner and get some free beer and wine. And by the way, if you snatch a beer, please thank the bartender, Bob Werner, Re/Max Masters. He always provides the beer for these events.
Announcement #4
 Toledo CNers will not have the usual lunch in December, but instead have a morning networking event on December 9 at 7:30 am. It will again be held at CNer, Pam Weirauch’s Pam’s Corner. More details will follow next month. Just be sure to reserve on your calendar now.

Member Spotlight:

Ann Palmer, PNC Bank,

by Rick Reichow – Farmers Insurance,
I was having coffee and getting to know more about Ann Palmer. I felt like I’ve known her for years, but this was the first time that we had officially met. Ann and my wife Lauren have worked together at PNC Bank for some time and Lauren raves about how much she loves working beside her.
Ann started in the banking world 34 years ago at First National Bank of Monroe, then Security Bank, First Bank of America, National City and PNC Bank. She has worked for so many different banks primarily due to mergers and acquisitions throughout the years.
Ann currently holds the role of the sales, service, and support manager. She loves this position because she gets to train her staff in 34 branches. Her efforts focus on customer experience, team building, goal setting, and word-of-mouth marketing, all of which are key components of CN. She focuses on customer service training and team building because she saw how her grandfather and father ran their construction company and uses those principles in her own work life and wants to pass those traits along to her personal team. Ann enjoys the banking world because it’s always changing and there's always something new to learn. She's had opportunities to work in almost every department and she believes in continuous self-improvement. She has always enjoyed the different challenges of this industry.
Ann grew up in the Monroe, MI area with 4 brothers and 1 sister. All of them from oldest to youngest are within 10 years of age. Their family is close and when Ann isn’t working, she enjoys her 14 nieces and nephews. She is extremely close with her sister. Two of her brothers took over the family construction business and now three of their sons are involved as well. Ann likes to work on craft projects and is learning how to become a better gardener.
Ann loves working with service-oriented people who present a good attitude, have people skills, and are team motivators. She loves to motivate her team and see them be successful. Ann would love to share the opportunities in banking with those who fit that description.

CN Horn Tooting


Allison Hammons, Knight Insurance Group, was the top producer in all six of their offices for the month of September. She won their internal Hammer Award!
Angie Weid, Organized Solutions, says that time flies when you are having fun! Organized Solutions is 10 years old! Owner and Rocket Scientist, Angie Weid is amazed and thankful for the CN community which provided a strong foundation for her success. Who knew a newly single mom would become the NW Ohio and SE Michigan's premier professional organizer, national speaker and author. 
Kym Cragel, BodyFix, will begin her masters degree program in Sports Psychology this month.
Tiffany Brunson MIracle, Watchtower Consulting IT Services, won a "Nuts About You" customer service award from the Findlay Chamber of Commerce in August.
Jason Conklin, J Conklin Consulting, was named Firefighter of the Year by the Exchange Club of Fremont. He was selected from candidates from departments around Sandusky County.
Jason Lukz is proud to announce that he is now associated with W3 Wealth Management. His new email is
Karla Lewis, Southwestern Consulting, won the Super Fast Start award for setting and/or running 15 workshops in the first 4 weeks of their last campaign for. She was also #11 out of 52 coaches for the number of clients sold this past campaign. In addition she was asked to present and train on 2 topics during coaches camp in front of 52 coaches and 7 Senior Partners. 
K.C. Allen, shares that Allen Film & Video has been creating eight training videos for DGS, a division of Delta Airlines.  They have decided to invest in a culture shift as it pertains to training, and they are developing the materials used to train over 15,000 new hires per year. These aren't your run of the mill training videos as they have crazy dream sequences, a swamp monster damaging aircraft, and bad puns about the blue water in the lavatories. They even wrote a custom song for them and filmed a music video to accompany the series. The videos were filmed at Dulles Int'l Airport in Northern Virginia, 30 minutes from Washington DC. 
Laura Osborne of Laura’s Framing Place is celebrating 23 years in business on November 8, 2014.  The shop is currently located in Maumee, but will be changing locations in January 2015. Stay tuned.....
Michelle Donnelly is excited to share that she has accepted a position at Advance Staffing Solutions. She will be doing business development - working with businesses helping them with their hiring and needs. They want to expand to the Findlay and Cleveland markets. Michelle’s contact information currently is 419-343-0339 and, This will be a great opportunity for her to get back into the activities and events with Connext Nation. It will definitely be a change from the real estate industry she used to work in.
David Bodner, Mass Mutual, is volunteering at Fairfield elementary school in Maumee as a volunteer reader. David is helping first graders learn to read. This is a partnership between Maumee Rotary, Read For Literacy, and Maumee Public Schools and is in its second year of operation.
Gary Norris has started a new career with Colonial Life as an Agency Development Manager.  He will be putting together a team of agents to offer supplementary insurance products to individuals through their employer.  Gary’s contact info is 419-574-3192 or

Giving for the Holiday Season

By Debby Peters,
As you noticed in Announcement #1, the Findlay holiday get together on November 6 will also be a time that we collect canned goods for those less fortunate. Recently an article appeared in the November issue of Reader’s Digest that gave feedback from those who use donated foods on what they can best use. The article is entitled “Giving is Great. Giving Smart is Better.” The complete article by Deb Martinson can be read at this link. Here are a few things to think about as you select the items you will donate.
  1. Give what you would eat. Don’t give stuff that that’s been sitting on your shelf for years just to get rid of it!
  2. Give foods that don’t need to be cooked. Often homeless people have no way to heat food. Examples include: granola bars, crackers, Spam, tuna, peanut butter and dry milk.
  3. If giving mixes, give the ones that just need to have water added instead of eggs and oil.
  4. Especially at the holiday season, give a treat, like cookies or candy. It might be the only way some are able to give their children a hint of Christmas.
No matter what situation you are in, there is probably someone who is more needy. Be generous and then a bit more this season.

Trade Show Thoughts
Debby Peters, Connext Nation,

Recently I participated in three trade or expo shows, one from the visitor side of the table and two as an exhibitor. It is interesting to me as to what happens at these events.
At the first where I was an attendee, I was treated rudely by one person at her booth because I did not fit her target. I understand how difficult it is to make sure you connect with the “good” prospects, but she forgot to consider who I might know that could help her. While I have not used her name ever, I have told this story of her rudeness several times. Based on my treatment, I would never connect her with clients or friends of mine, because I could not count on her behavior to be appropriate.
Lesson Learned: Treat guests at your booth courteously, even when they are “in your way.”
Just a week later I was on the receiving end, being an exhibitor at an Expo. At one point I had a hard time being courteous. You see, when the doors opened, hordes of senior citizens descended. (This was advertised as a business event.) They were there for the goodies. I had been warned, so I had a BIG bowl of Hersey Kisses. At one point I was attempting to carry on a conversation with a prospect when I had two seniors reaching around me on either side to grab a handful of candy. The intensity that they used to get the freebies was actually kind of frightening for me.
Lesson Learned: If having a freebie giveaway at the booth, make it as accessible as possible and know that it will disappear quickly or just don’t have it at all.
At that Expo, I was the only person at my booth for the five hour event. I held up well physically but was frustrated so many times when I was talking with a visitor and in my range of view I would see others going by that I really wanted to chat with.
Lesson Learned: Being the “lone wolf” is not the best way to make the best use of the opportunity not only because of visitors, but I also didn’t have the chance to speak with any of the other exhibitors.
I am still following up with my good prospect leads and I only received 27, because I am selective. Still, my schedule has been crazy ever since that day, 
so I am only about 1/3 of the way through this necessary follow up.
Lesson Learned: Even though I knew my follow-up strategy, I didn’t block time on my calendar to make sure it happened quickly after the show. Next year you can bet that block of time will be scheduled as soon as I pay my exhibitor fee!
There will be plenty of trade shows coming up within the winter and spring months, so I hope that you can learn from my experience to gain the success you want.

And Before You Know it, it will be 2015

At the Board of Action meetings in October, Debby asked the BOA members what planning they had done for 2015, especially regarding referrals. I think the answers given will help all of us to make smart choices in the New Year.
David Trisel, graf-X-cape, is taking a very strategic look at what organizations he will give his time to next year. He feels that he has spread himself a little too thinly and that additionally, some organizations have not demonstrated gratefulness for his volunteer efforts.
Jason Madasz, will focus totally on BNI as he takes over as the Executive Director for NW Ohio on January 1.
Simony Silva, DESIGNS BY SIMONY, LLC, is going to attend more social events, so that she can meet a more varied group of people.
Arlene Gerig, Re/Max Preferred, is going to hold more ASAP events like she did in 2014. ASAP, stands for accessories, scarves and purses. It is a way to gather a few diverse women together for networking swapping of items and donation to charity.
Barb Wilson, SM3, is going to investigate whether she should join the Oregon Chamber of Commerce and become active in So Now.
Bob Werner, Re/Max Masters, is going to rework his internet advertising to get rid of what is not working and keep what is!
Deb Olejownik, DJC Consulting, is going to spend more time promoting her business with social media.
Hilary Hinz, Decorating Den, is going to get her new assistant involved in networking.
Mary Bryant, Melaleuca, is going to start being coached by Jenn Wenzke and also wants to start blogging.
What is your plan for 2015? Don’t wait till January to get those ideas down on paper!
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