We are celebrating the 19th year of helping our grads to REALLY connect!

Monthly Lunches
As we go to press, we are currently delaying the re-start of our lunches until June 15. If we cannot meet in person then, we will do a zoom lunch!

June 15
July 20
Aug 17

This is the third Monday of the month.  When we meet in person 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:  Virtual lunches are free to attend.
Social Event
Our semi-annual taco night at R Taco in Maumee which was scheduled for May 14, will be rescheduled when that can happen.  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. 
Mini Classes 
Our next Mini classes are scheduled for Friday, June 12, July 17 and August 21.  All are at the same time from 11am-1:30pm. We are excited to be offering these classes as a virtual class.  The fee is $35.  We do need people to register in order for us to send out the handouts for the class.  This is for both Toledo and Cleveland areas, and even beyond that!  Please let those in your network know that they can take advantage of this by registering at
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 or our virtual class begins Sept 9.  They are both from 11am-1pm.
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.
Bob Werner a long time supporter of CN has retired from the Board.  With the pandemic, he felt that it was a signal for him to really take a step back from networking and to REALLY retire.  Bob has been our long time bartender for our graduations. What many of you may not know is that Bob has provided all the beer for those celebrations.  He has been in the back of the room for 98% of the mini classes, even after he retired.  We will be looking for a new BOA member to takes Bob’s place, but those shoes are going to be hard to fill!  Thank you Bob, for all you have done and given through the years.
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!
Michael Temple of Temple Development Corporation, recently finished a new website for a mental health practice in town. The new site is a huge improvement over the previous site and will help them to get more referrals and communicate their services to the public. You can see the site here:

MJ Mylen, Godfrey Hirst USA, Inc., shares that instead of emailing she used the USPS and sent "thank you for business," notes and followed up 3 weeks later through USPS and emailing announcing an "appreciation sale event" to her 358 OH/PA Flooring Retailers. They can the special pricing themselves and/or extend the sale pricing to their customers. 

Patty Cavins, Higher Ground Advantage, reports that they now have international members in their Empowering Success program. She says, "here's what we know: this year has not started as we had hoped or planned, yet it doesn't matter how it started, or where we are right now. What matters most is how we finish." 

Crystal Taylor, Crystal Clear Communications, says that Covid-19 has increased her business tremendously. She provides live training for corporations, individuals, non-profit organizations, and even a few faith communities. She's been teaching folks how to use Zoom. It branches off to live training in other areas including Google and figuring out Facebook. In a time when many are losing revenue, a slight shift has given her the opportunity to help hundreds of people remain in business or continue regular activities in an online presence. If anyone wants to sign up, click here:

Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker, and Debby Peters, The Networking Guru, have officially achieved a double, double with their new podcast, "Third Generation Networking." Both the number of shows and audience size made it to double digits!

Jeff Lacourse, reports that during the last couple of months, he has been busy making improvements in both his company and his process. Additionally, he has been working on re-branding to LaCourse Financial. He will still be part of the Affinity Advisory Network family but will be using his new branding and logo going forward. He has also spent a lot of time analyzing new planning strategies to take advantage of some of the CARES Act provisions and other opportunities created by the current situation. Finally, he is creating an additional marketing plan, working with SM3, J Woods Digital Marketing, and 1 Shot Memories to create videos for social media marketing as well as an on demand seminar to share planning ideas with a much larger audience. 

Bill McConnell, shares that Dunright Building Services was voted Best of Toledo for a second straight year by Toledo's very own City Paper.

Nick Nigro, says that as of May 1, 2020, he has joined the ranks of the retired. He will enjoy his family and friends; Mobile Meals, write, read, and find exciting adventures to pursue. After a fifty year career, he decided it was time to move to this new phase of his journey!  He has appreciated all the relationships that he have developed over the years! He is so grateful for a full career that provided him the opportunity to be of service to others. Wishing you all well!  (Ed. Note:  For many years, Nick delivered the Connext Nation training to students at Davis College.)

Debby Peter, Connext Nation, is proud to share that she figured out how to download the “Whatsapp” app on her phone.  This means she is able to text internationally with no charges to her phone bill!


Member Spotlight – Karen Slawinski
by Patty Cavins,
It was a joy to interview Karen Slawinski for the Spotlight Article of the newsletter this month.
Karen is a CN grad from 2006 and she fondly remembers what the Referral Pursuit Course meant to her personally.  “It helped me to see the big picture of making connections beyond just building a business.  Networking is about expanding conversations, building relationships, and growing beyond professional transactions.”   This helped Karen realize her purpose is to be a great connector in life, and how that happens naturally when you learn more about yourself and others.  Karen said she began to see the creative opportunities to help people and solve problems through referrals.  I believe that about Karen because that is how I met her, through searching to help people and solve problems.  Connecting with her genuinely gives your day a boost.  She wears a fabulous smile both on the outside and the inside that warms your soul.
Karen has been married to her husband, Tim, for 21 years.   She talked about the piece of advice one would give a daughter, sister, or best friend when looking for a husband.  Look for the man that starts as your best friend, providing support, camaraderie, and laughter in a lifetime partner.    That is the man she married, and she said Tim makes her laugh every day.   They are blessed with two amazing children:  Her daughter, Katy, is a high school junior with a passion for music, “creating” and helping others.   Her son, Brady, is a 7th grader, who loves to play lacrosse & “engineer” things.  This year’s Covid-19 pandemic has been an adjustment for her children, yet she said they have been very fortunate to enjoy amazing quality time together at home during the present quarantine situation.   They love spending time together, so for their family, it has been a huge blessing. 
When they can Karen’s family enjoys going for walks in local metro parks because she loves nature.  Traverse City, Michigan is their favorite spot to go as a family because of how beautiful it is.   She also loves architecture and mentioned how much she loves to go to Chicago with her family to enjoy the city from that perspective.  She has been on the Chicago Architecture Boat Tour twice and highly recommends it!  I asked her, “What would be a dream vacation?”  Without hesitation she said a trip to Europe with Katy for her upcoming high school graduation.   I hope that becomes a reality for the two of them – a powerful memory to last a lifetime as mother and daughter.
Karen is the Business Development Director for the JDI Group, Inc in Maumee, Ohio.   They are an architecture and engineering firm founded in 2002 with just over 80 employees.   She has been in her current position for just over one year, yet you would not know that.   Karen fills her role so well that I was certain she was going to tell me she had been there since the company began.   We have had the pleasure of working with her to provide training and development services, and she is an extreme asset to their corporation.  Her emotional intelligence, communication abilities, and genuine desire to lead staff to higher levels of success, has been a delight to work with.
Our conversation would not have been complete without me asking, “What do you love to do?  Do you have any hobbies?”    Her eyes lit up immediately when she said, “I LOVE TO DANCE!”, and of course, so did mine – a mutual connection.   Karen loves “Routines” in Toledo, a place to go for cardio dance workouts.  As she spoke, I thought, I must check this out!   She also shared that anything design-related is a hobby.   She used to own a jewelry making company, and loves fashion design, interior design, and anything that she can use her creativity with around “designing”.    I couldn’t help but think this must also be a reason why she loves working for an architecture and engineering firm….. where they design things.  
I would encourage you to get to know Karen; she is an amazing career leadership professional, wife, mom, friend, and authentically one of life’s great connectors. 
Third Generation Networking Podcast 
By: Debby Peters, and Greg Peters,
This month instead of an excerpt from my book, Tell Me Exactly What to Say, I thought I’d ask you to tell me what you would say!  In our podcast, Third Generation Networking, Greg Peters and I talked about awkward networking conversations on the May 11th podcast at  During our conversation Greg mentioned the situation where you are meeting with someone and she talks about something she has done that you feel is either unethical or perhaps even illegal.  What would you say during this awkward conversation?  You can listen to how Greg and Debby each address it differently, most likely based on their personalities.  Send us your thoughts at one of the email addresses above.

International Networking 
By Debby Peters,
Up until about a month ago, I just never thought about networking beyond the borders of the good ole USA.  And then my world changed.  Lisanya Pillay of South Africa reached out to me because of an article she read in the BNI SuccessNet newsletter that talked about my 25-year membership in BNI.  This link to Ms.Pillay has been quite a positive experience for me!
Right away we had BNI in common and another likeness that we found we shared is that we both like to help our fellow members to meet people who may be helpful to them.  LIsanya has already “introduced me to 4 other people and one of those has introduced me to another person in Italy.  As I meet each one I am quickly mentally searching through my network to determine who this person should be introduced to.  I realized that it’s no different than how I act “normally”!  One exciting result also, was that one of my new international friends attended (via Zoom) my BNI chapter meeting when I gave my 8 minutes presentation. 
A couple of issues with these calls that I have discovered are:
  1. The time for the call can get a little crazy when there are different time zones involved.  Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, recommends a website which takes into consideration all variables, including the change from Standard to Daylight Savings time. 
  1. Dialect and accents mean that I have to listen very carefully.  If the audio is garbled don’t be afraid to suggest that both of you log out and then go back in again to try to improve the reception.
The two above minor issues are worth the effort to expand your horizons.  Maybe you won’t connect out of the country, but you could think about inviting a networker in another state to chat.  You might see them spotlighted in a chamber newsletter or (s)he may have commented on one of your social media posts.  You can reach out just like LIsanya did for me.  And like me, your life will be enriched.
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