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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Graduation time
Our newest graduates will be celebrating at our famous networking graduation on Monday, November 21.  We will have students from our 11 weeks Referral Pursuit class and also the students from our new Networking 101 class. It should be a fun evening of course with free drinks (water, pop, beer and wine!) and great food from Pam’s Corner.  It is at the Maumee Indoor Theater and starts at 5:30.  Be there!  It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Wrap and Rap!
What in the world?  For a little twist on our traditional business after hours, we are having a wrapping party that will include the opportunity to rap some Christmas carols.  Linda Everhardt Kardux is providing names of those living at the Bethany house that we can buy for. These are families that leave their homes usually with nothing but the clothes on their backs to run to safety.  The BOA and any members that want to participate will be given a specific item to purchase.  We will all bring our gifts to Laura’s Framing on Tuesday, December 6, at 5 PM.    There will be munchies and a few drinks to help with the caroling!  Jason Madasz, a DJ in a former life, will help to keep the party moving.  There should be some Facebook moments from the evening!  Even if you don’t have a gift to wrap, come and rap!

Next Year!
For those who would like to get dates on the schedule in advance, our next lunch will be January 16 at Smokey Bones on Dussel in Maumee.

There will be a breakfast in February, but no date has been set yet.

In March, reserve the 20th for an afterhours.  It will be Hoops, Hopps & Hooch at Charlies Taverna on Tollgate in Maumee.

 Social Media
 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 to your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today! 

Board of Action Changes!
The CN Board of Action (BOA) is an ever-changing body of grads that want to help make the community stronger.  Recently three members have reached their commitment to the board and are stepping off.  Mary Bryant, Melaleuca; Deb Olejownik, DJC Core Consulting and Jenn Wenzke, So Now Coaching have left the board.  Mary has been a wonderful chair of all our breakfasts and has agreed to mentor the person who takes over from her.  Deb’s schedule at Lourdes College interferes with her active involvement with the board and she has always been supportive of all our events.  Jenn is the creative spark at our board and while she will no longer attend the meetings we are going to continue to channel her inner creativity!  We are sorry to see all three women go but know that new members always bring new energy too.  We will be recruiting new members in the future.

Member Spotlight:

Richard Chamberlain
by Ray Meiers

Richard Chamberlain graduated from CN in 2009.  Richard is the founder of the Chamberlain Law Group Ltd.  He has just had the firm’s website updated as reported in last month’s “Horn Tooting” section.  The various pages of the website provide a wealth of information about Estate Planning and Administration.

Richard has been married to Kelly for over twenty-two years and they have four daughters.  He and Kelly recently became grandparents for the first time in August of this year with the birth of their first granddaughter.  His interests include golf (when he has time) and reading the Harry Potter series. He has read some of the books over five times. His other “hobby” is chasing after their 4 dogs (these are all boys).

The best part of CN for Richard was that the class taught him that marketing and networking must be targeted to be effective, not random.  Lessons learned in the CN class help Richard take his marketing efforts to the next level.  He has leveraged CN principles in other networking settings such as BNI, Rotary and various Chambers.

The most challenging portion of the CN class for Richard was defining his target market.  He’s definitely not alone!  Richard gets the most satisfaction from helping his clients identify their planning needs and goals and developing a plan that will work for them.  His target market is married couples in their fifties – sixties, with children, who wish to implement an effective and efficient estate plane to transfer their assets to their loved ones.


CN Horn Tooting


Tiffany Miracle, Partner/Consultant, Watchtower IT Services, was nominated for a Findlay Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award.  Winners will be announced on October 20.

Lisa Rosen, Etcetera, is excited to share that her blog entitled "Five Fabulous Fashion Fixes for Fall 2016 " was chosen to be on the website. Entries were submitted by Etcetera Stylists across the country and showcase trends, tips and fashion ideas.  It was released Friday, October 14. 

Karen Wisner, Karen’s Errands in Findlay, has received her CRTS™ certification.  As a Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist, Karen understands the basic social, emotional, and medical issues related to the senior client and will help alleviate the stresses that come with later-life moves and home transitioning.

Kari Ewersen, Manager, Shadow Valley @ Central, would like to announce that she started her own business as a distributor for Life Vantage, an up and coming company specializing in cellular anti- aging and offering energy and weight loss supplements and skin care.  She is really excited to start this venture in helping others!

Allison Hammons, Knight Insurance Group, is very happy to announce as of the middle of October she has achieved her annual new business commission goal.  Woo Hoo!

Deb Olejownik of DJC Core Consulting has qualified as an Emergent Speaker in the Toastmasters Speakers Bureau.

Tony Szczechowski, Pro Edge Lawn Care, Ltd., is enlarging his team and investing in them too. He reports that Brittany Kreft joined the Pro Edge team in October as their Proactive Sales Professional.  She is in the CN Networking 101 class.  She will be heading to Pittsburgh for a week long Transformation Training at LandOpt.  Pete Skowronek started Leadership Toledo for the 2016/2017 session in August.  Pete also went to Con Ed in Pittsburgh for Leadership training.  Jason Elton, their Project Manager, spent 4 days in Pittsburgh at Project Manager Boot Camp with Land Opt. 

KC Allen, shares that Allen Film & Video hit a milestone of 15 years in business this past September. He also recently produced a short film in Cincinnati that won 5 awards and was nominated for 8 more.  The film "Wildcat", brought home Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Casting and KC personally won an award for composing the Best Original Music.

Krisi Vadnais, doTerra and Connext Nation, has completed her Competent Communicator Manual in Toastmasters.  This means she has completed ten speech projects.  She will also be completing the Competent Leader Manual within the next couple weeks.

Deer in the Headlights Syndrome
by Debby Peters,
Yep, it’s a real disease – Deer in the Headlights Syndrome!  It’s the wide-eyed look the many of us get when asked a question we weren’t expecting.  Taking a cue from the political pundits, you don’t have to answer all questions, especially ones that aren’t appropriate for whatever reason.  Or you can answer a question that wasn’t asked.  For example when the family is together for Thanksgiving and Aunt Mary pins you with, “Are you married yet?”  You can smile and talk about your passion for your career.

Sometimes in the business world our prospects ask us questions that we may not have anticipated.  Maybe someone wants to know about how a trend is affecting your industry and you haven’t even heard of the trend yet, even though you keep up to date.  Before you choke, turn it back to that person and ask how they think it affects the industry. You can make a comment similar to, “Gosh you are so much better read than I am, what do you think?”   Even better, ask how this person thinks you should react to it.  A great way to educate yourself!

Toastmasters International has local clubs that meet to help their member perfect all kinds of speaking skills, including impromptu speaking.  There are several clubs in the area.  Two CN members are members and would give you advice on which club to visit.  They are Krisi Vadnais and Deb Olejownik.

Of course preparing for your day with answers to those queries that you get often is a great first step in eradicating this disease.  And don’t forget to have a great answer (or three) to the “How may I help you?” question.  No more Deer in the Headlight Syndrome.

Politics and Business, It's Worse Than You Think!
by Chris Kapelski,

With November and the Presidential election just around the corner, politics has likely been the topic of at least one of your recent discussions. As the world becomes more transparent with social media, it has become extremely important to understand how politics can affect your business. 

The other day I was standing around after attending a soccer game. The team had just emerged from their post-game huddle victorious and everyone wanted to go out and celebrate. As conversations ramped up to decide where we would go, one parent mentioned a well-known local ice cream shop. No sooner than the words had left their mouth another parent said, “The one with all the political signs out front? We don’t agree with them and we won’t go there”. Since the team didn’t want to exclude anyone, the conversation moved on and everyone settled on another ice cream shop. 

Without even knowing it, that business owner’s decision to display political propaganda at their establishment cost them an entire soccer team worth of business. Was the parent right to speak up and impact everyone with their opinion? While that may be a valid question, the answer is, it doesn’t matter because it happened.

If that story doesn’t convince you that politics will have negative impact on your business, let me give you a few things to consider. 

People Don’t Separate Personal and Business Lives
Blame it on the age of information, or people’s lack of understanding, but as a business owner (especially small-business owners), you are your business! Every thought, opinion, and piece of information that you share in a public space has the potential to damage your business. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, I encourage you to ask yourself this. Is the short lived personal gratification worth losing half of your opportunities in this high competitive landscape?

Politics Change, The Internet is Forever
With social media usage on the rise, I constantly see business owners sharing their personal opinions online or in other public domains. While some of the comments are negligible, there are many posts, speeches, and conferences, that turn into heated debates, in an open forum, for all eyes to see, forever. Forever. That’s scary to think about. While the candidates and opinions of today will change within the next couple years, those thoughts and opinions will be there to see, and likely haunt you, for many more years. 

People Will Form Their Own Opinions
While I am sure most people post online or make statements with the best intentions, that may not be how they are interpreted. For example, you probably have various beliefs that differ from that of your current or prospective employees. If you’re open about these beliefs and you post them, it can impact your ability to acquire and retain the best candidates for the job. They may see your opposing beliefs as personal attacks, even if they are not.

Before you put out that next Facebook post, display a sign, make donations, or even engage in political conversations, take a moment to stop and think. Is this going to impact my business? Can my business afford to and am I prepared to deal with any repercussions that emerge?


Three Questions
by: Debby Peters

Kerri Bimmer, Brimming Design, suggested that we might talk about how to determine if you are networking in the right places.  We spend one whole session on how to choose and then gain success from aligning with networking groups.  

Here are three questions to ask yourself:

     • What is the target or group of people on which you are focusing most of           your marketing efforts?  Being able to answer that question first is the             difference between success and failure.

     • If you have chosen a group already, what were your goals that you wanted         to achieve as a result of being a member.  Remember,” get more                     business,” is NOT a measurable goal!

     • Do you set a plan of action for each event you attend with the group?               Knowing what you want to gain will help you to analyze if it is all working.

You may have to be a member of a group for more than a year before the payoff is realized because it takes time to develop relationships with the members.  When the connections are “ripe” the fruit will appear!

As we near the end of the year it is a good time to begin reviewing your options. Is this group working for you as much as you’re working with them?  

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