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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Celebrating Our 18th Year of Helping Our Grads to REALLY Connect!

Future Calendar Dates
We will be simplifying our social aspect of CN this coming year by going back to the monthly lunches with just one or two different events sprinkled in during the year. The lunches will return to the second Monday of the month and the location will be determined soon. 

Mini Classes
We have several mini classes on the horizon!
A new location offering is our first ever Lima mini class.  It is right after Thanksgiving, on November 27 from 11am-1pm at the Primerica office, 1700 Findlay Rd, Lima.

Toledo’s offering is Friday, December 14, from 11am-1pm at the BNI office at 1700 Woodlands Drive,  Maumee.

Cleveland’s next opportunity is Wednesday, December 12, from 11am-1pm.  The location is Jason Orsky Wealth Management, 671 Columbia, Westlake.

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.  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!

Life Transitions
It was a sad day when we received news of Lori Powell’s death.  Lori was a well-known State Farm agent in Findlay.  She and her wife, Robin, were stalwarts of the community, both publicly and in so many ways that just never were known.  Their fur babies were the loves of her life and the dogs went to work with Lori every day.  Lori was in the first CN class taught in Findlay and she even brought a staff member with her.  She was an astute business woman and a lover of fun.  Our community has a huge hole with Lori’s death.

Jim Knott transitioned from this life this past summer. Jim, also a strong Findlay supporter, was a staunch Kiwanian member.  Some will remember him as Friskie the Clown and others knew him as a BNI director. Owner of Downtown Antiques & Lighting, Jim proudly helped with the renovation of huge vintage sconces at the new Community Arts Center.

Theme of This Issue - Why
We don’t usually have a theme for our newsletter, but CN has a new offering and the Board of Action suggested that we support this new endeavor with a theme.  See Debby’s article to find out about the new offering.  And the topic is your favorite!  “Why”

Member Spotlight:

Liz Thees
by Andrew Stainbrook,


What is my purpose in life? Why am I doing what I am doing? How can I grow into the person I want to be?  So many of us have asked ourselves these questions.  We entertain these thoughts and struggle to find clarity only to move on with our day finding no peace or resolution, destined to repeat the cycle the following day.  Asking ourselves these questions can be a maddening experience, you feel trapped in your thoughts with no clear way to escape. 
This is a reality for many of us and was very real for fellow CN Graduate Liz Thees.  Liz is the owner of a very successful events venue, in Maumee Ohio, The Pinnacle. She is a loving mother to four wonderful, well-rounded girls, and is loved by so many of her friends. You might be asking yourself, “How could Liz possibly be feeling this way?” She has succeeded in business, she has a wonderful family, and she has great friends that care deeply for her, what more could she need?  As Liz has shared with me, she desperately lacked a sense of self; she had come to a point in her life where she had no idea who she was as an individual.   She felt as though she was sleepwalking through life, living everyone else’s life but her own.

In January of 2018, Liz was visiting her daughter in California for Christmas.  While she was out west, she had this nagging feeling, this calling that she needed to go to a retreat and escape for a few days.  After doing her research, she settled on a workshop called Redesigning the Life You Want at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur California. Up to this point, Liz had been a “self-helper” working on herself, by herself without ever sharing what she was going through with anyone. Liz had no clue what was in store for herself during the retreat at Esalen but went in with an open heart and open mind. During this journey, she had the opportunity to confront and communicate her inner struggles with other like-minded individuals. She was shocked that there were people out there like her that were facing some of the same struggles she faced and could help her navigate through them.  Liz had no idea she would be impacted so deeply by this journey at Esalen, that it would change the trajectory of her life forever. 

Over the last year, Liz found the inner peace she was so desperately seeking.  After sharing her journey with other people, she realized that there are many people out there that are walking down the path that she once did. She decided to channel that new-found inner peace and formed Liz Thees Coaching to help others along their journey to self-discovery. Liz is providing her clients with a safe space to unburden themselves and is guiding them toward the life they want to live. Liz is currently providing coaching services to men and women.  She is currently organizing group coaching sessions. Liz said “I wanted to do a group coaching session because I have experienced group coaching and the power it brings. To have other people, friends, colleges, or even strangers coming together and sharing their journey will allow people to open up more and dig deeper inside themselves.” Liz encourages anyone who is seeking more from their life to reach out to her for a free twenty minutes session.
Through her life experiences and her journey to self-discovery, she has been able to answer that one question that has eluded so many… What is my purpose in life?  She has proudly answered, “To become a life coach and help others to live a better life.” 


CN Horn Tooting


Simon Ellet, Jager Consulting, has been writing his monthly newsletter for 4 years. Even though he gets good open and click through rates (high 20's/ low 30's for both), he was beginning to wonder if it was worth the effort. BUT, tenacity pays off and he has now been invited to join Forbes Coaching Council and become a contributing author to Forbes Inc. on line. 

CN’er KC Allen, Allen Film & Video and 10 Ring Films, Findlay, just completed co-producing a feature length film that he worked on since spring.  It’s a sci-fi-fi thriller called “O9EN UP”, about a girl who wakes up in a 10x10 room, not knowing where she is, or who she is.  With only a countdown clock as company and using only a broken cell phone and a rope, she needs to piece together clues so she can escape before the clock counts down to zero.

John McIntyre, has changed positions. He is now the manager at the Howard Hanna Maumee West location.  He is still an appraiser, but is selling that company to another junior partner between now and the end of the year.

Chris Watson, Right Size Publishing and Bard’s Coffee, was announced “Networker of the Year” for both his chapter, Partners for Success and the whole BNI region.  This was announced at the BNI Night of Excellence.

Becky Pegorsch, Lee Winters Flowers, has been in business for 27 years as of November of this year.

Debby Peters, Connext Nation, received two awards at the annual BNI Night of Excellence.  She was recognized for perfect attendance for the past year and she also proudly received her Gold Badge award for sponsoring 16 new members into BNI.

Ever the tinkerer, Randy Raymond has added a new MakerGear 3D printer to the equipment at Marbee Printing. Randy has produced the gears needed to fix the company plate processor, and now he is anxious to try other projects.

Laura Osborne at Laura's Framing Place is now celebrating her 27th year in business.  She opened November 8, 1991.  Laura is also a finalist for Best of Toledo 2018 from the City Paper.  Voting goes until December 18.  There are many CN grads in the finals for B.O.T., so Laura encourages everyone to support the CN community by voting.

Dana Zanville, Corporate Splash, was a guest of General Motors in a week long training in the Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth.  For six days, she had the opportunity to collaborate with 52 other executives in the incredibly challenging environment Dartmouth provides, including business training all day with networking every night.  The skills learned through CN made it a successful experience.  
My Experience with “Why” Over the Years  
By Debby Peters,

I was recently given the moniker of “Why Wizard.”  I kind of like that, because I do feel as if I have special powers when it comes to helping others find their personal reason for doing what they do – their “why.”

What is My Why?
Many of your have heard the reason I do what I do but I will repeat it here.  I want to take you back to the early ‘80s.  I know some of you weren’t born then.  Work with me!  I am at the Cobo Hall Civic Center in Detroit and I have been standing on the hard concrete floor for three days because my boss is too cheap to rent the carpeting for the booth.  My back hurts! I am sharing our booth with my friend and co-worker, John Steele.  He is about 60 years old and a seasoned, successful, sales professional.  I have just finished talking with two bankers from Fenton and scheduled an appointment with them for next week.  As they move on, John turns to me and says, “Debby, you’re good, you’re damn good.”  

And that’s why I do what I do today.  I still get shivers when I tell that story because John’s six words allowed me to believe in myself.  I could believe in my abilities to be a sales professional.  Until that moment it had just been a fragile hope and many days it wasn’t even that.  I see the same thing happen to students in the CN class and even some in the 2 hour mini class.  What John did for me, I will be forever paying him back, by helping CN students to find their confidence in their success.

Some Others
So that’s my story.  But I have pulled hundreds of why’s from our students.  Some I remember vividly, like Josette Brinkman’s story of her father asking her to promise start her own business when he was terminally ill.  Now retired Dave Achen’s story had to do with his sister who had special needs.  He focused some of his career on that sector, as a result of his sibling experiences. One young woman realized during the process, that she hated what she was doing and needed to make a change in her career.  While rather jarring for the moment, it was good for her to make the transition to happiness with a job that was more in line with her desires.

The Science 
It never fails that when I ask people why they do what they do, that they start instead with what they do.  Simon Sinek says in the TED talk that the what and the how are only addressed in the neocortex part of the brain.  And it is necessary to know is that no decisions get made in this portion of the brain.  Instead, the more central, limbic area is where emotions are experienced and also where decisions are completed.  When the why is used, it is compatible with this part of the brain.  The secret is that there is no auditory function in this part of the brain.  That is probably why most start at the outside, neocortex.  However most never reach the limbic, why, because they get caught up in telling what they do.  And decisions are either delayed or not made at all.  If we want to get more sales and more sales quickly, then it makes sense to start with a REAL why and then move outward to the rest of the stuff.  After all, your story is the only thing that makes you unique from others in your landscape.

Special for You
CN will be offering a workshop on January 29, from 11am-1pm for CN grads to shore up their why statement or for others to find theirs.  The class will be located at Storypoint Senior Community on Pray Blvd., Waterville.  This course will be taught by me and you know that I will help you to find your real why!  The cost of the session is $39.  If when asked why you do what you do, you answer, “I like to help people,” don’t even think about this.  Just register.  You’ll be doing yourself a favor. REGISTER NOW

Do You Remember Why?
by Chris Kapelski,
Not a week goes by without someone asking me why I started my own business. The reality is there were many reasons. One of the biggest being I was working in a job I hated, with long hours, that didn’t fit my personality or my goals, and I was fed up. That eventually led to the final straw that encouraged me to take the leap and start my own business. 

Over the years, as business has grown and the company has aged, we have experienced highs and lows like other businesses have. However, with those times we have adopted a couple very important principles. Our team always celebrates the highs, and we always remind ourselves of positive things during the lows. For me, many of those positive things relate back to why I started my business. By remembering those whys, I truly enjoy business and what we do; even when times are tough.

A Time for Reflection 
With Thanksgiving done and the end of another year quickly approaching, it’s a good time for reflection. Years ago, my family started the tradition of going around the dinner table and sharing one or two things each was  thankful for. Usually each is followed by an in-depth discussion. For me, I decided to share two things. One would be related to my business, and the other would be personal. When I first shared my two pieces, I didn’t know what to expect. But something unexpected happened. Not only did sharing make me feel better about my situation, but those I was sharing with were also excited for me, and that made me feel even better. 

Remind Yourself Why
I encourage you to adopt these two principles in some way. Always celebrate the highs. Buy something you’ve wanted with extra money, take a trip, throw a party, and just celebrate. Remind yourself of the positives during the lows. Talk about what’s good in your life and business and take time to reflect.  By doing those things and remembering why you do what you do, I can guarantee you will live a happier less stressful life. 

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