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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Cleveland Graduation

We will celebrate graduation with our friends to the east in Rocky River on Wednesday, December 2, from 11 am-1pm, at the Wine Bar Restaurant in Rocky River. There will be four more students joining the alumni ranks. Again guests are welcome and lunch is going to be provided by CN. Since this is a sit down meal, RSVPs are needed.

Toledo December Breakfast

One of our best attended events is our breakfast at Pam’s Corner downtown at 116 10th St, Toledo, OH 43604. Usually there are 25 people in attendance and they are the morning people, so if you are a regular at the lunch you will see different grad and guest faces at this event. Our next one is Tuesday, December 8, from 7:30-8:45 am.  Along with being able to purchase a tasty breakfast from Pam, we will also have a panel of three who will share three thoughts that we should think of when planning for the New Year. Those three are Jennifer Hamilton, Chris Kapelski and Debby Peters.  

Minis Begin for the Winter Sessions

Our next 2 hour Mini classes will be on: 

December 14, from 5-7 PM for the Toledo area and 
December 16, from 11am-1pm for the Rocky River/Cleveland area.  

If you know of someone who would like to register, please send them to

Toledo January Lunch

Our next regular Toledo lunch is scheduled for January 18, 2016 which is also Martin Luther King Day. We know that some of you will have a challenge with childcare because of the holiday and also some of you won’t be working that day. But hopefully, you’ll all want to greet each other in the new year and just have the fun that our lunches offer. We will again be a Smokey Bones on Dussel in Maumee.

February Toledo Walleye

Jason Madasz, BNI and CN trainer, is coordinating an event for us at a Toledo Walleye game. This will be a three-organization event with members from CN, BNI and WEN being invited to participate. At press time we don’t yet have a date, but Jason will be sending out information as soon as possible.

Social Media

Don’t forget to answer the question of the week on our Facebook page.  It gives other readers an insight into your personality and add a bit of fun to the community at:  Barb Wilson keeps the page updated and you’ll be able to keep abreast of all that’s happening in your community.

Member Spotlight:

Terri Lee, CPA, TSL Accounting and Tax Services LLC,
by Ray Meiers, Endurance Law,

Terri Lee graduated from CN in 2002 (one of the first CN classes) and still uses the lessons learned in the class.  She is a CPA and started her own practice in October 2014, TSL Accounting and Tax Services LLC.   She practiced tax and accounting with larger firms for 23 years before striking out on her own last year.

Terri and her husband Chuck have two adult children, Nicole in Phoenix and Chad who lives locally.  She and Chuck also have a dog, Fancy who is 16.5 years old.

Terri is an avid Pontiac fan.  She owns two 2009 Pontiacs. 2009 was the final year of Pontiac production.
Her first Pontiac is a G6 convertible:
Her second Pontiac is a G8, Stryker Blue. There were only 1,590 produced in that color.
Both cars are stored in a garage and driven about two hundred miles per year.  Terri washes and waxes the cars in the spring and dusts them a couple of times a month.  She is hoping to attend car shows at some point in the future.

Terri looks forward to the continued growth of her business and the CN principles are helping her achieve that goal.  


CN Horn Tooting


Jeff Ogg, Jeffrey P. Ogg, CPA, Ltd, is 1st vice president of the Toledo Old Newsboys. In that role he is the Paper Sale Chairman for this year's paper sale which occurs on Friday, December 4. This year's goal is to raise $200,000 that will be used to buy coats and shoes for people in need in the community. When you see a "Newsie" on December 4, please help by buying a newspaper.

On Nov 8, Laura's Framing Place celebrated 24 years in business. Laura Osborne started picture framing in November 1983 for another shop, and opened her own Nov 8, 1991. Trust a professional with your keepsakes.

Kim Cragel, Wellness Fix, reports that she finished Research and Statistics with a 98% and only has three classes left before she will have her Master's in Sport Psychology.
New Board Member!

Kerri Brimmer has decided to join the CN BOA.  She attended the October meeting and took some time to determine if she could make a commitment at the level that is right for her – all in!  Kerri owns Brimming Design and has been a business owner for over 20 years.  We are excited to have her creativity and ideas to add to the talents already in place.  Welcome Kerri!
Being a Welcoming Organization
by Debby Peters,
If you are a member of a networking organization, you probably are looking for new members. If so, how do you welcome prospects to your group?

Within the last couple months I attended a group that was highly recommended as THE place to be for me.  Luckily, I went to the meeting with the person who had mentioned the idea.  She helped to introduce me to several of the attendees that day. BUT, here is my take away from the event.

The actual organizers of the event did nothing to make me feel welcome.  When I checked in, no one said, “Is this your first time with us, Debby?” The person behind the table just handed me a plastic name tag without adding their smile to the exchange. There was a non-member rate that I paid for the event, so they could have easily had some way of marking the name tags to know non-members which might have meant a different welcome. Also, there has been no follow up from the organization to see if I might like to apply.  Nor did I receive any membership information that day.

My host did her duties well, introducing me to several of the people standing around before the lunch began.  Several agreed that we should meet. To this day, two months later, I have not been successful in meeting with any.  There have been all kinds of excuses. One that took the cake for me was the person I had scheduled an appointment with, but not the location because he didn’t know exactly where he was going to be that day. As that day approached, I kept calling and emailing to determine the location, because I had another appointment afterward that I needed to coordinate the time and place. Finally, I received word back that his day was filling and he didn’t have time to meet. Hmmm, I thought I had one of those appointment slots.  

Needless to say, I will not be joining that organization. Between the lack of attention from the actual organization and the equal lack of interest from the members it would seem that an investment of money and time would not be in my best interest.

So, now that you’ve heard my story, think about the groups with which you are involved. How welcoming to new members are they? What procedures are in place to facilitate the process of turning a guest into a member? Do you show curiosity of these visitors? It is not just one giant leap that makes the difference but lots of little steps that will give your group its next greatest member.
CN Gives Back

As a result of a discussion at the October BOA meeting, it was decided that we wanted to figure a way to give back to the community.  Andrew Stainbrook is going to head a project for the 4th quarter of 2016 to align our group with BNI and their Business Voice program. Stay tuned for more details as they come to the surface, but in the meantime, we also decided to do something smaller during the 4Th quarter of this year.  Linda Everhardt Kardux is chairing a project to provide 23 children at the Bethany House with Christmas gifts.  She has a list of one request from each child.  If you would like to participate, please let Linda know ASAP.  The BOA members have each chosen at least one, usually two names to buy for.  These wrapped gifts must be delivered to Linda no later than December 13, as the actual delivery of the packages will be the very next day.

New Member Breakfast in Toledo

A new offering in 2016, is that we will have our first new member breakfast for the CN grads from the 2015 classes.  This is our way of thanking them for taking the CN plunge, a means for them to get to know the BOA members, and to learn some of the ways that they can become an involved member of the community.  The new event is being held on January 11, 2016, at 9-10 a.m. at the Charlie’s Restaurant just off Dussel in Maumee.
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