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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

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

Monthly Lunches
It’s back!  Monthly lunches are now on the calendar for 2019.  We will again be at Smokey Bones 512 W Dussel Blvd, Maumee.  They will be from 11:30-1. The dates of the lunches are:

Oct. 21
Nov. 18- Celebrating and honor our Military Veterans
Dec. 16
This is the third Monday of the month.  We are going to ask you to register in advance which means you can use your business credit card to do so.  The fee for lunch is $16 and the link to register is:

Social NEW!!
The second after-hours event of the year will be this THURSDAYSept 26 from 5:15-7:15pm at Rusty Taco at 1470 Ford St., Maumee.  Three CN grads have stepped forward to sponsor the evening:  Leo Idraikh & Nida Ammar, CTronics, Jeff Ogg, Jeffrey P. Ogg, CPA and Bill Wilson, Express Transmission are making sure we have plenty of tacos for the event.  We’ve had several successful after-hours events there. Come to have a bit of fun, drink some margaritas and get to know fellow CNers and their guests.  Yes, bring your friends.  It is a great way to introduce them to Connext Nation.

Did You Know?
Connext Nation is nationally certified to provide CPEs credits for CPAs. For the mini class they get 2 credits and for the ten week class they get 24. Our next  Toledo 10 week series starts next spring on March 13, 2020, but there are mini classes starting October 31. In Cleveland, the starting date for the 10 week class is March11, with mini classes starting Oct 30.  We will also be offering Ann Arbor classes beginning in March 2020.

Terra Community College
CN is offering both the mini class and a 5 week version of the Referral Pursuit class this fall at Terra Community College in Fremont in their quest to connect better with the business community of the surrounding area.  If you know a business person in this region, please alert that person to this new opportunity.
Changes in the Board of Action
We are looking to add two or three members to the Board of Action, which meets monthly on the second Monday of the month from 8-9:30 am.  If you would be interested in how you can be a mover and shaker of the CN community, reach out to Debby.

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!


Member Spotlight:

Tim Saddoris 
by Kerri Brimmer,

Tim's career in Information Technology had a rough start. "I started in 2008-9 when the economy was really bad," reported Tim. "My first job was in IT with a manufacturing facility, which closed. The second job was the Director of IT. The company had a crisis and went bankrupt. My third position was Director of IT, Global Operations. This organization lost its grant funding and closed. All of this was within a three year period."  

"After that, I took advantage of unemployment benefits. My wife and I were struggling to live on $400 per week. Someone asked if I could create a website, so I hired someone who could make a website. That employee, Andy, still works for me 11 years later. I started networking at chamber meetings to grow my website business, InfoStream. I found out about BNI, met Debby Peters and took her referral marketing class in 2009," shared Tim.

Tim reports that he is always using and teaching GIFTS (aka GAINS in BNI-speak). When he brings on a sales employee, the first thing he does is put them through the CN class. "Networking is all about getting to know people. It's instinct, but I couldn't have put in on paper before the course, and I never would have put all the pieces together," related Tim. 

"Websites are hard to build, making them a huge expense. I wondered if I could use Debby's payment model and my customers could pay a small amount monthly for their site development. Two new websites at $200 per month would cover my house payment. Two more at $200 a month and I could cover groceries. It was survival at first. I was able to build a team, create a strong portfolio, and form a solid reputation. InfoStream currently has 15 employees and 600-700 web sites. Being number one on Google is very lucrative for the clients," Tim shared. 

Tim's target market is service-based companies that benefit from an internet presence. A few client examples are carpet cleaning, pest control, hospitals, used musical instruments, and a lot of manufacturing. "We do really well when we can go national or international. If you've Googled a local company you've probably been on one of InfoStream's websites," shared Tim. InfoStream has solid systems in place to organize projects and achieve results. "Each website is a partnership with the client. We do well if they do well. Almost all of our clients become long-term, and part of the family," Tim related.

Business consultants are great referral partners. Like BNI, InfoStreams' clients are category exclusive. Sometimes competitors of our clients will call and try to hire us, but we are loyal to our customers. Because the market works this way, some of Tim's best referrals come from competitors. 

When Tim was 19, he created a program for a manufacturer who went out of business. One of the previous staff asked Tim for a copy of the program to use at his new business. Tim recreated the software and sold it to the factory as a monthly fee. The program sat there for 5-6 years. Then, we launched a web site for the program, and two days later Procter and Gamble called. This second business, Thrive, is growing by about 25% per year. Thrive has clients all over the world... monitoring production of everything from Hummus to J Crew clothing lines. (Way to go, Tim!)

Tim is married to Margaret (Meggie) and has a son, Ethan, age 9, who goes to Lial. Very recently, Tim took the family on a dune buggy ride in Michigan. Unfortunately, Tim flipped the four-wheeler on top of a sand dune, which rolled over him. This led to 45 minutes waiting in the sand with a compound fracture in his leg and a dislocated shoulder, plus an hour ride to the ER. He learned that his son should never have the dirt bike he was considering. Tim is very sure now that he's not twenty anymore, and feels lucky that the situation was not worse.

When fully mended, Tim will resume competitive sand volleyball. He has just started teaching his son how to play and is coaching his son's team. Tim and family enjoy traveling all over the USA in their motorhome and discovering new places, like our awesome national parks. He's been to 40 states and counting. Hawaii is next! Contact Tim for a 1-2-1 and get his travel recommendations!


CN Horn Tooting


Debbie J. Papay, attorney, has handmade 300 greeting cards so far for the 450 elderly living at the Sandusky V.A. home.  She's shamelessly soliciting CNers for donations of any card- or scrapbook-making supplies to inspire her through those last 150 she wants to finish by New Year's!  Email her at to make pickup arrangements.

Simon Ellett, Jager Consulting, has launched on LinkedIn. is a video based modular training course for individuals looking to swap the "safety and boredom" of corporate life for the "excitement and risk" of entrepreneurial life. Written and presented by 4 entrepreneurs, the course helps people interested in starting their own business reduce some of the risks associated with striking out on their own.

Jason Conklin, owner of J Conklin Consulting, volunteers as the Deputy Chief of the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department in Lindsey, Ohio. He was selected to represent the entire State of Ohio volunteer fire service at the Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health (RF-DASH) conference in Minneapolis, MN on September 6th-8th. This three-day conference is a new program focused on local volunteer firefighters working with farmers in the fire department's communities to conduct risk assessments, create pre-incident plans and communicate hazards prior to an emergency to keep everyone involved safe. He was joined by 10 other volunteers from across the county from the State of Washington to New York. Jason will be working with representatives from the Ohio State University to get the program started in Ohio.

Bill McConnell, Dunright Building Services, was on the cover of the Aug/Sept issue of City Paper.  Additionally, Dunright won Mature Living contractor of the year for 2018.  Congrats to Bill on these successes. 
Tell Me Exactly What to Say 
by Debby Peters,
Coming soon!  The book that has a conversation for all networkers!  Below is an excerpt.  If you want to be notified when it is published, send an email to with “book” in the subject line.

Speaking with the competition seated next to you

Have you ever seated yourself at a lunch table only to find out several minutes later you’re smack dab right next to your competition?  She takes her seat, you want to pick up and move to a different table, but you realize how rude that would be. Additionally, there are no available seats anywhere. Now what? Is this going to be a wasted hour? Maybe not!

Let’s sit in on the conversation that might take place.…

Janette: Karen, who would have guessed that we’d end up sitting next to each other?

Karen: I never would have sat here if I had known! 

Janette: Tell me what’s going on with you and the company.

Karen: Are you trying to get company secrets?

Janette (laughing): No, not at all. I just figure that, even though officially we are competition, we probably can help each other if we only take the time to figure out how.

Karen: I have to admit that I’m a little suspicious of your motivation.

Janette: I hear ya, but actually last week I turned a customer away because I couldn’t help her. I hate to do that. If I have a good feeling about you and additionally know that you might be able to help this prospect, I’d be more than happy to refer these types to you.

Karen: What was the circumstance?

Janette: She wanted someone who could do faux painting. You probably know that we don’t do decorative painting, but I think you do. Am I right?

Karen: Yes, that is kind of our specialty. But we also do interior painting so I wouldn’t be able to send anything back to you.

Janette: I just really want to find a solution for my customer. By the way, do you do exterior painting, especially, big commercial jobs? That is our specialty.

Karen: As a matter of fact, we don’t. Hmmm, maybe we do have some common ground. 

This conversation was about two cooperative business people, but what happens when you either can’t or won’t ever refer to that person sitting beside you? He may not be the enemy, but for whatever reason he is NOT someone who you want to do business with professionally. 

Tune in next month for the second half of this chapter!

Network Outside the Box
by Chris Kapelski, Creative Director at Interactive Design Solutions

Since the inception of networking people have put the idea of networking events inside a box. With predefined rules, strategies, and locations. For example, we tend to think of networking events like lunches, business meetings, chamber meetings, and after hours’ events. But that’s simply not true. Hundreds of thousands of unconventional networking events are taking place across the US every single day. Sports leagues, sporting events, concerts, camping trips, car shows, social media events, and so much more. Those that choose to operate inside of the networking box and not consider these types of events are missing out in a big way. So, if you want to get outside of the box, here are two things to get you started.

Who’s my target market?
If you don’t know, you need to find the answer fast! Your target market is one of the key elements of a successful marketing strategy. And a complete understanding of that target market is the first major step toward networking outside of the box. When I say a “complete” understanding I mean it. Like full-blown stalker level complete. What are their interests? Where do they go for fun? Do they have hobbies? Pets? Kids? What brands do they love? What’s their educational background? What areas do they live in? Once you can answer questions like these, the data that emerges will be critical in answering the next question. 

Where does my target market “network”?
Let’s say you’re a chiropractor in Toledo. Upon further investigation of your target market, you’ve determined they’re really into sports and recreation. After all, you’ve adjusted them after some injuries here and there. This information provides you with a new opportunity. Instead of sitting back waiting for these injuries to happen, you can be right in the action participating, in a local Volleyball league. Or whatever sport you’re into. Not only will you be there when injuries happen, but in between games and at practices you’ll be talking to your fellow teammates and other teams about other things. Like what you do for a living. 

That’s it! It is that easy. Leave the box behind and start focusing on your target market. First, determine who they are and learn everything about them. Then use that information to find out where they network. Doing so will provide you with some excellent networking opportunities that you might not have thought of previously. Your business will grow and before you know it, you’ll be networking outside the box.

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