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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

#1  While October is a “normal” month for CN events, with both Findlay and Toledo lunches at their regular time and place, (Findlay is the 14th at Padrone’s Pizza and Toledo is the 20th at Smokey Bones) what you do have to look forward to and also get on your calendar is our second Fantastic Four Lunch. It will be November 10th, (the second Monday) from 11 am – 1 pm. Please note the earlier start time! and it will also be at Smokey Bones. We will be opening registration immediately after our lunches in October. The place to register will be on the website.  In order to attend, you MUST register!  Different this time, we will ask you to provide your target market so we can better place you at a table with others who are prospecting for the same type of customer.

#2 Our next graduation with be November 18 at the Maumee Indoor Theater. You know the drill! Come to celebrate and welcome our newest grads into our community. Time is 5:30-7:30 PM.

Member Spotlight:

Jamie Harpst, InFresh Financial Network

by Tiffany Brunson Miracle,
Today I had the pleasure of sitting down and having a personal chat with Jamie Harpst, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Infresh Financial Network ( I have known of Jamie since around 1995 when I began working for his dad. Then one summer, he also worked for his dad as an intern, so I remember him being around. As a distant spectator, I have (in a way) watched Jamie emerge into the businessman he is today. Jamie is also the person who invited me to BNI, for which I am very grateful. He is a wonderful conversationalist and I always walk away feeling as though I’ve learned something when we chat. Jamie resides in Findlay with his wife of seven years, Keri. They have two adorable little boys – Joseph (2 years old) and William (almost 1) – and a dog named Tank. 
Jamie graduated from Indiana Wesleyan in 2009 with a degree in marketing. Jamie enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, Ohio State Buckeyes football and basketball, and he is a volunteer coordinator for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Jamie joined BNI in late 2011 and went through CN in spring of 2012 (where David Trisel served as the awesome grad assistant). I asked Jamie what stood out to him in that CN class or was there anything he still uses today. He described an exercise in chapter 5, where you write down four people he knew and their connections. It really opened his eyes to how dramatic networking can be. He shared that while he has a degree in marketing, CN taught him far more about the relationship and networking aspect than he ever learned in school.
Before graduating from college, Jamie knew that he wanted to help people with their finances. During the economic downturn in 2008, a close family member was hurt by the crash, leaving little income for retirement. Jamie started researching investment strategies, determined to find an approach that would work in any financial environment. In January of 2011, Jamie started Infresh Financial Network to provide portfolio management, financial planning, and investment research for families and businesses. Jamie is passionate about helping people manage their money and really enjoys planning and doing research. The next step to growing his business - which should roll out in the next year - is to start working with other financial planners/advisors who want help with the research and portfolio management portion of their business.
Understanding investments and how to manage my retirement funds is NOT something that I enjoy, but Jamie makes it easy and comprehensible AND he does all of the legwork! He is looking to have conversations with anyone looking to retire in the next 6-12 months – with a special focus on teachers because of recent changes in their retirement plans.

CN Horn Tooting


Lori Cannon, has great news to share. Edward Jones is a Limited Partnership and she has been offered to become a Partner with the firm.
Affinity Merchant Solutions owner Melonie Dickey is proud to celebrate 12 years in business as a woman-owned merchant services consulting firm. Her team is excited for the new upcoming EMV technology that is coming to the USA and looking forward to their upcoming speaking engagements to share "EMV: What Businesses and Consumers Need to Know."  They thank the northwest Ohio networking community, for their support!
Jason Conklin, owner of J Conklin Consulting, has been promoted to Deputy Chief of the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department. He will continue to be responsible for strategic planning, budgeting, and other administrative and financial affairs of the department. He was also invited to join the Volunteer Committee of the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association. Jason was also nominated by Andrew Stainbrook, Dotnet Technologies, as a 20 Under 40 award nominee.  
Deb Olejownik, DJC Core Consulting, LLC, is beginning their 8-week Bouncing Back from Burnout pilot workshop training on October 2 through November 20, 2014 from 8:30-10:00 at ITT Technical Institute in Maumee. She is excited about this new offering.

Louise Kahle, Style Coach, has been asked to write a column for the local Mature Living Magazine. Look for her first one in the October issue.
Kari Ewersen would like to announce that she has been promoted from Manager of the Central location to General Manager of both sites of Shadow Valley Tennis Club.  She will have more involvement in daily operations, marketing and advertising, and networking for the business.  She is excited to have time away from the front desk and in an office.
Deb Cash would like to let the CN Community know that her surgery in July to have her trachea resectioned and thyroid removed was a success. She is back to her old self with lots of energy and is ready to start having one-to-ones again. She has also accepted a position with Lake Erie West Educational Center (Lucas County) as an Intervention Specialist for private schools.  She is currently working part time at the Toledo Islamic Center in Sylvania. 
Kristen Shinaver, Freight Train Public Relations, is proud to announce that she is the newest program manager at a website marketing company called WebArt. She will also continue to run Freight Train Public Relations.

Social Events that Allow us to Get to Know Each Other!

By Debby Peters,
There is nothing better than a CN social after-hours event because our grads know how to really network and still have fun! During the month of September, along with a new class starting, we also had two social events, one in Toledo and one in Findlay.
Toledo found 25 people at Max & Erma’s for drinks and free appetizers. Sponsor, Debra Gorman, The Chocolate Shoppe, also had a box of delicious candy for each participant. Near the end there were a couple of boxes leftover and we decided to draw a name from our business card bowl. Leslie Moore, Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of BodyWorks, was the lucky winner of the extra chocolate. We suggested that she could share with her clients after a massage the next day.
Debra Gorman was asked to share any news about her business. She related that her form of business has changed. She now will be known as the They will no longer have retail store hours, and customers will order either by phone or online and schedule time to pick it up. Or of course, it can be delivered. Since she is downsizing, she will be having an Empty Box on September 25, 26 and 27 from 9-4 PM at the store at Shoppes at RiverPlace in Perrysburg.
Andrew Stainbrook, DotNet Technologies and Arlene Gerig, Re/Max Preferred Associates, planned this event, which included more appetizers than the crowd could eat. Those were supplied free of charge by the restaurant in hopes that CN would return for another event. With all the fun that we had, I think we will probably see Max & Erma’s in our future.
Findlay, not to be outdone by Toledo, hosted a Healthy Living networking event, sponsored by Lori Powell, State Farm Insurance. This was not your usual boring event about being healthy because David Trisel, graf-X-cape, was in charge!  There were about a dozen exhibitors and each one provided the participants with an interactive networking exercise.  Also, each person held a networking bingo card that they used to get to know people by what block on the form they signed.  Some categories were, “Wears more than two rings or lived in two countries or has milked a cow or was a cheerleader or plays rugby or flew to another state in 2014.  Guest Jeannie Moregart had Bingo in more than one direction.  It paid off when her ballot was chosen randomly to be the winner of the door prize, a Magic Bullet, donated by sponsor, Lori Powell.  Two fun hours of networking went by rather quickly because of the inspired conversations and the connections that were made.

What’s New with CN?

by Debby Peters,
 CN Lite! Is that a healthy diet? Well, not exactly. In fact, if this prescription is taken, the wallet of the participants will be fatter!
CN Lite is a thinner version of the full-blown course. It is different in other ways, too. This format has been developed to be taken inside a company or organization. A sales manager or owner can enjoy having the benefits of CN delivered to their team in shorter more intense doses. The number of sessions and the topics can be customized to the needs of each business.
As a grad, you know the benefits you have enjoyed as a result of taking the course. Perhaps you can now bring this to your company. Debby also views this as a reward that one company might give to another company that is a referral source. Obviously, if your referral sources are better trained, then you will gain more qualified referrals.
If you would like to learn more about how you can earn more with CN Lite, email Debby at

Raising Money is Easier with CN!

by Andrew Stainbrook, DotNet Technologies,
When I think about words like dedicated, trustworthy and compassionate, it brings to mind 2010 graduate of Connext Nation Jason Conklin. I have had the honor of getting to know Jason over the last four years as he has helped me grow my business immensely. Jason is owner of J Conklin Consulting, a business specializing in QuickBooks Consulting and Executive Coaching. As I got to know Jason better, it was very clear that his real passion lies within the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department. Jason is deputy chief of the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department and has been a firefighter for the past 18 years. To help me understand why Jason is such a dedicated member of the department, he shared that he has an ongoing health condition that he’s had since he was a child. Issues would arise with his condition and the need for first responders became a harsh reality for his family. Through these life experiences 
Jason developed a deep appreciation for first responders; this drove him to join the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department.
After years of serving the community, the Lindsey Volunteer Fire Department started a capital campaign for a much needed renovation to both their fire station and the town’s community center. I was not surprised to find out that Jason was heading up this capital campaign as the campaign chairman.
He shared with me the lengthy process of developing a campaign like this and how the CN course played a part in the current success of the capital campaign. He pointed out that there were three major pieces to the campaign: the nomination of the Cabinet, donor prospecting, and the public kickoff event. In utilizing his network and the networks of those around him, he helped develop a well-rounded cabinet that could help create a foundation for the department to work from. Having a cabinet of well-connected individuals gave them the upper hand when it came to asking for private donations. They could see clearly what their goals were and who they needed to get in front of to make those goals a reality.
By the time Jason and the LVFD were ready to open the campaign to the public, they had already raised ¾ of their total goal. Being connected to those strong relationships made all the difference. The department is still receiving donations and hopes to reach their goal by the end of the year. Jason, LVFD and the community have all rallied behind a common goal for a more holistic and comprehensive fire station and community center. If you would like more information about the LVFD capital campaign and how you can help, please visit Or you may want to talk with Jason about how he developed this campaign.  
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