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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 this summer are:

July 15
Aug. 19
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 Events
The second event of the year will be Sept 26 from 6-7:30pm at Clara J’s Tea House at 219 W Wayne St, Maumee.  The owner and young executive chef, Gretchen Fayerweather, has breathed new life into this old location.  To say the least, it’s not your mother’s tea house! There will be other beverages served that have nothing to do with tea!

Mini Classes
We have several mini classes on the horizon.  If you want to send one of your friends to experience a little bit more of CN, this is the best way to do it.  The cost is only $35 although; if two people register at the same time it is only $40 for both.  Registration is easy at this link. .  All of these mini classes below are at the BNI office from 11am-1pm.
July 19
Aug 23

New Classes
Then in July a second special topic session will be launched entitled, “Who’s Your Who?”  This session will help people to select or fine-tune their target market.  We will all work together to help each other determine the best referral sources for the chosen market.  The date is July 22, from 11am-1:30pm.  The cost of this session is $89 and the same class will be held on September 11th in Westlake.

Board of Action
Barb Wilson, SM3, has also asked to step aside from the Board of Action. Her new BNI duties are taking a considerable amount of time, and her very active family keeps her hopping!  We appreciate all that Barb has done for us.  Currently she continues to publish the newsletter in our Mailchimp application and also handles our Facebook social media.  

New member, Jon Meyers, Re/Max Preferred Associates, attended his first meeting in June.  He has agreed to help with some of the member spotlights and already was attending the monthly lunches.  His fresh approach will bring new ideas to the BOA.

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!

Member Spotlight:

Lori Casciani
by Debby Peters,

Being around Lori Casciani is like jumping on a merry-go-round!  She loves life and loves it even more when she is helping someone.  You will find Lori doing all kinds of charitable work; two groups that are dear to her heart are Special Spaces of Cleveland and any animal rescue group.  As easy as it is for this fun spirit to laugh, it is even easier for her to break into tears, especially when she is helping with a Special Spaces room makeover for a very ill child.

Lori spent 14 years as a very successful consultant for Silpada, the direct sales jewelry company that ended its business model in 2016 of going to market via direct sales.  She shares, “For a year after that, one of my Silpada sisters in Indiana kept telling me to jump on the Monat bandwagon and I kept telling her no-no-no!  Ever persistent, she sent me samples of the anti-aging, naturally-based shampoo and conditioner.  I threw them in my suitcase when I went to visit my twin sister in Charleston.  One day while I was there, I used them and I felt the difference in my hair immediately.  We went on a tour of Charleston that day and I posted a picture of me in some beautiful areas of the city.  I had 60 comments on that post, not about the gorgeous scenery, but about how good my hair looked.  That was an eye-opener.”  Lori had always felt self-conscious about her hair because it was very curly, dry and brittle.  When she was young her mother kept it cut short and as a result, the kids in school called her “Brillo-head.”  She says, “To have someone complimenting my hair was a new thing for me.”  So with that experience, she finally gave in to her friend and became part of the Monat family.  Her goal is to promote to Market Mentor within the company by building a larger team.

Long before the recent movie about Elton John, Lori was calling her husband “Rocketman.”  She shares, “I met him at a party that my then boss convinced me to go to.  My boyfriend had just broken up with me the week before Christmas so he didn’t have to buy me a gift.  There was a whole group including my boss who had rented a house for the New Year’s holiday.  I kept telling her no, that I didn’t want to go. (Do we see a theme here?)  She finally convinced me to go when she told me that she would give me an extra day off.  Most of the group was married, but there were two guys who were single.  All the guys were NASA engineers, so I had no interest in them as they were not my type.  But I have a thing that on New Year’s Eve at midnight, it is a good omen for me to kiss someone. So I went up to one of the engineers and explained what I needed to do and asked if he was willing to help me out.  He agreed and at the stroke of 12, I pecked him quickly.  Michael and I have been together ever since then!  I gave him the nickname Rocketman because of his work at NASA.”
A lover of animals, Lori has two fur babies in their family.  Both, of course, are rescues.  Thirteen year old Sydney Boy is a Black Lab mix that still thinks like a young dog.  His sister, Crazy Maisie is only four and Lori is unsure of her heritage. The mom was a white Shepherd and the brothers in the litter looked like Dobermans. But Crazy Maisie doesn’t look like any of them and the only way to describe her is that she is a 45 pound white Shepherd Beagle mix.

Very much connected to family and friends, she and Rocketman, who is part of a family of 9, were leaving to vacation with his family first at Lewiston, NY and then on to the Keuka Lake in the southern tier of New York state.  There, Michael’s sister has a house that sleeps 12.  Lori says that she loves the boating, cooking out, and just hanging out on the dock.  

Lori’s twin sister is three minutes older and has held that over her all their lives.  “We didn’t really get along at all until about 10 years ago.  She is completely different from me. We don’t look alike or act alike in any way.  Now we have a strong bond.”

One thing interesting about Lori is that her parents raised their family on a houseboat at Cleveland Yacht Club for half of each year.  As a result she is a water baby, loving kayaking, watching dolphins and pelicans and anything else near the water.  She wants to have a house on the beach in Charleston.
Being in the presence of Lori Casciani is sort of like being in the path of a friendly gentle tornado.  Lots of stuff swirling around making life a little crazy and a lot fun.  You’ll want to get to know her.



CN Horn Tooting


Phyllis Sheets, seamstress/tailor at Professional Alterations has a second location. She is the new tailor at The Toledo Club every Tuesday and Friday from  8 - 12. You do not need to be a member to use her services in The Tailor Shop on the 5th floor.

Leo Idrailkh and Nida Ammar, CCTronic, LLC., proudly share that they are one of nine finalists in the Eric Hack contest.  The semi-finals were held in Detroit at the Sustainability Conference where they competed against 19 other teams who were all proposing ways to make Lake Erie healthier.  Debby Peters, Connext Nation was in Detroit to cheer them on.

Angela Crosby has accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Safety for the Toledo Zoo. She started her new endeavor at the end of June.

Megan Coyle Stamos has lots to be proud of!  This fifth generation owner of Coyle Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Toledo, was featured on Channel 13 6 p.m. news for the “Seeds of Gratitude “project”. Megan was interviewed to share with the community her vision of spreading gratitude through the creation of video blogs of folks sharing a short message of who they are grateful for and why.  You can check it out at   Megan invites everyone to stop by Coyle, 1770 S. Reynolds Road, Toledo, to pick up seed packets in celebration of 130 years in business, and to plant them in memory of someone you love. These seed plants and flowers help restore the Monarch Butterfly population in NW Ohio.
 Additionally, Megan recently returned from the Prearrangement Company of America’s  Incentive trip, as a million dollar producer in 2018. The Western Caribbean cruise was the 24th trip Megan has earned in her 25 years of Preneed commitment to families in NW Ohio. 

She’s back! After getting out of the networking game and working for an agency for several years, Kristen Shinaver, Freight Train Public Relations, is elbow deep in a personal rebrand. As of the beginning of May, she’s officially The Digital Marketing Mom. She offers packages for search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising and management, content strategy sessions, training and speaking events and digital marketing consulting.
When is Enough Enough? 
by Debby Peters,
We’ve all been in the situation.  You are meeting with someone and the meeting is going far too long.  How can you get out of the forever meeting?
I always say that advance planning is important in networking and this is one area that it really does make a difference.  Most of us have smart phones that can do everything but paint the house.  It is easy to set an alarm for 5 minutes ahead of when you want an appointment to end.  You can tell the person with whom you are meeting that you are doing so (or have done so) in order for it not to be rudely jarring when it alarms.  When you get the signal, it is easy to wrap up the meeting.
Another way is to verbally let the person know the time you have allotted for your meeting.  Just say, “I need to leave for another appointment by 3:30, so let’s get started so we can make the best use of our time!”  Of course, you could combine this with the above technique of setting the alarm.
Additionally you might ask the person sitting across the table from you, what their time limit is. If they say, “Oh, I don’t have anything else today,” then you know that you have to implement one or both of the ideas above.
If all else fails, at some point you can glance at the time and exclaim, “Oh my gosh, we’ve had so much to chat about, I can’t believe it is 1:30. Please accept my apologies for keeping you so long.  I need to leave now as I’m sure you do too.  Perhaps we can get together in the future.  Please send me some days and times for next month that you would be available.” (If you don’t want to meet with this person again, you can leave out the part about the future.)
Managing your time is your responsibility.  Don’t let others take that away!

Summer Networking
by Debby Peters,
So many organizations decide to either limit their meetings during the summer or many don’t meet at all.  There seems to be a vast wasteland of time between June and September for connecting.  How can you neutralize this vacuum?
Do more individual meetings
If you have that extra time on your schedule, probably the easiest way to use it is to commit to filling it with one-to-one meetings.  For each group that doesn’t gather, you can probably meet with 2 or 3 networking connections.
Make your own meeting
Invite a group of friends that you think need to meet each other to a lunch or maybe for a beer after work.  Let them know in advance that you are counting on them to attend so that these important and helpful introductions can happen.  You could even have a theme for the type of people you will invite such as:  new to town, young professional, career changers, etc.
Attend a group that is having summer meetings
Perhaps you’ve never been able to attend a certain group because they meet at the same time one of your groups usually meets.  But with your group taking a summer hiatus, now you can test the waters with a “new to you” organization.  Ask if you can chat with the director or organizer of the group to find out more before you show up.
Using some of the strategies above will help you to fill the net-gap, that which occurs when you don’t plan for those voids on your calendar.  Be smart and plan ahead for this summer.
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