We are celebrating the 18th year of helping our grads to REALLY connect!

Monthly Lunches
As we go to press, we are currently delaying the re-start of our lunches until June 15. We recommend that you reach out to another CN grad during May and each lunch together while chatting via Zoom or even the old fashioned way – the phone! 

May 18 – instead of a group lunch meet with another CN Grad virtually
June 15
July 20

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 making it easier to track that expense.  The fee for lunch is $16 and the link to register is:
Social Event

You won’t want to miss our semi-annual taco night at Rusty Taco in Maumee which is scheduled for May 14, from 5:30-7:30 PM.  We already have three wonderful sponsors, Patty Cavins, Higher Ground Advantage, Laura Osborne, Laura’s Framing and Bill Rickman, Tutor Doctor and FranNet which means we will have plenty of tacos.  Get it on your calendar now!  Rusty Taco is providing a $20 gift certificate for a door prize, too.
Mini classes – Drum roll, please! 
Our next Mini class is scheduled for Friday, May 8 from 11am-1pm. We don’t have to worry about whether we will be able to gather in person or not as it will be a virtual class.  This will be our first one, so we are offering it as no charge.  We do need for people to register in order for us to send out the handouts for the class.  This is for both Toledo and Cleveland areas, and even beyond that!  Please let those in your network know that they can take advantage of this by just emailing Debby at
Did You Know?
Connext Nation is nationally certified to provide CPEs credits for CPAs. For the mini class CPAs get 2 credits and for the ten week class they get 24.  Our next Toledo 10 week series starts next fall on September 4, 2020, but there are mini classes in May, June, July and August both in Toledo and Cleveland.  The Cleveland starting date for the 10 week class is Sept 9.
Board of Action
The BOA gives great feedback on events within the community of how to make them better.  For our recent 1-2-1 Challenge, they said that the directions need to be simpler; we need to have places to meet after work along with coffee shops and they also brainstormed other locations to include next year when we revisit this event in February.
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 on your Facebook page as well! Visit our page at today!

Barry Ban Hoozen, State Farm Insurance,
is feeding our finest with our local Ralphies cuisine. He is doing so for all 3 police shifts and all three days of fire rotations. 

Debby Peters, Connext Nation, is proud to say that finally after many years of others urging her, she is currently teaching the Referral Pursuit course virtually. She is honored that two classes of students are being flexible enough to have started the class in person and now have transferred to the Zoom version. 

Monnie Holman, Allons-Y! Marketing, has partnered with fellow networker Edna Long of Proforma Speciality Printing to offer a t-shirt campaign in the first against COVID-19. This collaboration was spawned by brainstorming how they can put their businesses to work to support others. ALL PROCEEDS will be donated to provide such things as supplies, nutrition, and other typically non-funded support from area agencies, as the need is far-reaching. Shirts can be purchase at 

Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker, delivered a new virtual program to the Midwest Regional Medical Group Management Association. Members from six states got to hear a few ideas on "Staying Connected in a World of Isolation."

Patty Cavins, Higher Ground Advantage, is offering our Empowering Success Program free of charge as a gift at least through July 15th. They are prepared to extend it if necessary depending on the status of the COVID-19 crisis at that time. It is a buffet of nine options for personal growth and professional development including business/career coaching appointments, peer-focused mastermind roundtable groups, training and development workshops, social media community to engage and promote your business brand.

Tami Norris at Custom Training Solutions/Northwest State Community College, is proud of the way the college was readily able to adapt to taking their credit classes to remote platforms and have increased their non-credit online offerings/webinars as well. 

Member Spotlight – Patty Cavins
by Kerri Brimmer
I want to introduce you Patty Cavins, a 2018 CN graduate and a new member of the Connext Nation Board of Action who walks the walk and talks the talk.  Patty shared, “CN connected me with my why and brought life to our brand.  I thought I knew my why, yet without question, after week 8, the impact of really understanding it changed everything about my purpose.   I’ll take you back… It's the summer of 2010, and life as I had known it was changing.  My 25 year Christian marriage was ending in divorce.  Sometimes when I heard words, even though they aren't true, I believed them.   I had heard the words, "you're not worth it", and life began to be just that.  I wanted to be done, and on that day I had chosen to be done.  I went to the closet, pulled out the gun case, and loaded the clip with 10 bullets only intending to use one.  I picked up the gun with full intention and I heard the words, "WAIT -- there's something better coming."  I chose to cling to those words and confided in a friend who spoke profoundly, "You have lived your life encouraging others how to keep their thoughts and actions higher than their circumstances. Now, you have to do the same, and lead your children to that place of higher ground as well."  Cavins adds, “Reconnecting to that, meant everything.
If there is ever a wonder why I appear to purposely be full of joy and enthusiasm, no matter what the circumstance, it's because I literally almost took away the chance to live beyond that summer, into my life of "something better".  I will forever be the one who proclaims, "You (and your dreams) are worth it!"  My purpose is to empower others to obtain a Higher Ground Advantage for life.  
Patty shares, “There was something better coming along!”  That something was Bryan Cavins!” Fast forward to today.  Patty and her husband Bryan, have a blended family of nine children, ages 15-32, five girls and four boys. There's never a dull moment, which creates a lot of opportunity for leadership -- it's a good thing that Bryan and Patty are experts!  Their fifth anniversary will be on June 14th, and they plan to go dancing.  Patty and Bryan went dancing on their first date, something they hope to do for years to come.   (Did you know 69% of American families are blended?).  
In November, they added a new baby to the family.  Cavins shares, “I searched for awhile, and drove to a shelter in Portsmouth, Ohio to bring her home.  Gracie (my Princess Grace) a one year old yellow lab mix; a bit smaller than most labs, she's just less than 50 pounds.  She's perfect and has now stolen the hearts of everyone.   Gracie’s and my morning start with our favorite fluffy soft blanket and cuddle time, considered to be Gracie's top priority of the day. Literally nothing else happens until that is accomplished.   She's incredibly smart; she opens the door on her own to come in from the back yard, now all we have to do is teach her how to close it behind her and wipe her feet!  Her favorite game is "hide and seek" -- she hides things and we seek them.   We gave up looking for the TV remote and ordered a new one.  She makes life fun.”
You can't leave a meeting with Patty without a tad more optimism than when you arrived. Patty believes, lives, and teaches that we have to keep our thoughts higher than our circumstances. She sees times of uncertainty as opportunities to lead. Patty and Bryan's company, Higher Ground Advantage (HGA), was started to help others become more successful at what they do and reach their dreams. Patty shared, "What we do today impacts our business most in 30, 60, and 90 days. So you've got to intentionally grow to impact the future. We are going to get through problems, but what we choose to do now will determine how things turn out."

Patty and hubby, Dr. Bryan Cavins, are certified in many leadership and development platforms.  She is an Executive Director and a member of the President's Advisory Council for The John Maxwell Team.  There are a few others you may recognize like Franklin Covey, Crucial Conversations, Advanced DISC trainers and consultants, Emotional Intelligence (EQi) assessment experts, Predictive Index and more.  She believes people don't pursue personal growth and professional development because they don't know where to begin and/or they think it's too expensive.    
HGA can definitely help solve both of those challenges.  Patty has authored an Empowering Success Program that has nine features to help individuals, business owners, leaders, and career professionals to reach their maximum potential.   During this time of crisis with the corona virus, the program is completely free to all who want to participate.   Patty is expecting it will remain free for 3 to 6 months before monthly memberships renew and continue at (get this) only $27 per month.   This is really worth a closer look.  By design, it was meant to be affordable so HGA can assist more people, and currently it is open at no cost to have full access to nine tools for growth.  This packed program drops into your email inbox twice a week.  Patty is very excited about the program because it is adding extreme value at an extreme value.  (I am personally participating and highly recommend you take Bryan and Patty up on this generous gift free for months to come.)

Patty is the Advanced Trainer for Leadership Development for BNI Northwest Ohio, a member of Partners for Success BNI, and is active in the Maumee Chamber of Commerce serving on their membership committee. She is a member of the Maumee Exchange Club and she and Bryan attend Cornerstone Church in Maumee.
Patty would love to connect with you! Get just a bit of her cheer and joy, by contacting her today to set up a 1-2-1. Patty invites you to meet her at her “favorite thinking place,” her Maumee office with big comfy chairs in front of the window that looks out into the woods. "On occasion," shared Patty, "I am blessed to have one or two deer join me in the moment or Henry, the building's mascot, a wild male turkey full of confidence and honor. He makes me smile every time I see him!"  She invites you to come try the thinking chairs out for yourself.  (I can personally recommend the experience!) While you are there, have a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. She has a delightful array of options.
Tell Me Exactly What to Say 
By: Debby Peters,

Excerpt from Tell Me Exactly What to Say
(This book can be ordered from Amazon)
With many of us connecting and staying connected via all sorts of virtual apps, it makes sense to chat about how to introduce two people to each other in this distant way.  Below I talk about using LinkedIn, but this really is for any virtual conversation.
 You may have to opportunity to reach out via LinkedIn to connect a networking friend or fellow member of a networking group with someone on LinkedIn.  If you do the research and find that you have a connection with someone who could lead to the person your friend wants to meet, here are two conversations that might be written.
Tim: Good afternoon, Josh.  I hope you are having a great summer!  I am reaching out to you to see if you might be able to help a friend of mine.  Her name is Stacy and she owns a staging company.  Of course Realtors are good connections for her and she would like a personal introduction to Earlene Smith at Higgins Real Estate Company.  Stacy has been in the staging business for about a decade and in the last year she launched her own company.  On LinkedIn it shows that you are connected with Earlene.  Would you be able to help me look like a hero by making this intro?  I can also introduce you to Stacy first, if that would be more comfortable for you.
Josh:  I don’t really know Earlene that well so I don’t think I’m the one to make this introduction.
Tim: Thanks for getting back to me and letting me know.  Just by chance do you know other Realtors that might want to meet Stacy?”
Josh:  Not right off the top of my head, but I’ll keep it in mind.
Tim:  That would be great.
Tim: (Same start as above)
Josh:  I do know Earlene pretty well; in fact we graduated high school together.  We do stay in touch from time to time, usually on Facebook.
Tim: Can you make that introduction?
Josh:  I think I would like to meet Stacy first.  I’m out of town next week, but probably will have time to do that the following week.
Tim:  That would be awesome.  I know Stacy will be excited.  What about Tuesday the 22nd at 10?  We can meet at the coffee shop near your office.
Josh: OK.
International Networking 
By Debby Peters,
Up until about a month ago, I just never thought about networking beyond the borders of the good ole USA.  And then my world changed.  Lisanya Pillay of South Africa reached out to me because of an article she read in the BNI SuccessNet newsletter that talked about my 25 year membership in BNI.  This link to Ms.Pillay has been quite a positive experience for me!
Right away we had BNI in common and another likeness that we found we shared is that we both like to help our fellow members to meet people who may be helpful to them.  LIsanya has already “introduced me to 4 other people and one of those has introduced me to another person in Italy.  As I meet each one I am quickly mentally searching through my network to determine who this person should be introduced to.  I realized that it’s no different than how I act “normally”!  One exciting result also, was that one of my new international friends attended (via Zoom) my BNI chapter meeting when I gave my 8 minutes presentation. 
A couple issues with these calls that I have discovered are:
  1. The time for the call can get a little crazy when there are different time zones involved.  Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, recommends a website which takes into consideration all variables, including the change from Standard to Daylight Savings time. 
  1. Dialect and accents mean that I have to listen very carefully.  If the audio is garbled don’t be afraid to suggest that both of you log out and then go back in again to try to improve the reception.
The two above minor issues are worth the effort to expand your horizons.  Maybe you won’t connect out of the country, but you could think about inviting a networker in another state to chat.  You might see them spotlighted in a chamber newsletter or (s)he may have commented on one of your social media posts.  You can reach out just like LIsanya did for me.  And like me, your life will be enriched.
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