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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,


On July 20, we will hold our semi-annual Fantastic Four lunch at Smokey Bones in Maumee.  This is where we seat you at tables of 4 with all four having the same or similar target market.  We have developed all new questions to launch the discussion and as always, our board members will be table captains to help facilitate the conversation.  You MUST be registered in advance for this event and can do so at www.connextnation.comThe fee for lunch is $17.
Back to our normal format for the August lunch; join us at Smokey Bones on August 17.  We gather at around 11:30am and no registration is required. The cost of the lunch is $13, cash or check made out to CNP of Ohio, Ltd. It is a great time of casual social conversation with a bit of format.  Bring your guests who are interested in finding out more about CN.
Coming up in July is our EVENING  Mini Class on Monday, July 13, from 5:30-7:30 pm at Owens Community College, Arrowhead Campus, 1724 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee.  The cost of the class is $25.  The information provided is priceless!  Those wanting to register should go to
As long as you have your calendar out, turn to August 2 and pencil in the Annual CN Summer Picnic.  Always a fun time at Debby’s home, it will be from 1-5 PM.  Dessert contest still has room for 5 more homemade entries.  To register go to this link.  The cost for adults is $7 and for kids it’s only $3.  And yes, this is a family event.  There is catch and release fishing (bring your own equipment and bait), playing with the kayaks and canoe, swimming, wading and just relaxing and eating good!  This is a BYOB and it is advised that you bring you own chair, too.  Email Debby if you want to participate in the dessert contest.

Social Media

Along with Facebook we are also active on Linkedin.  All of our events get special attention on both of these platforms.  If you haven’t "Liked" us, please do so, so you can comment and add to the fun!

Member Spotlight:

Chris Kapelski, Interactive Design Solutions,
Rick Reichow, Martin & Lark Insurance Agency



You never know what exciting things you are going to run into when you sit down for a meeting with Chris Kapelski.  A Waterville native, but born in Germany on a military base, Chris is always working on something exciting and coming up with new ideas.  Chris attended Anthony Wayne Schools and then headed down to Shawnee State for college where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Video Game Development.  While at Shawnee State he met his sidekick Brittany Stapleton from Gallipolis, OH.  Chris and Brittany have been together ever since and plan to get married sometime in the near future.

When he is not working Chris loves to read entrepreneurial books, magazines, and articles.  He also enjoys buying and reselling just about anything he can sell for a profit.  Some of his greatest finds include a 1960's James Bond Spy Kit, an aluminum Christmas tree, leather Aerosmith Roadie Jacket, a Swedish Dala Horse, and an ancient Egyptian bronze statue. His latest find is a brass 1920s floor model National Cash Register.  Even though some of his items are extremely rare and collectable, Chris says that he doesn’t get attached to any of them and has no problem selling them to the right buyer.  He enjoys the thrill of the hunt, “good victories”, and finding his items a great home where they will be loved. 

Additionally, Chris enjoys playing roller hockey, watching the Detroit Red Wings, using his 3D printer and traveling to the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, CA.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, “It’s the largest comic and pop culture convention around.”  Over the years Chris and Brittany have run into some pretty famous people while attending including Adam Savage, Lou Ferrigno, Ashley Tisdale, Rob Dyrdek, Penn and Teller, and many more.

When asked what his successes are he replied, “Being able to start Interactive Design Solutions (IDS) from nothing and grow it to the company it is today.”  IDS specializes in Website Design, Online Marketing, and Secure Website Hosting.  They pride themselves on staying on top of the latest trends within the industry and being able to keep their clients ahead of the curve.  “Our main goal is to help businesses gain exposure all the while protecting them from what they don't know."


CN Horn Tooting


Sue Waterhouse is happy to announce that after 31 years in the financial services business - the last 17 of which she's served as President of Key Concerns Inc., that she officially retired at the end of June.  Their house is on the market, and when it is sold, she and her husband plan to move to Sebring, Florida. They have had enough of Michigan winters!  She thinks that being able to retire is something to toot her horn about because she is very happy to have made this decision. Congratulations, Sue! (Editor's note: I can relate.)

Stas’ Krukowski would like to announce the formation of Erie Shores Estate Sales, a sister company to his first business, joenstas’ gallery.   After creating the second arm of their business model last summer, they have received more than half of their clients through positive referrals. The skills developed from the CN course have really paid off.

Michelle Quilter, of Genoa Bank, announces that GenoaBank has opened its eighth location inside the Bassett Food Mart in Port Clinton.  She remarks that “We are on the grow!”

Michelle Donnelly, Corporate Intelligence Consultants, was inducted to serve on to the Alumni Association Board for Lourdes University for 2015-2016.

Michael Temple of Temple Development Corporation has finished developing and launched the second generation web site for Carruth Studio. Carruth Studio features the sculptures of celebrated American artist George Carruth. The new web site is fully responsive and can be viewed across all platforms including mobile phones. The finished site can be viewed at
Hilary Hinz, Decorating Den, and hubby, Nathan, have welcomed Jade Elise Hinz into their home.  Jade made her entrance June 8 weighing in at 9 lbs. 8 oz.

Bill McConnell, Dunright Building Services, shares that Dunright just received the Pulse of the City Award for customer service this past month.

After eight years as a BNI Director Consultant and Trainer, Sandy Pirwitz has decided to retire at the end of July.  Because of her two previous long-time careers as a nurse for 30 years and then a retail store owner for 11 years, several close friends have already asked her what her next career will be.  Her answer?  Reading, traveling and doing nothing alongside her companion of the last 53 years.  Wish HIM luck!  She will still be a trainer for Connext Nation and attend networking events. She’s made too many good friends over the past 8 years to give up those relationships and she loves being a part of the difference that CN makes in the careers of others. Sandy has also recently been asked to review books for  The Humanist Press, a cause that is near and dear to her. Two books are already on their way for her review.
Kristie Thompson would like to share the details of her new employment. She’s very excited about being the Regional Director of Marketing for Pearson and Pearson, a full-service, alcoholic beverage firm.

Meet Toledo


CN is so excited about this event on September 10, 2015 (DATE CHANGE).  For the first time ever, WEN, BNI, So Now and CN are collaborating on an event together.  This has never been done before.  The time of the event is 5-8 PM.  There is already a Facebook Event page and there has been lots of chatter on it with close to 200 people noting that they will attend.  It will be at the Pinnacle in Maumee.  The fee to attend will be $5 and Julie Woods is selling tickets already.  Contact Julie at to get your ticket now!
But here’s what you need to know about it!
This is the place to find out what networking group you might want to join.  Yes, you can get a drink and some munchies at this event, but what’s different is that the vendors behind the tables are all members or representatives of various networking groups.  You can speak to as many as you want that evening, to determine what the best fit is for you. 
Those who have already committed are: Anthony Wayne Chamber, Holland Chamber, BNI, So Now, WEN, Junior League, Waterville Chamber, Maumee Chamber and a Hispanic organization. There is plenty of room for more organizations, so if you are a member of a service club or other type of networking group, contact Shannon Benge at The cost of a table for the groups is only $35 which is a small investment in gaining new members.
Also, you can go to the Meet Toledo Facebook page and join the fun.  Share it with others, too.  We want this to become a premier event and it will happen with your help.

Goals Take You Places! 50 Before 50 by Ernie Lewis, E.A. Lewis Consulting,

Eight years ago I set a goal of running 50 marathons before I turn 50 years old.  After already having been a runner for four years and logging ten marathons, I saw that someone else had set and reached this goal.  I thought, "I can do that," ...well maybe I could do it.  I needed 40 more marathons, just 5 per year, over the next 8 years.  The Glass City Marathon this past April was that 50th marathon and with 3 months to spare.  I did it!  And then, someone asked me, "What did you learn through this eight year long process?"  I've been reflecting on that ever since.
In running terms, I learned: I couldn’t do it alone; running is a blessing; putting my heart into every race; running for those who can't; and every run is a good run.
In business terms: I realized that I had to grow my network and my referral partners; focus on my target market; put my heart into every interaction; take care of my stakeholders and always look for the opportunity to grow.
Additionally, I know to have short term goals but go after the long term, as well, even if some of them are scary or crazy or both,  I learned that I can accomplish more than I could ever dream of. 
"A journey of 1,310 miles begins with a single step." - Ernie



We have started accepting applications from qualified individuals for one of ten seats in our fall classes.  Our criteria for those we will accept are that they must:
  • have a positive attitude
  • be open-minded
  • be willing to be an active participant and to share thoughts, stories and ideas with others
  • be willing to be coached
  • want to grow their business or career through referrals
If you think you or a friend would be a fit for one of our three September classes (Sept 11, 8:30-10:30 am, Sept. 14, 5:30-7:30pm both in Toledo or Sept. 16, 11am – 1pm in Rocky River), one way to qualify for submitting an application is to attend a Mini Course.  These typically are by invitation only.  If you want more information, Debby would be happy to share it.
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