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Connext Nation


By Debby Peters,

Findlay CN Alumni Holiday Gathering

David Trisel, graf-X-cape, has organized a fun kick off to the holidays for all CNers and particularly Findlay alumni.  It will be November 12 starting at 6 PM at BKD Bread Kneads Downtown.  We are all asked to bring an item of food for donation and the winner of the cookie decorating contest will decide which local charity receives our food donation!  Guests are welcome, but please RSVP at the Facebook event so that we have enough food.  The link to that is

Toledo Graduation

We can’t believe that it’s already time to announce the graduation of another class.  So pull your calendar out and note Thursday, November 19, from 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Maumee Indoor Theater.  Bob Werner will be bartending and helping to set the festive tone of the event.  Guests are welcomed.  We can’t wait to see you.

Cleveland Graduation

Right after Toledo’s graduation, we will celebrate with our friends to the east in Rocky River.  There will be four more students joining the alumni ranks on Wednesday, December 2, from 11 am-1pm, at the Wine Bar Restaurant in Rocky River.  Again guests are welcome and lunch is going to be provided by CN.  Feel free to attend and bring guests.  Since this is a sit down meal, RSVPs are needed.

Toledo December Breakfast

One of our best attended events is our breakfast at Pam’s Corner downtown at 116 10th St, Toledo, OH 43604. Usually there are 25 people in attendance and they are the morning people, so if you are a regular at the lunch you will see different grad and guest faces at this event.  Our next one is Tuesday, December 8, from 7:30-8:45 am.  Along with being able to purchase a tasty breakfast from Pam, we will also have a panel of three who will share three thoughts that we should think of when planning for the New Year.  Those three are Chris Kapelski, Deb Olejownik and Debby Peters.  

 Social Media
Don’t forget to answer the question of the week on our Facebook page.  It gives other readers an insight into your personality and add a bit of fun to the community at Barb Wilson keeps the page updated and you’ll be able to keep abreast of all that’s happening in your community.

Member Spotlight:

Jeff Langenderfer, Fifth Third Bank,
Sylvania Branch location,
by Debby Peters

Jeff Langenderfer graduated from CN in 2004, but he still uses the concepts that he learned in class in his business life today as a manager of the Sylvania Fifth Third branch location.  He especially continues to target the best customers for his situation. 

But let’s take a step back in time to 2004.  Jeff was then working for another bank in town when because of a merger his position was eliminated.  He took some time off and then when an offer from another local bank came to him, he jumped forward wanting to get back to work. Less than 9 months later another bank in the area had an opening for a regional position.  Jeff says, “I thought and prayed about it and finally made the decision to make the leap.”  Of course because we are all familiar with the fluidity of the banking world, we can understand Jeff’s dismay when a year later, that position was eliminated too.  Jeff says, “They went from 4 regional positions down to 3 and since I was last in, my position went first.”  That’s when Jeff decided that the branch position looked very attractive.  He says, “There were opportunities elsewhere, but I have grown up here and really wanted to stay here for my kids.” 

Jeff’s wife of 27 years, Patty, is a pharmacist for Meijer’s and his three kids are, Kaley, who is working at the Ohio Association for Pediatrics; Tyler, who is studying economics and supply chain management at Miami of Ohio and Nick, who is a junior at St. Francis. Tyler has gotten Jeff hooked on running!

“The story goes like this,” says Jeff, “About 5 years ago, Tyler asked me to run a 5K with him.  Now you’ve got to understand that I played football and baseball in high school, but I didn’t run!  So I tried to run and could only run for about 15 seconds.  Tyler looked at me and said, “Dad we have until June!”  So I just kept pushing a little further each time and finally was ready for the 5K, which I completed.”

Not to be outdone by her brother, Jeff’s, daughter, Kaley, in May of this year challenged him to run a half marathon with her in Columbus.  Jeff says that he told her, “I’m 51, I can’t run that far!”  Kaley said, “I’ll send you the planning guide that tells you how to train for this.”  So Jeff has been running as much as he can to get the miles needed. His weight has dropped 35 pounds and he has gone from being able to run only 15 seconds to running 2 hours and 17 minutes.  His goal was to finish the race, which he did and his time of 2 hours and 55 minutes made him very happy too.  Quite an accomplishment.  In whatever spare time he has, he also coaches Nick’s CYO basketball team.

Jeff is a big believer in giving back to the community.  He is on the board and serves as the treasurer of Sylvania Community Service, which provides childcare in the Sylvania schools and also operates the senior center.  He is also the Treasurer of the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Community Improvement Corporation.  When asked about his contribution to these groups, he paused and said, “I think I bring a different perspective that hasn’t been looked at in the past, especially in the areas of financial soundness, leadership and setting direction.

Who knew that a childhood interest in the game, Monopoly, would lead to a 29 year career in the banking world along with helping others to be successful. And that’s what Jeff is all about.


CN Horn Tooting


Arlene Gerig, Re/Max Perferred, has just received notice that she was inducted into the “RE/MAX Hall of Fame”.  This is an award based on earned commissions.

Cristina Bertero, EmbroidMe, North Olmsted, has been honored to be selected at the  Chamber Bright Star 2016 for the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce.  She will be spotlighted at a dinner on October 29.

David Bodner, Mass Mutual Financial Group, has begun his third year of volunteering with the Read for Literacy Program at Fairfield school in Maumee. David tutors 1st grade students and helps them develop reading and comprehension skills. David brought this program to Maumee schools and the Maumee Rotary club, of which he is a member.

Who doesn't love networking tips? Greg Peters of The Reluctant Networker proudly announces his new weekly video blog "The Reluctant Networker TV." In each episode, Greg covers a brief (less than 5 minutes) idea about good networking practice. Check it out at

Jennifer Antonini, Law Office of Jennifer Antonini, has been volunteering at the Sylvania Senior Center on the second Friday of every month answering questions to seniors about their estate plan.  The meetings are on a first come first serve basis and are held privately with each person or couple. 

Kris Lowry, AVP, Branch Manager at The First National Bank of Pandora, recently graduated from the 2015 OBL Bank Management School sponsored by the Ohio Bankers League.  Lowry was one of 31 bankers who completed the intensive one-week program early this fall.

Krisi Vadnais, doTerra, placed second in the District contest for her humorous speech in Toastmasters. This means that she will be the alternate at the Division contest on November 7. 

Megan Coyle Stamos, Coyle Funeral Home, will be presenting at the National Funeral Directors Association Convention with two other women in her industry on the value of ceremony and the synergy of teamwork in your funeral business. There will be 5000+ people in attendance during the conference, and is an honor to be chosen to speak.

Simon Ellett, Jager Consulting, reports that in the last 2 weeks I have landed 4 new clients - which considering I only had 5 before is quite a leap! Simon is in the current class in Cleveland.

Randy and Teresa Raymond, owners of Marbee Printing in Findlay recently added two machines to help produce custom printed index tabs. Various colors of mylar are available and the entire job can now be completed in house.  Index tab orders have increased and the machines are in use every day.

New Board Members

It is so exciting to have CN grads that want to contribute to the community by becoming members of the Board of Action.  Ray Meiers, Endurance Law Group, patent attorney, and Patti Leupp, doTERRA, both attended the October meeting and liked what they heard.  At the end of the meeting, they agreed to become members for a two year term.  Their energy is welcomed!
For those of you who wonder what the Board does, they manage the community, by helping to develop activities and events that allow our alumni to gather, connect and develop stronger relationships.  They are the ones who came up with the idea of the breakfast events, the Fantastic Four lunch and the summer picnic.  They are currently at work strategizing for next year.  Keep posted for the results of their planning.
Networking Hint for Exhibiting 
by Debby Peters,

Looking forward to a trade show?  It is a great way to connect with prospects and referral sources.  I recently exhibited at the Rocky River Chamber Business Expo.  Unlike so many, I don’t want to go back to my office with hundreds of business cards that I have to follow up on.  But yet I do want to gain the business cards of those who are interested in what I have to offer.

What I did was offer a complimentary networking consultation and those who wanted to book an appointment to do so, could then put their card into the drawing for my door prize.  That way I had only about 20 people to call.  Of those, only one was not qualified – they cheated!  So far, I have scheduled 8 appointments and have 11 to continue to follow up,  

We are all busy and the thought of having a huge stack of cards that necessitated action on my part would probably have stopped me in my tracks. While my solution is not for everyone, it could prove helpful to some.  What are your secrets for being more selective at Trade Shows?



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