The North Shore Business Network had its happy hour networking event Thursday at the Swan Club in Roslyn.
The group bases its recipe for success on people: offer them the chance to meet local businesspeople representing a whole range of fields, give them information that’s vitally important to managing their businesses and do it in a congenial, informal setting.
Launched little more than a year ago, the group is now regularly attracting crowds of more than 60 to their gatherings, usually held in the Glen Cove or Roslyn Harbor area. Co-founder Frank Casale credits the growing attendance to “the way we allow them to connect here.”
Casale said unlike most networking groups, the North Shore Business Network is not tied to a town as chambers of commerce are, or to a particular trade or industry: “We’re cross-disciplinary, so we learn from each other, provide resources for each other, make connections for each other.”
Thomas J. Grech is one participant who eagerly attests to how well this group is meeting its members’ needs - he found his best salesperson at a North Shore networking session. Grech was seeking to expand his energy company and decided to interview a person he met at the networking organzation, a person who has since become his top-grossing employee.
“It’s the power of local networking,” he said.
The emphasis on "local” doesn’t preclude participation by businesspeople from other areas of Long Island. Grech’s business is located in Rockville Centre. They’re looking to involve people who live on the North Shore, whose businesses are on the North Shore or who serve clients on the North Shore, as does Grech.
Roni Jenkins, a digital marketing consultant who has been active in the organization since its start and serves on its board, explained the process.
“You give and you get - what can I give you to help you with your business and how can you help me with mine,” she said.
She said she has received referrals to prospective clients from others in the group and in turn has offered assistance to members developing their “elevator speech,” and shared her expertise in social networking on a panel discussion held by the North Shore Network last year. Other professional development programs, according to Jenkins, have been on time management and website development.
Regarding the North Shore Business Network as “a fantastic opportunity for local people to learn from each other, ” Jenkins urges participants to attend with a “clear view of what they want to get from the group, while also thinking about what they can offer other members."