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April 2016

April 2016
In this issue:

Celebrate success at RPCN’s 2016 Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala

By Laurie Enos

Area entrepreneurs will be honored at RPCN’s Second Annual Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel (1111 Jefferson Road).

The Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala will begin with cocktails at 6 PM, followed by dinner and the awards presentation at 7 PM. The keynote speaker is Christine Whitman (right), chair and CEO of Complemar Partners, Inc. The emcee again this year is Rachel Barnhart from Channel 8 News (left).

“This is a capstone event for RPCN,” says RPCN President David Powe. “I encourage everyone to attend. You don’t want to miss it.”

At this event, RPCN will recognize Rochester-area entrepreneurs and small business owners in each of five categories:

Consultant’s Consultant: Ralph Kraft, founder of the Independent Entrepreneurs Council, which helps small business owners in technology-related fields

Community Champion: Linda Andreano of Planet Botanica, who is also an active member of the Greece Chamber of Commerce and a fire commissioner for the North Greece Fire District.

Community Champion: Dr. Leonard M. Brock, director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, who is a certified leadership coach, scholar-practitioner, consultant, business owner and nonprofit executive.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Sebastian Maroundit, a Lost Boy from Sudan and co-founder of the charity Building Minds in South Sudan.

Dave Young Dedicated Service Award: Michael Van der Gaag of Beyond the Interface, who has been RPCN’s president, immediate past president and program manager.
Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN Award: Jean Kase, executive director of The Entrepreneurs Network, who has been a strong and vocal supporter of RPCN for a long time.

Read more about the award winners on the RPCN website.
The cost for the Gala is $30 per person for RPCN members and $35 for non-members. To attend, register online at For a printable flyer about the event, click here.

President’s message – strategy update

By David Powe, RPCN President

April is the beginning of the final quarter of the RPCN fiscal year. During the next three months, we will be completing our annual update of our strategic plan. Our president-elect, Laurie Enos, will lead the process this year.

To start that process, we always take a look at how we did against the plan we laid out the previous year. While this year isn’t over yet, I thought this would be a good time to report on our progress. Here is a link to the 2015–16 strategic plan on our website: RPCN Strategic Plans.

Here is my preliminary report card on our accomplishments vs. our strategic plan. Your officers and board members would love to hear your feedback.

2015–16 Plans: Review & launch redesigned website
  • Commissioned redesign
  • New site to launch by 6/1
Marketing Strategies
2015–16 Plans: Repeat member showcase panel
  • Held member showcase panel
  • Launched Business Ecosystem initiative
  • Increased member involvement in Boot Camp
Learn from the Best
2015–16 Plans: Continue
  • Outstanding list of Friday presenters
  • High-profile TrendTalk panel
  • “Wall of Fame” keynote speaker
Member Opportunities
2015–16 Plans: Matchmaker Event in June, develop EBP connection
  • Business Ecosystem initiative
  • High Tech Rochester alliance
  • Eastman Business Park connection
Events Calendar
2015–16 Plans: Matchmaker Event in June
  • Scheduled TrendTalk, Gala, Conference and Holiday Party in different quarters
  • Brought back TrendTalk
  • Added Erie Canal Cruise
2015–16 Plans: Complete member survey
  • No action yet
2015–16 Plans: Continue
  • Developed new alliances with numerous organizations

RPCN interviews members for their input

By Michael Van der Gaag

After summarizing the notes from our New Year’s Kickoff in January, we have begun meeting with long-term members to understand their needs and priorities for the future of RPCN. While we have consistently focused on the needs of our startup consultants, it is the more seasoned members whom we seem to lose as they and their businesses mature.

If you are a long-term or experienced member who would like to help the organization better meet your needs, please let me know, and I will schedule a discussion with you at your earliest convenience. You can contact me at Please put “RPCN member interview” in the subject line of your message. Please provide a couple of convenient dates and times when we can get together to chat.

Calendar of events

Technical Forum
Friday, April 1, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library

Steve Royal facilitates this informal, roundtable discussion about any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? Click here for a list from recent forums.

How to Promote Your Services Without Breaking Your Bank
Friday, April 8, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester
When you're trying to keep your small business running, every dollar counts, but this is no reason to neglect your marketing plan. Presenter Siwei Dodge will talk about how to build your marketing campaign from scratch, four marketing techniques you can apply with $100 or less, and the #1 barrier that prevents your prospects from paying attention to your marketing efforts.

Business Forum
Friday, April 15, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library

Bob Lurz facilitates this informal roundtable discussion of issues about starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? Click here for a list from recent forums.

RPCN Board Meeting
Friday, April 15, 2016; 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Pittsford Community Library

RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

2nd Annual Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala
Tuesday, April 19, 2016; 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM; Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, 1111 Jefferson Road, Henrietta

RPCN will recognize Rochester area entrepreneurs and small business owners in each of the five categories: Consultant’s Consultant, Community Champion, Entrepreneur of the Year, Dave Young Dedicated Service Award and the Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN Award. The keynote speaker is Christine Whitman, chair and CEO of Complemar Partners, Inc., with Rachel Barnhart of Channel 8 News as emcee.

Blogging to Grow Your Business
Friday, April 22, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester
Blogging is a great way to show off your expertise and be found online. In this presentation, Laurie Enos, co-owner of Blue Dog Marketing, will offer tips on writing compelling and effective blogs, and where to find inspiration for your blog posts. You can also learn about RPCN’s unique blogging opportunity.

RPCN “Surprise Thursday” Social
Thursday, April 28, 2016; 6:30 - 9:00 PM; Pomodoro’s Grill & Wine Bar, 1290 University Avenue, Rochester

There is no RPCN meeting on Friday, April 29, the fifth Friday of the month, so if you are beside yourself for what to do, or want to get to know your RPCN colleagues in a more informal setting, come to this social gathering. We’ll be returning to Pomodoro’s, one of our favorite venues, and you’ll have a chance to check out their new facelift. Follow the signs to RPCN's reserved space, near the bar. Cost is $5 per person, with appetizers provided; cash bar. Bring friends, colleagues or clients.

Making your business better

Boost your productivity
Working from home can certainly be convenient, but do you find yourself getting distracted from doing the work you need to do to run your business and make money? Laurie Enos of Blue Dog Marketing offers Six Tips to Boost Your Productivity When Working from Home.

Challenge yourself and build character
Democrat and Chronicle columnist Patrick Burke writes, “The rewards in life come from the relationships we develop.” He encourages people to become involved in the life of their community and take on new challenges. Read more in his Outside Insights column.

Use LinkedIn for your business
In case you missed Michelle Arbore’s presentation at RPCN in March on using LinkedIn to promote your business, Ruth Thaler-Carter offers some additional tips. She interviewed Ginny Brandreth of BrandrethWorks, who says that “LinkedIn is important because it establishes credibility. It allows a business owner to explain what your services are.” Read more in her Democrat and Chronicle Nextpert column.

Of interest

Conflict resolution
Learn how to be proactive in resolving workplace conflict at the April Brighton Chamber of Commerce Expert Edge seminar, “Four Truths about Resolving Conflict in Your Business” with Trish Blake-Jones. Wednesday, April 6; 7:45 - 9:00 AM; The Legacy at Clover Blossom, 100 McAuley Drive, Rochester. More info.

RBJ Best of the Web Awards breakfast
Every year, the Rochester Business Journal (RBJ) recognizes Rochester’s best business websites – and again this year, the best use of mobile technology – at the Best of the Web Awards breakfast. Thursday, April 14; 7:30 - 11:15 AM; Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 East Main Street, Rochester. More info.

Mastering technology communications
Hannah Morgan, Judy Shenouda, Ruth Thaler-Carter and Michael Van der Gaag are among the presenters at this year’s Society for Technical Communication-Rochester Spectrum conference at RIT. This year’s theme is “Mastering Tech Comm: Harness the Power of Story,” and the conference includes unique presentations, demonstrations of exciting new technologies and services, and more. Sunday, April 17 - Tuesday, April 19; Louise Slaughter Hall, 78 Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester. More info.

Writing and editing workshops
RPCN member Ruth Thaler-Carter is teaching four classes at Writers and Books in April and early May: “Getting Started as a Freelance Writer,” April 11; “Basics of Editing and Proofreading,” April 25; “Websites for Writers,” May 2; “Grammar Basics – Getting Over Your Fears!,” May 7. More info.

Freelancer conference
Registration is open for “Be a Better Freelancer® – Profiting in Publishing,” the 11th annual Communication Central conference for aspiring and current freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, graphic artists and more; October 28-29 at the Hilton Garden Inn in College Town (next to Strong Memorial Hospital), with an additional special workshop on October 30. The information is useful for anyone thinking of starting or building up an entrepreneurial business. More info.

We want you!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Newsletter Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better. If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Newsletter Committee: Janice Hanson, Chair; Ruth E. Thaler-Carter; Steve Royal; Mary DeFranco; Sheryl Rhodes. Please send articles for the May newsletter by April 15.

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