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January 2016

January 2016
In this issue:

President’s vision inspires new programs for coming year

By Michael Van der Gaag, Program Chair and Past President

David Powe’s December 2015 president’s message touched on a couple of themes dear to a consultant’s heart, which will inspire our programming for the New Year:

1) How we can take advantage of the way the region’s “business ecosystem” is building momentum toward unprecedented economic development

2) How our members’ “wealth of experience, expertise and ingenuity” can be tapped to fuel this growth

3) How RPCN can help be a catalyst to energize these changes and stimulate involvement of the members

The first presentation of 2016 will start with an overview of the coming wave of growth by Matt Hurlbutt, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Greater Rochester Enterprise (see Upcoming events for details). In the same session, we will conduct a workshop where members and visitors can ask questions and offer suggestions.

We want to hear your ideas about ways in which RPCN can help you become more engaged in this wave of growth. We’d also like you to help us understand how your own expertise and experience can be tapped to support the process.

As Program chair, I am particularly interested in what areas you would like us to explore in 2016
’s presentations and workshops. Our goal is to help you as individuals and us as an organization realize our visions.

So far, we have identified a number of topics in the area of Economic Opportunity:
  • Regional Economic Planning & Outlook
  • Economic Development & Forecasting
  • Industrial Strategies
  • Photonics
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering Support
  • TrendTalk Business Sectors
  • High Tech
  • Human Services
  • Medical

If you can think of something we have not mentioned, please send your suggestion(s) to me via e-mail at and sure to explain why you are interested in learning about it, how it will help you and/or RPCN, and who in the area might be considered knowledgeable enough to present on the topic.

Get involved! Help us achieve excellence in meeting your needs and wants to fulfill our mission of helping you achieve your goals.

Here’s to your success.

Two questions for 2016

By David Powe, RPCN President

As we launch into 2016, I have two questions that I am asking myself about RPCN. I want to share my thoughts about these questions with you and encourage you to answer the same questions for yourself.

“What excites me about RPCN?”

It is the opportunity to collaborate with a group of diverse and talented people who share common values with respect to business and our organization. These values – inclusiveness, volunteerism, collaboration, mutual support and integrity – unite our organization and are the reason we have thrived for more than 25 years. Every time I interact with the members of this organization, I learn a little, grow a little and have fun. That’s why I am so eager to share my enthusiasm for the organization with others.

Once you can answer this question for yourself, then you, too, will want to share RPCN with others who can benefit from membership. Make sure your colleagues who are not members of RPCN know why it is exciting to you, and our organization will continue to grow, one consultant at a time. Let’s follow the growth model originated in an African proverb and formalized by Mark Victor Hansen: “Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one.”

“What do I need from RPCN in 2016?”

My answer to this one starts with a quote from David Avrin, the Visibility Coach: “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”

In addition to giving me the opportunity to interact with other consultants and learn from the best, I am looking for RPCN to help me and my business become more visible to potential clients. RPCN, as an organization, is in a strong position to create visibility for its members by forging alliances in the business community. In my first six months as president, I have found many organizations willing to engage with us to get access to the expertise of our membership. That is the kind of visibility I need to grow my consulting business.

What do you need from RPCN? Let me, your officers and board members know so we can build action plans to make it happen.

Upcoming events

No Meeting
Friday, January 1, 2016

There will be no RPCN meeting today because of the holiday. Happy New Year!

New Year Kickoff
Friday, January 8, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester, NY

Matt Hurlbutt (pictured), executive vice president and chief operating officer at Greater Rochester Enterprise, and RPCN President David Powe kick off RPCN’s presentations for the new year with a look to the future, exploring the benefits of Rochester’s “business ecosystem” and potential opportunities for RPCN members. There will also be an open discussion and brainstorming session.

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

Bob Lurz facilitates this informal roundtable discussion of issues regarding 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, January 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.

2016 Tax Update Seminar
Friday, January 22, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester, NY

John Foote of Expert Tax Group will provide RPCN members with a look ahead at tax changes for 2016 and their impacts on consultants and entrepreneurs. This includes the Affordable Care Act’s tax impact on consultants, other federal and state tax law changes, retirement options for consultants and other tax tips.

RPCN “Surprise Thursday” Social
Thursday, January 28, 2016; 6:00 PM; Location TBD

There is no RPCN meeting on Friday, January 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 (location TBD). Cost is $5, with appetizers provided; cash bar. Bring friends, colleagues or clients.

Let us know your preferences for RPCN’s Surprise Thursdays

By Michael Van der Gaag

Because RPCN does not hold meetings on the last Friday of any month with five Fridays, we set up Surprise Thursdays as a regular social event. Surprise Thursday is an excellent opportunity to get to know your RPCN colleagues in a more informal setting. The next Surprise Thursday is January 28 (see calendar above). The surprise is, “Where will it be?”

We have held Surprise Thursday celebrations at Genesee Brewhouse, Pomodoro’s (both the Monroe and University locations), ROC Brewing on Union and TRATA (The Restaurant at the Armory). Feedback has been very positive, so we plan to continue these events in the new year.

We’re always looking for new and fun locations. Where would you like to have the next Surprise Thursday? Send your suggestions to me at Here’s to a happy and prosperous new year, and may all your surprises be good ones.

Making your business better

Learn about the three R’s of consulting – Reputation, Recommendations and Relationships – from Democrat and Chronicle Nextpert Bob Lurz in his article, Become a Topnotch Consultant.

The customer is always right, leave your attitude at the door and learn to work well with others. These are just three of the business tips Angella Luyk writes about in her RocNext blog, Everything I needed to know about business I learned as a waitress.

Of interest

10 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Business
Start the new year with a Brighton Chamber of Commerce Expert Edge Seminar presented by consultant/author/strategist Michael D. Krause. Topics include generating business buzz with free publicity, personal and professional networking, staying in touch with your customers, and social media as a marketing channel. Wednesday, January 20; 8:00 - 9:00 am; The Legacy at Clover Blossom. More info.

RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp
Register now for this five-week series of presentations, workshops and panel discussions
facilitated by Bob Lurz, RPCN Consulting Boot Camp Leader to help you learn how to start and improve your consulting business. Kick your consulting career into high gear! You can view a list of topics and presenters and download a flyer with more information. Tuesdays from February 2 to March 1; High Tech Rochester. 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; Barbara Moore; Ruth E. Thaler-Carter; Steve Royal; Sheryl Rhodes. Please send articles for the February newsletter by January 15.

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