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March 2016

March 2016
In this issue:

Feedback from Business Ecosystem Kickoff

By David Powe, RPCN President

As we closed our 25th anniversary year, our board approved a new theme to focus on in our 26th year. We agreed to focus on positioning RPCN to be a resource to the agencies and organizations fueling economic development in our region. At our kickoff meeting in January, we asked you to share your ideas about how we can accomplish this goal. Here are the key themes that came out of that feedback session:
  • Investigate the possibility of RPCN acting as a clearinghouse for consulting opportunities.
  • Develop more programs and activities to drive RPCN brand awareness.
  • Cross-market with alliance partners – community and economic development organizations.
  • Improve our website capability and accessibility to key agencies and organizations.
  • Develop an RPCN app to improve our accessibility and build brand awareness.
  • Expand our informal alliances with organizations such as the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and area Chambers of Commerce.
In the coming weeks and months, I will be working with our officers, board members and committee chairs to turn this feedback into action plans.

This is an exciting initiative for our organization. I encourage all of our members to get involved! Please contact me at if you are interested in helping to implement a component of this initiative.

Second Annual Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala to be held April 19

By Laurie Enos, RPCN Vice President & Marketing Chair

The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) will host its Second Annual Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, to recognize Rochester-area entrepreneurs and small-business owners. The 2016 Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala will be held at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel (1111 Jefferson Road).

Awards will be presented in each of five categories: Consultant’s Consultant, Community Champion, Entrepreneur of the Year, Dave Young Dedicated Service Award and Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN.

The gala begins with cocktails at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner and awards at 7:00 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.

The cost to attend the Gala is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Click here for a printable flyer about the event. Register online at

If you have one or more favorite “influencers” – an author, another consultant, an entrepreneur or anyone you think has contributed to your growth or the development of RPCN or the Rochester area
there is still time to make a nomination for an award. The deadline for nominations is March 11. Click here for more information and to make your nomination(s).

Business roundtable and breakout sessions

By Michael Van der Gaag, Program Chair

NeighborWorks is closed on March 25 for Good Friday, so we thought we’d move that meeting back to the Pittsford Library for something a little different.

We will give members and guests a chance to delve into the most-requested topics in our monthly business forums, or even explore new topics. Rather than deal with single issues, we will change it up and try something new: roundtable discussions, facilitated by select board members in small groups.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in at least three small group discussions with their colleagues on popular topics of their choice, such as pricing, marketing techniques, collaboration, etc.

If you have a business problem or a project obstacle to overcome, we will help you identify an approach to find a solution. You will also have a chance to show us what you’ve got. This is a great opportunity to collaborate, learn from colleagues and teach what you know.

Click here for more information. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Tracey Aiello consults to help others

By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

Tracey Aiello of the Angelo Planning Group has made a fulfilling, enjoyable career as a consultant for the past 15 years by helping other people find new jobs and, more recently, helping women manage their finances more effectively. Aiello came to consulting from a variety of other jobs, including being a railroad engineer and working for Kodak and Xerox. He switched to consulting after deciding he wanted to spend time with his son while he was growing up.

Aiello credits his success as a consultant, and his enjoyment of his consulting life, to a can-do attitude. Unlike many people who consider consulting, “my plan was that if this doesn’t work, I’ll find a way to make it work, rather than walk away and do something else,” he said. His commitment to networking is also a major factor in his success. “You have to love to network,” he said. “You have to network everywhere you go.”

He is a driving force with the August Group, which is his major networking commitment. He has seen that organization grow from 300 to more than 6,500 people helped over the past 12 years.

Aiello added the Women Investment Network (WIN)
which is designed to educate, connect and empower women to his service offerings late last year. “I’ve seen so many meetings where all the attention was on the men, with the women left out of the conversation,” he said. “I didn’t like that. I also noticed that a lot of women were very competent in their business lives, but not comfortable with financial aspects of their own lives. They may be paying all the bills, but they aren’t looking at the long term.”

WIN provides not only financial planning advice and resources, but fun as well: The April meeting will be held at a paint-your-own-pottery shop and the May meeting will be at a garden center.

To read the rest of the article – including Aiello's greatest sense of reward and fulfillment as a consultant – visit this page on the RPCN website.

And click here to watch a video of Aiello talking about attending the first RPCN Boot Camp when he started his consulting business, and the WIN group.

Upcoming events

Technical Forum
Friday, March 4, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library

Steve Royal facilitates this informal, roundtable discussion of 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.

LinkedIn: How to Make It Work for You
Friday, March 11, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester
Michelle Arbore of Savvy Social Media has seen many people who are experts at what they do go unnoticed because they don’t have a professional LinkedIn profile. That’s why she loves working with entrepreneurs and small businesses
she can show business owners how to grow their presence on LinkedIn and earn more income. At her presentation, you will learn the top five things your profile must have, why you need a LinkedIn Company Page and why LinkedIn Groups are so important.

Here is a short video in which she describes her presentation.

Business Forum
Friday, March 18, 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, March 18, 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.

Something Different – Roundtables & Breakout Sessions
Friday, March 25, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library (NOTE change in location this month)
This is a chance to delve into the most requested topics in our monthly business forums, or even explore new topics, in roundtable discussions facilitated by select board members in small groups. See description above.

Of interest

Navigating the media landscape
PRSA Rochester, the Rochester Media Association, Rochester Movie Makers and Rochester Women’s Network present a screening of the critically acclaimed film MAKERS: Women in Hollywood, followed by a panel discussion with several area women leaders in media and entertainment. Thursday, March 10; 6:00 PM; Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester. More info.

Digital Rochester networking
Personal relationships are the key to good business. Have you been practicing your networking skills in the new year? Join Digital Rochester for an opportunity to connect with colleagues and friends and work on building your professional network. Tuesday, March 15; 5:30 PM; Rohrbach Brewing Company, 97 Railroad Street, Rochester. More info.

New ISO 9001 standards
All companies currently certified to ISO 9001: 2008 will be required to update or transition to the new ISO requirements within three years of the release of the new standard. High Tech Rochester presents a free seminar (registration required) to discuss the changes and a methodology to help you with the transition. Tuesday, March 29; 8:30 AM; High Tech Rochester, 150 Lucius Gordon Drive, West Henrietta. 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 April newsletter by March 15.

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