Tag Archives: networking

tree-of-hands

Networking with a cause

Last fall, Rachel Luttrell was standing in front of a grill at a Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) campus in the midst of monsoon season. She was volunteering at one of NAIOP’s Dream Team barbecues that fed more than 10,000 homeless individuals last year. The grills were having a hard time staying lit, and she recalls the smell of smoke filling her clothes.

“I felt defeated,” Luttrell says. “We grabbed the batch of burgers to refill the serving line and were greeted by volunteers and CASS clients smiling. The smoke smell no longer smelled foul; it smelled delicious! A few clients raised their hands in the air and welcomed the rain on their skin. No frowns, just joy!”

Luttrell, a senior property manager at ACP Property Services and philanthropy chair for NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders Chapter for professionals under the age of 35, says the moment reminded her to be thankful for the food, shelter and support network she has. Developing Leaders hosts five to 10 events a year, including a Halloween costume drive for UMOM, a “Feeding the Homeless” event at CASS and an event that benefits Children’s Cancer Network.

“We realize the importance of strong community in the success of future generations,” Luttrell says.

Most of Developing Leaders’ events, like NAIOP’s Dream Teams, founded in 2013, cap at 30 people. However, Luttrell points out that most networking events that reach much larger groups of NAIOP members can be turned into a philanthropic opportunity (i.e. making admission to an event nonperishable food).

Above: Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

“It was recognized early on that NAIOP’s members are actively involved in the communities they live and work therefore philanthropy was a natural addition to the existing advocacies. The Developing Leaders felt building relationships occurs best when you are alongside each other, stripped of titles and suites, working together for a common cause.”

Charity is a relatively recent addition to the NAIOP Arizona chapter. In 2008, Megan Creecy-Herman established Developing Leaders’ philanthropy committee, which pre-dates NAIOP Arizona’s own official adoption of charitable efforts in 2010.

Legacy Capital Advisors Principal Keaton Merrell points out that the chapter has engaged in philanthropic events over the years, but didn’t make it a part of annual programming until four years ago. In that time, the chapter has raised about $150,000 for charitable causes through its annual Crawfish Boil benefiting Ryan House and has served about 23,000 meals to homeless individuals. In 2013, NAIOP established Dream Teams, groups of 30 volunteers comprised of about 10 people from three firms, who get together once a month to barbecue burgers and hot dogs for the homeless.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

“It is always great to see a Dream Team with volunteers who have never done it before and see them team up to feed 800 homeless people,” Merrell says. “Seeing this massive line of people that you are feeding is very gratifying. People that show up for the first time literally had no idea they would be affecting that many people.”

There’s literally a quarter-mile-long line of homeless, says Chuck Vogel, senior vice president of real estate joint ventures and dispositions at American Realty Capital Properties, Inc.
“Until you go down [to 12th and Madison avenues] and do it the first time, you don’t even get it,” he says.

Just wrapping up its first year, word has spread and there’s a waiting list to get assigned to a Dream Team. Currently, there are more volunteers than space to feed the homeless. Registration costs about $75 per volunteer.

“It’s funny,” Vogel says. “We send a follow-up email with photos, and we get phone calls from people saying, ‘Hey we want to go, too.’ It’s almost a competition. They see who has participated. It’s more about who isn’t on that list. Not who is on it.”

Donna Davis

Charter 100 Arizona announces new board

Charter 100 Arizona, a nonpartisan, networking association for accomplished women leaders from diverse fields, has announced its new board of directors. The purpose of The CHARTER 100 is to recognize outstanding women in the community and to provide a forum for their interaction. Founding board members include Sandra Day O’Connor, Hattie Babbitt and Margaret Hance.

The new Charter 100 AZ board is comprised of:

Officers
President, Donna Davis
Vice President, Susan Shultz
Treasurer, Sandra Ferniza
Secretary, Marcia Busching

Directors

Maryglenn Boals
Sheila Grinell
Janet Holston
Yvonne Hunter
Beth McRae
Layla Ressler
Jane Rosenbaum
Felecia Rotellini
Lois Savage
Lois Zachary

The organization is run by an active Executive Board which is responsible for providing programming content and overseeing other aspects of the organization’s operations.

Programming consists of monthly meetings and salons, and several special events throughout the year, designed to enlighten and inform members by providing continuing education and opportunities to engage on a variety of topics relevant to their lives.  Speakers of national prominence address the group regarding the latest trends of thought in their respective fields.

networking

Survey: Quality Trumps Quantity When Networking

The more business acquaintances you have, the merrier you might be. But the quality of those contacts has a bigger impact on your career success, a new Robert Half Technology survey of information technology (IT) professionals suggests. Sixty-three percent of IT workers polled recently rated the quality of their professional network as “very important” to their overall career success, compared to 46 percent who felt the same way about the size of their network. When it comes to making new connections, (44 percent) of IT professionals surveyed prefer to network online and 22 percent favor doing it in person.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. The responses are from over 7,500 IT workers to a Web survey conducted by Robert Half Technology in February 2013.
IT professionals were asked, “How important is the quality of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 63%
Somewhat important: 33%
Not important: 4%

IT professionals also were asked, “How important is the size of your professional network to your overall career success?” Their responses:

Very important: 46%
Somewhat important: 47%
Not important: 7%

“Knowing someone professionally and being willing to go to bat for that person are two different things,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “You may have hundreds of LinkedIn connections, but if the relationships are superficial, your contacts may not be very helpful when you’re seeking professional advice or assistance with a job search.”

Reed added, “Quality connections take time to establish, but they are a valuable career safety net, whether someone is just starting out or has many years of experience.”

Robert Half Technology provides five pitfalls to avoid when networking:

1. Losing touch. Keep the lines of communication open by offering a note of congratulations to a contact who was recently promoted or asking to meet for lunch. Set aside time each week for these types of networking activities.

2. Exhausting your resources. Most people are happy to help on occasion, but avoid overburdening one contact with repeated requests. Broaden your efforts and tap others in your network if you have trouble overcoming a particular career challenge.

3. Forgetting your p’s and q’s. A little gratitude can go a long way toward maintaining positive relationships. Always show appreciation to those who act on your behalf, even if their efforts don’t result in the desired outcome.

4. Taking a generalist approach. Instead of sending a mass email to everyone in your network asking for assistance, try customized, targeted messages to specific contacts.

5. Failing to return the favor. Networking is a two-way street: Look for opportunities to help your contacts whenever possible, and you’ll find that others are happy to do the same for you.

Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking.

Tech Q&A: Year-end budgeting

This is the first of what will be a continuing series of technology questions answered by Eric Marcus, CEO of Marcus Networking in Tempe.

Question: What technology or telecommunications products should we purchase before year-end?

Answer: December is an excellent time to evaluate your IT needs for the coming year and with Section 179 Deductions changing, small businesses should take advantage of purchasing new equipment before it’s too late.

According to the IRS, Section 179 of the IRS code allows small businesses to deduct the cost of machinery, vehicles, equipment, furniture and other property. This was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. At that time, the maximum amount that a business could deduct was $250,000. In 2011, the maximum deduction that a small business could make was $500,000, but in 2012, the amount drops to $139,000.

Marcus Networking recommends replacing old laptops, wireless access points, battery back-ups, MS Office, VoIP phone systems, and servers before Dec. 31, 2012.  All of these products and services can improve workplace efficient and save money in the long run.

We’re also available to provide a free consultation and discuss your business needs.  Does some of your staff work remotely? Will you be adding or reducing staff in the coming year? Are you building a new office? Would you like to cut travel costs and have the ability to do presentations remotely? All of these factors determine what products and services we’ll recommend for your business.  And remember, you’ll always want to talk to your accountant before making any large capital purchases to ensure you follow the Section 179 code and take advantage to its fullest.

 

Eric Marcus is CEO of Tempe-based Marcus Networking, which specializes in telecommunications centered on phone systems, cabling, and the network infrastructure also known as the “backbone.” Read more about Eric Marcus in the January issue of Az Business magazine.

Platform Scottsdale

Platform Scottsdale Provides Support System For Women

With the holidays approaching, and as we go through life events and transitions in general, it’s only natural that we become busier than we’d like to be. Family get-togethers, new jobs, reinventing ourselves after retirement, marriage, divorce, friendships, children, grandchildren — these are all things that can take up our time and consume our minds. As women, it is our nature to want to be everything to everyone, which usually means family, career and a whole lot of multitasking.

Often when faced with a new challenge, whether it relates to healthcare, a newborn baby, or an ended relationship, we are asked if we have a good support system in place. So often we narrow our “system” down because we just don’t know where to find the time to nurture all of those relationships. Having your husband on speed dial is great when you need advice, but calling him to help advice on all obstacles is probably not nearly as effective. Calling your mom every time you need help with the kids may seem easier, but there’s nothing wrong at all with going out on a limb and asking a friend for a favor — one that can easily be returned. Broadening a support system is essential to finding a happy place in this hectic life, and while it may take some time out of your schedule to attend an event or meet new people, the return is oftentimes worth much more than the investment.

Platform ScottsdaleThis is why we decided to launch Platform Scottsdale earlier this year, to be that place for now more than 100 like-minded Valley women — be it stay-at-home moms, single ladies on-the-go or the career-minded trendsetter — who get together for our signature events three times a year to meet new friends, socialize and build their network of support. Not only does Platform Scottsdale promote and nurture these new connections in person, but also online through the “Pink Pages,” where all members sign up — whether they are business owners, students or a mom of five kids — and can connect, or reconnect, with women who are looking for the same thing as them: a support system.

Take yourself back to a time in your life when you were more carefree. Try and remember the people who held your hand through any adversity you faced. Certain people come into our lives for a specific purpose, and it’s important to let them help you for that purpose and not be afraid to ask different people for advice or guidance because that can only bring a fresh, new perspective.

Making time to meet new people at events like those that Platform Scottsdale host, joining a neighborhood book club or making new friends at the gym, add a variety of expertise to one’s support system and will only strengthen the ability to respond to life’s many — and promised — unending obstacles. Eventually, they may no longer be considered obstacles, but, instead, exciting challenges to overcome.

For more information about Platform Scottsdale and its upcoming events, visit platformscottsdale.com.

Social Media at Work

Social Media Series: Companies Need To Set Parameters For Social Media Use At Work

This article is part of an on-going, social media series.


If you run a business and provide Internet-enabled computers to your employees, it is crucial that they understand how or if they can engage in social media while on the job.  Given how fast our world is moving, some would say that to prohibit employees from tapping social media at work could hinder the business — particularly if employees are engaged in social media for work purposes. Others would argue that it’s a slippery slope and that if employees can use social media for work, they will naturally engage in it for themselves.

Therefore, employers should clearly address, by policy, an employee’s use of social media in marketing, publicity and networking. And, the employer also should address employees’ use of social media for non-work activities that can impact the employee’s work.

In order to write a social media policy that is appropriate for your workplace, it is important to consider several questions.

First, does the employer expect employees to use their personal social accounts for marketing the business?  If so, then the employer needs to be cognizant of the fact that the employee’s personal account might contain non-work related information that is not representative of the employer.

Second, is the employer going to create work-related social media accounts that employees would be required to use?  If the employee uses employer-provided social media, such as blogs, then the social media policy needs to specifically address prohibited types of content (e.g., sending or posting offensive, obscene, or defamatory material or disclosing confidential or proprietary information).

If the employer decides to allow employees to engage in personal social media on the job, the employer also should consider whether to include a general prohibition against using social media in a way that is inconsistent with the employer’s interest or otherwise violates existing policies. Additionally, when the employee’s affiliation with the business is apparent, the employer might suggest that the employee include a disclaimer that the views expressed on the social media outlet are personal in nature and in no way represent the views of the employer.

Lori Higuera, a director in Fennemore Craig’s litigation section, co-authored this article.

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The authors of this on-going social media series will be back monthly to answer any questions you may have and/or to continue the discussion. So let us know!

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