For Thanksgiving, I personally thank the One Stop Career Center in Hauppauge, Third Eye Insight in West Islip, the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island, Sandler Training in Hauppauge, and Adrian’s Network.
One Stop Career Center
Many of you know that I regularly attend all sorts of networking groups, but a few short years ago, I had no idea what to do or where to go. Bob Simmons at the Hauppauge One Stop Career Center started me on the path to successful networking. He drilled that word into us nonstop, and I realized how disconnected I felt. I knew I had to find places where I belong.
Third Eye Insight: Sensei Devin Fernandez
A chance meeting at a picnic turned into an open door for me. Sensei Devin Fernandez’s story inspired me personally. He had trained for many years to become a blackbelt. When he lost his vision several years ago, he searched and searched, but he could not find a place on Long Island where he could continue to utilize these abilities. Undaunted, he created his own, with the support of his Ninjutsu teacher, Shihan Allie Alberigo.
Sensei Devin’s organization, Third Eye Insight, provides free martial arts, yoga, meditation, and fitness classes to people who are blind and visually impaired. Friends and family are also welcome to attend for a nominal fee. I am so grateful to be one of Sensei Devin’s students, because he and the other volunteers are amazing. Sensei Devin and Long Island Ninjutsu Centers provide a welcoming learning environment, and they open the door for other opportunities, including surfing, skiing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, and more. Check out their YouTube page for fun videos.
Public Relations Professionals of Long Island
The Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) is the educational and networking group for Long Island’s PR pros. I continue to improve skills that better enable me to help businesses and nonprofits get noticed. Every time one of my clients gets a mention on the radio or their local newspaper, every time their voice is heard through all of today’s information overload, I am grateful to the PRPLI.
I wish I knew about the PRPLI as a college student. They have a $25 student rate and lots of experienced gurus that are happy to mentor both students and young professionals. Although their extensive expertise might be intimidating, especially at first, people like myself who are relatively new to the profession, have so much to learn from them.
Sandler Training: Rich Isaac and Robert Fishman
For the right business owner, sales professional, or consultant, sales and business development courses at Sandler Training are a worthwhile investment, much like taking a college course. Robert Fishman and Rich Isaac have taught me so many skills that I continue to utilize in my personal and professional life. My profits have increased dramatically, but that is not the only reason I am grateful to them.
Because of Sandler Training, I have:
- Become a better listener
- Learned when and how to give advice
- Learned the value of staying quiet
- Discovered how different communication styles make the world go ‘round
- Turned networking events and calls into real business opportunities
- Experienced how to get business without acting like a salesperson
- And so much more
I also know I will never stop improving these skills because I believe that the most effective personal and business communication requires lifelong learning.
Adrian’s Network combines virtual, phone, and in-person networking. In my personal experience with networking, the group is unique because of Adrian’s reputation and group norms. Members respond to my calls, even if on the surface, we have nothing in
common. People from
many different industries, even competitors, can call, email, and meet
each other face-to-face to discover who they know and how they can
As a public relations professional and web content writer, I have gotten significant business opportunities from Adrian’s network. My monthly spotlights actually get opened by a hundred or more people, out of several hundred members on Long Island and in
Manhattan. The group is also like a very extended family, in that people regularly ask for advice and referrals.
As an independent professional working for many different clients, groups are especially important to me. They make me feel more accepted and connected
in an increasingly disconnected world.