Help a FOCM Member Get Product Stocked at Walmart

I met Lisa Allred a couple of years ago. She created Tipsy Stixs, stainless steel cup and bowl holders for the beach, picnics and backyard parties. Tipsy Stixs are being considered by Walmart. Please show your support by voting for Tipsy Stixs at either of these sites:

The Power of Networking…continued

Submitted by FOCM Member Diana Sifford

Here’s a good story on the “power” of our network. This guy called me out of the blue, said that a mutual friend recommended me. He was targeting a Marketing Director position at the company where I worked and had already talked to 5 people who worked there, but nobody could really help. I was kind of at a low point in my own career, so decided that I should meet with him (thinking that helping somebody else could only make me feel better). I met with him at Starbucks and thought he could do the job. So, I told him that he was in luck as my office was only 5 doors down from the hiring VP (who also happened to be a former colleague & friend). Since the company has 40,000 employees nationwide and 7 different divisions just in my location, you can imagine what a big deal it was for him to find somebody who could really help get him connected to the right people. Long story short, I forwarded his resume and he got an interview with the VP. Came down to the wire and unfortunately he didn’t get it. But he was in the Top 2 and without my introduction, he wouldn’t have even got an interview. On the flip side, I was in the final interview stage for a new position, and he sent me examples of 30/60/90 day plans to help, since I had been asked to prepare one in advance of the meeting. His examples were a great help, and even though I didn’t get the job I thought the plan presented well. Plus I’ve made a great network friend!

Summary of July 27-28 2013 FOCM Meeting

On July 27 and 28, a subsection of the North Carolina Southern Beach chapter of FOCM met.
In attendance with Deb, Mike, Gayle, Wendy, Alicia and Keith. We dined on cheeseburgers, chicken sausages, corn on the cob, avocado salad and fine wine. The topic of Anthony Weiner’s troubles popped up and soon we were in full-on creative mode coming up with bumper sticker slogans and news headlines we’d like to see.
The brainstorming continued after dinner at Whiskey Creek Bar and the next morning at Freeman Park in Carolina Beach. A fun time was had by all.
We didn’t solve any business issues or find anyone a job lead but we welcomed 2 new members: Wendy and Keith. Sometimes networking is an experience which will later yield a benefit.

July 22 Networking Event Recap

A contingent of North Carolina FOCM members gathered last night at Edwards Mill Bar and Grill in Raleigh.
Seven members fought the traffic and made it.
Attendees: Marysasser Holloway, Andy Holloway, Gayle Grandinetti (arrived first), Mark Mickunas, Mike Burrows, Vince Hoefling, Mike Markowitz

The very reason to network was displayed: Mark’s son, an NCSU college graduate in Computer Sciences is looking for work. It was discussed that perhaps a position in Clinical Data Management would be a good start. Marysasser gave Mark the contact info for a recruiter at Clinforce/DOCS who works in that area.

Other networking value was provided as myself and one other are in job searches and needed to discuss several job offers.

Tina Fey – Business & Networking Consultant?

I certainly did not expect to find tips on business and networking in Tina Fey’s book “Bossypants”, yet there it is on pages 84 and 85.  It is entitled: The Rules of Improvisation.  Within these two pages are solid advice on how to socially interact with others.  The gems of wisdom are part sales technique, part interpersonal communication and how to succeed in business.  She says the first rule is: AGREE; by agreeing, you are respecting what your partner (target customer, new acquaintance) has created.  She points out that we all know people whose first answer to anything is no. As in, “no we  can’t do that, no that’s not in the budget.”

The second rule is to not only say yes, but to say yes, and.  This is good advice to follow in business or social networking settings; how to keep a conversation going.  Agree with something the person talking to you is saying and then add something to that.  It is your responsibility to contribute and add to the discussion.

The third rule is “Make Statements”. “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

The last rule is: “There are no Mistakes”, only opportunities.

The other ~280 pages of the book are very funny and witty and I highly recommend reading this book.

Proof of the Power of Networking

submitted by Alicia Kelley

I am living proof of the power of networking.

About 4 years ago, I found myself in desperate need of a job. I can
tell you, after being a stay-at-home mom for over 13 years, my resume
was anything but sparkling! A friend of mine insisted that Chris
Matheus could help me. She explained my situation to him and he
graciously agreed to meet with me. I had never met Chris before, but
after our meeting (which spanned from breakfast into lunch), he put me
in contact with a friend of his whom he thought could benefit from my
past sales experience. This friend had a small but growing company and
needed some help. With so many candidates to choose from, I was
actually in shock when I got the job! Clearly, I would never have been
hired if not for Chris and his extensive network of friends and
business contacts.

That job eventually led to an even more lucrative job at a reputable
company in the Research Triangle Park area of NC. (One good thing
leads to another.) It’s evident to me that without Chris Matheus’
help, I would never have the wonderful job that I have today and the
financial security that goes along with it.

You never know what opportunities await you through the power of
networking. Not only did I land a great job, but I made a lifelong
friend in the process… And for that, I am forever grateful!

How to Network

What has worked well for me is to make the most of any opportunity to attend a training session, course, seminar, conference or convention specific to my industry. While at any of these events, make it a point to introduce yourself to whoever you sit next to in the session and at lunch. During the conference breaks, I think one of the most important things to do is visit the exhibit hall. Make it a point to stop at each booth and introduce yourself and ask what they do and what makes their product/service unique. Be ready to give them a concise summary of your experience and responsibilities and exchange business cards.

Find out if there are local networking groups for your industry or interests. A few sources to utilize are: LinkedIn ( and MeetUp ( If there aren’t any, start one. An example: Wilmington, NC has 2500+ people employed by companies involved in pharmaceutical clinical research. Three industry acquaintances and I started the Wilmington Pharma/Bio/CRO Networking Group. We meet monthly, except in the summer and have 10-30 attendees each month. Its rarely the same group and others attend as they are looking for work or have moved to the area and want to know what is going on. It allows others to get to know you and you to know them and their companies. There is some truth to the statement: its not what you know, its who you know. While a friend or acquaintance may not be able to hire you him/herself, a recommendation from them helps your resume rise up out of the pile of resumes so that you can get an interview. You still have to succeed in the interview but getting to an interview is immensely helpful and increases your likelihood of getting the job.

The Power of Networking

Why network?

I learned the need to network firsthand through that great teaching methodology; personal experience.  I worked for 14 years for the pharmaceutical company BurroughsWellcome Co (it was my first job out of college).  I truly was blessed to have my first job be so ideal for me, my interests and my skill set.  Throughout the 14 years, I was able to take on different positions, giving me broad work experience while receiving excellent training helping me grow personally and professionally.   I expected to work there for a long, long time.   But when marketplace forces began to pressure the pharmaceutical industry, merges and acquisitions were no longer rare events in the industry.  In 1995, I was shocked to be laid off.  While engaging in my job search, I realized that virtually all my industry contacts were all within the company.   Those who kept jobs with the new company quickly became busy with their new roles.  Suddenly, those of us who were laid off were on the outside.

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