A Fine Network

Size matters.

Particularly the size of your network.

Not the wireless kind, like a TV commercial.  These days, the size of your business network can make all the economic difference in the world.

Fine Networking is a loose group.  For 16 years it’s provided peer support, training, client referrals and networking opportunities, all in a low-key, friendly atmosphere.

These days, new faces show up at each monthly meeting.  Fine Networking attracts small business owners, professionals, consultants, entrepreneurs, and people “transitioning” — voluntarily or otherwise — from the corporate world to out on their own.

Michele Albano, owner of Michele's Pies, spoke to Fine Networking about starting a new business. She's flanked by meeting coordinators Ed Fitzgerald and Bette Lynn Paez.

Ed Fitzgerald — an internet marketing consultant with Coldwell Banker — is a meeting coordinator.  The other day he fielded a call from a heavy hitter with a major firm.  Ed thought Fine Networking might be below the man’s level.  But the executive explained he’s planning ahead, to the day when he might have to forge out on his own.

Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of each month, from 9-11 a.m. at the Westport Library or Westport Country Playhouse.  They begin with 30-second elevator speeches from each attendee.  Then there’s a guest speaker, followed by networking time.

Tomorrow’s meeting (at the library) features Jan Wallen, author of Mastering LinkedIn in 7 Days or Less. Previous speakers have discussed social networking; surviving in a recession; utilizing library reference resources, and marketing.

Fitzgerald is Exhibit A for the importance of networking.  A speaker he invited soon became a regular member.  After opening a new business, the man outsourced some work to Fitzgerald.

For all its good work, Fine Networking has kept a low profile.  That may be changing, thanks to a new blog, outreach efforts — and of course the economy.

As for the somewhat generic name:  It’s not a value judgment.  Fine Networking honors its founders:  Former IBMers Networking for Entrepreneurship.

(For more information, call Ed Fitzgerald at 203-227-8424, or email ed.fitzgerald@coldwellbankermoves.com)

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