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  • 13 Nov 2018 10:55 AM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    I want to take a moment to truly thank our Veterans who have served both home and abroad. We are so blessed to have people who sacrifice of themselves to protect us and our American values. What an example to follow, to put others first and not ourselves. I hope you have taken the time this week to thank a veteran for serving our country. May God Bless you for your years of service to the USA! As we think about this time of the year, being Thankful is something that we all need to all keep at top of mind. We live in and work in a great country and a terrific local community. Thanksgiving is one of those holiday’s where you really have to make sure you take time to let people know how much you appreciate them, co-workers, friends, family. I am sincerely Thankful for the MABA Board, what a great group of professionals who take the time during their busy work schedules to meet and strategize on how we can keep making MABA better and better. I am truly humbled and thankful to be able to lead such a great group this year. We hope you’ve benefited from our meetings, socials and opportunities to get involved this year…And… if you haven’t, talk to a board member today about what you can do to help you do business with more members!

    We had a great final member meeting at City Limits this month. We heard some great information from Chaz Carrillo from Holt/Dimondale Insurance Agency on some important notes to take on growing your business policy as your business needs change over time. Great job Chaz! Our updates and announcements really hit on so many things MABA members are doing throughout the community. As always it was terrific to hear some great testimonials and to meet some awesome visitors. I am thankful that we have had so many visitors this year turn into MABA members! That is truly something to be thankful for, we are so close to our goal of 135 by years end. Will we make it? Will you help keep inviting people?

    We voted on our slate for new Board members and I would like to welcome and congratulate Ryan Larsen as a first time Board member and Jennifer Bennett as a second term Board member.

    Our December Holiday meeting we make the move to the Community Room at MSUFCU Mt. Hope and Farm Lane location. This is a meeting YOU don’t want to miss. Enter at the Community Room Door as it opens at 7:45 am and once you check in we hope you come hungry as we celebrate…We have Dusty’s catering a nice breakfast for you and a chance to network and meet folks that perhaps you haven’t seen in a while. We’ll have a welcome from MSUFCU and we’ll get to hear from SBAM and the many benefits you automatically get as a MABA member. We are also so excited about the Grants we get to award some worthy non-profits as well as hand out some annual awards to some very deserving folks. I also look forward to giving you some details from our annual report. Of course there will be time to network and connect with folks! Remember to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Haslett Food Bank to help those who are hungry in our local community.

    In addition to being your MABA president this year, I am an Executive Sales Representative with Liberty Mutual Insurance. I’m going on my 14th year selling personal auto, home and life insurance to all kinds of individuals, several of whom are MABA Members. The professional development I have been able to attain by joining MABA over 9 years ago, and serving on the board these past 5 years really have helped me professionally in areas of leadership, attention to detail, and organizational skills. Thanks to my involvement with MABA it has helped me opened doors to so many other great opportunities in my work and personal life. This Thanksgiving, I hope you take some time to appreciate your MABA Membership, and make it a point in the coming weeks and months to invite other professionals to join you in the journey, encouraging them, to use the website among other tools, to take advantage of opportunities to make yourself known and get to know other friendly people in our area, to JOIN US and become an active MABA member. Come on and Keep on joining us and I look forward to seeing you soon as we seek to always…DO BUSINESS WITH A MEMBER!


  • 02 Nov 2018 2:54 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    Happy belated Halloween MABA! Hope you had an exciting time and fun time with your co-workers, friends and families. We hope you have kept MABA at the top of your mind when it comes to doing business with other members. The website has the directory so be sure to go there if you are looking for a profession to work with and even post jobs open at your company on the job board. It can really be a great place to learn about what is going on in the area. Check out the video on the home page from Matt Sloan with Graff Chevrolet. He explains why he belongs to MABA, check it out!

    We are excited for the upcoming MABA awards as well as see who is going to be awarded this year’s philanthropic grants. If you haven’t voted for the Awards please do so as the deadline is today! We’ve listed the many new members on the front page of the website as well, please make it a point to introduce yourself to someone new. With 130 members as of last count we are 5 away from our 2018 goal of 135…we can get there! We want to plug people in, those who are new, those who have been around awhile…there is something you can be involved in to keep MABA on top of mind when it comes to doing business in the area. The board gladly welcomes your feedback so please continue to reach out with your thoughts, questions or ideas.


  • 19 Sep 2018 1:10 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)
    Summer is just about over and we are getting into Fall everyone!!! We are excited for all the MABA activity going on the area. We had a terrific time at our 1st Annual MABA Social Picnic, thank-you so much to the Social committee for putting a fun and enjoyable event together. It was great seeing many of you return to our Friday Monthly Meeting from those fun, Summer activities over the last couple months. If you missed it, we had a really great meeting, plenty of time to network and our Sponsors, Shumaker Technology Group, gave us a deep dive into their company and the many services they offer. Feel free to visit their website www.shumakergroup.com to learn more.


    As I mentioned at the meeting, the board voted to move our 2nd Friday of the month meetings to the MSUFCU Community Room at Mt. Hope and Farm Lane starting at the December meeting. We are excited for the change of venue and believe it will be a value to you and for guests being more central. More details and communication to come as we get closer. I mentioned board elections are coming up and one area we really need to find someone willing to learn from Carl Wesolek our current Treasure to take over the roll for him. We also have leadership positions that do not require you to serve on the board such as serving or helping lead a committee such as Marketing, Membership, Finance, Social, Communications and more. We want you involved so be looking for more communications on how you can get plugged in. If you have an idea remember to fill out the comment cards or send a board member an e-mail with your idea. We are always trying to listen to your suggestions. See you soon as we look forward to our October/November meetings, 2nd Friday’s at City Limits.  


  • 22 Aug 2018 8:49 AM | Tom Conway (Administrator)
    We are excited to be involved in so many activities in the Lansing area. If you haven’t checked out the events page on the MABA website please do so often as there is always something to get involved in. We had a great member meeting in August featuring our sponsor Deb Moreland with FirstLight Home Care of Greater Lansing. They really do some amazing things in the community and for folks who need assistance. Talk with her to learn more about what they can do for you in caring for your loved ones both young and old. It is great to learn about what area businesses are doing and involved in. We hope to continue to make MABA that great place to get the word out about activities, charitable events and other things going on that members are supporting and participating in.  


    I am excited to announce that starting in December, our 2nd Friday of the month meetings will be held at The Community Room at MSUFCU’s Mt. Hope/Farm Lane location. More details about that will be coming out about that in the coming months. We are certainly appreciative of the time we have been able to hold our Friday meetings at City Limits these last few years.

    We look forward to seeing everyone at the MABA Picnic and meeting your families. We hope it will give some an opportunity to get to know other MABA members and make a friend in the process. While “Do business with a Member” is our motto, it helps to get to know some of your members outside of a regular meeting or networking setting. This gives you the membership the opportunity to get to know members at a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Thank-you to the Social committee for their work in putting this event on and for continuing to think of creative ways for members to get together and interact. We look forward to seeing you in and around our community either at a MABA social event, Ribbon Cutting, or any other networking meeting going on. Remember…always think first to…Do Business with a Member!


  • 13 Jun 2018 2:08 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    Momentum. This word conveys so many things and can help us understand what is happening around us. I like the English Dictionary* definition, “the force that keeps an object moving or keeps an event developing after it has started.” It also mentions an example that once you push it, it keeps going under its own momentum. The momentum of the golf club hitting the ball should strike it so it keeps moving straight toward the hole…hopefully…for some, not so easily done.

    When I think of MABA this word, “momentum” keeps coming to mind. We have truly gained momentum over the last view years and certainly over the last few months. Our last several member (2nd Friday of the month!) meetings continue to draw a great group of regulars and many guests, many of whom have joined us as members! Our meeting sponsor, Kris McVicar with Citizens Bank, provided us with great information about their services and education on how student banking works. The networking time and opportunities to do find ways to do business with a member continue to be of value and we hope you are taking advantage of it.

    Momentum continued to grow with the Golf Outing last week where we had a record number of golfers, lunch attenders and money raised for philanthropic grants we plan to give out by the end of the year. Thank-you to co-chairs Jennifer Bennett, Tom Hamp and the whole committee who did an outstanding job running and organizing the golf outing. We had several first time sponsors and golfers who did great in our no pressure-fun-relaxing-best ball format. If you missed it, make it a priority to join us next year.

    All I can say is keep the Momentum going! Keep making MABA a priority in your business and in your weekly schedule. Visit the website, what is going on in the weeks to come. Keep sharing your ideas with a board member, fill out a comment card or post a note on MABA Chat so we can continue this positive momentum and the value we strive to bring to all MABA members. Stay involved this summer and I hope to see you at the next event! As we say on the baseball field, “Let’s do this thing!”

    Kevin R. Damesworth

    MABA President

  • 31 May 2018 3:59 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    5 Most Common Networking Mistakes

    1. Lack of follow-up

    Not following up after networking tops our list of worst networking mistakes. Most people have made this error because they get caught up with their other responsibilities. It's an innocent blunder, but not following up is not only a mistake but also counterproductive. You'd be better off NOT networking in the first place than you are networking and not following up with the people you meet. (Yes, it's that bad.)

    Remedying this mistake is all about putting a system in place so you form a habit after each networking event you attend. It's like packing your gym bag the night before -- doing so sets you up to make it to the gym the next morning.

    2. Unclear unique selling proposition

    Ineffectively presenting your business and its value -- the unique selling proposition (USP) -- is detrimental because people need to understand what you do in order to successfully pass business your way. You can attend the all networking events you want, but if no one understands what you do or the services you offer, then you're wasting your time -- and it's one of the most common mistakes business professionals make. A properly constructed USP can go a long way to curing your networking blues.

    We recommend your USP follows a simple formula:

    "I work with [target market] to help them [benefit]."

    Brian's unique selling proposition is succinct and direct: "I help busy entrepreneurs market their business in less than 90 days." That formula leads people to ask not just Brian but also anyone else using the formula, "Well, how do you do that?" The unfolding of the conversation naturally leads Brian to discuss his business and what makes a good referral for him.

    3. Confusing networking with face-to-face cold calling

    For this mistake, we need to start with a discussion of the difference between networking and cold calling. Networking is all about relationships and, more specifically, developing them to the point where a reciprocal referral relationship exists. Cold calling is about volume and, more specifically, is about making as many calls as you can, in the hope that "something sticks."

    People get into trouble when they insert a cold call approach in a networking environment. At an event, they immediately try to "work the room" in an effort to meet as many people as possible in hopes that "something will stick." Hence the term, face-to-face cold calling.From

    If you find yourself trying to talk to everyone at a networking event, you might want to reevaluate your overall approach to networking. Remember, networking is about relationships and getting to know people. It's about asking good questions and finding out how you might be able to help each other out. And most of all, it's about developing a rock-solid foundation where future business can be generated. That's how you network like a pro.

    4. Not responding quickly to referral partners

    This mistake is particularly troubling because we find the very idea of not immediately responding to a call from a networking partner bewildering. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with some regularity.

    Treating each of your networking partners as one of your "best clients" is critical. You should always return phone calls from these people immediately, as it speaks to your credibility and reliability as a professional.

    There have been countless examples of people receiving referrals at networking groups who go back to their places of business and finally get around to contacting the referral in a few days. The old phrase "If you snooze, you lose" is apropos here. Time is of the essence, and if the referral knows you had her name and number on Monday and took your sweet time calling, that sends a message you don't want to be sending!

    5. Abusing the relationship

    There are many ways that we've seen networking partners abuse the relationship, but the following story is one of the most glaring examples of this situation.

    A woman we know was invited to attend a 50th birthday party of an associate who used to belong to a networking group in which she also participated. They'd once had a long-term working relationship, so out of respect, she decided to attend.

    When she got to the door, she looked through the window and noticed that people were arranged in a semi-circle listening to a presenter in front of an easel board. When she stepped in, it was obvious that the "party goers" were being recruited for a business opportunity. As resentful as the woman felt, she and other mutual friends found it difficult to remove themselves from the "birthday party" despite the fact that the only refreshments being served was the company's diet shake!

    Never, ever mislead your networking partners. Trust is everything in relationship networking. Inviting these people to a "birthday party" that turns out to be a "business opportunity" isn't being honest with the people with whom you want to build a trusting relationship.

    If networking hasn't been working for you, see what adjustments or changes you can make in your style and approach based on these five mistakes and their suggested course corrections.

    Our collective experience lets us happily share that once you iron them out, the world of referrals and mutually beneficial relationships will beat a path to your door.

    The following excerpt is from Ivan Misner, Ph.D. and Brian Hilliard’s book Networking Like a Pro. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

    Brian Hilliard

    VIP CONTRIBUTOR

    Bestselling Author & Client Acquisition Coach


  • 29 May 2018 2:19 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    10 Ways to Network Like a Pro

    You've always heard that networking is everything in the business. From gaining job opportunities to bringing in business for your company, networking is the key to success. 

    Even though many people know that they should be networking, most don't have the first idea of how to get started. Luckily, following these 10 steps you can become a networking pro. 

    1. Keep Business Cards at All Time

    It doesn't matter if you're only heading to the convenience store for a fill-up. You never know when you're going to need your business cards, so keep them with you all the time.

    2. Brag a Little

    There's nothing wrong with bragging a little about your accomplishments or your company to get people interested.

    3. Never Forget a Face (or a Name)

    Try to remember everyone you meet. Look for physical qualities that catch your attention, such as a tattoo, so that you can remember people. Try word games and mnemonics to remember names. I normally tag team with someone else and we help each other remember names. 

    4. Use Social Media

    You should be on all of the major social media sites, and you should be using them regularly. Network with everyone in your industry that you can, and post frequently so that you stay on everyone's minds.

    5. Network with Everyone

    Networking Pros know that looks can be deceiving and that everyone is valuable in some way. Network with everyone that you meet, not just those who you think might be interesting.

    6. Be Friendly

    Don't walk around with a bad attitude. You want people to remember you for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Be friendly to everyone you meet. Along with helping with networking, you'll find that it'll improve your life for the better in other ways, too.

    7. Get Excited

    Be excited about what you're talking about when you meet someone. "Blah" is boring, and nobody remembers boring.

    8. Attend Events

    You can't network if you're stuck in the house or the office. Attend industry events. Attend community events. Get out there and meet people.

    9. Make Plans

    Concrete plans are more likely to actually develop into something. When you hand over your business card, don't just tell someone to call you "sometime." Tell them to call you tomorrow, or next Tuesday.

    10. Give Yourself a Trademark

    Make sure that there is something about you that will remember. Wearing a signature color or a statement piece of jewelry, for example, can make you stand out.

    By Rhett Power Head coach, Power Coaching and Consulting

  • 16 May 2018 2:18 PM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    If you are like me you have a calendar that fills up pretty fast this time of year. Besides MABA I coach youth baseball, serve at my church, spend time in my car (trying to avoid construction), cut my grass, play golf and basketball, spend time with my wife and kids, attend meetings, and of course meet with people to help them with their personal insurance. Some days I go from one activity or meeting to another. In fact, both personal and business activities tend to go one right after another and can often intermingle.

    That word mingle in Webster’s dictionary means, “To move freely around a place or at a social function, associating with others.” Also, “to mix or combine, or be mixed or combined.”

    I’ve heard people say, “I’ve made some great friendships because of the relationships I’ve built over the years through MABA.” One of the big values of MABA is just that, providing opportunities, events, and committees you can participate in and be involved in to get to know people. Our meetings, socials, ribbon cuttings and partnership marketing activities are ways for you to mingle and see what happens, whether it be for personal or business reasons or sometimes…both! An avenue for you to get out of your comfort zone of your office or home and shake a hand and introduce yourself. You never know what can happen. That’s the really fun part of MABA, you never know what you will learn, hear about or be introduced to that can have a lifetime impact to your personal or business life or both!

    Combine Fun and Business, mix excited people with great events. Get plugged in! There is so much going on, go to the website and learn about how you can get out and mingle and learn about the great people and great members of MABA. We are excited for the new folks who have joined us and have jumped right in. I look forward to shaking your hand at a mingle and finding ways we can help each other or help make an introduction for another member.

    Always keep this at top of mind, mingling helps you…DO BUSINESS WITH A MEMBER!


  • 23 Apr 2018 11:25 AM | Tom Conway (Administrator)
    We have a lot of exciting things going on at MABA, and for sure to mention, a really great monthly member meeting we had! Being out and about, meeting with friends and business associates…making connections with people throughout the community…Doing Business with a Member is what it is all about. We are anxious to hear your stories of doing business with each other and how our meetings, events and resources are a value to help you meet people. At the meeting our Table Talk time featured…”Come See Me About…” were everyone got to share what they wanted people to see them about today. There was a lot of business card trading and talking going on which was exciting to be a part of!

    Also, some great testimonials were shared at the MABA meeting this past Friday so just a reminder, if you gave a testimony, take a few minutes to write it down on the MABA website under the Testimonials page for all to know the great product or service you received! We want to hear about the great things that are going on with MABA members new and old!

    Speaking of being out and about we are excited for the next MABA Social coming up May 16th. We had a good turnout out at the last one, we truly want to have these available to people to get to know each other and connect with members at different times and locations. We also have the annual MABA Golf Outing coming up June 8th so get your team registered and if interested sponsor a hole and even if you have not golfed before come on out…participate, come on and give it a try…it’s a fun 9 hole outing. Or just come to the lunch for some great networking…more details to come on that but sign up at the website. As mentioned in the last newsletter...MABA is indeed the premier networking group to belong to. Don’t miss out, stay involved and invite other professionals to what MABA has to offer. What a great deal MABA is for everyone!

    Kevin Damesworth

    MABA President


  • 15 Mar 2018 10:22 AM | Tom Conway (Administrator)

    From the President…

    March is here and hopefully along with it springtime and sunshine! After being snowed out in February it was a truly exciting and energetic member meeting this past Friday with an outstanding presentation by Gita Mahabir at Mahabir Wellness. It was a fantastic example of a sponsor sharing though visual presentation, handouts, products to see and touch, and review…all the ways to refer to her and do business with her company.

    Along with that, we had a great time learning about what is going on in the Meridian Area from a development standpoint with info provided by Chris Buck, Meridian Twp. Economic Development Director as well as Captain Greg Frenger from Meridian Township police on some of the things the police department has been dealing with. We had over 10 first time guests and the goal was shared that the Board has a goal for members to help grow MABA to 135 Members by years end. A very attainable goal I feel one that could be accomplished and perhaps exceeded sooner than later…the sky is the limit! But we need all members to get involved and be engaged in talking about MABA and inviting, inviting and more inviting guests to MABA events and activities this year. Hope to see you and a guest on March 27th at Henry’s place for our MABA Social! We handed out the Contact/Invite Cards at the meeting and have plenty more of them to provide you to hand out to a business professional who is looking for our group here in the Meridian Area.

    Also, I encourage you to use MABA.biz as your go-to source for info, engage and write on MABA Chat, write up your Testimonial for another MABA member, and put your own business Promotion on the webpage. At the meeting, Rememberà put your info/promotion on the MABA member table. Help explain to new members and those who are learning about the value that MABA brings…a place to build relationships that enable business to be done and testimonials to be shared for the process to repeat over and over again. During our Table Talk time, we spent time coming up with a MABA 30 second commercial. Your MABA board will be reviewing and going over them to see how to best use them in the future. There were a few of them that we thought really got to the heart of what MABA is all about…

    • MABA Is: Developing quality relationships with local professionals while building up the greater Meridian community. We focus on doing business with each other. We make it easy with once a month meetings and low cost, that makes the value unbelievable. Come check it out!
    • MABA is a place to make connections, meet new people, market your business and get expertise on what you need for your business.
    • Are you tired of going to other meetings where you just sit and listen? Let me tell you about a group that doesn’t do it that way! MABA is Meridian areas premier networking group! Grow your business through monthly interactive meetings. Get to know other local business and feel more comfortable giving and getting referrals!
    • MABA Serves as a real-world LinkedIn – helping you develop a human network of 2nd and 3rd level of direct referral sources. Save yourself the search and get linked in at MABA!
    • MABA Provides you with the opportunity to build your business resources. It encourages you to grow your network by connecting with your community resource pool by being in the know through testimonials shared and a comfortable setting to do business with a member.

    We encourage your involvement and feedback. If you have another version you would like to share or expand on, please visit MABA Chat on the website and share that with the board so we can continue to unpack and promote these many great reasons why MABA is indeed the premier networking group to belong to. Don’t miss out, stay involved and invite other professionals to what MABA has to offer. What a great deal for everyone! 


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Meridian Area Business Association

MABA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization
P.O. Box 234, Okemos, MI 48805
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