I recently spent time with the Principals of Trust Networking, Dave Kantelis and Stevie Samborsky, and discussed what makes their networking group special, and how they plan on commemorating their first year connecting with other networkers.
How did you create the idea for Trust Networking?
Dave: After years of networking, I was tired of what was out there. Everything had the same feel; I wanted more options for connecting with other business professionals. This is what sparked the vision behind Trust Networking. I wanted more events with quality networkers who were looking to pass business and build genuine relationships. My goal was to get back to old- school networking, while making it fun and feel less like a job.
When it came time to making this vision a reality, I wanted the organization to encompass my core values of networking. The name was created on the idea of what relationships are built on: trust.
What are your thoughts on the state of networking in the New England area?
Dave: Networking, as a whole, became different after Covid. Some networking groups have changed, while others made things more complicated for members. It seemed as though many professionals had similar complaints and restraints when it came to networking. There are networkers that are thriving currently and some that aren’t doing well because of the lack of resources provided by those organizations.
Some organizations haven’t adjusted to life after Covid and have limited their potential to grow. Networkers stopped settling for Covid-like networking; they need more than that.
Stevie: I think networking needs to make a comeback. Many people have adapted to connecting solely on-line, and are missing out on opportunities to build relationships, in-person.
Business professionals would benefit from several avenues of networking-like events, speed networking, and weekly meetings, as well as virtual meetings.
What obstacles were Trust facing in the beginning?
Stevie: I think the biggest obstacle Trust Networking faced in the beginning was finding the right people to help our startup. Many people seemed interested in the idea of a new networking group, but weren’t fully sold on how it would all work out. Once we had our launch meeting in June of 2022, the vision for Trust Networking became clearer for those interested. That’s when things started to fast-track and really take off.
Dave: The biggest obstacle we face currently is organically growing our organization. Not enough people know about Trust Networking just yet, even though our organization is steadily growing. The more people that know about us, the more we can grow.
How do you differentiate yourselves from other groups?
Dave: Trust is different from any networking organization out there. We offer focus groups, workshops, after hours, casual and fun events; we’re not focused on numbers. Group size and dollar amount passed is not our highlight. Our focus is value add. Each member, event, educational video, and workshop is strategically in place to add value. We want to add value to everything we do.
Stevie: Any organization can fill seats with people who want to talk business and make more money. We offer abundantly more than just that. This is not a networking money grab or numbers game. Trust focuses on creating high quality networkers through our educational resources, so they can turn around and help create more quality networkers.
How has the response been to your group?
Dave: We’re becoming a viable option for networking. Members are making money and building new connections. It’s awesome to be alongside individuals who want to contribute their skills and talents to help take Trust Networking to the next level.
What are your goals for the next 6-12 months?
Dave: Our goal for 2024, is to double in size. We want to expand our footprint across the New England area by adding more meeting locations and members. Another significant goal of ours is to add more value through events, workshops, speed-networking, and educational videos.
Stevie: I want to see Trust Networking surpass the goals we wrote down for 2024. With all the momentum we’ve built so far, in such a short period of time, I believe we can accomplish more than we anticipate.
Are you doing anything to celebrate the first anniversary?
Dave: We will be hosting an anniversary event this fall for members and any guests who’d like to learn more about us.
The anniversary celebration will be held on October 12th at The American Legion, in Attleboro (MA), from 5:00-7:00 PM. We want to make this fun and memorable, while also enabling guests to build connections amongst each other. Prepare for a night of open networking, speed networking, brief speeches, a charity raffle, food, and lots of fun.
Stevie: We want to celebrate by giving back to our members and community. We’re asking for toy donations as an entrance fee; in addition, we are hosting a raffle, with all the proceeds being donated to Toys for Tots. What better way to celebrate by throwing a party for our members, while also supporting this non-profit!
Is there anything else people should know about Trust and how can they learn more?
Dave: Networking has a definition, but it doesn’t have a recipe on how it should work. We allow our members to create that recipe and decide how to run their unique group. We’re not shoving a script down anyone’s throat; we want our members to have the opportunity to be proud of the script they created.
Stevie: The best way for people to learn more about Trust is by attending a weekly meeting.
Visit our website www.trustnetworkinggroup.com for meeting details, along with our calendar of events. We are also available by phone or email; those details are on our website, as well.
You may contact Dave at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 508-838-3323 for more details.