If you ask someone what they think about Toledo, Ohio the answers will vary greatly from “I love it” to “Never heard of it”. Living in Toledo my whole life this surprises me. I have never really thought that Toledo was the best place on Earth to live, but I never thought it was the worst. Unfortunately, many people, including some of Toledo’s residents do not think very highly of the area.
Things need to change. Toledo really is a great place to live, but until we can start changing the minds of it’s residents we won’t be able to change the minds of those living outside of Toledo. There are so many great things that Toledo has to offer so we need to start spreading the word and fast.
Earlier this month, Sunny Social Network hosted the “Get Connected” networking event at Costco in Toledo, Ohio. The goal of this networking event was to get area local business together to hear what is going on in Toledo and network with other local small businesses, while listening to some very motivating guest speakers.
*Event decor courtesy of ComplEvents.
After some mingling and refreshments, we were introduced to Matt Keersemaker who is the General Manager for the Toledo Costco. He explained some of the great charity work that Costco is involved with. Each year Costco donates 420 backpacks filled with basic school supplies to local children in need. Did you know that at least 50% of students are on a free or reduced cost meal program? That is just crazy!
85% of their employee base donates to the local United Way. How amazing is that? They are a very charitable organization and Toledo is so lucky to have them.
The first guest speaker was Aubrey Hornsby from Adams Street Publishing which publishes the Toledo City Paper and Toledo Area Parent. I was surprised to find out that Aubrey has lived all over in some major cities and now lives in Toledo. He is originally from Florida and has lived in Atlanta and San Francisco as well, yet he LOVES Toledo. Some may find this shocking (and I was one of those people).
Aubrey realizes the potential that is in Toledo. He is most excited about what the future holds for Toledo and what Toledo has to offer. He offered some great tips for being successful in Toledo, as well as anywhere you may be living.
Some of the tips included:
- Be persistent. Don’t take no as an answer.
-Create Relevance. Bring something new each time you approach someone about an idea, project, etc.
If you are anything like me, networking freaks you out. I know you may think that I am a very outgoing person, but I am not. I always feel very awkward approaching new people. Aubrey had some great suggestions
-Meet 1 new person. Find out something relevant about them and remember it.
- Don’t be conscious of the fact that you are networking. Just don’t think about it. Yes, it does seem hard, but once you stop thinking about it you really do become less anxious about networking. Try it. I did!
-Don’t lead with business.
-Make it all about them.
Next up was Toledo’s Mayor, Mike Bell.
No matter what your political affiliations are, you need to hear this man speak. He has a way with words that gets you all fired up. This was the first time that I had really heard Mayor Bell speak and it was great.
Mayor Bell LOVES Toledo. He wants it to be am amazing place and also sees the amazing potential that Toledo has. He has traveled internationally to tout the amazing opportunities that Toledo has to offer. People is such a great place to live and he wants the whole world to know it.
Did you know that crime is down 24% in Toledo? Those fun cameras around the city really have done an amazing job deterring crime. If the criminals know (and can see) you are watching they are less likely to commit a crime. The city is starting to move in the right direction.
One of the biggest issues that he sees in Toledo (and I am sometimes guilty of it) is the bad attitudes regarding Toledo. There are so many great opportunities in Toledo. We all need to just sit back and think about it for a minute.
Toledo is a perfect hub for commerce. We have roads that travel north/south and east/west, railroads, access to shipping ports and and unbelievable workforce. We need to start believing in Toledo and caring for each other. Once this happens the businesses will come and Toledo will thrive.
As I stated before, things need to change. Toledo really is a great place to live, but until we can start changing the minds of it’s residents we won’t be able to change the minds of those living outside of Toledo. There are so many great things that Toledo has to offer so we need to start spreading the word and fast.
Me and the amazing Kelly Palenske from Sunny Social Network with our game faces on! We are ready to make Toledo a better place, are you?
If you are a local business owner or employee be on the lookout for more networking events from Sunny Social Network. I will be promoting them here and on my Facebook page. You will not want to miss what is next!
*All photos copyright Holly Omlar – Oh! Photography