Log in

Log in


A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

RPCN Social - Favorite Local Restaurants for Take-Out or Delivery

Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 6.30-8 p.m.
Most small businesses have been hit hard during the COVID pandemic, and restaurants have seen many unique challenges through these many months. At our January social event, we'll talk about our favorite take-out and delivery restaurants and share suggestions of other ways we can support these entrepreneurs.

RPCN Social is a get-together to share thoughts, ideas, and get to know each other. Bring your own beverage and snacks, kick back, and enjoy each other's company!  Pop in for the whole session or just a few minutes.

30 Years of RPCN Success -
(What’s the Secret?)

RPCN must be doing something right. Since 1990, Rochester Professional Consultants Network has helped thousands of people start and build independent consulting businesses. We’re proud of the positive impact they’ve made on the Rochester community and beyond. Businesses, nonprofits, healthcare, education, government, et al, have benefitted from their work. So what’s the secret to RPCN’s longevity and success? It’s a unique combination of factors. Here are some of them.

1. Our Guiding Principles: Learning, Networking, Mutual Support

Learning: RPCN helps members develop and grow in their profession. All RPCN programs, whether educational, experiential, or informational, are aimed at developing entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills.

Networking: Most RPCN meetings start with participants introducing themselves, including their business, or business-to-be, or their career plans. This helps attendees learn about each other and identify people they’d like to meet right after the formal part of the meeting (or later). Our events usually allow some time for networking with each other informally.

Mutual Support: Members give each other pro-bono advice. They help each other when in need.

2. Multiple Monthly Meetings

For years, RPCN has held four “Friday” member meetings per month. These provide many opportunities for Learning, Networking and Mutual Support. All these meetings are open to the public. Also, we’ve held major events like Conferences, Business Boot Camps, Awards Dinners, etc. Recently, we’ve added more meetings like “Enhancing Human Capital” and social events like “Surprise Thursday”. During COVID19, we’re adding and experimenting with even more opportunities to get together on-line.

3. Forum Meetings

Two of the four “Friday” meetings each month are open roundtables. One Friday focuses on attendees’ business, or business-to-be, the other focuses on technology (phones, computers, internet, etc.). Anyone (including visitors) can ask questions of the assembled group who provide advice and insight for the questioner. The Forums are an example of Mutual Support that gives us an opportunity to learn from and about each other on a deeper level. As with all our meetings, we strive to “keep it light”, maintain a sense of humor, and have some fun. Members have called the Forums RPCN’s “crown jewels”.

4. Professional Diversity

RPCN members have a variety of professional backgrounds and skills: Business, Technical, Financial, Marketing, Management, Sales, Arts & Crafts, Music, Writers, Human Resources, Education, Nonprofit, etc. Members need not be consultants, they only have to join and pay dues. This mix of talents helps us understand and appreciate each other’s capabilities and needs. Likewise, RPCN readily welcomes members from all segments of society, regardless of gender, race, religion, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, et al. This inclusion also applies to RPCN alliances, program speakers, etc.

5. Dedicated, Member-Volunteers

RPCN is “all-volunteer” (no paid staff). Longer-term members, including many active past-presidents, provide structure and continuity, and help keep the organization financially sound. Volunteers often go “beyond the call of duty” to do the work of the organization. We encourage newer and younger members to get involved and bring in new ideas and methods.

6. Operations Team

Twice-monthly Operations (Ops) Team meetings enable the monthly Board Meetings to concentrate on higher-level priorities. The Ops Team helps coordinate among RPCN committees to get the work done. All members are welcome to participate in the Operations Team, and attend Board meetings.

7. Adapting

RPCN adapts to the changing needs and environment of our members, their clients, and the community. We conduct Member Surveys to understand their needs and desires. We’ve become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to enable donors to fund RPCN. Marketing seminars and RPCN marketing methods have evolved to exploit Social Media. One response to COVID19 has been to convert to virtual Zoom meetings. We’re still exploring how to enhance virtual one-to-one networking.

THE REAL “SECRET” of RPCN’s success is our people. They make it all happen. What ideas do you have for keeping the success going? E-mail them to me at

Here’s to the next 30 Years.

Bob Lurz

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Upcoming January Meeting - Educating Your Value Chain

Please join us for the next installment of RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital lunch-n-learn on Thursday, January 21 at 11:30 am via Zoom. Bob Manard will lead a discussion on how to make sure key members of your value chain have the information and skills they need to ensure positive outcomes for all stakeholders.  It starts with understanding yourself by knowing your own abilities and limitations, educating your customers about your offerings so they know how you can provide real value to them, and ensuring those who work with you have the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their goals.

To get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team at The luncheon is open to members and non-members alike, but please register as it will help us with logistics of organizing the Zoom meeting. To register, click here.

December Meeting Recap - Building Trust

We held another RPCN EHC Lunch-n-Learn on Thursday December 17 at 11:30 and discussed Building Trust based on Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits.” Fifteen people attended, including one non-member first time attendee. 

The discussion was lively and centered around trust and how to gain the trust of the people we interact with a special focus on Covey’s “Emotional Bank Account” (or Trust Bank Account). Much of the discussion was about what Covey considers the six major deposits to the Emotional Bank Account. (These are Understanding the Individual, Attending to the Little Things, Keeping Commitments, Clarifying Expectations, Showing Personal Integrity, Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal). A seventh major deposit was added – Exhibiting Vulnerability / Authenticity.

We also discussed whether, as Stephen Covey’s son, Stephen M.R. Covey, has anticipated, the COVID-19 situation may have amplified trust within organizations. Our general consensus was that in many ways Emotional Bank Accounts have been locked into place now that many opportunities for interacting with others have been reduced. However, it was suggested that the ‘interest rate’ on the deposits into the Trust Bank Accounts (that we hold with our coworkers, clients, and suppliers) have increased. It seems, therefore, that Mr. Covey is probably correct in his hypothesis.

Definition of “Deadline”
by Merriam-Webster

1: line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot.
2a: a date or time before which something must be done.
2b: the time after which copy is not accepted for a particular issue of a publication. on deadline or under deadline.

A Plea by Diana Robinson

I did not know, until I started to write this, that the word “deadline” originally referred to a line around a prison, and that if prisoners were seen to be beyond that deadline then they were fair game to be shot.

That does put a rather serious view of the word, I think.

In our day and age it is unlikely that defying a deadline would cause anyone to suffer such extreme consequences for taking that extra step… or that extra day… or, well, hmm… would they?

In the case of our RPCN newsletter, so far, members do not need to be in fear for their life when overstepping a deadline.

The fact is that we HUGELY appreciate those of you who take the time and make the effort to submit relevant material for the newsletter. Without you, there would be no newsletter, so thank you. Please keep on writing!

However, here is my plea:

Melanie and I (and I’m writing this without having obtained her pre-approval) are both business people. We have to set schedules. We have to keep our word to our clients. We have to be able to plan ahead in order to meet deadlines that WE have promised to keep. 

My plan is to work on material submitted for the RPCN newsletter from around the 18th to the 21st  and that after the 21st (or the 22nd if I received material late on the 21st) I will turn to other activities. Melanie’s plan is that after the 21st, when I will have edited out any grammatical glitches, she will work on designing the layout of the newsletter taking in mind the quantity and “shape” of the submitted material.

Please do not assume “Oh, just one running late won’t upset the schedule.” Perhaps you are right. Or perhaps two or three (or more) other people are thinking the same thing. Last month at least three articles came in after the 21st, two of them not even on the 22nd.

Please do not assume “My writing is fine, this can be passed on to Melanie with no editing so no delay.” The truth is that a piece that involves original writing and has zero grammar glitches is a rarity, although they do exist. (Thank you!)

So please, it’s not enough to remember that the deadline for sending in contributions for the newsletter is the 21st. That means nothing if you do not plan to honor it. It means nothing if you do not actually honor it.

—Diana Robinson

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

RPCN Podcast

To listen to an RBJ podcast in which RPCN's David Powe and Laurie Enos talk about our great organization, click here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

No meeting on January 1.
Happy New Year! 

Income Tax Outlook 2020-2021
Presented by Rich Newman
Friday, January 8, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Business Forum
Friday, January 15, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, January 15, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

EHC Lunch N Learn
Facilitated by Bob Manard
Thursday, January 21, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

RPCN Social
Thursday, January 21, 2021
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Simon Vision Consulting: A Mentoring Opportunity
Presented by Jason Zhang and Dave Bassett
Friday, January 22, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

RPCN Surprise Thursday
Thursday, January 28, 2021
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Did You Know?

Areas of Interest for Possible RPCN Programs & Workshop

Have you ever wondered how RPCN manages to offer a presentation or workshop on the 2nd and 4th Friday every month, even during the current pandemic? It ain’t easy!

So where do we find two different presentations month after month? Good question! We are fortunate to have Michael van der Gaag who, as RPCN’s Program Director, is responsible for finding presenters and coordinating dates, etc.

RPCN always needs more speakers. You may very well be a source of at least one of those. You might know of someone who might be interested in making a presentation to a subject relevant to consultants, or you might be interested in speaking yourself. It’s a great way to spread the word about you and your business (information only; no sales pitches).

There are several links on the RPCN website that take you to information about recommending a presenter or becoming a speaker yourself. Under Events on the main menu, you will find Call for Speakers, which provides several areas that might provide ideas for presentation topics. Under that, there is a link to Learn from the Best: Presentations & Workshops/Speaker Guidelines, which provides everything a speaker needs to know to make a presentation at an RPCN meeting.

When you’re ready for a speaker (or yourself) to tell RPCN about a new presentation there is a special form, the Program Information Form, that must be filled out to make sure that Michael has all the information he needs.

For recommendations and questions, there is a separate email address:

Your help with RPCN programs and workshops will be sincerely appreciated and might even result in business for YOU.

Steve Royal

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the March/April 2021 calendar ad sheet is February 19, 2021. Sign up for your ad here.

A note from our copyeditor:

Good day, RPCN members:

As you know, I “pre-edit” the RPCN newsletter before sending it on to Melanie, who puts the newsletter together. This note is just to help us keep things in order because the system sometimes becomes rather more complicated than it sounds here.

In order to help me to retain my sanity, and to avoid my stretching Melanie’s to its limits as well, would you please, if possible:

1. Get your copy of the newsletter to us as close to the 21st of the month as is possible. (It is much more efficient if I can edit them all over a short period.)

2. Put your name and “RPCN newsletter” in the subject line.

3. Make sure that the piece you have just finished writing IS the piece that you actually send us. 

4. Most of you are doing this, but please be sure to send it to

Many thanks,

Diana Robinson

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.



© Rochester Professional Consultants Network | All Rights Reserved
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software