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A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

Interested in Planning 2023 Entrepreneurs’ Awards Gala?

Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) began to conduct an Entrepreneurs’ Awards Gala dinner each year in 2015, the year of RPCN’s 25th Anniversary. The dinner was meant to enable RPCN Members to nominate both members and non-members who have contributed so much to our organization and to our members' growth and present the Awards at the Gala.

We have conducted six of these Award dinners thus far. All were in the Spring of the year, generally April, except for last year’s 2020 Awards Gala. That was conducted in October of 2021, due to the delays caused by the pandemic.

RPCN would like to conduct another Gala in late April 2023, but we need our members’ help. Due to changes in people’s business and personal schedules, two of our key Gala organizers and volunteers are no longer able to participate in the planning and execution of the Gala. Those two key people are Laurie Enos and Mary Sperr.

Laurie and Mary have been extremely instrumental in helping RPCN plan and carry out fantastic Galas in 2015 through 2021. Now we need one or two RPCN Members to chair the Gala and Awards planning teams. Other members sign on to help, but we need one or two people to be the focal points.

  • Would you be interested in being one of the two chairs, or the primary chair, for this task?
  • Have you been in charge of planning events in other organizations? Laurie and Mary have “set the stage” by at least setting some precedents for this event, so it isn’t like you would need to start with a blank slate.

If you are interested, please send a message to the RPCN Operations Committee. Thank you!

Three C’s for Consultants
(The Right Stuff for Consulting Entrepreneurs)

There’s no magic formula for success as a solo consultant, but certain characteristics help us survive and thrive: Capability, Character, and Courage. These sound pretty lofty, but let’s explore them with a practical eye.

Capability: It’s naïve to think that just being an expert in our professional specialty will propel us to consulting success. This expertise is just the minimum capability required. We must also become capable “business people” to enable us to practice our specialty. It’s wishful thinking that just putting up a website or social media profile, then waiting for the world to contact us will bring in business. (Perversely, the “world” might try to sell us something for our business).

Conversely, we must “get our hands dirty” and dive into the messy world of entrepreneurship, starting with Strategy, Marketing, Selling, Pricing, and Profits. Diving in means identifying target clients, assessing their needs, and putting our proposition in front of the right people (in ways that appeal and offer them value). Then, we need to be  “trial-and-erroring” until we find approaches that start bringing in sufficient revenue. Also, we must think about funding, record-keeping, accounting, taxes, and other mundane issues. Yes, we need the whole package of capabilities, even if we have to pay others to provide some of them.

Character: Well, of course, we’re of good character. We’re trustworthy, truthful, honest, above-board, and ethical. But, this means:

  • Delivering what we promise.
  • Meeting deadlines.
  • Providing what clients need (not what we hope they need).
  • Keeping clients informed of important developments.
  • Not accidently disclosing confidential client info.
  • Not “cutting-corners”.
  • Admitting we made a mistake.

Courage: What’s courage got to do with it? We must be able to:

  • Network: Step out of our comfort zone and introduce ourselves to people we don’t know (without being a “pushy-pest”).
  • Ask for referrals and testimonials (then follow up and use them to market ourselves).
  • Present our proposals and prices with confidence (and not be apologetic by word or mannerism).
  • Ask for a price that we’re worth.
  • Renegotiate price if “scope-creep” occurs.
  • Take a “loss” (within reason) when we’ve underestimated our time and effort for the project.
  • If necessary, inform clients that they personally are the cause of a problem (and how they might solve it).

Consider these “C’s” as they relate to your business, and look for ways that Capability, Character, and Courage can improve your performance. Can you think of other “C’s” that are “The Right Stuff“ for consulting entrepreneurs?

Bob Lurz

Blogging for RPCN

RPCN has two areas where its blogging is shared.

  • One has been an ongoing alliance with Eastman Business Park (EBP) since 2016. Various RPCN members have written blogs on many different topics to share with EBP management and their tenants. We share our blogs through the publicly available EBP website blog and their tenant portal.
  • The other area where the blogs of RPCN members are shared is on the RPCN website itself. We have been working on this area of the website for some time, and we could use some help to post the blogs that RPCN members have already written. Would anyone like to help the RPCN Blogging Committee (chaired by Sandy Glanton, with Steve Royal and Bob Manard as members) post the completed blogs on the website? Please message the Blogging Committee.

As far as contributing blogs themselves, there are suggested parameters on the RPCN website for the EBP blogs. They are available here.

The parameters for the RPCN website blogs are slightly different. We allow more words, but require a smaller non-copyrighted image to accompany the blog. Those parameters are available here.

You may also check out the types of blogs that have already been submitted to EBP by looking here.

Please consider writing a blog to our Alliance Partner, Eastman Business Park (EBP), or posting to the RPCN website. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and also highlight your skills and talents. Submit your blogs to Thank you!

Did You Know? 
Have Questions about RPCN? Use the FAQ’s

Have you ever had questions about RPCN such as:

  • Who are the RPCN members?
  • What kinds of consulting do they do?
  • How can RPCN help me decide whether consulting is the correct path for me?
  • How am I possibly going to learn how to set up my own business?
  • What is RPCN all about? How can it help me?

Here’s a question we all ask,

  • Where can I learn about marketing my new business?
  • In addition to information learned at presentations and forums, what skills and experience can I receive?
  • What does it cost to be a member of RPCN?

These are just a few examples of questions asked every day about RPCN. There are many more. They can be found by clicking on “About,” then scrolling down to “FAQ.”

Try it. You’ll most likely learn something about RPCN you didn’t know before.

Also, if you are looking for a specific answer that is not listed, and you want RPCN to know about it, CLICK HERE to ask for your question to be added to the FAQ list.

Steve Royal

From the Librarian,
Ruth Balkin

Market Research – what is it and how to do it.

As we return to discussing market research, let’s start out by reading this article on one form – surveys. We’ve all been asked to fill out surveys, but there are many different kinds. Read the following article, written by Sara Rubinstein, of  Greenwald Research.

Making the Most of Mail Surveys

Questions, format, design, cost. Review the key components of effective mail surveys and find tips on how to reach respondents through the mail for optimal research results.

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Last Month's Lunch-n-Learn

At our May 19th EHC Lunch and Learn session, we explored what is needed to cultivate a “learning organization.” John Batiste (retired Major General, US Army, and Partner at Batiste Leadership), has identified the creation of a learning organization as a key success factor for leaders. We began with a discussion of why we need a learning organization, using the acronym “VUCA’ – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. We then dove into the attributes and tools that we need in order to lead learning organizations while placing particular emphasis on our own personal organizations.

We concluded with a review of a unique way to measure our learning organizations called “Organizational Yield”. The group overwhelmingly agreed that this is an important topic that deserves more attention in our future Lunch-n-Learn sessions.

Upcoming Lunch-n-Learn: May 19
The Entrepreneurial Plunge

Mention the word “entrepreneur” and people’s images pop into mind. For folk in Rochester, it could be Tom Golisano or George Eastman. Or, elsewhere, Steve Jobs or Walt Disney. We all know someone who is the personification of entrepreneurship. Having spent most of my adult life as an entrepreneur and worked for and with countless others, I’ve learned there are more than just a select few. The traits exist in each of us, some more, some less.  Today, “entrepreneurial” describes a skillset and mindset characterized by innovation, creativity, calculated risk-taking, and empowered staff.

In our next Enhancing Human Capital Lunch & Learn discussion we will explore how it can be applied to any company. This session will be presented by Bob Lewis.

RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital Lunch-n-Learns are held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month beginning at 11. Please join us for the next installment on July 16, 2022. Our program starts and 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m. To get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team.

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

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

Technical Forum
Friday, June 3, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Practical Workshop - Your Favorite Apps
Presented by Dave Finger
Friday, June 10, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: Understanding our own day-today entrepreneurship
Thursday, June 16, 2022
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
Friday, June 17, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, June 17, 2022
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Being in court - What does it mean? How does it work?
Presented by Jere Fletcher
Friday, June 24, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

RPCN Looks for Shared Space

The RPCN Capital Committee is turning its focus to finding shared space to call home for the next few years. While we continue to raise money for a permanent location, these are some of the criteria we need now to branch out from COVID lockdown.

  1. Space – must be able to accommodate larger meetings.
  2. Parking – must have parking (25 spots or more would be ideal, but not mandatory)
  3. Internet – must have strong internet service.
  4. Ability to charge fees – must be able to charge a fee to non-members.
  5. Hours – must be able to conform to our early, 8 a.m. schedules.

If anyone knows of an organization or business that might accommodate our non-profit group, please pass on this information to the Capital Committee.

Member News

From member Lawrence Berger:

April is National Poetry Month in the United States of America and as some of you may know I do business development consulting and I've worked with the entertainment industry. Many of you may not know that I’m also an award-winning poet, and yes, I earn a good deal of money from consulting with poets and taking part in poetry events. This Past April, I placed in the top five of the Book Manuscript contest for the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival based out of Alhambra, California.

In addition, Spectrum Publishing picked up my piece entitled “Once, Twice, Here We Go Again” for their Spectrum 31 Well Done edition. My Student, Mary Mayer Shapiro also had her piece entitled “Wishing Well” accepted for publication.

Also, I got my very first $5,000 payment for a presentation to a client. I just raised my presentation fees from $750 to $4,000 and they gave me $5,000.

One other thing that happened to me in April 2022 was that I received a referral to Jeyren Main, Editor-in-Chief of Review Tales Magazine based in Canada. She did an awesome review of my book “Instant Poetry (just add words!)”. It's in its third edition and available everywhere but this is my first publicity outside of the USA! If you have a book of your own please let me know and I'll send you her contact info. You can read the review here.

Finally, I had a couple of pieces that have been chosen to be published in Scenes of Southern California Vol. 2: The Poetry of Places anthology coming out from Four Feathers Press. Click here for information and details.

Thanks for all the support! 

Melody Masters Big Band Gives Concerts on "Love, Healing, and Hope™©"

The Melody Masters Big Band, directed by RPCN member Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes, performed a one-hour free concert on April 28, 7 PM at the Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Rd, Rochester, NY 14626. It was co-sponsored by the Greece Baptist Church and Jazz 90.1 radio.

The audience enjoyed music by Ellington, Jobim, Mobley, and Nestico as well as works by local composers Tom Davis, Dave Rivello, and Howard Rowe. The church pastor, Steve Gretz, and his wife Leslie Lee, a highly regarded professional folk music duo, performed "Immigrants" with Brandon Arva, flutist. Click here to learn more about Steve and Leslie.

The band adapted to COVID health safety updates, and to keep everyone safe the audience and musicians wore masks, the band used instrument bell covers, and the band sat apart. The band's relaxing concert with just the right music provided a little more love, healing, and hope, which still is needed today.

The Melody Masters Big Band will perform a similar repertoire around the same theme on June 23 at 7 PM for the 2022 Fairport Library Gazebo Series in Kennelley Park, Fairport, next to the Erie Canal. In the case of inclement weather or for more information please go to or or call the Perinton Recreation Info Line at (585) 425-1170.

The band is one of only nine community bands performing for the 2022 Rochester International Jazz Festival (RIJF). The Melody Masters performs on June 25 at 6 PM in the enclosed Big Tent. Both the Fairport Gazebo and RIJF are free, one-hour concerts. More about the Melody Masters Big Band can be found here.

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

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.

New members:
Laura Canne

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 July/August 2022 calendar ad sheet is June 22, 2022. Send questions and ad copy to Mary Sperr.

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.

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