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A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

We held our Entrepreneurs Wall Of Fame Awards on May 15th and it was an amazing event. We honored some very impressive individuals and their respective organizations.
  • Community Champion - Coach Rosa (Rosa Smith-Montanaro)
  • Leadership Award - Melanie DellaPietra
  • Entrepreneur of the Year - Jason Barrett
  • Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN Award - Lindsay Ward, MPA
  • Dave Young Dedicated Service Award - Melanie Watson
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us celebrate these accomplished honorees and thanks to the volunteers who helped make this event as successful as it was.

Special thanks to our Master of Ceremonies, Doug Emblidge.

In Memory of Bob Lewis

Bob Lewis was raised in Maine. He and his family lived close to Canada, and he was born over the border in Canada.

Bob was part of a large bilingual family, who spoke French and English. He continued to speak French throughout his life. In fact, he belonged to a French Club in Rochester, NY.

Bob attended the University of Maine, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in English Literature. He wanted to teach children, so he ended up coming to Rochester, NY to teach English at Brighton High School.

As a teacher, Bob had his Summers free and worked at Manpower. He ultimately left teaching and became the franchise owner of Rochester’s Manpower. After 32 years, Bob went on to start several of his own solo entrepreneurial businesses. Some of them were part of a franchise and some were businesses of his own. His last business was as a solopreneur, Entrepreneur Central, which allowed him to do what he loved, to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in small and medium-sized businesses.

Bob had a true joy of life, its experiences, and its knowledge. He was well-traveled, as evidenced by the pictures he had in his office and the variety of artifacts he had purchased along the way.

Bob was also well-read. He informed many of his friends and colleagues about different books, such as The E-Myth Revisited, which refers to the Entrepreneurial Myth. He would conduct informational sessions to discuss these books and help entrepreneurs understand different concepts of doing business.

Bob was an excellent networker throughout his professional life. His outgoing personality and sense of humor certainly helped him there! He loved having discussions with, and reading the works of, those who held viewpoints different from his own so that he could understand the other viewpoint better. Over the years he was a member of the Brighton Chamber, the Penfield Chamber, Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN), the Rochester Rotary, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and the Small Business Council (SBC).

During Bob’s time in RPCN, he was very active in several areas including:

  • Attending almost every meeting, such as forums, presentations, and sometimes even the RPCN Board Meetings
  • Writing for the Eastman Business Park (EBP) website during our alliance with them; in fact, Bob and I wrote an article about Wegmans, which was spawned by Bob’s active mind, titled, “Is Wegman’s Successful Because of Their Engaged Organization?”
  • Participating in the Enhancing Human CapitalTM (EHCTM) team, where Bob was one of five RPCN members on the team who researched a topic and then facilitated a once-a-month session on that topic.

Bob was well respected by other Rochester area consultants and business people. Through his involvement in Rochester Rotary, Bob was devoted to helping improve the Rochester school system and to mentoring students to overcome academic limitations and attend college.

Bob passed away on the morning of Saturday, May 4, 2024. He had been in the hospital for two weeks prior to his untimely passing.

Bob was a great friend, a man who loved lobster (especially from Maine!), and hosting dinner parties. He loved to share his sense of humor and joy for life. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues!

—Sandy Glanton, Michael Van der Gaag, and Dave Bassett

The Curse of Many Talents—Focus on One

You probably have a portfolio of many capabilities. When starting and marketing a consulting business, there’s a temptation to promote all your skills and expertise. You hope something on your list will catch a prospect’s attention. But, if you don’t focus on one skill, or a cohesive combination, you’ll confuse prospects about how you can help them fix their problem or achieve their goal. So, don’t show them a laundry list of your wonderful capabilities. Focus your talents.

Focus on your prospect’s needs

First, choose the service you’ll provide, and define the client value and benefits you’ll produce with that service. Then, select your target prospects, and develop a Marketing Plan to get their attention.

Consulting Business Description

This description can help you focus your thinking about your core business and give you ideas about what to promote in your marketing.


  1. Business Name: Strategic Nonprofit Consulting, LLC
  2. Type of Service: Strategy Development for Nonprofits. Facilitate and guide Boards and Management Teams to define their Mission, Vision, and Values. Then, help them to develop Goals, Strategic Objectives, Measures, and Action Plans.
  3. Types of Clients: Small-to-medium size Nonprofit Professional Organizations
  4. Problems to be Solved / Situations to be Improved: Unclear organization goals, lack of strategic thinking, declining membership, committees working at cross purposes, and reduced funding.
  5. My Value to Clients: Boards and Management Teams learn to work together to establish and implement a strategic foundation for their nonprofit.
  6. My Uniqueness: I have a deep insight into the challenges facing nonprofits with volunteer staff. I am a former Executive Director for a successful nonprofit. I doubled the donation funding of my nonprofit over three years. I increased volunteer membership from 100 to 180 over four years.
  7. Initial Marketing Methods: Business website, LinkedIn presence, networking at nonprofit business events, speaking at nonprofit conferences, volunteering for related nonprofit causes, and writing articles for nonprofit groups and publications.

Action: Use your Business Description to guide a client-focused, comprehensive strategy for your venture. Ensure that it all fits together. The most unusual consultant offering I’ve encountered was a consultant who offered advice for Financial Planning and Vegetable Gardening.

Your many talents don’t have to be a curse. Turn them into a focused blessing.

RPCN Membership and New Business Owners’ Updates

Membership News

Welcome to new member, Cathy Fleischer, of BigSky Technologies LLC - GreenShield Fabric Finish, and Lendal Paddles. Many event attendees have met Cathy as she participated in several sessions starting in mid-April. You should connect with Cathy on LinkedIn here, then meet and discover her vast industry experience.

New Business Owners’ News

We all know the challenges and strains that come with starting up a new business that impacts where and how we engage with our business community. Recently, several of our New Business Owner members have been able to continue marching forward with their mission and found value in keeping RPCN as part of their support system. Reach out to these members and discover their energy, persistence, and value that they give back in return.

  • Katia Chaban of Rethinkit Strategies Inc.
  • Jonathan Meagher-Zayas of Equity Warrior Strategies LLC
  • Todd Haran of Technology Commercialization Consulting
  • Kyvaughn Henry of KH-MPH Consulting

Use our consultant search function here to obtain their contact information.

—Tom Fecteau

RPCN Technical Forum

We begin our program year in July at RPCN. Due to that fact, we’ve been thinking of making some minor, or possibly major, changes to the Tech Forum.  As many of you are aware, our good friend and long-time Tech Forum Facilitator, Steve Royal, passed away in April.  Steve wore many hats here at RPCN, and no one person can try to fill all his RPCN roles, but I will be attempting to facilitate the Tech Forum moving forward.

Based on this change, we’ve been thinking about making some other changes to the Tech Forum.  The Tech Forum will still have as its primary focus on helping our members and guests get answers to their technology questions, but we’ve been brainstorming some ideas on how we might make modifications. We know that many of you that have been attending the Tech Forum through the years and you might have some great ideas for how we might bring more value to our community.

Seeing some of the ideas we’re considering, we hope, will spur some additional ideas from those who attend regularly or occasionally.  Ideas we’ve had include:

  • Starting the forum with a short update on technology in the news
  • Including a segment where our participants talk about the tech they’ve recently started using
  • Including a segment where our participants can tell us about the cheats, or life hacks, they’ve come up with to make the tech they use even more effective for them
  • Possibly having a “look back in time” segment where we talk about the technology we were using five, 10, 20, or X years ago and see just how far things have come in a fairly short time
  • Occasionally holding a presentation about a technology-related topic covering a large portion, or the entirety, of the time we have allotted
  • Having a theme to what we are planning to discuss in a particular month; e.g. one month the focus is on phone-related issues, another it is on laptop/desktop-related issues, and another the focus is on a particular type of software.

I’m uncertain whether we’ll incorporate multiples of these, or other, ideas in a single Tech Forum. If there isn’t a consensus as to what tweaks to make, perhaps we’ll rotate the “new feature” monthly or quarterly.

We’ll be cutting short the question-and-answer portion of the June 7th Tech Forum, to hold a brainstorming session about what changes people might like to see.  From there, we might send out a survey to the membership and past Tech Forum attendees or perhaps we’ll run with what comes out of the June Tech Forum.  Either way, expect to see changes starting at the following Tech Forum to be held on Friday, August 2nd.

We typically skip the July Tech Forum to accommodate those travelling for the holiday so, I don’t expect there will be a Tech Forum on July 5th.  Check our website to be certain.

At any rate, whether you can attend the June 7th meeting or not, we’d love to get your thoughts on how we might build on what we’ve had in the Tech Forum for the past 30 years.  Please send them to

—Dave Bassett

RPCN’s Work with Simon Vision Consulting Program

The Rochester Professional Consultants Network’s (RPCN) program of providing mentors to the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business (Simon) Simon Vision Consulting Program (Simon Vision) recently concluded our thirteenth highly regarded semester.

Simon Vision had 15 clients, three of which were various departments within the City of Rochester, this past semester. The 15 client projects were accepted and successfully completed.  RPCN had 14 mentors supply assistance to all 15 projects. One of our mentors helped with multiple teams rather than just one.

Simon Vision Background

If you are unfamiliar with Simon Vision, the program is an effort to increase experiential learning opportunities for Simon’s MBA and MS students. It is a student-run program that usually has 4-5 student members per team. Each team typically provides consulting to a local small business for 8 - 12 weeks which is one semester. In the semester that follows, Simon sometimes has another student consulting team take over the next part of the project for the same company.

Participation in the program is voluntary for the students and is not part of the regular Simon curriculum. In addition to the RPCN mentors, there is a faculty adviser who helps the students run the program.

Need for Mentors

It’s never too early for us to look for mentors for the next semester and we are looking for people to help as mentors this Fall.  We’re expecting there to be 12-16 projects in total. We would like to have at least that many mentors to help out. If you’d like to become a mentor, please contact me. My contact information is at the end of this article.

Need for Projects

We’re also looking for new projects for the Fall semester. If you, a client, or an associate have a well-defined project that could be outsourced, Simon Vision could be a great source to get your project completed. Projects are typically staffed with four to five Simon Vision consultants and a project manager. Ideally, projects in the Fall semester last about 10 – 12 weeks. Projects are vetted by the Simon Vision student governing board and the leadership of Simon Vision will work with you to define a project that can be successfully completed within these constraints.

If your project isn’t selected for inclusion in the Fall semester, don’t lose heart. It still could be accepted in the Spring semester.

The project can be any business problem. Simon Vision teams have successfully completed projects focused on marketing, business strategy, financial planning, operations, competitive analysis, and so on. Examples of completed projects include reviewing ways to decrease seasonal fluctuations in sales, developing a financial plan to solicit funding, and exploring new marketing channels. So, you can see that the projects can take on a wide variety of topics and the student teams work for FREE!

The new President of Simon Vision, Fadekemi Akindude, will give a presentation about the upcoming semester on September 13th, 2024 at one of our Learn from the Best Friday morning meetings.

If you are interested in having a Simon Vision Consulting (SVC) Project Team perform work for you, would like more information about the program, or if you’d like to volunteer to be an RPCN member mentor to a student team, please contact Dave Bassett at

Watch this video to see what we're all about.

Upcoming RPCN Events

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

Tech Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, June 7, 2024
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Client Acquisition Tips Exchange
Facilitated by Melanie Watson
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, June 14, 2024
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Deep Dive
Topic: TBD
Thursday, June 20, 2024
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, June 21, 2024
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, June 21, 2024
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

The Airstream Dreamer: The Accidental Podcast
Presented by Bruce Wayne McLellan
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, May 24, 2024
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Member News

Follow-Up to the Pen-a-Poem Contest Win

By Lawrence Berger

Greetings! In the March 2024 RPCN Newsletter, it was announced that I had won the 39th annual Pen-a-Poem contest from the Genesee Valley Penny Saver Magazine. As part of the prize package, I was to receive a featured article in the publication. That article was published in the May 10th, 2024, edition. You can review it at:

The article mentions a Literary Partners event at Writers and Books in Rochester, NY. That event is scheduled to take place on June 15th, 2024 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST. Here is the link to that event as well:

I hope to see you there. Have a great month!

June Book & Video List

  1. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin
  2. How to develop a strategy that wins in competitive markets, Growth Manifesto Podcast, by Roger L. Martin,  V533 | 16:9 | Audible Uploads, Amazon Income Hook 3 (
  3. Product Entrepreneur: How to Launch your Product Idea: Napkin Sketch to $1 Million in Sales by Chris Clearman
  4. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone
  5. The Path Made Clear: Discovering your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey
  6. Be the Spark: Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating customers for Life by Simon T. Bailey
  7. 50 Stoic Rules for a Better Life by Stoic Life Lessons
Mark Fling, RPCN President

ICYMI – Latest Recorded ‘Learn From the Best’ Now Available!

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), here are some of the recorded RPCN presentations that are now available online to Members:

  • Choosing Your Business Entity – Kristin Johnson and Emily Cohen take us through the various options for establishing your business as an entity, including DBA, LLC, Corporation, and more. There are always a lot of questions when making this challenging choice, and this presentation can help answer them for you!
  • 2023 Taxes Update – Our annual look back at the changes to the tax codes with Rich Newman can help set you up to make wise choices and ask better questions when preparing your 2023 return.

You can find links to these presentations and more, after you log in, here.

Dave Finger

Help Wanted!
Assistant Treasurer

We are looking for an Assistant Treasurer. If you have knowledge, experience, or a background in accounting, you would be an asset to the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN).   

The Assistant Treasurer would assist the Treasurer in preparing required periodic financial reports, a budget, an audit, and otherwise back up the Treasurer. Some knowledge of QuickBooks is helpful. Many consultants may have these requirements. Full training will be provided by the current Treasurer. This would be a way to use your skills and talents to aid RPCN.  

If interested, please contact Frank Crombe, RPCN Treasurer, 585-255-0837.

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. To submit a newsletter item, send an email with the announcement in an attached Word file to

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Sandra Glanton, Copyeditor

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

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.)
3. Articles must be submitted in Microsoft Word and must contain complete thoughts and sentences in paragraph format.

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