• About

    This group's mission is to generate business for its members through highly qualified referrals. Independent of national organizations, the membership fee is modest, just sufficient to support meeting costs, development and targeted charities.

    New members are welcome to attend meetings held weekly on Thursday 7:30AM-8:30AM at Timothy's, Danvers, 225 Newbury Street (Rt One North)
    Danvers, MA 01923

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Multi-Generational Workplace Issues and Marketing to Millennials

IBN Workshop

 Multi-Generational Workplace Issues and Marketing to Millennials

The Topic: Understanding Workplace and Marketing Issues Across Generations

Enterprise Center at Salem State University


Join us on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 from 8 – 10 AM for a two part workshop on:

  • Achieving Synergies Through Understanding Multi-Generational Workers
  • Effective Marketing to Millennials

Generation Xers and Generation Yers (Millennials) are an increasing component of the workforce. Consequently, it is important for executives and managers to understand the characteristics of each generation and develop strategies to ensure an effective blended workforce. In this session we will discuss the characteristics of each generation and provide examples of strategies, through a panel discussion, that help address the differences between the generations with regards to values, work habits and communication styles.

Effective Marketing to Millennials requires different approaches than what has worked in the past both due to the advances in technologies and the decision process used by the Millennial generation to make purchases. Again the session, through a panel discussion, is designed to discuss the specific approaches that can help develop successful marketing programs for Millennials.

Bring your own thoughts, questions or concerns about these topics to this workshop and the panelist will endeavor to address them based on their experiences. We look forward to seeing you there.

IBN Presents Shark Tank II: Peabody DECA vs Danvers DECA

IBN Presents Shark Tank II

Shark Tank II
Danvers DECA vs Peabody DECA

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

This promises to be another exciting evening as three DECA teams from each rival school present marketing ideas and compete for cash awards. Six guest judges from local businesses will evaluate each team’s presentation for creativity and innovative plans. Only one school and team will triumph.
Shark Tank Judges:
Gayle Piraino, President and Owner, GAP Promotions in Gloucester
Dave Seymour and Peter Souhleris from Flipping Boston
Pam Hulbert, Plum Consignment in Beverly
Arthur Carakatsane, Attorney in Middleton
Chris Keohane, Wenham Tea House in Wenham
Seating is Limited
6-7pm, Appetizers and Music
7-9pm, DECA Presentations and Awards
Eventbrite - Shark Tank II: Danvers DECA vs Peabody DECA
Route 1 North
225 Newbury Street
Danvers, MA 01923
Sponsored by:
Innovative Business Networking
[design by Rose Russo]

IBN Presents Shark Tank: Danvers DECA vs Peabody DECA


Innovative Business Networking presents

Shark Tank
Danvers DECA vs Peabody DECA
 Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
This promises to be an exciting evening as three DECA teams from each rival school present marketing ideas and compete for cash awards. Three IBN judges and two surprise quest judges will evaluate each team’s presentation for creativity and innovative plans. One school will triumph and the highest scoring team will win an additional cash award.
Shark Tank Judges:
James M. Sears, Attorney at Law (IBN member)
Michael Sobus, Ph.D., Business Coach (IBN member)
Sara Littlefield, Owner, BrightStar Care (IBN member)
Kelly Delaney, Owner, Cakes for Occasions
Kelly Cragg, Owner, Danvers Indoor Sports
Seating is Limited
6-7pm, Appetizers and Music
7-9pm, DECA Presentations and Awards

Eventbrite - Shark Tank: Danvers DECA vs Peabody DECA

Route 1 North
225 Newbury Street
Danvers, MA 01923
Sponsored by:
[design by Rose Russo]

Press Release – Business Financing Essentials


“Three Secrets to Business Financing” Presented By IBN

MIDDLETON, Massachusetts (May 4, 2013)- The Innovative Business Networking (IBN) Group is hosting an informational seminar called “Three Secrets to Business Financing” on May 15, 2013 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Teresa’s Italian Eatery in Middleton, MA.  The event features presentations by local business leaders.

The presentation will include essential information needed when approaching a lender, including how to get lenders on your side, when to apply for loans and what common mistakes to avoid. The speakers will be available to answer questions following the presentation.

The speakers for the event are:

Joel Francois: President of Francois and Associates, a local debt relief agency. Joel helps local small business owners reduce and eliminate unsecured debt. Joel is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor (CPFC) as well has a Certified Debt Arbitrator (CDS). Joel has also worked for credit card banks, law firms, debt buyers and debt settlement companies.

Stephen T. Vesey: President of Vesey and Weeks, PC, located in Danvers, MA. Steve is also a Certified Valuation Analyst and a Certified Business Exit Consultant. His firm not only provides conventional accounting services, but Business Valuations and Transition Planning as well.

David Egan: Vice President, Commercial Services Officer for Metro Credit Union. Metro Credit Union is one of the largest Credit Unions in the state with 14 branch locations throughout the greater Boston area including Peabody, Salem and Lynn, MA. He has over 15 years experiences helping small business owners find solutions to their financial needs. Dave has held positions in commercial lending, Business Development and Branch management within the financial industry. He was previously Vice President; Small Business Lending Officer for TD Bank in the North Shore region, David’s expertise is in commercial Real Estate, Small Business, and SBA Loans.

The event is sponsored by the Innovative Business Networking (IBN) Group. IBN is a group of business professionals who offer a range of different services, located on the North Shore. Their members come together to build relationships and provide resources through a cooperative of local business leaders. IBN members regularly share their experiences and knowledge through community seminars, scholarships and special events.

To find out more about IBN or this event, please call (978) 818-8328(978) 818-8328 or visit our Event page.



A Night Out With ‘Talk To The Hand’ at Laurie’s 909

Last night my wife Patti and I went to a little restaurant on Tuttle Street in Wakefield called Laurie’s 909 to see a very good friend Sarah Littlefield perform in a great a cappella group called  “Talk to the Hand.”  Sarah and I are friends, business associates, and members of the Innovative Business Networking group. The show was great, which of course was no surprise, however I was pleasantly shocked by the pristine quality of the food, the ambiance, the staff, and the people we met at Laurie’s 909.

The owner, Laurie Rizzo, made sure to accommodate Patti’s gluten and dairy intolerance and her business partner, Bob MacFadgen, made sure that we were enjoying both the setting and the food.

Patti and I started with a nice martini, accompanied by oysters from their raw bar. We then had the crab cake appetizer (full of crab meat and perfectly spiced), followed by a seafood misto soup that was loaded with mussels, shrimp, little neck clams with a tomato and linguica sausage base.  It was fantastic!  Afterwards we enjoyed a spinach salad with old fashioned bacon bits, red onion, goat cheese, and homemade vidalia onion vinaigrette that was amazing.  This was all accompanied by a reasonably priced Cabernet called “Uppercut,” I think my friends at Title Boxing Club will appreciate that.

We will absolutely go back.  The atmosphere was nice, just loud enough but not too noisy, small but comfortable.  We took a while deciding on what to eat because there were just enough of the right things to choose from with choices including fillets,  salmon, fried food and more.  We would give it an A!

Patti and I own Phil Richard Insurance and Sarah and her husband Chris own BrightStar Care in Danvers. I am so proud of Sarah for putting on a great show. I want to thank her for a night of great entertainment and for introducing us to Laurie’s 909. It is through events like this that we can truly see how valuable local business networking can be.


Patti & Phil Richard and Sarah Littlefield

Patti, Phil, and Sarah at Laurie’s 909 for Sarah’s performance!


Phil with Sarah and the other members of Talk to the Hand

Phil with Sarah and the other members of Talk to the Hand

[Previously published on the Phil Richard Insurance Blog]

Hitting the New Year Hard – TITTLE Boxing Club

We hope you had a wonderful New Year’s and are ready to embrace all 2013 has to offer! Have you made any resolutions? We have. In an effort to better serve you, we’re working on improving ourselves and our office in every aspect. From a brand new state of the art management system to charitable giving we are bettering our office in hopes of fine tuning our procedures and ourselves to provide you with better service. We believe that one step in doing so involves getting fit and healthy.

In 2012 our office had the pleasure of meeting Ken Greer, owner of the newly opened TITLE Boxing Club in Danvers. Phil and members of our staff have been working out at TBC Danvers for over a month now, and we LOVE it!  You can learn more about TITLE Boxing here:  www.facebook.com/TBCDanvers.

TITLE Boxing Danvers is having an open house this weekend, Sunday, January 6th, and we want you to come! You can learn all about the Power Hour workout and see what it’s about for FREE! It is absolutely the best workout available, we can’t say enough about it! Show your support for a local small business and burn up to 1000 calories at the same time! We encourage you to take 2013 by the horns and try something new! Phil and some of our staff will be there sweating it out and we’d love to see you! You might think it’s weird to workout with your insurance agent, but like our logo says, we’re making insurance personal.

Where and When:

TITTLE Boxing Club

29 Andover St. (Grassfield’s Plaza)

Danvers, MA 01923

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Showcase Class FREE

12:00 PM Kid’s Boxing and Conditioning FREE


[Originally posted by Phil Richard Insurance]

Black Friday and Christmas Shopping Tips

[This post previously appeared on the author’s company blog]

The key to avoiding excessive credit card debt and a date with a Massachusetts bankruptcy court is of course to spend less money for your Christmas shopping. To maintain control of your finances, avoid excessive borrowing on your credit card and try to pay for everything immediately.

And since the Christmas season is a time when many of us are tempted to overspend and borrow, taking advantage of the manifold of Christmas season bargains can be a highly effective means to purchase great presents and avoid credit card payments you cannot afford.

One way to save money is to take advantage of the numerous sales offered on Black Friday, the day immediately following Thanksgiving. Black Friday gets its name from an accounting term. The phrase ‘in the black’ describes a profitable firm. Since Black Friday is traditionally regarded as the start of the busy Christmas shopping season, merchants hope this period will result in a profitable year, thus the name ‘Black Friday.’ Numerous bargains are available on Black Friday, but expect to wait in line, as it is among the busiest shopping days all year. Crowds can be avoided by shopping online during the busiest times and you can still take advantage of the day’s sales.

To take advantage of the Black Friday sales, start by purchasing a few newspapers on Thanksgiving Day or a few days before to view the ads in advance. Many will be jammed with advertisements. Sometimes it can help to bring the ads with you when shopping, especially in stores that offer a lowest-price guarantee, so you can show it to the sales clerk. And read the sales ads carefully, as some price reductions will require the item to be purchased during specific times, such as before 8:00 a.m., or are only available until supplies last. Often the stores will open extra early, some even starting at 4:00 a.m. or earlier. Due to Massachusetts blue laws, none will be open on Thanksgiving Day. And you can avoid the Massachusetts 6.25 percent sales tax by heading up to New Hampshire where there is no sales tax. Take Route 93 north to Salem, New Hampshire and you will be surrounded by stores, especially on Route 28. Same goes with South Nashua off Route 3 on Daniel Webster Highway.

And try to compare prices with other stores. Often the big box stores such as Wal-Mart or Target will be cheaper. And with the internet, comparing prices can be done at home with sites such as PriceGrabber.com.

But if you really plan, you can save even more by taking advantage of the sales that occur throughout the year. Often prices can be even lower than they are on Black Friday, especially on items that can sit around for months, including kitchen appliances, watches and toys. So to keep out of debt and bankruptcy, be diligent about looking for bargains and only buy what you can afford.

Happy shopping.

Joel Francois is General Manager at Francois and Associates, a Massachusetts based debt relief company helping local consumers take control of their credit and personal finances. Visit www.mylocaldebtrelief.com to learn more.

Avoiding Snow and Cold Temperature Related Workers Comp Claims

The first snow storm and cold temperatures of 2012 will undoubtedly bring with it a few workers comp claims. Employers are liable for workers’ compensation benefits to an employee who sustains a snow or cold related injury while working.   Although employers may have no choice but to send employees outside in the winter, their health and safety should always be a priority.  Many snow and cold related workers compensation claims can be avoided with proper equipment and some common sense.


Un-shoveled or icy pathways can lead to slips and falls by employees.  Make sure walkways, steps and entrances are properly cleared and maintained.   Keep adequate supplies of ice melt and sand on hand and spread frequently.

Before asking any employee to shovel snow, make sure that they are healthy and capable enough to do so. Too many people suffer heart attacks while shoveling snow.  Some at-risk work populations face even higher risks in the cold.  These include older workers, workers who have predisposing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension, and workers who are taking certain types of medications.

Lifting snow can also cause serious back injuries. Have employees wear back braces for added support.  Always assign multiple employees to void having only one worker remove snow for a long period of time.   Provide employees with plows, snow blowers and ergonomic shovels.

Hire professional snow removal companies to perform the work and eliminate the risks of snow related injuries.

Cold Temperatures

Employees who are exposed to cold temperatures are especially susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite and other cold exposure injuries.  Train employees on OSHA’s Cold stress equation so they can take preventive actions or quickly recognize the symptoms and take corrective actions

If employees are exposed to outside winter conditions for long periods of time as a requirement of the job, think about issuing them or supplementing the cost of coats, gloves, boots, ear protection, and hats.

Allow employees to take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.

Salt, Salt, Salt……What’s It All About!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans released in January recommend shifts in food consumption patterns, encouraging individuals to eat more of some foods and nutrients and less of others. One of the “eating less” recommendations is to decrease sodium intakes. Due to health concerns associated with our current high national intake of sodium (averaging about 3,400 mg/day but much higher in some populations) sodium intake recommendations have decreased. The guidelines maintain their previous recommendation of no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day – about 1 teaspoon of salt – for most people, but now recommend reducing intakes to 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day – about 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt – for people over age 50, and those of any age who are African-American, or who have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, including children who fit these criteria. Remember not all of sodium comes from the salt shaker; approximately 75% comes from food we commonly eat.  Be sure to check food labels and portion size.

The reduction in sodium will require a gradual approach to changing consumers’ dietary choices. Some suggestions to start decreasing your sodium intake are:

  • Taste food before salting it. Lightly salt food only as needed, not as a habit.
  • Use herbs, spice rubs and fruit juices in cooking in place of salt.
  • Prepare food using little salt or fewer high-sodium ingredients. For example, skip using salt in cooking pasta, rice, cereals and vegetables.
  • Check food labels comparing like items and choose lower sodium foods. Also watch for “low-sodium”, “sodium-free” and “no added salt”.
  • Eat fresh lean meats, poultry, fish, dry and fresh beans and peas, unsalted-nuts and eggs, all of which contain less sodium.

Ursula Whitney, RD LDN, is a registered, licensed dietitian with a nutrition counseling office in Danvers, MA. Visit www.northshorenutrition.com to learn more.

7 Characters of Killer Marketing in the Connected World

Probably most of us have heard of the 4 “P’s” of marketing:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place

Today’s Marketers believe that there is much more than the traditional 4 “P’s” required for Killer Marketing, the kind of marketing that literally compels the prospect to buy.
The 4 “P’s” don’t leave much consideration for the environment and the community in which the marketing happens.

7 Characters of Killer Marketing

Meet the 7 Characters of Killer Marketing

With our increasing connected world, Killer Marketing requires a more social feel and that is where we meet the 7 Characters of Killer Marketing.

  1. Cognizance
  2. Clarity
  3. Confidence
  4. Consistency
  5. Congruence
  6. Coherence
  7. Community

Meet Cognizance, the first of the 7 Characters of Killer Marketing. Every business person needs Cognizance, or awareness, in their marketing so that they can take advantage of the white-hot moment.

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