Makarios Consulting in the News

Successful Networking Means A Shared Experience That Benefits All

Region’s Business Philadelphia
Column by Rip Tilden
Posted on September 10, 2014
Original Article

Rip Tilden

Regions Business PhiladelphiaThe Philadelphia region is a place where companies and their leaders from varied backgrounds, coming from different parts of the country or world, can locate their operations in the northeast corridor to grow and expand their economic impact. With the excellence of our academic institutions and diversity of our workforce, we have a vibrant economic engine, robust opportunities for connectivity and a community dedicated to making the region a thriving center of excellence for commerce, innovation and high quality of life.

I am grateful to participate in this community through my own practice as well as from experience as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (GPSEG), an organization of over 1,350 members drawn from a broad range of industries and expertise, who are committed to helping their fellow members grow both as businesspersons and individuals.

Shared knowledge

At GPSEG, our goal is community building – lending our collective knowledge and networks to one another for career development and to strengthen the business community as a whole through educational and charitable activities as well as peer networking and engagement.

We began this mission over a decade ago, when our founder Constantine “Chris” Pavlides recognized the need for a more valuable networking experience for senior executives in the Philadelphia region. He started with a bi-weekly networking event he called The Power Networking Breakfast and under the motto “Networking for Life,” set out to help his colleagues and peers become more skilled and fulfilled members of the Delaware Valley business community. Today, we are proud to further his vision of what is now the largest C-level executive networking organization in the tri-state region.

One initiative our members take part in on an annual basis to further this mission is Temple University’s ‘Be Your Own Boss Bowl’ (BYOBB), an annual project of the Fox School of Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute. GPSEG members participate as mentors to budding entrepreneurs, providing the benefit of their business experience in the development of participants’ projects and also serving as judges to evaluate submissions. Last year, we helped recruit over 100 mentors and a significant number of the hundreds of judges reviewing the submissions. Roughly $225,000 in funding and prizes was awarded to a cadre of promising local entrepreneurs.

As we gear up for the coming year’s event, we expect even more support from our membership, as we believe it is a unique way to share senior business leaders’ expertise with entrepreneurs shaping our economic future.

Nurturing growth

In fulfilling our mission, networking for GPSEG means we encourage our members to help their peers solve business challenges, make smarter decisions and identify new opportunities to either grow or transition their careers.

Through educational meetings, networking events and regional business forums, we equip members with the tools they need to be successful by combining senior level business experience with the sharing of tools to respond to current economic and workforce realities. At our events, members share business contacts, insight, advice and encouragement, fostering constructive conversations and building relationships that allow for career fulfillment. As members share potential business and new opportunities, they do so understanding that successful networking starts with helping others and building mutual trust and support.

During a meeting of the GPSEG Entrepreneurial Circle in 2005, Dr. Janice Presser, CEO of The Gabriel Institute, gave a brief presentation on TGI’s business concept. At the time our organization had fewer than 500 members, but Mark Talaba – a new GPSEG member and former CEO of two software companies – was in attendance. Subsequent conversations at GPSEG socials and E-Circle meetings led Dr. Presser to invite Talaba to join her Advisory Board, and before long Mark was on his way to becoming a co-owner and Executive Vice President of TGI.

GPSEG played another key role in TGI’s evolution in 2012 when Ron Pirollo – a GPSEG member since 2008 – met Mark Talaba, and the two began talking about the technology’s potential to build better teamwork at the company where Pirollo was serving as CFO. Again, a strong relationship grew from conversations and introductions at GPSEG events until, just recently, Mr. Pirollo joined TGI as an LLC investor and CFO.

TGI did not come to GPSEG expecting these results; they came looking for ways to lend their expertise to peers in the hope of contributing to a stronger, more vibrant business community. In the end, they received the gift of idea sharing and relationship building, resulting in a successful venture.

This is a great illustration of the results when we adopt the vision of a more connected and mutually beneficial business environment, as bringing new ideas, products and services such as Teamability to the global marketplace makes our economy that much stronger. I am so pleased to be among so many business leaders who support philanthropic efforts, mentoring, and business collaborations as we share in making our region’s business community one that continues to inspire excellence.

Rip Tilden is a Partner at Makarios Consulting, LLC and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (GPSEG).