Vindicator Logo

Over 200 Mahoning Valley nonprofit leaders attended the Wean Summit

By William K. Alcorn

Friday, September 25, 2015

By William K. Alcorn


“Hello. My name is Maia Beatty. What do I need to know about you?”

That is Beatty’s greeting to everyone she doesn’t know, and, she says, a sure way to set the tone for virtually all networking occasions.

“Networking is not about you. It’s about how you leave other people feeling. To like you, they have to feel good when they are with you,” said Beatty, keynote speaker and workshop coordinator for The Raymond J. Wean Foundation’s Summit ’15 on Thursday at Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center.

“We look at the summit as a way to bring important nonprofit leaders together to share information and learn together. The wonderful work these people do is the most-important work in the Mahoning Valley,” said Gordon B. Wean, foundation chairman.

Building on feedback from previous gatherings, this year’s conference approached existing concepts with fresh perspectives and practical application learned in interactive, small-group learning experiences, said Jennifer Roller, foundation president.

Beatty describes networking as an interpersonal- relationship skill, which can be learned, where one finds, through conversations, people who are potential clients, people who serve one’s client base and people who are known, liked and trusted.

At a networking event, “your mission is to meet three to five people you want to spend 30 to 40 minutes with,” she told the more than 200 local nonprofit leaders who attended the Wean Summit.

Beatty, an author, leadership coach and Navy veteran, said a lot of people don’t like networking and don’t do it well.

And, she said, there are times when one should never network and times that are optimum for success.

The best time to network is the time of day when one is most energetic: morning or breakfast meetings, noon luncheons or evening events. Also, Beatty said, find the people who need one’s product or service.

For instance, she said, “I work with leaders. I go where they are.”

And finally, she said, “Wear what makes you feel amazing. People care how you feel and how they feel in your presence.”

People who attended the Wean Summit offered their feedback.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to learn skills to help grow our organization,” said Hope Haney, director of NAMI Mahoning Valley.

For Dylan Anders, a freshman in YSU’s Honors College studying business finance, attending the Wean Summit was an opportunity to talk with nonprofit leaders in the community.

“My advice to nonprofit leaders is to go where your people are, go at your best energy time and speak to and connect with three to five people you are going to want to have coffee with,” Beatty said.