October 3rd Meeting

Welcome to the website for the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network, a network of “movers & shakers” who are speakers, marketers, authors, small business owners, coaches, and entrepreneurs. Below you will learn details about this month’s key speaker., and off to the right side of the screen, you’ll learn about where we meet and how to get there to our monthly Saturday morning meetings. All of your questions can be answered on our FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Click the REGISTER NOW link below to tell us you’ll be attending. Attendance is FREE if it’s your first time.

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8:00 – 9:00 AM NETWORKING


Mike ShelahThe 12 Unbreakable Laws of Linkedin

(and Why Breaking Them is Costing you Customers!)
with Linkedin Consultant Mike Shelah

In 2011 Mike discovered his passion, helping people maximize the value of LinkedIn. Before that, Mike had over ten years’ experience as a technology sales rep for different telecom and technology companies. Originally from Westchester County, Mike moved to Maryland in 1991 to attend UMBC. In 1995 Mike met his wife Denise. Together they live in Westminster MD with their teenage daughter and 10 year old son. When Mike is not helping others (or networking) he is a passionate Baseball & Football fan. To make sure Mike delivers the best value to his clients, Mike spends an hour each day reading books to educate, motivate and train others.

Learn more about Mike at www.MikeShelah.com or contact him at (443) 808-1670.

Get more details at http://www.meetup.com/Hartford-Springfield-Speakers-Network



with Douglas “Clydesdale” Comstock

Goal setting is easy; goal achievement can be yet another story. If you want achieve more while living with a greater sense of vitality, passion and purpose, excavate your inner champion by increasing your mental toughness. Doug will share applicable stories and lessons he has learned from his mentors that will help you on your personal as well as business journey.

Learning Objectives:

  • Six simple, yet sequential steps needed to achieve any goal.
  • Mental toughness training techniques to help you stay laser focused.
  • Switching from “limited” track thinking to mentally tough “desired” track thinking.
  • Craft a story that others are willing and excited to pay for.
  • Learn how mental toughness can provide you with a competitive advantage.

Douglas “Clydesdale” Comstock is regarded as an authority on the topic of mental toughness. He is an award winning speaker, inspirational storyteller and coach on the topics of high performance, excellence and mental toughness.                  

Comstock is a former Alaska “Deadliest Catch” Commercial Fisherman where he worked comstock bookoff the waters of the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak and Aleutian Islands. Doug was caught in forty foot seas for 48 hours in the Shelikof Strait an area with the highest rate of “non-returning sea vessels” of anywhere in the world.  Doug is a Three- time Ironman triathlon finisher, two on the grueling lava fields of Kona Hawaii. He is a 3rd Degree Black Belt and former team member on the US Intersport Karate team to Russia and Poland.

In August 2015, at age 60 Comstock (after two years of training) will attempt a solo swim crossing from Dover, England to Cape Gris-Nez, France across the famed English Channel regarded as the Mount Everest of open water swimming. If successful, he will be one of only a few in the world, over the age of 60 to complete the swim.

Comstock is the founder of “Getting to Goal” Seminars, Speaking and Coaching; delivering high performance coaching and speaking programs to aspiring individuals as well as corporations in the area of mental toughness, sales performance. As an entrepreneur, Comstock includes among his client list; Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Mick Jagger, Willi Nelson, Harvard Business School, Xerox, Hartford Insurance, McDonalds and hundreds more. Comstock has been featured on NPR, Fox News, Huffington Post, and Hartford Courant and many more.

Doug can be contacted at DC@GettingToGoal.com or 860-970-3250 www.GettingToGoal.com




Learn how to use the 5 Principles of Marketing to have greater sales success

Every small business owner tends to struggle with two things: Marketing and Sales.

  • How do I get more people to find out about what I do and how do I get them inspired enough to contact me?
  • How do I sell my product/service at the price I want, versus losing the sale?

There are 5 foundational marketing principles that are used in every marketing medium.  If you are not making use of them in your networking, direct mail, email campaigns, website, speaking engagements and any other type of marketing,  you are not achieving the success of marketing and sales you could be.

In Frank’s presentation you will learn how to put into place your Strategic Revenue Cycle so you will always have new and repeat business.  Frank has taught these marketing principles to Fortune 500 companies, as well as, sole proprietors.

“These principles are not hard, at all, they just need to be focused upon and used consistently.“   - Frank De Raffele

About the Presenter

Frank is a New York Times Bestselling author and has had 5 books published with 3 more fanks bookin production.   His most recent book, Business Networking and Sex: Not what you think!, which has been translated into Chinese was an Amazon.com #1 Best Seller in 9 different categories.

He is a Founding Partner of Hudson Valley News Network.Com (HVNN.Com).  HVNN.com is the premier news agency for the Mid-Hudson Valley area of New York. Frank created and hosted the syndicated, Entrepreneurial Excellence Radio Show.  The show achieved the #1 ratings in listenership in each market it was aired.

Frank has been a successful entrepreneur since his sophomore year at Syracuse University.  He started two companies while attending college and immediately after graduation he founded his television and video production company in New York City.

During that time he started Video Fitness, Inc. and grew it to a national company.  After expanding his products to over 135 store he then sold the company to a large sporting goods manufacturer when he was 27.  Frank now does business internationally teaching small business owners and sales professionals how to earn more with less time and effort.

Frank is considered a Master Speaker and speaks professionally throughout the world. He has received many awards and the honor of being named in the Top 40 Speakers of Europe Club and his presentations have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Chinese and Japanese.  Frank’s speaking has brought him across the United States and to Canada, India, Kuala Lumpur, Japan, Hong Kong, London, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Kingdom. He spends over 100 days a year speaking around the world.  He has been speaking professionally since 1990 and his client list looks like the Fortune 1000.  He is known as a dynamic, funny and content driven speaker. Visit Frank’s website: http://www.frankderaffele.com




People spend thousands of dollars on books, programs and seminars in pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. In reality, there is no single secret. In fact, there is a very simple five-part strategy for creating a“magic life.”

Drawing on examples from around the world, Nana Danso outlines this extraordinary, yet simple strategy for setting and achieving goals. The insights are based on 12 years of research and the techniques that magicians use to create magic.

Seeing and experiencing magic in our lives is a choice; achieving goals and attaining high levels of success is also a choice. In this presentation you will receive tangible, practical tools and mind-shifting techniques for:

  • Achieving your financial goals
  • Exhibiting peak performance in your job
  • Gaining the confidence of magicians without knowing a singe magic trick

About the Presenter

Nana Danso is an author and award-winning speaker who teaches audiences how to set and achieve goals in their personal and professional lives, creating what he calls the “Magic Life.”

Danso Book at 15 percentNana has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and more than 15 years of professional experience in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries. During this time, he has equipped men and women worldwide with the skills to ultimate job performance and life fulfillment.

As a keynote speaker, Nana impacts the lives of people through his interactive, engaging speeches, seminars, internet presence and action-driven programs. He is the author of Real Magic: Breaking Through the Illusion of Successand the creator of several inspirational audio programs.

Nana is also a professional magician. Many of his insights on practicing your craft and believing in yourself come from his experience as a magician and his study of the psychology of magic. Learn more about Mr. Danso at THIS LINK.



Your expertise is valuable…IF you know how to market it!

Jim Bouchard launched his speaking business from a folding table to a nationally recognized brand. In Marketing Your Mastery, he shows you how to use the same techniques to promote and grow your business…ANY business, from a pizza shop to a global retailer with Expert Position Marketing! 

Cash in on your expertise to promote and grow your business. Turn loyal customers into sensei-leader-3d-cover-white-bkg-275rabid promoters. Earn trust and establish credibility in your market. Become the “go-to” source in your market niche.

“I’d like to help you promote and grow your business the way I am- and if I can do it…so can you!” ~Jim Bouchard

Jim transformed himself from a two-time college dropout and drug addict to a Black Belt, speaker, author and entrepreneur. When he says “If I can do it, so can you,” you can take that to the bank! Learn more about Jim by clicking THIS LINK.

Get more details at http://www.meetup.com/Hartford-Springfield-Speakers-Network


heather hansen oneill headshot 2“Extreme Leadership”
with Heather Hansen O’Neill

Do you dance to a different drum?  Do you have an internal voice that pushes you forward?  Do you know that greatness is within you?  Extreme Leadership shows you how to use your unique differences to stand out.  You will learn specific steps to cultivate creativity, expand your awareness, and lead with power.  This is not for the faint of heart.  This is for the leader that is courageously looking to breakthrough. 

  • Lead by example with a basis of integrity 
  • Lead with innovation to stand out in your field 
  • Lead in a way that draws clients to you like a magnet 
  • Lead your team to connection, collaboration, and commitment
  • Lead in a way that contributes to something bigger than yourself

Whether you are a solopreneur, lead a small team, or lead a company the skills from Extreme Leadership will help you step outside your comfort zone, define your goal, and take the actions necessary for extreme success.


Heather Hansen O’Neill is an award winning speaker and author presenting to organizations and corporations on leadership, team development, and change management.    For over 18 years Heather’s company has helped clients from entrepreneurs of new businesses to Fortune 100 companies improve their relationships and lead more effectively in a rapidly changing corporate environment.

She has helped her clients create deeper more meaningful relationships in sales and customer service resulting in increased customer loyalty and overall profit.  In addition, the work she does to enhance understanding within and between departments has shown a better flow of productivity as well as higher ratings in employee satisfaction.

Heather is a:
•   Certified DiSC facilitator
•   Author of Find Your Fire (Morgan James, 2011)
•   Author of Teams On Fire!  (Rock Star Publishing House, 2013)
•   Certified Corporate Success Coach
•   Host of Community Forum TV show
•   Guest expert on NBC, ABC, the CW, and FOX
•   Columnist and feature article writer for several regional and national papers and magazines
•   Co-host of The Inspired Team Leader radio show
•   Creator of Adventure to Connection and Stop the Violence Embrace the Children
Heather runs a successful business transforming lives and companies while making plenty of quality time for raising her three high-energy boys.  More info at http://www.innovativeteamdevelopment.com/

Get more details at http://www.meetup.com/Hartford-Springfield-Speakers-Network

PAST MEETING: April 11th

Duane Cashin, Sales Performance Speaker

“How to Gain a Competitive Advantage”

Mental Toughness & Confidence: Key Ingredients in Consistent and Predictable Business Success

Leveraging the power of your mind to gain a distinct competitive advantage.
It should come as no surprise that mental toughness is a quality sales professionals who consistently and predictably exceed their sales activity and revenue goals possess.
Mental toughness can be defined as:
- The ability to work hard and respond resiliently to adversity and failure.
- An inner determination that enables individuals to remain focused and stick to their long-term passions and goals.

To become a star performer, you must think like a star performer. In this thought provoking, entertaining, and high energy presentation, Duane reveals the performance philosophies, thought processes, and habits of some of the world’s greatest performers. He illustrates that there is no such thing as an “average person.” There are just people
who lack the mental toughness required to avoid settling for average or mediocre results. Using real life scenarios, Duane provides practical ideas and strategies attendees can immediately begin to implement to improve their performance.

The outcome of this presentation is attendees who understand that they should be far more concerned with avoiding mediocrity than they are with avoiding failure. Failure is an integral part of success. It is the acceptance of mediocrity that’s responsible for more lack luster performances than failure will ever be. By the end of this presentation, your audience will truly comprehend how purposefully developing and strengthening their mental toughness skills will increase the distance between merely surviving, and thriving in today’s evolving business reality.

- Learn how mental toughness can provide you with the competitive edge you desire.
- Understand why mental toughness is a prerequisite for successful prospecting.
- Gain insight into the psychology of peak performance.
- Learn how to become rejection resistant.
- Understand why and how mental toughness builds a foundation that supports long term success.

Duane is driven by a passion for growth and results. He works with organizations that want to increase profitable sales, shorten the sales cycle and obtain referrals at the executive level.He has an extraordinary range of experience. In addition to leading award winning sales organizations in several Fortune 500 companies, and earning membership in both Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, Duane built and sold a multi-million dollar graphics company that served clients including the NFL, the Winter Olympics, Radio City Music Hall, MTV Studios, and Rockefeller Center.

Duane is skilled at selling both tangible and intangible products and services, and uses real life experiences and examples to illustrate his points. He knows the struggles sales professionals face and shares the strategies, insights and tools he uses to get in front of and close business with decision makers at companies like LEGO, Mass Mutual, Sprint, AAA, Liberty Mutual, The American Lung Association and The American Society of Association Executives as well as dozens of small privately held companies.

People who have attended Duane’s keynotes and workshops agree. There are speakers who speak from experience, or who present meaningful and relevant content, or who are entertaining and engaging. Duane combines all three to share his knowledgeable and unique perspective for increasing sales and creating a memorable customer experience. Learn more about him at http://DuaneCashin.com.

Join us on LINKEDIN and on our FACEBOOK page.



Dr. Steve Sobel, Motivational Speaker

“Success Is Not An Accident! Wisdom You Cannot Purchase”

A wonderfully inspiring and “contagiously enthusiastic ” sharing of Dr. Steve Sobel’s ideas/insights on how to SUSTAIN success in what has proven to be a very enriching and successful speaking career. Steve believes in “boundryless” when it comes to being all you can be and the ability to know that you build resilience with thoughts/implementation. Take it from Coach Sobel (a well known and beloved basketball coach as well) that your game plan will be tested, but you can always respond!

An entire page can be written about his success, exploits, ideas and “reach”- Steve is a nationally adored motivational speaker, trainer, coach and author. He has been called “The Difference Maker” and “Speaker Extraordinaire.” He has been profiled on INSIDE EDITION, in newspapers such as The Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Newark Star Ledger  and in many professional publications and  magazines and in many media venues. At one time he had his own TV show on local ABC affiliate titled  “Looking Up”- Steve is a former school teacher, principal and special education director and has been teaching part time at the college level for over  25 years.

His commencement addresses at such local schools as Western New England College have touched the spirit of so many. His work with the Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey Team and leadership keynote to all the University of Notre Dame Coaches and top 100 student-athletes has become legendary. Steve loves teaching his college course “Entrepreneurship” among others and has mentored/guided many successful people with his 4 session Success Coaching Program.

His vast coaching experience in basketball has led him to be the popular head coach of the men’s premier summer basketbll team in New England where many of his players have achieved greatness at the NBA, European and College level as well as basketball lessons/clinics to many  youth. He also believes that “boring presentations are truly slow forms of torture.”  CALL (413) 530-5173 FOR PLANNING INFORMATION OR EMAIL AT info@DrSteveSobel.com.  Visit his website DrSteveSobel.com.



Jenny DrescherJenny Drescher, Improvisation Facilitator

“Let’s Cause a Scene”
How to use improv to create a more
impactful, memorable presentation

Principles and tools from Improv can turn your presentation from typical to terrific. Applied Improvisation Facilitator and Trainer Jenny Drescher will introduce us to Improv ideas that we can apply to our speaking gigs and training sessions.

Topics might include:

  • Fun ways to engage your audience
  • Turning tough moments into magic
  • How and why to leave your speaker ego at the door
  • Getting your audience to play together and why you want to

That said, Jenny is an Improviser, so she could have a flash of inspiration while driving to the meeting and create something completely different on the fly. Say what? Ooooh, wouldn’t it be cool to be that confident? You can be! Come find out how! Either way, you will start 2015 with a fresh perspective on your presentation and workshop design.

Jenny Drescher is the founder of Bridge To Choice Coaching & Facilitation. She specializes in teaching people how to take complete and total ownership of every aspect of their lives, so they are never again in their own way or stopped by anyone or anything. She also shows people how to use the power of fun, story, play, and laughter to create focus, clarity, courage, ease, motivation, resilience, and confidence. She works in one-on-one and group coaching and delivers playshops and presentations to a variety of audiences. Jenny also custom designs programs for service organizations, small companies that want to adapt and innovate with ease, and fractured organizations that need help becoming a team again. In addition, Jenny teaches speakers and trainers how to deliver their content richly and engage their audiences more deeply through Applied Improvisation.
Learn more at: www.bridgetochoice.com, or reach out to Jenny at: jenny@bridgetochoice.com



Sonny DrenenWalter (Sonny) Drenen, EA

10 Things You MUST Know About Taxes and Your Small Business for 2015

Some of what he’ll cover includes:

  • Easy-to-Implement record keeping strategies
  • Should be be a sole proprietor or or an LLC?
  • What you need to know about indexing
  • Deductions that’ll help you keep your money
  • What REALLY constitutes travel & entertainment
  • And much more!
Here’s your chance to tighten up your business finance housekeeping and getting your “books” in order for 2015. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear Sonny share everything you wanted to know about taxes, accounting, and your business.

Sonny) Drenen is well known in Western Mass and Connecticut and has been running Drenen Financial Services business since 1977.  His planning and advice has shaped many of the profitable businesses in the area as well as his own.  With the trust of his clients and the dependability of his employees, the growth of his business has been constant.

As an enrolled agent with the IRS, Sonny has represented taxpayers for over 30 years in the Western Mass-Northern Connecticut area.  You may ask, ‘what is an enrolled agent?’  An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS for audits, collections and appeals.  Unlike attorneys and CPAs who may not choose to specialize in taxes, all EA’s specialize in taxation and are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the US government by passing comprehensive examinations covering all aspects of the tax code and are subjected to rigorous background checks conducted by the IRS as well as yearly continuing professional education to maintain their EA status.

In addition to tax preparation, tax planning, accounting, business consultations, QuickBooks instructing, Sonny is also a registered securities representative with Money Concepts Capital Corporation with a series 6, 63, 65 and 7 license.  He is also licensed in life and health.

Sonny and his wife, Sharyn married in 1966 and have lived in Southwick since 1973.  They have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.  He has been on the Board of Directors for the Business Education Alliance, served as past treasurer of the Southwick Association of Merchants, been financial secretary of the Knights of Columbus,   treasurer of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 114 and has coached for the Southwick Recreation Center.