April 11th 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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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.

Past Meeting: Dec 2014


Karen ThomasKaren A. Thomas, Etiquette Expert & Corporate Trainer

Outwit and Outclass the Competition: Modern Civility Tips & Tricks to Propel your Career Beyond what they teach in business school…

Some of what she’ll cover includes:

  • How to navigate the table setting and becoming silverware savvy
  • Wine and tipping etiquette and when to conduct business
  • What NOT to wear to a business meeting event (even a HSSN meeting)
  • Acceptable networking behavior (should you offer your card? what to talk about? how start a conversation?)
  • Top-Notch business practices involving communication, phone calls, emails, etc.
  • Social media etiquette and when NOT to add people to your newsletter list
  • And other business etiquette questions that come up
You never get a second chance at making a GREAT first impression… and as judgmental as this seems, people ARE watching you. Learn  from a modern etiquette expert, professional tips and tricks to excel and outclass clients and colleagues.
Attracting individuals who value the importance of integrity, proper decorum and social grace, Karen provides techniques proven to increase sales and advance leadership skills.  Clients emerge as polished professionals who outclass their competition and increase their bottom line. Karen is the “go-to” etiquette expert in CT and MA and teaches at numerous colleges across the state of Connecticut, preparing graduates for entrance into corporate America.
She appears regularly on the Western Mass. NBC affiliate magazine show, Mass Appeal, and contributes to most major networks in CT.  Karen also appears on radio including WPLR, WDRC and previously co-hosted her own show on WAPJ 89.9 FM.  She has authored a chapter in the book “From the Soapbox to the Stage” by Bill Corbett.  Learn more about Karen and contact her at www.CT-Etiquette.comEmail Karen 

Past Meeting: Nov 2014

Welcome to the website for the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network, a network of “shakers and movers” 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. for FREE if it’s your first time.



Mark boxMark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations

“How to Market and Promote Yourself”.
A public Relations 101 overview on good techniques to help you showcase yourself, as author, expert, or “go to person”

Mark G. Auerbach has been practicing the art of public relations and marketing, since the mimeograph machine was pumping out press releases in the early 1970s. He studied at Northfield Mount Hermon School, American University, and The Yale School of Drama, and began his career in marketing and public relations with arts organizations like Wolf Trap (Washington, DC), Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Greater Miami Opera, Springfield (MA) Symphony, and StageWest (Springfield, MA).

He formed Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations in 1987. The public relations consultancy is best known for having handled public relations, underwriting and special events for New England Public Radio (NPR member stations WFCR and WNNZ) for over 20 years. His national client base includes: The nationally-syndicated radio/TV/web political talk show “The David Pakman Show”, Suffield Academy, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, The Jazz Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College, Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, The Mike Thornton Agency (“The Capitol Steps”) and authors Victor Acquista MD and Harriet Scott Chessman.

Mark also juggles several hats as an arts reporter and journalist and public relations specialist. He has covered theatre for both radio and print outlets over the years, and currently serves as an arts reporter for The Westfield News Group in MA and its newspapers, The Westfield Evening News, Longmeadow News, and Enfield Press. He writes features for PRIME Magazine and a marketing column for the award-winning “Succeeding in Small Business” blog. Previously, he served as Arts and Travel Editor for Jewish Weekly News, theatre writer for The Valley Optimist, and a features reporter for WSPR-AM and WNNZ in Springfield, MA.


Past Meeting: Oct 2014


Diane Goodman, President of Goodman Speakers BureauDiane Goodman,  President and Founder
Goodman Speakers Bureau

Speakers bureaus act as a resource for people who plan meetings, conferences and special events. Bureaus have content experts on staff to bring speaker expertise to the attention of event planners and decision makers. Speakers bureaus are also very selective when it comes to who they work with. In this session, you will learn what speakers bureaus look for in the speakers the
y work with. Come ready to ask question that will help you grow your speaking business. Meeting planners are also encouraged to attend to meet Diane Goodman and learn more about her 30-year-old service to meetings planners across the world.

Below are just some of the things you will learn as a speaker:

  • Why it’s important to know who you are and what your message is
  • What makes you different?
  • What marketing materials work best
  • The importance of defining your brand
  • Refining your message so it will stand out from the rest
  • Using video and audio in your marketing kit
  • What content to feature
  • When to begin working with a bureau
  • What bureaus to work with and which ones to avoid
  • And much more!

Diane Goodman, CMP, is president and founder of The Goodman Speakers Bureau, Inc., a professional speakers bureau located in Windsor, CT. She founded the company over 30 years ago and has built an impeccable reputation for trust and integrity by providing consultative service to clients in the United States and throughout the world. She works closely with meeting planners and professional speakers worldwide including; thought leaders, business leaders, authors, celebrities, sports figures, and entertainers. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Business Award from the Hartford Business Journal. She is a founding member of IASB (International Association of Speakers Bureaus) and former President of the CT River Valley Chapter of MPI (Meeting Planners International).

Past Meeting: Sep 2014


LizProvoALELiz Provo, Authorized Local Expert,
Constant Contact

This presentation will provide a deeper look into the place that events hold as a marketing tool to promote your public speaking. Whether your event is a workshop, seminar or weekend retreat, we’ll provide some best practices around promoting your event and go in-depth into successful online registration for all your events.  Holding your own events builds a repertoire of ready and practiced topics, AND builds your mailing list (and testimonials) along the way.
When you run an event, you want to make sure that you leave ample time for the promotional activities that will drive your registrations, and you want to create and provide an optimal online registration experience. If you have run events or are considering running events, and you’d like to build on your knowledge of these two important elements of running a successful event, this session is for you.
Attendees will learn:
  • Types of events, goals for events, a quick note on charging or not and events as part of the Engagement Marketing cycle  
  • Promoting the event (with a sample promotional schedule and activities)
  • Making the most of an online registration tool, with best practices focused on what information to ask for on registration form, social proof, payment options, etc.
  • Post-event actions, including review of stats and social activity and sending out a survey
Please note: this session will not be addressing best practices around event planning topics like venue selection, planning event entertainment or dining options, etc. It is focused primarily on helping you promote your event and streamline the online registration process.

Past Meeting: Aug 2014

“TOP SECRETS for Leading Most Effectively, Attracting Customers 
Naturally Multiplying Revenues Strategically & Enjoying Life Amazingly”

forgayRick Forgay, President and CEO of Business Leadership Mastery™ will share the rarely shared secrets every business owner and entrepreneur should know in order to lead, clarify and communicate your business offerings with confidence; position your company in the Top 1% of your chosen industry; attract and create loyal customers and multiply your revenues with more energy and greater life balance than ever imagined.

All information presented in this session is designed to be directly immediately applied to your specific business at little or no expense for maximum results.  This Presentation Is Content-Rich, Highly Interactive & Instantly Applicable, Including:

 Applying The Formula For Success In Business and Life.
 Clarifying, Specializing and Communicating Your True Brand Identity.
 Attracting Ideal Customers and Producing More Sales As A Natural Process.
 Understanding The 5 P’s Of A Results-Driven Strategic Business Plan.
 Generating Extraordinary Results With More Energy and Greater Life Balance.
“Everyone who owns a solo or large business will benefit from these rare insights.”

“For Executives & Entrepreneurs Who Want To Lead Highly Profitable
Companies, Build Customer Loyalty and Expand Powerful Networks.”

book_al2Authentic Leadership. For over three decades, Rick helped major
corporations achieve all-time high sales, build customer loyalty and generate multi-million dollar revenues as an internationally recognized Circulation and Marketing Executive in the Newspaper / Multi-Media Industry; including a Fortune 150 Corporation, Fortune 500 and privately owned companies.

His passion for “Giving Back” as a business and civic leader also produced multi-million dollar advancements in Government, Community Planning, Industrial Development, Parks & Recreation, the Pennsylvania State Police Camp Cadet Program and Chambers of Commerce. Rick also served as Chairman of the Lehigh Carbon Community College Foundation Board and is Chairman Emeritus of Western Massachusetts SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business.

Simply Effective. Rick simplifies complex real-world leadership challenges and book_wowopportunities with a process that transcends industries, empowers teams and achieves profitable solutions.  This one-of-a-kind BLM Process saves valuable time, energy and resources, while increasing  productivity, revenues, customer satisfaction and unifying goal achievement company-wide.

Clients benefit from Rick’s innovative and engaging process fine-tuned over decades of diverse physically challenging and results demanding disciplines mastered as a Firefighter; FAA Pilot; Martial Artist; Magician; Certified Yoga Teacher, Executive and Entrepreneur. Rick’s co-authored books include: Applied Leadership: Putting Theory Into
Practice; Bushido Business: The Fine Art Of Professional Leadership with Brian Tracy,
Tom Hopkins and Stephen M. R. Covey. His newest book: Words of Wisdom: Experts Share
Strategies For Mastering Life and Business Relationships is with Dr. John Gray & Brian Tracy.

Guaranteed Results. Business Leadership Mastery™ works with Client’s real-world Leadership, Business and Team challenges to produce desired results and achieve their most challenging goals.


Past Meeting: July 2014

Welcome to the website for the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network, a network of “shakers and movers” who are speakers, marketers, authors, small business owners, coaches, and entrepreneurs. We meet on the first Saturday of each month (except for July) at the Enfield/Longmeadow Holiday Inn in Enfield, CT. The cost to attend is $25 per person, which includes coffee. Below you will learn details about this months key speaker. Each of our meetings features a 45-minute key presenter, networking opportunities and a mastermind group, plus much more. Networks begin at 8:30 AM and the meeting kicks off at 9 AM. The meeting then adjourns at noon. More details can be found on our FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Click the REGISTER NOW link below to tell us you’ll be attending.

Nancy Butler
Nancy Butler

Taking Control of Your Speaking Career – Your Plan for Success

What is success to you and how do you make it happen? To be successful, you first need to determine what success is to you. Is it the amount of money you make, the number of people you help, having the right balance between work and your personal life or, is it something else? Nancy will help you think through what success really is to you. Once you know that, the next step is to put a plan in place to make it happen.

As speakers we need to juggle a lot, including marketing, developing, learning and updating our material, printed collateral, advertising and so much more. Having a business plan in place can mean the difference between a good business and a great one. Nancy will show you how to pull it all together in an organized, easy to follow way to help you bring your speaking business to the next level.


A single parent with no other source of income and only $2,000 to her name, Nancy built an asset management and financial planning practice from scratch to approx. $200 million and then sold it. A few weeks later she established her national speaking business and became a coach to businesses across the country in a wide variety of industries.

Nancy has been quoted in many local and national publications, including USA Today, Money Magazine, Playboy and The Day and has been a speaker for major corporations such as Pfizer, General Dynamics and Dow Chemical. She has also been a guest on several television and radio shows. Nancy is an award-winning author. Her first book “Above All Else, Success in Life and Business” was published in 2012. Her second book, “A Realtor’s Guide To Greater Success” was published in 2014.  Visit her website http://aboveallelse.org/