by Jim Henderson
President of William C. Huff Companies and national speaker for estate downsizing and lifestyle transitions
It’s important to feel at home and a part of the community whether you’re a seasonal or permanent resident. To help promote this concept, we recently held our fifth annual William C. Huff Companies Cross-Networking event and were amazed at the number of guests that had never met one another. The event was established to bring business leaders, community organizations and motivated individuals together so that their combined efforts may create a more balanced community.
When I attend a professional networking event, (i.e., Women’s Council of Realtors), it’s primarily realtors and associated businesses getting together and swapping referrals. And, when I attend a nonprofit function I find primarily people affected by a specific disease with their close friends and families. In both cases, the meetings are very limited to the specific cause or profession. I believe there are ‘cross connections’ between non-profits and professional network organizations that could be made.
By putting several non-profits together with different businesses at the same event, the human experience seems to be more beneficial for the networking time invested. Ultimately, local businesses get the recognition they deserve which places them in a better position to become a sponsor and in turn, the non-profits prosper with more resources.
Unlike a lot of corporate America, who publicize that doing good for the community is good for business, we don’t advertise our good deeds. Instead, we have a core value within our company that comes from being a part of various organizations on a personal level. I believe that one of things we are able to accomplish with our crossnetworking events is creating a stronger community. At William C. Huff Companies, ‘helping others’ is part of our corporate thinking; our staff feels like part of a family with groups such as Friends of Foster Children and Gulf Shore Playhouse.
To get acquainted with the various businesses, community organizations and local non-profits in Collier County, there are many resources such as the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce website and Visitor’s Center, and the Community Foundation which has a listing for every non-profit registered in Collier County. Creating a loving home, a thriving business and a healthy community take time, talent and dedication. I urge you to learn more and get involved.