Live and at Lunch with BRNG and LinkedIn

Twice a month in Albany and Saratoga Springs a group of business professionals gather in a private room at a local restaurant to focus on professional development, build business relationships and one other thing -- lunch.
Melissa Zambri, David Glasel and Micky Jimenez
Melissa Zambri, David Glasel and Micky Jimenez
April 12, 2012 - PRLog -- Albany, NY (4/10/2012) - Twice a month in Albany and Saratoga Springs a group of business professionals gather in a private room at a local restaurant to focus on professional development, build business relationships and one other thing -- lunch!

Face-to-face networking is in many ways being surpassed by electronic communications in popularity but it's still invaluable, especially in light of electronics overload.

“Mixing it up -- networking online and in person -- is a good idea,” said Bonnie Ausfeld, Founder and President of the Business Referrals Networking Group (BRNG) that meets for lunch. “And we’re a direct referral group so you need to get to know people face to face.”  

The “boutique” networking group, called that for its smaller size with one representative from each industry, has seen an increase in activity – more members around the table – probably in part because of LinkedIn and member sponsorships.

The group has plans to expand into Westchester County, where they’re currently seeking a business leader for the new chapter.

“I think people value the opportunity to get together with other business professionals more than ever because they spend so much time engaged with their phones, laptops and apps and on LinkedIn,” Ausfeld said. “They need a break from the electronic media.”

The original intent of BRNG was – and still is – to create an opportunity for business leaders to meet for lunch, share information, build relationships and obtain “direct” referrals from its membership and their networking resources. During one meeting at BRNG you’re sitting between a divorce attorney and an interior decorator and the next meeting a banker and someone from a local animal shelter.

That’s what prompted Migdalia “Micky” Jimenez, an RN and Director of Healthcare Services for a provider of home care, to join BRNG five years ago.

“I was impressed by the variety of leaders from all different business sectors,” she said. “It was a change from many of the organizations that I belong too that focus on one specific area, such as health care or the Hispanic community.”  

Given the existing data and research, it is clear that face-to-face meetings are used less frequently, according to Prof. Richard D. Arvey, the National University of Singapore, who studied and wrote a white paper on the value of face-to-face business meetings.  

But they're beneficial. “There are nuances associated with hand gestures, voice quality and volume, facial expressions and so forth that aren’t captured in email discussion, chat rooms and the like,” Arvey said.

Ultimately, a combination of the two – electronic and interpersonal communication – is considered most effective, Ausfeld said. And one thing BRNG has that LinkedIn can never have – dessert.


Home Care Professional Honored by Minority Business Association

Albany, NY - Migdalia “Micky” Jimenez, a member of the Albany chapter of the Business Referral Networking Group (BRNG) and Director of Healthcare Services for Belvedere, received an award in April from the Minority Business Association for the same reason she joined BRNG – diversity.

Jimenez, Director of Healthcare Services for Belvedere, was one of four New Yorkers honored for their leadership in business, by the Statewide Association of Minority Businesses at a dinner at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Albany, NY. She was nominated by Hiscock and Barclay attorneys Melissa Zambri and David Glasel.

Business professionals have opportunity to interact with and obtain “direct” referrals from a larger diverse business network through BRNG.

“I enjoy the camaraderie developed among the professional members at each meeting.  What also distinguishes the group from other professional associations is that it is comprised of members who represent a wide variety of different lines of businesses,” Jimenez said. “This is something I truly value and find it broadens my knowledge in other industries, besides the group is positive, and enjoyable to be around."

Jimenez received the award during the New York State Puerto Rican/Hispanic Legislative Task Force or Somos El Futuro conference in Albany in March.

For more information on BRNG, contact Bonnie Ausfeld at or go to
Source:Sheila Carmody
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Tags:Business Networking, Linkedin, Referrals, Networking Group, Albany networking group, Minority Business Association
Location:Albany - New York - United States
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Page Updated Last on: May 02, 2012
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