The Influencer Index

Hello Everyone,

I came across this really great article, “The Influencer Index,” published in Business NH Magazine and written by Erika Coehn, Matthew J. Mowry and Dan Tuohy, on the power of networking and the state of NH’s “major players” who can be found at many networking events throughout the state.

The article was based on a survey the editors sent out to people and organizations who are responsible for major events and initiatives politically, professionally and socially. The survey asked the leaders of these entities who they turned to when they need to “make it happen.” The people with the most repeated nominations made it onto this index.

The authors attribute innovation, community, leadership, connection, motivation, dedication and passion as all key ingredients shared by these chosen leaders. Some examples are…

John Beardmore, Commissioner of the NH Dept. of Revenue Administration. He has worked with former Gov. John Lynch and now works with Governor Hassan. He also oversees all taxation for businesses and individuals, including the controversial Medicaid Enhancement Tax that led to a lawsuit. I met John at a networking event in Concord that the NH Business and Industry Association. These events are always fairly affordable (not counting gas to get to the Capitol) and always worthwhile seeing as I am gaining face time with people who may be able to provide support in my line of work. I know some of you in the class have mentioned an interest in the Medicaid lawsuit or may be wanting to further your education in the field of money management and government policy. John Beardmore may be a great contact.

For anyone that has read “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell, you will remember he spoke about the 3 different types of people that are responsible for any type of economic or social impact – the Maven, Connector and Salesmen…

Connectors: “These people who link us up with the world, who bridge Omaha and Sharon, who introduce us to our social circles – these people on whom we rely on more heavily than we realize – are Connectors, people with a very special gift of bringing people together.”

Mavens: “A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests … they like to be helpers in the marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you … This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace.”

Salespeople: “Mavens are data banks. They provide the message. Connectors are social glue: they spread it. But there is also a select group of people – Salesmen – with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing, and they are as critical to the tipping of word-of-mouth epidemics as the other two groups.”

This article names Renee Plummer, VP of Marketing for Two International Group, is considered one of Portsmouth’s most powerful connectors. They state she has a unique gift in bringing people together and is a “master networker.” I think it’s great that the article is putting some tangible research behind the skill set of simply being able to make connections for oneself and others. It’s a skill that I don’t think has enough light shined upon it.

Mary Jo Brown, Chair of the NH Women’s Initiative, was also nominated for her ability to take on bringing social change and awareness to the gender gap in NH and beyond. I took a grant writing class put on by the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) in Bethlehem. It was run by a representative from the NH Women’s Initiative. Both entities are a great resource for those looking to align themselves with issues of gender inequality, niche support services, entrepreneurialism and political platforms taking on federal initiatives that may be somewhat slanted.

Oh and wouldn’t you know that Commissioner Toumpas from the DHHS made the list too. I will let our Healthcare session with him give you an idea of why he would be someone who would make the cut!

I share this article with you because I truly believe you’re nothing without your network. (I am NOT in any way trying to discredit hard-work and education) but bridging a gap on any initiative, whether it’s trying to get a job, take on a social mission, start an event etc., is always bolstered by those around you that have the means to help you reach your goals. I mentioned at the last class that I tried to live in California, thinking that I would be able to get a decent job and find a place to live and perhaps find a non-profit to align my energy with. While I am sure that if I paid my dues and waited 6 mos. to a year to starting finding my niche, the opportunities would never be the same there as they are in NH. The connections I have made and fostered are ones that I know will help me make a true impact and difference in my particular interest areas. For me, those connections were far more valuable than sitting on a beach with a great view. (Again, I am NOT in any way trying to discredit the decision of others who felt that sitting on a beach with a great view was more valuable than harvesting connections. If you’ve never been, Lake Tahoe is gorgeous!)

If we were to write a similar “Influencer Index” for the Mt. Washington Valley, who do you think would make the/your list?

Jaimie

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