Greater Louisville Inc, commonly known as GLI (link ) exists to serve the business community in metro Louisville, Kentucky, through advocacy, support services, and networking opportunities. The arrival of Kent Oyler earlier this year as CEO of GLI (Insider Louisville article ) convinced us that the time was right for Hatfield Media to join GLI.
Our introduction to GLI began with the CEO Roundtables. Several years ago some of the websites we had designed for small businesses in Louisville caught the eye of GLI leaders who then invited Drake to present at a GLI CEO Roundtable. For those unfamiliar, a CEO Roundtable is essentially a phantom advisory board. Business owners meet together (roughly a dozen CEOs) to discuss business problems, successes, and ways to continue business growth.
Drake was invited to speak on developing modern websites. The presentation involved critiquing each CEO’s company website in a comprehensive format. The review included such things as aesthetics, functionality, unique content, search engine optimization, video/photo/media usage, mobile-ready format, responsive design and long-term strategy. The presentation and critiques were well-received and, as a result, Drake was invited to speak at several other CEO Roundtables. Drake is now a member of one of the CEO groups and enjoys the benefits of providing and receiving counsel from other industry-leaders in the Louisville Metro area.
One important note regarding the Roundtables is the lack of a selling/referring structure. Relationships are built on a foundation of professional business relationships and providing counsel, critique, encouragement and opportunities as relevant. This is in stark contrast to groups such as BNI (Business Network International) who require and reward referrals within private networking groups. Those of us who are industry veterans find very little reward in forced relationships, sales-driven recommendation methods, and constant requests for networking contacts. Successful businesses do not request contacts (outbound), they focus on doing great business which results in organic referrals (inbound).
The GLI CEO Roundtables are a venue for business owners to build relationships without the pressure of doing business. If business occurs as a result of a great relationship, that is simply a benefit of being an honest business owner! In other words, those who benefit most from the larger GLI experience are those who aim to contribute to the group. While BNI is all about networking, GLI is all about business development. Which leads us to the current point in the Fall of 2014…
Seeing the CEO Roundtables in action and watching GLI persevere through the rough times - restructuring both administrative staff and organizational function - convinced us to make the move to formally join GLI. Kent Oyler (LinkedIn , OPM ) is a highly respected entrepreneur and industry-leader who, in his position of CEO of GLI, is making the decisions necessary to renovate Greater Louisville Inc and add even more value for its members. This is all incredibly encouraging!
Business owners, if you had reservations about joining GLI in the past, put those fears to rest. If you run a business within Louisville Metro, now is the time to join GLI!
Join GLI – link