Greenfield library hosting Krosslink group

  • The Stephenson Memorial Library's Krosslink group meets once a month at the library in Greenfield. Krosslink is a volunteer driven program that was created in Westborough, Massachusetts to help connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resources and provide a place for networking and guest speakers to address topics they want to know about. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin

  • The Stephenson Memorial Library's Krosslink group the second Saturday of the month at the library in Greenfield. Krosslink is a volunteer driven program that was created in Westborough, Massachusetts to help connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resources and provide a place for networking and guest speakers to address topics they want to know about. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Stephenson Memorial Library's Krosslink group the second Saturday of the month at the library in Greenfield. Krosslink is a volunteer driven program that was created in Westborough, Massachusetts to help connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resources and provide a place for networking and guest speakers to address topics they want to know about. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Stephenson Memorial Library's Krosslink group the second Saturday of the month at the library in Greenfield. Krosslink is a volunteer driven program that was created in Westborough, Massachusetts to help connect small business owners and entrepreneurs with resources and provide a place for networking and guest speakers to address topics they want to know about. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/11/2019 1:31:29 PM

For nearly a year, Alex Tkaczevski has been trying to get more students to take piano lessons.

After getting married and moving to Greenfield from Buffalo last summer, the longtime music instructor had to start over. In New York, he ran a music store and that made finding students rather easy.

He took over a studio space in Manchester, but also wants to create relationships with families and students in the small town he now calls home. He put his name and business, Weaver Sky Music, in the Greenfield Spirit, and while it didn’t lead to the uptick in students he was hoping for, it did translate into a phone call from Sarah Sim.

Sim is the president of the Stephenson Memorial Library’s Krosslink group and she’s always on the lookout for more small business owners and entrepreneurs to join the group that meets one Saturday a month. It was actually Sim’s trip to the library last summer that led to the group’s formation. She was new to the area and in the process of launching an interior design business, so Sim was curious about what was available for business owners in town.

“I asked if there were any get-togethers for business owners in town, networking opportunities,” Sim said.

Turns out, Stephenson director Beverly Pietlicki had recently gone to a N.H. Library Association conference in Concord where there was a presentation about the Krosslink program and she thought it would be a good fit in Greenfield.

Krosslink is a volunteer-driven community program, in collaboration with public libraries that began in Westborough, Massachusetts, created to help develop, nurture, and foster entrepreneurship by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs to local business leaders, mentors and civic leaders who can help them achieve their goals. And it turns out that the Greenfield is the only library in the state offering the program.

“We have people in the area who have bought in and really want to support it,” Pietlicki said.

The group typically meets on the second Saturday of each month, and many times offer guest speakers with plenty of opportunities for local people to ask questions, talk about their ideas and get pointers in a variety of business related topics.

“The idea is to just get to know each other,” Sim said. “It’s not just networking, but it’s also about resources.”

Sim partners with Pietlicki and Tom Bergin of Merrimack Valley SCORE, located in Manchester, to run the group. SCORE is a group of former New Hampshire business owners and executives who are available for free, confidential, face-to-face counseling whose mission is to foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education.

“We are all people who have been in business, for ourselves or for someone else, and have skills,” Bergin said. “They wanted a SCORE member to be part of it so it would be more accessible to the business community the library is trying to help.”

Tkaczevski and Ken Quinn, Jr. were the two who attended the group’s May meeting. Tkaczevski was seeking out networking opportunities and ideas to expand his lessons, while taking the opportunity just to get to know people in town.

“I haven’t had much of a chance to network locally,” Tkaczevski said. “And this group I thought would give me a chance to meet local people who do things.”

Quinn, who has a scrap metal business on the side, saw a posting about the group on Facebook and wasn’t really sure what it was, so he decided to check it out. Both men had 10 minutes to talk about what they do and what they’re looking to achieve. The trio of Sim, Pietlicki and Bergin offered advice and asked what specific things they’d like to learn about from future speakers. The idea of having someone to come in and talk about social media audience targeting was brought up.

“Part of Krosslink is, ‘I wonder if I can do this?’” Pietlicki said.

A lot of times it becomes a brainstorming session, where ideas are discussed and worked through in a group setting. They have discussed finances, time management, advertising, social media, writing proposals, developing business plans among other topics.

Progress has been slow as far as getting a consistent group to show up each month, but the plan now is to get the word out and have more people from surrounding communities join.

“These things take time to develop,” Pietlicki said.

For June only, the group will meet on the fourth Saturday of the month, June 22 at the Stephenson Memorial Library in Greenfield from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the downstairs conference room. For more, search Krosslink on Facebook.


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