THEN: Mary Kurek opened doors on her Professional Networking Agency in 2007 providing business coaching, marketing, and introduction services to start-ups and small businesses. She produced results for executives and professionals in sports, entertainment, games, technology, music, culinary arts, speaking, social and serial entrepreneurship. See testimonials.
NOW: In 2016, the agency evolved to focus more seriously on social impact stakeholders and influencers. Mary Kurek Impact Connections was born. The mission is simply to help international change agents expand their impact.
What we do:
“I connect people. Can’t help myself. I love introducing people and do it with such enthusiasm that I scare wall-huggers at a party. Don’t care.
In my past, I’ve introduced a group of youth to a member of foreign royalty, a US Ambassador, a Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist, the winningest coach in college basketball, the late Dean Smith, and Frank Capra, Jr., the former President of EUE Screen Gems Studios, NC. I’ve even introduced a former Harlem Globetrotter to a casting agent who hired him for a role in a major motion picture.
In 2007, I wrote a business networking book that was published bearing the endorsement of the national CEO of the American Business Women’s Association. It was about that time, I was contacted by the CEO of a software firm who needed channel partners…fast. After conducting a successful networking campaign for him, he connected me to a colleague who was starting a games portal and needed a networking campaign. I did the same thing for him, and that’s when I knew that I could create a business that included introductions as part of the package. So, along with my 8 years of service as a Chamber Exec who counseled entrepreneurs daily and assisted economic development efforts regionally, I became professionally trained as a business advisor and launched my own agency that combined consulting, marketing, and networking. If you care to know more, keep reading.
Along with my team, I serve the world of high profile social impact professionals and greater-good focused companies who need to expand their networking efforts strategically to advance goals. I've always had a mission-oriented heart and have attracted clients who have a giving nature. The fact that my business has grown more focused in impact-services doesn't surprise me. Over the years, I've co-founded a youth leadership program that was proclaimed a model for the state of NC by its governor. I took that model to a neighboring county and changed the mission a bit to "raising role model athletes" to do my part to help solve a problem with "bad boy pro athletes." Clearly, I didn't solve the entire issue, but, along with a colleague who owned the largest sports complex in the area, we helped to develop high school athletes into contributing citizens who have returned from college to serve on our board and help solve community problems. The program celebrated its 20th year in 2017.
A few years ago, I turned my attention to try to help solve some problems I saw within the aging community in my area, so I co-founded the local Friends of Aging nonprofit. The day we conceived the idea, we had an attorney, CPA, and president on board to start the process. Among other things, we provide fresh fruits and vegetables, safety devices, needed daily items, and occasional free dental services to homebound elderly.
My background is a long history of service that includes several years working media on the NC Gov's Press Staff, and also working for the state's #1 lobbyist on major legislation. During that time, I received the Long Leaf Pine award from the Governor for outstanding service to the citizens. Later, I created professional schedules for international business leaders/dignitaries that visited the Research Triangle Park area through the US Information Agency and worked for an international exchange program with the mission of creating peaceful ties between the US and other countries. I directed the Chamber of Commerce next to the world's largest Marine Corps Air Station and graduated from the US Chamber of Commerce sponsored Institute for Organization Management. I was honored to receive a commendation from the Commanding General of the Air Station upon departure from the Chamber.
In 2010, I took the role of Assistant Director of Aging Services in my county; a position that allowed an insider view on critical issues that face the aging community everywhere. I became knowledgeable about Medicare, advance directives, and hospice, was certified in Mental Health First Aid, counseled families having to make difficult decisions as well as seniors facing challenges. This was an interesting place to serve, considering my mother was over 80 years old and suffered from bipolar disorder, depression, and dementia. I took courses by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and attended caregiver support groups, but, still, I felt the bigger issue wasn't being addressed. My mother had been to the emergency room at the local hospital a dozen times in her final year of life...basically, her anxiety had ramped up to create a situation. After seeing it first hand and hearing local conversations on how poor the resources are in our area for mental health care, I called the hospital to inform and eventually secured their partnership to start a Mental Health & Aging Caregiver Support group that is heavy on resource identification. That group began spring of 2018, and I hope it is just the beginning of impacting the mental health caregiver issues in our area.
There's much work to do for all of us to reach our impact potential...connecting is the answer because nothing big happens all alone. You know more than you probably wanted to about me, now...so, let me hear about you. Feel free to connect via the email address provided at the bottom of this page."
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