Building Your Business Network

By Renee von Gonten

Senior Associate, Business & Professionals

For healthcare providers (physicians, hospitals and other health professionals), networking offers opportunities to improve communication, develop innovative ideas and share best practices. Though each medical division may have its own challenges and successes, much of the conversation has been limited through the budgetary constraints of most medical practices. In today’s world, fewer doctors are given the opportunity to attend conferences, symposiums and gala events where they’ve previously networked with local and international colleagues.

The first question when networking is “What’s the best place to start?” For Harel Turkel, President of SOS Technology Group, that question was answered through his involvement with THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

“I first got involved in THE ASSOCIATED as a young adult on their IMPACT committee. Now I am joining an agency board. It’s important to me to set an example for my children that helping others should always be a priority in life. And as a business owner, I have to make sure my time is well spent. THE ASSOCIATED and its agencies empower me to put my Jewish values into action while growing my business through leadership development and professional networking,” he says.

A recent Baltimore Business Journal article by Harvey Mackay, “Nothing Can Replace a Professional Network,” emphasizes the importance of surrounding yourself with people that are like-minded, but smarter. “All of us together are a lot smarter than any one of us… Networking is a skill you must develop. A network replaces the weakness of the individual with the strength of a support system. You don’t have to know everything as long as you know the people who do.”

In general, a strong network can enrich your life personally, professionally and communally. Having smart connected people enables you to work in a chosen team to achieve goals that you may not reach professionally. It enables you to help others and to learn from them.

While social media networking is a new requirement for professionals, the traditional network will never be replaced. For example, here are some benefits of working with a business & professionals group, like the one at THE ASSOCIATED:

• An opportunity to brainstorm and discuss innovative ideas that benefit personal business goals and general community development
• Access to professional development and business education from leading experts and mentors in various fields including financial services, technology, real estate, sales and marketing, legal and medical
• Small business owners gain exposure to a broad base of like-minded community members who feel good about supporting a community stakeholder
• Varied backgrounds of event participants enable junior professionals to meet business leaders and philanthropists the general community doesn’t have access to
• Participants are able to develop new relationships and expand their network with personal referrals from events, lunch and learns and through mentor connections

THE ASSOCIATED Business & Professionals Group doesn’t just attract individuals and business owners. The corporate world also takes advantage of the leadership development, philanthropy and networking opportunities offered by THE ASSOCIATED system. M&T Bank has been a regular sponsor of THE ASSOCIATED’s Planned Giving Round Table, Business & Professionals main event and the Keynote Event which attracts 600 people. More and more, local and national companies are encouraging professionals to get involved in their community and are now seeking job candidates with ties to charities.

For health professionals, THE ASSOCIATED Maimonides Society has reintroduced the Doctors’ Division brunch. Last held five years ago, the Doctors’ Brunch unites Jewish ideals with health care concerns in a unique forum — encompassing educational, service, philanthropic and social resources in Jewish Baltimore. The brunch on Sunday, April 14, is open to all healthcare professionals and will feature a presentation by Nir Gamliel, President and CEO of PharBeyond. Mr. Gamliel will discuss the changing trends of the pharma industry as it affects healthcare professionals and their patients.  For information, go to

Contact Renee von Gonten at or 410.369.9220 in our business and professionals group.


1 Comment

Filed under Leadership Development, Philanthropy, Professionals

One response to “Building Your Business Network

  1. Great post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

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