On this week’s Members Corner blog, we are welcoming the one who needs no introduction to the Phoenix local business community, but we do it anyway, Gelie Akhenblit of NetworkingPhoenix. We are proud to call Gelie a friend, a mentor, and amongst one of our earliest members who joined back in September of 2018.
Gelie is most well known for the vision and execution of her unique networking platform, NetworkingPhoenix; which she founded in 2008 and has since revolutionized the landscape of networking.
She currently has the largest networking community of professionals in Phoenix, AZ with over 40K members.
Please check out Gelie profile on Avontage, send her a welcoming message, and get on her radar to help grow your business.
In addition to running NetworkingPhoenix, Gelie works with clients and companies on a consulting basis in helping them grow — her specialty is relationship marketing. She is who you engage with when you understand the value of that “one connection” that can change the trajectory of everything.
Gelie frequently gets hired as a Business Development Consultant to provide warm introductions between companies and individuals. She has spent 12 years building up her professional network and is extremely familiar with the business landscape of Phoenix.
As her tagline goes “Who do you want to meet? I’ll introduce you.”
As a seasoned presenter, Gelie has been on many stages and media platforms speaking on the importance of having a winning strategy when engaging in face-to-face networking and the power of building and maintaining strategic relationships.
In 2015, Gelie was invited to deliver a TEDx talk on the topic of freedom. In her message, she shared her story of being a political refugee from the former Soviet Union and how her journey to freedom has evolved and led her to, relentlessly, chase after her dreams and happiness.
When she’s not working on conquering the world she’s spending time with her young daughter, working out and enjoying the guilty pleasure of lounging in bed.
To get to know Gelie better, we asked her the following questions.
Tell us about your background, hometown, family, hobbies, passions?
I’m originally from the former Soviet Union but moved to Phoenix when I was 8 and have been living here since. I’m very passionate about spiritual work, so lately it’s been the hobby that takes up all my “free time.”
What do you love about Arizona?
Absolutely everything, well, minus the summer heat. Mainly, I love the people. I find that communities here are very welcoming and it’s been a lot of fun launching and growing my company here for the last 12 years.
Tell us about your business. How long ago and how did you get started? What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
NetworkingPhoenix is the largest professional community of entrepreneurs, business owners, and various industry professionals.
The mission and focus are to help others meet their goals by building impactful relationships — online and in person through mixers, business events, and local educational partners.
With over 40K profiles created on the website, the membership keeps growing as professionals are drawn to the website because of the comprehensive calendar that lists the majority of the networking events in the Valley.
We host our own networking events, as well as publicize all the networking opportunities happening throughout the Metro Phoenix area.
Our Signature Event is the most popular and best-attended networking event in the Valley, bringing out over 500+ professionals.
Who’s your ideal client? What’s the biggest problem you solve for them?
Our ideal client is an entrepreneur, business owner or professional who wants to build out his/her network. We make it super easy for them to discover networking opportunities and meet people face to face at events.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
Word of mouth has always been the best marketing strategy for us. When you provide the right value for your customers, they will sing your praises to everyone they meet.
Tell us some of the challenges and lessons you’ve learned since you started your business.
Being an entrepreneur is the most difficult thing I’ve ever chosen to do, but it’s been worth it every minute.
To what do you attribute your success?
I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. When you’re in alignment with your gifts and follow your vision, magical things happen. However, I’m also relentless, hardworking and dedicated to seeing my vision through. Probably a few more factors, but this is what comes to mind at the moment 🙂
Whom do you seek advice from for your business? Whom do you like to follow in the business world? Why?
I have very few trusted advisors that I keep close and they have guided me through some of my darkest moments.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Surround yourself with people that “get it.” Everyone will want to share their unsolicited advice – ignore them. You’re the ONLY one that knows your vision, follow it.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Some weeks are easier than other weeks and we all have different things to squeeze into our schedule, but in general, I don’t work when I’m with my daughter. This gives me a block of time to work during the day, but evenings are for her and me.