Last updated April 21, 2021
DOWNLOAD a copy of the By-Laws
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Officers, Committees & Descriptions
Election of Officers
Guidelines for Members
Glossary of Terms
New Member Applicant Information
New Member Application & Fees
Core Structure of MNRG
Guidelines for a Charitable Gift from MNRG
Guidelines for a Student Scholarship from MNRG
The purpose of the Mountain Networking Referral Group (MNRG) is to promote small business success for its members by sharing qualified referrals/leads, providing educational activities and promoting group interaction. Givers gain; the more we give the more we gain.
OFFICERS, COMMITTEES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Officially Elected and Approved as of 12/13/20
PRESIDENT: Mayra Owen | (770) 833-8842 | MayraLOwen@gmail.com
Presides over meetings of the group. Implements and enforces rules and regulations set forth within the group bylaws and operating procedures. Maintains organizational web presence. Works with all other officers in all aspects of the organization.
VICE PRESIDENT: Dottie Peterson | (706) 400-5540 | Team@blairsvilleprinting.com
Assists the President in his/her duties. Receives and tracks leads and referrals for the group. Records and tracks member participation in referrals, testimonials/closed business, guests, one-on-ones and passes. Presides in the absence of the President.
TREASURER: Jim McEldowney | (706) 400-5716 | info@RusticMountainDecorGA.com
Receives money from all sources and pays expenses with the consent of the President and Members. Manages accounts receivable and payable. Maintains organizational financial records.
SECRETARY: Scarlett Stephenson | (706) 400-1441 | MountainTop.Organization@gmail.com
Records and disseminates proceedings of the meetings. Records and tracks group attendance. Advise Membership Marketing Committee of member attendance quarterly. Assists VP & Treasurer as needed in the conduct of their duties.
Receives and reviews membership applications to ensure they are appropriate and do not duplicate current membership categories. To determine growth or limit growth as needed. Approves new members and notifies them of acceptance. Monitors member's quarterly attendance and issues related to notices to lack of attendance or participation and brings to the attention of the President. Assists officers in the planning and implementation of group projects. Develops and orders promotional materials. To include: Business Cards, Flyers, Brochures, Rack Cards, Monthly MNRG Newsletter, and Facebook.
Maintains meeting calendar for guest and member presentations.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS Officially approved as of (12/15/16)
The current president will appoint a nominating committee in November to formulate a slate of candidates for the following positions.
The slate will be presented to the membership at the first meeting in December and via e-mail. Nominations from the floor at the first December meeting may be made. The final slate will appear in the minutes for all members to review.
Election of officers will be held the second week in December by secret ballot. Those unable to attend meetings may email their vote to the secretary the week of the election.
GUIDELINES FOR MEMBERS
All members of MNRG are expected to conduct themselves in a manner reflecting the quality and standards of a professional businessperson. Please silence cell phones during meetings. We encourage you to bring your good thinking, ideas, and dialogue to share with the group as we continue to grow. Guidelines for membership are as follows:
Mountain Networking Referral Group meets every Thursday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am EST at locations determined by the agenda. We follow the Union County school guidelines for closures in the event of inclement weather, holiday schedule and will not meet on weeks when school is not in session. During the summer, the group will meet every other week. Our summer schedule starts Memorial Weekend through Labor Day weekend! But subject to change based on when July 4th falls.
We encourage members to attend weekly but understand your business must come first. However, excessive absences are not beneficial to you or the other members. Members are expected to attend meetings a minimum of once a month unless prior arrangements have been made.
If a member is unable to attend during a particular week, they are encouraged to send someone in their place and will not be counted as a missed meeting for attendance. The substitute must be associated with the business they are representing. Members meeting via ZOOM will be counted as being in attendance.
Attendance will be evaluated by the Membership Committee. If your attendance fails to meet the required number of meetings your participation will be reviewed by the membership committee and a "Notice of Intentions" will be sent. The member will be asked to respond, letting the membership committee know if they intend to remain with the group. If they wish to remain, their response will be evaluated and they will be notified of the outcome. If they wish to withdraw from the group it will be so noted.
Acceptable absences include: Medical and family emergencies, Inclement weather, Business related
If you find your schedule prevents you from attending on a regular basis you may need to evaluate the value you bring to and gain from the group. For businesses unable to be represented on a regular basis we suggest new members be allowed to join and your membership be retired.
As of September 13, 2017, an individual may only represent two businesses. This is to ensure quality representation and allow more individuals to be active members in MNRG. (Please note the one person who is currently representing 3 businesses will be grandfathered in.)
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Dedication to the group is a priority. At each meeting during the “I HAVE” section, each member is required to participate in one of the following ways:
1. REFERRAL: A legitimate “warm” referral of business for another member of the group.
2. TESTIMONIAL/CLOSED BUSINESS: A legitimate compliment for another based on a previous business transaction. A report of closed or completed business from a previous referral
3. ONE-ON-ONE: Time spent between two members discussing business in an attempt to learn more about one another both on a professional level as well as on a personal level. One-on-one meetings are very important as it is difficult to make referrals to someone whose business you don’t know or whom you don’t know personally.
4. GUESTS: Bringing a guest is great as it affords the opportunity to introduce potential members. A guest may come twice before becoming a member. Habitually bringing a guest instead of participating in one of the other options will be addressed by the Membership Committee.
5. PASS: Though it is not preferred, simply saying PASS will eliminate awkward situations. If you have nothing, just say “PASS”. We do not need to know the particulars of why you are passing, just say “PASS”.
NEW MEMBER APPLICANT INFORMATION
We are a group of business-minded people, business owners, administrators, and professionals working together to achieve the common goal of growing our business.
We take pride in selecting businesses that are devoted to growing their business. We are exclusive to our members and thus the organization is a “closed group” style organization. This allows members to be more aware of others in the group, their needs, their customer base, etc. By being a closed group, the feeling of competition with the group is virtually eliminated.
Individual members develop a professional relationship, as well as a personal relationship with each other. This ensures members are more confident in recommending the services of others within the group.
A membership committee is responsible for deciding if a particular business in their particular service category is going to be beneficial to our organization, and will our organization be beneficial to them? Is a particular category already filled by another business in the group? Determine our growth to limit membership or to grow our membership.
Our weekly meetings are important, and we encourage you to attend each week if possible. If you are unable to attend, we recommend you send someone from your office (if applicable) in your place. During the weekly meeting, we exchange referrals, experiences and welcome new guests. The group offers educational opportunities for you to participate in (if interested) and share community events that we may want to participate in to grow our business. As a member, we encourage you to bring: a referral, testimonial, guest or share a one-on-one.
Mountain Networking Referral Group meets every Thursday at 8:00 am and ends at 9:00 am at locations determine by the agenda. We follow the Union County school guidelines for closures in the event of inclement weather, holiday schedule and will not meet on weeks when school is not in session. During the summer the group will meet every other week.
As of September 13, 2017, an individual may only represent two businesses. This is to ensure quality representation and allow more individuals to be active members of MNRG. (Please note the one person who is currently representing 3 businesses will be grandfathered in.)
NEW MEMBER APPLICATION & FEES
Non-members are welcome to attend one meeting as our guest before submitting an application. We thank you for your interest in the Mountain Networking Referral Group. Applications are available from any member of the group and fees to be paid at the time of acceptance.
Application Fee (one-time): $50.00 plus first quarterly
Quarterly Dues: $25.00 ($100 annually)
Additional Business Quarterly Dues: $12.50
NOTE: A 10% discount will apply for an annual payment received by January 31 of the applicable membership year.
All payments are due by end of the first month of the quarter (January 31, April 30, July 30, October 31).
We encourage all members to pay for an annual membership at the beginning of the calendar year when a 10% discount will be applied.
Returning Members that have left the group and wish to rejoin, if within 6 months of departure, will need Committee approval. Upon approval, there will be no application fee required and all back quarterly dues will need to be fulfilled. After 6 months a returning member will be treated as a new member.
CORE STRUCTURE OF MNRG
One Minute “Elevator” Presentations
Members will present a weekly “elevator” presentation, length of time determined by the President, to introduce themselves and their business to the group. The weekly presentations allow members to become familiar with each other and their business. We encourage all members, particularly new members, to schedule one-on-one time with each member of the group to get to know them better.
Binders are provided to each member as they join; each business should ensure they have a flyer or hand out available for the binders. These serve as a reference guide for the member and a tool when talking to others about a referral. We also exchange business cards on a regular basis; each member will have a small supply to use when referring to your business.
Ten Minute Presentations
“Ten-minute” presentations typically introduce your business in greater detail. Any member of the group can request time on an upcoming agenda to have ten minutes of floor time. New members will use these presentations to introduce their business to the group, and we recommend you ask for time on the agenda during the first 30-60 days of joining. The presentations make a nice addition to our binders so bring copies to hand out. Members can also use the Ten Minute presentation time to give the group updates about their business or introduce a new product or service.
Our group occasionally hosts educational sessions on topics the group has agreed would be beneficial. An Educational Chairperson provides a motivational “thought for the week” during meetings and manages requests for topics, including helping the group to arrange for training. Any session, either during the meeting or after-hours, is optional. Some after-hour sessions may charge a fee; if you elect to participate you will be responsible for payment. These sessions are intended to grow our skills and benefit our businesses, be sure you surface topics you are personally interested into the Educational Chair.
The MNRG is a member of the Towns, and Union County Chamber of Commerce. A MNRG “Rack Card” is available at each Chamber. The cards include a list of all members of the group. These cards will be updated periodically as new members join, and made available to you as a member as well. We encourage you to put these on display in your businesses to help promote the MNRG.
We have had many years of experience with other types of networking groups. We encourage a competition-free environment by restricting membership to only one company selling a specific product. The requirements may appear to be stringent but they are done in this fashion because it works. Joining our group requires a very real commitment from you.
We will follow the Union County School closure for inclement weather.
The commitment that you make is really a promise that we all make to each other.
What we provide for our members:
Structured training and meeting formats
Referrals from other trusted members
Exposure to people outside of your county
We serve the mountain area of North Georgia and surrounding areas
Your profile on the MNRG website
Your profile in our professional brochure
Your profile distributed by other members
Brochures also distributed by other groups, chambers, the Department of Economic Development, etc.
Cross-links on the websites of other members where applicable
The best, most cost-effective way of growing your business
What we require from our members:
Cost is $50 one-time application fee and $100 annually or $25 paid quarterly. NOTE: A 10% discount will apply for an annual payment received by January 31 of the applicable membership year. All payments are due by end of the first month of the quarter (January 31, April 30, July 30, October 31).
You can do a one-on-one or bring a guest, a new referral, or a testimonial to every meeting
A one-on-one meeting is done so that you can get to know each other and each other’s business model
Report your gross revenue gained from referrals so that we may track our progress
TIME AND LOCATION:
Mountain Networking Referral Group meets every Thursday at 8:00 am at locations determined by the agenda (every other Thursday at 8:00 am in the summer months)
All government holidays are observed
We follow the Union County school system closures for inclement weather
Every member is expected to attend every meeting, but at least one meeting every four weeks is mandatory. Approved 18-8 on April 6, 2017.
Our meetings are very informal, however, all members will conduct themselves professionally and respectfully.
Please be respectful of other members by
turning off your cell phone or putting it on vibrate
not texting during the meeting
if you must make a call or text, please leave the room to do so
Please do not have side conversations during the member presentations
8:00 am – Meeting starts
Review and approval of Minutes
Reports: Treasurer, Membership, Referral & Income Generated
Elevator Speech presentations
Referrals, Testimonials & One-on-One Reports
Old Business/New Business
Referrals are the most important part of the Mountain Networking Referral Group and as such, we will be tracking them one of two ways:
A. Paper (carbonless) Form
The white copy goes to the member receiving the referral
The yellow copy goes to the member tracking referrals for MNRG
The pink copy is retained by the member making the referral
The member making the referral completes the information on the left side of the form. The member receiving the referral completes the information on the right side of the form, noting whether a sale was made, the date of the sale, and the amount of revenue generated. For recurring revenue, estimate the amount received over 12 months. Recurring revenue is only tracked for the initial 12-month period. The completed white copy is then returned to the member tracking referrals for MNRG. It will be matched with the pink copy previously received and entered as a completed referral.
B. Online Submission (member login required)
GUIDELINES FOR A CHARITABLE GIFT FROM MNRG Approved on February 23, 2017
Complete Application to Treasurer by deadline twice a year: May/October
Officers review the requests
2-week notice of a vote to the membership
Secretary notifies requesting entity of decision equaling yes or no to funding
Treasurer mails check if the decision is yes to funding
Criteria for all applicants:
Applicant must be a 501(c)3 business or a “community recognized charity” in Towns, Union, or Fannin counties.
The entity must make a presentation to the officers of how the funding will be used.
There will be a $250 limit per year for any one entity.
The Board will make the recommendation and the final vote will be by the membership.
DOWNLOAD an application for a charitable gift from MNRG.
GUIDELINES FOR STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP FROM MNRG Approved on April 6, 2017
Applicant must be a high school graduate or hold GED equivalent from Towns, Union, Fannin, or Rabun County
Freshman standing at a technical college or college or university
This is a need-based scholarship. The MNRG Student Scholarship Chair will work with high school counselors
This is a one-time need-based award of $500 per year ($250 per semester)
The scholarship will be awarded to one recipient per year. Children or grandchildren of MNRG members are not eligible.
The completed application will be reviewed by the Board of Officers then presented to the membership. The recipient will come to speak to the membership.
Creation of a new position: MNRG Student Scholarship Chair to work with high school counselors as this is proposed to be a need-based award for a young person who has overcome an adversity
DOWNLOAD an application for a student scholarship from MNRG.