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Business Group Looks to Make a Difference

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There are plenty of business and networking groups for professionals and service providers to choose from but the Northern Westchester Business Network has a different set of priorities than most organizations of its kind.

Its 23 members, consisting of business owners from White Plains to Bedford, just don’t want their attendees and guests to hand out business cards for their own benefit. Its leaders expect those involved to be active participants who help others by presenting ideas and devising solutions that make a difference for the entire group.

Meeting two Fridays a month, education is what sets the group apart, said Mark Tishler, owner of Mark’s Drive Your Auto Service in White Plains.

“I’m running my own business and this group gives me things to think about that you don’t necessarily think of on your own,” Tishler said. “Not only do they expose you to it but they want you to learn about it.”

The next event in furthering the Northern Westchester Business Network’s mission, which also has been opened to the general public, is this Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:45 a.m. at the Mount Kisco Public Library. The organization is sponsoring a program called “The Power of Email Marketing,” featuring guest speaker Ellen DePasquale, a software expert and marketing adviser who is a regional development director for the firm Constant Contact. The forum, which is being limited to about 100 attendees, will discuss how to build business relationships through email marketing as well as learning how to write compelling communications, building your mailing list and how to interpret results.

Anthony Markus, an attorney and Mount Kisco village trustee who serves as the organization’s president, said like most other professional groups referrals are part of the network’s responsibilities. However, the key part of its mission is reaching out to assist others.

“We distinguish ourselves from other groups by this educational component, this community component and we still represent businesses not only by bringing in referrals but also by education,” Markus said.

The group also doesn’t look to collect members just to boast a large roster, nor does it seek to add on proprietors and professionals just because they may represent a specific field, Markus said. Instead, the network’s leaders are more concerned about what each prospective member can bring to the group. All members are fully vetted and inclusion is far from automatic.

Barry Malvin, who runs the Armonk-based Malvin Associates, a web design and marketing company, said giving back to the community appeals to him most.

“When you give to others, you’re going to benefit by nature of the notoriety or whatever we get,” he said. “It fills that portion of our mission.”

The network is especially helpful for the small business owner, said Neal Schwartz, owner of Tutoring Club and College Assistance Plus as well as president of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. Schwartz said he’s often preoccupied with running his businesses and doesn’t get the chance to interact with other business owners or have the chance to stay up on the latest strategies.

To find out more about Friday’s forum or to pre-register, which is required, log on to or call Barry Malvin at 914-273-6966. A continental breakfast will be served at 7:45 a.m. followed by the presentation from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The Mount Kisco Public Library is located at 100 E. Main St. in Mount Kisco.

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