- Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine
B2B Group Trusted Professionals
By Kathleen Reynolds -
When you need to make a business decision, you turn to someone you trust. That’s the reasoning behind Business to Business (B2B), a group of professionals who meet monthly.
“We started the group seven years ago,” says LPL Financial Advisor Mark Richmond, one of the founders of the group. “We meet once a month and talk about our professions, news in our sectors and anything upcoming of which we should be aware. Right now, we have nine members, but we can have as many as 12 or 14.”
The setting is informal, at a conference table at Mark’s office. “We trust and feel comfortable referring business to each other. I love that we have a broad area of professionals represented. One of our clients used seven of the members; an attorney to write a Living Trust, a realtor to do Deeds and Title work, and so on.” Mark says they are not as rigid as similar business groups.
“Our strength is in being trusted advisors, not as a regimented group. There’s no rule that dictates we must refer X number of people to one another in a month or you must attend a certain number of meetings. Our dues are $250 a year.
That money goes back into events we hold.”
A recent event was their second annual “Backpacks & BBQ,” where each member sent invitations to their business mailing groups. The group hosted a barbeque and participants were asked to donate a backpack for needy children to go back to school. They collected over $1000 in donations and received 142 backpacks. Volunteers filled the packs with school supplies which
were then distributed to three schools and Expressions of Hope, a nonprofit that helps foster children and their families.
Their members practice their professions within the confines of the Napa Valley and, although they meet in the City of Napa, they’ve had members in St. Helena and Calistoga. Homebridge Mortgage Professional Cheris Hallman explained why B2B is important to her.
“We teach each other,” says Cheris. “We keep each other up to date on the latest in each of our individual markets. We hold each other accountable and support each other. Our culture is focused on blessing others, including those in our group, versus “what can I get out of this.” During this (pandemic), somehow, we’ve all benefited, and our businesses have grown.”
Lise Tarner, Vice President, Branch Manager at Bank of Marin adds, “It is important to me to have a trusted referral network of professionals at my disposal to provide to my clients, family and friends. I love when something new comes up in a certain industry to have a trusted source to turn to for more information.”
Another interesting take on the group occurred during the COVID isolation. “I moved here nine years ago from San Diego, when my wife was promoted to an officer position with Doctors Company,” says Commercial Insurance Broker, Patrick Felde of the Michael Enrenfeld Company-Acrisure Partner Agency. “In that I was a partner in the insurance agency, I’ve been able to work remotely the entire time. B2B became an avenue for me to meet other business professionals and participate in functions that support our community and, at the same time, continue my insurance career.”
“I suppose the most important information that I have gained from B2B is the realization that Napa Valley, despite its image of wine and wealth, is a community that has many needs that deserve support.” Community and giving back are repeated themes to all the members of B2B.
“One person cannot be everything for anyone,” says Kristofer Chun of the Kristofer Chun Real Estate Team. “It takes a team of people. The most important work we do at B2B is to help our community. My mission is to help people. It is a tenant of my business and life n general.”
“I have participated in Toys for Tots for nearly 30 years. When I moved to Napa and formed my team, I wanted to help the community and those most in need. This year will be B2B 8th annual Toys for Tots event. Last year (due to COVID) we didn’t want to leave kids without toys, so we pivoted and held the event at the Drive-in Movies at the Expo. This year we hope to return it to the Napa Valley Country Club and have a festive cocktail reception as we have done in the past.”
“B2B is a group of small businesses that are like-minded. We are here to help each other grow and be successful as well as helping our community.”
Dustin Diede, owner operator of Pillar to Post home inspection company in Napa explains, “B2B helps keep me grounded to my community. As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes get tunnel vision. One of my goals when I started the business was to get back to the community. By being a member of this organization, opportunities for community involvement arrive frequently. When you have brothers and sisters (like my B2B partners) with the same likeminded goals, we drive each other and together we seek out opportunities to take care of our community.”
When asked what is the most important information he’s received from B2B, Dustin replies, “There really is no single thing that is more important than any other. Generally, the information received in this organization is all valuable. However, friendship with professionals who have like-minded aspirations and goals that are committed to community outreach clearly are the big take-a-ways here.”
For further information about B2B, Mark Richmond suggests you contact him at (707) 603-2663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.