- NetworkingPhoenix.com to Host its Last Signature Event of 2011 on Nov. 30 (11/1/2011)
- NetworkingPhoenix.com Turns 3 Years Old (11/1/2011)
- NetworkingPhoenix.com Founder and CEO Gelie Akhenblit Competes as a Finalist for the Young ATHENA Award (8/22/2011)
- Business Networking is Skyrocketing: 2,000 Professionals Expected to Attend the Valley's Most Popular Networking Event (7/31/2011)
- Phoenix Networkers Are Pulling Their Weight When It Comes to Stimulating the Local Economy (7/17/2011)
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Gelie is the Founder of www.NetworkingPhoenix.com.
Prior to establishing NetworkingPhoenix.com, Gelie spent years building relationships and developing her communication skills in Arizona's academic, small-business, and corporate arenas. As a student, she served as president of ASU's Pi Sigma Epsilon organization – a nationwide professional marketing group. Upon graduating magna cum laude, she spent 2 years as a publicist at a local start-up and later took on developmental responsibilities. Next, Gelie spent 2 years improving and streamlining internal employee communications across continents and multiple lines-of-business in JPMorgan's global IT infrastructure group.
It was during her time at the investment bank that Gelie serendipitously met Phoenix's leading social butterfly, Raven Valdes of Raven Events. Gelie started moonlighting for Raven, which exposed her to the local networking scene. Six months later, after being bit by the networking bug, Gelie decided to cut her corporate career short and venture out completely on her own. In January 2008, she launched her website and began contracting independently for various local and national companies. Chief among them were the business incubator startup Lucky Napkin LLC (www.luckynapkin.com) and consumer oriented www.amilya.com. At that time, Gelie worked directly with the companies' founders and ultimately forged close relationships with two of them: Amilya Antonetti and Anthony Tesoriero – both extremely successful self-made entrepreneurs. They became her mentors, teaching her invaluable lessons and guiding Gelie through the critical early stages of her own entrepreneurship.
In October of 2008, Gelie decided to re-brand and re-launch her website as NetworkingPhoenix.com – this time the main focus would be on the already popular events calendar. Since that re-launch, her company's membership has grown to nearly 21,000 and has become Arizona's de facto one-stop-shop for professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to network.
In addition to running the website, Gelie trains others on how to network strategically, create a personal following, and effectively and deliberately employ the latest social media tools. She also does speaking engagements on the importance of having a strategy when engaging in face-to-face networking and the power of building and maintaining strategic relationships.
Obviously Gelie is no stranger to the art and power of networking, but her passion for the craft runs even deeper than her professional experience might suggest. In the late '80s, 8 year old Gelie (and family) immigrated to Arizona as Soviet refugees fleeing religious persecution. Because of the hardships of poverty, it was necessary for her to take on many adult roles at that young age. She quickly became the family's interface with the outside world – translating at doctor's appointments, dealing with landlords, and even setting up and coordinating her own schooling. Gelie learned how important it was to know the right people and have access to the right resources at a very young age and she carried this knowledge into adulthood.
Gelie is a 2012 honoree of Arizona Foothills Magazine's 10 Women Who Move the Valley; Selected as one of azcentral.com's 2011 Intriguing People in Arizona Business; 2011 Young ATHENA finalist; recipient of the 2011 Social Media AZ Award (SMAZZIE) in the category of 'Homegrown Can of Awesome'; NAWBO's Emerging Visionary 2010 Award; AZ Magazine's 35 women entrepreneurs under 35 who are helping elevate Arizona's business community 2009 recipient; Is on the board of the Suns Nite Hoops charity organization; And is also a Greater Phoenix SCORE Certified Mentor where she helps small business owners with networking.
Because of her all-out addiction to networking, Gelie has quite literally attended thousands of networking functions and built professional relationships with thousands of people who are now part of her personal network. It's not just her job to get to know you, it's her passion and she's looking forward to it!