What is the backstory?
Referral Link Networking is a local networking group founded in 2004 by three motivated small business owners who knew there had to be another option to the rigid formation of more widely known branded groups available across the Twin Cities. Their rigid nature was not only more intimidating for some small business owners and entrepreneurs, its rules and regulations were also more restrictive; making it more difficult for members to keep up with obligations while continuing to build and manage a business. They are also a lot more expensive which made the value less appealing especially if they were struggling with the format, to begin with.
Lisa Ash; a local REALTOR with Coldwell Banker Burnet at the time, Randy Haney; a local Mortgage professional, and Larry Lawinger, owner of local Computer Docs and LCI Consulting collaborated on a new format and mission and launched the Osseo based Referral Link Networking group.
Initially, the group meetings were held in an available back room in one of the member’s offices in downtown Osseo, but when the group began to expand there was a need to relocate to accommodate the seating of new members.
Today the group meets for breakfast at Lynde’s Restaurant on Hwy 81 in Osseo. Although many of the members come from a number of different regions of the Twin Cities including (but not limited to), Plymouth, Hopkins, Brooklyn Park, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, New Brighton and Blaine, the group has found their home and their routine in meeting at Lynde’s every Wednesday.
It’s this rhythm and consistency that has played a solid role in the group’s stability, but it’s the commitment of each of the members to one another that has strengthened and grown the networking group over the past couple of years.
Randy Haney retired from the mortgage business, and Larry Lawinger outgrew the group with a booming business that focuses on larger corporations now (not a bad reason to move on). But, both gentlemen continue to stay in touch with members of the group and one of the original founders; Lisa Ash, who is still an active member in good standing today (2017-2018).