Mary was quoted in the award-winning business and innovation magazine - Fast Company, People You Need in Your Support Network and How To Find Them
I connect people. Can’t help myself. I love introducing people and do it with such enthusiasm that I scare wall-huggers at a party. Don’t care.
In my past, I’ve introduced a group of youth to a member of foreign royalty, a US Ambassador, a Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist, the winningest coach in college basketball, the late Dean Smith, and Frank Capra, Jr., the former President of EUE ScreenGems Studios, NC. I’ve introduced a former Harlem Globetrotter to a casting agent who hired him for a role in a major motion picture.
I admittedly have a thing for athletes and they seem to know that...I’ve attracted three former pro football players in the past who wanted connections for their speaking and broadcast careers.
Several years ago, I did a successful business networking campaign for a client in software who connected me to a colleague who was getting into games. I did the same thing for him, and that’s when I knew that professional networking as a stand-alone service was born.
Since then, I’ve introduced game developers and professional talent to business partners, clients, media, and resources. I’ve helped composers, voice-over actors, and developers secure clients, partners, speaking gigs, and even advisory positions with major brands. I’ve helped a games peripherals company surround their E3 booth 10 deep and launch a new product at CES with publicity from a major publication (who kept it hush until the release). I’ve even been hired to network at E3 on behalf of clients who didn’t have the time to go.
But, most recently, my scope of work has taken me to a direction that might seem odd to most, given my background...but, it couldn't feel more natural. I've begun working with Social Entrepreneurs, and, what I call Greater Good Businesses. The expanded work focus comes partly from making collaborative introductions for clients that partnered them with charities for mutually beneficial promo projects. It also comes from a life-long passion for making high-viz introductions to inspire, educate, and support international and cultural alliances. Given the intense interest of change-makers to increase reach and scale business, I simply figured they could use a "connection agent," and who better than moi?! So, I've been gathering up lots of resources and producing programs for the do-it-yourselfers. You'll see offerings (some free) here on the site and around my social media. I'll be providing info on prepping yourself for networking for funds and creating the kind of visibility potential investors want to see. I'll guide you through who you need to have in your network to help you expand the reach faster, and, I'll step you through making those connections. Or, if you're into getting it "done-for-you," I'm your gal. I invite you to reach out and let's get to know each other. Oh, and, I'm also coaching those who wish to add professional networking as a service to their business. I'm just too good not to.
So, let's get busy and build that wave of momentum! I look forward to connecting.
What is a Professional Networker?
A professional networker is a business and marketing savvy professional skilled in making connections and introductions who is paid to create meaningful matches for business purposes.
Mary found her way to Professional Networking primarily through the games industry..but, the first opportunity came via the IT industry.
After a successful Professional Networking campaign for the CEO of a software firm, she was contracted by a former Microsoft VP-turned games entrepreneur who was launching a marketing platform. He needed connections to US publishers...and he needed it yesterday.
With a second successful Professional Networking campaign under her belt, Kurek realized that she could turn the casual intros she had been making for marketing clients into a stand-alone service.
Understanding the uniqueness of this new service, she stepped easily into the role and settled into games, focusing primarily on seasoned developers and talent.
But, that didn't stop composers, interactive designers, former White House chefs, online service providers, tech companies, and social entrepreneurs from reaching out.
NEW FOCUS: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS:
It was the connection with social entrepreneurs and greater-good businesses that tapped Mary's deepest interest and greatest strength.
Ability to rapidly scale projects for investor interest prompts a need for high-level networking. Short deadlines, overwhelmed entrepreneurs, and a lack of network diversity creates a perfect gap for Mary's unique skills. And, it all fits with her mission to change the way that people connect with one another for "big."
Scott Dudelson, Prodege LLC/Swagbucks.com - Loyalty/Reward Site (ranked among top 100 sites in the US), CA
Mary, you are amazing. The whole process feels very comfortable and natural. I'd never have the time to dig up all these leads as quickly as you do. Thank you for being our secret weapon.
Penka Kouneva, Award-Winning Film & Game Composer, Credits that include Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, Transformers, & Gears of War Games
You were the greatest asset in building my business during the last year. Two biz development trips - to Raleigh/Durham and to GDC were fantastic. You are a Godsend.
Jon Gregerson, Managing Partner, Timbuk2 Studios
I have found Mary to be outstanding as a pro networker with regard to business development opportunities. Doing what I do for our studio at Timbuk2, I don't have time to do what she does so excellently as a relationship bridge builder. I think Mary is also uniquely gifted in what she does and follows high level protocols to earn the trust of those she works with
Naomi Thompson, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant
After reading her book, I co-founded a wildy successful networking group, "Women in Business Unite (WIBU), (yes you can google it...we were in the news!) Won 2 Consecutive Ambassador of the Year Awards with the Jacksonville/Onslow Chamber of Commerce, and was named the recipient of the 2011 Linda L Richardson Minority Business Advocate of the Year!.....on top of building a rock solid direct sales business....now, in my 10th year! Now my secret is out....Thanks SOOOOOO much Mary, you have made a difference in my life and the lives' of others! You are simply AMAZING.
Scott Allen, CEO of VETERANS-GAMING
Mary is constantly introducing me to the movers and shakers in our industry and her efforts to help us obtain affiliates, sponsorships, and more new partners has been a great success.
George Bray, Head of Technology Recruitment (Video Games), MPG Universal.
I like to keep things simple, so I can describe Mary in three words: Awesome, Professional and Amazing! Mary is such a smart and natural networker who has helped me on numerous occasions make contact with the correct people & first time, maximizing my efficiency and deal making. I can't recommend Mary enough & I'm looking forward to working with her again, whenever I can. It's a pleasure.
Bora Aytun, CMO, Mavi Interactive (Producer of Award Winning Agent Surefire Infosec Training Game)
The moment you sign on with Mary you better be prepared to handle the onslaught of great leads! She’s the real ”Agent Surefire!