History of the Northern Nevada Executive Council (NNEC)
By Floyd Rowley, CPA, CCIM
Founder of the NNEC
After coming to Reno in July 2000 from Silicon Valley to become the CFO of a water disinfectant start-up company, Floyd Rowley joined the Reno office of Colliers International in May 2003 to focus on investment property sales. One month later the managing partner of the office started a series of “Rookie Training” classes for the new agents. One recommendation was to start a business leads group. There were already two groups in the office and Floyd thought this was a good idea. Floyd sought the advice of Alice Heiman, who he had met earlier that year, while he was still working for the start-up as it was being absorbed into its Series A funding source.
Alice, a well-known sales “increaser”, knew a lot about leads groups and expressed an interest in helping start the group – as long as it was not “just like any other leads group”. The NNEC held its first meeting on June 13, 2003 with 12 founding members. The NNEC’s founding principles that Alice help develop – are still the principles of the NNEC today, namely:
- No cold leads – all leads need to be “warm” and vetted by the member making the referral.
- The members need to know each other professionally – and socially – to develop the trust and confidence that the person making the referral is confident that the member being referred will give the referral their best effort to assist, so as not to embarrass the referring member and / or the NNEC.
- As a result, the NNEC officially sponsored periodic member / spouse / SO social events to enable members to get to know other members – and unofficially – to encourage members to invite other members out for coffee and lunch.
- Every member must be a senior executive / owner of their company and be the unique representative of their industry to the NNEC.
- Every meeting consists of a featured member speaker and concludes with members exchanging needs, lead and referral thank-you’s.
For the next few years Alice and Floyd collaborated frequently in searching for appropriate company members, running the monthly meetings and hosting the periodic social events at their homes – and the homes of other members.
In early 2009, Alice and Floyd met with the NNEC’s 3rd unofficial board member, Jack Beatty and decided things needed to change. As a result, NNEC 2.0 was launched: initiated dues @ $250 per year to “formalize” the organization, opened a bank account, registered as a non-profit with the Nevada Secretary of State, created the NNEC website and formalized meeting requirements. A Marketing Committee was formed to focus on both inward and external marketing.
In the ensuing two years the NNEC membership doubled, which called for another evaluation and transformation of the organization. In June 2011, NNEC 3.0 was launched. The dues were doubled to $500 to support quarterly social gatherings at various venues around Reno – and to support catering at home events. The Marketing Committee became the Social Committee, as the membership concluded that the NNEC did not need any outward exposure – the members did that individually as they gave and received warm business leads to each other. Also, the Social Committee was needed as planning quarterly events for up to 40 people required a lot of attention. The Membership Committee was formed to help Alice and Floyd in new / replacement member recruiting and to formalize the application, vetting and “hiring” process. Finally, attendance requirements were formalized, as well as the requirement for a member to send a qualified substitute to the monthly meeting if the “official” NNEC company (sic) member had a valid business excuse for missing the upcoming meeting.
Since at least 2010, the NNEC has met on the 1st Friday of every month at the beautiful, large conference room in the Law Offices of Holland & Hart, aka The Law Out West. Firm Managing Partner, Jim Newman volunteered this location. Their central Reno location and excellent AV facilities add significant value to the NNEC meetings. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the NNEC started meeting virtually via Zoom in March 2020, the go-to on-line meeting software of the year.
Since at least 2008, James Clausen, CPA, owner of Clausen and Company, provided all accounting and treasury functions for the NNEC, including the filing of the NNEC’s federal tax return, and the annual Nevada Secretary of State filings as well.
Another important administrative function for the NNEC was the annual liability insurance policy that has been brokered by Cheryl Justin, Sr. Commercial Lines Agent for Comstock Insurance since 2011. Fortunately, this policy never was called upon – but the peace of mind it brings is important.
In the summer of 2020, after a series of heart-to-heart conversations with Alice Heiman, both Alice and Floyd decided that they had done all they could for the NNEC, and after seventeen years of dedicated service, it was time for them to move on and bring in a new leadership team to carry the NNEC into the next decade.