North Canton Patch: Where did the inspiration for a Monday Meeting Mastermind come from?
John Allensworth: There are many business lead generation groups, tip clubs, BNI, etc. These are much needed and fulfill a very specific function. I felt that a group that could act like an unpaid and an objective board of directors for small businesses would have a place among the other networking groups. I feel we have succeeded.
North Canton Patch: Have you created any other networking groups?
Allensworth: Yes. NCAB (North Canton Associates for Business) 2007, and the first tip club ever in Alliance in 2008.
North Canton Patch: Does your job at Montrose involve a lot of networking?
Allensworth: Yes! I am involved in producing approximately one large networking event per month. I attend about 150 networking events per year. (Breakfasts, lunches and business after-hour events in addition to the one we produce at Montrose.)
North Canton Patch: In the magazine article in cbc magazine (cleveland business connects), you say that you are passionate about networking. Why do you feel networking is so important?
Allensworth: Too bad we use the word networking. What I am passionate about is representing my company. That is a 24/7 job. I feel it’s everyone’s job to do this. I guess that makes me passionate.
North Canton Patch: How has networking impacted your life?
Allensworth: We all have a handful of real friends but networking makes it possible for me to call upon one of the 3,500 contacts I have in my smartphone. Really, no more friends than others but maybe more contacts to accomplish things. I also believe very strongly in the philosophy of “the casual connection” — when someone I know only slightly may (and does) say “I can’t help you, but I know a guy from Montrose …”
North Canton Patch: What are your ultimate goals in life?
Allensworth: Take care of my family and to do good.
North Canton Patch: What is your vision for the Monday Morning Mastermind meetings? How do you feel it can improve and progress?
Allensworth: When I started the group, I made it clear that I would be the facilitator for one year. That’s what I did and now the leadership changes yearly. My goal for the group is for it to go in whatever direction fate takes it. It has been interesting.
North Canton Patch: What do you love most about North Canton?
Allensworth: Small-town Americana.
North Canton Patch: Where do you feel the city can improve?
Allensworth: This is really a very tough question for me. I would like to see North Canton be more open and welcoming, but at the same time small towns are lovely because they think like small towns.
North Canton Patch: Who is your greatest role model?
Allensworth: There are so many. Two of the most admirable people that come immediately to mind in modern history are Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil. Politically they were polar opposites but they thought of America first. How novel.