Previous NCJS Meetings



The global pandemic continued through 2021 and we witnessed a significant shift in the ways job searches, as well as work itself, is being conducted.  As more work, meetings,and even industry conferences are being conducted online, so is networking, interviewing, and hiring.  NCJS programs changed to support the new landscape of the job search process.


These are previous topics, speakers, and resources North Coast Job Seekers provided for its members. The first meeting of each month (on the Second Monday) is ordinarily a Networking Meeting.  The other monthly meeting involves a speaker and presentation. Join us in future meetings to sharpen your job seeking skills, interact with well-connected professionals, and learn from some of the North Coast's best job skill leaders.

Second Monday of Each Month

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Virtual Networking Meeting

Networking & Job Search Issues


Join with other NCJS members and leaders for constructive networking,
job search troubleshooting, sharing what's going well and what is not,
and collaborating on job leads.

Networking is one of the cornerstones of North Coast Job Seekers and we are very intentional about providing face-to-face time to explore connections, be introduced to new contacts, discover new opportunities, and share the people resources that YOU have to help another job seeker.  Join with other NCJS members for this face-to-face time of constructive networking, job leads, and issue sharing.

Monday, January 25, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


The Art of Hello:
Professional Branding

Be Remembered in a Noisy World

Speaker:  Paula Calise

As professionals we all deserve to be known for our achievements, and to be understood for our value proposition.


Right now, it’s a particular noisy world. The news is cluttered and people are preoccupied with the Covid-19 virus.


Now is not the time to lose ground on being known for your professional achievements, hard work accumulated over years or decades. Be proactive in using your Art of Hello™ message, making it simple and clean so that people can “hear you” over the din of our troubled times.


Often called personal branding, the core is introducing yourself to people in a way that the listener understands the essence of your professional life. Once scripted and perfected, your branded introduction is a durable asset. It is useful for emerging professionals, for senior leaders, for business owners, for those seeking positions on boards, and job seekers.


A well-conceived professional brand introduction is the old-fashioned elevator pitch polished up to a professional level with a memorable impact. It differentiates you from others. So simple to recognize when done well, and so hard to make one your own. Paula provides the background, tips and rules and a three-step method that results in you having a professional brand introduction of your own to use, that day. It’s called the Art of Hello.



Paula specializes in filling hard to fill positions, completing over 600 mission critical searches since founding Linked Executive Search.  Paula is known for rapidly finding talent to fill key positions that fit the company, culture and team – delivering quality candidates who can step in and immediately produce positive results.  Across many professions and industries, Paula often fills jobs that have been open for 6 weeks to 6 months. Forbes lists Linked Executive Search #1 headquartered in Texas and 9th overall in the US on their list of the US Best Recruiting Firms for 2020.

As a hiring manager by profession, Paula fills jobs like her clients would themselves, if they had the time.  With years of leadership in sales and marketing at TXU Energy, LexisNexis and IBM, she brings a wealth of placement and executive experience to every client search.


Paula is a frequent speaker and author on The Art of Hello™, Be Remembered in a Noisy World, providing presentations, workshops and keynote addresses. Paula can be heard at MBA programs, professional associations, conferences, internal company leadership programs, and job seekers support groups. Paula’s popularity as a speaker is in part due to providing actionable and fresh perspective on the topic of personal branding for professionals and executives. Paula shares the tips and tools on The Art of Hello weekly on LinkedIn.


Paula earned an undergraduate degree in HR from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the University of Houston. She is actively involved in community volunteerism and leadership. Paula serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of North Texas College of Business.  She is a board member of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Retail Executive Association, co-founder of Dallas Executive Women’s Network Group, a founding member and Vice President of The Board Connection, and a former Assistant Vice President of Southwest Higher Education Authority.

Monday, February 22, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Happiness @TheSpeedofLife:

Five Prescriptions for Living and Leading

in a VUCA-Pandemic World"


Speaker:  Jim Smith

The Executive Happiness Coach

The idea of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) is decades old, but we’re now immersed in a living VUCA laboratory! This talk will provide you foundational principles for living and leading a happier, more balanced life in a world gone crazy!  You will leave with five specific actions you can practice to improve the strength of your “positive emotional muscles” and increase your experience of happiness in life, work, and job search.


You will also learn how much control you really have over your attitude, even in the worst of times.  Why is this important to you?  Hey, happier people make better partners, parents, and friends, as well as better leaders and candidates.  It starts with you!


Jim Smith is The Executive Happiness Coach®, a global executive coach, health & wellness coach, author, international speaker, and troublemaker.  His passion is to create a Happier world and workplace, one Leader at a time.

Drawing on his 20+ years of executive experience as well as 50+ years as a Human Being, Jim has coached leaders from 30 countries and six continents to better balance their lives, upgrade their confidence and executive presence, and build more positive workplace cultures. 

Jim is also the author of four books on Happiness, Leadership, and Coaching, and has touched the lives of over 18,000 people through his work on Positive Emotion and and Leadership. He holds multiple credentials in Human Resources and Coaching and he won’t ever stop learning!

Finally, Jim wants you to know this: he lives in a multigenerational compound filled with love and good food, he dances a little every day, and he worships Dark beer, Dark Coffee, and Dark Chocolate... and deeply believes that Happiness is a Decision, not an Event!


Learn more about Jim at

Monday, March 22, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Power of Presence:
The Secret Sauce for Being Unstoppable in Life

and in Your Job Search"


Speaker:  Jeff Nischwitz

Jeff Nischwitz is known as a Snow Globe Shaker who’s on a mission to help people shift how they lead and thereby shift their leadership impact. He's an international speaker and personal transformation coach known for his unique perspectives, challenging traditional thinking, and delivering tangible shifts for leaders to grow their people, build their businesses and enhance their relationships. Jeff's the Founder of The Nischwitz Group, a speaking, consulting and coaching company that transforms people and organizations—one truth at a time! He's the co-founder of, a leadership development ecosystems that grows leaders and their impact. He also co-hosts the Impact Leadership Podcast ( Jeff has published four leadership and business books, including his most recent – Just One Step: Walking Backwards to the Present on the Camino Trail (Eagle Heart Press 2020).

Join us on March 22, 2021 as Jeff shares the Power of Presence: The Secret Sauce for Being Unstoppable in Life and in Your Job Search. Jeff has experienced the power of presence first hand and believes that presence is the most powerful state of being on the planet – the secret sauce – and presence is the only state of being that allows you to experience being UNSTOPPABLE! Join us as Jeff helps you explore and enhance your presence and ultimately your job search effectiveness and impact.

Monday, April 26, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Personal Branding"


Speaker:  Kris McGuigan

In today’s competitive business world, having a personal brand is essential to differentiate yourself and stand out among the crowd. Are you able to articulate your personal ROI in a clear and compelling manner?


In this interactive program, you will learn to:

  • Discover your unique value proposition
  • Communicate your brand in a memorable, meaningful manner
  • Develop simple strategies for ongoing reputation management

Kris McGuigan, MBA, BCC, ACRW

Early in Kris’s career, a supervisor coined the term “professional courage” to describe her direct and fearless approach to problem-solving. Kris McGuigan now brings that same bold outlook to her clients and their career aspirations.


In founding Professional Courage, Kris translated 15 years of corporate success into a targeted mission: empowering high potentials to step up and stand out in the marketplace. She built a premier career services firm from the ground up, replacing a 6-figure income within 24 months of leaving her corporate position. In 2019, Kris was honored as an Entrepreneurial Woman of Note by Crain’s Cleveland Business.


Kris is distinguished as a Board Certified Coach with 200+ hours of training alongside some of the industry’s top experts. She also holds the prestigious ACRW designation, making her one of only a handful of Academy Certified Resume Writers across the globe to also hold an MBA.


With a brand formed by courage and constancy, Kris uses her own story to guide clients and audiences to success in an ever-changing job market. When not on stage or in the office, she and her husband, Rick, enjoy time with their two children – Claire and Matthew – and a mini golden named Geoffrey.


Monday, May 24, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Modern Job Searching"

Speaker:  Rico Aliers

In this interactive presentation Rico Aliers will discuss OhioMeansJobs resources, tapping in to hidden job networks, using applicant tracking software, creating ATS-proof modern resumes, and conducting virtual interviews.  There will be plenty of opportunities to engage on specific topics of members' interest as well as question-answer period.


Rico Aliers is a seasoned training and development professional with more than 10 years of experience teaching diverse groups of adults.  He teaches career and social media workshops at the Ohio Means Jobs center in Summit County in order to assist job seekers in finding and retaining full-time permanent employment with benefits.  OhioMeansJobs is an amazing organization that is responsible for placing thousands of job seekers every year into full-time permanent positions.  The organization works with diverse populations from the seasoned executive, the multi-felon, to the individuals that have never obtained paid employment.  No matter the background, no matter the experience, if an individual needs a permanent full time job with benefits, Rico and OhioMeansJobs is committed to helping them find and land their position.  All services are offered free of charge.

Monday, June 28, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting



Q&A with HR Experts

Mark D’Agostino, Kevin Doherty,
Maria Gaeta, Suzanne Nebe Mullenhour

Moderators: Emily Smayda Kelly, Terese McGroarty

This NCJS presentation will be a conversation with a panel of HR leaders.  Topics will include:

  • Their BEST TIPS for the job search process.
  • What is the best way to get noticed when going after a posted opening?
  • Is there more I should be doing? Will my phone calls and emails help or hurt during the process? How much is too much?
  • What is the best piece of advice an HR professional could share with you to make your search more effective?
  • What burning question do you have that an HR professional could answer?

The panel of HR professionals with unique experiences in diverse organizations will share their job search insights and do their best to answer your important questions. Click the button below to find out more about our outstanding panelists.

Monday, July 26, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Are You Ready for Takeoff?"


Speaker:  Pat Schultz

Success coach, Pat Schultz, helps entrepreneurs over 40 crush their limiting beliefs so they can finally break free of the chains that have been holding them back.


Pat uses a straight-forward 4-step plan to help individuals reach their goals. This method has helped individuals land career positions as well as reach business goals. She empowers people to embrace their dreams, remove perceived blocks to achieving them and take transformative action to create the life they’ve always wanted.


Pat earned an MBA from CWRU, is a certified speaking coach through the Transformational Speakers Agency, and a certified facilitator through the Proctor Gallagher Institute.


In her presentation, Pat will introduce you to a secret weapon for your job search.

Monday, August 23, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"Video Interview Tips in the Pandemic &
Post-Pandemic World"


Speaker:  Michael Spiro

Michael Spiro has been a 3rd-Party Recruiter and Account Executive in the staffing industry for over 20 years.  He is currently the Director of Recruiting / Northeast Ohio for Jefferson Wells, a dedicated business unit of ManpowerGroup.  Other recent positions include President of Midas Recruiting, a boutique head-hunting firm, and Director of Talent at Patina Solutions, a professional services firm that deploys professionals with at least 25 or more years of experience.  Prior to that, Michael was with two of the largest publicly-traded executive search firms in North America – Management Recruiters International (MRI) and Kforce Professional Staffing – where his specialty area was permanent placement.


Michael has sourced candidates for clients in multiple industries, including Software Development, Manufacturing, Banking, Insurance, Legal, Retail and Medical.  He has recruited candidates for positions in Sales, Healthcare, Information Technology (IT) and Finance & Accounting.  Michael is also the creator of a popular blog, Recruiter Musings, providing free advice for job-seekers and receiving thousands of hits a week from all over the world.


Before his career in the staffing industry, Michael was a director-level manager and department head for a $10 million non-profit social-services organization.  And in a former life, Michael was active in the entertainment industry, with extensive road-warrior experience as a touring performer (singer-songwriter / guitarist / comedian) and as a recording artist, music producer and booking agent.  A long-time resident of the Cleveland, Ohio area, Michael received a B.A. degree in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University.

Monday, September 27, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


"From One Job to the Next:
Financial & Legal Best Practices"


Speakers:  Gina Betti & Emily Smayda Kelly

Gina Betti works as a Financial Advisor.  Her aim professionally as well as personally is to seek the highest quality possible and work for that goal.  Gina sees both financial matters and every person she meets with the understanding that there is no such thing as "one size fits all."  She is committed to listening, learning, and providing the best service she can.  That extends from her professional life into her extensive volunteer work, including North Coast Job Seekers.  Connect with Gina on LinkedIn and join her in the NCJS LinkedIn Group.


Emily Smayda Kelly, Esq. guides both individuals and companies through transitions with her legal consulting company, Kel-Lume Group.  She has taken twenty years of being a labor and employment attorney experience in public (Jane Campbell Administration), private (Union Representation), corporate (Tradesmen International), and nonprofit (GC of Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio), settings on both sides of the table and now focuses on making a difference.  She helps individuals navigate through their employment challenges, including non-compete, severance packages, unemployment and coaches them through to their next opportunity be it traditional employment, business owner, or independent contractor.

Monday, October 25, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


“10 Second Resume”


Speaker:  Jim Folger

Jim Folger will give a presentation on resumes, sharing what is most important from a recruiter's perspective to quickly communicate the key things in your background.  This presentation will provide insights that might help you get screened IN vs. screened out.


Jim Folger is a recruiter, and the President of OneSource Technical, Inc., a national search firm that partners with small to medium sized companies to help them recruit for a broad range of professional positions.  Jim is an Engineer with 2 decades of industry experience in engineering, management, and customer-facing roles prior to founding OneSource Technical.  Jim’s background as a hiring manager and as a recruiter provides a unique perspective that encompasses both sides of the hiring desk.  Jim can be a valuable resource to reach out to should you be at a crossroad in your career and need to brainstorm ideas.  Job seekers are also welcome to Search Jobs in the company’s network of nearly 1.000 recruiters.  Connect with Jim on LinkedIn and join him in the NCJS LinkedIn Group.

Monday, November 22, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


“Ask A Recruiter”

with Lloyd Buckwell, Jim Folger & Mark Kelly

What would you like to ask a recruiter?  Here's the chance to get answers to YOUR questions straight from the recruiters.


We will have three professional recruiters online and you can ask them YOUR questions. Have you every wondered... What is the difference between various recruiters?  Why do the recruiters ghost me?  How do I know if I can trust a recruiter?  These are all fair questions plus any you want to pose to our panel.  This is such a unique opportunity – you won't want to miss it!

Monday, December 13, 2021

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
[online meeting room will open at 7:15pm]

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


“Accelerate Your Holiday Job Search”

Speaker: Mark Gonska

Historically, 70% of your competitors think
“No one gets hired between Thanksgiving and January 2”


Events, family gatherings, and holiday parties
can yield job offers


How a robust networking plan can fit
while wearing your Christmas tie


Gonska has a super-secret hack on overcoming
unemployment embarrassment in the HO, HO, HO

Mark Gonska is Executive Vice President for Dise & Company. During his extensive career, Gonska has assisted thousands of individuals in career acceleration by providing strategic coaching in identifying and reaching their vital goals. He works primarily with executives and high-impact employees. As an Executive Coach, he has helped them obtain new positions or explore other career or entrepreneurial options. In addition, Gonska has substantial experience in working with groups – he has worked on plant closings and job relocation projects throughout the United States.  He also has experience in delivering leadership and executive coaching.  His clientele spans many disciplines and includes human resource leaders.

Gonska brings a significant network of contacts from business, industry and not-for-profit organizations.

Gonska’s background includes international marketing and product management positions in a Fortune 200 corporation, as well as participation in the successful start-up and development of a technology-based company. He holds a BA in communications from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) and has completed additional human resources study at Baldwin-Wallace College (Ohio).

Gonska has been a member of the Board of Trustees for the Cleveland Society for Human Resource Management and is on the Faces of Hope committee for the Volunteers of America.  In addition to being a nationally certified professional resume writer, he contributed to the book The Five O’Clock Club Guide to Building a Great Resume. He is a frequent speaker and personality on television, radio, podcasts and many groups interested in career management or job search acceleration.

2020 Meetings & Topics

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Meeting Schedule

Currently Meeting Online

Second & Fourth Monday

of each month

7:30 - 9:00pm

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