Previous NCJS Meetings



The Global Pandemic remained a significant threat in 2022, particularly with Omicron and other varients. COVID-19 vaccinations were proving effective at not only preventing the spread of the virus, but also in reducing the severity of infection-related illnesses.


NCJS was now proficient in meeting virtually, though we all miss being in the same room together. We once again had an excellent roster of speakers, meeting topics, and online virtual networking. We met on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Ordinarily, the first meeting of the month was a roundtable for job search troubleshooting and the second meeting was a speaker with a presentation.

Second Monday of Each Month 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Job Search
Troubleshooting Roundtable

We've all been there in our job searches... those times when we hit a speedbump or roadblock and need help talking it through.  We have discovered in our virtual NCJS meetings that in addition to networking, some of our most valuable time is when we bring our issues to the group and ask for troubleshooting help.  This meeting is a Roundtable of Experts -- ALL of us helping one another.


• Troubleshooting Help

• Tools & Tips

• Resource Sharing

• Networking


We will make the best use of this face-to-face time to help one another in a roundtable format.  We will always have members of the community who have extensive experience, including our facilitators and board members.  All are welcome and all are encouraged to seek input for solving those speedbumps and roadblocks.

Monday, January 24, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


“Jumpstart Your Job Search
in the New Year”


Speaker:  Kristen McLaughlin

Jumpstart Your Job Search in the New Year

With many people currently looking for a new job (or thinking about looking for a new job), Jumpstart Your Job Search by starting off strong!


Focus on what you CAN control in your search and how to increase your odds of landing a new job faster.


Join this session to learn more about what you CAN control related to your job search during this time:


1. The #1 thing you must identify right now


2. How to best showcase yourself professionally


3. Strategies for taking control back of your job search


Kristen McLaughlin
Owner, KM Career Coaching & Consulting


Kristen McLaughlin, MBA, BCC, works with motivated professionals who are at a transition point in their career and want clarity and support to help them reach their career goals. She is passionate about working with clients to uncover their strengths and how best to utilize these in the workplace. Clients from a variety of industries and stages of their career have seen success in working with Kristen.

Kristen’s unique experience in working with a variety of companies over the past 10+ years in external partnership roles provides her with an understanding of the challenges facing professionals today.


Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, USA, Kristen earned her Executive Coaching Certificate from Case Western Reserve University and is a Board Certified Coach. She earned business degrees from John Carroll University and Case Western Reserve University.


Kristen is a member of several professional organizations, including International Coach Federation (ICF) – Cleveland Chapter and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Monday, February 28, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Why Is My Job Search Stalled?
Fill in the Blanks for Better Job Search Results


Speaker:  Katherine Burik

Why Is My Job Search Stalled?

Fill in the Blanks for Better Job Search Results

The human mind fills in a vacuum, making up reasons when nothing else makes sense.  Katherine Burik calls this, “I’m too….”.  When your job search stalls, it is natural to fill in the blanks with seemingly logical reasons.  It must be something about me.  “I’m too…”  Which “I’m too” does your mind jump to?  I’m too old?  I’m too young? I’m too black?  I’m too white?  No one will hire me because I’m too…


What if the reason your job search stalls has little to do with you?  What if there is another reason?  What if you could change your actions to change your outcome?


Join Katherine Burik, The Interview Doctor®, to explore this phenomenon, including one of the biggest Boomer conclusions, “I’m too old”.


Katherine frequently speaks to job seekers groups with advice on how to move your job search forward so you can get the job you want.  She published three books and hundreds of blogs filled with ideas reflecting the job search experience.

Monday, March 28, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Improving Your “BAT”-ing Average
During Your Job Search


Speaker:  Rick McDermott

Improving Your  "BAT"-ing Average During Your Job Search

For most professionals, being in transition can create a lot of anxiety of what the future holds.  Finding your next landing zone becomes a full-time job.  In 2012, Rick McDermott (now principal at Sandler Training, Independence) was bounced from his job in a corporate reorganization.  “I knew my position was in jeopardy, yet when I was let go it felt like a punch in the stomach.”  Rick leaned on his formal training that allowed him to create a plan to get his career back on track.


In this session Rick will guide you through the success triangle for professionals, something he leaned on back in 2012.  He will help you apply the same philosophies his clients use today to find that extra advantage over the competition.  Spoiler alert, it all starts with your behavior.


Prior to joining the Sandler network, Rick McDermott spent over 20 years with several of North America’s largest steel distribution centers providing a broad range of products, value-added services, and logistic solutions to companies in diverse industries such as Oil & Gas, Semi-Conductor, Aerospace, Power Generation, and Capital Equipment Manufacturing.

He joined the Sandler network in 2013 with a vision of providing world-class professional development solutions that empower organizations to reach their full potential, scale-revenue, and create pathways to a better business and life-long prosperity for all.


Rick's mission is to drive organizational change by challenging the status quo while building best-in class revenue generating operations.

Monday, April 25, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Unleashing Your Potential


Speaker:  Marsha Friedman

Unleashing Your Potential

Does your workday look like this:  get up, get dressed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play with the kids, watch TV, shower and go to bed… and repeat day in and day out?  You earn a decent wage, like the people you work with and the work you do.  It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone and keep doing what you are doing.


Or, is it?  Do you ever wonder is this all there is?  Do you ever think if I wasn’t afraid, what would I do?  Do you ever see someone else who is doing something and think, I could do that!  What’s stopping you??


During this fast-paced session, Marsha will reveal what you can start doing and, just as importantly, what you can stop doing to bust the barriers and unleash your full potential.


Marsha Friedman, MS, DTM, RCC, coaches business professionals who are outwardly successful but inwardly miserable helping them move from making a good living to living a good life.


Marsha’s unique personal and professional experiences provide her with a deep understanding of the challenges facing professionals today.  One of her greatest gifts is helping her clients uncover the stories that hold them back and take action that unleashes personal growth.


Marsha is a lifelong learner with a BS in Accounting from Miami University and a Masters Liberal Studies in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University.  Marsha holds certifications as a Registered Corporate Coach, Master Trainer, Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC facilitator, and Distinguished Toastmaster.


In addition to coaching, Marsha serves on the leadership team of Summit Networking Group – a job search group for senior leaders in Northeast Ohio and is a training facilitator for Corporate University (Kent State – Stark).  She is the author of Surviving and Thriving Despite the Drama and Job Search Mastery and she is an active member of the International Coaches Federation, the Copley Chamber of Commerce, and Toastmasters International.


In her free time, Marsha enjoys cooking and sharing meals, crocheting for charity, and working out.  She is passionate about live theater and films, dark chocolate, and good wine!  Marsha and her husband, Bob, have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.

Monday, May 23, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting

Are You On the Right Path?

Using & Interpreting the Trimetrix DNA Instrument


Speaker & Facilitator:  Jim Folger

Jim Folger has been using behavioral sciences to help clients make better hiring decisions by aligning the right people with the right jobs for almost 2 decades.  In Jim’s volunteer work with job seekers he has also used these tools to help job seekers understand whether they are pursuing the right jobs.



Prior to the meeting, you will be given an opportunity to take a self assessment tool to provide insights into your behavioral style, the things that motivate you, and the development levels of 25 soft skills that the instrument looks at.  Jim has arranged for NCJS members to receive and use this instrument at no cost (it ordinarily costs $360 per individual).  In a group presentation Jim will give an overview of how these relate to our jobs.


In this session you will:

  • Receive a FREE online instrument utilizing 3 sciences:  Behaviors, Motivations, and Skills (a $360 value).

  • Gain a better understanding of yourself, how you interact with others, why you do what you do, and how your behaviors, motivations, and skills  align with your career.

  • Understand how to read others and adapt your style to improve communication effectiveness.

* * * * *
NOTE:  Thanks to Jim Folger and Target Training International,

this $360.00 instrument is offered to NCJS members for FREE.

* * * * *


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.

Monday, June 27, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Social Media & Your Job Search


Speaker:  Rico Aliers

Rico Aliers is a Global Career Developmental Facilitator with more than 15 years of experience developing and delivering training programs. Rico is in expert in the principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. He currently teaches career and social media workshops at the Ohio Means Jobs center in Summit County and assists job seekers with finding and retaining full-time permanent jobs with benefits.


In his workshops, attendees learn how to navigate applicant tracking software, tap into the hidden job network, create an ATS proof resume, prepare for and answer the most challenging interview questions, and understand the process that applications and resumes will face throughout the 21st century.

Monday, July 25, 2022

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, August 22, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting



Q&A with HR Experts

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, September 26, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


The Powerful and FREE
Reference Solutions Tool


Speaker:  Brian Pritchard

Brian will introduce and show you how to use the free Reference Solutions tool to take a more laser focused and time efficient approach to job seaerch and networking activities. Reference Solutions, from Data Axle, contains detailed records for millions of U. S. businesses with over 2.5 million current job postings. The tool can be used to conduct job searches, find sales leads, track down addresses and phone numbers, and more. This incredible tool is provided free through our public library systems.


Brian Pritchard has spent the last 20 years building a highly specialized Holistic Business Approach, based on identifying a growing need for Outsourced Business Solutions. Primarily focused on the areas of Marketing Strategy & Implementation, Brian also has an extensive background with Talent Acquisition, Executive Search and other key Business Growth Services.
Thought of by clients and friends alike as a "Swiss Army Knife," Brian will present you with the right tool, at the right moment!
On a personal note, Brian is the father of 2 lovely children and husband to 1 beautiful wide. Brian is also a musician (guitar and drums), a proud film nerd, and is forever ethical, respectful, and kind in all areas of life.

Monday, October 24, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Self-Care and How to Embrace Change

Panelists: Monica Ascar & Josip Markus

Facilitator: Emily Smayda Kelly

Our Conversation Leaders

Stress, worry, anxiety, and depression are very real aspects of job transition at any time, much less during this Covid-19 pandemic.  These feelings can be compounded with the upcoming holidays.  Whether or not these fears represent your experience, the reality is that job transition is fraught with challenges and an emotional roller coaster heightened by the pandemic and the holidays ahead.  In order to address some of these realities we have asked Monica Ascar and Josip Markus to join us for this virtual panel discussion.  The intent of this conversation is to provide coping techniques, practices, and resources to help manage stress.

Monica Ascar, MSW, LISW-S currently serves at the MSW Coordinator at The University of Akron School of Social Work, Lakewood Campus. Her social work practice has included extensive work within the health care and child welfare settings. As a senior medical social worker at Dayton Children’s, her work included completing psychosocial assessments, crisis intervention, mental health assessments, emergency department services, and child abuse assessments and prevention. She also worked in chronic illness serving children and families involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.  As a child welfare caseworker at Montgomery County Children Services, she worked with children and families within on-going services. Ms. Ascar most recently worked at Cuyahoga County Division of Health and Human Services where she coordinated the University Partnership Program (UPP) and the Graduate Field Program.

Josip Markus.  After more than 20 years of building an outwardly successful life of global travel, an international technology and business career with some of the best-known companies in the world, and having checked many of life’s “must haves” boxes, Josip found himself struggling with depression, anxiety, and a restless mind. Mired in an existential crisis, he pondered questions like: Who am I? Why am I here? Why is everyone asleep?

Yearning for inner peace and clarity of purpose, he found his way  in early 2016 in the depths of the Amazon jungle with an indigenous tribe, and ultimately onto a path he once could not have even imagined existed. Today, Josip is a disciple of his highest self, moving through every moment in humble reverence to the ceremony of daily life. He has committed himself to a path of serving people and all life, and Earth—our home. Drawing from the deep well of wisdom that is gently filled through his personal journey of healing, expansion, and struggle, he now guides other awakening souls as a life coach and spiritual teacher through his coaching and education business, Walk Your Path®.


He also passionately supports deeply personal philanthropic projects such as The Spirit of Tatá, a documentary film about one of the last great shamans of the Amazon rainforest, Tatá Yawanawá, and his people, the Yawanawá.

Monday, November 14, 2022

7:30 – 9:00pm EDT
North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Special Virtual Networking Meeting:

“Zoom Mocktail Meeting”

You’re Invited!

A Primer for Mixing Job Seeking and Party Mingling
in the Age of Virtual Gatherings

Remember the "normal" holiday cocktail party where business, recruiting, and networking would mingle  like the well-dressed guests around the room?  Many of those gatherings will still be happening, but with the added awkwardness of being virtual.  It was one thing to balance a glass and a plate of hors d'oeuvres while shaking the hand of the person you've been trying to meet with for a month, but now it is with the added awkwardness of all-things-virtual.  What should I wear (at least in camera view)?  What about computer/camera placement and audio?  And just how DO I get the introductions I am hoping for?

Join NCJS for a dress rehearsal Zoom Mocktail Meeting.  This year you will need to supply your own appetizers and beverages, but we will practice the art of "social gatherings," virtual meetings, and networking.  We'll include tips for working in your elevator speech, how to navigate introductions, and getting yourself noticed without being overbearing – because this is, after all, yet another opportunity for networking.


Black Tie Optional

Monday, November 28, 2022

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

North Coast Job Seekers Meeting


Job Search Process and Lessons Learned

Speaker: Christopher Gentry

Navigating the job search can be daunting for many, no matter where you are in your career. Join us for a discussion with Christopher Gentry, where we’ll cover the core tools you’ll need, dos and don’ts, and what to do once you’ve received an offer.


Christopher Gentry became interested in this topic when his position was eliminated in 2003. At the time, his company provided him "outplacement services." Through this experience, he was introduced to the world of networking, job search groups, and techniques he had never heard of, all of which have helped him stay employed.

2021 Meetings & Topics

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Meeting Schedule

Currently Meeting Online

Second & Fourth Monday

of each month

7:30 - 9:00pm

Upcoming Meetings

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