I want to give you some background on Professional Referral Exchange. I became exposed to a business referral organization in the 1990’s. One day I was shopping in a consignment shop for boots and a coat and I met the owner of that shop. She knew I was new in town and told me I should be her guest at a business referral group. At that time, business referral groups were not prevalent and I had a misunderstood phrase /business referral group. After attending one meeting with my new friend in Bloomington, Indiana, where I was selling yellow pages. I was going door to door business to business and I was introduced to a new avenue to improve my sales efforts. The business referral group of members had 40 participants and they were very lively and enthusiastic at 7:30 AM at the Holiday Inn on that Wednesday morning. I was astonished!!! This much activity and enthusiasm at such an early hour on a Wednesday morning!!!! My new friend gave six referrals at that meeting to different members. My category was media advertising and it was available to me. After sitting through this exciting meeting I decided to take out my credit card and make a $350 investment!!! This was a life-changing decision that led me to a path of success I had never dreamed of in my life.
I started touting my double quarter columns which were dollar bill size ads. I got to KNOW LIKE and TRUST members in the Chapter, they got to KNOW LIKE and TRUST me. They responded to me favorably. I got much-needed business to pay the rent on my apartment and car payment since I was on straight commission! I also had a social life on Friday nights and during the week I began having things to do with new friends. I was so grateful since I did not know anyone in Indiana. Hence, my pick and shovel work of going door to door declined and I received second-generation referrals. WHAT A BLESSING!!!!
After two years of living in Indiana, my parents in Pennsylvania started to decline. I decided to make a change and move from Indiana and go back to Pennsylvania. When I moved, I was able to get a job at a radio station: WLAN (Lancaster). During my door to door pick and shovel work, I found Professional Referral Exchange. I met the owner Eve who was from Pittsburgh. Since I was a new member, I shared with Eve I had a real passion and knowledge of what a group like this could do for any individual. I eventually was made an Area Director for Lancaster. I did well, so in 2006 I bought from Eve Peterson a region of Professional Referral Exchange. Unfortunately, Eve Peterson passed away during 2013 due to COPD! At that time, I became the total owner of Professional Referral Exchange.
Throughout the years, Bill Higbee, has been my right arm, helping me with various duties and filling in on my weak areas of the CEO process. I have always been very grateful for his brilliant mind and expertise. In 2015, Craig Valarik left chiropractic and began to work as CFO and Area Director. Craig is an asset to PRE. In 2019, Crystal Groves became our talented webmaster. Hence the Board of PRE was created and is serving you today in this new capacity of being a multi-talented executive entity here to serve the members of Professional Referral Exchange.