LACONIA — Fusion Networking introduced itself to the Lakes Region in an event held at the Margate on Lake Winnipesaukee Thursday night.
Some 200 people turned out at the resort's Lakeside Pavilion and heard Fusion President Beth San Soucie explain the group's mission.
"Fusion is looking to make connections within the Lakes Region through activities that inspire people and provide a sense of community; with this comes the opportunity to build business and social connections along the way. This is the wave of the next generation of leaders — we're paving the way,'' said San Soucie.
She said that the organization, which was first known as the Lakes Region Young Professionals group and was a committee of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, decided that it needed to rebrand itself in order to establish its own identity..
''Being known as the Lakes Region Young Professionals group, didn't allow us to reach those that we were looking to get involved with our organization. The stigma attached to the words "young" and "professional" were holding us back from what we were looking to accomplish. It was time for a change — a fresh perspective,'' said San Soucie.
Tania Baert, who works as a commercial lender at the Bank of New Hampshire, is the treasurer of Fusion Networking and says that the group feels a dynamic approach is needed in order to accomplish one of the organization's original goals, working to convince young people that there good career opportunities for them right in New Hampshire.
''The word 'professionals' made it sound like we were too exclusive. We wanted to open up the group so that all kinds of young people could feel comfortable. We're helping people develop their own network of social and business contacts,'' says Baert.
She brought along her boyfriend, Dustin Bossey of Laconia to the event and Bossey, who runs his own company, Dustin J. Bossey Builder, said he was impressed with the turnout and the opportunity to meet new people.
''This is awesome. I've got to meet a lot of people who will now know me and hopefully think of me when they want some building work done,'' said Bossey.
Trish Laurent, who is human resource coordinator for the town of Meredith, said that she was impressed with the organization when she attended one of its events a few years ago and decided to become active with it.
She's a volunteer already with the WOW Trail organization and said that she thinks Fusion will help people become more involved in their communities.
State Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) attended the event and said that he was thrilled to see how the organization has grown and achieved its own focus. ''We really need a young people's group in the Lakes Region and this group looks to be very dynamic and ready to make a difference.''
Dustin Bossey of Dustin J. Bossey Builders of Laconia and his girlfriend, Tania Baert, who works for the Bank of New Hampshire and is treasurer of the Fusion Networking group, were among those taking part in the organization's introduction to the public held at the Margate Resort Thursday night. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)