A Refreshing Take on Networking…
I Take The Lead, Inc. is one of the fastest growing leads group organizations in the Vancouver WA/Portland OR metro areas, Seattle WA/Bellevue WA metro areas, Denver CO metro areas, and now Fayetteville and Rogers AR. We are devoted to starting networking groups, and promoting measurable results. Members become business referral sources for each other. As businesses increase their sales revenue through the weekly exchange of leads, they are encouraged to build solid business alliances with other group members.
Our groups will provide lead generation systems that turn a lead into a customer. This is not lead generation for recruiting purposes for network marketing businesses. I Take The Lead is about business opportunity leads, bringing sales source leads to your business. Please see the Meeting Location page for how many groups we have and where they meet. We will help start a new group in most locations. We continually provide seminars and workshops to improve our members, including sales training, goal setting, and other educational formats.
Lead With Heart
I Take The Lead is community-oriented. Lead With Heart is our annual program where every Valentine’s Day we collect, stage and deliver food baskets to families in need in the local communities serviced by I Take The Lead, Inc. We host other community programs during the year, as well; we are about having fun while helping people. (See the Why We’re Different page to find out what sets us apart.)
I feel so blessed that I am part of I Take the Lead. I turned in two names of friends that were in huge need right now. One family lost their jobs and have a 3 year old and a 4 month old girls. The mom called in the morning before the boxes of food arrived and said that they paid all their bills but did not have the money for their house payment. She was crying as she said:. I think we could go without water before we can go without a house. Then she got a call that he got a second job to supplement the job he got at Home Depot — so now with both jobs he will make almost as much as he did in his old job. So now they just have all this catch up to do. Well. One hour later she called and was crying and said she just got all this food and she could not believe that anyone would care how they are doing like that. The other one that I turned in… he has been sick and at ICU in the Veterans hospital. The boxes of food came just before he died. It was perfect timing. It is nice that people care about each other. -Love and hugs,MF
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In 2004, I Take The Lead initiated Business-to-Business meetings. We have found this to be an extremely successful vehicle for professionals whose primary target market is other businesses, rather than the consumer. For example, residential realtors work with the consumer. These are the people they are coming into contact with on a daily basis. Professionals who are in merchant services (sign up businesses for credit card capabilities) need exposure to businesses, rather than the residential consumer. This is a unique feature of I Take The Lead; other leads groups do not have a Business-2-Consumer focus separate from the Business-2-Business focus.
2007 marks the year of national expansion for I Take The Lead by offering franchise opportunities to business partners. If you are interested in learning more, see Become a Franchisee.
The People Behind The Scenes
Gene Hamilton founded a company called Take The Lead Inc in December of 1999, while Becky Tengwall started a large referral group for a non-profit organization in 2000. In 2005 they changed the name of the company to I Take The Lead Inc. Together Gene and Becky used their skills and experience to found I Take The Lead Franchise Corp when they decided to take their unique model and expand nationally in 2007.
Gene Hamilton – CEO of I Take The Lead, Inc.
Gene served in the US Air Force where he specialized in missile maintenance. He has run several businesses including his own independent insurance agency. A long-time member of Toastmasters International, Gene has achieved the highest award, Distinguished Toastmaster, 3 times. In 1992/1993, Gene served as the District Governor for Toastmasters in his district, the state of Oregon and SW Washington , which is made up of roughly 160 individual clubs and about 3000 members. That year the district was #3 in the world and became the Presidents Distinguished District. Also, in 1991, Gene was the number 1 recruiter of new Toastmasters in the world, out of about 180,000 people worldwide and achieved this honor by recruiting 107 new members that year. He has started dozens of new Toastmaster clubs around the state; this has provided the emphasis for I Take The Lead, Inc. He is a past member of the board of directors for the Mt Hood Repertory Theatre Company, East County ‘s only professional theatre company. Additionally, Gene was also a long-standing member of Tigard Rotary. Rotary is an international organization that provides funds for the eradication of polio, facilitating student exchange programs and numerous other community benefits. Gene continues to remain active in the community and community events.
Becky Tengwall – COO of I Take The Lead, Inc.
Becky has been instrumental in the membership growth and retention of I Take The Lead members. Being Membership Manager for the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, gave Becky an opportunity to learn how to grow the membership for an organization, as well learn the importance of membership retention. It was as Membership Manager that Becky started their leads program called Leads And Needs. Having a passion for community involvement, she is a past member of the board of directors for the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, and is now a member of Soroptimist International, an organization devoted to helping children and women in need, as well as being a member of WEO. While raising her children, she returned to college to receive her Bachelor of Science from Portland State University in Accounting/ Business Administration. Additionally, Becky has been an Account Manager for businesses-helping them with their needs in advertising and marketing. She, also, has a passion for staying connected to the community and community events.