Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

November 8, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm


Engaging Networking

This event is part of 20Fathoms’ educational programming series

This session will cover networking from an entrepreneurial perspective. A focus will be on asking questions to show interest: a way of being ‘the most interested person in the room,’ instead of the most interesting, and avoiding having interactions be transactional by keeping them open and engaging. In addition, we’ll discuss using social media to engage (and stay engaged) after you meet someone. And, we’ll experiment with a few fun icebreakers and hands-on activities.

This event is hosted by 20Fathoms in partnership with Grand Valley State University.

Event format:

This is an in-person event and there is no charge to attend.

Lunch will be provided with support from Chick-fil-A.

Space is limited. Please register.

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in learning more about how to network!

About the presenters:

Shea Petaja spent the first 15 years of her career in the world of finance helping build a successful investment advisory firm as their Chief Experience and Marketing Officer. She received accolades from TD Ameritrade for offering the best client experience nationally. During this time she produced and co-hosted a live talk radio show for 10 years. You might remember her from Fulfillament, a local storytelling event that ran for 7 years. Shea coached over 100 entrepreneurs on how to tell their story on stage to inspire others to come alive in their careers. Casey Cowell said it best, “Shea’s coaching reveals far more and fast, which is a talent that is only occasionally discovered.”

Simultaneously, she became a certified coach to partner with other creatives, entrepreneurs, and achievers to help them quickly see the path forward in their personal and professional life. Shea’s superpower is teaching others how to be the most interested person in the room by going first and initiating conversations that can change lives. She will teach you how to connect with yourself, others and ultimately your business. She does this in her one-on-one coaching, workshops, and keynote speaking engagements. She also hosts her own podcast, “The Honest Edge,” to teach others how to become an authority on their pain and create purpose in their lives. In her spare time, she performs improv, sketch, and stand up comedy. It might surprise you to know that she started life as an introvert.

Thomas Coke is an entrepreneur, lawyer, branding geek, and alternative finance/fintech guru. Currently, he helps student businesses launch, fundraises, and serves as CEO of VarsityGems, a digital trading card company in the NCAA Name, Image, and Likeness space. Formerly with startups VerifyValid and CrowdFund Connect, CampusStarter/Hubbub, SafeWhistle, and BitLyft (4 exits, 1 solid success, and a few failures) and an advisor to multiple startups, he loves helping launch ventures. He has also been a part of — as a speaker, lecture, and judge — a number of college entrepreneurship competitions and programs. He holds a BA in Econ from Kalamazoo and JD from MSU College of Law.

About 20Fathoms

20Fathoms is the home of technology and entrepreneurship in Northern Michigan. We catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship through startup incubation services, business workshops, community partnership, and a vibrant coworking space. We also remove barriers and accelerate career growth through tech career training, talent acquisition, and the advancement of regional strategic initiatives.


November 8, 2023
11:30 am - 1:00 pm


10850 East Traverse Highway, #Ste 4400
Traverse City, MI 49684 United States
View Venue Website