Founding members of PROS, Valerie Vavrik and Orville Ward remember the day we came up with the name Professional Referral Organization of Seattle. We decided as a group we wanted to shoot for "Prosperity" in all aspects of our lives and maximize "Referrals" for everyone in the group. We believed this group could offer members a unique "Opportunity" and we wanted to be a network of "Support" for each other. Although a few of our members have passed away, some have retired, some have moved on to other things (one became a judge), others have joined to take their place, and PROS has continued to evolve.
Our group originally spun off from a chapter of a national referral organization. We liked the roundtables and some of the structure, but did not want our group to be so regimented. We also wanted to focus on more than just getting referrals. We wanted our group to share business experiences we could learn from and benefit as a group. Many of our members are in small businesses—some are just one-person shops—so this group also serves as a sounding board for new ideas and feedback. To some of us, members of this group are more like co-workers or associates than just members of a network group. Some members have even switched fields and remained in the group.
All of our present members (as of February 2007) came to PROS by way of referral from other group members. Because our members are experts in their fields we also benefit from hearing about what is going on in with interest rates, real estate, the stock market, the latest tax laws that affect businesses and so much more.
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