Gotham Networking – We speak to co-founder Fred Klein who formed our first networking group in New York City in January 1997. The intent was to bring together service-oriented professionals in complementary fields to share not only contacts, but also ideas and resources. The format of each meeting included a brief presentation from each participant on their background and services as well as an explanation of any networking accomplished since the last meeting. Each participant was asked to explain how the group may be able to help them, whether in business or otherwise. In addition, members were encouraged to bring guests to each meeting, which we have found to be the lifeblood of our organization. The group was immediately successful. In order to spread the wealth of the Gotham to more participants, a second group was started in October 1997 with the same basic parameters. Each group has developed its own personality and style but each is committed to our Mission Statement and networking philosophy, as follows: “To forge a virtually cost-free partnership steeped in the spirit of fraternity (or sorority as the case may be) that goes beyond matters of immediate concern. This spirit is best served by fostering a climate characterized by Gotham’s mantra: “It’s better to give than receive, but what goes around comes around!” Said another way, we are all non-salaried, non-commissioned sales people for each other! Thus, we seek to create a family/tribal environment stimulating mutual growth: business, social, creative, intellectual, artistic or otherwise. Our endeavors should enrich each participant through altruistic acts undertaken with a genuine concern for the welfare of our fellow networkers and the world.” Fred C. Klein Gotham Founder Chair, Formica I, Bandit,Bandit Too, Commerce, Long Island, Israeloff, Gay & Lesbian Groups, Green Group Co-chair, Mentor Program, Diversity Group, Lefty Group, LI Healthcare, Lapsed Lawyers President, Gotham Foundation, Blogger Fred C. Klein is the founder of the Gotham City Networking Association and Managing Partner of the law firm of Klein Zelman Rothermel L.L.P., a boutique law firm specializing in Labor-Employment and Communications law. Fred sits on the Board of Directors of the Friars Club, where he is Treasurer. Fred’s wife Joanne Klein is his high school sweetheart, an accomplished fine artist and mother of two Gothamites. In an earlier life, he was a manager of five championship Roslyn Little League teams (Fred’s teams won 2 championships in 1 day). Members of the networking groups who were on Fred’s teams include Alex Klein (his son, designer of this great web site and member of 3 championship teams), David Klein (his son and now partner at his firm), Darin Kaplan, David Wolf and Michael Kolbrener. In another past life, Fred completed 33 marathons (some with members Ben Geizhals and Steve Hansburg): His personal best time is 3:09:34. During this running stage, Fred volunteered as coach of the Roslyn High School Girls Track and Cross Country team. Fred’s community service is highlighted by his work with the Friends of the High School for Leadership and Public Service, which he co-founded. The Friends assist in a collaboration between Fred’s alma mater, Syracuse University, and the New York City High School for Leadership and Public Service to mentor students and foster higher education. Fred also serves as a member of the Syracuse University New York City Alumni Advisory Board and as Treasurer of The Christopher Morley Knothole Association.?