Gelie Akhenblit, CEO / Founder of NetworkingPhoenix is an entrepreneur, community leader, speaker, professional networker, internet TV show co-host, mentor and most importantly, a mom.
She is most well known for altering the landscape of networking in Phoenix, AZ by visualizing, creating, and launching an online platform that has democratized how people connect in-person.
In October 2008, Gelie left her corporate position in order to launch her vision as a tech startup. Since its inception, NetworkingPhoenix has skyrocketed in popularity and has become one of the most visited websites in Arizona with over 40,000 members and growing.
While the company is rapidly expanding, the mission and focus remains the same. The team led by Gelie at NetworkingPhoenix is still primarily driven by the opportunity to help others meet their goals by building impactful relationships. Her belief is relationships are built intentionally and purposefully one at a time. And her motivation is to create something that improves people's daily lives – whether it's helping members find their ideal position or making connections with the right people who can help them grow their own business venture. In addition to running the NetworkingPhoenix Community, Gelie engages with companies and clients, locally and globally, in helping them grow through the power of networking and building profitable relationships. With the rising "influencer marketing" trend, Gelie has stepped into the role of sharing her clients' products/services with her community in a very engaging way. She also speaks on the importance of having a strategy when engaging in face-to-face networking and the power of building and maintaining strategic relationships.
Most recently, Gelie delivered a TEDx talk on the topic of freedom. In her message, she shared her story of being a political refugee from the former Soviet Union and how her journey to freedom has evolved and led her to chase after her dreams. She urges people not to settle for anything else and to always keep pushing.
Gelie is a 2012 honoree of Arizona Foothills Magazine's 10 Women Who Move the Valley; Selected as one of azcentral.com's 2011 Intriguing People in Arizona Business; 2011 Young ATHENA finalist; recipient of the 2011 Social Media AZ Award (SMAZZIE) in the category of 'Homegrown Can of Awesome'; NAWBO's Emerging Visionary 2010 Award; AZ Magazine's 35 women entrepreneurs under 35 who are helping elevate Arizona's business community 2009 recipient.
When she's not working, she's spending time with her young daughter, Aris, improving her fitness and documenting her life pivot on her personal blog.