“For me, the most valuable part of cadre is to be challenged and encouraged by the sharpest and most generous business leaders in town. It’s an elite group in the best possible way.”

– Jack Quarles, Founder, BuyingExcellence.com


“cadre is COOL, that’s the deal. Cool people, cool networking, and cool ideas and presentations. This sets up tons of learning and business connection opportunities. I have met many new connections through cadre and have given several members significant business as a direct result from cadre. I have gained many clients from cadre as well. If you want to be in the ‘IN’ business scene in the Washington DC area, cadre is for you. It’s the Who’s Who of DC business leaders.”

– Matt Curry, President and CEO, Curry’s Auto Service
“If you are considering joining cadre, you probably already know that relationships matter. What you don’t know is that most of us need help. cadre is not a traditional networking group. The first question anyone asks is ‘How can I help you?’ – and it is a philosophy that every member embraces. The founders, Derek and Melanie, are like a super coach + cheerleader duo who work constantly to make sure you’re always connecting with people who matter. It all adds up to a networking group that goes way beyond exchanging business cards. Joining cadre was easily one of the best (and most profitable) professional decisions I have made in the last five years.”

- Rohit Bhargava, SVP, Ogilvy Worldwide; Author of Likeonomics
“I’ve always had a very strong network of entrepreneurs I can tap into…but the problem has been not having one locally. There were a few people here and there, but with cadre I’ve been able to be connected (in a genuine way) to all sorts of bright and profound individuals I wouldn’t have met in other situations. I’m not interested in 1-way relationships or quick-hit ‘what can you do for me’ networking groups and cadre helps develop those more meaningful connections with long-term value.”

- Yanik Silver, Author, Maverick Startup
“The thing I like about cadre is meeting people in different industries with different backgrounds and experiences from those I have been typically meeting at other networking events. cadre members look to the cadre membership for service providers or to provide directly, the information or contacts they need.”

– Chip Helme, Managing Principal, Thompson, Greenspon & Co.


“The one thing I like most about cadre is the willingness of the members to help each other. It really is a ‘pay it forward’ kind of group. Another thing is how genuine everyone is with one another. When it comes to trying to promote oneself and one’s business, it is much more credible when someone else is promoting you than when you do it yourself. Melanie and Derek are great promoters of other people in whom they truly believe. All I have to do at that point is just show up and deliver!”

- Dr. Sonny Goel, LasikPlus Laser Vision Center
“In the short time I’ve been a cadre member, I’ve meet a number of amazing members that have become great contacts/advocates both as a business owner and as a person.”

– Joey Tominovich, President and CEO, Chesapeake Electrical Systems
“The cadre community has brought tremendous value and benefit to my life, both personally and professionally. Through cadre, I have met extraordinary individuals who are committed to giving 150% to everything they do, and I have learned how to be a better business owner and community contributor and leader. The cadre community has enthusiastically supported my personal and professional endeavors, and has also given me the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with my fellow members. Every organizational culture, vision, and core value system is shaped and carried out by its leaders. cadre is no exception. cadre is successful because Derek and Melanie Coburn are completely committed to building a lasting, impactful, exceptional community, and won’t settle for anything less. For them it is all about creating an awesome member experience – and every member feels that dedication personally. They succeed every time they carefully select their members, plan an event, or commit to taking cadre to the next level. The cadre community is one of the great benefits of being in the DC region.”

—Marissa Levin, CEO, Information Experts
“When I think of cadre I think of a window to the world – the members are so diverse and interesting. I have met great people that I look forward to building long-lasting relationships with.”

- Phil Gross, Managing Director, Expense Reduction Analysts
“The breadth of knowledge and depth of experience of the cadre members I have been connected to is beyond any networking group I have been exposed to previously, not to mention their approachability and the ‘how can I help you’ mentality.”

– Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO/Founder, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care
“The group of individuals that has assembled and are part of cadre are top notch, genuine, ‘want to help you in whatever way they can’ people. The individuals are real, unselfish, and want to help you grow your business, your people, your skill set, and your mind.”

- Jeff Rupp, President andCEO, Incred-A-Shred
“The people and partnerships that I have developed through cadre have really helped Smart HR. I have developed trusted relationships with people, in which I have learned from their experiences and expertise. I am currently in the process of working with cadre partners to upgrade our website and to create high impact marketing collateral.”

- Mark Stevenson, President and CEO, Smart HR, Inc.
“cadre offers a chance to connect with truly remarkable individuals. The cadre community is filled with thought leaders from a variety of businesses, all of whom are dedicated by definition to connecting and helping out the friends in their networks. What a special organization to be part of!”

- Tim Hughes, Shareholder, Bean Kinney & Korman
“Many people would say that the greatest part of being associated with cadre is the people and the relationships that are built. And I’d second that. But, to me, the most valuable part of cadre is the culture of sharing, the culture of excellence, and the culture of doing what it takes to help one another. It’s truly a special group that I’m proud and honored to be part of.”

- Scott DiGiammarino, CEO/Founder, Reel Potential
“The one thing about cadre that has proved to be the most valuable for me is the various and unique meetings that are excellently arranged and coordinated by Derek and Melanie, where I get the opportunity to build deeper, stronger relationships with people I have already known as well as building new meaningful relationships, where the end goal for everyone is to help others vs. typical networking groups where most folks are there for a self-serving purpose.”

- Mike Matalone, President, Excelsior, Inc.
“In addition to connecting me with a wonderful new client, cadre has provided me the chance to ‘network with networks,’ expanding my horizons by linking me to people I might never have met otherwise, who are not only interesting but well connected.”

– Jeff Porro, Principal, Porro Associates LLC
“Collaborating with the diverse membership has proved invaluable. I look forward to sharing ideas and learning from our incredibly talented members at each event.”

– Amy Zydel, CEO, Undercover Printer
“A tremendous side benefit of cadre has been the educational component. I never thought about it, but there has been no shortage of answers when I’ve asked for advice, and the presentations are outstanding. It’s been great being able to know that any member of cadre has been pre-approved and totally rocks! It makes it easy to find reliable help for just about anything.”

- Chris Yoko, President, Yoko Co.
“cadre is my favorite ‘un-networking’ place to hang out. It’s been very valuable on so many levels. At least half the cadre members have helped NFTE in some key way support the next generation of entrepreneurs, and I have made a ton of high quality new friends and business networks thanks to the amazing leadership of Derek and Melanie Coburn.”

- Julie Kantor, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Executive Director, DC Region
“Of the many great benefits to being a cadre member, one of the best aspects is the unique proactive approach cadre takes for introducing and integrating its members. For example, Melanie Coburn, Chief Relationship Officer, diligently follows up after every luncheon asking about the contacts that each person made and offering additional follow-up assistance on making deeper connections. Her excellent efforts have helped me make great connections and also learn more about fellow cadre members and how we can advocate for each other.”

– Seth Berenzweig, Managing Partner, Berenzweig Leonard, LLP
“cadre has been incredibly beneficial not only as a networking group, but as a catalyst for innovation in my day-to-day activities. The presentations and events have helped me look outside of the box and encouraged growth in new ways for both marketing and transacting my business. Learning these best practices from other cadre members has been invaluable.”

– Carter Byrnes, First Vice President, CBRE Group, Inc.
“While Sport and Spine Rehab has gained new customers from being a member of cadre, the interesting element in being part of this remarkable group of business owners is that you find out just how much many of these businesses and individuals provide products and services that can help your company grow. I’ve probably engaged at least 10 companies in the cadre organization to help me with my business and each one of them has added a unique and tremendous value proposition.”

– Dr. Jay Greenstein, CEO, Sport and Spine Companies
“I’ve learned a lot from the other members of cadre about how to run a better business and be a better person. Each cadre member brings unique skills, experiences, relationships, philosophies, and perspectives that I can apply to make me and my business more effective. I’ve also enjoyed learning about other cadre members and their businesses. It’s great to have a diverse group of top-notch professionals I can refer to those I know to help them out when they need it.”

- Jeff Gallimore, Partner, Excella Consulting
“cadre has been an incredible venue for me to meet like-minded individuals and share ideas, resources and knowledge. What I find most valuable is how active and open everyone in the cadre family is, willing to offer help, advice and expertise. In my experience this has truly been an organization where building relationships with other members leads to learning, gaining strong centers of influence, as well as clients.”

- Jenny Shtipelman, Vice President, Business Development, EagleBank
“cadre’s philosophy and its members are focused on helping and supporting other members and their communities, not on what others can bring to them or their business. Derek and Melanie provide a forum for sharing ideas, information, networks and successful business practices, and actively support communication among cadre members beyond the group meetings. This is a group of people driven by innovation and big ideas.”

- Antigone Peyton, Founder, Cloudigy Law PLLC
“As a one-year cadre member, I am pleased that I have been able to substantially increase my professional network. The result is I now have more advocates and colleagues that can help me look good to my clients by providing solutions beyond the banking products that I’m able to offer.”

– Robert Wright, Director of Client Services, Virginia Heritage Bank
“The factor that has the greatest impact on me from my involvement with cadre has to be the development of deep relationships with other members. It is a great example of quality over quantity, where cadre isn’t focused on the number of hands you shake but how familiar you become with the people you do meet in the group. Those relationships not only have a positive and tangible impact on the development of new business for my organization but also a positive impact on how I approach and think about the way I run my organization. Time is a limited resource for most of us and cadre is truly time well spent for this reason.”

- Tim R. Hawkins, CPA, President, LTBD, PC
“My experience in cadre has been and continues to be a positive learning experience for me. I’ve met and have made friends with a number of talented, forward thinking and well-connected people. Unlike traditional networking groups, cadre is an affinity/kinship of like-minded professionals through which its members advocate for one another, and it’s this culture of advocacy I find most valuable. Perhaps the most satisfying part about cadre is that when a family member, friend, or client is in need of a specialized product or service, I can connect them with a member for guidance and be confident that I’ve helped others get what they want or need.”

– Clay Harris, Vice President, TD Bank Group
“cadre has enabled me to break out of my normal networking groups and meet interesting people who would otherwise not be on my radar screen. These new relationships have facilitated new investors, relationships with better service providers, and great feedback on our business model.”

- Michael Goldstein, Founder, Endeavor DC
“There are numerous things about cadre that make it an outstanding group, and it provides value in a variety of ways. But the greatest value has been the development of two or three key relationships directly with other members or through introductions provided by members that have created some significant partnership opportunities for Johnson & Strachan that go beyond selling an individual commercial or personal insurance client. The members are clearly advocates for you and are looking for opportunities to help you grow your business. And when you have 90 such high quality ambassadors looking out for you, it’s going to be difficult not to get value from the group.”

- Charlie Venus, Senior Vice President, Johnson & Strachan, Inc.
“The best thing about cadre for me is the many remarkable and talented people I have met. Not only very accomplished in business, they always have a genuine interest in helping other members, which is very unique in a community of professionals.”

– Tien Wong, CEO, Lore Systems and Opus 8
“cadre equals new business! It has been an incredible lead source for my business and my investment in cadre has paid for itself ten times over!”

– Reggie M. Kouba, President, RMK Productions