Paranet was founded in 1988 by James L. Handy. Jim was a former principal in TEC (a Midwest organization for CEOs) for over 20 years prior to selling his interest and forming the Paradigm Group, as Paranet was originally named. To distinguish Paranet from his former organization, Jim focused his new organization on manufacturing leaders. This has been our niche for over 30 years.
The original name was changed rather quickly as it seemed the whole world was using the word “paradigm” for clubs, books, etc. After some brainstorming, the Group chose the word “Paranet.” Originally the “A’s” were triangles, or the Greek letter delta standing for change. We thought we were very trendy as we began branding our name like this: PΔRΔNET with the first part of the name representing “change” and the last half representing our network. It took us about 3 years to cave into the fact that the triangles were confusing to most people and nearly impossible to replicate in letters, stationary, etc. People would ask, “What is P, triangle, P triangle Net?” So, we lightened up our name and now you see it as Paranet.
Linda Kiedrowski joined Paranet in 1990. Her expertise in marketing, sales and finance helped to build the membership base. Over the years, Linda has created, grown and facilitated several groups. She has over 30 years of experience in group dynamics, facilitation and coaching. In 1996, a succession plan was implemented and Linda bought out all existing partners and became the sole owner in 1999.
In 2008, Kelly Rudy joined The Paranet Group as a marketing officer, then vice president of operations, and today she is President. Kelly earned her undergraduate degree at Loyola University in Chicago. Her MBA was earned at Marquette University in Milwaukee. While at Paranet, Kelly has created and facilitated new groups and grown the marketing side of our business.
In March of 2011, The Paranet Group moved its Headquarters to its current location in order to create an environment that matched our evolution. Prompted by continual growth, the relocation was designed to better-serve its members with state-of-the art training facilities, increased parking and upgraded office space.
In 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the whole world. Paranet changed to a virtual organization in 3 days. We learned that some things we thought could not be done virtually, absolutely could. We also learned that some things will always be better in-person. The major plus is that we were able to expand our groups geographically, thereby providing a greater network for our membership.
Paranet has worked with thousands of manufacturing leaders, has hundreds of manufacturing company members, creates over 25 learning events each year to keep members on top of trends and new ideas, offers an annual Leadership Day and Factory Crawl, connects its members through the use of many tools, including “Ask the Network”, and private areas within our website.
Today, under The Paranet Group umbrella, we provide service and expertise in Private Advisory Groups, coaching services, facilitation, Leadership Development programs through our LeaderPRO business unit, Business Strategy Groups from an expanded geographical footprint, and consulting services covering several manufacturing processes and areas.