The driving force behind The NetworKing Corporate is Charles D.A. Ruffolo (Ruf). After he met his Dutch wife, Herma, the American soldier exchanged his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the Netherlands in the Dutch province of Drenthe/Overijssel. He served and retired after 20 years from the military and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy and served as a Battalion Sergeant Major. He earned his MPA/MBA degree in his free time in the military and fine-tuned his natural talent for linking (networking) common interests.
Ruf created The Network Club in 2000. A business club which allows it’s members to effectively network during quarterly events and quickly tap into a network of over 30.000 worldwide business professionals. The Network Club formed the foundation for The NetworKing concept.
Charles’ Networks extension to all levels within the society, from Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of The United States; Sir Richard Branson (Virgin); Stedman Graham (Partner of Oprah Winfrey); Vice President Al Gore to the young person still being polished to be the next leader of his/her network. Charles has written books on Networking – “Network Your Way to Success” and “Your Wake-Up Call” plus created a NetworKing card game called the “Ruffle Shuffle”. Both books and card game are in English, Dutch and China languages.
“These items created the capital for The NetworKing Corporation…”
Ruffolo is an International Speaker, Author, Publisher and Trainer that has spoken in numerous countries, presents over 150 times each year and is the most asked American speaker in Europe. He is an active member of various business clubs and serves on numerous business clubs and boards for example: American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands, Amsterdam American Business Club, Advisory Board/Partner Big Improvement Day, Connect International, Laureus Foundation, Chairman of the Diplomatic Council Global NetworKing Program, Founder of The NetworKing Academy and the Giving Back Foundation.
Charles has arranged for the Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of The United States to visit The Netherlands in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Additionally, Charles has successfully worked personally to bring the Dutch Postcode Lottery together with President Clinton’s Foundation which donates 1.5 million euro per year for seven years to The Clinton Foundation.
He has established and developed the partnership between the Dutch wind energy company, Emergya Wind Technologies (EWT) and the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2007, he successfully negotiated a Primary Sponsorship of the Annual meeting in New York City on behalf of EWT.
Not only did he succeed in a Sponsorship, but he has also been instrumental in the commitment made and the future partnership between President Clinton and EWT. In additional to the relationship developed between President Clinton and EWT, he was also successful in bringing together General Wesley K. Clark and EWT into a business working relationship.
Another success story is the establishing a business relationship with Stedman Graham who has a splendid career as an international renowned diversity and leadership specialist. Ruffolo successfully established the Stedman Graham Nyenrode Giving Back Scholarship for a deserving Giving Back Foundation student in the Netherlands, a first of it’s kind.
Using his personal networking skills he brought Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) together with the Big Improvement Day organization in the Netherlands building a very successful business relationship.
Based on the foundations of The NetworKing concept, in 2010, Charles started The NetworKing Academy with Anne Marie Westra (EPLU Management Support). The NetworKing Academy, facilitated at ACE – Amsterdam Center of Entrepreneur and Business School Notenboom, is the first of its kind in the world. Target audience is the motivated experienced who wants to improve his or her networking abilities by directly gaining experience and achieving results.
The NetworKing Academy offers its participants a real experience about practical and other current topics that directly contribute to everyone’s personal Network Plan. The annual autumn program of The NetworKing Academy, which is further characterized by international perspective and diversity, is given in Dutch and has duration of 2 months (8 evening modules and 2 ‘NetworKing in Action’ sessions).
Charles successfully arranged and coordinated for the Government of Aruba former Vice President of the United States of America, Al Gore to headline their Green Aruba event.
By activating his Network, in 2011, Ruffolo helped setup the TV Station 24Kitchen, the first Dutch food lifestyle platform that creates a community, where food quality is of paramount importance. 24Kitchen provides reliable information about buying, cooking and preparing healthy food. Healthy eating can help to prevent diseases and obesity, and healthy eating is also very tasty. 24Kitchen believes that healthy eating can be and should become everyone’s lifestyle. 24 Kitchen wants to inspire and motivate people to be aware of food. Their message: healthy eating is for everyone!
The cardinal rule of networking is giving back. Ruffolo believes it’s so essential that in 1999 he founded the Giving Back Foundation. Giving Back is a non-profit Foundation committed toward bringing critical resources to the youth that need them. The Giving Back Foundation helps high-school students whose career perspectives, due to their backgrounds, are not on the same level as their talent and ambition.
These students, who may potentially be role model in Dutch society and for this have the ability to develop themselves best, are offered a group and mentor program to help them broaden their knowledge and experience. Giving Back only functions from private donations from companies and people who want to give back to society. Giving Back does not receive government funding.
Students who have properly completed the Giving Back program and study at universities or colleges may become members of the Giving Back Student Community, a club that is run by students. The Giving Back Student Community organizes many activities, study tours and (sporting) events, designed for the students during their studies, to complete all the knowledge and skills and to give insights which they need to build a successful career in business or government after graduation. The GBSC finances these activities through membership fees, a contribution from students and Financial support from the Giving Back Foundation. The membership in the GBSC also offers students the opportunity to be coached by a professional during their studies. This coach is employed by one of the partners/main sponsors of Giving Back.
Charles has written books on Networking “Network Your Way to Success“ and “Your Wake-Up Call” published in English, Dutch and Chinese. In these guides the readers are privy to The NetworKing methods that have earned Ruffolo worldwide respect and support.
He also has created the NetworKing card game called the “Ruffle Shuffle“, a creative manner to Network effectively.
Charles and Herma have been married for thirty-four years.