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Westport BNI:Most Successful Group in State Receives Two Awards

The Westport BNI Chapter recently received two of the most prestigious BNI awards for the Connecticut Chapter:  Gold Chapter for over 50 members and Platinum Chapter for closing over $3.1 million worth of business between October 2012 and October 2013.         

In addition, the Westport Chapter of BNI recently elected a new slate of members to its Leadership Team for the upcoming year.  The following officers were named: Robert Clark of Fairfield, President; Monica Chusid of Westport, Vice President; and Mark Moeller of Shelton, Secretary/Treasurer.         

BNI is the most successful business referral organization of its type in the world.  A key characteristic is membership is structured to allow only one person per profession to join its chapters.  “For example; we have one CPA, one architect, and one health insurance agent,” said Chapter President Clark.  “Being a member of BNI creates a diverse network of contacts and a sales team for the members that might otherwise take many years to develop.”

Members actively seek new business contacts that might benefit other members.  Meetings are held weekly, and referrals are exchanged in a structured manner.          

“The membership fees have been paid for many times over by the referrals I’ve received since joining over a year ago,” said Vice President Chusid.  “I could never have made all these contacts this quickly.  Because I meet weekly with these business owners, we both have learned a lot about each other’s business, and that allows us to refer each other with confidence.  We help each other tremendously.”         

Members of BNI carry each other’s business cards and hand them out to someone who needs the services of one of the members.  BNI was started in 1985 and has grown rapidly into the largest networking organization of its type.           

For more information on how to join BNI or visit the Westport Chapter, visit www.WestportBNI.com .           

Weekly meetings are held at Post 154 Restaurant, 154 Post Road East, Westport.  Some of the openings available are in the following business categories:  home inspector, college coach, florist, public relations, heating and air conditioning, alarm and system engineering, pest control, travel agent and auto center.         

“Our chapter is successful because we pull together as a team,” added Clark.  “The talent, dedication, and commitment of this leadership team is an incredible testament to the value of a BNI membership.  The way members help each other, both in and out of the group and in our daily lives, is truly remarkable.”          

Other members of the leadership team include:  Cate Tiefenthaler of Norwalk, Susan Catalano of Weston, and Bill Hall of Fairfield, Membership; David Verespy of Trumbull and Felicia Watson of Fairfield, Education; Cara Mocarski of Shelton and Dan Verderame of Southington, Public Relations;  Ernie Addario of Milford, Shelly Panico of Milford, and Doug Hummel of Bridgeport, Visitor Hosts; Dale Minske of Wilton, Curtis Bentley of Fairfield, and Alison Danzberger of Fairfield, Mentor Coordinators; Leigh Overland of Westport and Mark Markelz of Fairfield, Growth Coordinators; Matt Shea of Fairfield and Brian Lopez of Stratford, Roster Coordinators; and Angela Capone of Fairfield, Event Coordinator.                                     

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