Welcome to the Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI!

The Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI was founded in April of 2004 and has grown to 32 members! We meet at the Meridian Club in Fullerton, California on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 AM. We would love for you to visit our chapter and consider joining our very diverse and successful group of professionals. For further information, please contact the President, Allen C. Buchanan at 714.564.7104 or email me at abuchanan@lee-associates.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Champions SoCal BNI President's Weekly Letter

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Adios, Au Revior, Sayanara, etc. Today was not goodbye...it was so long! Today marked the end of our term as a leadership team. We left the plane in great hands with Gary Lorge, Aric Gless, Kris Hansberger, et al! I have composed a brief recap of the last six months April 2011-September 2011 for your viewing pleasure.

I will remember fondly all of the Champions who served in this year's leadership term:

Vice President, Greg Beck-Greg has served in many positions but not VP until this year. When I was asked to be President, I told Lem Bucago...under one condition...that Greg will agree to be VP!

Secretary/Treasurer, Rosanne Grigsby and Joe Davis-Only one choice in my book...Rosanne! Thanks Joe for ably filling in when Rosanne was sick.

Membership Committee Chair, Aric Gless-accomplished the task with the skill and precision of an architect...oh yeah...he is an architect!

Mentor Chair, Steven Stakley-My personal mentor long before he held the position! Certain people just fit the role...Steven fits the role!

Education Coordinator, Jim Sando-WOW!

GRC, Michael Figueroa-Michael took over the position when Emily Davidson left the chapter. Michael learned by fire and performed brilliantly!

Visitor Host, Angelo Dionisiou-Angelo also took over lead visitor host when Tom Roberts left. Working with a president who was a former visitor host and a "glorified visitor host" this year is not easy. Mix in a commute from Carlsbad and a new baby and the task becomes extremely tough. Angelo set the bar this year with his effort!

Members at Large-Y'all are the best!

Congrats to Alex Ribble...number 31! Also thanks to Hema Dey of Premier Professionals...you know why!

A special thanks to Lem Bucago (great keynote on BNI Connect), our Director; Bernadette Lazzara, our ambassador, Lonie Misner-Feigerle, and Jeremy Ball from the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire Region , Tom Galan (visitor for a second time), and Russ from Dream Team for attending my swan song! It was great to have you all witness the power of the Champions!

Remember, your leadership term is a journey and don't stop believing!

Make it a Champion week, y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

...From our very own, Miss Kitty, AKA, Kitty Rudometkin, our chapter placement specialist and a guest she infused to our chapter today...

Tommy Galan visits Champions BNI today...and had the following to say in the follow up phone interview.

"Kudos to you and your awesome Champions!!! I just got off the phone with Tommy and he had 3 words to describe his experience this morning - "supportive, efficient and uplifting!!!" He plans to return next week with the owner of the company to show him just what BNI is all about!!! VERY COOL!! Way to go.....Kitty"

And that is what I am talking about! Champions, you rock! One of the elements of our vision for this chapter a year ago was to make the visitor experience the best that the visitor had ever seen. Today, with the feedback above, we achieved that vision and much, much, more!

The image above depicts that our leadership terms are nearing an end. This isn't the end but you can see it from here.

Below is a video clip of my fondest memories of the first six months of our leadership term...October 2010-March 2011. I hope you enjoy strolling down memory lane as much as I enjoyed sharing the memories.

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

In this week at the "after the meeting" interview, we highlight four special people to Champions SoCal BNI...you are ALL special but these three plus one are your incoming Leadership Team for next term which commences October 1, 2011 (our first meeting is the 4th). Watch here and learn what each new leadership team member learned from the recent Leadership Team training. We also hear from Lem Bucago, the Director to the Champions and Director of Training about what he teaches the Vice Presidents and Membership Committee members.

...And once again, our President select, Gary Lorge is the copious note taking guest blogger for this week.

“We started a little late but really got cookin’. Our visitors really brought the energy up in the room. They were: Patrice Sorokin, Alex Ribble (second time), Bryan Mataya, and our Director Lem Bucago.

Our EC got us thinking: Am I playing the child’s game “telephone” with my customers? If we don’t have a short and simple elevator speech we may be. We need to be concise and memorable in order to give those valuable referrals.

Our leaders for last month in 1:2:1 meetings: Greg Beck, Donna Cahoon and a tie for first place with 15 1:2:1’s with Bo Lowe and Kris Hansberger.

Our ITA took a swerve and was awarded to a first time winner this week. Past winners were not eligible. Brett missed his chance as he was away this week and the award went to Jim Salem. Congratulations Jim!

Our Keynotes delivered spot on presentations. Robert Perez explained why he is the best choice for video production. He has a broad background and is able to do many of the tasks that his competitors farm out. This allows him to keep costs down. We know that his quality is second to none. The list of products that he offers is amazing.

Joe Salazar made it perfectly clear that we should not be yelling at our computers, we should be calling him. He had some great ones: “Jiminy Cricket, Holy Moly, and a Disco dance were all used and I came right back to the office and made sure I was backed up. The Net Whiz is truly a whiz and brought his “A game” to the Keynote speech this morning.

Jim Salem and Kathy Penton were delivered their 4 star ribbons by the small but mighty Lem Bucago. And lastly our President reminded us that we don’t want to be the slow gazelle- so hit the ground running in the morning.

Until next week….”

And as prefaced...A lion awakes early, running hoping to catch a speedy gazelle. A speedy gazelle awakes early running hoping to outrun the slowest among him lest he be eaten by the lion. The moral...whether you are a lion or a gazelle, you better rise early running

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President (almost EC),

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champion's SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Well last week worked so well that we decided to make it official...Gary Lorge is scribing and I, your faithful president, am doing what I love to do...greeting the visitors...after all, we are ALL visitor hosts. Take a look and find out why the Champions SoCal BNI stresses making our visitors feel prepared, valued, connected and comfortable. We are happy to have received an app today from Johnny Maravelis...Phoenix Afterglow...rise up! Please don't hang up, however, as there is a lot more to read from your president select...Gary Lorge! Rock on Gary...

"Greetings Champions from your guest blogger!

We start off this shortened holiday week with an explosive number: $795,000. That is the number Greg has calculated for our TYCB for the year. WOW, great job everyone.We had a number of visitors that started their week with the Champions: Patrick Sharples, Randy Hurtt( 2nd visit), Johnny Maravelis, and Karl Bonham. Thanks go out to all of you for joining us. Are there applications in the works? Remember, an approved application locks out your competition.

I learned from Jim Sando that size of a chapter does matter. It makes sense that the more members we have the more referrals we pass and receive. The more visitors we have the more become members. Bottom line from the best EC in the business: Get your letters out for Visitors Day people!

We have a returning leader in the category of referrals for August: Donna Cahoon. Our other leaders-Dr. Paul Kwik and Robert Perez for Visitors and Kris Hansberger and Greg Beck for 1:2:1’s. Congratulations all (who will oust Ms. Cahoon next month??).

The ITA winner this week proves that anything can be accomplished with a dead gopher and political nepotism. It took guts not to go with the guy who brought a gun and an axe, Kris.

Our CPA has tallied some impressive numbers for us: 2715 1:2:1’s 1288 Referrals 109 Visitors These are fantastic numbers and really give us something to shoot at next year.

Randy Clement gave us some insight into what a typical day looks like for him. (Lots of sunglasses.) Litigation, Arbitration, Negotiation- Clement and Ho does it all in a day. It boils down to this: A full service law practice with comparatively lower prices than the competition.

Our Founding Father also spent 10 minutes enlightening us this morning. Steven Stakley, with Burnham Gibson, explained what to expect when we get him involved in our customers retirement. He puts the needs of his clients first, many times at the expense of his own because that is what is right. I think that is a very powerful statement.

Happy Birthday to our Sec/Treas to be Kris Hansberger- 29 and holding.

Our President finally gets what he has been waiting for from Greg Beck- a Testimonial! Allen delivers more for the money.

Dues are due and see you next week!"

Make it a Champion week y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Today we embark on a new level of energy and a re-worked format...the video recap. With the help of several Champions...Chris Vasquez, Michael Figueroa, Brett Adolph, Jim Sando (film by Robert Perez)and yours truly, please enjoy. Our President select, Gary Lorge took copious notes during the proceedings and please spend a minute and tour those...

From the pen (that is mightier than the sword) of Gary Lorge...AKA Ramblings from the President Select:

"As always we welcome our Visitors and we had a few this week: Lindy Clark, Lisa Stewart, Lourdes Ramos and our visitors from other BNI chapters: Robert Marquez, Johnny Maravelis, and TR Garland. Thank you all for your wonderful presence.

We are blessed with the best EC in BNI and today Jim Sando showed why. Jim taught us a fantastic tool to use at our networking events: Behave like a Host! People will flow to you when you act like a host at an event and not a guest. Fantastic and I’m sure we all can’t wait to use this one!

Our leader for August in the all important category of referrals: Donna Cahoon of Today’s Windows and Doors. Donna clearly gets that "givers gain…"

The ITA this week was soooo close. I loved that Randy Clement believes that all small businesses should be required to have an attorney on staff, but the award goes to…….Kris Hansberger. Kris wins and swears it is her second award because she lost the first on a technicality.

Brett Adolph used a technique that I had never seen before to present his keynote. Payday Payroll is lucky to have him as a talent- lets hope he and Chris Vasquez keep to their day jobs and don’t pursue the stage as a career. Payday payroll sounds like the only place to go for your payroll needs…

Jim Salem informed us that pretty much anyone can become a realtor. Lucky for us our chapter has a Realtor with over 20 years experience and an MBA from USC(my fingers just burned as I typed those letters). Jim showed us the type of work he does on behalf of his clients and it is AWESOME!

Finally, the Champion spark plug award goes to yours truly. I refuse this award and give it to all of those that attended Leadership training the past few days. We had more participants (as a percentage of members) than any other chapter. You are all tremendous!

See you next week!"

Nice job Gary!

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, Champions:

A great time was had by all this beautiful Tuesday as we called the Champions promptly at 7:45. There is an air of transition as the chapter will attend leadership training as a group on Saturday. Next year's leadership team is an all star bunch...this year's was not bad...but Gary is assembling his masses and Saturday promises to be epic! All of the visitation today were members from other chapters. We always appreciate visitors from other chapters...especially when they emote at Stand and Deliver. Jodi Salazar found many unique things that she will take back to her chapter and Mike Adray enjoyed the energy. The Hidden Jewel will hear from Mike, I am sure. Our very own Bernadette (ambassador to the Champions) was there to share her wealth of BNI workshop experience. Always great to see Mrs. L!


I really loved the EC moment today! Jim Sando always does a great job and today was no exception. Jim spoke about "profiling your target client", provided an in depth hand out, and challenged each of us be "more" specific next week in our asks.


Aric Gless from Gless Architects spoke about what happens after the plans are drawn and Joe Davis, estate planning attorney extraordinaire spoke about what happens if you do nothing...always a BAD idea when it comes to your estate. These consummate professionals received several heart felt accolades during Stand and Deliver.

Awards and Such:

ITA: the fastest ever from new member to ITA...Joe Salazar! Very well done sir. You have now set the bar VERY high for yourself.

Champion's Spark Plug: Jim Sando for allowing SoCal BNI to use his facility for LT training rehearsal

Congrats to the Champions who will reach our revenue goal a month early! All of those one-to-one meetings certainly have paid off!

Don't forget a few key dates:

Evening Among the Stars, October 7th

Visitor Day October 11th

This Saturday, August 27th, LT Training at the Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel at 7:30 AM

Rite_loom is going to be hosting an event next month for chapters that Rite- Loom belongs to...Champions BNI, North Orange County, Client Tell, Business Connection.
It will be September 16th, Friday afternoon from 4:00pm - 8:00pm.
It will be at Rite-Loom Flooring Company - located at 1295 N. Kraemer Blvd, Anaheim Ca 92806
Phone Number [714] 764-1122.
We will be hosting with drinks and appetizers.
We will also be having an open Chili Cook Off Contest for members of these four chapters. There will be a prize awarded for first place.
More info to follow!

Quote Action:

"We make a living based upon what we receive. We make a life based upon what we give." Sir Winston Churchill. Your action for this week is to practice the Giver's Gain philosophy in all that you do.

Make it a Champion week y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo CHAMPIONS! or as they say at the "shore"...How you doin?

If you are wondering why your faithful president (I am the one on the right, Kris Hansberger, AKA Snookie, is on the left) is dressed like a "wise guy", it is because our meeting and SMMs were themed with a G-rated "Jersey Shore" parody...Wow! I was really worried about the results but I have to say that the outcome was truly tremendous! We all had a blast and we filmed the ENTIRE meeting! With the help of our crack videographer, Robert A. Perez, we should be able to edit something memorable for all of us. Thanks to Robert and ALL of the Champions that made today truly epic and most importantly, fun! If you missed today's meeting...Fahggit about it! If you were offended...whatta ya gonna do?

The highlights:

Visitation...2 Qualified visitors, Jerry Tortoro from FUN and Victoria Martinez from Good Vibrayshuns, mobile DJ. Victoria has been our server from Collettes for 2 and 1/2 years. She is an honorary ITA winner and was last week's Champion spark Plug winner...AND she can sing. This was Victoria's first visit as a "non-server" and she complimented us on our growth, professionalism, fun, and the serious business that we refer each week. She is DEFINITELY going to join a BNI chapter soon. Linda subbed for Mark Bill, Kathryn Deiters from Business Connections subbed for Christina Pham, and Megan Sachs visited to witness Robert do his thing. Rounding out the visitation was Tom Sheltraw from Coastal Connections BNI. Thanks for attending Champions Shore!

Great Keynote by the World Famous Bo Lowe who demonstrated just how easy the SOC system is to use!

Chapter Biz...record in 1-2-1s...BUT the proof is in the TYFCB as we eclipsed $700,000 and with today's take we are unofficially approaching $750,000...Ka Ching!

ITA winner was Donna Cahoon who was stunning in her poofed coiff. We barely made it through the SMMs as the room was hysterically laughing at the "shore themed" introductions.

Kathy Penton, healed pooch and all, was this week's CSP (Champion Spark Plug) winner. Thanks Kathy for replenishing our stock of tiny Tabasco bottles for the ITA awards.

Give it up for the great job the GRC team...Dr. Real, Michael Figueroa, and Jody Houseman...also the Sheriff, Greg Beck are doing with the visitor day planning. Don't forget about the day...October 11, 2011! You won't want to miss this folks!

Please sign up for the Leadership Training! For those having difficulty with the sign up...please contact our director, award winning trainer and director of SoCal BNI training, Lem Bucago. Lem can be emailed at lem@socalbni.com.

The "Evening" is fast approaching. If you signed up, the money is due. If you would like to attend let us know and we will see if there is a spot for you. Please remit to Rosanne.

You ALL are inspiring to me! Thanks for allowing me to lead you to places rarely trodden by BNI chapters! I believe the experience speaks volumes. Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Please make it a Champion week ya'll.

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan