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

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

"When you keynote, pick an item to give away that will cause your chapter members to always think of you" Jim Sando, Education Coordinator for the Champions. The tag to the left...if you scan it...will be something that causes all of you to think of me...which created a flurry of memories of the "year of the Champions" (almost) while I have served as your chapter President. What are the things that I remember when I think of each of you? Here they are by member:

Jim Salem, that friendly smile every week
Patrick O'Kane, what part of his body was to be injured next
Chuck Tipton, "hair on fire"...
Jim McCracken, amortization made simple
Kris Hansberger, "you can slip it"
Angelo Dionisiou, the next time I beat him to a meeting will be the first
Gary Lorge, the impromptu Frank Sinatra SMM...epic!
Bill Edman, Quack Quack
Randy Clement, the father and son SMM during bring you child to BNI week
Doug Luchansky, the "build your company keynote"
Greg Beck, (if only one)...gotta be the SMM where he became the "sheriff"
Rosanne Grigsby, wow! the fighter!
Chris Vasquez, his home purchase utilizing the best the Champions has to offer
Steven Stakley, four time ITA winner...and still seven weeks to go!
Jim Sando, EC moments to a whole new level
Brett Adolph, when will he win the ITA?
Carmina Perez, that beautiful smile (see Jim Salem)
Robert A. Perez, what happens at Champions stays on You Tube
Aric Gless, the scaled drawing of the venue for buffet planning purposes
Joe Davis, the pirate hat
Christina Pham, bringing a visitor while visiting
Dr. Real, three time ITA and mentor to several other ITA winners
Dr. Kwik, the SMM which included a "mock pregnancy"
Kathy Penton, the gardening hat
Steve Barnett, (see Chris Vasquez)
Bo Lowe, the ENERGY...every week!
James Kashi, "good morning, Chuck"
Mark Bill, "I'm not a computer guy"
Jody Houseman, the ITA winner using a simulated hammer on the roof (see Dr. Real)
Michael Figueroa, his impassioned recap of his employer
Donna Cahoon, quickest ITA winner on record

So there you have it. I will think of you all when these items are mentioned.

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo CHAMPIONS!

A BNI Testimonial:

Today, I want to spend a minute and talk about the power of this organization, BNI, the subset of which is SoCal BNI, the subset once again which is Champions SoCal BNI and how this translates into visitors to our chapter and importantly to all of us the dollars that we receive when we gain through our giving. A huge shout out to two of our Directors and one of our fellow chapter members (from another chapter) who sent visitors to the hallowed halls of the Champions today! Todd Hansberger sent us his lovely wife Kris who is our newest member and our Secretary/Treasurer select. Todd also sent us Chris Hartshorn from Wholesale Capital Corporation. Chris (not Mrs. Hansberger) wanted to join an established chapter vs the south county start-up he manages and sent him our way. Dan Fowler has sent us three visitors recently and Hema Dey sent us (with a little coaching from your faithful President) Alex Ribble from Big Chief Creative Media. Our heartfelt thanks ya'll for the strong vote of confidence and a true giver's gain mentality! the capper, however, was that a visitor from last week, Les Davidson, sent one of his subs, George Giberstein, owner of Sprinklerman. Additionally, Randy Hurtt, invited by Mark Bill was present as well as two gentlemen from Yorba Linda Mobile carwash...Oscar and Javier Ortega...invited by Dr. Paul. And lest we forget, Joseph Salazar of Net Wiz who submitted an app and apparently already knows Alex Ribble and refers him biz...hmmm we call that a Power Team! For those keeping score at home, that was lucky seven visitors! We also welcomed two subs from other chapters AND the esteemed Martin Neil of Caliber Signs who attended to provide a testimonial for Robert Perez who produced the video below for Martin's business...that is a shameless plug for Robert and for Martin...but they are both THAT good!


Our keynote presenters, Donna Cahoon of Today's Windows and Doors and Cristina Pham of Select Printing and Graphics shared some things that they have in common...although it was not planned...both are native Californians, both are generational owners of their businesses and both have locations which you should visit. The passion and expertise was evident and PLEASE refer all of your friends and countrymen to these wonderful ladies! They will exceed your expectations!

Recognition and Biz: (in order of appearance)

Greg Beck the Sheriff reported that for the ten months ending July 31, 2011, the Champions have:

Given 1171 referrals
Participated in 2476 1-2-1s
Welcomed 95 Visitors
Thanked for $652,000!
Must be some sorta record...we are going with that!

1-2-1 leader(s) for July...Kris Hansberger and Bo Lowe
Referral leader for July...Donna Cahoon
Visitation leader for July...Steven Stakley

ITA winner for the third time...Mr. Jim McCracken! Jim Sando provided a great EC moment on the "specific ask"...a VERY crucial element to incorporate into your profitable intro!
Champion Spark Plug Winner...All of the Champions for the below effort. We love you Clay and are praying for your speedy recovery and return to your spot with the Champions!

From Jenni Nering regarding a note she received from Clay Colwell...a true Champion!

"Hi Allen,

I am tallying up all of the chapter star award winners for the celebration. I was really touched by one of the Champions response and I wanted to pass it along. The Champions is a great place to belong!!!!

His nominee was” “every member of the chapter”
His reason: “I am a former member of the Champions and recently I was diagnosed with Two different types of cancer. I have had to withdraw from BNI since then simply because I cannot work while going through treatment and surgery, and it will be a long process which could take 6-9 months. Everyone in the chapter has reached out and offered their support and help, with Joe Davis really stepping up and helping me to get my estate set up almost over night, and Chris Vasquez who helped me get my bank accounts all rearranged and in order. And I cannot leave out people like Allen, Bo, Jim, Steven, Dr Real, Greg, Bill and Kathy who went out of their way to contact me many times to see how I was. And I cannot forget Rosanne, who was also going through a battle of her own with cancer and yet still extended herself. Being a member of the Champions was like having an extended family, who one of these days I fully intend to come back and visit with again once I am Cancer FREE!”

Jenni Nering
Executive Director

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump..."and that is all that I have to say about that!"

Please make it a Champion Week.

Your Faithful President

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Wow! It is good to be back and assuming my role as your faithful president. Mrs. Buchanan rocked the house in Chicago with her talks on social media and networking but our minds wandered back to the Champions and Platinum Coast BNI...two stalwart chapters in the SoCal Region! Can I get a shout out from Mrs. Nering? How about those fine folks in Michigan...Bill and Sue? We had a blast today as the image to the left will attest. We pitched each other! As the old saying goes, "You scratch my back, I will scratch yours and we will both be better as a result!"...or something like that. Last week we drew a card from the box (step 1). We conducted 1-2-1s with that person (step 2). We learned how to deliver their intro (step 3). Today we delivered the goods...after baking in a well greased pan for 30 minutes at 350...woops, wrong show. Well I must admit the results were quite tasty. We may, however have muddled our visitors...I certainly hope not! Anyway, there were several visitors...four of whom took apps!

Karen Cormier-Southwards from Cormier Construction and Design is looking forward to being a part of our group...she said that!
Joseph Salazar, of Net Wiz really had alot of fun...and was great at his intro!
Joe Davis, Jr...playing a dual role, loves the camaraderie.
Les Davidson of All Drains Plumbing enjoyed the creativity!
Sheri Thomas, of MTM Phone Systems, loved the consistency...she has subbed before.
Victoria Wade, of Time Warner Cable, said the Champions felt like a family.
Ryan Mulvany, of Voice Smart, enjoyed the structure, energy (alot of that today) and in short believed we are a great group of business people!

Thanks visitors! We enjoy your comments and take the feedback VERY seriously. Onward!


Patrick O'Kane and Michael Figueroa...two craftsmen, crafting their crafts left us with a deep desire to schedule one-to-ones and learn more about referring them. Michael brought in tile, granite, hardwood, and rug samples and asked that ALL of us visit his showroom!...maybe not ALL at once. Patrick explained the misleading ads on the radio about "no cost" refis! I have never heard a stand and deliver quite so filled with testimonials about these two! We are VERY happy that you both are Champions!

Hail to the Four Time ITA winner....Mr. Steven Stakley! Simply brilliant as he delivered Gary Lorge's Profitable Introduction...I know it was confusing to me as well! Steve came with a glue on goatee and a ducky candle in a jar. (Gary has a goatee AND protects homeowners against fire). I thought the ITA ruler made a political choice until I realized that Steven actually won...because he gave Gary's...oh well, you get the idea. Congrats to Steven who ALWAYS comes to play...even though his football team doesn't...sorry!:)

Gary Lorge, thanks sooo much for the fill in! You were this week's Champion Spark Plug winner! You did a GREAT job and we are all excited for your new role and the transition of your faithful President into your faithful Education Coordinator!

We are weeks away from a mega visitor day complete with a keynote by a former Champion...Jenni Nering...last heard from at the top of a ropes course in Yorba Linda...did I mention that we had several Champion ambassador/directors who completed the ropes course unscathed...a couple didn't but thems the breaks...fortunately no bones broke!

Well signing off now to go attend to my day job!

Please make it a Champion week, everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Presidents weekly letter, Champions

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Many thanks to Gary Lorge, incoming Prez and guest blogger while I'm away supporting Mrs. Buchanan in her speaking career. We are eating our way through Chicago and having a blast. VERY much miss the Champions, however. Here are the facts, Ma'am:

Allen is missed as he attends the conference in the windy city.  We have 5 Visitors in the room:
Dr Janet Jackman: Optometrist
Tom Morris: Real Estate Appraiser
Joe Salazar: Senior network Consultant
Lem Bucago
Another fantastic educational moment with Jim Sando.  Jim had great thoughts about “getting out of your comfort zone”.  Reach out beyond your typical networks in order to positively impact the number of referrals you are receiving.  You never know where a quality referral will come from!
Dr. Hercules Real took over the awarding of the ITA. Hercules is a multi – time winner and always delivers the goods. After much consideration (Many delivered the sought after trifecta) Dr. Real awarded the hot stuff to Angelo Dionisiou who obviously has no problem operating on minimal hours of sleep with a new baby in the house.
Angelo took the award and then took the floor to review with us a topic I am always riveted by: Commercial Insurance. He explained how he visits clients in person to make sure they are properly covered and to uncover all savings.  Thank  you Angelo for a great presentation.
Visitor Day is announced. Greg Beck took the GRC moment and ran with it as he revealed the plans for a Champions Visitors Day in October.  Excitement is brewing as we shoot for our goal of 100 people in the room.
Our leader was missed and we all look forward to his return to the helm next week!  Have a safe trip back enjoy Allen.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Fall courtesy of your faithful President

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Your faithful President takes one for the team! Nothing hurt but my feelings...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

That handsome man to your left is one of the original Champions...a charter member, The Sheriff, our vice president, my dear friend and one of our keynote speakers today! If you guessed Greg Beck...ding, ding! You are a winner. All of the Champions have a better understanding of entities, and the tax impact of sole proprietorships, C-Corps, S-Corps, and LLCs. Thanks for all you do for the Champions, Greg! We love ya dearly!

Our other keynote speaker today was another original charter member of the Champions, Dr. Hercules Real...the first winner of the Champion Spark Plug award, a former VP and also my dear friend and a MAJOR contributor to the ITA! The images were informative and the questions to ask to get you referrals were well received. Thanks for all that you do for Champions, Dr. Real!

Maiden Flight:

The Champion's next President, Gary Lorge, flew the plane today and with only minor turbulence during flight, Mr. Lorge proved why he was the choice...energy and presence...you cannot teach that! I believe that ALL of the Champions will benefit during Gary's term. Nice Job Gary! Next week the solo as your faithful President will be in Chicago.

The highlights:

ITA winner: Awarded by Bill Edman to Gary Lorge...several great performances here. One can only wonder if the choice was politically motivated...hmmm!

Champion Spark Plug: To Mr. Aric Gless for his efforts this week on the membership committee.


David Woods of Green Worx Solar...app submitted
Todd Hamo from Copy Editing...made a great connection with Jim Sando
Brad Goldston of Expo4Life...I noticed our newest member chatting him up

We LOVE our visitors as it is ALL about you!

Welcome Kris Hansberger!

The Champions are thrilled to welcome Kris Hansberger! We are so pleased that Kris chose to resume her illustrious BNI career with us. Kris will also serve as the Champion's Secretary Treasurer next term! See you Friday, Kris! Dr. Paul will mentor Kris.


July 26th will be a special day as we will tape for our "Evening" video and swap 1-2-1s and deliver each others SMMs...so who wins the ITA?...hmmm!

Make it a Champion week everybody! See y'all on the 26th,

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Please Nominate your "Star"

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

and take 30 seconds to nominate
the "STAR" in our chapter and
tell SoCal why you are nominating

All of the chapter star awards
will be presented at the “evening
among the stars” and include a
photo with Dr. Misner!

I have nominated my star, have you?



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

I affectionately refer to the image above as "Management" for a couple of reasons...#1; Greg Beck, AKA the Sheriff and part time CFO; Rosanne, the controller of the currency; and I, your faithful President and acting CEO, played a part in the Doug Luchansky keynote today. #2 The Management team with whom I have shared the dais for these past nine months will not be management anymore after September 2011 as the new leadership team was announced...more on that in a bit. Doug used his ten minutes to "build a company" by appointing various Champions with leadership roles in the new company. I was selected to be CEO...chapter presidents and CEOs have something in common...they all rely upon others to "do the work!" Greg was CFO...a role with which he is intimately familiar, and Rosanne was the controller...quite a stretch!
Very creative use of members to illustrate how ACI consulting uses ALL of these positions to integrate into its software solutions.

The International Tabasco Award with a Patriotic extension...literally!

Any Champion who used a patriotic theme in their SMM today received an extension of fifteen seconds from the normal thirty second time frame. Several of our members "exercised their right" to extend their Fourth of July holiday weekend as well...including Robert Perez who was today's ruler. Even with the diminished numbers...the competition was fierce. We had four Champions that were finalists...Donna Cahoon, Jim Sando, Bo Lowe and Bill Edman. Bill took home the pepper as he impersonated the statue of liberty by standing on a chair...very creative Bill! You now join a long list of "two time winners"! Brett Adolph...even with a sub...was a "specific ask" away from his first win. I really wanted to award it to you buddy...just didn't have that ask! Rumor has it that our applying visitors (Kris) are vying for a taste of the pepper as well! Happy that you have embraced the fun that is the ITA.

You can nominate a Champion to be a star!

Just click here and you will be directed to a link. You can then nominate a "star" of our chapter that will be awarded at the Evening Among the Stars in October. Do you know someone that embodies the Giver's Gain philosophy? If so, you can nominate them here!

The New Improved Management Team for 2011-2012:

Our Director, Director of Training for SoCal BNI, and Trainer of the Year for 2009 and 2010, Lem Bucago introduced the new President for the next term............Gary Lorge (who also keynoted)! Gary then announced his cabinet:

VP- Aric Gless
Membership Committee- Randy Clement
Sec/Treas- TBD
Visitor Host- Kathy Penton
Member Mentor- Jim Sando
Education Coordinator- Allen Buchanan
GRC- Greg Beck

Gary will have a practice flight of the Champions next week and will solo on the 19th as your faithful President will exercise his right to attend a trade show with Mrs. Buchanan in Chicago...did I mention that she is speaking?

The EC Moment courtesy of Mr. Sando:

Focused upon the five reasons that people rarely ask for feedback from their clients and referral sources. This snippet was taken from the 29% Solution...a book written by Dr. Ivan Misner.

Champion Spark Plug Winner:

This week's winner, Steven Stakley, is a charter member of the Champions and has worked diligently with our mentors to mentor our membership. Steve has endured quite a bit of turnover with his team but has maintained a constant "product" and our retention numbers show it! Congrats, Steven!


"Evening" October 7th
Office Hours July 11th
Java with Jenni July 18th

Please sign up for Hidden Opportunities that will be held tomorrow, July 6th at 2:00 PM at the Meridian...we all can find that. Don't forget, this training is necessary to complete your FULL eight sessions of workshops offered by SoCal BNI. I will be there, will you? Click here to be directed to the SoCal BNI website for registration.

Please remember:

An admirer looks at the stars with admiration, a Champion climbs a mountain and grabs a star. So are you a Champion or an admirer?

Please make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conference Call with Dr. Misner, SoCal BNI

Orange County BNIConnect Webinar

Join us for a Webinar on June 30

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Discussion about BNIConnect with BNI Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner.

Title: Orange County BNIConnect Webinar
Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

True or False...oh wait, that was last week! UFirst Financial, Mr. Jim McCracken, AKA the ElPaso kid educated us today with a VERY well done keynote...the concept was simple...if $6000 could save you (or make you in effect) $30,000, is that something that you would do. The Champions (in harmony ala Woooooo, Champions) retorted a resounding YES! So Ufirst helps educate the public on these simply debt reduction techniques.

Did you know that James Kashi (in addition to having a cool location in downtown Fullerton) services both foreign AND domestic cars? If you answered yes...ding, dig, ding, you are a winner!


The trades group got a charge today as we had two reps from a GC, a solar rep and two reps from a fourth generation plumbing contractor. Rumor has it that the plumbing contractor wants to join several chapters so that several of their reps can share the magic of referral based marketing. Michael Figueroa's company Rite Loom Flooring employs that strategy within the region quite nicely. A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO DAN FOWLER who encouraged the plumbers and solar rep to visit the Champions! Muchas gracias, Dan! True giver's gain spirit!

So, in order of their Stand and Deliver comments, here goes:

Max Copley of Computer Solutions Architects loved the Champions special recognition...International Spark Plug (won by Robert Perez today) and the Champions Spark Plug Award (won by Aric Gless today)

Joseph S. Davis, a criminal defense attorney subbing for Joseph G. Davis enjoyed the vast array of businesses.

David Woods of Greenworx Solar enjoyed how eager we were to get to know each other.

Shawn Ryan of Ryan Construction and Brent Coriaty of Ryan Construction definitely see the potential

Johnny Jacot and Tina Rosa of Jacot Plumbing enjoyed the referral stories of how we help each other.

For those keeping score at home...four...count 'em four apps! Including the pending app, that makes an even (or is that an odd) five!

Awards, Leaders, and Biz:

International Tabasco Award (for the "hottest" SMM) went to Robert Perez this week...he hit the marks and took home the pepper. He rules next week. Honorable mention to Donna Cahoon, Bill Edman, and Jim Sando.

Champion's Spark Plug today went to Aric Gless for his tireless work as our Membership Committee Chair.

May referral leader, Bill Edman
May 1-2-1 king, Jim McCracken
May visitation exemplar, Bo Lowe and Aric Gless

Referrals month-to-date 74
1-2-1s month-to-date 128
Visitors YTD 84
YTD TYFCB, $573,000...Ka Ching!
The sheriff, Greg Beck, also highlighted the seven members in the Champions that have accounted for 52% of the TYFCB (one was Greg, shhh!)

The meeting was closed with a quote which I plan to use in all of the future blog posts. We got this from our friend Rick Itzkowich and his weekly quote actions.

"Most look up and admire the stars. A Champion climbs a mountain and grabs one."
from an Unknown Author

Your action for today is to evaluate whether you are acting more like an admirer than a Champion.

Make it a Champion Week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

True or False, We had a GREAT sales manager moment, AKA, Profitable Intro, AKA Elevator Speech competition? TRUE! The moments were awesome with several memorable deliveries. In the end, with spouse present none-the-less, Joe Davis, counselor at law and estate planning attorney extraordinaire, took home the International Tabasco Award with much fan fare! Congrats Joe...you even manged a T or F in your ask which was clever! If you are reading this blog for the first time...welcome! This meeting was devoted to True or False...some even Stood and Delivered with a True or False theme...atta chapter...love it!

The highlights:

Attendance: The Sheriff, Greg Beck donned the suit and attended the meeting...around his vacation...Ok, he is in Newport, but still, that is DEDICATION! For those keeping score at home, Greg has not missed a meeting...even with a sub...for over THREE years! Wow. What a testament to the power of showing up and contributing. Hat's off...oh wait...that was a couple of weeks ago.

The Visitation: Five terrific visitors graced the Champion's lair today. Andrew Rea, a web designer; Libby Davis (Mrs. Tabasco) from Vitas; Kris Hansberger...True or False, she submitted an app...TRUE, sweet; Doug Karcher, a handyman...we REALLY need one; and Al Bustamantes from Integrated Technology, VOIP account exec. I believe we received two apps from the five visitors...not bad. Now up to the crack membership team to vet the apps...more to come! Thanks for flying with the Champions today.

Key Notage:
Bo Lowe...always amazing...gave us some great insight into the card industry and why customers leave their suppliers...perceived indifference. Great referrals for Bo are organizations that need to raise money (booster clubs, non-profits, PTAs, etc).

Jody Houseman...solid as usual...stained us, prepped us, and wowed us with the faux treatments. Jody can make his craft so interesting. Please note that Jody is a certified lead paint removal specialist...certified by California. Great referrals for Jody are General Contractors, property managers, trades that need painters...roofers, doors and windows....hmmm, Jody meet Donna, Donna Jody.

EC Momentos:

Continuing upon the testimonial theme started last week, Jim Sando highlighted the four things a great testimonial should contain:

A focus on one person
Delivered in first person
Placed in writing

Chapter Biz:

MTD Referrals 58
YTD 1-2-1s 2196...gotta be a record
YTD visitation 80
YTD TYFCB $567,600

Award Winners:

May Visitors Aric Gless and Bo Lowe
May 1-2-1s Jim McCracken
May Referrals Bill Edman

This week's Champion's Spark Plug winner, Angelo Dionisiou for his tireless efforts as visitor host! Congratulations to one and all!


Evening!! I am hearing rumblings of some cool stuff!

Workshop hosted by Champions today

Please keep our comrade Clay Colwell in your thoughts and prayers as he fights the good fight!

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Please leave a comment...we love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hat Day at Champions...you don't want to miss this

A catchy opening...you must grab our attention. Complete the introduction before the time limit...varies by chapter. A VERY specific ask...specific is terrific. If you don't ask for something specific, how do we know what to refer to you. So what else does a successful Sales Manager Moment, AKA an elevator speech, AKA a profitable introduction possess?...a hat! what else? Take a look at the Champions hammin' it up with our hat day! Thanks to our very own Champion videographer, Robert A. Perez for the awesome production!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 209: “The Ten-Point Checklist”

In this week's episode, Dr. Misner highlights a face-to-face checklist.


"Today we’re talking about a face-to-face word-of-mouth checklist of credibility-enhancing materials you need to have available.

Testimonial letters from satisfied clients
Photos (of yourself, your office, your products)
Logos of your key customers
List of memberships and affiliations
A question-and-answer sheet (FAQ)
Photos of awards or certificates you and your staff have earned
Articles that you’ve published or been mentioned in
Brochures, circulars, datasheets, product catalogues
Items that help you explain your business, e.g. annual report
Articles about trends affecting your business
You should have these materials available both in hard copy, to bring with you, and on your website.

Brought to you by Networking Now. "

You can tune in to listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

First of all, THANKS to all of you who read the blog last week and commented! We had the largest readership in the history of this blog and the winner of the drawing was announced at today's meeting. If you didn't attend the meeting today and/or didn't get a call from me notifying you of your winning...you didn't...sorry, next time. Rumor has it the winner quacked quite loudly when awarded the second Champions coffee mug. But, thanks for the comments and the readership...much appreciated!

Well, this post will be in a unique format...True or False...so here goes!

True or False, the Champions welcomed five visitors today? True...and they were Kris Hansberger from Insurance KO, (we had to explain to her how the meetings worked :)); Lucas Anemone from Supermedia; Thomas Yasger, a handyman;Peter Bares of Goodwill Industries; and Sheri Thomas of MTM Phone Systems. We also were blessed to receive Hema Dey from Premier Professionals, Lola Gershfeld who subbed for Bo and Director Duane Townsend of the Hidden Jewel BNI chapter.

True or False, the handsome seven some pictured above are the individuals who won the BNI Game from each team? True...and they are L to R Kathy Penton (green team over achiever!), Robert Perez, Bill Edman, Steve Barnett, Michael Figueroa, Dr. Hercules Real, and Jody Houseman (also the GRC team, Michael, Hercules, and Jody).

True or False, We had our third three time winner of the ITA today? True, the sheriff, Greg Beck counted his way down to blast off and secured the pepper! Nice goin' Greg.

True or False, Steve Barnett from Office Solutions keynoted today? False, Steve Barnett of Complete Office keynoted and share with us his 33 years of experience in the office products world...he started as a child. Steve has some very impressive clients, Irvine Scientific and Crocker Packaging just to name a couple.

True or False, The Champions are poised to Thank for $500,0000 of TYFCB this year? False, we have eclipsed $550,000 and on an annualized basis expect to exceed our goal.

True or False, Jim Sando was absent today? False, he was there, delivered a wonderful EC moment on the origin of the testimonial as the first digression from the original BNI agenda and announced the workshop next Tuesday for all...MSP for veterans, 9:30 at our room.

True or False, the Champion Spark Plug was awarded to a worthy individual? False, the CSP was awarded to three worthy individuals...our GRC team, Michael Figueroa, Jody Houseman, and Dr. Hercules Real...great job on the game team!

True or False, we will be dark next week? FALSE...next week is True or False week! Please use a few T or F questions and answers in your SMMs next week...it will be a blast! Don't forget the specific ask and the sheriff is the ITA ruler next week and he is the sheriff...no lee way!

Until next time, your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Friday, June 10, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 208: “Behind the GAINS profile"


Hazel Walker, co-author of Business Networking and Sex—Not What You Think, joins Dr. Misner today to talk about the GAINS profile, first mentioned in Business by Referral. (That stands for Goals, Accomplishments, Interests, Networks, and Skills.)

How does the GAINS profile help BNI members?

•Goals are how we help one another. It’s much easier to refer another person when you know what s/he is trying to achieve.
•Knowing someone else’s Accomplishments lets you build their credibility.
•Interests help us find common ground and build rapport.
•Discovering each other’s Networks lets us connect one another.
•Skills provide more credibility and open doors to doing business.
The idea in a GAINS exchange is to have a conversation. Hazel likes to start with the I, because it’s easiest to build rapport that way. For instance, two men who resisted doing the GAINS exchange discovered they were both soccer coaches and became the best of friends.

Hazel also recommends doing the GAINS profile with members of your chapter more than once. The answers to these questions change over time.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Don't forget to read the blog and post a comment. Those posting...including those outside the chapter, will be entered in a drawing for a special prize courtesy of your faithful President!

The Champions SoCal BNI felt a little like the royal wedding this morning with all of the hat varieties...no princes, princesses, Bentleys, or QE2s...just lots of crazy hats!
The visitors were especially vocal in their praise during stand and deliver.

Chelsea Canterbury from Ajasrika Wellness was inspired
Eric Uriata, a commercial photographer from Liaisons, loved the SMMs
Lola Gershfeld, an executive coach, was impressed by the creativity and
Tom Roby, from Spectrum, always likes that there is something new at Champions!

The goal today was to frame a profitable intro with one, two, or three of the provided hats or to frame the intro with a hat from your profession. The Champions embraced the stimulant and the results were astounding!

The Sales Manager Moments, AKA profitable intros were in fact regal, however, as some in the chapter exclaimed that they have never seen the SMMs delivered better, with more flair, or more planning! Several "career" moments were delivered...Dr. Real, always a contender, in his magician's hat; Greg Beck complete with a hat and a paper star, Joe Davis with...a pirate hat, really?; Randy Clement with his "I can't pay the rent", but "you must pay the rent" impression, Steven Stakley with a Cabo San Lucas retirement hat; Christina Pham in her Taco Bell hat. In the end, Kathy Penton won her second ITA with her gardener's hat. Well done Kathy! That is why we picked you to head our "Evening" committee.

The EC Moment:

I asked that Jim Sando send this to me in it's entirety so that I could post it. I believe it was particularly good and is taken from "Success Net".

"Isn’t a BNI 30-Second Commercial or Sales Manager Moment really an advertisement? Isn’t it a sales message?

I’d like to share one way that you could do a 30-Second Commercial at our next meeting.

First, consider this: What does your product or service do for your customers?

That’s a question that might have hundreds of answers. But just a few of those answers will “hit home” with the majority of your current and past customers. Figuring out the most relevant answer to this question is key to creating an effective sales message.

When you need to create an advertisement, email, sales letter, 30-Second Commercial, direct mail postcard—anything related to sales and marketing—pretend that one person (your prospect) has a problem, a problem you can fix.

In your sales message, address the problem first. Addressing your prospect’s problem gets their attention. They think, Hey, I’ve got that same issue. I wonder what they’re going to do about it. It’s best to be specific in your sales message. The more specific your message, the better you’ll connect with your audience and attract their full attention.

Now that you’ve got them “hooked” for a few more seconds, what’s next? I would suggest you tell a short story about how one of your customers had a particular problem. Give details about their problem, and then share exactly what you did to make their problem disappear. People love stories, and they also like to hear that they are not the only ones with that same problem.

Finally, briefly summarize everything. Remind them of their problem, let them know how you would fix it, and tell them to contact you regarding their similar problem.

There are many different angles and creative ways to tell your prospect how you can help them. Just remember that your potential new customers don’t really give a darn about your product or service; they just want to know if you can get rid of their problem.

A final note: There’s no “right” way to give a 30-Second Commercial. Don’t get caught up in what you think a 30-Second Commercial should sound like. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Alan has given us examples of that! If you give the same commercial week-in and week-out, you’re training your fellow Champions to forget you.

Now, don’t want you to take three hours to come up with a good commercial. You’ll never create the perfect one. You have many stories to share about how you can help people. Don’t try to cram everything into one. Attend every week, and feed us a bit of new information each time. You may think we know everything about your business, but…I promise you…we don’t."

Leaders and Chapter Biz:

May referral leader, Bill "quack-quack" Edman
May one-to-one leader, Jim McCracken with 28...has been a leader in this category all year long!
May visitors leader, Aric Gless
ITA, Kathy Penton
Champions Spark Plug Award, Robert Perez for volunteering his time and video talents toward the keynotes, SMMs, and footage for the "people's choice" video which will air in October at the "Evening Among the Stars"

Year to Date as reported by the Sheriff, Greg Beck:

Referrals 982
One-to-Ones 2111
Visitors 75
TYFCB $547,000

Bill Edman and Jim Sando keynoted and shared with us some excellent testimonials, ways to refer them, and their key clients. It is clear to me that the keynote workshops are beneficial...thanks Lem Bucago!


Post to the blog and enter a cool drawing

Evening update...twenty Champions and counting!

Basic (advanced) MSP for veterans on June 21st at Collette's

Quote action:

A lion awakens early every day, running, hoping to catch a speedy gazelle. A speedy gazelle awakens early every day hoping to outrun the slowest gazelle, lest he be eaten by the lion. The moral, whether you are a lion or a gazelle, you better wake up each day running. Your action is to leave a blog comment...


Your faithful, running, President

Allen Buchanan

Monday, June 6, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 207: “EGBOK”


In this week's podcast...Dr. Misner brought up the concept of EGBOK at the recent national conference in Rhode Island as part of a discussion about change, leadership, and solutions. The idea, introduced by Mark McKergow, is that you need to focus on what’s working, not what’s wrong.

If you focus on solutions, you can get almost anything done. Panic shifts responsibility away from ourselves. It reinforces counterproductive impulses.

So take a deep breath and remember EGBOK. Everything’s Gonna Be OK. It’s going to be okay because you do the hard work to make the vision a reality, because of your adaptability. The commitment and shared vision of the people in BNI mean that Everything’s Gonna Be OK in spite of challenges, technology problems, and personality conflicts.

Dr. Misner even handed out EGBOK buttons at the national conference. If you think the buttons are a good idea, say so here in the comments, and BNI will make more.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dr. Misner, Jan Norman of the OC Register and me!

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Your faithful President was able to provide the founder of BNI with a referral! For those keeping score at home, I am still one behind as Dr. Misner has kindly featured me (us) on the podcast, Episode 191, and on the Annie Armen show. As most of you know, I am diligent about listening to the BNI podcasts...OK, I enjoy hearing from the founder and his wealth of networking insight. In Episode 205, Dr. Misner asked for media publicity for his business index...voila...a specific ask.

From Episode 205 (the ask):

"...The idea really is to get the media to say, hey, this looks interesting, to comment on it and to build the BNI brand. So this is really more for the media than it is for members..." "...if you are listening to this podcast, feel free to leave a message here (which I did...see for yourself) on the BNIpodcast.com website and let me know what question you think might be valuable in the future that the media be interested in. What would the media like to know about how business is?"...

I have collaborated with Jan Norman of the OC Register for several months (I have been a fan for several years) and was able to connect the two via a telebridge and the below article was the result. I got to listen to the interview and even participate...very cool!


"What does Misner recommend to his BNI members?"

“Two things have come out of both surveys. Stick to fundamentals…at the same time be creative and try things counter-intuitive to your industry.”

"Misner used as an example, Allen Buchanan, principal in Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. Buchanan often calls up business owners he reads about and builds relationships in industries and types of jobs he wouldn’t normally meet and that his competition isn’t going after. He had a record 2010 despite the spotty economic recovery."

“Business networking is more like farming than hunting,” Misner said. “People may let go of a vendor but they won’t let go of a friend.”

You can read the entire article by clicking the link below:

Survey: Sick of ‘politics and power trips’ - Jan Norman on Small Business - The Orange County Register#comment-43311

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

My ask for the week is that you leave a comment on the blog, the facebook page, etc. The comments help increase our google presence.

So here are the highlights: (notice anything different?)

Action quotation " Happiness is not an accident, or something you wish for. Happiness is something you design." Your action for this week is to start designing your happiness!


Next week, June 7th is hat week. Every Champion will design their SMM around one, two, three, or a substitute hat. The first hat is a cowboy hat, the second hat is a camo University of Arkansas Razorback visor, the third is a straw Frank Sinatra fedora, OR you can choose a hat that closely represents your profession. IE: Greg Beck wears several hats? Robert Perez wears a moto helmet when he travels to our meetings. We have all see Rosanne's pink, blonde visor...should be epic!

June 14th is bring your sub day...more on this next week

June 21st. MSP Training at Meridian Club at 9:30 after our meeting. Sign up via the events calendar at http://www.socalbni.com

Evening Among the Champions....er Stars is October 7th! Rumor has it that the Champions have 20 committed so far and will be purchasing two tables this week. Kathy Penton has kindly agreed to be all things, Champion and Evening...more to come!

Stand and Deliver from our visitors:

The latest CSUF graduate Miss Edman enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm
Gary Hill believes that the Champions could be his next BNI home
Bob Rode enjoyed the organization and the energy
Lola enjoyed seeing all of us and enjoyed the warm reception
and Donna Cahoon's sister (you can definitely see and hear the resemblance) really stressed using BNI members for all tasks!

Thanks to our visitors...you make our week!

Dues are dues are dues are due next week!

We will recap YTD stats for the first eight months of the term next week. We will also award three new monthly leaders in 1-2-1s, referrals, and visitors next week.

The keynote this week was all about me...just kidding...but I got a lot of air time. I hope you all benefited from the talk about lease renegotiation and our visitor/sub exercise. My schedule is a little light on one-to-ones this week...anyone interested?

"Hottest" SMM and the International Tabasco Award...and the winner is, Mr. Jim McCracken...a constant contender...but the "halls of Montezuma" theme for the day after Memorial Day really hit the mark! Congrats again, Jim and we look forward to your rule for next week! We had some other contenders today...Jody Houseman, Chris Vasquez, Gary Lorge, Kathy Penton, Greg (the Sheriff) Beck...

Thanks to all the Champions who served our country, Richard Lane, Chris Vasguez, and Lem Bucago! Your service to our country allows us the freedom to attend networking meetings each week!

Bo Lowe delivered the educational moment today with a list of things you can do to strengthen your relationships...Number One, send a TY note...who knew! I bet Bo did, because Bo knows TY notes!

Wow! It is almost summer and the Champions welcomed the first meeting after the first summer holiday with a graduate, five visitors (two double counted that were subs), and a keynote presentation by your faithful President who hasn't changed since this photo was taken last week...:))). Actually, the meeting felt a little like the "Allen show" because of the keynote, the award of the ITA (Donna Cahoon, last week's winner) was in Montana and so the duties fell upon me, and a last minute change in the speaker rotation which the Leadership Team believed necessary...a sub inviting system. Whew! If you have never visited the Champions...today was a rarity. I promise much less of me in the weeks to come.

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Webinar for BNI Connect, Dan Fowler, SoCal BNI

Dan Fowler and Lem Bucago do a brilliant job of explaining the new BNI Connect system and how leadership teams can find reports, operational items, etc. If you missed the live version, no problem! You can simply watch the video below.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BNI Connect Webinar...You gotta do this

We just wrapped up a VERY informative webinar on BNI Connect for Leadership Team members. Lem Bucago and Dan Fowler did an outstanding job explaining the "wheres" of certain operations, tools, and reports for BNI presidents, vice presidents (and sheriffs), and secretary treasurers.

If you are an ambassador, director, president, vice president, or secretary/treasurer, you gotta do this! Tune in this afternoon for the next session if you missed this morning. If you are a member at large, please tune in at one of the times below:


6/01 @ 9:30 AM
6/01 @ 2:00 PM
6/15 @ 9:30 AM
6/15 @ 2:00 PM

Webinar URL AnyMeeting.com/socalbni1
Conference Call Phone Number: (712) 338-7506
Guest PIN: 5234788
All you need is a computer and phone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

What do Sales Manager Moments, Elevator Speeches, Lem Bucago, Profitable Introductions, Jim Sando, Tabasco, Donna Cahoon, and Educational Moments have in common? Champions...that's what! With a touch of scripting brilliance, a prediction from your faithful President (see weekly letter of last week), and a lot of butterfly herding (Mr. Sando knows what I mean), the Champions were treated to an outstanding Educational Moment by Jim Sando (SMMs), a workshop by Lem Bucago (SMMs and fifteen Champions in attendance after the meeting), the International Tabasco Award (ITA) awarded to our newest member, Donna Cahoon (SMMs). Sales Manger Moments, AKA, SMMs, Profitable Intros, Elevator Speeches, etc., etc. were today's Champion theme and the results should be amazing. Remember, an effective SMM MUST have a catchy opening, an LCD with a story or testimonial, a SPECIFIC ask, and be completed within the allotted time frame...in our case, 30 seconds. A large Champion thanks to Jim Sando for arranging the workshop, signing the participants, monitoring the payments, dealing with the venue, etc. and to our very own Lem Bucago for demonstrating why he is Director of Training (workshops) AND was trainer (before they were called workshops) of the year for 2009 and 2010! So by my count, we should have several more **** Champions after June 21st! (the date of the next workshop). Well done folks! Well done indeed!

Meeting Highlights (as if you need more):

100% attendance today!

Director Lem Bucago and Ambassadress Bernardette Lazzara (who won the Champion Spark Plug award for being a workshop maven) were in attendance as well!

EC Moment...above...film attached! Sorry Robert...not as professional as your film!

Donna Cahoon took the coveted ITA (as predicted) for the "hottest" SMM...hope that you don't need the pepper for your upcoming vacation, Donna as the Tabasco is meant to be worn...not consumed.

Carmina Perez, FIS Merchant Services, keynoted in addition to "ruling" the ITA competition today. Rumor has it that Carmina actually took the ruler to several of her clients last week. Director Lem reviewed for us the highlights of the Chapter Success Forums...Subs, Evening Among the Stars, L/T transition, BNI Connect webinars.

Review of Chapter Biz (Greg Beck, the Sheriff) and monthly leaders...the referral leaders were the stars today!(Aric Gless and Brett Adolph with 11 each and Jim Sando with 10). These three gentlemen accounted for almost 1/3 of the referrals that were given last month. Our one-to-one numbers are through the roof as we have completed 252 in this month alone!

Stand and Deliver...heart felt, compelling and tons of TYFCB! Did I hear that we are "someones" favorite chapter? Hmmm? Sorry, Jim Sando, "someone" is allowed in that context!

The GRC team reported the results with one week remaining in the Champion's contest. It is any one's game as reported by Michael Figueroa, Jody Houseman, Ela Corcoran, and Dr. Real. Fewer than 1000 points separate last from first. Tune in soon for the winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The meeting was adjourned with a quote..."wherever you are, be there!"

Make it a Champion week y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Episode 205: “Business Index Q1 2011”


The BNI Business Index is one of BNI’s marketing tools.

Almost 1,500 business people participated in the survey – people from every populated continent around the world – and the results indicate that, overall, the global economic state is improving. 69.4% of the respondents for the first quarter of 2011 feel that business is growing or growing substantially (compared to this time last year). This number has increased since the prior BNI Business Index Survey which was conducted during the last quarter of 2010 – respondents to this same question at that time weighed in at 67.8%.

You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking on the link below:

Episode 205, Business Index Q1 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

What do Florida and Electricity have in common? Well today they had the Champions SoCal BNI in common...more on this later. We called the Champions promptly at 7:45 as is our custom. So here is the Florida part...Chuck Wohlberg from West Coast Water Filtration and the Clearwater, Florida chapter of BNI visited us, today. Well, Florida is gator country...Florida Gator country as in Southeast Conference as in rivalry with the team known for "calling" things...oh well, you get the idea...or maybe not. Chuck thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and even commented during the Stand and Deliver section that he has searched far and wide for a chapter for his local salesman to join and today believes that he has found the spot! As to the Electricity part...Dr. Paul Kwik...quite a bowler, btw...delivered a really interesting keynote on the electrical circuits that run throughout your body and affect your health and wellness. Dr. Paul set up his examining table after the meeting and provided a free electrical mapping for all of the Champions...VERY creative, Dr. Paul!

EC Moment:

Jim Sando was illustrative in his description of the VCP process. The dating ritual was used and explained the points of visibility, credibility, and profitability quite well. Don't forget to attend the workshop after next week's meeting. SMM, Lem style!

And the winner is...

Carmina Perez...our second female winner of the International Tabasco Award! Congrats, Carmina. With this award inure all of the benefits including a tax break, a free college tuition for your first born, etc...not really, but we can dream. Actually, you get to pick the winner in next week's competition. Will Dr. Real become the first four time winner OR will another newbie win. My guess is that Donna Cahoon will win soon as her profitable intro included a very cool prop. Mr. Wohlburg received an honorary ITA to take back to Florida...the ITA is already international but we could use some national aplomb!


In addition to Chuck, Blake Green subbed for Rutger and Joel D. Collins from Interior Specialties Construction visited with Donna Cahoon...a great SMM AND a visitor...great things to come methinks!

Champion Spark Plug:

Mr. Patrick O'Kane of Turnkey Mortgage for his skillful arrangement of the Champions bowling night last week. A GREAT time was had by all and a few Champions...Jim McCracken and Dr. Paul can ACTUALLY bowl! Your faithful President, not so much! Thanks for arranging a fun outing for the Champions and family, Patrick.


Evening Among the Stars part Deaux on October the 7th

SMM training next week at our venue! Let's roll out like Champions.

In the words of Forest Gump, "life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you are gonna get."

Please make it a safe and Champion week y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Warning, Will Rogers, today's post format is a little out of the norm. Today's post will focus entirely upon the great contributions by a select few of our members and guests. As you have heard me say, "it takes teamwork to run a successful chapter". Your regularly scheduled posting will appear next week...unless of course the author comes up with another idea...

Kathy Penton:

Kathy was clearly anxious today as she arrived at the meeting. Angelo, the visitor host, had asked that she "man" the visitor table...her maiden voyage as she normally is a "connector". Also, Kathy was a keynote speaker. Way to go Kathy! You "manned" the table expertly and found a way to deliver a VERY good keynote on promotional items and the referrals that you are seeking!

Jim McCracken...aka the El Paso Kid:

Jim brings his smile and encouragement to EVERY meeting. Lately, he has brought Rosanne as well! Jim and Rosanne live close...kind of...but Jim must rise a few minutes early and drive away from the meeting venue to insure that Rosanne is able to be present. Thanks, Jim! You are a valuable and welcome addition to our chapter and we are happy that you chose to fly with us!

Joe Davis:

Thanks for pinch hitting for Rosanne while she was away, Joe! You made the transition seamless.

Michael Figueroa...today's Champion Spark Plug:

You work tirelessly behind the scenes to tally all of the contest stats. You make it look very easy!

Donna Cahoon:

Our newest Champion! Congratulations, Donna and welcome to Champions! We are excited that you are with us and look forward to a successful relationship with you.

Dr. Hercules Real:

The second, three time International Tabasco Winner...the first was Steven Stakley. Dr. Real has embraced (no orthodontic pun intended) the ITA like no other...even coaching other ITA winners. Dr. Real is the real deal and a valued member of the Champions!

Profit Partners Contingent:

Thanks to Clement Muwele for suggesting that the Profit Partners visit the Champions. We were delighted to host you and you all are welcome to visit anytime. Your comments during Stand and Deliver were noted (as I promised that they would be) and highlighted below:

John Strauss enjoyed "seeing the potential"
Ryan Fogerty enjoyed the "variety of the Champion's professions"
Mel Arakelian was "inspired"
Nick Inchausti enjoyed us "hosting the chapter"
Ronald Brandalise liked the "energy"

ALL said that they felt welcome, prepared, valued, connected and comfortable. Give yourselves a pat on the back Champions...you did it!

The Champions:

If you weren't mentioned, this is my shout out to you. For a chapter to continue great success, we ALL must contribute...and you ALL do in your unique ways. I am grateful to be on the same flight each week!


SMM workshop May 24th...just remain after the meeting and the workshop will come to you. Maybe we will share the ITA...whatta ya think?

Bowling this Thursday at Concourse in Anaheim at 6:00 PM...young 'uns weclome!

Make it a Champion week!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Testimonial for Lisa Guentert

Lisa Guentert, our friend from the Surf City BNI chapter surprised Carla with a Mother's Day basket and we surprised her with a testimonial!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS! or should I say, Hola Championes? Either way, Happy Cinco de Mayo was the theme of the day!

Continuing the Champions theme of monthly "SMM meeting stimulants", we embarked today to pay tribute to our neighbors to the south and delivered our profitable intros with a Cinco de Mayo focus...and the results were muy bueno! We had several of our members habla their SMMs, a couple of them sang, props were the order as Dr. Real dented a pinata and Michael Figueroa used several brands of Mexican hot sauces to make his point. In the end, Mr. Figueroa won the pepper as Counselor at Law, Randy Clement awarded as today's ruler.

Awards and Chapter Biz:

Most visitors for April, Steven Stakley
Most one-to-ones for April, Jim McCracken
Most referrals, tie...Brett Adolph and Aric Gless

Champions Spark Plug...Dr. Real...two reasons: upping his game for the SMMs, coaching and encouraging others to up their game AND for becoming one of SoCal BNI's newest ambassadors! The Champions now have two directors, two ambassadors, one ambassador "in training", and one still looking...not bad! I believe that equates to over 10% of our membership!


Donna Cahoon, from Today's Windows and Doors, an applicant, and currently being reviewed by our crack membership committee

Andrea Coulon, President of Premier Professionals...always great to see her!

Mohammed Baghdadi, from the Aliso Viejo chapter

Tom Abel, one of the newest members of Marketeers...our younger brother to the west

Tom Roby, subbing for Chuck Tipton


Robert Perez and Randy Clement keynoted and took us through their sphere, ideal referrals, success stories and such. Robert and Randy have become quite valuable to our chapter...Robert as the videographer of the Champions. Much of the video content that you see in our blog was created by Robert. Robert has become quite popular in SoCal BNI also as he is doing several jobs throughout the region. Randy and his son took the ITA last week and Randy always brings his "A Game" during his SMMs, one-to-ones and with his power partners. Randy and his wife Cathleen have big firm experience and now season their law practice with big firm service at a price slightly above Legal Zoom...the best combo goin' for my bucks!

EC phone home...just kidding...wrong century:

Mr. Sando skillfully reviewed the proper way to record TYFCB. The Champions are familiar with this concept as our YTD TYFCB topped $487,500! Ka Ching!


Evening Among the Stars on Friday, October 7th

Bowling with the Champions...next Thursday the 12th at 6:00 PM at Concourse Lanes in Anaheim...rumor has it that Mr. McCracken is tuning up the long ball!

Group training (sorry Lem...workshop) the 24th of May at Meridian Club...19 Champions signed up thus far! Get that **** by July!

Continued thoughts and prayers for Clay Colwell! Welcome back Rosanne! We missed you!

Buenas Tardes, Championes y que tengan un buen semana!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan