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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Episode 193: “The BNI Connect Vision”

In this week's podcast, Dr. Misner discusses BNI Connect. Did you know that for the first time in 26 years, the organization is now largely comprised of other than "Baby Boomers"? You can hear the entire podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Well the "buck" definitely stopped at the Champions today as we hosted the second stack day of the new term and welcomed five visitors, one sub, and our very own ambassador, Bernadette Lazarra. Our chapter is trying hard to attract a plumber to complete our compliment of trades and we were successful in attracting one today...Bill Taylor from Sundance Plumbing. Bill really enjoyed the people! He is right, the Champions have some great people. Additional visitors were Kathy Penton from Performance Envelope...rumor has it she won't be a visitor much longer and may be our next inductee? Ron Coleman from Pop's Graphix'n Stuff enjoyed the keynote addresses and the talent with which they were delivered. An old Champion (or should I say vintage Champion), Mark Bill from Bill's Body work was happy to see the familiar faces. I understand that Mark was quite a referral giver in his day! Diane Meimetus completed the visiting corps from Rebekah's Hair Studio (a former stack day profession request). We understand that Diane and Rebekah may visit together next week...only their hairdresser knows for sure! Linda Luchansky subbed for her husband Doug and we always enjoy our ambassador visits from Bernadette! Our sincere Champion thanks to the GRC team for their hard work! Michael Figueroa, Dr. Real, Ela Corcoran, and Jody Houseman really know how to stack the visitors!

Please Welcome #34 and #35!

That would be Christina Pham and Joe Lynch! Both hail from BNI families as Christina's sister is a member of Premier Professionals and Joe's wife Wendy is a proud member of the Velocity chapter...both chapters participated in the recent eight chapter mixer and we consider them our North Orange county brethren! Christina has already conducted ten one-to-one meetings and given a couple of referrals and did I mention she brought a visitor last week? Christina is a printer and Joe is a general contractor...both very good professions to fill! Congrats you two. We are happy that you are Champions!


Joe Davis and Gary Lorge both presented on their professions of estate law and personal insurance lines. I really felt informed about both professions as Joe discussed the various types of wills and trusts and Gary explained "estimated replacement cost" of a property! Greg Beck, to my right at the dais, commented that both were very informative and I believe the Champions will reward each of the two with tons of referrals. Joe and Gary are seeking two ends of the continuum...older and younger women...for different business reasons of course.

International Tabasco, Referral Leader for January, and Champions Spark Plug Winners:

Fourth two time winner of the ITA (International Tabasco Award)...Aric Gless for his specific ask of the facilities manager of Angel Stadium. Was that a self autographed baseball that Aric tossed? He can now autograph a bottle of Tabasco since he joins Greg Beck, Steven Stakley, and Gray Lorge as the only other two time winners. Who will be the first to claim number three? Christina Pham was a close runner-up.

Congrats to our faithful visitor host, Angelo Dionisiou, for delivering the most referrals for January! Additionally, Angelo played hurt today as he is weathering a cold but had the host table in full regalia before 7:00 AM! A new cast of winners will be awarded next week.

Steven Stakley (on his way to see the Laker's tonight) was the CSP award winner for pulling double duty (Sec/Treas and head mentor) for Rosanne (who became ill and was a last minute scratch). We hope that our Secretary/Treasurer is feeling better and will return to the dais next week. We missed you Rosanne!

Sir Winston Churchill was quoted as saying: "We make our living from what we get. We make our lives from what we give." Our action for this week is to practice the giver's gain philosophy.

Make it a Champion week!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Visitors and guests certainly make the BNI world go around! When visitors invite visitors the world goes around twice as fast! Yes...that actually happened today. We had a visitor (who has an application pending) bring another visitor to the chapter...who took an app as well! The (guest) visitor was also on our stack day profession target...a plumber! Wow! The visitor that brought the visitor was Christina Pham a printer with Select Graphics and Printing. The (guest) visitor was Casey Merrell from Classic Plumbing. Well done Christina! Kathy Penton from Performance Envelope also visited a second time while her app is pending along with Linda Kamka from Linda Kamka Designs for the second time while her app is pending. The Champions are certainly keeping Greg Beck, Aric Gless, Chuck Tipton, Brett Adolph, Patrick O'Kane, and Bill Edman busy with all of the visitors and apps. Thank goodness we have a crack membership team! Our visitor host and team have greeted each new person with a smile. Thanks to Angelo Dionisiou, Jim Salem, Robert Perez, Bo Lowe, Jim McCracken, and Richard Lane for the great job that you do with the host team! We also were honored to have the president of Liaisons, Kim Welch, of Send Out Cards present to assist her distributor, Bo Lowe in his keynote. We enjoyed the two subs and one guest from another chapter, Sonia Salem (sub), Jason Wakefield (BNI guest), and David Aeppli (sub). The room was full of energy as many of the visitors and guests commented in the Stand and Deliver.

Stand and Deliver: with a twist

Last week a challenge was issued by your faithful President to conduct a GAINS interview with the member sitting to your right. Once completed the Stand and Delivers this week were to include a tidbit take away from the one-to-one. I am pleased to say that we conducted 90 one-to-one meetings and the tid bits were spectacular! We have an attorney capable of arguing a case in the Supreme Court, two former BNI chapter Presidents, a hip hop dancer, a Civil War buff, an Eagle Scout, etc. I believe that as we gain (no pun intended) credibility with each other, we also will find ways to be profitable.

GRC Stack Day:

Next week we will have a room full of plumbers and family law attorneys thanks to the GRC team's excellent guidance. Among the team are its leader, Michael Figueroa, Dr. Real, Ela Corcoran, and Jody Houseman. Remember to make those calls!


Exceptionally presented by a couple of BNI vets...Dr. Hercules Real and Bo Lowe! Bo brought in Kim Welch to assist in a role play about keeping in touch with your customers...or someone else will. Dr. Real covered the three things that make him different including paying attention to his patient's details...a key difference. Dr. Real also is very abreast of the new developments and technology with his practice of dentistry...recently completing a professional designation in orthodonture. We will certainly post the "film at eleven" when it becomes available. Our thanks once again to our in house videographer to the Champions, Robert Perez, for his consummate video taping of the keynotes and other ramblings of the Champions!

Chapter Biz and Leaders:

We are clobbering our goals and thanking for a substantial amount of closed business...approx $800,000 on a BNI calendar basis!

Congrats to Jim Sando, most one-to-ones, James Kashi, most visitors, and Angelo Dionisiou, most referrals in the month of January!

Please Welcome Ms. 33!:

That would be Bonny Thompson from Time Warner Cable and the newest Champion. Carmina Perez was not the newest for very long as we inducted her just last week. Congrats to Bonny and we are happy that you are a Champion. Y'all be sure to welcome Bonny with open arms and an empty one-to-one calendar. Bonny came to us the old fashioned way...through the website and will be mentored by Gary Lorge.

EC Moment:

Jim concluded with his series on relationships, referrals and will host an all Champions training at his office on February 23rd. The topic is the Referral Mindset training and will be taught by our director, Lem Bucago. There should be 15 Champions in attendance! Thanks in advance for arranging this, Jim. Rumor has it that the Champions have a new Four Star recipient...more to come!

The International Tabasco Award:

The recipient this week was a man who has sung, danced and is the opposite of last week's recipient who has neither sung nor danced...Steven Stakley. If only 'SC worked as hard in recruiting as Steven did to win the award...oh well. I know that Richard Lane enjoyed awarding the pepper this week. Remember to watch that 30 second time frame as many Champions exceeded the limit and disqualified themselves from consideration.


The eight chapter mixer was a smashing success to wrap up the International Networking Week celebrations. We hosted approximately 100 people from Champions, Liaisons, Velocity, WOMBATS, Beachside Business Builders, Tustin and Yorba Linda BNI, and Premier Professionals. A good time was networked by all!

The meeting was concluded with an action quote!

Please make it a Champion week!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Episode 191 One-to-Ones Equal More Referrals

I was honored to guest on the International BNI podcast this week. BNI has meant so very much to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed the new relationships and serving as my chapter's President! The Champions are just that...Champions! You can listen to the podcast by clicking here

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Happy International Networking Week! The Champions started the week in style by welcoming a room full of printers! No it wasn't a stack day...the visitors happened to find us at the same time. Christina Pham from Elect Graphic and Printing visited for the second time and submitted her application. Kathy Penton, an owner of Performance Envelope visited (and completed an app after the meeting) and Linda Kamka, of Linda Kamka Designs visited as well (she left with app in hand). All were feted by Collette's Catering and enjoyed watching the Champion meeting experience! Our membership committed headed by Aric Gless will be busy this week vetting the apps. We could be at 35 or 36 Champions by month's end. Douglas Garrett, a partner of mine with Lee and Associates attended to catch the wave. Tom Roby subbed for Chuck Tipton and we had two "other BNI chapter" visitors...Joseph Maioriello Jr., and James Rosenquist. We always enjoy visitors from other chapters.

Please welcome, Carmina Perez, the newest Champion. Carmina is in Merchant Services and will be a welcome addition to the Champions. Carmina was sponsored by James Kashi and will be mentored by Steven Stakely

EC Moment:

Jim Sando, fresh from his visit to the Director/Ambassador team meeting yesterday presented a great educational moment on the characteristics of a good referral...someone in the market for your product or service that is expecting your call or a strategic introduction to someone that can introduce you to...expecting your call. Well done as always Jim!

International Tabasco Award for "hottest" SMM:

And the winner is...Richard Lane from Firstlight Networking...the IT kind of Networking! He cannot sing and he cannot dance (his words, not mine) but he certainly can catch our attention, have a specific ask, and complete before Rosanne gongs him. You could really tell that Richard practiced his introduction and it paid off for him. Congrats Richard!


Your humble President presented today. I illustrated the VCP process through a client relationship of mine...film soon. I also issued a challenge to the chapter to have two one-to-ones this week and for next week's Stand and Deliver, come prepared with a tidbit from the face-to-face meetings...stay tuned.

Doug Luchansky from ACI bribed the audience with candy...great to hype their excitement for business software. I went first because I knew I couldn't compete with the candy give away. Doug is an outstanding listener (I have experienced this first hand!) He is a great strategic problem solver and a wonderful presenter of solutions. I believe that the chapter knows much more about Doug and his profession.

The Champions Spark Plug Award:

Mr. Jim Salem won this week for his production of the one page list of Champions that he accomplishes each and every month. Thanks for the effort, Jim! You can see Jim's handy work in the spces to the left.


Eight Chapter Mixer this Friday at 4:00-6:00 PM at JT Schmids...be there or be square!

Stack Day February 22nd. Don't forget to call those plumbers and family law attys!

Your humble President will be Dr. Ivan Misner's guest on the BNI weekly podcast this week on February 9th. Be sure to tune in and I will post a link on the blog as well. Click here to listen to the podcast!

The meeting was ended with an action quote!

Make it a Champion week!

My best to you,

Allen Buchanan, your humble President

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Episode 190, International Networking Week 2011

In this weeks podcast, Dr. Misner discusses the genesis of the Fifth Annual International Networking Week, the upcoming plans for the week, and the "Networking Disconnect" that people often experience that are new to networking. You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

Dr. Misner alludes to next week's guest in this week's podcast...a real estate broker. Tune in next week as well to hear the story of the real estate broker's success in a tough economy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Jim Sando with his "props" and the EC Moment

Pictured: The Beachside Business Builders (without Deanna Abrahams) From Left to Right: Trent Clark, Erika Jessie, Johnathan Tran, Leslie Van Deusen, Thane McCready, Dave Schuberth, Charlie Finn, Stacy Neuland, Robert Preciado, and Ken Duong.

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!!

Today's meeting of the SoCal Champions BNI was filled with laughter, visitors, and our brethren from the west...the Beachside Business Builders from Fountain Valley. Trent Clark, a Socal BNI director was present, unofficially, for the festivities and witnessed the International Tabasco Award delivered first hand as well as his fellow director, Lem Bucago keynoting on the ways to present using Power Point...more on that, including film at eleven, in a moment.


In addition to our fellow BNI-ers, the Champions welcomed four visitors...three of whom have submitted apps and our membership committee is hard at work getting the apps vetted for approval...Carmina Perez, from FIS Merchant Services, Bonny Thompson from Time Warner Cable, and Joe Lynch, a general contractor. Christina Pham from Elect Graphic and Printing was our fourth visitor. I certainly hope that she applies as our chapter could use a printer!

EC Propped Moment:

Mr. Sando used the local talent to "prop up" his EC moment today and wrapped up the series on relationship building, time, attendance and how they all mesh to create V.C. and P! Thanks to the props Clay Colwell, Brett Adolph, Lem Bucago, Gary Lorge (two time Tabasco winner) and Doug Luchansky...who gave his first referral today! Vana White could not have done better, fellas!

The International Tabasco Award:

So the BBBs got to see the International Tabasco Award competition for the "hottest" sales manager moment today and I believe that to a person they were impressed by the snappy, specific SMMs and the camaraderie and skill that the award builds. Chuck Tipton emerged victorious from a packed field...rumor has it he bought the award...not literally but figuratively as he threw a handful of dollar bills to illustrate an owner throwing his money away on rent...VERY effective. Chuck won by a nose according to Gary Lorge, last week's winner. Now next week Chuck gets to award the Tabasco! Every past winner was given a lapel pin of a real package of Tabasco to affix to their name tag. We even awarded a secondary Tabasco to Ken Duong from the BBB. Ken truly went international to win the award by speaking in several different languages to pitch his "international" law firm. Now you have the International Tabasco Award to go along with your stellar record, Ken!


Lem Bucago, our award winning director, keynoted us about the BNI meeting experience. Specifically, Lem discussed the SMMs, Keynotes, and Stand and Deliver portions of the meetings. The three Ps are critical to your success with a Keynote...those three Ps being, Preparation, Practice, and Presentation. Below is a snippet of Lem's presentation that was captured on video. This is Lem doin' work. Lem was recently awarded best trainer in SoCal BNI for 2010 and 2009. Sign up for one of Lem's trainings. They're awesome!

Chapter Leaders and Biz for January:

The leaders for last month in the categories of visitors, referrals, and 1-2-1 meetings were recognized at the dais. Mr. Sando took the 1-2-1 honors, Angelo Dionisiou won for referrals, and James Kashi brought the most visitors to the chapter last month...and one submitted an app!

Greg Beck, our VP and sheriff, covered the chapter's progress in the categories of visitors, 1-2-1s, referrals, and TYFCB. The Champions welcomed ten visitors last month, participated in 232 1-2-1s, exchanged 125 referrals AND recorded over $68,000 in TYFCB. That brings our YTD total for TYFCB to approximately $230,000 for closed business for the four months ending January 31, 2011. Way to go Championes!! How's that Ken Duong?


The details for the eight chapter mixer capping off International Networking Week were announced and all Champions and BBBs encouraged to attend. The mixer is February 11 from 4:00-6:00 PM at JT Schmids in Anaheim (across from the Honda Center). The eight participating chapters are Champions, Velocity, Beachside Business Builders, Tustin BNI, Yorba Linda BNI, Liasions, WOMBATS, and Premier Professionals. We encourage chapter members to bring significant others or spouses. The event is cash and carry with a no host bar. The event should be epic!

The meeting was ended "on time" with a quote from Dr. Ivan Misner..."The secret to succeeding without hard work is still a secret!"

Make it a Champion week, ya'll!

My best to you,

Your humble President

Allen Buchanan