Business networking organization, BNI has dozens of chapters across central Illinois, including Springfield. We spoke to the area director, Jess Ensinger, and members about the year ahead; their hopes for 2018 and the benefits of being a member of an established network.
BNI Springfield Insiders president, Dr. Bryne Willey of AlignLife of Springfield Chiropractic & Natural Health Center said his aim for the chapter is to help more business owners understand what the networking organization is about. “It's not a generic referral group that sends cold referrals. I would like people to see that we develop relationships first. A group like ours is special because our chapter is an extension of ourselves when it comes to our businesses. If more people knew and understood that, I think the interest would be huge.” Springfield Insiders meets every Wednesday from 7.45am at Jay Davis of COUNTRY Financial offices on Montvale Drive. Jay, the former chapter president, echoed Dr. Bryne’s sentiments. “If you are seeking like-minded business professionals working in concert to elevate your business to new heights, then the Springfield Insiders BNI chapter is for you. We have fun, but we're serious about our businesses." Of his own experience to date, Jay said his business has continued to flourish each year. "I expect 2018 to be the best year yet. I also look forward to sharing in the successes of our Springfield Insiders BNI chapter in 2018.”
Dr. Travis Taylor of 66 Chiropractic is president of the Springfield Thursday Lunch chapter, which meets at the Brickhouse Grill & Pub on Iles Avenue. “Our hopes for 2018 are to help each other grow our businesses via networking and grow our group to help other business owners improve their future,” he said.
Mark Kluemke of MA Kluemke & Associates is also a member of the Springfield Thursday Lunch chapter. He said his intention for 2017 was to build relationships. “My goal for 2018 is to develop those relationships so it’s mutually beneficial for each of our businesses. I want to continue to build a foundation in 2018 that can grow in the coming years.”
Area director Jeff Ensinger said BNI was continuing to improve on resources available to its member, especially in 2018. “This year my biggest goal is implementing the new BNI University.” BNI University is set to launch on May 1. “Almost anything and everything a new or experienced member may need will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he added. “We’ve taken 35 years of BNI experience and knowledge and put it in one place for our members.”
In the past members have needed to spend up to three hours in a classroom setting for training at a fixed time and place. However, this year, for the first time a member will be able to complete their initial education on their schedule thanks to BNI University. “This is a huge advantage for any member that wants to take on a leadership position.”