The Leadership Team (LT) holds office for a 1-year period (October 1-September 30). A new team is chosen every year. Volunteering on the LT helps the chapter while you increase the visibility and exposure of yourself and your business. The LT and the Membership Committee both meet monthly. The President attends a monthly Presidents' meeting and the VP participates in a monthly conference call.
The Leadership Team consists of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Member Success Coordinator, a Membership Committee, Education Coordinator, Visitor Host(s), and an Alternate. At the end of their term, the President, Vice President and Member Success Coordinator, and Treasurer receive compensation by having their membership extended for 1 year.
Massachusetts has a number of assistant directors who assist the chapters. Ours is Rose Gschwentner.
The Executive Director of BNI for New England is Patti Salvucci (978-443-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Runs the weekly meeting according to BNI policies.
- Runs the monthly Leadership Team meeting.
- Attends a monthly Presidents' Meeting.
- Communicates between BNI Assistant Director and the chapter.
- Tracks and records statistics (one to ones, referrals, attendance), enforces the attendance policy and chairs the Membership committee. The VP is a voting member when necessary.
- Runs the meeting in the absence of the president.
- Tallies the BNI TFCB, which is our way of recording the income generated by members for other members in our group.
If you need to leave early or if you have extenuating circumstances around attendance, please let the VP know (ahead of time whenever possible).
- Submits new member applications and renewal applications/checks to BNI Mass.
- Maintains the Chapter bank account, collects quarterly room dues and pays our bills.
- Keeps our financial records and reports to the LT about our bank account.
- Coordinates the Speaker Schedule and emails members in advance of their speaking date.
- Introduces speakers prior to their talk and checks to make sure they have their door prize.
- Conducts an orientation for new members and pairs new members with a more experienced mentor in the group.
- Connects members having trouble in the group with an experienced member to be more successful.
- Sets expectations, evaluates the involvement of existing members, and identifies need for new members to help our chapter be effective.
- It looks at new and renewing members' quality of work and their fit with BNI expectations and participation.
- Processes applications, conducts reference checks, screens and interviews prospective members, and clarifies the category being applied/accepted for.
- Evaluates the participation of existing members (including attendance, referrals, fit, complaints).
- Processes renewal applications of current members.
- Intervenes/mediates regarding complaints between/about members when necessary.
Coordinates the weekly educational information for members during the meeting.
Arrives early to set up visitor table and BNI signs.
Welcomes visitors, screens for professional overlap with current members, and introduces visitors to members.
You may have substitutes a maximum of 3 times during a 6-month period.
If you know you will miss a meeting, ask someone to substitute for you.
You may ask family, friends or coworkers to substitute.
The chapter keeps a list of people who are interested in substituting. Some are former chapter members; some are from other BNI chapters. Inform the membership committee is you know someone who would like to included on our substitute List.
You can locate members of other BNI chapters who are available to substitute by going to www.BNIMass.com, clicking on Members at the top of the screen, and then clicking on Substitutes.
Substitutes should be prepared to give your commercial, as well as their own, unless they represent your agency (the same profession) or are in conflict with another member. If so, they may only give a presentation for the member they're subbing for.
Make sure you explore whether your sub might have a conflict with an existing member. It's always a good idea to let members in related categories know about the sub in advance, to check out and prevent possible conflicts.
Inform your sub of arrival time, meeting structure and ways the sub will be asked to participate (your commerical, saying something about the meeting at Referral time, bring business cards and put them around the table in advance).
If a sub doesn't come even when a member has arranged for coverage, it is counted as an absence.
A person may not act as a substitute for more than one member at any given meeting.
A medical leave of absence may be taken for up to eight weeks, with the prior approval of the Membership Committee. Your request must be in writing and sent to the Vice President or a member of the Membership Committee.
Medical leave begins either as the terms are stated in writing or once the Membership Committee has approved the written request.
You qualify for medical leave if your medical condition is such that you are unable to conduct business.
You are allowed one medical leave per leadership term. That means once a year.
There are no official rules about maternity and paternity leave. Our policy for both maternity and paternity leave is similar to medical leave – not to exceed eight weeks.
The VP tracks weekly attendance, lates, referrals, one to ones, and numbers of visitors.
This is recorded online at www.BNIMass.com in the VP report (also called the PALS report).
Members can access it by logging on, and going to VP Report. View and Print for a month. The VP can print out reports that cover several months (called Cumulative Reports).
Turn off cell phones before the start of the meeting. Get your coffee before the meeting, not during.
Be prepared: Wear your BNI member badge. Bring your BNI cardholder. Bring your calendar and paper to take notes during meetings. Keep a folder or notebook for important emails and information.
Keep extra referral slips and green "thank you" slips in your business card holder.
Make sure the card file has a supply of your current business cards. The box will go around once during the meeting. If you will be away, ask another member to make sure the file has a supply of your cards. Business cards are kept in alphabetical order by members' names.
During Referral Time, limit talking about referrals and testimonials to one to two sentences. Keep them positive and brief.
Business related announcements are made during the Announcement slot at the end of the meeting.
Give referral slips to fellow members before or after the meeting; don't pass them during the meeting, as courtesy to your fellow members.
The Secretary/Treasurer maintains the speakers' schedule, and provides 6 weeks advance notice to speakers.
New members give 3 minute presentations after they have completed their MSP training.
All members are scheduled and expected to present 8 minute talks about 3 times a year (depending on the overall size of the chapter). 8 minute presentations allow members to go into more depth about their profession.
If a member needs to reschedule, s/he must arrange a substitute/trade with another member and inform the Secretary/Treasurer.
Speakers are encouraged to invite guests when they are speaking.
Members giving 3 and 8 minute presentations are introduced by the Secretary/Treasurer. S/he uses Member Bio Sheets to introduce them.
Member Bio Sheets can be downloaded from www.BNIMass.com by logging in to the Members Only section.
Scroll down to Share and Download Files, click on View Files to Download.
Select Forms, and then find the Member Bio Sheet.
If you prefer, you can copy the form from the MSP booklet, and complete it legibly by hand.
Update it every time you speak (especially "My burning desire is..." and "Something no one knows about me...").
Email it or give it to the Secretary/Treasurer in advance.
Members are encouraged to meet with one member each week for a one-to-one, and expected to do a minimum of 2 one-to-ones a month.
After members do one-to-ones, they are encouraged to do the 60-second for the person they met with (i.e., trade 60-second spots) in the following week.
List the names of people you had 1:1's with during the previous week on the attendance sheet and dance card sheet, as the VP records numbers of 1:1's.
Room dues pay for renting the meeting space and chapter activities. Room dues are due by the beginning of each quarter.
A late fee of $10.00 is added when room dues are not paid on time.
- Visitors and substitutes should be welcome and treated with great respect. We never know whom they know and what kind of referral source they might be.
If you bring a visitor, let the Visitor Hosts and President know in advance if possible.
- Fill out a referral slip on the day the visitor first comes to get credit for bringing a visitor.
- Make sure you explore whether your visitor might have a conflict with an existing member. It's always a good idea to let members in related categories know about the visitor in advance, to check out and prevent possible conflicts.
- BNI policy is that an individual may visit or substitute only twice before becoming a member. Brookline BNI Networkers allows substitutes to come more than that, though we recognize that someone who comes regularly and receives the benefits of membership should be encouraged to become a member.
- When you invite visitors or substitutes, let them know about the structure. Tell them to come early, be prepared to give a brief commercial (and what that includes), and bring enough business cards and materials that they may distribute (to everyone) before the meeting. Tell them about the Referral portion of the meeting, and prepare them to stand and speak about how they feel about the group, the meeting or the experience.
- If it appears that someone may have a conflict, s/he can stay to observe, and only introduce himself. E.g. "We welcome Sue to the meeting. We're exploring whether there's a conflict. If not, she's welcome to come back. If there is, she'll be welcome at another chapter." Visitors coming to network for jobs (who appear to have a conflict) are allowed to introduce themselves (nothing more) and observe.
- If when a visitor gives a commercial, it becomes clear that there is a conflict with a member, let the visitor finish. Then politely and professionally, let the individual know there has been a conflict, and address it then. If appropriate, try to connect the individual with another chapter.
Visitors are encouraged to come twice before submitting an application. However, they should not come to meetings while their applications are pending.
Applications with checks should be submitted to the Membership Committee.
The Member Success Coordinator/Treasurer enters information about new members on www.BNIMass.com. Once this is done, new members receive an email from BNIMass with a username and a password for the BNIMass website.
New members should sign up for SuccessNet, the national BNI enewsletter on the BNIMass website.
- New members must attend a Member Success Program (MSP) within 60 days of joining, before they may give their 3-minute or 8-minute presentations. This is a 2-hour introduction to BNI. The calendar for MSP's is located on the BNIMass website under Programs-MSP at the top of the home page.
- Notify the Member Success Coordinator after you've completed your MSP.
- Members are notified by the Membership Committee 1 to 2 months before their membership year is up for renewal.
- The Member Success Coordinator gives members the renewal form.
Renewal involves meeting with a member of the Membership Committee, completing a Member Evaluation form and submitting a BNI renewal form with a check to the Treasurer. Renewal is a time to revisit participation (attendance, referrals given and received, participation in 8 minute presentations, fit, complaints) and expectations. It is not automatic.
- There is a $20 late fee if the renewal is submitted to BNIMass late. If it is 30 days late, a new application must be submitted with a $75 fee.
- Each member selects one specific category for his or her "seat". If an individual does more than one category in his or her work, s/he may talk about the other category as long as no one is in that seat. I.e., a person who does both graphic design and website design must choose one or the other as his/her category (if both are open). S/he may talk about the other if there is no one in that seat, but may not mention it if the other seat is filled.
- A member may change his/her category at a later date to a different open category with approval from the Membership Committee. The individual holds the seat, not the individual's company. I.e., if an individual works for a firm that has people in other categories, s/he needs to find ways to collaborate/maintain a collegial relationship with chapter members in those categories.
- If a member has an issue or conflict with another member, s/he should speak first with the other person and try to work it out. If it can't be resolved, it should be brought to the Membership Committee. If there are issues or questions about a member's participation, the Membership Committee will contact the member to discuss.
- The Membership Committee as a whole meets to approve/make recommendations about individuals. If the individual in question sits on the Membership Committee, the meeting will convene without that person present.
- The Membership Committee sends form letters to members when issues need to be resolved, i.e. to inform of attendance problems, or when being asked to leave the chapter (called "opening a classification").
- Members can't be asked to leave during their membership year UNLESS they've been put on probation and it hasn't worked out, been spoken to by the MC with the info in writing, or have received "form" letters because of absences, etc. The assistant director must review and approve the decision.
- If someone is asked to leave, the chapter may be told only that it's a Membership Committee decision based on what's best for the chapter because of liability and confidentiality.