See how we’ve grown from a handful of friends in California to an international network with over 270,000 members.
Dr. Ivan Misner is looking for ways in increase clients for his personal consulting business. He and friends Carolyn Denny, CPA, Lee Shimmin, insurance agent, and Mike Ryan, financial planner, created a plan.
The first official meeting of The Network was held by Dr. Ivan Misner and friends in January 1985 in Arcadia, California.
By the end of the first year, 20 chapters were spread across Southern California.
The Board of Advisors, made up of members from well-performing regions throughout BNI, had been established. This group has since reviewed or written every BNI policy that impacts the member experience.
In 1991, Dr. Misner could see the organization was close to launching internationally, and to prepare for the change, rebranded The Network as Business Network International, and shortly after focusing the name as BNI for simplicity and trademark purposes.
Canada opened BNI’s first chapters outside the United States in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
BNI opens in the first country across the Atlantic Ocean, the United Kingdom, after an Executive Director in Canada, Steve Lawson, encourages his brother, Martin Lawson in the U.K., to launch BNI in his town
A member from Canada moved to Australia in 1997 and worked with local groups to open BNI. A year later, a BNI member from the UK emigrated to New Zealand and the rest is history.
After a visit to BNI in the U.K., Mike Levin decides to open in South Africa in 1998
Now known as the BNI Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization was established to allow directors and members to repay the community they live in.
The support team outgrew their office in Claremont and relocated to Upland, securing room for all departments and the growing warehouse and shipping team.
BNI Connect®, an online platform for members, launches to allow referrals, revenue generated by our members, and visitors to be easily tracked.
Graham Weihmiller joins the BNI Family as the new CEO in December 2014, ushering in a new era in BNI.
To better support the growing international audience and to open the door for additional talent on the team, the Global Support Team relocates the BNI Headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina.
With a booming international market, an International Support Office is opened by the Irish Prime Minister in Castlebar, Ireland.
Global membership of BNI passes 200,000 on May 20, 2016, with 7,486 chapters in 65 countries.
As a country gaining momentum in BNI, with 100+ member chapters launching and growing, the Global Support Team opens a satellite office in India.
BNI adapts and launches BNI Online in only a few weeks. The new online meeting space is adopted all over the world.