Archive for March, 2014

BNI 1It’s that time of year again … award season!

Hollywood’s got The Oscars, London celebrates The Brits – and Sydney recently glammed up for the BNI Sydney CBD South Red Carpet Awards.

Hosted by Bob and Louise Greenup, the Executive Directors of BNI Sydney CBD South, the Red Carpet Awards honour BNI chapters as well as individual BNI members’ achievements during the previous year.

From Most Valuable Player 2013 (as voted on contribution by chapter members) in each chapter, via Gold and Black Belt Networkers 2013 (more than 50 and 100 one-on-one meetings per calendar year, respectively), to that most coveted of awards – Chapter of the Year 2013 – the anticipation was once again building and building in the room this year.

Who would be the winner for 2013?


BNI All About (BNI AAB) Business Takes Top Prize

Our chapter, like many others in the region, had been working hard to keep improving and adding to past achievements – and it showed. The standards were high and competition was stiff.

At our tables the tension and excitement was almost palpable as we got closer and closer to that final award announcement. BNI All About Business had already been able to proudly celebrate a top-tier number of Gold Networkers and receiving two of only three Black Belt Networker awards.

But would we take out the top prize?

BNI All About Business is a vocal bunch, and I am sure they heard our excited and happy whoops a few blocks down the road when we were declared Chapter of the Year 2013!

How Did We Get Here?

“It takes a true team effort to win the coveted BNI Chapter of the Year award,” says our President Sergio Porfirio.

So, what makes us at BNI All About Business different?

Vision & Purpose – We created a Vision Statement for our chapter in 2011: “All About Business is the most trusted business community in Australia, and we go beyond business.” That vision encourages us to develop our relationships personally, professionally, and within the community. Being clear that our chapter exists for a purpose means all of us individually have a greater than usual commitment to the group as a whole.

Strategy – We have a rotating group of members who meet to steer the ship, assist the leadership, and provide a sounding board for member feedback. Different to the Membership Committee, this Strategic Advisory Board is tasked with protecting the vision while leveraging all the structure and policies of BNI.

Commitment & Engagement – One of the benefits of having a shared vision is that BNI AAB is never short of volunteers to take up leadership and other roles in the group. We always have more volunteers than we have roles for! And with 20% of the membership involved in the Membership Committee, we not only spread the load to avoid burn-out, but we give the Membership Committee the scope to review applicants, members and renewing members with the right amount of due diligence.

Visibility – We rotate our leadership positions every six months to enable all members access to the visibility that leadership brings. This practice also keeps our leadership team fresh and motivated.

And underneath it all, we’re powered by BNI:

  • We respect the structure and policies of BNI and recognise that they are tested, proven, and effective.
  • We don’t try and change the basics.
  • The philosophy of Giver’s Gain is entrenched in our culture.
  • We care about what other members are getting out of our relationship.
  • We put a lot of time and effort into getting to know one another.


Where to for BNI All About Business in 2014?

“What makes All About Business special is that we know we can always be better, do more, and make each other more money. And we’re willing to put in the time and effort to make that happen,” says BNI AAB’s current Education Coordinator, Wendy Lloyd Curley. Wendy, who is a previous BNI AAB President, Vice President and Visitor Host Coordinator, has been our Most Valuable Member of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

We were back the next morning after the awards, working on our strategy for the year – to make sure that each member within our team keeps on winning in 2014.

“You can’t buy that kind of commitment. It comes from a much deeper place,” says Sergio.

I think, he’s right.

Daniela Cavalletti is a proud member of BNI All About Business, where her business holds the copywriting category. She is the founder of Sydney-based boutique communications agency Cavalletti Communications (affectionately known as CavaCom). Daniela and her team are passionate about helping business owners, authors and brands find their unique voice, boldly stand out and become leaders in their marketplace.

Watch a short video of the Red Carpet Awards.

debraMembers Details
Debra Hilton
Hilton Copywriting
BNI Chapel Street in the BNI Melbourne Region

Tell us about your business:

I help Professional Service businesses shorten their sales cycle and increase profits by attracting better quality leads. Copywriting is a specialised skill and businesses find the increased response is worth the investment.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Show genuine interest in the people you meet, don’t just try to sell yourself;
2. Be prepared to say what you do and have business cards and brochures available;
3. Follow up with a strategist interview to take the relationship further.

What can’t you live without?

My fountain pens, MacBook Air and books.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Dan Kennedy’s ”Ultimate Marketing Plan” – it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if no one knows you exist and this book has all the blocks you need to put in place for a great campaign outlined.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

From a friend. I joined because I think the concept is great and I needed to learn many of the skills they teach. Plus, I enjoy our weekly meetings.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

1 year

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Membership Committee, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

New skills, new connections and clients and an exposure to professions I don’t generally meet up with.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

You get out what you put in, and moving to true profitability takes time

Your Dream Referral Is…

SMELL in Professional services who wants to grow and understands the place of direct marketing in growth acceleration

Categories : Featured Member
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Jodi-HamiltonMembers Details
Jodi Hamilton
Business Development Executive
Townsville Enterprise Ltd
BNI Integrity in the BNI Townsville North Queensland Region

Tell us about your business:

Townsville Enterprise is the official Regional Development Organisation, Regional Tourism Organisation and registered Convention Bureau for North Queensland.

Townsville Enterprise works to improve infrastructure, increase visitor numbers, attract skilled labour, attract new businesses, and quality lifestyle development via the injection of new projects into the economy.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Arrive early, leave late.
2. Attend 1 or 2 Networking functions regularly and become known as the key person in your industry
3. Follow up. Send a thank you note to your new contact.

What can’t you live without?

H2H : Human to Human contact – connectivity

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Start Something That Matters
Blake Mycoskie

Great easy read with tonnes of information on how when you love what you do and are driven to do well, what you can achieve is fantastic.

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

I have attended BNI as a visitor, as a guest speaker and as a potential member over the years.

I joined a year ago representing another company, the benefits were always obvious, timing and location had held me back previously.

Integrity had the right formula for my needs. Day, time, location and most importantly a great mix of people and businesses.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

12 Months

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

Education, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

The opportunity to learn intricate details of different industries has helped me to understand the businesses and therefore provide quality referrals.

The opportunity to communicate each with directly with a team of businesses on our projects and activities has increased knowledge within the region immensely.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

What to do and expect when you bring a visitor.

Your Dream Referral Is…

A business looking to expand their existing sales and marketing initiatives into the Townsville North Queensland region – a partnership with Townsville Enterprise Limited offers many great opportunities to reach your market.

Categories : Featured Member
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