Local leaders chapter taking applications

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Membership has its privileges.

A group of local men and women in Moffat County met Wednesday to pitch Business Network International, an organized method of word-of-mouth advertising, to interested professionals.

BNI, originally founded in 1985 in Southern California, has grow to more than 3,000 chapters in 15 countries, regional BNI manager Bob Smith said. The mission of the group is to promote business-to-business networking through an exclusive members-only organization. The catch is that only one member from each type of business can belong to the group at the same time.

"Once you join, someone else in your profession can't join that chapter as long as you are still a member in good standing," Smith said.

More than 20 local business professionals attended the meeting to determine how their business might benefit from membership in such an organization.

"The key is having trained leaders," Smith said. "Your membership buys great training."

The group, which will meet once a week for an hour and a half, will focus on learning what services others provide as well as how to refer customers to one another's businesses.

"When you join BNI, you just hired as many people as are in the group," Smith said. "Everyone is working for everyone else."

BNI-Craig chapter secretary/treasurer Andrea Camp sees this opportunity as a great way to help the business she and her husband operate.

"For our business, if we got three referrals in a year's time, it would pay for the membership," she said. "It's a great way to advertise."

Camp, along with president Dave Fleming and vice president Leland Reinier, hope to gain as many new members as possible. Meetings will begin next week.

Interested businesspeople must submit a short application and a $75 one-time application fee. The membership committee will review the applications and select members based on several criteria. Upon acceptance, members are required to pay an annual membership fee of $295.

The membership fee encourages paid members to participate and attend meetings.

For more information, or to apply, call Andrea Camp at 824-4103.

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