I have been the Executive Director for Central Florida and Northeast Florida BNI since 2013. I train individuals and companies how to grow a consistent referral business. Over the last 14 plus years of involvement in BNI I have trained over 5000 members in Referral and Word-of Mouth marketing. I have been fortunate over the years to be exposed to a multitude of businesses and have gained a very unique perspective on the business world. Last year the BNI regions generated over $24 million dollars in referral business.
In 2011 I was nominated for the 40 under 40 in Orlando. In 2012 I was featured in the Jacksonville Business Journal.
I have completed over two years of training through the Referral Institute and have been a speaker at National and International Conferences. I have a B.S. in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern Maine.
I have held a variety of other positions and sales jobs as well. Through those jobs and opportunities referrals and relationships have been the key driving force behind my success. In working in both small locally owned companies and large nationwide companies I have gained valuable experience and knowledge of the power of connections and how when properly leveraged can create win win situations for everyone.
I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my wife Tiffany and our two sons Zac and Ian, identical twins. I grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine and stayed in the area until 2004 when I relocated to Florida to pursue an opportunity with BNI (Business Network International). I grew up in a, what I would consider normal, family. My mother worked in a variety of admin positions in the medical field and my father worked for the Department of Human Services. We lived in an affluent town with a middle American income.
I was exposed to both sides of the coin. I spent time with those that had abundance as well as those barely getting by. I didn’t know it then but I was learning at that point the benefit to having friendships at all levels. I never wanted for major items, and never really felt that I was missing things in my life but I knew that I couldn’t at times because of money.
Throughout my schooling, both high school and college I was fortunate to be surrounded and mentored by a wide variety of individuals Those in the arts and theater ( Thank you Richard Mullen) and those in business and entrepreneurship (thank you Ralph Struzziero). I just seemed to absorb from all angles. I never seemed to have a singular focus on where I would land but I took it all in.
My first job out of college was in sales for Advantage Payroll. I had met my boss at the time Mark Chase through networking events in college. He had offered an opportunity to shadow him to see what he did. I was offered a job 5 months prior to my graduation doing sales. A career choice that I honestly had not given much thought too.
That was my first exposure to sales, BNI and practical application of what I was learning in school. I watched and learned from Mark as he introduced me to the people he had built relationships with over the years. He showed me how to talk to them, work with them and introduce a no pressure way to do sales. This was also my first introduction to BNI and formal networking groups. For the next three years of sales and BNI I quickly began to learn that the age old adage of its not what you know but who you know was very true!
BNI offered education and training for the next part. What do you do once you know these individuals? How do you develop those relationships, make them profitable for both sides and have a plan to make it all work.
From that point forward, I began to gravitate towards the how and why relationships are the driving force in business. I attended trainings, workshops, seminars, hung around people who seemed to get it. My path started leading out of direct sales and more into the BNI realm of training and development. I had the opportunity to be able to move to Orlando to pursue and opportunity with BNI working for Mike and Debbie Roberts as an area director in the region. Since then I have now become a partner in the Orlando and Jacksonville regions.
Let me tell you it wasn’t without its price though. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. I just believe that when you find a passion and focus you then make the choice that other things will be sacrificed to be able to follow that path. There was a calling of sorts that pushed me to stick with BNI and working with the members, supporting and training them in BNI but more importantly referral system development.
I think it is over the last few years that I have really grasped the fact BNI is a vehicle and what I have really been teaching is how to create referral systems for businesses. By breaking down the components of my trainings as well as BNI seeing what is the real product, has enabled me to gain a deep understanding of referrals and how relationships are the actual key factor in every businesses referral system.
That is how this business came to fruition. BNI offers a unique experience and opportunity to be exposed to and work with businesses of every level. And when I mean every level I truly mean that. Individuals getting back in the work place starting almost at square one to honed professionals in their industry for years, home based businesses and international businesses.
This unique knowledge and experience also created a desire to be able to offer training and development beyond what can be offered through BNI.
Real World Referrals is just that, it’s about learning systems and tools to develop referrals for your business. The education, programs, courses and training offered will focus on opening opportunities you didn’t know were there and integrating your current systems to make them stronger and more effective.
I work with individuals and companies to develop their referral systems. Those in turn enhance your sales and marketing systems and vice versa. All geared towards a stronger understanding of having profitable relationships – relationships that produce results.