August 2017
New Leadership, New Starts

Next month, the new Leadership Teams for each BNI chapter will be trained and begin their tenure. With the beginning of new leadership, you can reevaluate your own role in your chapter. The Member Traffic Light reports are a good way to see your participation in numbers, but you can also reflect and self-report on your membership. 

There are three ways that pave the way to a successful membership and business. Get involved with the chapter and the members. Your one-to-ones, visitors, and referrals are the best way to show your chapter that you are committed to their success as well as your own. Pay attention to the details of your membership. Update your BNI Connect profile and report the closed business that was referred to you. Finally, use your director as a valuable resource. The directors are trained and prepared to advise you about concerns and questions you may have.

Just like the start of a new school year and the promises it brings, the start of a new BNI Leadership Team promises to bring energy and focus to help all members be successful!
In This Issue
 BNI.COM  |  BNI Connect
James Briant

This month's spotlight member is James Briant of Northshore Original BNI chapter. James is an the owner of Alpha Mortgage and has been in the mortgage business for 21 years. He provides service for residential, investment property and second home mortgages, including refinances and purchases. He also does reverse mortgages, reverse mortgage purchases, VA, FHA and RD mortgages along with conventional mortgages. 

James has been a member of BNI for 15 years and currently serves on the Membership Committee. During his membership, he has served as an Education Coordinator, Vice President, and President several times. 

Click here to find out more about this outstanding member. 

This month's spotlight chapter is a new edition to the Louisiana BNI family. Baton Rouge  Louisiana Leaders in Zachary, Louisiana just launched with 19 members. Under the guidance of President Aaron Durand, Vice President William Peay, Secretary/Treasurer Jessica Ellis, Chapter Director Consultant Zane Bell and Chapter Area Directory Consultant Josh Henderson, the chapter meets Wednesday mornings at Fernwood Hills Country Club in Zachary, Louisiana. Welcome to our new members!

Click here to learn more about this new chapter!
The following article is from the BNI website.

"Interview" Instead of "Invite"
Dr. Ivan Misner

My favorite approach for inviting visitors to BNI ® is what I call the "We're interviewing" technique.
Suppose your chapter needs a printer. When you meet a printer, explain that you're in a referral group and say, "We're interviewing printers now to find the best printer in the area to give all of our business to. I think you might make a good candidate." (Replace "printers" with the profession your chapter needs.) Here's how the script could be phrased:
"I'm in a referral group (you don't have to go into much detail).  I have been a member for [however long]. We get together on a regular basis, and we're all about passing business to each other. We're interviewing [fill in the blank for the profession] right now to find a really good one in the area to give all of our referrals to. I think you might make a good candidate."
This shows people the value of BNI membership and helps the chapter to be selective about new members. Good groups don't take just any candidate. They want to take qualified candidates, and this approach helps set that expectation.

Click here to read more.
Six Tips to Help Businesses Prepare for Hurricane Season
Plan now to minimize the impact on business due to evacuation or business interruption.
The 2017 hurricane season is here, and preparing a business for possible evacuation or business interruption that could last a week or longer without revenue can be difficult.  BNI Louisiana offers six hurricane preparedness tips to help businesses plan now to minimize the threat of a hurricane or disaster this season:
  1. Save pennies for a rainy day. This can be very difficult for any business.  Start today by putting a little money aside each week. By the height of the hurricane season, you will have savings that can help you get through an involuntary shutdown of your business.
  2. Prepare a hurricane kit. Thinking ahead of the office items you may need in the case of an evacuation can save valuable time and lessen the stress of being away from the office.  Assemble a "grab and go" hurricane kit containing office items that are portable and necessary for operating your business from a remote location. Your "office in a box" should include important papers, logins, and passwords, business cards, office stationery, essential files saved to USB flash drives, etc.   
  3. Have a communications plan. When employees and customers evacuate, communications can be difficult. The ability to effectively communicate re-entry and plans for reopening your business can help you get back to revenue generating activities quickly. It will also allow you to serve your clients and customers so they, too, can get back to work.
  4. Educate yourself on your local government's re-entry plans. If your business fills a need for the local community, you may be allowed to re-enter your parish early. Make re-entry arrangements ahead of time. Parishes/counties often require businesses to register to obtain a placard for early re-entry. For example, if your business is in Jefferson Parish you can visit to register. It only takes a few minutes and can help you get back to business quickly in the case of an evacuation.  Additional preparedness tips for Louisiana can be found at In Mississippi, visit the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency at
  5. Take care when making big decisions. Evacuations can be stressful and taxing. If you have suffered a major loss, you may not be in the proper state of mind necessary to make good decisions. Take time to gather information and ask for advice so you can make the best decision for you at that time. Try not to jump too quickly to a conclusion that you may pay a high price for in the future.
  6. Give employees and customers a safe place to land. As you to get back to work, people around you may need help dealing with the emotions associated with a hurricane or disaster. Getting together as a group to talk it through with your team can go a long way toward emotional recovery.  
Your business will never run as effectively without you as it will with you. If officials call for an evacuation, follow their orders. As we have experienced and witnessed firsthand, the stuff you think you might want to stay behind to protect is not worth your life. You can replace stuff.  You, however, are irreplaceable.

Shreveport / Monroe
Melissa Stewart
Stephen Boutin
George Valcho
Matthew Griggs
Diane Rothery
Lafayette/Lake Charles

Victoria Thomas
Scott Fournier

Chad Whited
Sharon Galicia

New Orleans / Northshore / Slidell

Amy Bairnsfather
Amy Purvis
Connie Richard
Dale Oser
Daya Naef
Doug Bernard
Edward Beals
George Heine III
Glenn Payne
Hilton McManus
Jennifer Jennings
Kimberly Payne

Kristen House
Michael Fredrick
Nancy Graver
Patty Broussard
Paul Navarro
Roger Watkins
Sally Johnston
Scott Krieger
Steven Burkhalter
Wayne Schoonover
Wendy Tynes
Wes Thomas


Mallori Hopkins
Jae McIntosh
Chad Langley
Kayla Roberts

Janice Doyle
Wayne Doyle
Roger McGehee, Jr
Nick Bohon

Baton Rouge

Amber Douglas
Dion Grossnickle
Lloyd Saxon
Sean Nelson
Shane Varnado
Jon Hunt

Jay Burchfield
Enid Jesse
Charles Smith
Gary Ausbon
Sharon Walker McCall
Christina Snowden

Thanks to all the professionals and businesses who continue to make BNI a part of their business growth plan!