Excellence Awards North

For the sixth year in a row, BNI SWFL has remained in the top 10 percent of all the regions in the WORLD! In the past 12 months, Southwest Florida passed over $68 Million in closed business amongst its 1500 members, almost $35 Million of that was generated for members in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee Counties! A record crowd of 650 gathered to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of members and chapters over the last year.


Congratulations to the this years 5 year members.


These BNI SWFL veterans have been members for 10 years.


Congratulations for achieving 15 years as a BNI SWFL member.


Director Becky Brantner with Purple Monkey Print and Design presented our third year of Education Equals Excellence Awards, or as we refer to it, E Squared. To qualify for this award a member needs to have attended all 5 of the Advanced Training Modules. This year we have 25 members who have completed all 5 modules.

George Bowe with George Bowe, CPA from Professional Biz Connections

Teresa Bowman with Teresa K. Bowman, PA from Endless Referrals

Mary Conway with Breaking Barriers to Learning from Cutting Edge Professionals

Liz Coursen with EditNation.com from Referral Champions

April Dacas with Len’s Roofing, Inc from Cutting Edge Professionals

Zach Davy with Company Outfitters from Power Connections

Gayle Fortin with Cruise Planners - Let's Cruise and Tour from Power Connections

Cassie Friedman with Ace Electric, Inc from Endless Referrals

Tricia Gibbs with Precise Painting from Master Connectors

Jose Goldberg with Jose M Goldberg DDS from Cutting Edge Professionals

Linda Grappin with Grappin Clinic of Chiropractic, PA from Master Connectors

Mary Hart with Hart Physical Therapy from Power Connections

Chuck Hindelang with Rising Sun Handyman Services from Cutting Edge Professionals

Susan Howard with Employers Resources Plus from Circle of Success

Jennifer Jordan with Tre J Entertainment from Circle of Success

Deborah Metcalf with A-Z Auto Repair from Referrals to Riches

Trude Moyer with Express Employment Professionals from Business by the Bay

Shannon Padgett with Express Employment Professionals from Cutting Edge Professionals

Deitra Parker with Aflac from Power Connections

David Roth with Rothco Signs & Design, Inc from Master Connectors

Lisa Silvestri with Silvestri Travel, LLC from Endless Referrals

Judith Vobroucek with Discount Med Direct from Cutting Edge Professionals

Terry Wells with Hancock Bank from Cutting Edge Professionals

Ann White with Just 4 Girls from Cutting Edge Professionals

Darcy Woods with Smart Shopper from Rain Makers


Director Robert Lauser with Grim Reaper Pest Solutions announced the 15 winners of the Perfect Attendance award. Members must have been a member for the entire year from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. These members did not miss any meetings, were never late, had no medical and did not have a sub.

Terry Abbas with Gulf Auto Clinic from BNI Circle of Success

Thomas  Belke with Platinum Inspections from BNI Master Connectors Platinum Inspections

Becky Brantner with Purple Monkey Print and Design from BNI Power Connections

Gregory Carlson with Stifel Nicolaus from BNI Referral Champions

John Collins with Landscape941 from BNI Circle of Success

Daniel Douglass with J. Daniel Douglass from BNI Circle of Success

Lynn Elkes with Selwin Photos, Inc from BNI Referral Champions

Thomas  Geller with Discount Battery Supply from BNI Circle of Success

Nimie Gill with Suncoast Web Marketing, LLC from BNI Top Shelf Professionals

Elaine Kinder with The Golden Rule Painting, Inc from BNI Circle of Success

Jeffrey Koch with Automotive Service Garage from BNI Partners for Profit

Kathryn Scott with Coldwell Banker Realtor from BNI Endless Referrals

Sandra Visser with Anthony's Cooling-Heating-Electrical from BNI Cutting Edge Professionals

William Wilson with The Woodcrafters from BNI Cutting Edge Professionals


Ambassador Paul Jorgensen with Farm Bureau Insurance recognized the top members who invited the most visitors to their chapter. These Members, who have worked very hard to help their chapters grow and its referrals increase, are vital to their chapter's success. The following members have gone above and beyond, and their chapters are lucky to have them!

20 Visitors - Julia Miller of FireStar Capital Investments from Success in Numbers

16 Visitors - Jennifer Jordan of Tre J Entertainment from Circle of Success

15 Visitors - Patti Guerso of Guerzo Business Consulting, LLC from Rain Makers

15 Visitors - Jill Lyons of Relax Realty Group  from Key Referrals

14 Visitors - Mary Taylor of Mary Kay Cosmetics from Professional Biz Connections

14 Visitors - Shana Tibi of First Page Advantage  from Key Referrals

13 Visitors - Julia Woodard of Julia International Real Estate from Business Focus

13 Visitors - Lance Broat of Venice Print Center from Money in the Morning

13 Visitors - Becky Brantner of Purple Monkey Print and Design from Power Connections


Director Mark Miles of Law Offices of Marc J Miles, PA announced the top seven members who passed the most referrals to their fellow members.

489 Referrals Given

Annette Gustin of Aquatech Pools GC, Inc from Rapid Referrals Plus

379 Referrals Given

Russell LeGrande of LaMaison Homes and Inspecitons from Circle of Success

375 Referrals Given

Jennifer McSharry of Burnett 1-800 Painting from Money in the Morning

356 Referrals Given

Howard Parkin of When & How Concierge Servicess, LLC  from Money in the Morning

354 Referrals Given

Jane Mendola of Re/MAX Palm Realty from Money in the Morning

340 Referrals Given

Nancy Bellisle of Juice Plus from Trusted Professionals

332 Referrals Given

Carey Beychok of Re/MAX Alliance Group from Referral Champions


Director Consultant Glenn Scharf with the Scharf Group announced the top five members who passed the most Thank You for Closed Business to their members. This is the epitome of Giver's Gain®. Most of these members will tell you that the ability to have reliable people they can refer their clients to is just as important as the business they receive.

$928,956

Marc Miles of Law Offices of Mark J Miles, PA  from Circle of Success

$712,399

Russell LeGrande of LaMaison Homes and Inspections from Circle of Success

$680,494

Nick Flerlage of Re/Max Alliance Group from Rapid Referrals Plus

$421,941

Emma Kate Livestry of Sharky's on the Pier from Rapid Referrals Plus

$386,320

Tanya Scotece of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory from Success in Numbers


Ambassador Nimie Gill with Suncoast Web Marketing and Director Randy Corywell of WRC Associates announced this year's Medallion Chapters, recognized based on the number of members in the chapter. Chapters needed to maintain their size for three consecutive months from July 1 to October 1, 2017.

Silver Medallion, 35 or More Members

Money in the Morning          Rain Makers

Referral Champions          Cutting Edge Professionals

Power Conncections

Gold Medallion, 45 or More Members

Business by the Bay          Circle of Success

Rapid Referrals Plus          Referrals in Paradise


Director Consultant Randy Coryell with WRC & Associates announced this year's Platinum Presidents. To qualify, Presidents participated in weekly calls with their director, attended monthly Roundtable or had representation, ran the meeting according to the BNI Agenda and deomonstrated Leadership Skills that resulted in success during the year.

Becky Brantner of Purple Monkey Print and Design from Power Connections

Jaime Caldwell of Elite Motor works from Trusted Professionals

Greg Carlson of Stifel Nicolaus from Referral Champions

Dane DeSantis of Key Referrals from Hallmark Business Brokers

Rich Emch of Raymond James from Harbor Professionals

Chuck Hindelang of Sising Sun Handyman Serivices from Cutting Edge Professionals

Robert Lauser of Grim Reaper Pest Solutions from Rapid Referrals

Brad Nocek of Northwester Mutual from Endless Referrals

Rob Reynolds of Robert Reynolds Landscaping from Success in Action

Randi Sanders of FireStar Capital Investments from Chapter

Anthony Saputo of Saputo And Associates, Inc from Money in the Morning

Russ Williamson of Platinum Planning from Referrals in Paradise

Darcy Woods of Smart Shopper from Rain Makers


Director Glenn Scharf with The Scharf Group announced this year's Platinum Presidents. To qualify VP’s proved to be organized, and effective in managing and maintaining the Membership Committee. They entered and audited PALMS reports in a timely and accurate manner. They had open communication with the Membership Committee, Chapter Members and their Director. Along with the Membership Committee, they demonstrated skill and diplomacy in handling situations that arose within the chapter. They also displayed a positive attitude.

Sammi Banting of B-Connected Social Media from Money in the Morning

Nicholas Carter of CIA Carter Insurance Agency, Inc from Referrals to Riches

Rob DeForge of Daniels Plumbing Service, Inc from Key Referrals

Greg Hengel of Hengel Family Chiropractor from Power House

Tim Hudson of ODI Consulting, Inc from Referrals in Paradise

Pamela Maxstadt of Bank of the Ozarks from Harbor Professionals

Julia Miller of Firestar Capital Investments from Success in Numbers

Karen McLean of Hair Habit from Referral Champions

Andrea Needham of LaMaison Homes and Inspections from Endless Referrals

Kadie Nolan of KD & Company from Trusted Professionals

Kris Pike of Citrues Plumbing of Venice from Rapid Referrals Plus

David Roth of Rothco Signs & Design from Master Connectors

EJ Semmerling of Edward Jones from Cutting Edge Professionals


Regional Administrator Nadine Schleicher with announced this year's Platinum Secretary Tresurers. The awards were based on the following: Submitting reports, renewals and applications to the regional office in a timely and effective manner, communicating effectively with the Regional Office and Director, entering the speaker rotation in BNI Connect and maintaining accurate records.

Lori Anderson of Moore, Fowinkle Schroer Insurance Agency from Cutting Edge Professionals

Victor Freyer of Lemon Bay Computer Service, LLC from Premier Professionals

Christina Gay of WrightWay Emergency Services from Rapid Referrals Plus

Jill Lyons of Relax Realty Group, Inc from Key Referrals

Amy Mills of Day to Day Design and Create from Power House


Director Consultant Glenn Scharf with The Scharf Group and Ambassador Mary Taylor with Mary Kay Cosmetics announced the Nominees for Rookie of the Year as well as the winner. Each chapter submitted a name of a member who has been in the chapter for less than one year as Most Valuable Rookie. Their nominating committee made of up the President, Vice President, Secretary Treasurer and Membership Committee chose their nominees based on referrals given, visitors brought, willingness to serve and most importantly showing a Giver’s Gain attitude right from the first day.

Kortnee Gonzalez of Echt Architects, LLC from Business by the Bay

Julie Woodard of Julia International Real Estate from Business Focus

Brian Stone of Stream from Circle of Success

Shannon Padgett of Express Empoloyment Professionals from Cutting Edge Professionals

Zachary Lesmerises of Schwartz Air Conditioning and Heating from Endless Referrals

Cheryl Maymon of CAM Realty from Harbor Professionals

Jillian Sacco of Generous Property from Key Referrals

Corey Cyr of Modern Woodman of America from Master Connectors

Arthur Trammell of The Venice Company from Money in the Morning

Chris Patek of Patek inspections, LLC from Partners for Profit

Gayle Fortin of Cruise Planners - Let's Cruise and Tour from Power Connections

MJ (Maria) Johnson of Freedom Life Insurance Co. from Premier Professionals

David Walsh of David's Home Services from Professional Biz Connections

Toel Rosell of Rhonda Gustitus Team at Keller Williams Realty from Rain Makers

Kimmi van der Veen of Absolute Window & Door from Rapid Rererrals Plus

Lori Ann Roth of Learning and... from Referral Champions

Kristin White of Sonny's BBQ from Referrals in Action

Margaret Kennedy of Sarasota Animal Hospital from Referrals in Paradise

Wayne Miller of Sand Dollar Enterprises of SRQ, LLC from Referrals to Riches

Gene Burwood of Paradise Palms Realty Group from Success in Action

Lisa Karrat of Just Be Therapeutic Massage from Success in Numbers

Michael Junquist of Plumbco Plubing Solutions from Top Shelf Professionals

Sarah Eckert of Poised Beauty Salon from Trusted Professionals

This year’s winner of the Rookie of the Year has raised the bar on what can be done in a short amount of time with persistence, tenacity and the right attitude. In just 42 weeks this member has brought 3 visitors and passed 70 referrals resulting in almost $38,000 in closed business for her members. She is extremely energetic, has a great attitude and is totally committed to her chapter doing 99 One to Ones during her time in the chapter.

WINNER

Kimmi van der Veen of Absolute Window & Door from Rapid Referrals Plus


Director Consultant Robert Lauser with Grim Reaper Pest Control and Ambassador EJ Semmerling with Edward Jones announced Nominees for Most Valuable Member as well as the winner. Most of the nominees have served in a leadership position at some time during their membership. Many have been members for several years and still continue to pass referrals, bring visitors, mentor new members, serve their chapters and most importantly exude a Giver’s Gain® attitude.

Russell LeGrande of La Maison Homes and Inspections from Circle of Success

Judy Vobroucek of Discount Med Direct from Cutting Edge Professionals

Andrea Needham of La Maison Homes and Inspections from Endless Referrals

Heidi Schrock of ReMax Palm from Harbor Professionals

Glenn Scharf of The Scharf Group from Key Referrals

Linda Grappin of Grappin Clinic of Chiropractic PA from Master Connectors

Marc Miles of Law Offices of Marc J. Miles, PA from Money in the Morning

Brian Dreschler of D&D Air Conditioning, Inc from Partners for Profit

Becky Brantner of Purple Monkey Print and Design from Power Connections

Alexia Martin of Whitco Insurance Agency from Power House

Keri Duff of 2 K's Salon & Spa, Inc from Premier Professionals

Lindsay Ketchum of Lidsay J. Ketchum, P.A. from Professional Biz Connections

Joe Peters of European Painters from Rain Makers

Annette Gustin of Aquatech Pools GC, Inc from Rapid Referrals Plus

Carey Beychok of Re/MAX Alliance Group from Referral Champions

Devin Johnson of Insurance Consultants of Florida from Referrals in Action

Larry Jones of LJ Home Services, Inc from Referrals in Paradise

Tim Donohue of Bill the Plumber, Inc from Referrals to Riches

Donna Brasch of Island Insurance Agency of Venice from Success in Numbers

Nimie Gill of Suncoast Web Marketing, LLC from Top Shelf Professionals

Rosenda Calloway of AAA Travel from Trusted Professionals

This year's Most Valuable Member has been applauded by the members of her chapter for her professionalism and positive attitude. With a total 442 referrals which lead to over $186,190 in closed business, this member also brought 5 visitors to the chapter last year. She makes no excuses for being too busy to help fellow members and her chapter.

WINNER

Annette Gustin of Aquatech Pools GC, Inc from Rapid Referrals Plus


Director Consultant Robert Lauser announced the nominees and winner of Most Improved Chapter. Criteria includes:  upward movement in the Traffic Lights, implementing policies and procedures, member growth, increase in retention, and communication with directors.

Endless Referrals          Professional Biz Connections

Rapid Referrals Plus          Success in Action

This year's Most Improved Chapter raised their retention from 46% to 54%, and they more than tripled the number of visitors throughout the year going from .81 to 2.63 visitors per week.  October 1, 2016 they were 45 and red in the traffic lights, October 1 of this year they were 85 and green! They worked hard with their Director and it certainly paid off. They are full of enthusiasm and still focused on growth.

WINNER

Endless Referrals


Director Consultant Christi Geib presented the final award of the evening, Chapter of the Year. Nominations for Chapter of The Year were based on the following: Chapters must be in the Yellow or Green in the Traffic Lights all year. They must maintain an average of 35 or more members, and have at least 1 Million dollars in TYFCB. A willingness to work side by side with their director, enforce policies, encourage growth and mentor their members to increase retention all with a positive attitude was also considered

Cutting Edge Professionals            Money in the Morning

Power Connections            Referral Champions

Referrals in Paradise          Trusted Professionals

This year's Chapter of the Year maintained Green status in the Traffic Lights 11 of the last 13 months. They increased members by 10, increased retention, referrals and conversion and reduced their absenteeism to 1.64%! This chapter lives the Giver’s Gain® philosophy, while having fun.

WINNER

Cutting Edge Professionals  

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