The first BNI Network Exchange chapter meeting was held in October 2003 with 12 founding members. Ernie Belmonte, who served as the original secretary/treasurer, is still with the chapter today. The group officially became a “chartered” BNI Chapter in February 2004, having grown to the minimum number of 18 members to become a BNI ‘official’ chapter. The name for our BNI chapter became Network Exchange.
Our group has had the privilege of many excellent Education Coordinators including: Charlie Brown of CB3 Financial Group, Scott Ackermann of Elite Mortgage Services, and Dr. David Gursky of Village Counseling Center. Dr. Dave has been one of the longest serving Education Coordinators.
We have been an energetic, enthusiastic group from that first meeting in 2003. Membership has never fallen below 19 in the group. We are also one of—if not the only BNI group—to applaud after introductions and we were the first to shout out each other’s taglines. Our chapter even won an award from BNI International for the most attended guests (19 in total) for a Visitor’s Day!
BNI Family Events and Charitable Causes
We enjoy getting together for social events, such as Kane County Cougar and Schaumburg Flyer games. We also enjoy going to the movies, bowling, golf dates and comedy events. Our our families often join in the fun.
Our chapter participates annually at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Many of our members have philanthropic causes that are dear to their hearts and our group supports their efforts. We’ve been there for the birth or adoption of at least 8 chapter member children, and have attended numerous funerals. We have provided food for members who have had medical emergencies; went on hospital visits; and offered moral support for members struggling in a variety of ways. We are more than just a group of business owners and entrepreneurs—we are family.