Manhattan BNI Chapter 7


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Chapter Guidelines


Attendance at every meeting is essential. Members are encouraged to secure substitutes when they are unable to attend. Having a substitute attend does not count as an absence. BNI policy states that a member who has three absences in a six-month period forfeits their position.

However, the Chapter 7 leadership team has amended this to a member being allowed up to four absences in a rolling six-month period. After a third absence, an email letter advises the member of the frequent absences. If the member then misses one more meeting, they will receive a second letter warning them of their four absences and their status as a member is in jeopardy. The leadership will review the member’s attendance at meetings (lateness or leaving early) and participation level (leads passed, returning calls, visitors, volunteerism). An unfavorable review will result in forfeiture of their position. A 5th absence is automatic expulsion.

Furthermore, a member must be present for at least 75% of the meetings in any given 6 month period. If not, this will be cause for expulsion.

1 and 2nd Absence - No Action
3rd Absence 1st letter - encouraging member to attend MSP or to provide a substitute
4th Absence 2nd letter - warning that member status is in jeopardy and their membership record reviewed 5th You are history.


Conducted either in person or by phone by a member of the leadership team, it serves to document the member’s experience with the chapter, especially if leaving is voluntary prior to expiration of their dues period.


Timely attendance at BNI meetings is also important 7:00 to 7:15 am is your time to network. This time is critical for members to form working relationships, especially with new members and visitors. Arriving late diminished the importance of our meetings. Arriving after 7:15 and leaving early is also disruptive. Therefore, the following absence appointment has been assigned to discourage lateness:

Arriving after 7:30 am - 1/2 absence
Arriving after 8:00 am - 1 absence
Leaving before 8:15 am - 1/2 absence
Leaving before 8:00 am - 1 absence


Chapter 7 maintains an e-mail list of individuals who have agreed to be contacted to substitute at Please continue to locate people who would like to be on our list. Forward their contact information to Jim Berry via e-mail:, and they will be added to the list. Up-to-date sub lists are provided every week. There is a regional sub list located at which can be consulted as well.

Please be advised; It is your responsibility to arrange for your own substitute and provide them with a 45-second commercial about your business. If for any reason your substitute does not make it to the meeting, you will be counted as absent for that week.

It is best if you can find a substitute whose classification does not conflict with a sitting member. If there is a conflict, please check with the member to be sure it is OK for the substitute to give their 45 second commercial.


There is no penalty if a member has a substitute attend in their place. In fact, we encourage it. However, on a case by case basis, if the substitute is attending more than the original member and the substitute is not fully participating in meetings, i.e., passing leads, bringing visitors, or volunteering, then the leadership team may inquire as to the member’s intentions to participate. Furthermore, a member must be present for at least 75% of the meetings in any given 6 month period. If not, this will be cause for expulsion.


Members may have issues with fellow members for various reasons,

1) The leadership team encourages members to work out any disagreements or disputes with each other.

2) If this does not resolve the problem, then a verbal complaint can be made to the leadership team for guidance in resolving the problem.

3) If this does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, then a written complaint can be made to the leadership team to document it should further action be necessary.

All complaints will be handled with discretion and with every effort to maintain full confidentiality.


A leave of absence can be requested in writing for medical or family emergencies. The letter should state the length of time, the member’s substitute plan, and whether the leave is protected or unprotected, i.e., protecting the member’s profession or leaving it open. A protected leave can be taken for up to eight weeks with continuous dues. An unprotected leave can be taken with dues suspended.


Breakfast dues of $16.00/week are due on or before the first week of every month. Dues are collected for the following month, so there is one month on account at all times. (Example: Upon joining at the start of the year, you pay dues for January and February. On February 1st, you will pay March breakfast dues.) Checks are made payable to Mitchell’s Data Movers. After the first week of the month, a $10 late fee assessment shall be paid in addition to the dues. Exceptions will be made only for new members and where a mistake was made.

For Guests who can join: We have arranged to cover the cost of our guests’ breakfasts, so there is no charge.

For BNI Members in other chapters: Payment of $16 for breakfast dues will be collected.

For substitutes: If you send a substitute, your breakfast dues cover their meal. No money is collected for subs.


As part of its role, the Membership Committee will review the participation of existing members on an on-going basis. This is done to assist members in giving and receiving quality leads.

The committee will also review members prior to renewal of their membership. It is our desire to meet with each member prior to his or her renewal. However, if time does not permit and there is no question the Committee recommends renewal, some members may not have a face-to-face meeting.

The criteria we have currently determined for review are:
  • Attendance/ overuse of subs (see Chapter Guidelines for clarification as to what constitutes the overuse of subs)
  • Referrals Passed/Received
  • Adherence to the BNI Code of Ethics
  • Timely payment of membership and breakfast dues
  • Complaints received by the Membership Committee from chapter members
  • Acknowledgements and other recognition received by the Membership Committee from chapter members
  • Participation in the chapter (serving on committees, leadership roles, etc.)

The Membership Committee reviews all classifications of new applicants carefully for conflicts. However, in some cases, due to the nature of an industry or profession there are specializations and distinctions we are not aware of, and so a conflict is not obvious. If a visitor attends the meeting who is representing a business/profession that is or may be in conflict or overlap with your seat, please inform the Chapter Vice President who is Chairman of the Membership Committee, immediately. If you speak with the visitor, do so only with at least one member of the Membership Committee present. The Membership Committee will consider the potential conflict/overlap during the application process: however, depending on the nature and degree of overlap, the Membership Committee may choose to admit the applicant as a new member.

As a courtesy to sitting members, if you are inviting a substitute or guest whose classifications is already represented in our chapter, you should check with that member to be sure it is OK for the substitute or guest to give their 45 second commercial.


BNI policy states that each chapter set their own guidelines around a quota or expected number of referrals passed each month to keep every one of its members focused on BNI outside of the meetings, Unlike other chapters that have a strict number per month to meet, Chapter 7 is adopting a different policy to make our referrals generation even stronger. In order to support all members in getting the most benefit out of BNI, we are implementing a quota or strongly recommending a minimum number of referrals passed: For good standing in Chapter 7 each member is expected to pass one (1) referral per month OR to bring one (1) guest to our chapter meeting each month. We will be averaging referrals passed over a three month period, and when a member has not met the quota, we will invite that member to meet with the Membership Committee to review the referrals he/she has generated; and to offer assistance and support to the member in order to help them meet the quota effectively The Membership Committee will then review the next three-month period and follow-up with the member on leads generation.

We continue to strive for a high-quality of referrals to be passed. Members will continue to pass referrals that are valid and whereby the referral is expecting your call when you follow up. Should you find that a member of BNI is passing referrals that are not valid, please return the referral slip to them and ask to speak about why this does not constitute a good referral. Should this happen frequently, please alert the Membership Committee.


If any member has an announcement about other networking venues or some other announcement of interest to the group as a whole, it can be made at the end of the meeting. This time for announcements is not meant as an additional advertisement for a member’s product or services. Announcements of this nature should be made during your 45 second commercial.

If any member, except for the speaker for the week, wants to pass around handouts, they should be placed on the table BEFORE the meeting starts. Passing handouts around during the meeting is disruptive.

Chapter 7
32 Members

Agnieszka Chomicz-Grabowska
Alan Hirsh
Ananie Momplaisir
Andrew Zimmerman
Beth Beranbaum
Bill Allen
Bryan R. Adams
Cameron Vens
Claudette Robb Ross
Donna Fullerton
George E. Grace
Harriet R. Goren
Helene Bernstein
Howard Globus
Jason Kapoor
Jason Farrell
Jessica Allen
Kelly Cole
Konstantin Burshteyn
Larisa Likver
Leah Lakins
Marc Silverman
Maria Andrade
Matt Curtis
Morris Cohen
Robert Moy
Robert Soler
Robert J. Smith
Sheila Walker Hartwell
Siri Smith
Stuart Tash
Yosef Rabinowitz

Chapter 7 Goal
$ 1,000,000

Past 12 Months
$ 917,918

BNI - Changing the way the world does business.