Business Networking International to open North Tahoe chapter

Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. – Business Networking International (BNI) is pleased to announce a “first contact” meeting in Tahoe City on March 14, where local business owners can check out Lake Tahoe’s newest chapter, known as North Tahoe BNI.

With more than 145,000 members worldwide, BNI is the largest business networking and referral marketing organization in the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 6.9 million referrals resulting in $3.1 billion dollars’ worth of business for its members.

Based on the philosophy “Givers Gain,” BNI exists to bring local business owners together in a structured format that encourages the exchange of business. According to Tahoe City resident Larry Lapkin, there are already two BNI groups in Truckee that have been hugely successful. Lapkin is co-owner of Aegis Insurance Markets, a commercial insurance agency in Truckee.

He joined the Mountain High BNI group in Truckee more than two years ago, but says there is demand for a North Shore chapter. Lapkin said: “I have seen how BNI works and it has been very good for my business.”

The North Tahoe BNI Group serves the area from Rubicon all the way to Brockway.

Lapkin said BNI referrals help keep business in the community. Benefits include increased exposure to other people and businesses, substantially increased business through referrals, and participation in up to 52 networking meetings per year. Along the way, become a better speaker. Each week you will give a 30-second “infomercial” about your business to the other members.

“It’s like having a sales force of 25 people who are always looking for referrals for you. The concept really works but the group is only as good as its members,” said Lapkin. “North Tahoe BNI has some terrific business owners … As of now we have 18 committed members and only need two more commitments to become a formal charter. Referrals are already being exchanged and it’s only going to get better as the chapter grows.”

The open meeting of BNI North Tahoe will be on March 14, 7:30 a.m. at Rosie’s Cafe, 571 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City.

The speaker will be John Lisle, executive director of Central Valley BNI. For more information contact Larry Lapkin at 530-582-6000, ext. 111 or email

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