Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI® and is also an author, a humanitarian and expert in the field of business networking. Dr. Misner travels the world discussing referral networking and personal and professional development. He has been featured in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal and on networks such as CNN and MSNBC.

Named “One of the Top Networkers to Follow” by Forbes Magazine, Dr. Misner has written over 21 books and has taught business management at several universities. In 2016, Dr. Misner was awarded the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is also the past recipient of the Red Cross “Humanitarian of the Year” award and is the co-founder of the BNI Foundation®. Dr. Misner also sits on the University of LeVerne Board of Trustees. When Dr. Misner isn’t traveling or giving speeches, he enjoys spending time with his wife Elisabeth on Lake Austin and exploring vineyards across the globe.

Graham Weihmiller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Graham Weihmiller joined BNI® in 2014 to help execute BNI®’s strategic plan that includes operational enhancements, continued membership growth, and ongoing global member expansion. Graham is passionate about building successful service organizations that have a remarkable value proposition and a positive social impact. Prior to BNI®, he served as the CEO of a 32-year-old nationwide franchisor of homecare services. While there, he was a founding director of a foundation that provides homecare to those who cannot afford it. His previous leadership experience includes roles with Pioneer Equity Partners, American Franchise Company, Bank of America, Booz Allen and JP Morgan.

Graham speaks frequently on entrepreneurship and franchising and has recently been on panels at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, and Georgetown University. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BBA from the College of William & Mary. Graham is trained in Lean Enterprise, Process Excellence, Design for Six Sigma, and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte, where he was formerly the Club president. He currently serves on the BNI Foundation® Board of Directors.

Michael Walchonski, Chief Financial Officer

Michael Walchonski, CPA, has served as BNI®’s Chief Financial Officer since December of 2014. Based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Michael oversees all accounting and financial operations of the organization and supports the ongoing initiatives of the National Directors in over 70 countries around the world. Michael has previously worked with other franchisors in the healthcare laundry and non-medical home healthcare industries.

Michael graduated from Drexel University and is an active member in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He currently serves on the BNI Foundation® Board of Directors.

Andy Hart, President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Andy is responsible for managing BNI franchises throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining BNI he led a large team with BP Oil and ran his own business that specialized in coaching sales teams. He has been involved in BNI for 14 years, as a member, then Executive Director before becoming involved with the global organization where he has held a number of positions including Interim CEO. He is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology and lives in the west of Ireland with his wife Sandra and their two children. He is passionate about military history, archery and strategy games.

 

Gonzalo Checa, President of the Americas

Gonzalo recently joined BNI in May 2017. As President of the Americas, he supports North, Central and South America, including the US, where his background and language skills enable BNI to augment outreach to the growing number of Spanish-speaking business leaders. He is eager to get immersed into BNI’s culture and continue driving improved support to BNI Members and Directors in the Americas region. Originally from Lima, Peru, Gonzalo brings a diverse business background combined with a wealth of international leadership experience to BNI, most recently serving as a Vice President with the Compass Group. He was previously a Division President at The Steritech Group, a Marketing Director for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble. He currently volunteers as member of the Board of Directors for Charlotte Bilingual Preschool. Gonzalo did his undergraduate work in Peru and he received his MBA from Harvard Business School. Gonzalo enjoys Crossfit, good food, wine and traveling. He lives in Charlotte, with his wife Carolina and their two teenage sons.