BNI organization helps local businesses grow together through networking and referral opportunities

Networking and referrals are the lifeblood of any successful business, and in Western New York, there’s a group of local professionals who meet once a week not only to make trusted connections, but to learn from each other and grow.

That group is the BNI Circle of Excellence, a local chapter of BNI, the world’s leading business networking and referral organization that meets every Friday morning in Williamsville to promote business training, peer learning and networking opportunities. The BNI Circle of Excellence chapter consists of nearly 30 local business men and women from a wide range of professions. Each business category represented in BNI can have just one member — for example, one Realtor, attorney, financial advisor or dentist per group — so as not to dilute referrals and potential business opportunities.

Members of the BNI Circle of Excellence meet for breakfast at 7 a.m. Fridays at Milos on Main, 5877 Main St., Williamsville. Attendance is required, but if a member is unable to attend, a colleague may attend in his or her place. Meetings typically run 90 minutes and include networking, breakfast and business presentations, and conclude with members sharing reliable referrals with other members.

Current BNI Circle of Excellence officers include President Walt Mikowski, owner of Council Opticians of West Seneca; Vice President Edmund Bedient, owner of Clear Choice Cleaning Services of West Seneca; and Secretary/Treasurer Dr. Donna Gulick Mueller, owner of Orthosports Physical Therapy in Amherst and Clarence.

“I’ve been a member of BNI Circle of Excellence for nearly four years and have done business with many of the members,” said Dr. Gulick Mueller. “Our business connections continue to grow as a result of this organization and I look forward to developing additional business relationships as a result of this group. If you’re looking to grow your business, this is the place to be on Friday mornings!”

For more information on the BNI Circle of Excellence or to attend an upcoming meeting, please contact Edmund Bedient at 997-6043 or You can also visit the BNI Circle of Excellence Facebook page at for frequent updates related to the group.

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