Meet the Founder

Dr. Ivan Misner is the founder & chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization.

He founded BNI in 1985 and today, only three decades later, the organization has a whopping 5,500 chapters spread out over every (populated) continent of the world. Last year alone, these chapters generated 6.2 million referrals resulting in a staggering $2.6 billion dollars’ worth of business for members.

Dr. Misner holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times Bestselling author of twelve books including his latest #1 bestseller “Networking Like a Pro”.

He also writes a monthly column for and is the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute – an establishment with teachers around the world ready to teach you how to give and get better referrals.

Over the years, he has taught business management and social capital courses at several universities throughout the United States and currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.

Referred to as the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Misner is considered one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has delivered keynote speeches for major corporations and associations all over the world.

He has also been featured in the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, CNBC, and the BBC in London.

On top of all that, he was recently named “Humanitarian of the Year” by a Southern California newspaper for his work with the BNI-Misner Foundation which he founded in 1998.

Dr. Misner is married and lives with his wife Elisabeth and their three children in Claremont, CA. In his spare time, he is an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.