I belong to a Business Network International group in my area (BNI). It is a wonderful organization whose purpose is to help one another build our businesses by giving the people in our chapter and other local chapters, qualified, warm referrals. We have a really amazing group. It is because of the culture that exists and the people that are there every week. I respect everyone in our chapter and find my Tuesdays happily filled with BNI activities.
Our VP, Greer Canady, was asked by Ivan Misner, who started BNI, to write her story about her involvement in BNI and how she met her husband through the network. Greer doesn’t fancy herself a writer. I kinda do so I volunteered to interview her and write her story for her. I am like JR Moeringer was to Andre Agassi in the book Open (JR wrote the book ‘Open’ for Andre but didn’t really publicize it because as he said, it was Andre’s story not his. I went to high school with JR so I have been following his career and think his books are very good- pick up the The Tender Bar and tell me I am wrong. His new book Sutton is just out and he is on a book tour.)
So this is Greer’s story…. and I get to write it and share it here… in my blog….
Greer Cannady not only makes a good living with the many referrals she is passed at BNI, she has made a life from it, as well. Five years ago, Greer went to her first BNI meeting by way of the gentle prodding of her father, Chuck, who is also a BNI member and who was President of The Independence Chapter at the time. She loved what she saw and she joined that BNI Chapter the next week. Not long after joining, Greer stepped up as Secretary/ Treasurer of the Chapter. It was during her first month in this role that she went to that fateful Regional Leadership Meeting where she met Michael Cannady. As an officer, she was required to go to Leadership. She would later find out that Mike was the President of his Chapter and was there for the same reason.
Greer went into the meeting and started chatting with people from her Chapter, as most people do, and then sat down with them. After being comfortably situated, Steve Wiegert, the Executive Director, asked everyone to stand and choose another seat next to someone they did not know. This is where the facts are in dispute. Greer says, “Mike sat next to me and Mike says I sat next to him.” Whoever sat next to whomever beside the point… she immediately took notice of him. She was happy that she was sitting next to him. Sparks flew immediately. However, being a strong, old fashioned woman, she would have never called a man or been the one to ask a man out, so she is almost certain that he sat next to her. It did not escape her attention that he was not wearing the all-important ring on the all-important finger.
When the meeting at Paradise Park was over, he playfully asked her to join him in the foam pit for a foam ball shoot-out. She kicked off her heels and although in a dress, went in to do battle. After 20 minutes, they said their good-byes and went their separate ways. She didn’t see him again until the next monthly Leadership Meeting where he asked her to go out for lunch after the meeting, explaining he had some time to kill. She later found out that he had stretched the truth, as he had to excuse himself to cancel an appointment he had booked following the meeting.
Greer and Mike have been together ever since. Looking back, she is sure the foam ball pit was a test. He wanted to know if this attractive, positive, strong women he sat next to “by chance” at a BNI Leadership Meeting could go with the flow, have spur of the moment fun … and she passed with flying colors. She kicked off her heels and then fell head over heels in love.
She married Mike, nicknamed “BNI Boy” by Greer’s family, in June of 2011 on the side of a mountain in Summit County, Colorado. Greer’s five years with BNI have been more than she ever dreamed of. She joined the Leadership Team of her Chapter almost immediately after joining BNI and she never looked back. She has served as President two times, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Chapter Coach. Most recently, in May of this year, she was selected to attend Director training in St. Louis and had the wonderful opportunity to meet, talk with, and be trained by Ivan Misner. “It was the best week of my professional career,” she says.
The organization and all of the people in it, have impacted her life in so many ways, all of them positive. It has made her a better employee, a better leader, a better speaker and she met her husband. She has grown financially, personally, and professionally as a direct result of BNI and the Giver’s Gain philosophy. Greer is forever grateful to the organization for the countless ways it changes lives. She has seen it with other people in BNI as well. “My favorite BNI moments are the ones when a fellow BNI member’s life is changed by a referral. I have seen it time and time again and it’s awesome every time. In BNI, the opportunities really are endless,” she says. The Givers Gain philosophy has always been a part of her life. She says she was raised that way. If a BNI member mentions they aren’t getting enough, she always challenges them to take a look at what they are giving. “The question shouldn’t be why aren’t you getting enough, the question should be how much are you giving and how could you give more?”
Was it coincidence that she found herself at a Leadership Meeting where she met a man she ended up marrying? Maybe. She likes to think it was because she was living the BNI philosophy, she gave of herself and look at all she’s gotten.