Berkeley Business Referral Network | BNI

We meet at Little Star Pizza
1181 Solano Avenue, Albany
(between Cornell and Stannage)
7 to 8:30 AM

We are the Better Referral Network, 
a community of diverse professionals, like-minded in business, 
who value our inclusivity and warm, welcoming energy.  
We hold ourselves to high professional standards, 
encourage and inspire one another and support each other to generate profit.

Our leadership team members act as stewards, 
building a community of leaders and successful business professionals based on this vision and by modeling collaboration, accountability and drive. 

We are committed to expand our professional community to 35 members 
and to generate $750,000 in referral business. 
We do this by showing up, participating fully, 
providing consistently qualified referrals and owning our seat in the chapter.”

We are looking for business professionals who want to grow their businesses. As entrepreneurs living and working in the Berkeley, California area, we invite you to consider the mutually profitable prospect of becoming a part of our growing network for a mutually profitable business association.

BNI is the largest business networking organization in the world, and it has a unique twist. We accept only one person per professional specialty in each chapter. If you are accepted into membership, you will lock out your competition. Our network functions as your extended sales force through the world's most effective form of advertising, word of mouth! Our purpose is to provide referrals to you when we encounter persons looking for goods and services that you can provide. And likewise, we expect you to provide leads to us.

Is BNI right for you? We welcome you to visit our chapter to find out. Bring plenty of business cards, and take the opportunity to network with dozens of Berkeley business professionals.  Visitors are welcome to come twice, we'll even provide coffee and a little something to munch on. We meet at 7 a.m. every Thursday morning in Berkeley. There is a $10 meeting fee.
Please contact our President, Bruce Roberts (510)528-2700 for more information.

the outstanding business owners 
of the 
Better Referral Network Chapter 

Paige Patrick | Soprano and Voice Teacher and our Chapter President

Paige is a Performer and Vocal Teacher

Performance Bio
Paige Patrick, soprano, holds a BM in Music Education from Texas State University and an MM in Performance from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. After relocating to the Bay Area in August, Ms. Patrick most recently appeared with Goat Hall Opera’s “Little Weill Women,” a Kurt Weill cabaret. Past appearances include ‘Rose Maurrant’ (Street Scene), ‘Donna Elvira’ (Don Giovanni), ‘Ann Putnam’ (The Crucible), and ‘Alma Way’ (The Village Singer) with Knoxville Opera Studio, ’Manon’ (Manon), ‘Elektra’ (Idomeneo), and ‘First Lady’ (Die Zauberflöte) with Harrower Opera Workshop, and ‘Katherina Cavalieri' (Amadeus) with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. As a concert artist, Ms. Patrick performed in numerous events in the Knoxville area, including Marble City Opera’s ‘Night of Horror and Mayhem’ and the ‘Mary Costa Tribute Recital’ with Pellissippi State Community College, where she served as Liberal Arts faculty from 2010-2014.

Ms. Patrick is a student of Jeremy Silver.

  • Professional  
  • Vocally Versatile  
  • Powerful & Poised  
  • Intuitive  
  • Fun-Loving  Personality

(510) 374-4586

Srinika Narayan | Nutritional Consultant and our Vice President

Srinika Narayan, M.S. helps patients with a wide range of health issues using Nutritional Analysis. She has been a health practitioner for over 15 years, with offices in both Berkeley and San Francisco. She is an advanced clinical graduate from Ulan Nutritional Systems.

Srinika has worked with thousands of clients over the years successfully navigating through diseases ranging from:  Allergies, Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Pain, Asthma, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Bipolar Disorder, and Depression to name a few. Srinika specializes in chronic, stubborn conditions, including auto-immune issues, and degenerative disorders.

From early on, Srinika has had a passion for learning about the body and applying that knowledge to her own health.  She was drawn to nutritional analysis because she has found it a comprehensive system for finding the underlying cause to most difficult health problems, and has found great success using it on many patients.

Srinika Narayan, M.S.
916a San Pablo Avenue
Albany, CA 94706


Erika Gimbel | Juice Plus Independent Distributor

Erika supports optimal health and well being with whole food nutrition.
Juice Plus+ and the Aeroponic Tower Garden plug in & grow system
are at the heart of her wellness program.

Do you want to be more healthy?

Eat more fruits and veggies!

Get more of all the good stuff with Juice Plus+

Contact Erika at 415-820-1559 or

Wendy Edelstein | Certified Professional Life Coach and Chapter Secretary

Wendy Edelstein, CPCC, ACC, of Changeover Coaching believes that we learn and grow from being in action. To that end, she specializes in helping her clients get focused and ground their goals in purpose. Without purpose, action can feel hollow.

Wendy helps her clients delve into issues around procrastination, perfectionism, and corralling the inner critic. 

Wendy brings her intuition, wit, and love of empowering others to her coaching. She’s especially interested in helping her clients find and work from a place of inner strength, clarity, and calm. She practices — and ­learns — frequently on the tennis court. Wendy believes strongly that approaching change from a perspective of curiosity and self-compassion lay the groundwork for discovery and new possibilities to arise.

Wendy Edelstein, Changeover Coaching
email me! 

Marie Bowser | Acupuncturist

For over 10 years, Marie has combined her healing tools (Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, body work, meditation, creative visualization, qigong and various eastern philosophies) together in combination with her engineering skills (an earlier career) applied to patient healing. With this skill set Marie provides:  The ability to clearly discern patterns at play in patient health; Elegant design and tracking of treatment plans; As well as relationships with patients that are compassionate and warm while also encouraging, forthright and motivating. Patients that come to Marie with body pain find symptom relief but also feel happier, empowered and more resilient. Patients suffering from anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia find themselves transformed. Her passion is for guiding patients toward letting go of beliefs that do not serve and guiding them toward a new paradigm of living.  

Marie Bowser Acupuncture
514 Kains Ave.
Albany, CA 94608
510 984-1101

Chase Michna | Hair Stylist

Chase Michna 
is an extraordinary hairstylist 
at Grove Salon in Berkeley

Grove Salon
1484 Solano Avenue
Albany CA

Kim Baur | Health and Wellness Coach

I received my Health Coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied many dietary theories and practical lifestyle coaching methods.

I have been cooking in kitchens since a young child. My Italian Grandmother had a big influence on me at a very young age, as I was fortunate to live across the street and I would visit her often. Her house always smelled delicious! Something was always on the stove, or baking in the oven…fresh baked bread reminds me of her to this day. She taught me how to make traditional Pesto Genovese with a mortar and pestle, Pizza from scratch, Peach Pie with homegrown fruit, Bolognese sauce, and we rarely followed a recipe.

Some of my other instructors include Chefs Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Jamie Oliver, Rick Bayless, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart and others who have shared their wisdom and passion for cooking on television and videos.

Living in California all my life, my culinary philosophy is based on fresh, locally grown, organic and sustainable ingredients, much like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, who I admire tremendously for her work with the organic food movement and school lunch reform.

I have also Instructed as a Chef and Apprenticed at the Kitchen On Fire cooking school in Berkeley, CA and have learned skills and techniques from other accomplished Chefs to make food even more delicious. With my knowledge, we will co-create completely personalized actions based on your goals to move you toward your ideal vision of health within your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and resources.


Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching.

Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Let’s talk. Schedule an initial consultation with me today.

Deborah Fisher | Tax Accountant

Deborah Fisher, CPA

Deborah is a Certified Public Accountant with 28 years of management and taxation experience. She currently leads a team of tax professionals responsible for tax planning and preparation of tax returns for individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations, partnerships, trusts and estates. Prior to joining Williams Adley, she worked for Hood & Strong, LLP CPAs in Tax and Advisory assisting clients with estate and gift tax planning and consulted small businesses on international and domestic tax issues. She also worked as a sole proprietor managing a tax business and had a 16-year career with the Internal Revenue Service including nine years managing numerous district tax compliance programs. Deborah has conducted Fortune 500 and other multibillion-dollar entity IRS audits and has represented taxpayers during audits and assisted with resolving taxpayers’ IRS and state income tax problems. She holds a Master’s degree in Taxation and Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

Francis Griffin | Commercial Realtor

Francis Griffin, an Oakland native who graduated with honors with a degree in kinesiology from Colorado State University-Pueblo, was a leader and standout member of the ThunderWolves, the university's baseball team. Francis understands the value of teamwork and the importance achieving goals. In this spirit he strives to deliver the best possible service to his clients while seeing their transaction through to a successful completion.

Francis works alongside Erik Housh, managing partner of MRE and a 30-year veteran of the industry. Among his peers, Erik is commonly considered to be one of the top commercial practitioners in the Bay Area.
Francis will soon obtain his CCIM designation, having already successfully completed the required coursework.

In his off time, Francis may be found playing or coaching baseball, weight training, skiing, fishing, or hiking one of his favorite Bay Area backcountry trails.

Sales Agent
MRE Commercial Real Estate
6001 Shellmound Street, Suite 825
Emeryville, CA 94608
Office: 510-450-1405
CA BRE #02016713

Lan Shaw | Financial Planner

I am passionate about helping individuals, couples, independent women, and families pursue their dreams and make meaningful financial decisions that are true to their values.

I believe it’s important to invest my time to understand what you are working toward before I manage your money. I guide my clients toward financial independence with my personalized approach to wealth planning, accumulation, preservation, and distribution.

Working closely with you, your CPA, your attorney and other professionals, I take a holistic approach to develop and implement thorough, thoughtful, and practical financial strategies that best meet your needs and goals. I also help entrepreneurs develop business retirement plans, buy/sell agreement, liquidity strategies and succession planning.

Lan J Shaw
Financial Advisor
VISION Financial Planning

Joanne Cosgrove | Massage Therapist

My name is Joanne Cosgrove and I am California Certified Massage Therapist #59544 ( who has been providing Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Therapies to San Francisco East Bay communities since the year 2000.  Since graduating from National Holistic Institute(NHI) in Emeryville with training as a Massage Therapist and Health Educator, I've persued training in Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (Chikly Institute), CranioSacral Therapy (Upledger Institute), Orthopedic Massage, Myofascial Release (John F. Barnes Institute) and others.  I aim to have useful tools in my toolbox and to use them wisely.

My primary philosophy is: "You are whole already. Just as you are. Despite appearances, diagnosis, and occasionally, behaviors." (a.k.a. You don't need fixing).

My role in respect to you: "I assist your [particular system(s) in need] in helping you have a better day"

My Mission Statement: "I help to tame the young, the old and the restless. I accomplish this by coaxing their muscles, minds or systems in need into a relaxed state of well-being."
(510) 418-7678 office
(925) 788-9790 cell

514 Kains Avenue
Albany, CA 94706

Valerie Ruma | Residential Realtor

McGuire Real Estate
2991 College Avenue
Berkeley CA 94705
DIRECT: 510.579.3614
License#: 01887220

I was born and raised in N. Ohio along the shores of Lake Erie.  I relocated to the Bay Area right after graduation from Kent State University for the climate as well as the excitement of the business culture in the Silicon Valley and I have never looked back. I ended up in the East Bay and except for a short stint in San Francisco, I have been here ever since. I have lived in Berkeley and now live in Alameda which is quaint and charming, but I also love the hip, urban, diverse feel that is modern day Oakland. I finally decided that I would love selling houses far more than technology so in 2010 I made the jump to Real Estate and again, I have never looked back. I bring over 20 years of experience in corporate sales and marketing to my real estate practice as well as legal expertise garnered from several years of selling technology to law firms. But most of all, I bring a high level of professionalism and an innate knowledge of how to read an audience and package a marketing plan to appeal to that audience such that the result is a win win conclusion. Whether you are a buyer or a seller you will benefit not only from my skills as a project manager and negotiator, but from my steadfast determination to get the very best outcome for my clients however that looks to them.

Won’t you join my growing flock of satisfied customers by contacting me today to list your current home or help you find your new home?   I look forward to hearing from you.

Bruce Roberts | Business Insurance

I am very considerate with regards to ensuring one’s life and well-being are maintained sufficiently, and even the property they own is safeguarded; all in the insurance options I communicate.  I have actively been a part of the Insurance Field for over 14 years as an independent insurance broker/agent, vigorously working to deliver life, property, casualty, and most recently, medical insurance to those in need. 

My goal is to provide the most effective and even financially-stable assurance. I thoroughly research and compare all of the various insurance options an individual can be offered.  I take clients' well-being into such deep consideration, that I would even disclose whether an insurance company that I do not work with would provide better coverage than me. I believe customer service is very important and will do whatever is necessary to make the client feel comfortable with their insurance needs.     

Bruce Roberts
Freeman Insurance Services, Inc.
1035 San Pablo Ave. #1
Albany, CA 94706
(510)528-2700 phone
(510)528-2708 fax

Katherine Korlacki | Professional Organizer and our Chapter Treasurer

Katherine Korlacki is a professional organizer in the Berkeley area. She helps people get past the "overwhelm" to find peace and order in their homes and offices. Bringing a nonjudgmental approach to organizational challenges, Katherine helps people who are overwhelmed and don't know where to start get a handle on the "stuff." A three hour session will change your life. Her motto: Clear out what weighs you down, keep what brings you joy.

Contact Katherine at 510-525-3310 - -

Philip Quinn | Medical and Life Insurance Broker

Philip Quinn is a Health and Life Insurance Broker
with Freeman Insurance Services, Inc.
Contact Philip at
1035 San Pablo Avenue, Albany CA 94706
Phone: 510-528-2700

Freeman Insurance Services mission is to provide quality insurance, prompt and efficient service and a commitment to the community. We offer our clients access to all of the top insurance companies in the industry while being focused only on our clients needs. Service is the first priority no matter how complex the problem. We volunteer numerous hours and assist many organizations as a foundation to the offices' community commitment. Quality insurance in an ethical company.

Fred Fassett | Printer

Minuteman Press: Your One Stop Source for Printing and Mailing
To get help on your next project or to place an order, visit our Customer Service Area. See our Products & Services listed below. For software downloads and answers to common printing questions, visit our Resources & Support area on our website. To learn more about us, browse our Company Information section.

If there is anything we can do to further improve your experience, please let us know. We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers.

1101 Fifth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

A Sampling of our PRODUCTS

Black and White Copies
Business Cards
Holiday Cards
Raffle Tickets/Books
Wedding Invitations

A Sampling of our SERVICES

Color Copying
Foil Stamping
Full-Color Printing

Ben Rosenthal | Technology Coach

Sustainable Computing: Coaching Mac users to take control, build confidence and smile.

I have been coaching Mac users for over 15 years, reducing frustration and increasing happiness. My clients most appreciate my patient, inquisitive approach, wealth of knowledge, and ability to meet them where they are.

Coaching sessions with me generally include addressing questions, helping resolve issues, and observing how you use your devices. I can also offer insight on shortcuts and interface quirks, help you get your data in sync, and lead you to discover useful tools to accomplish your goals, and more. Additionally, I provide memory and storage upgrade service for out-of-warranty Macs.

Whether you’ve been using Macs for years or recently started, I can help you get to know each other better. Working one-on-one(-on-one), we will explore your unique set of needs, preferences, and expectations of how technology should work for you, and set you on a path to productivity.

After just one session, you will feel empowered to engage with your Mac more effectively and take control of your tech!

Ben Rosenthal

Marty Kaliski | Auto Maintenance and Repair

Marty Kaliski, owner of Marty's Motors has lived in the Bay Area since 1970 and has been repairing cars since 1975. A New York transplant, he much prefers living in the Bay Area.

Marty's Motors has been at its present location for 12 years and has won many awards for his service including 'Best Car Repair' in the East Bay Express Best of The Bay issue and the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce 'Best Small Business' award. Marty's Motors has been on the Better Business Bureau's Honor Role for 5 consecutive years.

Marty's Motors has a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty on all its repairs and offers free local towing, free loaner cars and free rides home or to work in the local area. For more information, call 510-374-4279 or go to Marty's website

Joshua Pollack | Chiropractor

Dr. Joshua Pollack is a board-certified, licensed Chiropractor and founder of Joshua Tree Chiropractic in El Cerrito, California. A California native, he earned his undergraduate from University of California at Santa Cruz and his Doctorate from Life Chiropractic College West.

701 El Cerrito Plaza
El Cerrito, CA 94530
2nd Floor
Use stairs or elevator next to Trader Joe’s

Office:  (510) 710-5453

Angel Lax | Home & Auto Insurance

Angel Lax
Insurance Agent AAA NCNU
Direct 510-336-7128
Claims: 800-922-8228

Our Contact Spheres - Look here for openings in our chapter

Health and Wellness
Marie Bowser, Acupuncturist
Joanne Cosgrove, Massage Therapist
Wendy Edelstein, Life Coach
Erika Gimbel, Juice Plus Consultant
June Kamerling, Pilates Instructor
Kim Baur, Health and Wellness Coach
Srinika Narayan, Nutritional Consultant
Joshua Pollack, Chiropractor
Philip Quinn, Health and Life Insurance
Chase Michna, Hair Stylist

We are seeking a qualified: 

Special Events
Fred Fassett, Printer
Paige Patrick, Soprano and Music Teacher
Tefari Casas, Videographer
Chase Michna, Hair Stylist

We are seeking a qualified: 

Automobile Related
Angel Lax, Auto Insurance
Marty Kaliski, Auto Repair

We are seeking a qualified: 

Business Services
John Van Dinther, Graphic Design
Fred Fassett, Printer
Deborah Fisher, CPA Taxes
Francis Griffin, Commercial Realtor
Katherine Korlacki, Professional Organizer
Philip Quinn, Health and Life Insurance
Bruce Roberts, Business Insurance
Ben Rosenthal, Technology Coach
Tefari Casas, Videographer

We are seeking a qualified: 


Financial Services
Deborah Fisher, Tax Accountant
Lan Shaw, Financial Advisor
Jason Wizelman, Mortgage Broker

We are seeking a qualified: 


Marketing Communications/Design/Web
Fred Fassett, Printer
Bob Spies, Web Developer
Tefari Casas, Videographer
John Van Dinther, Graphic Design
Chase Michna, Hair Stylist

We are seeking a qualified: 

Home Services:
Angel Lax, Home Insurance
Francis Griffin, Commercial Real Estate
Katherine Korlacki, Professional Organizer
Valerie Ruma, Residential Realtor
Saul Schumsky, Custom Framer
Ben Rosenthal, Technology Coach
Saul Schumsky, Custom Framer
Kim Baur, Health and Wellness Coach

We are seeking a qualified: 

Help for Finding Substitutes & The Benefits

Finding Substitutes

Each member is allowed 3 absences with a substitute and 3 absences without a substitute in the 6-month term. Keep in mind that people do business with people they know and trust.

There's nothing like showing up consistently to build credibility with your chapter members!

The best kind of substitute:

It is always better to invite someone outside the extended BNI network. Clients, friends, or colleagues who can sing your praises or someone in a profession you think might be a good fit for chapter membership, are all good choices.

Start prepping a few of these people now, so when you need them, they can sub for you. Plan in advance if you're going out of town.

The subs you invite are visitors and as such hear the informercials of your fellow chapter members. They are potential customers, so from a "giver's gain" perspective, this really helps your chapter members. (If you receive business from someone who subbed for a member, credit that member with the "thank you" slip.)

Subs get introduced by the President and get their business cards passed as well. Let your subs know it's a great opportunity for them to get publicity for their businesses when you invite them. Remind them to come on time (7 AM) to network and to bring business cards.

The second best kind of substitute:

If you can't find a "best kind of sub," the second best are members of other BNI chapters whose profession is not represented in our chapter.

You can find a list of local chapters and members on the local BNI website:, then click on "chapters," then start calling or emailing.

Professional courtesy:

Although not required, if you can't make a meeting, let the President or Vice President know. If you wake-up sick the morning of, you can send us an email.