Better Referral Network | BNI

We are highly inspired, talented, diverse professionals 
who work to make sure each member is successful. 

We are a springboard for business opportunities, 
welcoming visitors, growing to 33 members 
and generating $1.3 million 
in referral business this year.

We meet in person in West Berkeley

Join us! Thursdays
7 to 8:30 AM

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.

Please register here to visit
or contact our President
Bruce Roberts (510) 860-6116 for more information

Our Chapter Roster

Introducing the outstanding business owners 
of the 
Better Referral Network Chapter 
BNI-San Francisco Bay Area

Access the Chapter Roster Here

Bruce Roberts | Business Insurance & our PRESIDENT

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

Josh Wulkan | Financial Advisor & our VICE-PRESIDENT

Josh Wulkan
Edward Jones
Making Sense of Investing

1301 Solano Ave Suite 201, Albany, CA 94706
510-237-3495 | Fax: 877-498-5789

Deborah Fisher | Tax Accountant & our SECRETARY/TREASURER

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.

Before starting her own company, she worked as the director of the tax department for Willams Adley and at 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.

Deborah Fisher
Director, Tax Department
Fischer and Company, LLP

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

Arthur Brito | Landscape Designer & EDUCATION CO-COORDINATOR


Arthur Brito has been practicing landscape design in California since 1998. With a landscape architecture degree from the University of California, Davis, Arthur developed his residential landscape design focus while working at a small firm in Sacramento. 

Since then, he has worked on a broad range of projects ranging from large-scale residential remodels to creative small-space solutions in urban settings. Arthur is skilled at designing livable spaces that respect the natural environment and take advantage of the Bay Area’s distinctive micro-climates. 

He shares his passion for creative landscape design by actively engaging clients throughout the creative process. With clear communication and expert advice, Arthur helps his clients attain their dream landscapes.

Arthur Brito
Arborealis Landscape Design

Matthew Stachnik | Electronics Retailer/Security Systems

Matthew Stachnik

Living in Technology Inc.
70 Lambert Way
Novato, Marin 94945

Srinika Narayan | Nutritional Consultant

Srinika Narayan, M.S. helps patients with a wide range of health issues using Nutritional Analysis. She works with clients at her office and in remote sessions.  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


Angel Lax | Home & Auto Insurance

Angel Lax
Allstate Insurance Co

19845 Lake Chabot Rd #102
Castro Valley, 94546

Javier (JJ) Davila | Painting Contractor

JJ's Painting Service
is a family-owned business serving the East Bay and Contra Costa County

Fast, Precise, & Fair

JJ’s Fine Painting is ready to handle whatever painting and refinishing needs you have with a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. For the past 16 years, Javier and his team have been making San Francisco Bay Area homes and businesses look beautiful and brand new again—inside and out.

You can reach JJ at:

(510) 998-6021‬

Fred Fassett | Printing Services & OUR EVENT COORDINATOR

Fred Fassett heads Minuteman Press. Fred was trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence Rhode Island and started his printing career with a neighborhood newspaper he wrote, printed and distributed in his Pennsylvania hometown. Fred worked as a technical writer, photographer and businessman before starting Captain Copy in 1972.

Fred Fassett brings fifty years of experience as a printer, graphic designer, writer and photographer to the operations of Minuteman Press of Berkeley.

Minuteman Press Berkeley Staff
Contact Fred:
1101 Fifth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
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.

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

Melissa Donahue | Life & Disability Insurance Agent

Melissa Donahue

Life & Disability Agent with New York Life

As an agent with New York Life, I am excited about the work we do for our clients. I would love to share with you how New York Life can be of service to you and your family. I love working with people that I respect and admire, and I would be honored to work with you. I offer a variety of products that can help you meet a number of insurance and financial needs, including, but not limited to college funding, retirement, managing costs for extended periods of care and lifetime income strategies. Please contact me to help you fully analyze your needs and recommend appropriate solutions.


Leah Bloom | In-Home Caregivers & OUR EDUCATION CO-COORDINATOR

Leah Bloom

Homewatch Caregivers of Oakland
In-Home Caregivers in Oakland
Committed to Your Loved One’s Happiness

Caring for a loved one who cannot live completely independently can be emotionally and physically exhausting, no matter how able or young you are. Fortunately, our in-home caregiving services in Oakland are available to you. Whether your beloved family member is facing physical or mental challenges due to age or a special condition, our Oakland senior care team can take the time to find the perfect care team for his or her needs.

Want to learn more about our home care services?
Contact us at (510) 953-5112 for a complimentary evaluation!

Crystal Gourdine | Women's Clothing Retailer


Crystal Gourdine

Virtual & In-Person Styling

I am a SF Bay Area CAbi Stylist 

who inspires confidence, style and self love for women!!

Jeff Roberts | Computer Systems Consultant

(650) 591-5408

At Jeff R. Roberts & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing IT solutions for small companies of all types.

Programs we offer include:

Cloud Services
With Cloud Computing from Jeff R. Roberts & Associates, Inc., you can ensure business continuity, avoiding costly disruption through the following services:
On-line Cloud Backup
Remote Desktop
Spam and Virus Filtering
Cloud Server
Microsoft Office 365

Managed Services
With our managed IT services solutions, you can avoid the high costs and hassles that come with trying to support and manage your IT in-house. You'll have more time and resources to devote to activities that build your business - acquiring more leads, closing sales, and finding new sources of profit.

Data Protection
Is your company prepared for a critical information loss due to a natural disaster or complete system failure? If not, we can help. We can provide you the access and data protection you require at an affordable monthly rate, assuring business continuity and giving you peace of mind..

Hosting Services
Designing and supporting an IT infrastructure is cost-prohibitive for most small businesses. We can help you by examining your needs and delivering the tech support, backup and secure data access your company requires to function at its best.

Using the power of the Internet to make and receive phone calls, VoIP systems can greatly improve your communication and provide you with options not available with traditional phone systems. You'll reduce your phone bills while improving flexibility for staff, allowing a connection to your office phone system from anywhere Internet access is offered.

Vendor Management
Our vendor management services allow you to get better, faster service from top providers. We'll help you combine relationships and decipher all the technical lingo, getting you the service you require to help your business grow and succeed.

Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
Technology changes quickly - and the set-up and management costs are high. Our HaaS program gives you the technical guidance, hardware and software you need as part of a monthly package. You'll keep up with technology, giving your employees the most modern equipment and boosting productivity.

Business IT Support
Searching for helpful, local tech support? Look no further. We provide IT support services for small businesses on a per-hour or per-incident basis. Whether you need guidance with hardware and software installation, virus protection and removal, or basic tech support, we can help.

Online Marketing
Need help navigating all the current online marketing options out there? Our consultants can help you plan, carry out, and track your online efforts, helping you connect with more prospects looking for what you offer. You'll get quick, cost-effective results that are much easier to evaluate than traditional marketing tactics.

Paige Patrick | Soprano and Voice Teacher

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

(510) 374-4586

Jason Wizelman | Mortgage Broker

Jason Wizelman
SVP of Residential Lending
C: 510-367-5562  O: 510-913-9369  F: 630-268-5610
Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
1647 Hopkins Street
Berkeley, CA 94707

NMLS: 1533992 | Company NMLS: 2551

Jill Schneider | Chiropractor

Jill Schneider is a Network Chiropractor at the Vitality Center in Emeryville.

Dr. Jill is passionate about helping people tap in, turn on, and expand their living operating system beyond what they thought possible, to live a life that is extraordinary. She is a mother, seeker, rebel, and vitalistic chiropractor.

She was destined to be a healer when, as a young child, she would walk on her mother's back to ease her pain. She intuitively knew that the brain & body held the secrets to its operation and healing, but wondered why it went awry.  A degree in biology didn’t provide the answer. It wasn’t until she was at a crossroads in her life that she discovered chiropractic. Not only did it help her emotionally, as well as physically, but that its original premise is to work with the power that made the body to heal that body. That was it! She was determined to optimize that power, and has been doing so for over a decade.

Dr. Jill graduated with honors from Life Chiropractic College West in 2004, and has continued advance study in Network Spinal Analysis & Epi-Energetics, cranio-sacral therapy and reiki. Always pursuing the best for her patients, she holds the highest certifications in NSA. When not flying off to seminars, she spends her free time with her husband and two daughters, hiking, traveling, listening to music, or binge watching The Daily Show.


Vitality Center

5901 Christie Ave

Suite #105

Emeryville, CA 94608

Our Contact Spheres - Look here for openings in our chapter

Health and Wellness
Teresa Lau, Chiropractor
Srinika Narayan, Nutritional Consultant
Kelly Kessler, Shaman

We are seeking a qualified: 

Special Events
Fred Fassett, Printer
Paige Patrick, Soprano and Music Teacher

We are seeking a qualified: 

Automobile Related
Angel Lax, Auto Insurance
Teresa Lau, Chiropractor

We are seeking a qualified: 

Business Services
Brandon Tomas, Telecommunications
Fred Fassett, Printer
Deborah Fisher, CPA Taxes
Francis Griffin, Commercial Realtor
Jeff Roberts, Computer Consultant
Katherine Korlacki, Professional Organizer
Bruce Roberts, Business Insurance
Ben Rosenthal, Technology Coach
Jason Wizelman, Mortgage Broker

We are seeking a qualified: 

Financial Services
Deborah Fisher, Tax Accountant
Jason Wizelman, Mortgage Broker
Josh Wulkan, Financial Planner
Melissa Donahue, Life Insurance

We are seeking a qualified: 

Marketing Communications/Design/Web
Fred Fassett, Printer

We are seeking a qualified: 

Home Services:
Declan Spring, Residential Realtor
Michael Robbins, Architect
Angel Lax, Home Insurance
Javier Davila, Housecleaning
Katherine Korlacki, Professional Organizer
Ben Rosenthal, Technology 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.