Meet the Authors
Ivan Misner, Ph.D.
Dr. Ivan Misner is the founder and chief visionary officer of BNI (Business Network International), the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985, the organization now has over 8,500 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 9.1 million referrals, resulting in 13.1 billion dollars’ worth of business for its members.
Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 22 books. He is also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.
Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and one of the “Top Networking Experts” by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, as well as on numerous TV and radio shows, including The Today Show on NBC and programs on CNN and the BBC.
Among his many awards, he has been named Humanitarian of the Year by the American Red Cross and was recently the recipient of the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is also proud to be the co-founder of the BNI Charitable Foundation. He and his wife, Elisabeth, are now empty nest-ers with three adult children. Oh, and in his spare time, he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.
Rick Sapio is a lifelong entrepreneur who started his first business, a bicycle repair shop, after the death of his father when he was just 13 years old. Since then, he has founded more than 20 companies. Rick is the seventh of nine children raised by a mother with serious, lifelong mental-health issues. He learned early in life that it’s best to think positively about the cards one’s been dealt—no matter how difficult those cards seem.
Since 1994, Rick has been the founder and CEO of Mutual Capital Alliance, Inc. (MCA), a financial holding company. MCA, both directly and through its affiliated funds, has invested into more than 100 different companies over the years. Rick is the founding and six-time chairman of the Gathering of Titans program. This event is an “entrepreneurs-only” event in its 14th year, held annually at MIT in Boston. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.S. in engineering.
In the 41 years since he started his first business, Rick has learned that business growth and success are accelerated when a few key principles are applied. When Rick realized that less than 1% of companies implement these skills, he decided to create Business Finishing School (BFS). The BFS
program, both online and in semi-annual live events, is designed to teach the 12 Foundational Principles of Business, which form the foundation of the program. He believes that virtually any individual or company can be put on the straightforward path to prosperity and exponential growth by learning to implement these principles. Rick resides in Dallas with his wife, Melissa, and their four children.
Stewart Emery co-authored the international bestseller Success Built to Last. He has a lifetime of experience as an entrepreneur, executive coach and leader, and is considered a thought leader of the Human Potential Movement. Stewart has served as Visiting Professor at the John F. Kennedy University School of Management and led programs at the Stanford Business School.
Over the last 15 years Stewart has led thousands of employees and hundreds of managers through Vision - Values - Strategy - Leadership initiatives based on research from the international bestsellers Built to Last (Collins and Porras), Good to Great (Collins), and Success Built to Last (Porras, Emery, and Thompson). Stewart has led workshops, seminars, and delivered keynotes all over the world.
His bestselling book Do You Matter?—How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company was released in September 2008. Coauthored with iconic designer Robert
Brunner, who founded Apple’s legendary Industrial Design Group and hired Jony Ive, it is considered a business book that does matter.
A wonderful storyteller with a great sense of humor, Stewart has appeared as a featured guest on television and radio talk shows. He has conducted coaching interviews with more than 12,000 people in the last three decades. In the late ’70s he was selected by the national media as one of the ten most influential people in the Human Potential Movement. He has been awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree by John F. Kennedy University in acknowledgment of his contributions.
Stewart’s portfolio of passions includes aviation (he and his wife, Joan, are both instrument-rated pilots and fly a Beechcraft Bonanza), coffee, food, jazz, baroque music, travel, and technology. He and Joan live by the San Francisco Bay.