Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The History of BENG

The origins of the Business Executives Networking Group (BENG) date back to the spring of 2003, when three Financial Executive Networking Group (FENG) members: Peter Frost, Andy Lupfer and Dave Suchniak began holding bi-weekly breakfast meetings at the Panera Bread restaurant on East Market Street in York.

The group “volunteered” Peter Frost to apply to the FENG National Executive to form the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of FENG. While the group was waiting for their FENG chapter to be approved, they decided to start an independent group of executives from all disciplines, modeled after the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (GPSEG) and the International Executive Resources Group (IERG). In July of 2003, the first meeting of what became known as CPENG (Central Pennsylvania Executive Networking Group), that ultimately became BENG, was held at the Panera Bread restaurant on East Market Street in York with six attendees.

Tony DiGirolamo, the Career Services Committee Chair for the Central PA Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI), joined Peter to help build CPENG and to provide a place for FEI members to go when they are in transition. In December 2003, Peter received authorization to start the FENG’s Susquehanna Valley Chapter. As a result, the joint monthly meeting of the CPENG/FEI/FENG was born.

Tony DiGirolamo and Peter Frost shared the duties of building CPENG and eventually agreed to be co-chairs of the group with Peter as the President and Founder. In February, 2004 Tony developed the first membership list which had about 30 members.

In the Summer of 2006, Tony Peluso joined the leadership team and volunteered to developed its website. After doing so, he called Tony and Peter to show them what he had done. From then on, the group became a triumvirate volunteering their time and effort to build the group.

As 2007 rolled on, it became apparent that CPENG had become too time-consuming for the team to manage with spreadsheets alone. Members were asked for their input in setting the future course for the organization. After much effort, a member management and data base website was leased and built, and on March 11, 2009 BENG was born. Since then volunteers have come forward to take over manageable chunks of the organization.

As you read this, thanks to its core of volunteers, THE BENG has grown to over 1500 members. It holds monthly meetings in Baltimore MD, Bucks County PA, Charleston SC, Charlotte NC, Metro Denver CO, Harrisburg PA, Lancaster PA, Lehigh Valley PA, Media PA, Northern Colorado, Northern Virginia, Plymouth Meeting PA, Princeton NJ, Radnor PA, Reading PA, South Jersey, West Chester PA, Wilmington DE, and York PA.

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