About Us

Our Mission

By providing relevant referral marketing instruction, continuous support and compassionate consulting to develop a unified personal network; the Referral Institute creates communities of like-minded, successful entrepreneurs who generate amazing business and aspire to a spectacular life.

The Referral Institute Company Story

Today, the Referral Institute is a franchise company with over 60 regions on four continents….yet the early beginnings of the company were just a bit different. In the beginning, the forming members of the Referral Institute were also part of an organization called BNI, Business Network Intl. Seeing the need for additional referral marketing training, Dr. Ivan Misner began cultivating material that would train business professionals to implement specific procedures on referral based marketing. Dr. Misners’ many bestselling books on the subject led to creating Certified Networker, a 12 module training program that allows participants to receive the foundational knowledge that they need for a referral marketing plan for their business.

After a few years of being a “brain trust” many of the participants began developing more customizable material on referral marketing. In 2002, the company name changed from Business Referral Institute to simply Referral Institute. Dr. Ivan Misner partnered with Mike Macedonio and appointed Mike to President in May of 2003. At a partners meeting in November of 2003, the challenge of becoming a franchised training organization was decided. September 2004, marks the first sale of a Referral Institute franchise and as President, Mike Macedonio immediately spearheaded the opening of over 40 franchised regions in 8 different countries in just over 2 years! Please note that all of these franchises were generated 100% by referral! In fact, Entrepreneur.com has listed the Referral Institute in their annual top 500 franchises three years in a row.

As the company continued to expand there was a need to appoint more management positions, hence the “April 2007 Challenge” was laid out. Dr. Misner and Mike Macedonio created a challenge for all of the franchise owners: Any franchise owner attaining a specific revenue goal would have the opportunity to be interviewed for the position of partner within the organization.

The first person to hit this milestone was Eddie Esposito, franchise owner in the New Orleans area. He was able to accomplish this feat just 2 years after the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit his area. Out of any region in the world, this was one of the most unlikely places for business owners to be investing in our training programs, yet Eddie, through his incredible relationships knew that he could help these business owners “Create Referrals For Life®”. Eddie was accepted to be the first VP and Partner into the organization.

Dawn Lyons, Owner of the San Francisco Bay Area franchises, hit the mark in December of 2007. With over 20 years of public speaking and sale experience Dawn Lyons coordinates a majority of the training material, directs the Master Trainer Team, and is the co-administrator for the Referral Institute Foundation.

The organization continues to grow 100% by referral. In fact, in order to be involved with our company you must be referred! Yet, whether you are in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, India or the United States, the Referral Institute has material to help all professional business owners create MORE business by referral. As we continue to coach our clients, add new training programs, and offer customized consulting, you can be assured that the Referral Institute will be in the forefront of proactive referral strategies for its’ clients. We look forward to seeing you at the next program!

Key Executives of the Referral Institute include Senior Partner Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D., Partner & President, Michael Macedonio, Vice Presidents and Partners Dawn Lyons and Eddie Esposito.