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Pamlico Portfolio Company BNI® Announces New CEO

Mary Kennedy Thompson Named as Incoming CEO of BNI; Graham Weihmiller Steps Up to Executive Chairman & Chairman

May 08, 2024


Charlotte, NC

Today, BNI, the largest global business network of its kind in the world, announced it has hired Mary Kennedy Thompson to lead BNI and its affiliates (CorporateConnections® and Scion Social) as CEO effective July 8th, 2024.

Thompson, most recently Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Neighborly®, brings an impressive 30 years of successful experience in franchising, supporting business owners, global expansion & development, and compassionate, effective leadership. As COO at Neighborly, the world's largest home services company with 30 brands and 5,500 franchises in 6 countries, Thompson oversaw its ongoing business operations and successfully led the execution of key organizational strategies.

Thompson is thrilled to be stepping in to lead BNI as its 5th CEO in its 40-year history at a time when the organization continues to set new records. In the last year alone, BNI's 320,000+ Members generated over $23 billion USD in revenue from over 15.7 million valuable new client referrals. This vibrant activity creates significant economic development and job creation in thousands of communities worldwide.

And BNI is just getting started. Over the past decade, BNI has doubled its membership (from 160,000 Members to more than 320,000), increased the size of its corporate team by ten times, and pioneered world-class technology & product innovation. On July 8th, Weihmiller will step up to become BNI's Executive Chairman, and will continue to serve as Chairman of the organization focusing on strategic initiatives that provide transformative opportunities for BNI Members and Directors worldwide.

"I've known Mary for more than 10 years. She's such a terrific leader, so aligned with BNI's Core Values, and so exceptionally experienced in supporting entrepreneurs and business owners. She also brings a global life experience to BNI," shares Graham Weihmiller, BNI's Chairman & CEO. "This is an incredible opportunity for BNI. And the future is bright for BNI Members and Directors worldwide."

Of her new appointment, Thompson said, "I'm thrilled to join the BNI team. I've known of BNI for 29 years and have long encouraged business owners through the years to join BNI Chapters for the value it brings to its Members. I was actually a BNI Member back in 1995 when I was a franchise owner, so this is a full circle moment for me. I've gotten to know BNI even better through this process, and I'm excited to learn even more as I build relationships with leaders throughout the organization. I'm honored to be stepping into the CEO role of this impressive and impactful organization, and I look forward to what we can accomplish together."

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About Pamlico

Pamlico Capital is a private equity firm founded in 1988 that invests in growing middle market companies in North America. Pamlico Capital seeks control-oriented growth equity investments of up to $200 million alongside founders and proven leaders in its target industries: communications, healthcare IT, information services, tech-enabled services and software. The firm, based in Charlotte, NC, has assets under management of approximately $3.5 billion. For additional information, please visit

Charlotte, NC