In the fall of 2001, CBN founder and president, Michael Chetelat was laid off from a company where he had served as VP of Information Systems for several years, thereby finding himself unemployed and in search of a new career. Unable to secure any form of gainful employment, he decided to venture out and start two small businesses of his own – SYNERGETEC and WebMeisters. Wanting to network with other Christian business people for a variety of reasons, he also decided to search the Internet for existing networking organization for Christians. To his amazement, he discovered not a single organization on a national scope was dedicated to fostering collaborative relationships among Christian business people.
In early 2002, he began meeting with several Christian businessmen to explore and develop the concept of an organization that would foster the development of trustworthy connections and collaborative relationships among Christian business people. Their objective soon became clear – to hammer out a distinctly Christian model of a business networking organization.
- They began with the theological conviction that God created people to do most everything more effectively within the context of community according to His providential design (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 / Ephesians 4:15-16).
- They observed a growing interest among Christians to network with other business people in order to explore new business opportunities and to expand their base of trustworthy connections.
- They discovered that partnering with other competent and reputable business people for mutual benefit was exactly what many successful people and secular companies were already doing.
Upon researching other well-established secular networking organizations, they concluded that in order to build a distinctly Christian networking organization, they must strive to maintain three priorities:
- To work and network according to the principles of Scripture and in a manner worthy of the Lord.
- To promote the building of trustworthy connections among the membership in every way possible.
- To provide members with access to valuable resources that could equip them to serve people with integrity and represent Christ with excellence in the marketplace.
CBN's Mission ultimately became that of providing God’s people with valuable resources, networking opportunities, and world-class services to help them fulfill their calling and maximize their impact in the marketplace.
For a detailed historical account of CBN’s major events and milestones, please refer to the Answered Prayer page of the Power Source section in the footer.
(Photo of Original Advisory Council above from left to right: Elmer Bley, Charlie Jones, Bill Tamulonis, John Cicone, Paul Lantz, Chuck Whitmore, Paul Twining, Steve Medinger, Paul Bender, John Chetelat, Matti Paavola, Michael Chetelat)