2018 Annual Meeting Keynotes and Workshops

Thursday Keynote Mark Bonchek: Mark is in the epiphany business. His talks do more than educate and engage. They produce profound insights into the challenges and opportunities of business in the 21st century. Mark’s message of transformative change and exponential growth is relevant for leaders at every level and for organizations in every industry. Through the framework of Shift Thinking™, Mark delivers a powerful prescription for how to organize, engage, and compete in the digital age.

                                                             

Friday Keynote Bradford L. Hewitt: Brad Hewitt is CEO of Thrivent Financial, a not-for-profit Fortune 500 organization dedicated to helping Christians be wise with money and live generously. He speaks regularly on how a redefined relationship with money can help us find and live out our call in life. Brad will also speak about his experiences as a participant in the Itasca Project, an employer-led civic alliance in the Twin-Cities area, focused on building a thriving economy and improved quality of life.

                                                             

Friday Keynote Thomas W. Mucha: From the main stage at the Friday General Session, geopolitical analyst Thomas Mucha will entertain and enlighten attendees with his perspectives on the geopolitical landscape and implications for fraternal executives, investors and asset owners.  We are thrilled to have Thomas join us; he was a highly rated speaker at the Alliance’s Spring Symposium and wowed the crowd.

Thomas is a member of the global Macroanalysis Team with a research focus on the macro and market implications of geopolitical risk. In his role he also focuses on internal and external communication efforts, with a particular emphasis on connecting our macro insights to actionable investment ideas in client portfolios. In addition, he writes Wellington’s Macroland blog and is a frequent speaker at Wellington client events and investment seminars worldwide.

Prior to joining Wellington Management in 2015, Thomas had a successful career in journalism as a writer, producer, and editor focused on global business, economics, and geopolitics. He joined Wellington Management from GlobalPost, where he oversaw editorial operations and wrote a column on global business and economics, as well as its Macro blog on the global economy (2008 – 2015). Prior to GlobalPost, Thomas worked as a writer, producer, and editor for CNN and CNN International in New York and London, where he covered Wall Street and the US and global economies, including emerging markets (1991 – 1998). He also worked in similar roles at Time Inc.’s Business 2.0 Magazine (2001 – 2005), and Crain’s Chicago Business (2005 – 2008).

Thomas earned his MA in international relations and economics from the University of Chicago (2002) and his BA in English from Michigan State University (1991). 

                                                            

Annual Meeting Workshops

Thursday, September 6

A-B-C: 1:30 – 2:30 pm

A-D-E: 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Workshop A – The Importance of Diversity on Non-Profit Boards

1:30 – 2:30 pm 

Jocelyn D. Wright, MBA, CFP®, Assistant Professor, Women Studies, The American College of Financial Services

Learn why your society should make it a priority to measure, monitor and increase all types of diversity at the board level.  Your mission can be achieved more readily if opinions and decision-making come from a varied group of qualified people who may represent your financial security mission, your culture or religion, or who come from the communities that your society serves on the fraternal side.  Join financial services expert Jocelyn D. Wright, MBA, CFP®, and fraternal executives who will talk about the benefits of a diverse board of directors and the challenges fraternals face stemming from archaic and restrictive bylaws and a change-adverse culture.

Workshop A (2.0!) – Embracing Diversity at the Home Office, Within the Membership and Among the Field Force

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Jocelyn D. Wright, MBA, CFP®, Assistant Professor, Women Studies, The American College of Financial Services

NEW PANELIST ADDED:

Lezlie Taylor, Vice President, Enterprise Market Development, Strategic Development, Thrivent Financial

Jocelyn D. Wright, MBA, CFP® returns to the stage to address diversity issues within the society staff and how to create a more beneficially diverse membership while still supporting your society’s mission and common bond.  Jocelyn will be joined by fraternal executives who will discuss these efforts including those to attract a diverse field force to help achieve membership goals.

Workshop B – Technology: Get on Board or Get Out of the Way

1:30 – 2:30 pm

Michael Ahles, Senior Vice President & Secretary/Treasurer, Catholic United Financial
Stuart Buchanan, FLMI, Chief Operating Officer, KSKJ Life
Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action
    

Your society doesn’t have to be the next Google or Amazon, but you can’t rely on legacy systems held together by spit, chicken wire, and prayer either.  The bottom line is that fraternals can’t attract and serve the next generation of members without making a significant investment in upgraded technology.  Karen Furtado is an acknowledged expert on insurance technology and will help you make the right technology investment tomorrow by helping you make the right technology decision today.  An uninformed technology decision can cost your society millions of dollars. Karen and our fraternal executives will help you and your management team tie your needs, budget and objectives together into a comprehensive roadmap that will guide your technology decisions and transform your organization.

Workshop C – Motivating and Rewarding Your Sales Force without Breaking the Bank

1:30 – 2:30 pm

  • Rick Kremel, CLU, LUTCF, ChFC, FIC, Advisor, Catholic Financial Life
  • Stew Lyman, Director of Distribution, Modern Woodmen of America
  • Jimmy Tirres, FIC, CLU, LUTCF, General Agent, Catholic Life Insurance
  • Mark A. Walsworth, CFP, CLU, FIC, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Catholic Order of Foresters 

Nothing happens until a sale is made.  And for the vast majority of fraternal life insurance and annuities products, those sales are made by field representatives having face-to-face conversations with prospective members.  Providing those individuals with the tools to be your society’s most effective “face and voice” is critical to the success of every Alliance member.  And as more fraternals utilize independent producers who can place business with more than one insurer, ensuring that these field representatives understand and embrace your society’s values and promote the characteristics of the fraternal model that most appeal to consumers is more important than ever.  Our panel of fraternal sales and marketing experts will share the secrets of their success that you can use to motivate and reward your sales force without spending a fortune.

Workshop D – Navigating the Perfect Storm of Financial Regulation, Product Regulation, and Cost Containment

3:00 – 4:00 pm

  • Lori Newberg, FSA, MAAA, Executive Vice President & CFO, Miller & Newberg Consulting Actuaries
  • Jack H. Brier, Chairman of the Board of Directors; President; Chief Executive Officer; Founder, USAC & USALSC

These three factors could undermine your society’s ability to accomplish its social mission and fulfill its financial promise to members.  What is your society doing to deal with the situation?

  • Financial Regulation = RBC topic and the Consolidation of the Annual Statement (Removal of the “Brown Book”)
  • Product Regulation = 2017 CSO Implementation with Reinsurance and Legacy Systems Updates
  • Cost Containment = Creating a Virtual Home Office, Strategic & Succession Planning Discussions

Lori Newberg, FSA, MAAA, Executive Vice President & CFO

Lori’s 30+ years of actuarial experience include the design and pricing of insurance products, reinsurance solutions, valuation, asset adequacy analysis, corporate projections, modeling, and risk management. She serves clients in varied capacities such as Appointed Actuary, Illustration Actuary, and Product Development Actuary. Her clients include fraternal benefit societies, insurance companies, reinsurers, audit firms, and regulators. Lori is a Board of Director for Modern Woodmen of America. She has served on the Actuaries Section Advisory Council of the American Fraternal Alliance, Small Companies council member within the Society of Actuaries, as president of the local actuary’s club, as president of a local women’s golf association, and is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics. Her passions are faith, family, and fun.

Jack H. Brier, Chairman of the Board of Directors; President; Chief Executive Officer; Founder, USAC & USALSC

Jack served Kansas as Secretary of State from 1978-1987 and as President of the Kansas Development Finance Authority from 2000-2003. He attended Shawnee Mission public schools and holds a degree in Business Administration from Washburn University. He has also done graduate study in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. Mr. Brier is on the Board of Directors of Financial Institution Technologies, and he has served on the Board of Directors of AmVestors Investment Group, Inc., AmVestors Financial Corporation and Columbian National Title Insurance Company. Mr. Brier also has extensive community relations experience through his involvement in civic, business, and philanthropic organizations in the Topeka area.

Workshop E – How to Make Lasting & Impactful Connections with Members

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Becky Cummings, MBA, LLIF, CIC, LUTCF, CPIW, Assistant Vice President and AVP and National Sales Director at Foresters Financial
Ellen Sabin, MPH, MPA, President, Watering Can Press
Bryan Dreisbach, Vice President, Product Development, AmeriLife Group

This unique trio will share ways to fashion programs to motivate, inspire, and support producers in making deep, lasting, and impactful connections to the family market to build their brand and their business.