President’s Blog

Dec 2016

In my final post for 2016, I want to highlight the incredible value fraternals bring to communities in the United States and Canada every single day.  It’s this value – and these values – that make the Alliance’s advocacy, education, information, and networking efforts to foster a bright future for the fraternal model all worthwhile.  On behalf of the Alliance staff, thank you for allowing us to lead and serve you for another year.


  • Recent posts have promoted Alliance member contributions to the new Smithsonian......

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Dec 2016

giving-in-america-1After months of meetings and teleconferences, and the transmission of dozens of photos of iconic fraternal society memorabilia and archival material, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History opened its Giving in America exhibition earlier this week and FRATERNALS WERE THERE!  The exhibition is part of the Smithsonian’s “Philanthropy Initiative” and is intended to run for 20 years or more.  The 2017 exhibit focuses on “Philanthropy and the Environment,” and highlights the incredible efforts that individual......

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Nov 2016

Whether you’re on Outlook or a Daytimer – or, like me, using a combination of both 16th century and 21st century calendar technology – here are three events you need to include on your schedule for next year…

Alliance Executive Summit – April 3-5, 2017 – W – Chicago – City Center

2017-es-logo-treatmentWe’re going to roll out an entirely new format for this meeting in response to demand from member society CEOs. 

 » Read more about: Three Dates to Remember in 2017…  »...

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Nov 2016

There are so many things I have to be thankful for this year.  Family, friends, and good health certainly top that list, because without those nothing else really matters.  But this year I’ve been thinking about the many blessings that I’ve received during my nearly nine-year stint as president and CEO of the American Fraternal Alliance.  And I wanted to say a special “thank you” to all of you who have made my tenure exceptionally rewarding and our shared futures exceptionally bright…

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Nov 2016


The stunning results of last Tuesday’s election – a Trump presidency and GOP control of both the U.S. House and Senate – will have a significant impact on U.S. foreign and domestic policy, including several issues that could affect fraternals and their members. Late last week I met with representatives of Capitol Counsel, the Alliance’s federal legislative advocacy firm, and other financial services industry leaders to assess the potential ramifications of the election results and their......

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Nov 2016

One of my favorite scenes from the movie “City Slickers” is where Curly, the leather-skinned cowboy played by Jack Palance, is giving Mitch, the mid-life crisis ridden New Yorker played by Billy Crystal, a little unsolicited life advice.


Curly: “Do you know what the secret of life is?”  (Holds up one finger.)  “This.”

Mitch: “Your finger?”

Curly: “One thing.  Just one thing.  You stick to that and the rest don’t mean nothing.”

Mitch: “But what is the ‘one thing?’”

Curly: “That’s what you have to find out.”

After comparing notes......

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Oct 2016

I took some time off earlier this month and had a chance to catch up on some reading – fiction, non-fiction, and blogs (oh, my!).  Here’s a quick look at the highlights:


According to a leading entertainment trade publication, the AMC network has given the greenlight to a new series titled Lodge 49, which will be executive produced by Paul Giamatti.  The drama tells the story of Dud,

 » Read more about: Prime time for fraternals…......

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Oct 2016

This week we hear from Guest Blogger and Alliance Executive Vice President Allison Koppel

wrigleyOur fraternal benefit societies are a special group of life insurers, and we are stronger together than we are alone on many fronts. This uniquely applies to the power of the collective information and data that we all keep that, when shared, provide valuable insights into how we do business. Since the Alliance is one of very few trade associations serving fraternals,

 » Read more about: Winning Is About Getting the......

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Oct 2016


At last month’s Alliance Annual Meeting, Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane challenged fraternal leaders to both think differently and act decisively if they were to successfully compete against their larger and better capitalized commercial competitors.

During a presentation on the Alliance’s proposed fraternal branding initiative later that day, Alliance Board member and former Board Chair Harald Borrmann of Catholic United Financial, characterized the members’ decision to move forward on the project as......

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