President’s Blog


12
Feb 2018

Folks:

This is my dear friend Bill Coyle and his wonderful daughter, Maddie. There are three things I love about Bill: he hits a golf ball further than any 63-year-old has a right to; he has a cat-that-caught-the-canary twinkle in his eye that’s infectious; and he always – ALWAYS – manages to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

That last characteristic is largely due to his wife, Sue.

 » Read more about: It’s St. Baldrick’s time......

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05
Feb 2018

The most striking difference between the state and federal legislative processes is…speed. Bills rarely move quickly through the U.S. Congress, and are often carried over from session to session.

State legislative sessions, on the other hand, are typically far shorter – 30, 60, 90 days – which means a bill can move from introduction, to committee hearing, to a floor vote, to the governor’s desk at what seems like warp speed. That’s exactly what happened on a measure to repeal the fraternal tax exemption in South Dakota this year,

 » Read more about: Six ways......

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30
Jan 2018

Thanks to compelling testimony provided by local reps of Thrivent Financial, Modern Woodmen of America and Catholic Order of Foresters, the South Dakota Taxation Committee soundly defeated SENATE BILL 1181, a bill that would have repealed the tax exemption for fraternals and county farm bureau mutuals today. The committee’s action effectively kills the bill for the 2018 session.

While the Alliance briefed each member of the committee on the value of the fraternal exemption prior to......

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29
Jan 2018

Thanks to years of painstaking work educating Members of Congress about the value and viability of the fraternal business model and the tax exemption on which that model is built, the Alliance and its members came out of the most extensive debate over federal tax reform in decades without a scratch.

Hail to the victors, right?

Not so fast.

State legislative sessions are just now getting underway and in at least two of them – South Dakota and Oregon – lawmakers will be considering measures to repeal the fraternal tax exemption. 

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23
Jan 2018

Having recently completed an extensive strategic planning project with the Alliance Board of Directors – one that resulted in the adoption of an entirely new operating model for the organization – I’ve become a much more avid student of the process. I’ve got my own core beliefs about the common characteristics needed to make any strategic planning exercise a success. These include: a) start with “Why?”; and b) bring in an objective and experienced consultant as a facilitator.

 » Read more about: Four great articles on one important topic: strategic planning  »...

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15
Jan 2018

Sometime last year, I came across an executive survey – I think it may have been done by Forbes magazine, but don’t quote me on that – that found that nearly two-thirds of CEOs said that they were likely to form an alliance with a “non-traditional” partner in the next three years. And just this week, I came across a couple of news stories that back up those findings.

The first was a story from the January 11,

 » Read more about: Welcome to......

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08
Jan 2018

2017 is behind us. By any standard, the year was a success for the Alliance and its members. In the congressional arena, the Alliance kept the fraternal tax exemption off the table during the most significant tax reform debate in 30 years. At the NAIC, the Alliance secured an exemption from PBR requirements for small insurers that would have imposed expensive and unnecessary regulatory requirements on small life insurers, including many fraternals. Representatives from virtually every member society participated in at least one of our conferences and webinars,

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18
Dec 2017

A few dedicated readers of this post have mentioned that I have not listed any favorite books in a while, so here’s a few that would make great gifts for the readers on your “nice” list…

Alexander Hamilton (Ron Chernow) – I knew about as much about Alexander Hamilton as the average American before this summer, and that was that he was the first Secretary of the Treasury and was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.


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11
Dec 2017

The fact that I haven’t written about governance issues in a while does not diminish their importance for individual societies or the future of the fraternal system.  That point has been driven home in recent weeks as I’ve heard governance nightmares – as well as one beacon of hope – from one fraternal CEO after another.  And underscoring all these developments within the fraternal community is the action taken last week by the NAIC’s Financial Standards and Accreditation Committee to approve the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Act (CGAD) as an accreditation......

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04
Dec 2017

Despite some last-minute hand-wringing and because of some last-minute horse-trading, the Senate did what most pundits thought they would do – and what most GOP leaders felt they had to do – and passed a bill enacting sweeping reforms to the U.S. Tax Code on a 51-49 party line vote. The House passed its version of tax reform several weeks earlier. The differences between the two measures will be reconciled by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee.

 » Read more about: Senate passage of tax bill brings reform one step closer…......

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