President’s Blog


01
Oct 2018

Last week, I had the privilege of leading a delegation of representatives from five Alliance member societies through a series of meetings with state senators from Oregon. Our group consisted of government affairs professionals from the corporate offices of Thrivent Financial and Knights of Columbus; a home office fraternal executive from WoodmenLife; a member of the Sons of Norway International Board of Directors; and a field representative from Modern Woodmen of America.


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24
Sep 2018

As you read this, a delegation of Alliance members will be starting a series of meetings with Oregon legislators intended to increase lawmakers’ awareness of the fraternal community’s impact in the state. Our group includes two home office government affairs professionals; a home office fraternal executive; a fraternal field representative who lives in Salem, Oregon; a board member from a mid-sized fraternal who lives in Eugene, Oregon; the Alliance’s retained lobbyist in the state;


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04
Sep 2018

I’m hoping to see many of you this week at the Alliance Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. As I write this, the staff is all working at about 150% of capacity finalizing all the details for what promises to be an excellent educational and networking event – while at the same time preparing for the transition to our new operating model, which will be implemented in January 2019.

You will learn much more about how the “new Alliance” will impact your society and the fraternal community at the Annual Meeting.

 » Read more about:......

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27
Aug 2018

“When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit it
Then I must remember there’ll be days like this”

Van Morrison

I had one of those days earlier this month while attending the Sons of Norway (SON) “Leadership Conference” in Bloomington, Minnesota, a day of education and inspiration held in advance of the society’s International Convention. The title of the conference was “MOTIVATE – MAXIMIZE – MOBILIZE – To Benefit Your Community and Your Lodge.” And the speakers,

 » Read more about: Days like this…  »...

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20
Aug 2018

If you didn’t read the following guest editorial in The Wall Street Journal by an official from a state banking trade group calling for the repeal of the credit unions’ tax exemption, you really should. I’ve included the full text of the piece here and underlined those sentences that made my ears perk up.

I’m not re-printing this editorial to trigger a panic in the fraternal community. I fully understand that the justification for the tax exemptions for fraternals and credit unions are fundamentally different. 

 » Read more about: For fraternals, a teachable......

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13
Aug 2018

Trade associations produce four kinds of content: created, contributed, curated, and custom.

Created content is unique to the organization and created by association staff or freelancers who are subject matter experts. Contributed content comes from the minds of members. Curated content comes from third-party sources filtered by an association’s content experts. And custom content is provided by an association’s industry partners, typically for a fee.

Detailed responses to my blog post would typically be considered “contributed content.”  But the response from Marc Schoenfeld,

 » Read more about: A realistic assessment on confronting reality…  »...

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06
Aug 2018

“We’re just two funerals away from having a very good governance structure.”
CEO of an Alliance member society

Despite this darkly humorous take on the struggles of fraternals to modernize their operations, progress CAN be made without relying on the undertaker. Here are a few recent examples:

  • The National Catholic Society of Foresters, who just four years ago were given a stern warning by regulators to “shape up or ship out,” have enacted sweeping changes to......

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30
Jul 2018

We are thrilled to have Alliance keynote speaker Mark Bonchek motivate and encourage fraternals to start thinking about their organization in a new way at our Annual Meeting this September 5-7 in Minneapolis.  And he is excited to see us!  Check out his VLOG (video blog) greeting and be sure to finalize your plans to attend this incredible meeting.  (Mark mentions he will appear Wednesday during the meeting, although it’s actually a Thursday –

 » Read more about: Alliance Keynote Mark Bonchek VLOGS Fraternal Attendees a Greeting  »...

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20
Jul 2018

You’re going to need something to read during August vacation season, not to mention on your flights to and from Minneapolis for the Alliance’s Annual Meeting in early September, so here are a few suggestions…

  • Fare Thee Well (Joel Selvin) – A well-researched, if a bit tawdry, look at the four original members of the post-Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead and their struggle to come to terms with the loss of their musical and spiritual leader,
 » Read more about: A little light summer reading…  »...

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16
Jul 2018

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of fraternals looking for ways to form partnerships, alliances, or shared services arrangements in order to create the scale and scope needed to be a relevant player in the financial services market. Successfully fulfilling our social mission – the characteristic that separates us from all other financial services providers – is heavily dependent on our ability to generate the revenue that allows us to directly fund causes and programs that reflect our members’ shared values.

 » Read more about: The “Secret Sauce” of Partnering…  »...

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