President’s Blog


09
Apr 2009

The leaders of 41 NFCA member societies gathered in Las Vegas last week for the annual Presidents Section meeting.  While the setting may seem a bit incongruous – executives of fraternal societies, many with religious bonds, meeting in Sin City at the beginning of Holy Week – the combination of location, agenda topics and timing contributed to one of the best attended and most productive Section meetings in recent memory.

 » Read more about: Five Tangible Takeaways from the Presidents Section Meeting  »...

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01
Apr 2009

Board Adopts Tighter Dress Code Standards for Annual Meeting

In a unanimous vote, the NFCA Board of Directors approved a motion to enforce strict dress code standards on attendees of the 2009 Annual Meeting, scheduled for September 17-19 in San Antonio.  The requirements include Stetsons, pearl-snapped shirts, string ties, blue jeans (boot cut, of course), and boots for both men and women.  This is commonly referred to as “a Texas Tuxedo” among the locals. 

 » Read more about: Set Aside Foolish Things  »...

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24
Mar 2009

Next week I'll celebrate my one-year anniversary as president and CEO of NFCA.  Trade association executives have a unique role.  We are here to serve the members – after all, it is YOUR organization – and to lead the organization, sometimes in a direction that members may not want to go.  Balancing the "servant/leader" roles is critical to the success of the executive and the organization.  I welcome your thoughts on how I've done that over the past year.

 » Read more about: 10 things I learned from my visits with you......

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13
Mar 2009

I’ve used this blog several times to talk about the need for fraternals to develop long-term partnerships with well-respected charitable organizations.  Or we need to align ourselves with specific causes in an effort to engage in sustainable and meaningful community service activities that resonate with members and deliver real value to individuals who need the help that only caring and dedicated volunteers can provide.  In fact, I’ve talked about this so much I’m starting to sound a bit “preachy.” 

 » Read more about: Who's Your Partner?  »...

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06
Mar 2009

I know I promised several more postings about the enormously valuable Knights of Columbus “Summit on Volunteerism,” but, at least in the short term, the good news from the Aloha State trumps everything else.

I’m pleased to report that H. 1749, the bill that would have required fraternals to pay premium tax in Hawaii, has been amended to delete all references to fraternal benefit societies. 

 » Read more about: Victory in the Pacific!  »...

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01
Mar 2009

On Friday, Feb. 27, I attended the "Summit on Volunteerism" in NYC hosted by the Knights of Columbus.  And I came away inspired with a greatly expanded view of the role fraternals can play in a nation in need of community service now more than ever.

I write this on the flight home from that event.  This will be the first of several postings about the summit.  You can view the various sessions by clicking here,

 » Read more about: Neighbors Helping Neighbors  »...

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18
Feb 2009

It’s been a long, cold winter here in Chicago.  Seems like when it wasn’t snowing we had those wonderful “Alberta Clippers” that the local weather forecasters enjoy so much because they get to brush up on their wind chill calculation skills.  Seriously, once it gets below -10 degrees does it really matter?  No one’s going outside anyway.

So what do you do when it’s too cold to do anything else and you need a break from worrying about the solvency and relevance of the fraternal system and the sanctity of our tax-exempt status? 

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11
Feb 2009

Quick, what’s the biggest threat to the fraternal tax exemption? 

Most NFCA members would say congressional action to revamp the tax code and repeal a variety of longstanding exemptions in an effort to generate more revenue for the cash-strapped government.  But with federal lawmakers focused on the economic stimulus proposal, two wars, and an overhaul of financial services regulation, reform of the tax system may just have to wait.  I’m not saying we’re free and clear on the issue in 2009. 

 » Read more about: A Taxing Debate in the States  »...

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06
Feb 2009

Pardon the shameless rip-off of Dickens’ famous opening line to A Tale of Two Cities, but nothing describes the situation facing fraternals with such clarity.

Worst of Times

Let’s start with the “worst of times” part of the equation.  These are tough times for everyone and every industry.  The precipitous drop in the real estate and equities markets, and the lingering uncertainty over just how long this economic malaise will last have hit the nation hard. 

 » Read more about: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times  »...

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28
Jan 2009

I write this from Orlando, Florida, site of the 2009 Inter-Company Marketing Group's (ICMG) Annual Meeting. ICMG brings insurance manufacturers and distributors together for a single purpose: to discuss ways to create alliances and partnerships that successfully market innovative products and services to well-defined target markets through the most effective distribution system.

It's really quite a remarkable meeting. Everyone knows why they are here – to make connections that enhance their businesses'

 » Read more about: The Turkish Bazaar of Insurance Marketing  »...

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