President’s Blog


11
Sep 2009

We’ve all heard the rhetorical question…”If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” 

The fraternal version of that colloquialism is: “If we do good things in the community and don’t tell anyone about them, do they matter?”

I’m not disputing the value of the contributions we make to the lives of individuals and communities every day.  Even if we never tell a soul about them,

 » Read more about: Making Sure Folks Hear the Sound of the Falling Tree…  »...

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03
Sep 2009

For the first time in several years, the NFCA Annual Meeting will include a community service activity that will allow members to demonstrate to the local community exactly “who we are and what we do.”  At about noon on Thursday, September 17, the more than 125 volunteers that have signed up to participate will board buses at the Grand Hyatt for the short drive to the Family Service Association (FSA) for an afternoon of interior painting and exterior landscaping work. 

 » Read more about: Showing the fraternal colors…......

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28
Aug 2009

If my visits to NFCA members have taught me anything, it’s that diversity of the fraternal system is our greatest attribute – and a compelling reason to ensure the survival of as many societies as possible in an age of consolidation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big advocate of fraternal mergers; especially ones done for strategic rather than survival reasons.  But if we merge ourselves down to a system of only a dozen players,

 » Read more about: Random thoughts on a rainy Friday…  »...

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26
Aug 2009

By now you’ve read the electronic announcement and may have even received the hard copy letter and marketing materials providing details about the NFCA’s new group-buying discount on lab services through Heritage Labs.  This program is just a small indication of the benefits that a cooperative shared-services approach can deliver to all NFCA members – large and small.  By combining the purchasing power of the fraternal system, we can command more respect – and lower prices – in the marketplace. 

 » Read more about: Seven Reasons Why Your Society Should......

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18
Aug 2009

I’m convinced that if more people knew they had a choice about where they purchase their financial service products, they would select the fraternal option.  Think about it.  If average consumers – folks who didn’t know a thing about who we are and what we do – knew that they could buy life insurance from an organization that funded social service projects in their community and encouraged members (not policyholders) to participate in volunteer efforts,

 » Read more about: If people knew they had a choice…  »...

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14
Aug 2009

Every now and then I'll read about a business development – a new product, a strategic alliance, an innovative distribution method – and say to myself, "now THAT makes sense."

That was exactly my reaction to this week's announcement that Catholic Knights and Catholic Family Life Insurance were joining forces through a merger that was seemingly made in heaven.

 » Read more about: Now That Makes Sense…  »...

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11
Aug 2009

The concept of a “fraternal cooperative” – an organization that would allow participating societies to reduce operating expenses and improve business operations by working on a “shared services” basis – took shape during the Presidents Section meeting earlier this year.  Since that time, two working groups of member societies have made real progress – not just talk but tangible action – toward creating pilot programs on compliance and retail banking services.  Updates on these developments will be presented at both the Presidents Section meeting and a subsequent workshop that will be held......

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03
Aug 2009

Let’s face it.  The crowd at your typical fraternal meeting—from local lodges to quadrennial conventions—tends to be a bit, how shall I say this, more “mature” than most gatherings.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Seniors are an incredibly vibrant part of American culture, make up a large percentage of community service volunteers, and have an enormous impact on public policy decisions made by state and federal legislators, simply because the vast majority of them vote religiously.

 » Read more about: Growing Younger  »...

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29
Jul 2009

Remember when the day began with a cup of coffee and the morning paper?  Now it’s a $4.00 latte and blogs on your lap top.  While sifting through some recent postings, this one caught my eye:

From Politico: THE TAX CODE QUOTE – WEST WING MUST-READ – The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler has a front-page profile of White House budget director Peter, Orszag, 'Obama's Health Expert Gets Political': 'Last Saturday he went to Camp David.

 » Read more about: Blogs and Java  »...

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