President’s Blog


28
May 2009

When Senator Arlen Specter addressed the Commonwealth Club on December 13, 2008, he was not thinking about fraternal benefit societies.  His remarks included several inappropriate Polish jokes which immediately hit the blogosphere, newspapers, and television news in Specter’s home state of Pennsylvania and across the country.   

Polish Falcons CEO Tim Kuzma was offended by the jokes and spoke for the entire Polish-American community by commenting to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette that he found the jokes “appalling” and offensive to Polish-Americans.

 » Read more about: Grassroots activism at its finest  »...

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19
May 2009

I’ve been on the road quite a bit lately, which means lots of reading.  Here are a couple of mini-reviews for you to consider:

  • The Forgotten Man – A detailed analysis of the impact of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policies and programs on America and Americans by an author with a decidedly conservative point of view.  The most interesting part of the book was the section dealing with America’s fascination with Soviet-style collectivism in the 1920s and how close our government came to implementing some of these concepts. 

 » Read more about: Random......

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12
May 2009

I attended a meeting of “true believers” last week in Nashville.  And it wasn’t the Annual Conference Apostolic Ministers that was meeting just a few doors down from the event in which I participated.

No, the “true believers” I met with were the members of the National Association of Fraternal Insurance Counselors (NAFIC), who were attending their Annual Meeting.  These are the folks on the front lines of fraternalism.  They represent the primary sales force of many NFCA member societies. 

 » Read more about: A Meeting of True Believers  »...

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05
May 2009

What does fraternalism have to do with politics?  In a word – everything.  Fraternals are tax-exempt organizations for a reason and it’s not because of the insurance products we provide.  Our exemption is based on one thing and one thing only:  Our ability to fund projects that fill the gaps in government programs and mobilize our members to provide the “boots on the ground” necessary to deliver those services to the communities that most need them.

 » Read more about: Where fraternalism and politics intersect  »...

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29
Apr 2009

After the latest polling numbers indicated that he was trailing his arch-conservative primary opponent by 14 points (up from a 10 point spread just two weeks ago), long-time GOP Senator Arlen Specter discovered his “inner-Democrat” and announced that he was switching parties and will run for re-election on the Democratic ticket this November.  (See today's articles from POLITICO, the Wall Street Journal and NY Times for more information.) 

 » Read more about: The Specter Switcheroo…  »...

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24
Apr 2009

Before you get away for the weekend, I would urge all of you who have participated in Section meetings over the past few weeks to not let the momentum established and the connections made at these meetings fade away.  Join the various social network groups NFCA has established on the Web site and keep the conversation going.  Keep lighting those candles by communicating with one another.  Who knows where it may lead?

 » Read more about: Continue Your Section Networking Online  »...

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21
Apr 2009

Last week’s Fraternal & Communications Sections Mid-Year Meeting continued a series of well-attended Section meetings that featured enlightening speakers, engaged audience members, and enthusiastic roundtable discussions that didn’t just recite the long list of problems facing the fraternal system, but generated ideas on how participants – that’s you and me – can work together to stabilize the system in 2009 and expand the fraternal footprint in 2010.  Here are the ten revelations I took away from the meeting:

 » Read more about: 10 Revelations from the Fraternal & Communications Sections Meeting  »...

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14
Apr 2009

Each day we’re bombarded with news and opinion on Congress’s effort to bailout certain industries or stimulate the economy through massive spending programs, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the depths of the Great Depression.  While fraternals – viewed individually or as a group – won’t make anyone’s list of organizations deemed “too big to fail,” societies are likely to feel the impact of congressional action, especially when it comes to issues like life insurer access to federal bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or the pending......

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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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