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08
May 2017

Last week’s post discussed the importance of measuring the impact of your society’s “social good” and offered a methodology for doing so developed by Cynthia Tidwell and her team at Royal Neighbors of America (RNA). I’ve received several inquiries from fraternal leaders about the RNA formula and have connected them to the folks at that society who are more than willing to discuss how they apply it to their outreach efforts.

But before you measure what you do,

 » Read more about: A simple idea, elegantly executed…  »...

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01
May 2017

I’m certain that every Alliance member society has a laundry list of quantifiable metrics to assess the performance of the financial components of their operations.  This would include items such as sales results, premium written, contributions to surplus, claims payments, investment return, expense ratios, and dozens of others.  The fact is, you couldn’t effectively manage your operations – and demonstrate to your members that you are a capable steward of the society’s......

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17
Apr 2017

One of the most compelling and well-received presentations at the Alliance’s Executive Summit held in Chicago earlier this month was one we added to the program at the last minute.  Brad Campbell of the DrinkerBiddle law firm (an Alliance associate member) delivered an insightful 30-minute address on the Department of Labor’s controversial Fiduciary Rule – most of which had been officially been placed on a 60-day delay only the day before.  Brad then took another 30-minutes of questions (which could have easily been......

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20
Mar 2017

I received a fair number of responses to a recent post on technology issues (“Climbing the Ladder, drinking the Lemonade, and looking for a safe Haven…”).  A few brave souls posted their comments on the web site, others emailed them to me privately, and still others shared their thoughts through third parties (“Please let Joe know that I think he’s crazy”).

Fair enough.

But I received one response from an associate member of the Alliance,

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13
Mar 2017

Last week, I had one of those experiences that reminds me why I love being the president and CEO of the American Fraternal Alliance. I led a group of fraternal members on a series of visits with members of Congress and watched them secure the future of the fraternal tax exemption by telling their stories of the good works that they and their colleagues do in the backyards of the lawmakers with whom we met.

 » Read more about: Seed money…  »...

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06
Mar 2017

I promise this will be the last time I ask you – at least this year, anyway – but there is less than a month to go before I “brave the shave” to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for children’s cancer research and I’m still just a little short of my $5,000 fundraising goal.

St. Baldricks

I hope you will join with dozens of other fraternal colleagues – and a smattering of my family members – and help me reach the $5,000 threshold......

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27
Feb 2017

capitolOn February 15, I spent the day on Capitol Hill meeting with the tax counsel for a variety of Republican and Democratic members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees.  Conducting this type of in-person outreach to legislators and their staff is one of my most important responsibilities as the president of the Alliance.  And with tax reform – the Alliance’s signature and single most important issue – squarely on the congressional priority list in 2017,

 » Read more about: Tax......

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20
Feb 2017

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read articles in The Wall Street Journal, insurance industry trade magazines, and futurist publications about the impact of technology on the insurance industry – the life insurance sector, in particular. Recent start-ups like Ladder, Lemonade, and Haven are all trying not just to tweak the way life insurance products are purchased, they are attempting to turn the traditional model of what insurers sell and how they sell it on its head.

 » Read more about: Climbing the Ladder, drinking the Lemonade, and looking......

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13
Feb 2017

From first grade through twelfth, the rules on hair length in the Catholic schools I attended were abundantly clear: no hair touching the ears or the collar, and no facial hair of any kind. And as many of you know, on the day I graduated from high school I made a solemn promise never to cut my hair or shave again – ever.

young Joe

I admit that I waivered on the shaving part over the next four......

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06
Feb 2017

I know there are many more pressing issues to write about – increasing regulatory cost and complexity; competition from Lemonade and Ladder; economic volatility and interest rate uncertainty, to name a few. And I promise to get to all of those in the coming weeks. But I saw “The Last Waltz” on an obscure cable channel last week, and it got me thinking about all the incredible concerts I’ve witnessed over the years. I don’t get to many live shows these days.

 » Read more about: The greatest shows on earth…  »...

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