President’s Blog


22
May 2017

The great tax reform debate of 2017 got underway last week with a House Ways and Means Committee hearing entitled, “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs.” This was the first of what we expect to be a series of tax reform-related hearings expected to be held by the panel this year. And the discussions will not likely be restricted to the House of Representatives, as it is almost certain that the Senate Finance Committee will also conduct hearings on tax reform this year.

 » Read more about: And......

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15
May 2017

Last week, I attended a conference of trade association executives that focused on how “digital transformation” is fundamentally changing the way we provide services – advocacy, education, information – to our members. The crowd was composed of a mix of trade group leaders and included the head of corporate trade associations (like the Alliance) and professional societies (such as health care professionals, attorneys and actuaries). But the challenges we faced were eerily similar: flat or declining dues revenue;

 » Read more about: Outsourcing innovation…  »...

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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 assets......

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24
Apr 2017

I spent last Thursday in Washington, D.C., meeting with the tax counsels of Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee members. This was my third trip to Capitol Hill in the last month.

Our objective is to meet with every member of both congressional tax writing committees before the debate on tax reform begins in earnest. And based on news reports coming out late last week, that debate could......

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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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10
Apr 2017

The Alliance held its Executive Summit – the annual gathering of member society CEOs and their selected top executive  – in Chicago last week.  This year, we revised the format for the meeting based on member feedback. We made it an “invitation-only” event and included more member-to-member networking and roundtable sessions, facilitated more conversation between members and featured speakers, and limited the number of sponsorships.

Fifty-six executives, including 32 CEOS,

 » Read more about: Members’ comments on the Alliance’s Executive Summit…  »...

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04
Apr 2017

Here’s a photo proving that I did it – shaved my head bald in front of dozens of fraternal executives gathered for the Alliance’s Executive Summit in Chicago.

My 2017 fundraising goal was $5,000 and thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and fraternalists, I generated more than $6,000 in contributions – all of which go to one of the worthiest causes I can think of: the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund children’s cancer research.

 » Read more about: Bald is Beautiful!  »...

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27
Mar 2017

Driven by the support of 40 member societies, the first-of-its-kind fraternal branding initiative was approved by the Alliance’s Board of Directors last week. Maddock-Douglas, the branding consultant retained by the Alliance to complete this project, will begin work on the first of the three components of the program will begin this week. The final work products will be delivered to Alliance members by the end of the year.

To refresh your memory,

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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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