President’s Blog


13
Jun 2017

After nearly a year of work, the Alliance Board of Directors has announced plans to overhaul the organizational structure of the association in order to focus greater resources on advocacy initiatives and utilize technological advances to more cost effectively deliver education, information, and networking services to members. Here is a link to the Board Bulletin that was sent to members yesterday.

The transition to the new organizational model will take place over the next 18 months,

 » Read more about: Board of Directors opens......

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05
Jun 2017

A few books to pack before heading to the beach, lake, mountains, or your backyard patio:

Novels
As most of you know, I’m not a huge fiction fan, but I really enjoyed these three…

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – Wildly creative; deeply touching; the most inventive ghost story I’ve read in a long while.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – Wonderful story in an F.

 » Read more about: Summer......

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30
May 2017

I’ve always admired Alan Simpson, the former GOP senator from Wyoming, whose book – “Right in the Old Gazoo” – is one of my all-time favorite political memoirs.

I’m not saying I always agreed with Simpson’s policy positions, but I always appreciated the fact that I knew where he stood and, more importantly, why he stood there. While he had strong opinions – and wasn’t afraid to share them – he was willing to listen to other views and wise enough to know when it made sense to compromise and when it didn’t.

......

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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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