President’s Blog


06
Oct 2014

I’ll be taking a bit of a blog break until the middle of next week. But before I disconnect, I wanted to leave you with a couple of recent examples of why fraternals represent the coolest business model on the planet. These items were sent to me on the same day by the CEOs of two member societies – one very small, and one very large – and I think they speak volumes about the similar values that these two very different executives hold dear.

 » Read more about: The Coolest Business......

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29
Sep 2014

State fraternal alliances (SFAs) are a mixed bag. Some provide member societies real value in terms of access to educational programs and meaningful advocacy initiatives. Others…not so much.

The Alliance Board is taking a hard look at the state fraternal alliance system – in exactly the same fashion that many of our member societies are examining their local chapter networks – to better understand what makes effective SFAs tick and what, if anything,

 » Read more about: Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa.  »...

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22
Sep 2014

It did not take long for Tony Garcia, the new CEO of The Independent Order of Foresters, to embrace the fraternal “differentiator” – and to communicate the value of the important role fraternals play in the financial and community service arenas to the leader of the free world.

Ralph Alswang Photographer www.ralphphoto.com 202-487-5025

Foresters is a major supporter of KaBOOM! This national non-profit is dedicated to the goal of ensuring that all children,


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15
Sep 2014

The Building of the new Jackson Heights Park Playground in one day

When that one is a single dollar invested in a fraternal.  That’s right, according to the results of a new study by Professor Phil Swagel of the Center for Financial Policy at the University of Maryland, America’s fraternal benefit societies produce $76 in value to society for each dollar the federal government “invests” in them by maintaining the fraternal tax......

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10
Sep 2014

The Alliance staff is still digging out from last week’s Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas – an event that exceeded even our high standards for member satisfaction. The quality and diversity of the speakers and topics; the wildly popular addition of the “grow younger” program; the palpable “buzz” during the networking opportunities with sponsors and colleagues; the 101 “first timers” in attendance; the terrific on-site support of The Fraternal Alliance of Texas; and the mechanical bull were the highlights of the meeting for me.

 » Read more about: Couldn’t have said it......

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02
Sep 2014

austin postcard

 

We’re only two days away from the Alliance’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.  Here are a few last minute suggestions for your packing list. Make sure to bring:

  • An open mind – You’ll likely hear some ideas from our speakers that may run counter to your way of thinking or that you believe may not apply to fraternals.  Do your best to set aside your pre-conceived notions and come to each session with a blank slate. 
 » Read more about: Austin City......

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25
Aug 2014

I’ve been exploring some serious issues in the last few posts, so I thought I’d use this week’s blog to address the random and inconsequential. Here goes…

  • Summer reading — I know you’re supposed to list your favorite summer books in May so you can take them on vacation with you, but here are a few that I’d recommend for the Dog Days and cool fall evenings:

Escape from Camp 14

 » Read more about: Random and inconsequential  »...

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19
Aug 2014

Peace Love and Good Governance

OK, so it doesn’t have quite the same ring as 1967’s “Summer of Love,” but the corporate governance enhancements made by many Alliance societies over the past few months have been as progressive as any developments in the fraternal sector in the past 50 years. I’ve participated in three conventions in the last six weeks– the National Slovak Society (NSS), the National Catholic Society of Foresters (NCSF), and the Slovene National......

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12
Aug 2014

One of the Alliance’s most important missions – perhaps its most important – is to promote, protect, and preserve the tax exempt status of fraternals in the U.S.  The fraternal tax exemption has been on the books for more than 100 years, but the Alliance never lets its guard down when it comes to advocating on behalf of member societies on the issue.  Tax reform is one item that never strays too far from the top of the policymakers’ agendas,

 » Read more about: Updated academic study verifies value of fraternal contributions......

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04
Aug 2014

SFAsState Fraternal Alliances (SFAs) have long been a part of the American Fraternal Alliance, so much so that there is a specific reference to these state-based organizations in the Alliance’s Constitution.  SFAs have traditionally held annual meetings which feature social networking opportunities and educational programs for attendees and fundraising efforts for local charities.  More recently, a few SFAs have been engaged in political advocacy activities, including “Day on the Hill” events......

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