President’s Blog


11
Feb 2009

Quick, what’s the biggest threat to the fraternal tax exemption? 

Most NFCA members would say congressional action to revamp the tax code and repeal a variety of longstanding exemptions in an effort to generate more revenue for the cash-strapped government.  But with federal lawmakers focused on the economic stimulus proposal, two wars, and an overhaul of financial services regulation, reform of the tax system may just have to wait.  I’m not saying we’re free and clear on the issue in 2009. 

 » Read more about: A Taxing Debate in the States  »...

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06
Feb 2009

Pardon the shameless rip-off of Dickens’ famous opening line to A Tale of Two Cities, but nothing describes the situation facing fraternals with such clarity.

Worst of Times

Let’s start with the “worst of times” part of the equation.  These are tough times for everyone and every industry.  The precipitous drop in the real estate and equities markets, and the lingering uncertainty over just how long this economic malaise will last have hit the nation hard. 

 » Read more about: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times  »...

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28
Jan 2009

I write this from Orlando, Florida, site of the 2009 Inter-Company Marketing Group's (ICMG) Annual Meeting. ICMG brings insurance manufacturers and distributors together for a single purpose: to discuss ways to create alliances and partnerships that successfully market innovative products and services to well-defined target markets through the most effective distribution system.

It's really quite a remarkable meeting. Everyone knows why they are here – to make connections that enhance their businesses'

 » Read more about: The Turkish Bazaar of Insurance Marketing  »...

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26
Jan 2009

Well, it looks like my comments on not being a fraternalist touched a nerve.  I’m thrilled.  And as of next week, I would venture a guess that I will be a member of more than one fraternal benefit society. 

I’ll keep trying to post interesting and thought-provoking comments on my blog, and I hope you’ll keep those cards and letters coming.  It’s not only a great way to create an effective dialogue between me and the members who I represent,

 » Read more about: I'm listening  »...

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22
Jan 2009

Seems a bit odd, don’t you think, for the president and CEO of the National Fraternal Congress of America – the leading advocate for the nation’s fraternal benefit societies – to not be a member of a fraternal.

It’s not that I’m not engaged in community-service activities.  I coached our parish school 8th-grade basketball team for years (my travel schedule precludes me from coaching these days; otherwise, I’d still be prowling the sidelines doing my best Jim Valvano imitation and believing that I could be a great college coach if only given the......

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20
Jan 2009

Yesterday, January 19, we celebrated the birthday of one of the champions of America's civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Fittingly, President Barack Obama called on the country to celebrate Dr. King's legacy, by participating in a National Day of Service. 

Moreover, our president has made volunteerism and community service one of the pillars of his candidacy and will undoubtedly continue that emphasis during his tenure in the White House.  In fact, President Obama will launch "Renew America Together,"

 » Read more about: Making a difference, one Knight at a time …  »...

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13
Jan 2009

Believe it or not, JOIN HANDS DAY – scheduled for May 2, 2009 – is just 16 weeks away.  In my short tenure at NFCA, I’ve come to think of the event as a “sleeping giant” – something that right now is long on potential but short on impact.  This year, we’re committed to jump starting JOIN HANDS DAY by taking some important steps to get more members involved (and enthusiastic) about the event,

 » Read more about: Jump Starting JOIN HANDS DAY  »...

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05
Jan 2009

It’s sometimes difficult to place a price tag on the value of a trade association membership.  A trade association’s primary “products” – advocacy and information – are intangible.  How much are NFCA’s efforts to promote the value of member societies’ contributions to individuals and communities to state and federal public policymakers and preserve the integrity of fraternals’ tax exemption worth to your society?  And what about the handful of fraternals that are not members of NFCA? 

 » Read more about: Helping Members Address an Unprecedented Environment  »...

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22
Dec 2008

We wanted to know how we were doing and you told us.  Your responses to our first annual comprehensive membership satisfaction survey indicated that while the overwhelming majority of members are satisfied with the performance of their trade association, there is certainly room for improvement.  We appreciate the time you took to provide us your feedback, and all of us here at NFCA are committed to improving our performance and exceeding your expectations in 2009.

 » Read more about: The Voice of the Members  »...

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02
Dec 2008

How often have you heard someone say, “We’re in the relationship business."? When it comes to fraternal benefit societies, it’s really true. Our entire business model is based on relationships – with the members of your society, with lodge leaders, with agents and brokers, with other community service organizations, and with state and federal public policymakers, to name just a few.

Today I’d like to focus on relationships between fraternals and public policymakers – state regulators and local,

 » Read more about: Making the Right Connections  »...

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