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Caution: Road Work Ahead

February 4, 2019

January is a long, dark, and frigid month in Chicago. Alliance COO Allison Koppel and I have devoted much of it to making sure the transition to our new association management company operating model goes smoothly for you. And despite a few unexpected bumps, things seem to be moving in the right direction. As always, I’d appreciate any comments you have on the transition. Feel free to send them to me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org.

Now that Congress and state legislatures are gearing up for their 2019 sessions, however, it’s time to get back on the road. Here’s a look at what’s on the agenda for February. I hope to cross paths with more than a few members on the way.

  • February 4 - 5 – Pierre, South Dakota – South Dakota Fraternal Alliance/Fraternal Insurance Counselors/NAIFA Annual Meeting – This event, attended mostly by field representatives, is focused on communicating the fraternal message to state legislators. Why is going to Pierre in February so important? Last year we were surprised by the introduction of a bill to repeal the tax exempt status of both fraternals and farm bureau mutuals. While the measure was defeated in committee thanks to an outpouring of support by Alliance and NAFIC members, we want to remind legislators – including several newly elected lawmakers – about the incredible and irreplaceable impact that fraternals have on the quality of life in communities across the state. Chalk this one up to “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” strategy.
  • February 6 - 8 – Destin, Florida – Life Insurance Council (LIC) Annual Meeting – As you know, the Alliance has partnered with the LIC to offer high quality educational programs – most of them focused on business operations – to member societies. LIC represents a cross-section of commercial life insurers, many of them small and mid-sized companies that face challenges virtually identical to those your societies are up against. Partnering with the LIC provides Alliance members access to education programs and expands networking opportunities with other professionals from the commercial sector.
  • February 11 – 14 – Washington, DC – I’ll be taking advantage of the Alliance’s new Washington, DC office by spending several days meeting with Members of Congress, other industry trade group leaders, and Alliance members as we layout our federal legislative strategy for 2019. Among our top priorities are the re-introduction of our House and Senate Resolutions, securing co-sponsors for them over the two-year congressional session, scheduling Capitol Hill or in-district meetings with members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, and introducing ourselves to the more than 100 newly elected Members of Congress. We’ll rely on our retained lobbyist and the outreach capabilities of our larger members to carry out many of these assignments, but there is a role for every Alliance member in this effort. I’ll get back to you with more details – and specific assignments – on our Resolution co-sponsor recruitment and new legislator outreach plan in early March.
  • February 28 – San Antonio, Texas – Alliance “Meet and Eat” Networking Event – This is the first of four regional meetings that present a great opportunity for members to network with their peers, meet Alliance associate members, and learn more about Alliance programs, products and services. More importantly, attendees will be brought up to speed on the Alliance’s effort to enact fraternal solvency legislation in Texas in the 2019 session. You can get more information on the event and register here.