National Director's Report - January 2009
Greetings everyone and Happy New Year. I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful start to 2009, and that the year brings you good health and much happiness.
As I prepare for the IIABA winter meeting next week it is safe to say that most of our discussion will deal with Governmental Affairs. The past election with a new administration and congress has posed new challenges on what strategies to purse on pending legislation that impacts our members. The most important of course is the creation of an Optional Federal Charter.
The good news is OFC lost it’s co-sponsor of this bill and proponents will have to find a new sponsor on the Republican side. The bad news is we are already hearing Commerce Chairman Chris Dodd indicate he sees no reason why the Life Insurance Companies should not be included in the creation of an OFC. I urge everyone to stay informed on this issue. I will relay as much information as I receive and you can get updates on the Big I web page.
IIABA is struggling with convention participation like many state conventions are as well. Competition with user groups, family demands, changes in tax laws effecting how expenses are treated, and in our case the great distance and cost to attend are the key reasons for lower attendance. I have joined several other Directors from the Western portion of our country to begin to develop the concept of having regional meetings for members to attend.
The Western Alliance of States will hold our very first meeting next week in conjunction with our winter meeting for IIABA. Topics of discussion will include State Membership-what are states doing to retain and grow members. National Issues-Impact of economy and financial meltdown on National and State Budgets. Technical Affairs-Organizing Western solutions to promote technical affairs.
This meeting is a work in progress and we hope to evolve the agenda to included issues which impact our members directly and try to eventually make attendance more attractive to all Western members.
Finally in closing, please visit our Website and see what member benefits are available to you and your staffs to enhance development of your business.
Best wishes to you all for a successful 2009.