Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 8

From the CEO

There is Poetry in
Surety Claims, Surely
If you think that poetry
and surety are cut from
different cloth, you may
be surprised to learn that
among the most accomplished and complex
American poets of the
twentieth century was a
surety company executive, Wallace Stevens.
Stevens
attended
Harvard, showing interest in writing and poetry,
graduated from New York
Law School in 1903 and embarked on a career first as
a surety attorney, then as a surety company executive for the Equitable Surety Company of St. Louis and
later, the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company.
He remained a surety man for the remainder of his
career, never forsaking his surety executive position
for academia, even though Harvard offered him a
professorship in poetry later in life. Critics view his
poetry as chiefly concerned with the transformative
nature of the imagination, and he frequently was lost
in his imagination rambling to and from his office in
Hartford, Connecticut, as that was a favorite time to
compose poetry.
As a surety executive and as a poet, Stevens was
familiar with the concept of risk and of risk mitigation.
He believed that a better world resulted from the elevation of imagination, but that such imaginative wanderings still needed grounding in the pragmatism of
reality. Perhaps that sentiment held Stevens' feet steadfastly to his career as a noted surety claims expert, as
such work requires careful, sometimes precarious, balance between imagination and pragmatism. Stevens,
in fact, saw poetry and surety claims as stuff not
too dissimilar. In a 1954 interview with The New York
Times, Stevens related that he did not live a JekyllHyde existence between his worlds of poetry and of
surety claims:
Anyway, here I deal with surety claims - claims
on surety bonds. Poetry and surety claims aren't
as unlikely a combination as they may seem.

8

SURETY BOND QUARTERLY | SUMMER 2015

There's nothing perfunctory about them for each
case is different.
Could truer words be spoken about the unique natures
of poems and of surety claims, each being borne in original form? I believe the answer is self-evident in this issue
of the Surety Bond Quarterly. A feature story, "Class
Act: Surety Team's Cooperative Efforts Enable School
To Open On Time," gives proof to the notion that, when
imagination balanced with pragmatism is applied, a collaborative, satisfying solution to a difficult surety claim
can be artfully scripted for the obligee.
Successful poems evoke the expression of ideas,
feelings, and actions through the conduit of carefully
selected words and phrases. The same can be said of
successful contracts, which provide written expression
of the parties' intentions and mutual obligations. Those
that do not permit a clear picture of rights and responsibilities and that promote imagination unchecked by
pragmatism serve only to undermine successful outcomes and business relationships. Such is the danger
told in the article "Hiding in Plain Sight: Specifications
as a Source of Risk," which illuminates the critical but
little known role of the specifier in shaping the construction risk environment.
There is so much more in this issue that evokes ideas,
feelings, and actions. Read about our 2015-2016 NASBP
President Susan Hecker of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., the
red flags all contractors should know to avoid claims,
the importance of developing your leadership signature,
the latest editions of the American Institute of Architects'
design-build set of standard form documents, when public owners may face liability for failing to require payment
bonds, and underwriting nuances of probate bonds, all of
which convey the kind of meter and rhyme that comprises
the poetry of our industry.
I hope you will be able to find a quiet space and a few
minutes to read this issue from cover-to-cover. Such
imaginative wanderings may launch you on your own
path to being a surety poet!
●
Warm regards,
Mark H. McCallum
NASBP CEO



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2015-2016 NASBP Executive Committee
From the CEO - There is Poetry in Surety Claims, Surely
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Hiding in Plain Sight: Specifications as a Source of Risk
Profile: President Susan Hecker
Developing Your Leadership Vision
Liability Issues - Can Public Owners be Held Liable to Subcontractors and Suppliers for Failure to Require General Contractors to Obtain Required Payment Bond?
An Introduction to Probate Bonds
Class Act - Surety Team’s Cooperative Efforts Enable School to Open on Time
NASBP’s Attorney Advisory Council - Participants Opine on Current Risk Management Challenges and Business Opportunities
The AIA Describes Updated and Expanded Design-Build Documents Family
Contractor Practices That may Result in Construction Claims to Recover for Delays and increased Costs
NASBP Annual Meeting Speakers - Veterans can benefit private sector, but need help finding jobs
Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 5
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 6
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 2015-2016 NASBP Executive Committee
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - From the CEO - There is Poetry in Surety Claims, Surely
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 9
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Hiding in Plain Sight: Specifications as a Source of Risk
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 11
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Profile: President Susan Hecker
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 13
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Developing Your Leadership Vision
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 15
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Liability Issues - Can Public Owners be Held Liable to Subcontractors and Suppliers for Failure to Require General Contractors to Obtain Required Payment Bond?
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 17
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 18
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 19
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 20
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 21
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - An Introduction to Probate Bonds
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 23
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 24
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 25
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 26
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Class Act - Surety Team’s Cooperative Efforts Enable School to Open on Time
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 28
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 29
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - NASBP’s Attorney Advisory Council - Participants Opine on Current Risk Management Challenges and Business Opportunities
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 31
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - The AIA Describes Updated and Expanded Design-Build Documents Family
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 33
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Contractor Practices That may Result in Construction Claims to Recover for Delays and increased Costs
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 35
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - NASBP Annual Meeting Speakers - Veterans can benefit private sector, but need help finding jobs
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 37
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - cover4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - outsert1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - outsert2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 43
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2015 - 44
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