Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 10

Feature

HOWARD
COWAN

Building on a
Solid Foundation

NASBP President Howard Cowan

HOWARD COWAN, NASBP'S 2017-2018
President, never planned on a career
in surety. "I came to the surety industry either through blind, dumb luck or
the grace of God," he said.
Cowan graduated summa cum
laude in philosophy from Louisiana
Tech, attended the University of
Munich on a Fulbright Scholarship,
and served in the U.S. Air Force in
Germany as a Russian linguist/intelligence analyst. He anticipated working in the U.S. civil service, but in
late 1972, around the time Cowan left
the service, President Richard Nixon
froze civil service hiring, and Cowan
had to make alternate plans. "Sue and
I were married, and we had a young
son who was exceptionally fond of
eating," Cowan recalled.
He interviewed at Safeco Insurance
in Dallas, talking to every department.
"The last stop was surety. The manager had such a passion for surety
that, by the time he finished describing what they did, I knew that was
where I wanted to be. Within a few
months, I realized I had found a profession that I had a passion for," he
added. "They hired me in January
of 1973, and 44 years later I still find
that every day comes up new and
exciting challenges."

10

NASBP 2017-2018 Officers

Cowan spent five years with Safeco,
including two as the regional bond
manager for its newly created Nashville
region. He left Safeco to work for an
agency in Lubbock, Texas, where he
spent almost a decade before opening
his own agency in 1987. "I was walking across the tarmac at the Lubbock
Airport at midnight one night in the
middle of winter. I had spent the day
in Dallas and Midland/Odessa, and I
reflected, 'If I am going to work like this,
I might as well be working for myself.'"
Cowan persevered through some
difficult early years, and today he

SURETY BOND QUARTERLY | SUMMER 2017

is a principal in the Acrisure, LLC
dba Cowan-Hill Bond Agency, Inc.,
a two-person, surety-only shop. "It
has been financially and emotionally
rewarding. I am pleased with how
my professional life has turned out."
Although Cowan has done some
commercial surety work, "by temperament and experience I am a contract bond specialist. I am fascinated
by contractors," he said. "They are
interesting people, willing to shove
everything they have out on the table
to bid a job that may have all types
of hidden problems, ranging from



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2017–2018 Executive Committee
From the CEO: Bringing Summer Heat: A Rundown of “Hot” Stuff in the Evolving World Surrounding Surety
Howard Cowan—Building on a Solid Foundation
Mitigating the Hidden Risks in the “New Normal” Construction Environment
Acting Director of the U.S. SBA Office of Surety Guarantees
Drones Take Flight in the Construction Industry
2017 AIA Contract Documents: Selected Key Changes
NASBP to Release Continuing Education Course: Joint Ventures in Construction
How Can Construction Contractors Expedite Payment on Federal Contracts?
Insurtech for Surety: The Future Is Closer than You Think!
Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Intro
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - cover1
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - cover2
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 4
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 5
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 6
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 2017–2018 Executive Committee
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 8
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - From the CEO: Bringing Summer Heat: A Rundown of “Hot” Stuff in the Evolving World Surrounding Surety
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Howard Cowan—Building on a Solid Foundation
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 11
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Mitigating the Hidden Risks in the “New Normal” Construction Environment
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 13
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 14
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 15
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 16
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 17
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 18
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 19
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Acting Director of the U.S. SBA Office of Surety Guarantees
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 21
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Drones Take Flight in the Construction Industry
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 23
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 2017 AIA Contract Documents: Selected Key Changes
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 25
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 26
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - NASBP to Release Continuing Education Course: Joint Ventures in Construction
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - How Can Construction Contractors Expedite Payment on Federal Contracts?
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 29
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 30
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 31
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Insurtech for Surety: The Future Is Closer than You Think!
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 33
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - Index to Advertisers
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - cover3
Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - cover4
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