Surety Bond Quarterly - Summer 2017 - 11

Howard Cowan with
his wife, Sue.

From left, Howard and Sue Cowan, current NASBP
Immediate Past President Lynne W. Cook, and current
NASBP Government Relations Committee Chair Tracy Tucker.

inadequate plans to underground
conditions to bad weather to uncertain labor markets. Somehow, the
good ones make it work."
Cowan knows about making things
work. In a schedule crammed with
professional obligations, he has
found time for his family and civic
involvement. Last year, he and wife
Sue celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary. They have two sons and
six grandchildren.
Finance and Government Affairs
When Cowan began selling surety
bonds in 1978, NASBP was a very different organization. "NASBP was not
necessarily an open and welcoming
organization, and my then employer
never achieved membership," related
Cowan. Cowan only joined NASBP
when he opened his own agency
in 1987.
"Needless to say, things have
changed dramatically, and NASBP
today is a highly professional and
equal opportunity organization. It has
meant so much to my career," he said.
He has served NASBP in many different capacities. As Financial Committee
Chairman, Cowan recommended revisions to the association's investment
philosophy, establishing a discipline
that has helped it successfully weather
the market's ups and downs.
Cowan also served as Vice
Chairman of the Industry Relations
Committee. "I am a political junkie.

One of my highway contractors
told me that if you are in business
and not involved in politics, pretty
soon you will not be in business."
He has worked with Larry LeClair
and Shannon Crawford of NASBP's
Government Relations team on state
and national issues. "It has been a
team effort of our Washington, DC
staff and agents from all over the
country. We have had success in
recent years on issues that are not
really Republican or Democratic but
are critical public policy issues. I find
that rewarding," he added.
In 2009, in recognition for his many
contributions to the industry and the
association, NASBP presented Cowan
with the prestigious John "Jack" J.
Curtin, Jr., President's Award.
Going Forward
At the 2017 Annual Meeting, NASBP
celebrated and reflected upon its
75  years of accomplishments, so
Cowan has chosen "Building on a
Solid Foundation" as the theme for
his presidential year.
NASBP will need to continue its
political involvement. "Our fate is tied
to the needs of our clients and their
particular economies; their points
of interest very quickly become our
points of interest. On a more parochial side, our product is under attack
from alternative products and from
politicians who are not familiar with
how we add value. That attitude is in

In 2014, Howard Cowan, right, met
with then Speaker of the U.S. House
of Representatives John Boehner
(OH-R 8th), center. Also pictured, left,
is NASBP Director of Government
Relations Larry LeClair.

spite of the fact that year in and year
out we pay approximately one billion dollars to either finish construction projects or to honor obligations
that have been guaranteed with our
bonds," he said.
On the surety industry workforce
side, Cowan sees a need to meet the
challenges of appealing to younger
generations and of recruiting quality talent. "NASBP's 5-15 Leadership
Committee, open to people who have
been in the industry at least five years
but no more than 15, is a positive and
impactful step," he said.
"I also want to work toward more
hiring, training, and retaining minorities so that we have a workforce that
reflects our population as a whole,"
he said. "We are also trying to help
emerging firms in the construction
industry to become successful. Such
firms frequently are minority-owned
or disabled veterans' businesses."
Cowan predicts the industry will
have many new opportunities in the
coming year, especially with the new
administration's push for infrastructure construction and rehabilitation.
As NASBP president, Cowan plans to
follow the admonition of the Physician's
Oath to "first, do no harm."
He concluded, "On a more positive
note, I hope that, when my year as
president is complete, our association and our industry will be stronger and better prepared for the next
75 years."
●

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SURETY BOND PRODUCERS | WWW.NASBP.ORG

11


http://WWW.NASBP.ORG

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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