NAILBA Perspectives - January/February 2015 - (Page 9)

chairman's corner ents S lp AgBuckletart the Year Strong! He Up! I DAVID LONG NAILBA CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD t was November of 1999, the place was the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. I'd been in the brokerage business for two months, and this was my first NAILBA annual meeting-NAILBA 18. As a wide-eyed newbie, it was a lot to take in, but three things struck me-1) You could really have some bizarre party themes when your meeting is in Hollywood, 2) it seemed strange that an exhibiting life insurance company's theme was "The Year of the Smoker" (complete with cigar rolling experts in their hospitality suite), and, 3) that guy on the main stage must have been master of his universe to be chairman of such an incredible organization (and the incoming chairman, Art somebody, had more electronic gadgets on his belt than Batman!). So, it goes without saying that I'm honored to follow in the footsteps of the visionary leaders of our industry as the 2015 NAILBA Chairman. I'd like to thank Barbara Crowley for her leadership of NAILBA over this last year; she has made it an easy transition for me and has been an excellent mentor. I was born and raised in this business, and one thing I've gotten used to is change. However, the one thing I'm finding challenging to keep up with is the increasing pace at which this change seems to come. It was never more evident than when the NAILBA Board of Directors got together last spring to construct our three-year strategic plan. This was the third time I've had the privilege to take part in this discussion, and it was by far the most challenging round we've had yet. Everybody talks about change, but what changes matter to our membership? And what can NAILBA do to help its members deal with and optimize those changes? After the Board read some books (Jack assured me there was no movie), met in person, had several conference calls, and conducted the most in-depth survey we've ever attempted-I believe we've built a plan that reflects what NAILBA member agencies most desire from their association. So hold on to your hats and glasses, this ride is wild, but NAILBA can be the seat belt that keeps you in the driver's seat. The first and most obvious change was the new schedule at NAILBA 33. Based on feedback from our members and exhibitors, we shook up this year's meeting and the results were great. Attendance was up across almost every category including a packed ballroom for the Mooers Award Dinner. The general sessions had great energy, and we were all together in a bustling exhibit hall. Finally, we were able to finish with a great golf tournament with an early start on Saturday, and most of us were still back home for dinner on Saturday night. Thank you to our carrier and vendor partners, and to all who attended and participated, for making the meeting such a great success. Next, we have built a new advocacy strategy that includes an exciting joint venture with the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). Combining the strengths of the two organizations will present a stronger unified message that will bolster the industry's position in combating legislation that attempts to weaken the long term financial security of Americans, and our ability to provide that protection. NAILBA is also looking into alliances with other industry associations to see where combined resources can help our members be successful. Education was a focus of many of the survey responses, so it is also in the bull's eye of the new strategic plan. NAILBA will continue to provide resources and tools to train and advance principals and staffs of member agencies, but with an expanded multi-platform strategy. We will take advantage of face-to-face opportunities, webinars conducted by NAILBA and outside resources, tools available at, social media, and more. In addition to professional development, there will be expanded training on how to run a business. This "best practices" type of education has been well received in the Agency Successor Networking Group (ASNG), and we are looking forward to making this information more widely available to the entire membership. Speaking of ASNG, we are adding a mentoring element to the group to facilitate the passing down of knowledge from one generation of our business to the next. NAILBA will also dig deeper into technology. We are creating a subcommittee from membership to help convey wants and needs to the Life Brokerage Technology Committee. Also, we are fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), so we're going to make it easier for our members to communicate with them to help improve standards across the industry. This strategic plan is ambitious, but, with our professional staff, strong board of directors, and our dedicated team of committee volunteers, it will be a great year as we not only respond to the ever changing landscape of our industry, but our member agencies capitalize and thrive on the opportunities those changes create. Thank you for the opportunity to be your 2015 Chair, and if I missed anything, you can find me at 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NAILBA Perspectives - January/February 2015

NAILBA Perspectives - January/February 2015
Chairman’s Corner
CEO Insights
The NAILBA of the Future
NAILBA Charitable Foundation
Life Happens
Shaking Up Sales Concepts in 2015
Agency Successor Networking Group
NAILBA 33 Highlights
Member Profiles
Reading Ahead
Agency Resources
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers

NAILBA Perspectives - January/February 2015