Monday, October 3, 2016

2016 September/October In the News

We were told by President Jules at our State Convention this would happen; so this is what I recently read:

State Farm agents with licenses to sell securities will stop offering clients variable annuities, mutual funds and other financial products starting in April as the company works to respond to the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. Agents can continue to sell life insurance and fixed annuities.

I also see that California is forging ahead with a Plan to have a State Run Retirement Savings Plan run by the state not subject to ERISA Protections, and mandated that all small businesses be subject to it unless they already have a 401(k) in place.
Submitted By Al Zalewski, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

2016 September/October Professional Development

This is promising to be an exciting year!  With classes forming for the new LUTCF curriculum on both sides of the State.  We have now 5 moderators, and plans to begin classes in Seattle/Eastside, Tri-Cities, and soon in the greater Tacoma area.  Get started in a classroom course, as it'll increase your knowledge retention and the membership camaraderie.  

The Advisor 20/20 course is scheduled to be presented on both sides of the mountains, and we are anticipating a fairly intimate class with 10 or more per class.  This course is designed to help you target your efforts by managing your practice into a new dynamic business model.

With an ever growing interest in LILI, the NAIF-Washington’s hope is to actually have two classes this year for LILI.  Ask your local if they are sending anyone, and encourage them to stretch and get enrolled in one!  

Like I said, lots going on and we encourage you to get involved in one way or the other.  If you would like to be a moderator, check with me as we need many to get our newer Agents the training they need!

 Have a great Fall season!

 Roger McDowell, LUTCF

2016 September/October President's Message


After returning home from attending the Performance + Purpose 2016 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, it is crystal clear to me that we have the best leadership our National Association has ever had…..Period.

The NAIFA 20/20 Mission and Vision is set and ready for action.  Over the next 5 years this strategic plan will empower NAIFA, its members and the industry.

Without the NAIFA 20/20 plan, we as Insurance and Financial Advisors will have a much more difficult time protecting our clients and business in the future.

Please take the time and go to the website and spend the time to review the NAIFA 20/20 plan and determine what you are going to do to continue to help our Great Association continue to stay Viable in the many years to come.

Neal Kloke
WA State President

2016 September/October Sponsorship

Please let us know who your best partner is for potential sponsorship and we will contact them.  If we all follow up with one of our best relationships, we can meet our goals together! 

The Board of Directors invites you to take full advantage of the benefit-rich opportunities below. Sponsorship is a valuable way to not only show support for your local NAIFA organization but also to put your business in front of prospective customers on a consistent basis.


(Exclusive Opportunity: only one offered per year)

Recognition as Platinum Partner at all NAIFA Washington events
Includes two individual memberships to NAIFA including national, state, and local dues ($1,000 value!)
Back cover ad in the Who’s Who annual membership directory ($750 value!)
Complimentary Financial Services Forum and State Convention Exhibitor Packages ($750 value!)

Plus these additional benefits:

·        Additional admission to Financial Services Forum for 2nd member
·        Additional registration to State Convention for 2nd member
·        Special Recognition during the program as “Presenting Sponsor”
·        Option to provide marketing materials at each seat (if applicable)
·        Prominent placement of company logo on website (with a link to your website)
·        Prominent placement of company logo in e-blasts (with a link to your website)
·        Prominent placement of company logo in The Washington Advisor newsletter
·        Special Recognition at Day On The Hill
·        Additional registration to State Convention for 2nd member
·        Access to membership mailing labels (two sets per year, PRICELESS!)
·        Up to four guests may attend any NAIFA Washington event at member rates
·        Company logo and website address displayed at all events
·        Option to promote your business’s events on NAIFA Washington’s public calendar (maximum of 12 per year)

(Limited to four per year, no more than two competing businesses)
Recognition as Gold Sponsor at all NAIFA Washington events
Includes one individual membership to NAIFA including national, state, and local chapters ($500+ value!)

½ page ad in the Who’s Who annual membership directory ($400 value!)
Complimentary Financial Services Forum Exhibitor Package ($300 value!)
Complimentary State Convention Exhibitor Package ($450 value!)
Prominent placement of company logo on website (with a link to your website!)
Prominent placement of company logo in e-blasts (with a link to your website!)
Prominent placement of company logo in The Washington Advisor newsletter
Recognition at and admission to Day On The Hill
Access to membership mailing labels (one set per year, PRICELESS!)
Up to two guests of the sponsor may attend all NAIFA Washington events at member rates
Option to promote your business’s events on NAIFA Washington’s public calendar (maximum of 8 per year)

(Open to any dues-paying member)

Recognition as Silver Sponsor at all NAIFA Washington events
¼ page ad in the Who’s Who annual membership directory ($275 value!)
Complimentary Financial Services Forum Exhibitor Package ($300 value!)
Complimentary State Convention Exhibitor Package ($450 value!)
Prominent placement of company logo on website (with a link to your website!)
Prominent placement of company logo in e-blasts (with a link to your website!)
Prominent placement of company logo in The Washington Advisor newsletter
Recognition at and admission to Day On The Hill
One guest of the sponsor may attend all NAIFA Washington events at member rates
Option to promote your business’s events on NAIFA Washington’s public calendar (maximum of 4 per year)


(Available to non-dues-paying members subject to board approval.)

Company name in e-blast announcements and reminders for the event (with a link to your website!)
Company name on event page during promotion (with a link to your website!)
Company name on website main page while event is featured (with a link to your website!)
Complimentary admission to the event for one person
Recognition during the program as helping to underwrite the cost of “Day On The Hill”

(Available to non-dues-paying members subject to board approval.)

Company name in e-blast announcements and reminders for the event (with a link to your website!)
Company name on event page during promotion (with a link to your website!)
Company name on website main page while event is featured (with a link to your website!)
Display table for your signage and marketing materials during event
Complimentary admission to the event for one person
List of event attendees following the event
Recognition during the program as an exhibitor
Option to speak for up to 2 minutes about your business during the program

(Available to non-dues-paying members subject to board approval.)

Company name in e-blast announcements and reminders for the event
Company logo on Convention promo page (with a link to your website!)
Company name on website main page while event is featured
Display table for signage and marketing materials during full 3-day convention

Complimentary registration to the convention for one person (includes standard registration and meals, does not include your accommodations or any add-ons)

List of event attendees following the convention
Recognition during the program as an exhibitor with multiple “Exhibitor Breaks” throughout the convention

Option to speak from the main stage for up to one minute about your business on the first day of the convention

Option to do a raffle drawing on the second day of the convention (you must supply your own bowl, tickets, prize, etc.)

Thank you
Keith Wallace


2016 September/October IFAPAC

You've surely seen this paragraph with the letters out of order, but this is the first time I've seen it with numbers, F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng?

Good example of a Brain Study: If you can read this you have a strong mind:

7H15 M3554G3
53RV35 7O PR0V3
D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
R34D1NG 17
W17H 0U7 3V3N
7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
R3AD 7H15.

Do we sometimes speak to prospects like this? Do we get caught up in the jargon that goes along with our product and services? If you have experienced this and figured out how to recognize the glaze in their eyes and were successful in getting your intended message across, share it with others! Whether or not you have a strong mind it does you no good to communicate in convoluted terms.

As IFAPAC insiders, do we sometimes speak in jargon or terms that are difficult to follow? If so, shame on me/us. Herewith is a glossary of the terms IFAPAC insiders use:

IFAPAC is the Insurance and Financial Advisors Political Action Committee. Old-timers remember is as NAIFAPAC – the REALLY old-times used LUPAC for Life Underwriters Political Action Committee - they can be used interchangeably. IFAPAC is for all NAIFA members to be able to take part in the political process through monthly contributions to the PAC. Half of what you contribute to IFAPAC comes back to our state association to be used in Washington election cycles. We have a State IFAPAC Chair – Alex Collins. Each local should have an IFAPAC Chair.

 APIC is NAIFA's Advisors Political Involvement Committee. APIC oversees a database of thousands of insurance agents and financial advisors who have volunteered to be part of NAIFA's nationally-recognized legislative action team. When federal legislation hits a crucial point in the process on Capitol Hill, NAIFA activates its contact system. Agents and advisors around the country communicate NAIFA's message on Capitol Hill about issues that affect their livelihoods. This contact takes place in the form of letters, faxes, phone calls and face-to-face meetings in congressional districts and in Washington, D.C.. Each local should have an APIC Chair to find members that have connections with legislators and thus communicate NAIFA’s messages to the congressmen they know.

NARAB is the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers. NAIFA has worked for years with state insurance departments to untangle the cumbersome licensing requirements that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. NARAB became official in 1999 but it took longer to get congressional approval. In January 2016, the Office of the President released the names of four nominees for membership on the Board of Directors of NARAB. Among the nominees selected by the President is former NAIFA Board Trustee and current NAIFA member, Tom McLeary. Nominees are now waiting to receive confirmation from the U.S. Senate before taking their seat on the Board. The board will help determine simplified licensing standards for producers to become eligible to sell in various states.

That should be enough for today, class. Just remember, NAIFA works for YOU, your business and your clients. Support the IFAPAC fund raising drives that are taking place NOW, during the presidential election cycle. Monthly contributions are encouraged. $8.50/month makes you a Century Club member. $25/month makes you a Statesman.

Richard Ek, LUTCF


Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 July/August President's Message

What does 800 look like?  Are we up to the Challenge?

What are we talking about?  We are talking about Membership!

At the State Convention in May we were challenged by our National President, Jules O. Gaudreau Jr. that our State Association needed to have 800 dues paying members by May of 2017.
We as a state association were challenged so that the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Team and Staff can continue to operate at the necessary level financially to continue to offer the many benefits we as members have access to but most of all PROTECT our business and main street Americans on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

Jules did not beat around the bush…..he was very frank. 
National is currently 36 months away from going out of business if we continue the current trend with our membership numbers……Wow……Can you believe that?

We need to change this!
We as a State Association will not be viable and will continue to struggle financially if we don’t stop our downward trend of membership.

Our leadership at the State Level is committed to reaching this goal of 800.  Are you?
Is it achievable?  You better believe it is!

How are we going to do it?  Together as a team!
At the State Presidents retreat on August 5th we will presenting an action plan of how we are going to accomplish this and we are going to hold those accountable that are committed to the goal and the challenge.

Are you with us?
Please reach out to your local association leadership and help grow your local association and EXPERIENCE what NAIFA offers and has been offering for over 125 years!

 Neal Kloke
State President of NAIFA WA

2016 July/August Membership

Ask Not What NAIFA Has Done for You…
Ask What You Can Do for NAIFA

As we all get ready to ramp up for a new year for school, the 4th quarter for our business and of course the start of our association meetings with our new leadership, I am sure many of us are faced with the same challenge. Time. I hear from people in my agency almost every day, I would do more or I would get involved or I wish I just had more TIME. I know most of the people who are going to read this article are already the uber NAIFA involved, but I am going to ask you to reach deep. I was sitting with a new agent in my office the other day, reflecting on my time as a producer in the business. We talked about my most successful year, and in the conversation the agent asked me “how did you have time to do all that?” I hadn’t realized the year I had my best year in production, was the same year I gave the most of my time and energy to NAIFA. During the year I served on the National Membership Committee and was President of my local in Northern Virginia, yet somehow found a way to have my best personal production year. In talking with some old NAIFA colleagues the other day, most of them said the same thing, the year they gave the most to NAIFA was the year they did the best in their business.

So therein lies my challenge. Step up this year (or for many of us, let’s step up higher this year) Let’s commit to make one more phone call on National Membership Day October 5th. Commit to attend one more local, state, or the national meeting. Bring a new member to a meeting, or just sit with them for a cup of coffee and share your guidance. Call someone who was in the association a few years ago and has drifted away. I called someone a few years ago who was lapsed and the advisor had no idea! He just assumed NAIFA was fixing the issue every time he got the lapse notice for his bank draft. We all know the axiom that the largest waterfall starts with one drop… how can you get into the stream?

Together, if everyone who is a member of our proud state just gives of themselves a little bit more, we will dramatically put NAIFA Washington at the forefront of NAIFA National.  

Stephen Good

2016 July/August Government Relations

On Friday August 5th I and my Government Relations team of Alex Collins, IFAPAC Chair & Ryan Jewell, APIC Chair will unveil the Advocacy plan for 2016-2017.   For those of you who will not be in attendance at the retreat, allow me to give you an overview.
I believe we can best increase our membership by not focusing on membership.  What’s that you say, Richard? Increase membership by not focusing on it? Interesting thought, but how?
Many of us have had the opportunity to attend company or industry-sponsored events and for me those types of events have become my benchmark for a successful convention.  If you’ve ever experienced a NAIFA convention on the State or National level, you’ve likely been hooked by the experience.  I sense heads nodding up and down!  (As an aside, a tip of the hat to Wayne Lunday and his team for making the recent State convention a resounding success by that measure).  I digress.  If more rank and file members experienced a Convention, Congressional Conference, a Day on the Hill, or delivering a check to a legislator they too would be hooked.  The experience helps us connect the dots.  It’s where we get a first-hand lesson in terms of the value of our association, the protection we enjoy, and the threats we are up against.
Our Advocacy plan is grounded in the goal of bringing folks along to participate in our core mission.  Hearing our Advocacy Team lay out our issues and meeting eye to eye with a legislator does far more to demonstrate the value NAIFA provides than monthly lunch meetings, CE events, or affinity programs.  Those are all useful, but secondary to advocacy.  In fact, non-members are more likely to become members if we bring them along as well.  They are benefiting, so let’s let them participate!
Now, the advocacy plan is not a panacea.  It won’t happen overnight.  Many, many successful, intelligent, energetic folks have come before us with well thought-out plans to increase membership, to little avail, and none of those plans suggested we NOT focus on membership. An incremental shift could make the difference.  Let’s give a try.
Richard L. Miller,
NAIFA-WA Government Relations Chair

2016 July/August IFAPAC

By now you should know the results of the PRIMARY elections throughout the State. NAIFA did what we could to support the candidates that understand our business and vote sensibly. Now we are into the GENERAL election cycle. The big time. The last man standing (okay, and the last woman standing) in your district is the one that can make or break your day. Get to know him/her and see what you can do to assist in his/her decisions. Offer yourself as a resource your Senator or Representative can call for help understanding important issues relating to your industry, your profession. Be certain he/she knows you are a member of NAIFA. Once in office legislators cannot accept donations but knowing you are with NAIFA counts. If you can volunteer in any way, you will be noticed by the candidate and his/her aides. That can make access to the office much easier for you.

Can’t afford the time to volunteer? Give to IFAPAC. Can’t afford to give a meaningful contribution? Give to IFAPAC. We plan to make additional contributions in time for the GENERAL election cycle. Your Senator and your Representative knows where donations originate. When they see a NAIFA IFAPAC check made out to them, you want them to link your name to it. Even if the check isn’t made out directly to your district Senator or Representative, the money sometimes filters down to them through the party. IFAPAC often makes contributions to a committee that then shares the funds with campaigns that need help.

NAIFA headquarters makes contributions to the campaigns of candidates for federal offices. Just the other day I hand-delivered an IFAPAC check to Representative Rick Larson. (He was in Philadelphia for the DNC so his aide at the Everett office accepted it). I made sure he knew me, knew that I was a member of NAIFA and asked that he make sure Representative Larson is made aware. Similar checks were delivered to other [federal level] representatives around the Evergreen State last week.

When you contribute to IFAPAC the funds go directly to NAIFA headquarters. NAIFA then returns fifty percent of the funds back to NAIFA-Washington where it sits in an account until needed for an election cycle. What this means is your contributions get split between candidates at the federal level and the state level. What this really means is IFAPAC needs more contributors! This is the most important election cycles of your lifetime because it is NOW. Whether you contribute once a year or monthly (preferred), we appreciate it very much. We will be delivering contributions in the general cycle prior to November 1st. Send your contributions as soon as possible. Contribute online at:

We have Day On The Hill in January, usually the 3rd week of the month on a Tuesday. Join us in Olympia in January 2017. We haven’t set the date yet but go ahead and pencil in January 17th, 24th and 31st. As we get the date set we’ll tell you which dates to clear and which day to count on being with us at the State Capitol. It’s always a good experience to meet with and talk to your legislators. Plan now on figuring out a gift for his office. A monogrammed bowl for candy? A set of NAIFA golf tees? An RFID sleeve for his/her credit card? Wait, I’m doing that one!
Richard Ek, LUTCF

Friday, June 10, 2016

2016 May/June LILI

What is LILI….The Leadership in Life Institute Program 
by John Nichols State LILI Chair

LILI’s Mission
The NAIFA Leadership in Life Institute (LILI) develops leaders by identifying and building personal family growth skills, enhancing business practices and developing skills ideal for effective leadership  LILI is a six-month leadership development program devoted to advancing your personal and professional success.

11 of the many elements of LILI include:
  • Exploring the experiences of several life insurance agents helping you mastermind your own Business Plan and your agent practice.
  • The One Page Business Plan® which includes your Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles, Objectives and Strategies 
  • The Kolb Learning Style Inventory program…well known personality identifier for LILI attendees.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – the #1 predictor of success in business and leadership.
  • In depth conversation designed to make all leadership skills…the best in personal-development thinking
  • Business Tools to improve your business practice
  • In-depth workshops defining your business and personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Increased understanding of self and improved interpersonal relationships
  • Expanded professional network and opportunities for growth through LILI alumni programs
  • Valid study group discussions for various business books and leadership films.
  • Leadership opportunities in NAIFA
Taking the course is an investment in oneself and the returns on the investment can be infinite. Graduates consistently report that LILI gives them the tools to succeed and over 70% of graduates report a measurable increase in the growth of their business after completing course.

To learn more about the LILI experience and how to apply for next session…simply call John Nichols State LILI Chair and Moderator…206-920-8631.

History of LILI

began in 2000 when the first classes were held. Nearly 260 classes have been completed all over the USA.. The LILI family has grown to include 2,200 alumni. The program’s success is highly visible in the leadership ranks of NAIFA as graduates fulfill their service commitment and help LILI meet its mission of developing high-quality leaders for the entire federation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2016 May/June APIC

On May 23rd Ryan Jewell, Paul Twedt, and myself ventured to the “other Washington” for the Annual Congressional  Conference.  The Congressional Conference is a National Day on the Hill beginning with presentations and talking points from the national association and culminating with visits to our Senators and Representatives.  The focus was of course the Department of Labor’s revision of the fiduciary rule.  While we are not happy about the DOL’s position, via the efforts of NAIFA and other like-minded trade associations, the final rule was upgraded from previous drafts and much of the most damaging provisions were removed.

Our delegation of three were able to meet with 7 of our 12 federal legislators and/or their staff assistants.  Because we’ve made these trips in the past we have actual relationships with many of the staff people.  This is an extremely important development and the primary goal of APIC; to identify and develop relationships NAIFA members have with members of Congress.  All of the meetings were positive and even the legislators who perceive us as having an opposing view were open to discussing the good and not-so-good of the fiduciary rule.

As we move forward with the new rule NAIFA has developed a course that can be offered via state and local associations that explains the finer points of acting as a fiduciary.  You may have already received an email touting the new program.  Depending on your company or broker/dealer status you may also be getting input from other sources.  Pay close attention as there is much confusion regarding the do’s and don’ts.  In the meantime remember to report relationships you have with your Congressman/woman or Senator to the APIC chair. Someday there may be an app for that!

Richard L. Miller, APIC Chair

Monday, June 6, 2016

2016 May/June IFAPAC

On Hanging-On 
Several years ago while hiking with my son in Utah's 'Zion National Park', we enjoyed its beauty and the variety of colors of the sandstone formations. One thing in particular that amazed me was the resolute nature of the plants in that dry desolate desert environment. There were rugged, gnarled, twisted and obviously tenacious trees growing out of narrow cracks in sandstone walls. They probably had their start when a quantity of dirt had accumulated in the cracks, the dark crevice would protect seeds blown there by the wind. Then a seedling would obviously begin to sprout after the first rains came. The small and gnarled shrubs and trees that are produced by these crevices are wonders in and of themselves considering the hot desert climate.

We happened to walk by a tree growing out of such a crevice that had also been struck by lightning and was split into two parts. One half of the tree had been burned black by the lightening and was evidently dead. The other half, though terribly gnarled by its struggle to suck whatever nutrients and moisture it could from that little crack in the canyon wall was obviously still fighting for its life. The gnarled twisted trunk appeared to be dead but about ten feet up, at the very top of the trunk, were several small, delicate branches with a few beautiful and very much alive, shiny green leaves glistening in the sun. These few leaves were pulling as much light from the sun as they possibly could to provide the life giving photosynthesis to the struggling root of that tree. What an inspiration that was for me.   

These sandstone crevice trees were hanging onto life with every crumb of nutrient that they could garner from that sparse environment. The little moisture that might land in that crevasse and what little light that their few leaves could absorb from the sun was all they had to survive on. Not all of them made it but it was obvious that none of them gave up easily and without a tremendous struggle to maintain, let alone grow. The thought came to me that a picture of these struggling shrubs or trees should be hung in every hospital room in the country. They may possibly provide the inspiration and subsequent determination to survive to those lying in hospital beds. They, like the gnarled and twisted tree, may try a little harder to suck a little more oxygen into their lungs or to eat one more spoonful of nourishing food that may be hard for them to get down. Knowing that these gnarled trees have struggled to survive for centuries, may give some of them the determination to 'hang-on' for a little longer.

I remember reading the following thought published in the Cache Valley News Letter, written by Edward W. Smith, "Imagine that someone came along and asked you to stretch yourself as high as you could. Then after you stretched yourself, that person asked you to stretch another inch, but you said that you had stretched as much as you could.  Then imagine that the person said, that they would give you a million dollars if you could stretch another inch. Chances are you would make that extra inch." Those crevasse trees stretch an extra inch every day just to survive.  We, as well, seem to have an extra inch for the things we enjoy doing or for the right price.

Now, our NAIFA leaders have asked us all to stretch another inch. They want all members of the association to become involved in NAIFA’s political action committee: IFAPAC. Our industry is under tremendous pressure from regulators and legislators that have the power to change YOUR course, YOUR profession with the stroke of a pen. Be clear, there is no other professional association in your industry that works for your future every day of the week in Washington, D.C. and in Olympia, WA. These are critical times and each and every insurance professional including those not yet members of NAIFA, to help pull the wagon instead of just sitting in it and enjoying the fruits of the labor of others. We don't have to struggle to survive like the crevasse trees in Zion's park but may God bless us to stretch that one more inch of time and commitment for the sake of this noble profession.

Richard Ek, LUTCF