Monday, December 17, 2012

APIC Action Alert (Newsletter 2012-12)

Most of you are aware that our industry and individual practices are under extreme pressure from those who view the curtailing or eliminating of the tax-advantaged status of our products as a solution to the country’s deficit woes. Our legislative NAIFA team in Washington DC is working overtime to protect our businesses and the consumers we serve. Among other things NAIFA is holding a Congressional Conference on April 8-9, 2013 for the purposes of visiting our legislators to discuss tax policy as it relates to our industry. NAIFA would like to see at least 2 members from every congressional district in attendance. As encouragement NAIFA is reimbursing up to $500 of travel expenses for the first 500 registered attendees across the nation.

I personally called 26 members, who are in leadership positions of our 14 local associations, asking them to take action. Here is what you can do:
  1. Go to and click on the banner APIC entitled “Congressional Conference” at the top of the home page.
  2. On the next page you will see a video with a picture of members gathered in front of the Capitol building. Scroll to the bottom of the page, enter your name and email, and click the “submit” button.
  3. This ensures you will get an alert email from National when registration opens. If you are one of the first 500 who register and book your hotel, you will be in line for the reimbursement. Remember to act fast if you are planning to attend as there are potentially thousands of members doing the same thing!
Keep in mind that there is no harm in registering to get the alert email even if you are not sure you can attend. Finally, contact me with any questions and thank you for participating in your association. We are depending on you!

Written by Richard L. Miller, APIC Chair

NAIFA Washington Says Goodbye to The "First Lady" of WSALU

Nancy A. Simons, 83, of Kennewick, died November 17, in Richland, WA.

Nancy was born October 14, 1929 in Urbana, Illinois and moved to the Tri-Cities as a young girl in 1943. She was married to her “Knight in Shining Armor”, Howard Simons and raised five children in this area. Howard passed away in 1973.

In her own words: “I’m almost a native of the Tri-Cities. My family was among the pioneers of the Hanford Atomic Project. We were the seventh trailer to begin what became the largest trailer court in the world. I have fond memories of both Richland and Pasco high school days.

It was here that I met and married Howard. For 28 years I had an active, happy home life with five children growing up and a remarkable man to love and share it with. We broke raw land and farmed for ten years north of Pasco. We moved to Kennewick in 1960 and I’ve been here since.

When Howard died, I started my career in Life Insurance with a full understanding of what a family faces
when a father dies unexpectedly. I was scared to death, a housewife trying to compete in a man’s profession. I learned that if we see our dream as a reality, set our goals for it, and work hard, we can make it – no matter who we are.”

Nancy retired in 2008. Her awards, honors and accomplishments were many, holding offices at local, state and national levels. The highlight of her career was becoming the first woman President (1990-91) of the Washington State Association of Life Underwriters (WSALU), now known as NAIFA Washington.

Her loving companion of over twenty years, Hec Hancock, remembers that she learned to ski in her sixties as they toured the country’s ski slopes. They traveled the world together and made many happy memories.

Nancy enjoyed gourmet cooking, entertaining, gardening, sewing, crafting, decorating, and “organizing”. Her home was warm and welcoming. Her garden and her family were the source of her joy.

Nancy is survived by one brother, Lyle Mineer of Richland. Her children: Sharon Thompson (Alan) of Camas, Steve Simons (Penny) of Sequim, Lynn Simons, Sandy Warner (Marc), and Judith Doshier (Doug) of Kennewick, 11 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.

(Nancy was truly a pioneer and she will be greatly missed as she touched so many lives. I was one of those lives as it was my privilege to serve her during her presidency. She was a fine lady and good friend. Cheryl McCracken, retired Administrator, WSALU/NAIFA-Washington 1977-2008)

Written by Cheryl McCracken, Editor

You Are Not a Twinkie! (Newsletter 2012-12)

One of the most enduring icons in the business world is the commissioned salesman. Call yourself what you want – agent, advisor, financial planner, problem solver, producer – we are all salesmen. We are good at what we do and we are always getting better. We have been successful at surviving in this business, the major leagues of selling, because we enjoy working with people and we know our product has real value. We don’t let discouragement get us down, at least not for very long. We demonstrate commitment to the people we serve and always seek to provide what is needed. We work when it is sunny; we work when it is raining or snowing. We work in the daytime; we work at night. We work when we feel good; we work when we are not feeling so good. We are not deterred by a depressed economy - we adjust to find the money. We are not held back from our goals by regulations that change the playing field - we are free to bob and weave into new markets.

And yet there are some in this world that fail to see our value to the community. They are ignorant to the facts that the work we do keeps families together, makes it possible for businesses to survive and jobs to be retained. They are of the [false] impression that government can do it better. Call it socialism, progressivism or any other “ism.” But the challenges to our great industry are much greater today than they have ever been. Many of our “seasoned” members have seen threats to this great force for good in the past and yet they endured. They endured partly because they were smart, committed to their work and resilient.They endured, in large part, because they had advocates in the power centers of their state and in Washington, DC to thwart the enemies of free enterprise. They had NAIFA.

The challenges you and I face today are real. The challenges you and I face today are greater than before. The challenges to our clients and our livelihood are found in both Olympia and in Washington, DC. They are found in committees and caucuses, meeting rooms and councils of men and women who know very little about what we provide to their constituents. When we fail to show up at hearings, when we fail to call or meet with legislators to tell our story our futures are in more jeopardy than we realize.

NAIFA is our collective voice that tells our story to lawmakers when we are busy doing what we do best – selling. NAIFA is our voice to Congressmen, Senators and Governors. NAIFA shows up at those hearings, meets with legislators to tell our story and works day after day to represent you and me. Your NAIFA dues help keep our name in front of “them” but dues alone are not enough. That is why we have a political action committee – IFAPAC. NAIFA needs more members to participate in the PAC to get the EARS of legislators who have the power to affect our future.

If you feel it is time to stand at the window and shout, “I’m a valuable provider of money when it is needed and I’m not going to take it anymore!” then join me and other NAIFA members by contributing to IFAPAC. Participate with at least $5 per month. No, make it $10. If you think about it, $30 per month – a dollar a day – is affordable for anyone in this business. Invest in your future. Look at your PAC participation as career insurance. Your PAC contributions keep our collective voice heard in Olympia and in Washington, DC and make it possible to inform lawmakers of your value to their constituents, their own families and to the community as a whole.

You are not selling Twinkies or Ding Dongs. You are not going to let outside forces drive you into oblivion. No. Instead, stand tall, gird up your loins, carry the shield of justice and wield the sword of truth and virtue. Get involved. Participate! Join IFAPAC.

Written by Richard Ek, LUTCH, IFAPAC Chair

2012 FSF Recap (Newsletter 2012-12)

In this article you will read about the Financial Services Forum held in Bellevue on October 29. 60 Reps experienced top presenters, excellent facility, great food and fellowship.

Ty Bennett spoke about the power of influence and leadership and how it affects our performance and service to clients. He was entertaining and informative to the point you knew you were listening to a top speaker. A 40 year life member of MDRT asked me to introduce Ty to him because he is going to suggest to MDRT leadership they use him for platform speaking at national meeting.

Gary Heuer told his life story “A Determined Spirit.” It was a story of amazement and admiration. Gary told it in a way to inspire us to serve more people and to do it better. He added some life sales ideas. One of our NAIFA Washington's past presidents told me that Gary’s presentation was worth the price of admission alone.

Cindy Eisenhower gave a colorful presentation on long term care that lit the fire under our rears to conduct
this conversation with our clients and prospects.

Mel Sorenson spoke for 50 minutes giving us updates on the healthcare exchanges and its status as well as other topics of importance to us and our business. He is a tremendous asset to us and our profession.

We had a special presentation by Jim Martinson on the American Lake Veterans Golf course in Lakewood and the great things they are doing for our psychologically and physically wounded veterans. He shared some of his story with us too. He is a Vietnam vet double amputee and has accomplished some amazing and remarkable things that we able bodied people could only imagine ever doing.

And of course we had a number of sponsors in attendance and appreciate their support. Our corporate sponsors are Thrivent Financial, Northwest Preferred Credit Union, Regence Blue Shield and Our Membership and IFAPAC were present as well. Our additional on site sponsors were ExamOne, Ohio National Financial Services, DI Broker, Washington Brokerage, Crump Life Insurance, Astor & Black, Guardian Life and NW Disability. Please go to these providers first to help you with your business. If you need contact information let Linda Fox our Executive or myself know so that we can get it to you. And one other organization to thank is the Washington State FIC. This Fraternal organization came through with a speaker sponsorship of $538. Make a note in your 2013 calendar for the second or third Monday of October to attend the next Financial Services Forum. See you at Day on The
Hill January 29th.

Written by Kevin Gleim, LUTCF, FICF, President-Elect

Legislative/Advocacy Report (Newsletter 2012-12)

Your attendance is needed!! Mark your calendars NOW for the date of January 29, 2013 and NAIFA’s Day on the Hill. Mel Sorensen, NAIFA WA Lobbyist has the agenda/speakers are in order; we have a GOLD Sponsor, New York Life Insurance Company and all that’s left if for your Association to set appointments with your legislators and plan to be there in force!  REGISTER ONLINE TODAY

Washington State budget is still in the red. Our industry and agents/brokers/producers are again on your legislators agenda (B&O tax increases??). The implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act is in it’s final stages for implementation by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Don’t think if you’re a Life Producer/agent/broker only, that you won’t be affected…NOT. You’ll be asked: “how this is going to work, how will ACA affect me, are there any alternatives for me?” ….you need to be informed and you need to be able to responds to your clients that you are involved on their behalf.

If you’ve never attended a NAIFA Washington “Day on the Hill” be there this year!! If you’ve attended every year…bring someone new. Important … Don’t come alone (carpool lanes are good)! Please register today and plan on being there!! Talking points and more will be sent to you prior to the event, look for them!

Andrew “Drew” Hooper is the Advocacy/Legislative Co-Chair!
Drew entered into the financial services industry in April of 2006 when he joined New York Life. Drew was fortunate to have an incredible NAIFA member mentor, Jack Thomas, who always followed the NAIFA code of ethics and encouraged Drew to do the same. Drew was excited by the opportunity NAIFA provided to network with and learn from other agents from other companies and other areas of focus. In Drew's second year with NAIFA he was elected to the board and in his third year started to move through the leadership chairs. Drew is currently serving his second term as President for NAIFA Twin Harbors and is excited to see membership growth.  Drew believes that NAIFA is the backbone to our industries success and is excited to have the opportunity to help NAIFA WA develop and build successful relationships with our state and federal legislators. He is encouraged by the direction the state association is headed and hopes to assist in driving the growth of the NAIFA Federation as well as Advocating for the needs of its agents and their clients. Please welcome him when you see him in Olympia!

If you have any questions about NAIFA Washington “Day on the Hill”, please contact me at or call me at (360) 708-3210.

Written by Sharon L. Sparling, Advocacy Chair, and Andrew "Drew" Hooper, Co-Chair

President's Message (Newsletter 2012-12)

Welcome fellow NAIFA Participants to this quarter’s newsletter! I will keep my article short as there are so many others with great info and exciting news to report to you! I’d like to start by reporting that we’ve just completed an audit of the state books and all is in order! Thank you Linda (met with CPA), Cheryl (advised Linda) and Glenn (found the CPA who generously donated his time and know how)!

Also, a huge “Atta Boy” to Michael Staeb as he continues to put together the State web site, sites for locals who choose to participate in the constant contact program, has changed the “face” of our State e-mails, given us a presence on Facebook and is looking into other cutting edge means of communications to help Brand NAIFA Washington and help us to simply communicate our message more effectively and efficiently!

Last month I visited the Seattle/Eastside meeting and witnessed an AMAZING feat! In about 30 minutes time they raised $5,000 for IFAPAC! Way to go Alex Collins, Richard Ek and Paul Adams! Anyone up for a challenge?

As we continue into the Holidays and New Year we have much to consider! We enjoy this time with family
and friends, we travel, we exchange gifts, we have many traditions we hold dear. Please, let’s not forget
that no matter what our personal challenges are, there are those who are either less fortunate than us and may not have a nice meal, a warm or even safe place to rest their head. There are also those who live far away from their families in service to their country! Let’s also remember those Patriots as well!

Lastly, as we ready ourselves for a new year, 2013, these next few weeks would be an appropriate time to write out your goals, to update your business plan. Those who write them down and systematically pursue them as well as periodically re-evaluate them are MUCH more likely to attain them!

Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Written by Jeff Kyle, President