|(L-R Jeff Johnston, Senator Cantwell, Richard Miller)|
Much to my dismay, I was unable to attend our recent State Convention. Jeff Johnston and I instead made the trek to Washington DC for the Congressional Conference; NAIFA National’s super-sized version of Day on the Hill. I must admit that I didn’t have the best attitude prior to the trip. I was grousing about missing the State Convention and grumbling about the gridlock in the other Washington, and wondering out loud to anyone within earshot, whether we would have any impact.
Well as things often play out, I received a loud and clear message. We started out the day with just one appointment at Senator Cantwell’s office. With some last minute calling and a little help from Kyle Kunkler at the National headquarters, we managed to set up 2 additional appointments with Senator Murray’s office and 8th congressional district Congressman Dave Reichert. Not only were we happy to be using our time in Washington DC wisely, but all of our appointments were with key legislators; those who sit on committees that directly impact our industry.
Our first meeting with Senator Cantwell’s senior advisor Erin Gulick proceeded smoothly. We’ve met Erin during previous trips and she recognized us and the NAIFA association. Then we got a nice surprise. As we were leaving the office, Senator Cantwell was arriving. Jeff and I were able to quickly reiterate the important tax reform talking points and the Senator was very cognizant of the good work that our industry does from a planning perspective and verbalized her desire not to harm us. Our meeting concluded with the Senator posing for a photo and recording a brief video congratulating NAIFA on its 125th Anniversary. (Hopefully one or both of those items will be included in the newsletter or will be available on the State website.)
Similar tones were struck in the other meetings at both Senator Murray’s and Congressman Reichert’s office. Our legislators recognize that we are part of the solution and that we help main stream Americans avoid dependency on the government. They KNOW who NAIFA is and they GET our message. I started out with a little bit of attitude and ended up being grateful that our efforts are paying off. We, NAIFA, are RELEVANT. I don’t question it, and neither should you.
Richard L. Miller, NAIFA-WA APIC Chair
PS: A huge and humble thank you to the association and its leadership for awarding me the Member of the Year award. I will continue to resist the urge to become uninvolved and I will work hard to live up to a great honor. Thank you!