Monday, September 14, 2015

2015 September/October National Conference


We are all headed to New Orleans this October 3-5, 2015 for our National Conference.  Your leaders and delegates will be busy!  Let the good times roll in New Orleans! The NAIFA 2015 Career Conference and Annual Meeting is jam-packed with great speakers, educational workshops, advocacy updates and more, but let’s be sure to plan time to enjoy New Orleans. I’m adding a couple of days after the meeting to check out all there is to see and do in the Big Easy.

If you are a delegate please get your cell phone number to Jenna Olson, our Executive, so we can keep in touch during the convention and arrange to meet as needed.  We have a Western States Forum Meeting most likely Monday morning at 7:30 AM that we need you to attend.  We also want to gather everyone together for fellowship, camaraderie, and fun. I will be attending on Saturday the Advisor 2020 program so that I can share with you my experience as we will be putting this on for our members this October 15th.

According to Advisor 2020, American households are critically unprepared to secure their financial futures. Most Americans – even in middle- to higher-income households – will fall well short of retirement expectations. The good news is that Americans are well aware of their financial predicament and are receptive to guidance from financial advisors. The Advisor 2020 Workshop will show advisors how they can redefine the value they bring to their clients in the face of these changing market and financial forces.

One very important issue we have to tackle is successor leadership.  Like our local and state associations, National needs good, capable future leaders, and getting people to run for National Trustee, and to have contested elections, as I remember years ago, is becoming difficult.  Therefore, National and 15 State Associations have offered the following amendment which proposes to have a Governance Committee vet, recruit, and nominate at least one candidate for each office, allowing additional candidates to declare for office not later than July 15 prior to Conference.  Here is the text, and this is what we will be voting on in New Orleans:

One (1) amendment to the NAIFA bylaws has been proposed for the National Council to consider at the 2015 NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting. The NAIFA Committee on Governance initiated the proposal on January 6, 2015, pursuant to Article XXIII, Section 4(d) of the bylaws, and the proposal has been co-sponsored by the Boards of Directors of the following NAIFA state associations, pursuant to Article XXIII, Section 4(c) of the bylaws: NAIFA-Arkansas; NAIFA-Connecticut; NAIFA-Georgia; NAIFA-Maine; NAIFA-Maryland; NAIFA-Minnesota; NAIFA-Mississippi; NAIFA-New Hampshire; NAIFA-New Jersey; NAIFANew York; NAIFA-North Carolina; NAIFA-Oklahoma; NAIFA-Pennsylvania; NAIFA-South Carolina; and NAIFA-Tennessee. The proposal would become effective immediately, unless noted otherwise, if adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the National Council present and voting at the 2015 NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting. The NAIFA Governance Committee and the sponsoring NAIFA state associations propose that the NAIFA bylaws be amended to revise the process for NAIFA Board candidate nominations, and to modify the composition of the Governance Committee, as explained below, and offer the following rationale for these changes: In the course of recruiting nominees for national office, particularly for trustee, the Governance Committee has spent the last several years grappling with several questions: Why don’t more NAIFA members seek to serve in national office? And, what can be done to have more candidates considered for national office? Most agree that our association is best served when we have more options to consider for our leadership positions. That is why so many members have hoped that NAIFA would have contested elections for national positions. Unfortunately, despite the Governance Committee’s efforts, contested elections have become the exception more than the rule. Over the past two years, the Governance Committee has conducted member surveys and face-to-face member interviews to explore why more NAIFA members are not stepping up to serve on the national level. The Committee found reluctance by many due to the time commitment for service and the expense and risk inherent in elections. The time commitment to serve is not something the Committee can impact, but the Committee believes NAIFA can make a simple but important change to our nomination process that will save time and expense for potential candidates and make it easier for prospective candidates to throw their hat in the ring. The proposed amendment tasks the Governance Committee with creating a more robust vetting process for potential candidates resulting in one officially nominated candidate for each available position. The amendment also expands the composition of the Governance Committee and gives guidance on appointing a Committee that is more representative of the NAIFA membership. It is important to note that the amendment retains an election process and the opportunity for members to run for office without the Committee’s nomination. While being “grassroots” in design, this proposed process emphasizes a strenuous procedure to nominate the very best for NAIFA leadership positions. In today’s environment, it offers a more sensible approach towards encouraging both state and local leaders to step forward for service on a national basis.

See you in New Orleans!

Al Zalewski, CLU, ChFC, National Committeeman

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