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

Friday, June 3, 2016

2016 May/June Advisor 2020

I am sure a lot of you have seen the advertising on the NAIFA website, perhaps you have heard about it at the national or state convention the last few years… so what is this thing called Advisor 20/20?

The program was put together as a joint venture between GAMA and NAIFA as a way to help advisors begin to shape their practice for the years ahead. The program is taught either over the course of an 8 hour day or over a series of 1 hour long web ex presentations (stay tuned for more details on this coming from the state soon!) The goal is to help an advisor better understand the forces and opportunities that are shaping the practice of a typical financial advisor not just in 2020, but beyond. Everyone who has taken the course has a similar refrain “I had heard some of these items, or seen some of them popping up now and then in my practice, but the program forced me to look at my practice and put steps in place to have me ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow today”

Are you ready for a more diverse client base? Are you able to work across generational lines or with American citizens living in foreign countries? Are you prepared for the changes of technology in your practice? What about communicating with your clients, are you ready and able to communicate with them, the way they want to be communicated with? These and so many other questions are explored in depth during your reading and the subsequent class.

Don’t miss out on your chance to take part in what many call the best program NAIFA has offered in the last 20 years. Stay tuned for announcement of dates and locations of in person classes in the State of Washington, as well as a new web ex option coming this fall.

Stephen Good

President-Elect 2016-2017

2016 May/June Have you Experienced NAIFA Lately?

Have you experienced a local association meeting recently?

Have you experienced  being on your local board?

Have you experienced the NAIFA website?

Have you experienced an annual State Convention?

Have you experienced the NAIFA Annual Career Conference?

Have you experienced the Leaders In Life Institute (LILI)?

Have you experienced the Advisor 2020 Workshop?

Have you experienced the Advocacy efforts NAIFA provides?

Have you experienced Day on the Hill in Olympia?

NAIFA has made the commitment to us to protect our businesses, grow our businesses and make us successful leaders in our communities.

Can we as members make the commitment to NAIFA to stay Viable and Relevant in our ever changing economic and political environments?

Can we resist the temptation to not participant in our Association?

If you haven't Experienced NAIFA lately, I challenge you to reach out to your Local and State Leadership and give your time and support.  

I challenge you to recruit and mentor one new member to NAIFA by June 30th and help give them the NAIFA Experience needed to continue their membership and involvement each year.

Share your NAIFA story and why you are member, the time for action is now.

Neal Kloke
State President 2016-2017

2016 May/June Sponsorship

As we enter into the new year of officers and events – If you would benefit from sponsoring NAIFA -Washington please begin to consider where NAIFA is in your annual marketing budget.  If you are someone who uses a carrier/partner regularly please start the conversation about how you will be approaching them to seek out their sponsorship.  Look for marketing materials after our State Planning meeting on August 5th!

Thank you,

Keith Wallace

2016 May/June Convention Roundup

Our 2016 State Convention, chaired by new incoming State Secretary-Treasurer Wayne Lunday ably assisted by hard working State Executive Secretary Jenna Olson, was a smashing success, with these highpoints:

* First time ever a joint convention with the great state of Oregon held at the fabulous Skamania Lodge on the Columbia River Gorge.

*Over 150 attendees and guests, 19 exhibitors, and 10 sponsorsMore on the financials later, but it appears to be a profitable success as well.

*Major news from Washington D.C. in a hard hitting address by NAIFA National President Jules Gaudreau, Jr., especially on the Dept of Labor Fiduciary Regulation and Advisor 20/20 - our roadmap to future success.

*Fantastic presentation by “Forbes” Columnist, independent consultant, and Attorney Steve Parrish, JD, CLU, ChFC on how to stay relevant in this day and age - with many new ideas for helping business owners and executives with their planning.

*A four hour sternwheeler cruise up the Columbia River, a guided motorcar tour of several working wineries with wine tasting, and a joint golf tournament - the winning foursome led by our own newly installed President Neal Kloke!

*A presentation by our National Trustees Tom Michel (Oregon) and Aprilyn Chavez Geissler (Washington) on a proposed $6.00 per member per month dues investment to help National provide more assistance to states and local, to build more resources for education, to research more non-dues reserve sources, and to continue the fight against intrusive government regulators seeking to put you out of business.

*Last year NAIFA spent over $800,000 in outside attorneys and consultants just in fighting the Dept of Labor Fiduciary Regulation.  While we succeeded in greatly watering it down, we can guarantee that they will be back next year.

*We learned that as a result of this DOL Fiduciary Rule, State Farm Insurance may drop all sales of variable and securities based products in January 2017.  They have 30,000 agents and employees with securities licenses - many may be out of work.

*The Board of Directors, consisting of your State officers, Regional Vice-Presidents, and local Presidents, along with the delegate council, voted to endorse a resolution in support of the proposed dues investment increase.

*Neal's President’s Retreat will be held on Friday August 5th - 10am-4pm.  All chairmen, officers, RVP’s and local presidents are invited.  Place TBA
*Nationwide there is keen interest in forming “Lean Locals” or Hybrid Locals - local associations who satellite onto a larger local or state associations, get support, but  do not have to have officers on conduct board meetings.  They can meet informally to network as they wish.  It is our hope that we may be able to relieve the stress on some of our more rural locals who have smaller membership that is more widely scattered.  Stay tuned!

            *Election results for 2016-2017:
                        President - Neal Kloke
                        President Elect - Stephen Good
                        Secretary-Treasurer - Wayne Lunday
                        Immediate Past President - Scott Fowler
                        National Committeeman - Jeff Kyle

                        Agent/Man of the Year - Randy Kimm
                        Step up to the Plate Award - Lisa Kruckeberg
                        Rising Star - Chris Wertenberger
                        Lifetime Achievement Award - Alan Zalewski
                        YAT of the Year - Ryan Jewell  

            *Most interesting Man in the World - John Nichols


*President Scott Fowler’s wife Julie is a darn good soccer player

*His kids get room service - anything they want while Dad is in meetings

*Lisa Kruckeberg brought her fiance Mike to the convention.  (He proposed on the 50 Yard Line of the Seahawks-Steelers game -- Sweet!) He didn’t get scared off - you’ve got a “Keeper”, Lisa!  Best wishes to the happy couple who marry in less than 3 weeks.

*Most Interesting Man in the World, John Nichols, continues to provide his own famous blendings of various Scotches.  Good stuff.  That’s about all I remember...

Al Zalewski, CLU, ChFC