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