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Imagining a New Fraternal Vision, Eh?

Last week I participated in the Canadian Fraternal Association (CFA) Annual Meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  I had my picture taken with the leadership of the Sons of Scotland (hide the women and children…), who also proudly unveiled their new logo


A creative actuary… The quality of the participants was only surpassed by the program topics and presenters.  The most memorable session for me was led by Sharon Giffen of the Independent Order of Foresters (IOF).  Sharon’s an actuary (but don’t let that scare you, because she’s one of the most creative people I’ve come across in quite a while) who wrote an award-winning paper for the Society of Actuaries in which she envisioned what a new fraternal benefit society with a common bond of a “sustainable lifestyle” would look like in 2020.

At the CFA meeting, she took that a step further and broke the participants into small working groups with one assignment: create a vision for how this new “green” society would carry out its fraternal mission, would recruit, communicate with, and engage members, and would govern itself.

I’m going to Disneyland… There was one other requirement: all participants had to agree to “suspend disbelief.”  We had to pretend we were Disney “Imagineers” and create a vision of what could be, unfettered by the reality of where some fraternals are today.

The bottom line is that it was a terrific exercise that yielded some remarkably innovative ideas – and not just ideas that had to wait until 2020 for implementation!  You might be able to guess what some of those ideas were – but I think it would be better for you, your staff, your local lodge leaders, and your YOUNGER MEMBERS to replicate this exercise in your own society and come up with your own recipe for re-inventing your society.

NFCA Annual Meeting… You can bet this type of program will be a part of future NFCA meetings.  Speaking of which, have you registered for the NFCA Annual Meeting scheduled for September 9-11, 2010, in Chicago?  Click here for more information and to register online.  Invest in your society’s future by making sure you, your key executives, and your most innovative volunteer leaders attend.

We Recognize Good Speakers When We See Them… Sharon Giffen is also confirmed as a presenter at the NFCA Actuaries Section Mid-Year Meeting, June 3-4, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she will be highlighting all the new and unique products IOF is offering to its membership.

One Response

  1. Great article/speech by Sharon Giffen

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