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Won’t you please come to Chicago…

Believe it or not, the opening session of the 2010 NFCA Annual Meeting is just 11 weeks away.  And this year’s conference is in the association’s back yard – sweet home, Chicago.  (Test your knowledge of the Windy City by taking the Chicago trivia test below.)

Have you registered yet?  Here are just a few reasons why you – and your key staff and Board members – need to be there:

  • Peter Sheahan is simply going to knock your socks off! Peter is the 30-something author of Fl!p, one of the best-selling business books that teaches you how to turn everything you know on its head and succeed beyond your wildest imaginings. Sound like a recipe you could use in your society or daily life? I can tell you that I read the book earlier this year and I utilize several of Sheahan’s credos virtually every day. If you don’t walk away with at least one good idea that you can put to use in your society the day you get back from the meeting, then you must have been shopping on Michigan Avenue…
  • Mike Dunn is a political analyst like no other. Sure, he’ll give you his take on what Congress might look like after the November elections. But more importantly, he’ll provide you tangible ways to get your society’s voice heard by the people that will be making the decisions about our tax- exempt status in 2011. And despite the warmest Southern drawl since Senator Sam Ervin, Mike won’t sugarcoat his message. By the time you applaud his presentation, you’ll be a better advocate for your society and the fraternal system.
  • You want workshops with quality and variety? You’ve come to the right place. Topics include how to make change work in your society, how to attract Generation Y as new customers and staff, and how to add new membership benefits and products.  Plus, our lineup of presenters features some of the most respected professionals in the fraternal system, as well as some notable professional speakers and consultants. The only problem you’ll have is deciding which workshops to attend. That’s why you need to register several folks from your society so you can ensure that every session gets covered.
  • Meet with peers in your Section over a hot breakfast and discuss the latest developments related to your discipline. Get the most current information on NFCA activities – the fraternal cooperative, policy positions on key issues, grassroots political action, and national campaigns to unite and promote our fraternal activities.
  • This year’s business session will feature more than speeches and award ceremonies. Delegates will be asked to vote on a proposed name change for the association. Only delegates present at the meeting will be allowed to vote for this historical proposition to enhance the brand awareness of the association among our most important audiences. As with any significant change in an organization, this is not without some contentious issues. You need to be there to listen to the discussion and cast your ballot.

No one else can take your place…

Who should attend this year’s meeting?  We are hoping that every one of NFCA’s 69 member societies will be represented in some way, shape or form.  For Presidents and CEOs, the NFCA Annual Meeting is THE place to not only learn from nationally-known speakers addressing the most relevant topics, but also to meet your colleagues in quiet corners and discuss fraternal and financial issues important to your societies – marketing alliances, backroom consolidation, new product development, membership growth strategies, and mergers.  The NFCA Annual Meeting is an idea incubator.  But it only works if you’re there in-person.

The same goes for Secretary-Treasurers, Vice Presidents, Chief Financial/Investment Officers, Actuaries (and actuarial consultants), Fraternal Directors, Communications Directors and other department and division leaders in your society.  The education programs alone are worth the price of admission for these professionals because they are available from no other source.

And don’t forget your society’s Board members.  We’ll be conducting another Board Institute at this year’s meeting, but don’t just limit your volunteer leaders to that session.  Have them attend the general sessions and workshops and introduce them to the big, wide world of fraternals.  They’ll have a better understanding of the system, its challenges, and the most effective ways to address them.

And how about rewarding that young, up-and-coming professional or local lodge leader in your society by sending them to the Annual Meeting?  It’s a great way to say “thank you for a job well done” and allow them to meet others, compare notes, and bring back ideas that could revolutionize your society.

For the help that we can bring…

In addition to the terrific educational sessions and networking opportunities, this year’s meeting will feature a host of special events including:

  • Community Service Project – We’re putting the finishing touches on our community service project that will kick-off the meeting on Thursday, September 9, at 11:30 a.m. Plan on joining us for an afternoon of volunteerism as we provide the “boots-on-the-ground” help to a local organization that only fraternals can bring.
  • Polish Society Welcoming Reception – NFCA’s Polish-based societies are joining forces to welcome you to Chicago (a city with the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw) with an ethnic-themed reception on Thursday evening featuring local dancers, musicians, and a vodka-tasting. "Nostrovia!" or "Good health!"  
  • An "Evening with the South Side Hit Men" (White Sox baseball game) – Spend Friday night at Sox Park and cheer on the newly resurgent Southsiders from the comfort of the Fan Deck reserved just for NFCA. Space is limited to 150 people and a separate fee applies that covers all your transportation and food.
  • “My Kind of Town” Closing Banquet – Legendary Chicago comic Tom Dreesen will emcee this event. Follow up the laughter with an evening of dancing to classic swing tunes by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Show your face…

There’s only one way to get the most out of the Annual Meeting and that’s by being there.  Registration materials have been sent to more than 1,300 individuals from NFCA member societies.  But you can register today by going to our online registration site.

Chicago trivia challenge…

  • Whose bovine supposedly started the Chicago fire in 1871?
  • How did the city get its name?
  • Which explorer is credited with founding the city?
  • The Chicago River runs in to or away from Lake Michigan?
  • What is the new name of Chicago’s tallest building?
  • Who was the author and what was the title of the book that exposed the horrible working conditions in the Chicago Stockyards?
  • Who is the current mayor?

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