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    The (Financial) Results Are In

    The Alliance’s financial reports for each member society are on their way to you.  These individual and confidential reports, prepared by Strohm-Ballweg and based on data provided by fraternals to the NAIC, provide society executives with a “fiscal snapshot” of their societies for eleven key ratios – from solvency to RBC to liquidity.  More importantly, the reports compare the individual society’s performance to those of comparable fraternal and commercial life insurers, so you can determine how you stack up against the competition.  These are the tools that regulators and rating agencies use to evaluate an organization’s financial condition and we hope that by providing them to you in an easy-to-read format, you’ll be able to utilize them as a management tool with your executive team and board.  As our recent consumer research clearly shows, fraternals’ commitment to their communities is very attractive to prospective members.  But that appeal is undermined without the financial strength to fulfill our long-term promises.  The Alliance makes a significant investment in preparing these individual financial reports, and these reports are a complimentary membership benefit to every fraternal.  I’d like to hear what you think about them – invaluable management tool; goes straight to the circular file; never seen one of these?  Let me know by posting a comment on the blog or emailing me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org.

    I’m still waiting…

    In my last post, I briefed you on what I think is a pretty cool – and pretty important – Alliance advocacy initiative: the effort to pass a Congressional Resolution that reaffirms the value and validity of the fraternal business model.  In the post, I asked you to let me know if you were interested in participating in the Alliance’s grassroots effort to recruit co-sponsors for the resolution, either by meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill or in their home districts, or by writing them personal letters requesting that they sign on to the measure.  To date I have received exactly ZERO responses from members – nada, nichts, nothing.  And that, my friends, is scary.

    The first response to that post was a comment from a non-member who said that “Ultimately, all political solutions are illusions, no real change happens through political action, no matter how well intended.  The fraternal model will survive only as it builds a generation of young folks who see a venue for service and meaningful and profitable careers in the societies.  That is why mentoring should be the highest priority of the fraternal leadership.”

    Not surprisingly, this individual offers a mentoring training program.  And while I certainly agree with the need to build a new generation of members – and the role that mentoring can play in that effort – we cannot ignore the fact that we are impacted by political activities.  And unless we engage in political solutions, we can be VERY NEGATIVELY IMPACTED by the actions of state and federal lawmakers.  Being a member of the Alliance is not enough.  I will advocate on your behalf to the best of my ability, as will our retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and state capitols.  But I don’t vote in every Congressional district.  But you – and the thousands of individual members that you represent – do.  And we need to add your strong voice to our chorus.

    So let me ask you one more time:  Are you ready, willing and able to join this crusade?  If so, participating is as easy as sending me an email at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org.

    Life’s little annoyances…

    I’ve been a little cranky lately.  Too many airports, hotel beds, and waking up with that “If this is Wednesday, it must be Cleveland” feeling.  And I’ve been taking note of a few things that really rankle me, and have listed them here.  In my next post, I promise to include a “bright-side” list, but feel free to add your items to the following list:

    • People who sit in an airport gate waiting area for an hour, surrounded by a dizzying array of places to eat, who only realize they’re hungry five minutes before the flight boards and bring on a tuna sandwich whose smell permeates the entire cabin.
    • Tuna – quite simply, should be banned or required to be eaten only outdoors.
    • The guy who sits in front of me whenever I go to a Chicago Bulls game and plays “Words with Friends” on his iPhone for the entire game.
    • Airline seats that are designed for individuals who are 5’9” and weigh 160 lbs.
    • Golf – how, in God’s name, is it possible to hit the ball so long and straight one day and so short and crooked the next?

    Your turn…

    One Response

    1. I had a fantastic experience on my Hill visits last week will I was in DC for the YWCA’s annual conference. Not only was I able to represent Royal Neighbors and share our mission and key programs, but I know that my visit truly made a difference. Thank you Joe, the Alliance, and McBee for coordinating this opportunity. I look forward to the next time!

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