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    Make Mid-Year Meetings Part of Your “20 Mile March” to Greatness

    One of the most interesting takeaways from Jim Collins’ presentation at the Alliance’s 2012 Annual Meeting was the notion that great companies aren’t always those on the “bleeding edge” of innovation, but more often follow closely behind the innovators – learning from their missteps and improving on their processes. The message to me was “you don’t have to be there first; but you better be there second or third.”

    How do business leaders give their organizations the best chance of long lasting, durable “greatness?” How do they stay on top of the internal and existential forces shaping their industries and navigate an increasingly complex and competitive business environment? How do they keep their “20 mile marches” on pace even when conditions would force others to slow down, change course, or call it quits?

    For fraternal executives, a big part of the answer is participating in the Alliance’s Mid-Year Meetings where they can tap into the minds of economic, operations, marketing, member benefits, and community service experts, and engage in vigorous panel discussions with their peers. Mid-Year Meetings are where the work gets done – marketing partnerships are formed; cooperative relationships are built; mergers are negotiated; knowledge is shared – in a “roll-up-your-sleeves” forum like no other in the industry.

    The path to greatness is now accepting reservations…

    On-line registration is now available for both the Fraternal Operations Mid-Year Meeting, sponsored by the Secretaries/HR Section (April 6-8), and the Presidents Mid-Year Meeting (April 7-9). As usual, these meetings overlap and are held at the same location – the Marriott in Crystal City, VA (right across the river from Washington, D.C.). Presidents Meeting participants should plan on arriving on Sunday, April 7, in time to attend the welcoming reception and dinner that evening, and to depart on Wednesday, April 10, in order to participate in the Capitol Hill visits on the afternoon of April 9 and the reception in the Capitol that evening.  Better yet, CEOs can maximize their time by arriving a little earlier to take advantage of the top-notch tailored programming at the Fraternal Operations Mid Year meeting which starts Sunday morning.

    Here are a few meeting highlights:

    Fraternal Operations Meeting (Sponsored by the Secretaries/HR Section)

    • Succession Planning: The Transfer of Executive Knowledge Regardless of Being Elected or Hired
      Two fraternal CEOs, Kevin Marti of Gleaner Life Insurance Society and Jim Wolfe of Western Fraternal Life Association, will offer their observations and strategies on how to best prepare for a new top executive.
    • Virtual Members: How Fraternals are Using Facebook, Twitter and Micro-sites to Stay Connected
      Hear from a variety of fraternal marketing experts on their current social media activities.
    • Roundtable Discussions to include:
      1. Unclaimed Property Practices
      2. And much more!

    Presidents Meeting

    • Keynote presentation by The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel – You read him every week and see him on the Sunday talk shows. Here’s your chance to discuss the political actions that will directly impact the nation’s economic outlook with one of the most insightful financial analysts in the United States.
    • Marketing Panel – Since nothing happens until a sale is made, this group of field managers and CEOs will discuss how fraternals can improve their marketing efforts to attract younger members and streamline their distribution system to make marketing more cost effective.
    • What’s Really at Stake in the Current Congress? – A panel of seasoned government affairs pros from various sectors of the life insurance industry will sound off on the threats to the fraternal tax exemption, as well as the potential for taxation of life insurance benefits and inside buildup.
    • House Calls – We’ve got a clear mission this year: recruit 100 House of Representative co-sponsors for the Alliance’s Congressional Resolution on Fraternalism. The best way to accomplish that: having CEOs and senior executives make personal visits to House members and their staff on Tuesday, April 9.

    Look for future pathways to open soon…

    Registration and program information for the Fraternal/Communications Mid-Year Meeting (April 24-26 in Hollywood, FL) and the Canadian Section Annual General Meeting (May 5-7 in Ottawa, Ontario) to be available in mid-February, and the Investment and Actuaries Meetings (June 5-7 in Oak Brook, IL) to be available in mid-March.

    “Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.”
    Samuel Johnson

    The 2013 Mid-Year Meetings are where you can share your knowledge and gain so much more. I’m looking forward to seeing you at one of more of these meetings.

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