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“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now…”

As many of you know, I’m a big Bob Dylan fan and the title of this posting is a lyric from “My Back Pages,” one of my favorite Dylan songs.  It’s a perfect fit for the overarching theme of the Alliance’s 2014 Annual Meeting program – finding ways for fraternals to grow younger.  We developed a program that is focused on helping you accept Jim Collins’ challenge for fraternals to have as many members under 35 years old as they do over 35.


And in the spirit of “growing younger,” I am adding a twist to the Collins’ challenge by encouraging every member society to bring their most promising young person to the 2014 Annual Meeting.  It could be someone like…

  • That young manager in charge of your society’s marketing or community service programs who you just know is going to succeed and you hope that success will come with your society – not their next employer…
  • That 35-year old first-term Board member who’s open to new ideas about the direction of your society…
  • That local chapter leader who has reinvented the notion of volunteerism and redefined the relevance of your society to members of the local community…

Add yourself to this list if you haven’t been to the Alliance Annual Meeting in the last year or two.  Our 2014 Annual Meeting program is going to break new ground, and you should be there with your colleagues to experience it.  We’re well on our way to attracting another record crowd to the meeting in Austin in September.  The deadline for early bird registration as well as for our special Young Professional Rate is this Friday, July 18.  It will cost you more to attend the meeting after that date, so why wait (especially when you can take advantage of our easy on-line registration system)?

There are hundreds of reasons for you, your management team, your board members, and your most promising local chapter leaders to be there.  Here are just a few…

  • Dan Heath on “Being Decisive”  – Dan is the closest thing to a “traditional” keynote speaker you’ll find at this year’s meeting, and he’s anything but run-of-the-mill.  A best-selling author and Duke University professor, Dan’s going to provide you insights on the one thing that every leader at any level has to do well – make decisions.  You’ll leave this session knowing why you’ve made missteps in the past and with the tools to make the next decision you make your best ever.
  • Philippe Garneau on “Fraternal Branding” – Philippe knocked the socks off the attendees at the Alliance’s Canadian Section Annual General Meeting a few weeks ago, and we knew we had to have him deliver the same message on branding your society for the next generation at the Annual Meeting.  His is the only Workshop that will be repeated simply because we want as many of you to hear this presentation as possible.
  • The “CEO Newlywed Game” – While we’re still trying to get Bob Eubanks to serve as emcee of this session, we have lined up five new fraternal CEOs (some of whom have been on the job less than a month) to discuss the pros, cons, challenges and opportunities that their societies are facing.  Every topic is fair game during this panel presentation, from the relevance of the local chapter system to the future of insurance product distribution, to the discoveries these executives are making as they peel back the layers on the onions of their own societies.
  • The Saturday Program – We’ve turned over the reins for the Saturday sessions to some of the best and brightest young professionals the fraternal system has to offer, and they’ve lined up a series of fast-paced programs that will help you understand younger consumers, communicate with them in a way that makes sense to them, and attract them to your society as employees and members.  This is your chance to not only see the future of the fraternal system but to make sure your society’s a part of it.
  • The Saturday Night Round Up – No speeches, no head tables, no reserved seating…  We’re in Austin, folks, and that means food stations serving Tex-Mex cuisine, bull riding, calf roping, and a great country-rock band.  Jeans, boots, Stetsons, and big belt buckles are not only acceptable attire but strongly encouraged.  But please leave the pearl-handled revolvers in your room…

See you in Texas…jja

2 Responses

  1. Great column, Joe. All the featured activities sound enticing. I a€™m looking forward to it all.

    Now, if I can just find my lime green cowboy hat!€


    That Minnesota boy sure could write music, eh?!


  2. Great blog. Love the Dylan lede!

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