NAIFA - North Dakota  
 
 

President's Message

Sponsors

National Committee Person Report

Local Reports

State Convention
/Afghanistan

APIC

IFAPAC

AHIA

E-Communication

LIAM - Life Insurance
Awareness Month

LILI - 2008

 


Dakota Advisor
Summer 2008

 

Presidents Message
by Ted Haugan, CFP, LUTCF

 As I begin my year as your state president, I feel blessed to have an outstanding Executive Board, including Nancy Buechler, Harlynn Bjerke, David Klemisch, Keith Phillips, Jeff Case and Pat Saltsman.

 I thank the following leaders for stepping up to serve our team as state committee chairpersons this year, AHIA-Pat Saltsman; Federal APIC-David Middaugh; State APIC-Jim Simons; IFAPAC-Jay Burgard; Awards-Kevin Vistad; Freedom Builders-David Falk; Legislation-Norbert Mayer; Professional Development-David Bjornson; Membership - Jason Middaugh assisted by Bonnie Baglien and Todd Otto. The YAT chair is still available if someone would like to volunteer.

 We thank Keith Phillips for starting & moderating the first three LILI classes in North Dakota and welcome Jason Middaugh as class moderator for the 2008-2009 class and Jeff Case as LILI chair.

 As we begin our year, let me remind you that our National Convention will be held September 6-10 in San Diego and our State Convention is scheduled for February 2-4 2009, at the Radisson in Bismarck including the legislative reception. This will be our first state convention where we incorporate the legislative reception into our convention so we need all of our members to attend and help our state convention co chairs, Al Fabricus and Keith Phillips.

 This year happens to be an election year and much of our IFAPAC distributions have been delivered to friends of our industry. However many of our “friends” will need additional support to get elected and reelected. Please make the time to meet and get to know your respective legislative representatives and support them as you can. We thank Representative Jim Kasper, a NAIFA member, for his past service to our industry and look forward to working with him again in this legislature.

 September is “Life Insurance Awareness Month” again this year. Their website is “lifehappens.org” and has a great deal of information available to all members to help us increase our life insurance sales throughout the coming year.

 Our congratulations go to the entire Fargo association for recruiting 64 new members last year. Membership recruitment and retention must become a priority of every member if our association is to remain the premiere association of the financial advisor profession. It is my hope to develop more scripts to help our members, recruit new members throughout this year membership recruitment and retention is the key to our future.

 Additional goals for this year include more advocacy for our clients in the legislature and congress. Increased membership and involvement in IFAPAC and Freedom Builder Fund. Continued and increased usage of our LILI program throughout our local associations and better communications on every level of our associations.

 In closing, it is my opinion that we need quality leadership now and in the future, more than ever before. I ask each of you to consider becoming part of the leadership teams in the future. It is a known fact that leaders always get more from their leadership roles than they gave.

 Please feel free to call me at 701-839-3351 or email me at thaugan@srt.com with your questions or suggestions, if I can help you in any way.

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[Sponsor]

 

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National Committee Person Report
David Klemisch, LUTCF

2008 is coming to an end. There are two things that our membership needs to be aware of - #1, in the next few days our delegates are traveling to San Diego for the National Convention. ND gets 2 delegates from the state association and each of the 7  local associations has 2 delegates for a total of 16. As of this article we have only 10 delegates attending the convention. We need to address this for 2009. At this convention, a resolution regarding support for the Optional Federal Charter will be voted on and not all of our locals will have a vote.

The other item is, 2009 is a legislative year. Issues are already coming to the plate. I am asking all members to be active, reading the ND website and responding to the alerts sent out by the state. I urge you to contact your local NAIFA leadership or the state leadership. Your input is NEEDED, WANTED, and APPRECIATED!


NAIFA-ND State Convention Update
 

One of the many highlights of the 2008 State Convention came during the banquet when
when members in attendance were so moved by the presentation showing Camp Eggers Volunteer Committee Relations to the orphanages and refugee camps around Kabul, Afghanistan that nearly $14, 000 was raised by the banquet attendees. Members contributed $50 to $5,000 to enable deployed military members the humanitarian relief supplies needed for the orphanages and refugee camps. The first shipment was sent in July.

Afghanistan Relief Fund

Dear NAIFA members,

 Let me start by saying what a privilege it has been to organize the Afghanistan Project. The time has come to share exciting news about our project. We have shipped our first thirty boxes filled with clothing, coats, blankets and towels just in time for the winter season.  I currently have over two hundreds notebooks and other school supplies ready for packing and shipping with more on their way! The start of this project has been slow, but summer is a time of great transition and change on a military base. I have currently been in contact with the new leaders of our organizations and they are planning projects to support us. The Airman’s Attic (an Air Forces equivalent of a thrift/donation store) has been gracious host to us by allowing us to use there storage space and tables. In addition, I am able to have any items they do not keep for their store. Unused items are given to an organization that ships them to Africa or sends them to a recycling center. We have become a part of true green global economy.  In addition, many individuals have been collecting and donating items for our cause. Recently I collected items from a Parshall, North Dakota resident who had read our newspaper article. She and her neighbors had been gathering clothing all summer along (they also made a monetary donation for school supplies!). This is exactly the type of involvement that warms my heart.  Now that the kids have returned to school and the weather is cooling my volunteers will be abundant. I am so excited about what has yet to come.

 I have been keeping in touch with both Major Jay Block and his wife Kelli through emails and phone calls. They have been enjoying the strange and unusual life on an island -Ascension Island. While they are far away, they have not forgotten your generous contribution. Kelli constantly checks in on the progress of the project. I know she wishes she could be working here with me and the other volunteers. Jay and Kelli have still been contributing by providing me with helpful hints and moral support. I know it was difficult for them leave the project. I cannot express enough how much they were touched by your actions.

The project has been very personal to me not only because I am close friends with the Blocks, but because my husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan. He has recently visited the VCR program that sorts and distributes donated items. I have marked all our shipments with matching stickers with hopes he can be there on a day when our actual items arrive. Please take some time to Google the VCR program at Camp Eggers. There are many pictures to explore as well as the sites of other charity groups similar to ours. By searching these sites I recently learned that the children really enjoy blowing bubbles – something new to add to my donation list!

 Your support of this projects helps to build bridges between the people of Afghanistan and our military. Each bridge gets us closer to a safer and kinder world. Your generosity is paving the way for a worthwhile cause. It only takes one act of kindness to turn into a million. Your spirit has opened the hearts of so many others.

 Sincerely,

 Cindi Bair, Coordinator

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Local Association Reports

NAIFA - Fargo Moorhead
Traver Silbernagel, President

 The Fargo/Moorhead association finished #1 in the country for membership growth in 07/08. This is a tribute to our Membership chair David Middaugh and the association as a whole for the collective effort in not only recruitment but retention of  current members. We are stepping up and outside "the box" in a couple of areas this year. We are going out and getting sponsors for our luncheons and findings sponsors for the Code Writer program that we estimate will allow us to save anywhere from $4000 to $7000 per year. The other thing that we are aggressively involved in is getting new members active; understanding that if people see value in their association they are likely to remain members and in time take on leadership roles. I feel that anyone who has been around for a while sees this industry as an ageing group and as a result it is of paramount importance that we continue to bring in new members and that they get involved and take ownership in our industry.

Have a great 08/09 year.

 NAIFA-Minot Report
By Rick Wallace, President

NAIFA-Minot is looking forward to a tremendous 2008-2009 year.  We started our year with training for each of the committee chairs and discussed their responsibilities for the upcoming year.  Currently, committee chairs are working on completing the Local's Plan of Activities and this should be completed by September 1st.

 We will be focusing our attention in two main areas this year; membership recruitment and retention and advocacy.  As we do every year, October is designated for our local political leader's forum.  During this meeting, the local legislators share with us their thoughts for the upcoming legislative year and we in turn discuss with them issues regarding legislative issues that may affect insurance and finance.

 Membership will be our top priority for the year.  We have a capable leader in Elaine Schilla leading us this year with Alan Vandelinder and Lyle Kraft assisting in recruitment and retention.  Our local has created a "Sales Presentation" booklet that will be unveiled at our September board meeting along with training that will be used for recruiting new members.  This should prove to be a great enhancement to increasing membership and educating potential members on the value of NAIFA.  These resources will also be available on our website at www.minot-advisors.com.

 Finally, I wish to thank all of my committee chairs, executive members, and the board for their commitment to our local NAIFA here in Minot.  Their dedication is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with each and every person on our team.

 NAIFA - Roughrider
by LeeAnn Galster, President

Roughrider NIAFA, let’s get ready, set, go! We are going to get ready for new members through recruitment, new continuing education hours and new motivation through NAIFA networking and community involvement.

 We have a great group of current members and my goal is to increase that by 10%.  In order to do that we will need to use new approaches, creativity, be focused and market the great assets of NAIFA.  I know as a team effort we can meet our goal in 2008.

 Our local association has always provided us with 9 CE hours each year; I plan to continue and enhance that benefit. We will focus on the LTC Partnership this fall, to really solidify its place in our industry and in our everyday business.

 We plan to do some volunteer work to benefit the community – such as sponsoring a meal at the Soup Kitchen and sponsoring a Toys for Tots Event. 

 I really look forward to the year ahead as a great chance to meet new people and make new friends.

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 Political Involvement Committee
by Jim Simons, Chair

Greetings from your new State APIC Chair.  I am Jim Simons from NAIFA-Minot.  This is my first time working with APIC.  For those of you not familiar with APIC, it stands for Advisors Political Involvement Committee. Our mission is twofold.  First – to actively promote the involvement of agents and advisors in the election of candidates for local, state and national office, consistent with the legislative interests of the NAIFA federation.  Second - to identify and foster the creation of significant insurance agent and financial advisor relationships with elected officials.  How do we plan to accomplish this?  I ask each Local President, if not already accomplished, to appoint a local APIC Chair.  I know that means some people will be double/triple hatted.  I plan to hold a conference call in the near future with these volunteers, explaining our responsibilities.  One thing that the local APIC Chairs can do in advance is make a list of all the ND State Senators and Representatives in your area and find a member who would like to be the liaison to that office from the local.  It’s recommended, although not required that the member live in the legislator’s district.  I will provide a format to the Chairs so that we have a semblance of uniformity.  I ask that these lists have the email address and phone # of our members included, as these lists will be provided to our State Government Relations Chair, Norbert Mayer so that he can contact these NAIFA-ND members quickly without having to look up their names each time.  The idea is that when legislation is pending, Norbert can quickly contact the correct members to contact their legislators.  I will need the completed lists in early November after the elections.  I look forward to serving NAIFA-ND this next year as your APIC Chair.

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 IFAPAC

The Insurance and Financial Advisors Political Action Committee (IFAPAC) is a term used to describe collectively the PAC sponsored by NAIFA at the federal level and the PACs sponsored by each state association. Each PAC is a fund that supports the campaigns of candidates for public office who understand issues important to insurance agents and financial advisors. IFAPAC’s goal is to help the associations advance the legislative and regulatory interests of the members of NAIFA. While any U.S. citizen can contribute to IFAPAC, only members of local NAIFA associations may be solicited to do so. Contributions must be voluntary. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Of approximately 3,700 political action committees registered with the Federal Election Commission, IFAPAC ranks in the top 1 percent. IFAPAC is the largest insurance PAC in the country. In the last election cycle, the national IFAPAC and the 50 state IFAPACs contributed approximately $2.5 million to federal and state candidates and committees.

The IFAPAC network is needed even in years when there aren't federal elections. The candidate evaluation and support processes go on all the time. PACs that have the resources to make contributions when candidates need them most are highly visible in the political arena. IFAPAC occasionally makes debt-retirement contributions following elections and some states hold elections in odd-numbered years.

On the national level, a panel of ten NAIFA members, appointed by the Executive Committee of NAIFA, determines which candidates for federal office will receive PAC contributions. This group is called the Candidate Selection Group. On the state level, contributions to candidates are made via a similar process through our State IFAPAC board. Input from state and local association officers and current contributors is vital to the ability of state and national selection committees to make informed decisions regarding which candidates to support. IFAPAC encourages contributors to provide factual information on candidates.  If you would like to make a contribution or obtain more information on becoming a contributor, please contact our state office at 701.258.9525 or email: info@ndaifa.org

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AHIA - NAIFA Health & Employee Benefits

Advocacy    There are over 600 bills addressing health insurance in the 110th Congress. With legislative days numbered, only a few health reform proposals are still in play. They include:

  • Sick Student Coverage

  • Health Information Technology          

  • Mental Health Parity

  • HSA Substantiation

 Currently, sick student coverage, health information technology and mental health parity bills seem to have reasonable odds for moving further through the legislative process this year. And it remains possible that the Senate will take up the IRS debt collection bill, and if it does, that means the HSA documentation and substantiation provision will once again be a live issue.  

AHIA continues to stress the important role of the agent as Congress begins setting the stage for health care reform in the 111th Congress.

 Coalition EffortsAHIA remains active in several legislative coalitions including efforts to enhance cafeteria plans for small businesses, to enact favorable health care reform and LTC legislation, and Coverage that Works.

 Regulatory Outreach –AHIA continues its communication with CMS and the AoA to distribute information regarding the Medicare Part D as well as the government’s long term care awareness campaign.

 Online Forums –AHIA is looking forward to another year of partnership Employee Benefit Adviser to offer free online forums.

AHIA Steering Council – Members continue to receive weekly issues of “Inside Scoop” providing them with regular legislative updates. 

 ·        Communication – In addition to its regular communication with members and leadership, AHIA Board members continue to spread the AHIA message through appearances in various press and industry magazines as well as participation in state and local NAIFA chapter meetings, and various conferences and forums.

 Member Benefits – AHIA has partnered with Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) to once again offer an AHIA member discount to the Employee Benefit Summit. The next show will take place in Washington, DC on September 22nd.  In addition, EBA has agreed to add the AHIA logo to their promo material.

 In an effort to meet our goals for the 2008-2009 membership year we have refined our focus on advocacy. As part of this refining process we streamlined our committee structure and shifted the Member Benefits committee to an ad hoc committee. This committee will continue to review all vendor agreements, evaluate current programs, products, and services. Currently the committee is reviewing three vendor agreements to enhance membership.

 Membership – AHIA currently has 3,006 members.  The membership committee is finishing up the 2007-08 committee term by working with the state and local health chairs and execs to contact approximately 300 lapsed members before the end of the fiscal year on August 31st.   The committee has also identified over four thousand NAIFA members who deal with health and employee benefits products, but who are not current AHIA members.  The committee is working on contacting these prospects with information on AHIA membership.

 The committee continues to work to spread awareness of the combined dues application, where a new member can join both AHIA and NAIFA for $525.  Committee members utilize this application when recruiting new members who are not current NAIFA members in order to simplify the initial application process.  NAIFA national, state and local dues are applied with the remainder serving as a full year’s membership for AHIA. 

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Rules for Effective E-Communications

 Careful communication applies to e-mail.
While e-mail enhances business communication, it carries many risks. E-mail is not considered private, and should not be used to communicate sensitive information. Business owners typically reserve the right to monitor any system for compliance with policy and applicable laws.
Careless e-mails can result in legal repercussions.

Defamation, fraud and harassment claims have resulted from e-mail communication that didn't receive careful consideration. Be sure your communications never implicate or run afoul of antitrust and insider trading laws.
Communications can reach unintended audiences.
You should always assume that any message you write could get into the wrong hands. Technically adept individuals can intercept communication, or even modify and forward an e-mail. A good guideline is to avoid sending an e-mail message that you would feel uncomfortable reading in the newspapers.

E-mail is never really gone.

While paper documents can be shredded and discarded, your deleted e-mail may still exist somewhere else on a server, a tape backup, or a printout. Never assume an e-mail is fully erased, even after you empty your recycle bin.

Send only "need-to-know" information in your e-mails.

When you send someone information, send only the necessary information, not an entire database or a whole file, even if it would be more convenient. Restricting access to those who need to know, will help prevent unauthorized modification and minimize mistakes made by users.

E-mails should only contain information relevant to the subject you're discussing.

While e-mail communication lends itself to a "less formal" form of communication, the information in your e-mail should remain factual. If it's not, you should clearly state that it's an opinion, prediction, or speculation.

Avoid making generalizations or exaggerations in your e-mail.

Generalizations ("our products always work") and exaggerations ("I left you a hundred messages") can lend themselves to misinterpretation. Beware of using inclusive terms, such as "all" and "always" or exclusive terms, such as "none" and "never."

Proofread all e-mail communication.

Review what you've written for typos and grammar mistakes. You should also review the tone of your message and consider whether or not you've unintentionally included information that can confuse, offend or convey information that shouldn't be conveyed.

Check the names of the people listed in the "Send To" line.

Make certain you have not inadvertently included names of persons who should not receive the communication.

Always verify the sender before opening attached files or visiting a specified web site.

Don't open any documents or execute programs or scripts from unverified sources. Whenever possible, delete e-mails from unknown sources before opening.

Be careful of e-mails from known users.

Keep in mind that a friend or co-worker could inadvertently send a virus. Question whether it makes sense that the sender would have sent the particular e-mail, document or file extension.


*This information is not and not meant to be legal advice, and any issues regarding the scope, type and content of e-mail communications should be referred to competent legal counsel. The NAIFA Professional Liability Insurance Program is administered by Affinity Insurance Services, Inc.; in CA, MN and OK, AIS Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA Insurance License #0795465) and in NY, AIS Affinity Insurance Agency. X-6769-808

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Life Insurance Awareness Month Proclamation Signing

 

Click HERE to view the text of the Proclamation

LILI

LILI 2008 Graduating Class

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NAIFA-North Dakota - 1811 East Thayer Avenue - PO Box 5010 - Bismarck, ND 58502 (701) 258-9525 info@naifa-nd.org