Check out the NEW NAIFA
Endorsed E&O Program
by Keith Phillips, LUTCF, LTCP
Happy New Year to each and every
one of you! I hope that 2010 was a year that treated you well
and I hope that 2011 will be even better! For many of us, we
start out the year with the “infamous” New Year’s resolutions.
As far as NAIFA goes, I am not going to ask you to make
resolutions that will make your local or state association
better. However, I am going to ask that each of you reflect on
your participation and commitment to NAIFA over the last year
and what you can expect it to be for 2011.
Here are some suggested areas
that you may want to reflect upon:
What have I done for, or what can I do to make my association
more effective. You have heard the saying, “If you are not part
of the solution, you are part of the problem.” I suppose we
could argue the validity of that statement, but think we can
agree that there is some merit to it. It is easy to sit back
and complain about dues increases, too much government
intervention, wrong party or politician in office, not getting
enough value for our dues, too many NAIFA emails, and the list
goes on. What can you do to help solve some of these problems?
Maybe the more important question is will you help solve
these problems? Have you been willing to step up to the
plate and be a problem solver?
Membership: I am sure this one surprises you! When was the
last time you brought a new member into your organization? Or,
when was the last time you made an attempt to recruit a new
member? I am not going to say anything more about membership,
as you have heard it all before and you know what has to be
How has your attendance been at local association meetings? Did
you sit on a committee or assist with a special project?
Hopefully you don’t feel it is the responsibility of someone
else to do these things.
Did you contribute to IFAPAC and the Freedom Builder Fund? If
you already contribute, great, consider increasing your
contribution. This is one of the areas where we have done
extremely well. If you haven’t looked in the past, check out
the amount of monies that we have donated to the politicians who
have an extreme impact on our careers. A big thank you to all
of you who have made the NAIFA ND IFAPAC a strong and viable
Stay positive. We have all at one time or another felt like
giving up. Please don’t do that. By giving up when we drop our
dues, or quit donating time, we are letting the opposition know
that they have defeated us. Who is the opposition? It is those
individuals who do not understand the value that we as advisors
give the consumer. It is those who want to over-regulate us.
You all know who the opposition is. For those of you who fight
frustration, let me offer this quote from an unknown source,
“whenever something doesn’t work out the way you thought it
would, instead of thinking that something went wrong, see it as
something that went unexpectedly well, but for reasons that are
not yet apparent.”
Finally, I want to thank all of you for your efforts in 2010 and
want to thank you in advance for what you do for NAIFA North
Dakota and your local associations in 2011.
Keith A Phillips, LUTCF, LTCP
by Kenneth Evans, CLU, ChFC, CFP, AEP, LUTCF
I am thankful for this
opportunity to give you a short message. We just returned from
the NAIFA Convention and Career Conference in the beautiful city
of Seattle, Washington. If you have never attended or if you
remember the old NAIFA Convention, you really need to give the
new format a chance. Yes, there is a good reason to attend for
your professional development and improving your personal bottom
line. It isn’t just a meeting to go to only if you are a voting
delegate anymore. Plan to attend next year in Washington D.C.
The Main Platform
presentations were informative and motivating. The NAIFA
Government Relations staff and our outside counsel gave us a run
down on all of the pressing issues we are facing. They
discussed our wins and the battles we are still fighting. The
LIFE presentations from the Main Platform reminded us of why we
are in this business. As the stories were told by the agents
and the people involved there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
What we do makes a difference in peoples lives. We can be proud
of who we are and what we do. There was more break out
education events than you could attend. The difficult part is
deciding which of the many excellent presentations to go to.
As part of the business of NAIFA
I was re-elected to another two year term as a trustee. I am
looking forward to working with your state this year. If you
have any questions or concerns please let me know.
NAIFA has expanded
where we are working in your behalf. With financial services
reform we are responding to various regulators as they are
tasked with studying our industry. I had the opportunity to be
one of the two trustees involved via a 2 hour conference call as
the GAO visited NAIFA headquarters to talk about how we are
regulated in our daily business lives. As a result of that call
I was the trustee asked to fly to Washington D.C. as part of the
task force to help our attorneys craft their formal response to
the SEC on reform. NAIFA has expanded our relationship with the
firm of Steptoe and Johnson by retaining two additional
attorneys who specialize in Securities. This is in addition to
the counsel we have retained to assist us in insurance
lobbying. One of the new attorneys is a former senior official
with the SEC.
As good as our team is, WE NEED
YOUR HELP. Please respond to each and every Gov Alert you
receive. The staff thinks very carefully about each and every
time they ask you to respond. If they send out a Gov Alert it
is important. Please take the very few minutes required and
respond promptly. And with all the issues we are facing please
make a contribution to NAIFA PAC. Even a few dollars helps, and
we get to tell your representatives that we have a higher
percentage of our members who contribute. That is a statistic
they watch for when gauging the potential influence an
organization can bring to bear.
Finally, thank you for your
membership, and to the volunteers I want to thank you for what
you do. It is rewarding to be part of the executive board of
NAIFA, but NAIFA lives in your own local. Without you there is
Achieving Greatness: The Value
By Don Yaeger
leaders and corporate executives have long recognized that great
lessons – lessons in leadership, team building, handling
adversity, and managing success – can be learned from their
peers in the world of sports.
explains why some of the most sought after public speakers at
corporate events are sports greats – Miami Heat President Pat
Riley, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyewski, former Pittsburgh
Steeler running back Rock Bleier and former LSU basketball coach
Dale Brown are among the most popular speakers on the circuit.
The lessons they teach and exhibit in their world translate
perfectly into yours.
20-plus years as a writer for Sports Illustrated and
author of more than a dozen books, I have been blessed to spend
hours interviewing great winners like Riley, Krzyewski,
basketball legend Michael Jordan and Hall of Fame running back
Some of the
best lessons I have learned, however, have come at the foot of
the greatest winner of them all, the late John Wooden, former
UCLA basketball coach and winner of unprecedented 10 NCAA
championships. Wooden also was an oft-tapped corporate
consultant on the subject of leadership.
Wooden’s passing, I often traveled to Los Angeles to talk with
him about Greatness and the traits of those who have achieved
it. One characteristic he was passionate about was that the
truly “great” understand that value of association. They know
they can only become great if they surround themselves with
others who are headed in that direction.
couple of years ago, the then 97-year-old Wooden, his mind sharp
as any 30-year-old I had met, got a twinkle in his eyes when
told me he had a story to share, one I would enjoy sharing with
people, when they ask me about coaching great players, always
ask me about my two most famous centers, Lew Alcindor (who
became Kareem Abdul-Jabaar) and Bill Walton,” the coach said,
“But one of the greatest I have ever coached is a player many
wouldn’t suspect. It was Swen Nater.”
Coach enjoyed the look of surprise on my face. I remembered
Nater, but just barely. What I remembered was that he was cut
from his high school basketball team as because, even at
6-foot-11, he was too clumsy to offer the team any value. He
didn’t give up, though, and several years later made a community
college team. He became talented enough that several four-year
colleges offered him scholarships.
time, UCLA and Wooden were in the middle of one of the most
spectacular runs in all of sports, winning seven of eight
national championships. Alcindor had graduated, but Wooden had a
new center, Walton, who he thought might be even better.
community college coach asked Wooden to consider his player. “I
was told he could, at the very least, be a great practice
opponent for Walton,” Wooden recalled. “So I spoke with Swen. I
was honest. I told him he could go to a small school and play
all the minutes he wanted, or he could come to UCLA, where he
likely would never start a game, but where he could play against
the best center in the country every day. That’s the best I
could offer him.”
didn’t flinch. He accepted the opportunity and, as Wooden had
promised, he didn’t start a single game at UCLA.
understood that to become the best he needed to associate
himself with the best he could find,” Wooden said. “There was no
better than Bill Walton.”
three years at UCLA were complete, Nater had been part of a team
that won a record-breaking 88 straight games and had played for
three more national championships – all as Walton’s backup.
made history when he became the first player selected in the
first round of the professional basketball draft without ever
starting a college game. He played 12 years professionally and
now is a senior executive in the corporate offices of COSTCO.
His career “is absolutely and directly the result of having made
the decision to associate myself with folks who were the very
best,” Nater told me. “I learned that you are who you associate
was succinct: “Mark these words…You will never out-perform your
inner circle. If you want to achieve more, the first thing you
should do is improve your inner circle.”
At its core,
that is exactly why associations hold annual events. Those
conventions are a member’s opportunity to improve his or her
inner circle, to learn and associate with the very best.
Nater, I hope that each of you have identified those in your
profession from whom you could learn, those who share your
passion for greatness. Then, while attending your state or
national conferences, introduce yourself, spend time asking and
learning what it is they do that makes them successful. These
lessons are often transferable.
the lessons home with you. Make your aspirations known to your
staff and your membership because they want to associate
themselves with greatness, too. You’ll be amazed by what you can
achieve when you surround yourselves with those headed in the
At each of
these steps you’ll understand why John Wooden agreed that the
value of association is one of the most significant traits of
Don Yaeger is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker,
New York Times best-selling author and longtime associate
editor of Sports Illustrated. He speaks on the subject of
Greatness, taking lessons from the world of sports and
translating them to business and professional audiences. He
can be reached through his Web site:
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NAIFA-ND 2011 State Convention
The 2011 NAIFA-ND State Convention will be held in Bismarck
at the Radisson Inn on January 31 - February 2, 2011. We will
hold the legislative reception on January 31st,
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NAIFA - FM
by Tim Deitemeyer, President
NAIFA-FM is having a great year! On December 20th we are our
1st annual NAIFA Social and Christmas Cheer, many donated hats,
gloves, and canned food items for the needy. Thanks to Sara
Mehrer, Tammy Hanson, and Julie Phillips for arranging a fun and
We continue to have our monthly Breakfast meetings on the 3rd
Wednesday of each month, come and join us sometime if you can!!
We meet at 8:30am at the Doublewood Inn, in February we are
planning on the President of NDSU to be our keynote speaker!
Membership has been a constant issue, while we have recently
added some new members, there seems to be just as many who are
letting their membership drop. As NAIFA members it is our
responsibility as a whole to remain positive and encourage
others to join and help ourselves, our clients, and our
industry! We need the strength of many locally, statewide, and
Thanks for all you do for NAIFA and keep up the great work!
APIC - State
By Jim Simons, Chair
The North Dakota Legislature Session has
begun. Has your local APIC Chair updated your APIC Contact
Roster? If not, please do so immediately. Is your community
sponsoring legislative forums throughout the session? If you
don’t know, find out! We are fortunate that the Minot
legislators meet at the Minot City Auditorium most Saturday
mornings from 9 – 11 am during the session. We plan to have 3
or 4 members at each forum.
Make sure you attend the NAIFA-ND State
Convention to be held in Bismarck from 31 January to 2
February. On Monday from 2-5 pm we will have our legislative
update. Commissioner Hamm is scheduled to attend. We are in
the process of inviting members from our Congressional staff in
Bismarck to attend. Our Legislative Reception begins at 6:00 pm
on Monday night. Come visit your local legislator and meet
others. Tuesday morning we visit the State Capital. You won’t
want to miss this great opportunity.
I apologize that I will not be able to
attend the State Convention as I will be representing our State
at the IFAPAC/APIC Training Meeting in Washington DC 30 Jan – 1
Feb 2011. We plan on meeting with Senators Conrad and Hoeven
and Congressman Berg during our visit.
By Gregg Webster, Chair
specifically Major Medical Insurance continues to be a media
magnet of the insurance industry. With the March 2010 passage
and the continuing implementation of the components (including
changes, exceptions, and administrative rulings) of the Health
Care Reform Act, the future has 1 guarantee: CHANGE!
articles from Washington include a House of Representatives
“repeal” of the Health Care Act. We all know that it will never
pass the Senate or the President’s desk, so…….
Here in North
Dakota, we need to monitor developments and participate in the
development and implementation of the Health Care Exchange
Program. As of this writing, no bills have been introduced; we
can be assured that it will likely go well into the session with
hearings. All NAIFA members need to be watching for action
items from our team in Bismarck. We do want to protect the
relationship of consumers and insurance agents as informed
consumers make sound purchasing decisions.
increased their focus on voluntary as a way to maintain profits
and commissions. This is an entirely different insurance
product. If you intend to participate, look for some support
(network with NAIFA members) and continuing education. In the
long run, what is best for the insured is best for the agent.
Jason Middaugh, Chair
I’m taking over IFAPAC chair
starting this year for three years from our past IFA PAC chair
Jay Burgad. I can’t thank Jay enough for doing such a great job
the last three years and for helping me through the transition
process. We as North Dakota NAIFA members should thank him for
all the hard work he put in over the years.
Norbert Mayer and Nancy Buechler
also deserve a special thank you for the efforts they put in two
years ago during North Dakota’s legislative session and the work
they are going to be putting in this year.
I would also like to thank all the
local IFAPAC chairs for the hard work they put in last year as
well as previous years. We have an IFAPAC team in North Dakota
and it shows when we compare ourselves to the rest of the state
associations. This year we finished 1st overall in
percentage of contributors and 5th overall in per
As Jay said way back in spring 2009 “there is a stronger need
than ever before for the many to come together as one with unity
in our message. The PAC, which provides money for the lobbyist,
(The lobbyist by definition, a person who tries to influence
legislation on behalf of a special interest.) allows you and me,
each of us, a bigger voice if joined by something greater than
us which is not one voice but a voice of many. The Pac is a
joint effort of over 6,000 dues paying members for which we all
benefit from. If you believe we need a paid lobbyist to watch
congress, to make sure that changes that come from congress, if
need be, are of the best interest of those whom we serve
(our clients), then go out and start asking for funds to support
our efforts and if you can't ask then make sure that you
yourself are a dues paying member.”
There are many NAIFA members I have
talked to over the years of involvement who cannot stand the
political side of NAIFA. I understand the frustration but the
reality is that if we are not involved in the process we would
be shut out of the discussion. Contained within every bill
voted on in Washington D.C. there are people who benefit from
the passage of the bill and people who are harmed from the
passage of the bill. If we discontinue our support of IFAPAC we
will be on the wrong of future bills. We can be justifiable
frustrated with our current political process and still realize
that we need to stay involved in the process. If we turn our
backs on the process we will end up like England. If you don’t
know what happened to the insurance industry in England do a
little research on it.
I look forward to serving as IFAPAC
chair for our association and look forward to working with the
Central - 2010
Central - 2009
Fargo-Moorhead - 2010
Fargo-Moorhead - 2009
Lake Region - 2010
Lake Region - 2009
Minot - 2010
Minot - 2009
Missouri Slope - 2010
Missouri Slope - 2009
North Valley - 2010
North Valley - 2009
Roughrider - 2010
Roughrider - 2009
State - 2010
State - 2009
by Jaford Burgad, Chair
News worthy article! Alert! Alert!!
For those of you who believe your time is worth something
you must take the time to read this report!
We are all screwed!!!
Ok, did I get your attention? Good!
Now, the important stuff.
82 members lapsed year to date state
Membership is the life line of NAIFA's ability to have the
necessary cash flow to hire the resources necessary to influence
political figures (Congress) in understanding the consequences
of certain bill writing changes
that affect our clients in an unfavorable or favorable way.
(More money is needed if unfavorable) Yes, we can say we
have 44,000 members nationally
and yes this means more than if we had 200 but our biggest
influence of political moods is our ability to hire the best
full time person/persons that will be able to create a
respectful relationship with each of our congressional leaders.
Because of this understanding we need more members or our
membership dues will have to keep increasing to do the work for
the rest of us, including those non-members.
asking each of you throughout the state to understand your
responsibilities to this cause. Without
your involvement than whose? Certainly we (members) are
not asking one or two people (chair,co-chair) to be responsible
for keeping our dues down, for making up for all the lost
revenue in membership to just a few?
Please help me as your
state Membership Chair retain and recruit
membership for this 2011 year. We
all have a
and our clients to do just that! If each
of you just gave me
one name (1) of someone you know, that should be a
member, each year, (I know each of you know a agent from same or
different company than yours that you talk to almost on a
regular basis) than we would always be growing members.
I look forward in helping your local leaders in helping you meet
your membership goals. Goals met mean progress.
If not then we are non-progressive,
which, if that becomes a pattern our future becomes predictable.
For your one name that I can call
please email or
( JUST ONE! ) me or to
your local chair. I assure you they will be followed up with on
a timely matter.
State Membership Chair
by Norbert Mayer, Chair
As of Friday,
January 14 we are tracking 57 bills in the ND Legislature. The
hearing schedule has been fairly busy. At this time we have not
identified bills requiring major testimony or a call for the
membership to contact their Legislators.
In the next two
weeks we will be identifying those bills for which we feel that
positions of for or against need to be taken and will have those
ready for Board action on January 31st.
afternoon, January 31st we will hear from
Commissioner Adam Hamm on progress being made to comply with the
Federal Health Care Legislation. Than we will hear from staff
members of Senators Hoeven and Conrad and Representative Berg as
to what directions they hope to move in Washington. I will
follow up by bringing all of our Convention attendees up to
speed on our Legislative issues to be discussed at the
Reception is scheduled for 6:00 PM Monday evening, January 31st.
This has always been an excellent opportunity for you to connect
with your Legislators and help explain our positions to them.
Our ND Legislators are very much hands on people and they listen
best when it is one of their constituents talking to them. We
will be extending the official invitations the week of January
17, but please call you Legislators and give them a personal
The complete list of legislative items we
are following can be found at:
NAIFA-North Dakota - 1811 East Thayer Avenue - PO
Box 5010 - Bismarck, ND 58502 (701) 258-9525