NAIFA - North Dakota  

President's Message


Local Reports

2012 State Convention


Health Care Reform Review



 Dakota Advisor
Winter 2012

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Presidents Message
by Pat Saltsman, CLTC


Journey ……

 A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.  “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered.  He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. 

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning:

“There is a mousetrap in the house!

  There is a mousetrap in the house!”

 The chicken clucked and scratched raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequences to me.  I cannot be bothered by it.” 

 The mouse turned to the pig and told him,  “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”  The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse but there is nothing I can do about it but pray…. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

 The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house!

There is a mousetrap in the house!”  The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse.  I’m sorry for you but it’s no skin off my nose.” 

 So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected to face the farmer’s mousetrap…… Alone……

 That very night a sound was heard throughout the house --- the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.  The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught.  In the darkness, she did not see it.  It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap.

 The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.  When she returned home she still had a fever.  Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup.  So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

 But his wife’s sickness continued.  Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.  But alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well.  She died.

 So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.  And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. 

 So, the next time you hear of someone facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember…..

When one on us is threatened, we are all at risk.  We are all involved in this journey.

 I hear so many times that the issues facing us in Congress don’t concern some agents as they don’t sell this or that, and being NAIFA is an advocacy group, there is no reason to join.  I don’t understand that reasoning.  Watching Congress slowly change our things in our industry and companies paying less commission or removing them all together worries me.  It may not affect you now but I can assure you at some point it will. 

 So how do we protect our careers?  How do we have a say in what goes on?  Join NAIFA….  We are your voice. 

 Right about now you are all saying (the 2 of you that are probably reading this) but we have joined NAIFA so I am preaching to the choir.  You are right, but I am asking that you take the responsibility to recruit other agents to join NAIFA.  Numbers speaks volumes and we need numbers.

 We have been very successful statewide in issues that have arisen in the past.  Many of us have spent numerous hours talking to legislators and time on the hill in committee hearings and on the floor before they vote. Thank God for those people and their time given.  But we need more people to be involved and not leave it to those few. 

 But if the agents you approach can’t give of their time, I ask that they give $40/month (average monthly membership) to insure their career, so they give us more VOICE……  After all, we are insurance agents protecting people’s lives and livelihood.  Shouldn’t we protect our careers, which is our livelihood?  It only makes good sense.

 January 17 has been declared Recruit an Agent Day in the state of ND.  I am asking that every one of you, ask ONE prospective agent to join the association that cares about their career. 

 We have 14 new members so far this year.  I would love to see at least 25-30 more statewide.  Please, just ask your fellow agent to take out and insurance policy on their career and join their local NAIFA association.

 Do NOT forget, the state convention is in Grand Forks this year.  I am looking forward to attending as it is promised to be a good time. They have been working very hard getting ready so lets show our support and attend the convention on May 2-4, 2012.

 Make it a great year!!

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    NAIFA-ND 2012 State Convention

Do you cautiously step in to test the water or head straight for the diving board??

            By attending our “Life Guards on Duty” NAIFA-ND Convention at the Ramada Inn in Grand Forks May 2nd to the 4th, 2012 we will provide the tools to help you stay afloat of your business in these sinking times.

            NAIFA - North Valley (Grand Forks) is working hard to get you a lineup of speakers that will take you from a cautious step to the mighty cannonball.  So get your suits ready, mark the dates and get ready to bring home the gold!!

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 NAIFA - North Valley
by Shari Hanson, President

The last quarter of 2011 was great.  In October we hosted the Insurance Commissioner’s Forum.  We felt we had fairly good attendance.  November we had Howard Cossovar speak at our monthly meeting on Social Security, Medicare, SSI and Survivor benefits.

December our meeting was dedicated to the convention planning with Nancy and Pat in attendance which helped us with budget and agenda.  We also had Bruce Gjovig from the UND Center of Innovation.  It is amazing at what they do at that center.  They help bring new inventions to fruition and small businesses with their business plans.  It was very interesting the businesses that have been started out of there and what it they have panned for Grand Forks!

January we are focusing on finalizing our speakers for convention and working on booth sponsorship.  Our speaker at our January meeting will be from the Grand Forks Convention Bureau.  We are also going out on the 17th for the membership blitz.

Once again State Convention is on May 2-4th.  We are very excited we have some great speakers lined up and some fun.  You won’t want to miss it.


NAIFA – Missouri Slope
by John Power, President

 MSAIFA meets the third Monday of each month at the Bismarck Elks club with lunch beginning @ 11:30am.  We’ve had great speakers so far this year and are looking forward to good presentations in 2012 also.  Our chapter attained the State IFAPAC goals for 2011.  We added 6 new members so far this year…way to go Membership!!  We’ll also be presenting the various awards at our January 16th monthly meeting.  Best wishes for a great 2012 to all the chapter and members!

NAIFA – Minot
by Jim Simons, President

The Minot Association continues to excel.  We had 3 great meetings this quarter.  In October we hosted our Legislative Forum where seven members of our North Dakota Legislator attended.  There was interesting discussion of the prior legislative session and the upcoming special session in November 2011.  In November we presented a program in a box on Linked Benefits that was very informative.  In December we had a mini CE Blitz where Melisa Hauer the ND Insurance Department General Counsel presented two hours of CE on Ethics.  For our membership meeting that followed we had Marilyn Kruithof a local CPA come in and talk about tax changes for 2012.  In January we will be visiting a local nursing home where we will have a presentation from the director and have a discussion on Long Term Care Insurance along with lunch and a tour of the facility.  February will have training on P&C to include a discussion on Flood Insurance.  In March we will have the local director from Social Security come in to brief.  We are very proud that we sponsored a charitable program where we raised funds to provide Christmas Gifts for a local family.  We recruited three new members this quarter.  Welcome to Mike Braun, Al Schon and Gary Goldade.  We are trying hard to finish the year a net plus one. 

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NAIFA-ND President Pat Saltsman presenting a check for $2,450 to NAIFA-Minot for the members that were victims of the flood.  Thank you NAIFA members for your contributions!!

.Health Care Reform Review Committee
by Norbert Mayer

The ND Legislative Interim “Health Care Reform Review Committee” was tasked with the responsibility of creating a “ND Health Care Exchange” to comply with the Federal Affordable Care Act.  Under the leadership of chairman, Representative George Keiser and with valuable input from our NAIFA-ND member and committee member Representative Jim Kasper they came up with an excellent plan to be operated by a Board of Directors and to be housed in the ND Office of Management and Budget.

 A licensed insurance producer was to be a member of the Board and another producer was to be named to the advisory committee.  Insurance producers were to be involved in educating and enrolling North Dakotan’s into the most appropriate insurance plan.

 During the November Special Legislative Session this committee was complimented for a job well done, but because there is such a strong sentiment to not have a Federal Health Care Plan, the ND House of Representatives did not adopt this plan. 

 If the Affordable Care Act is declared unconstitutional or deleted by the Congress and the President, no harm has been done.  If portions of the plan, requiring the establishment of Health Care Exchanges remain, we no doubt will have to accept the federally established plan, because the plan has to be operational by January 1, 2014 and capable of enrolling members as early as October of 2013.

 Thank you to NAIFA-ND members Dave Middaugh and Rep. Jim Kasper, who spent a great deal of time attending and providing input at committee meetings, and all who attended some of the committee meetings, the Special Legislative Session, or contacted members of the ND Legislature soliciting support for this bill.


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by Jim Simons, Chair

Here we are in 2012.  This year we have the opportunity to elect a President of the United States, a new Senator and a new member of Congress from North Dakota.  We also will elect members for the ND house and Senate from the even districts as well as some statewide positions.  With the new redistricting, we need each local to update their APIC contact lists.  Please get to Nancy as soon as possible.  I also need your APIC plans for the year.  I leave at the end of the month to attend the NAIFA IFAPAC/IFAPIC training to be held in Washington DC.  I have already scheduled appointments with our three members of congress.  I will complete a report on my trip and provide to Nancy and Pat.  If anyone wants a copy, just let me know.  The North Dakota Democrats and Republicans are having their conventions this spring.  I highly recommend NAIFA members attend.  If you are a delegate, you will decide who the candidates are for your party.  What a better way to establish a relationship with a political leader, than attending the convention and supporting them.  Don’t forget to put May 2-4 on your calendars to attend the NAIFA-ND Convention in Grand Forks.  We hope to have a legislative panel and discuss many topics relative to the regulations that affect our profession.  See you there!!!


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by Marc Siverson, Chair

The last three months the participation in our monthly calls has been less than productive.  The first call was 80% attended.  The average has probably dropped to 40% attendance since that first call.  Some people have never participated. 

Some of the ideas used include: 

            Hold a drawing among potential members to win a rather substantial prize

            Take two or three current members and target former or lapsed members to rejoin, or simply sign up brand new prospects.

            Remind non NAIFA members & prospects of some of the fights that we have been involved in to keep our industry strong, provide value to our clients and allow us to make a living.

            The one day Membership Blitz is scheduled for 01/17/2012.

The members that have called in to the conference calls have been enthusiastic and willing to share ideas.  I still haven’t been able to crack the code on the NAIFA Website to show our membership numbers and whether we are up or down.  Someone smarter than me needs to give me a clue.  The info is shown under Member Net, but I don’t see a total tally showing losses or gains.

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NAIFA-North Dakota - 1811 East Thayer Avenue - Bismarck, ND 58501 (701) 258-9525