A Message from the President

I hope that your year is off to a great start. The purpose of this email is to provide an update and to serve as a call to action.
The Executive Committee and Board met in Hershey, PA in early January. We covered normal association business, but a good amount of time was spent on strategic planning and the restructuring of NAIFA-PA. 
On May 22, 2018 a special meeting of The National Council will take place in Washington, D.C.  The NAIFA 2020 Quality Member Experience (QME) initiative will be voted on at that meeting. Regardless of whether the initiative passes or not, NAIFA-PA will be making some changes. We need a more effective and streamlined NAIFA.  These changes could involve the roll-up of struggling locals or locals that need help. This should help consolidate talent and drive membership. We will keep you posted.
NAIFA-PA’s annual conference and installation will be on April 23rd in Harrisburg. We are changing the format of the meeting to be more cost-effective and business planning focused. The location will be the Best Western Premier “The Central” Harrisburg, PA. Registration is now open. Please look for our emails on happenings and registration.
The Day on the Hill will be replaced with a day in the field. Historically, we have met with legislators in Harrisburg. During these visits it is often difficult to meet with our legislators because they are in session. Meeting with them in the field in our own communities will result in a more relaxed, more productive cost-effective outcome. We are targeting April.  
Our National Congressional Meeting will be May 22-23 in Washington, D.C.
Why join NAIFA?
Let me begin by thanking all of you who are members.
A special thank you to the managers of the various career shops across Pennsylvania who truly support NAIFA, by consistently promoting membership, sponsoring events, and leading by example.
I commend those managers for having the confidence in their firm’s training and leadership to encourage their associates to become members, attend these meetings, and allow them to get exposed to outside ideas. That is a sign of a true leader.
Thank you also to the financial institutions that support and promote NAIFA. Working together we can continue to make a difference.
NAIFA’s primary purpose is advocacy; advocacy for our clients, profession, and you. We are constantly facing challenges. Although we dodged a bullet with the recent tax reform, there will be new challenges in the future both on a federal and state level.
The more members we have the louder our voice will be. As an individual, a legislator will hear you. As part of a membership, he/she will listen to you. The association facilitates the collection of information and presents it in a uniform manner to the legislators. 
When do you buy flood insurance or business insurance? Of course, you buy it before the flood or event. Membership in NAIFA is business insurance. It is advocacy.
Let me share some thoughts with you on the reasons why you should be a member of NAIFA and if you are already a member, why you should consider getting more involved beyond a basic membership.
First- Is this your job or your profession?
How many of you consider what we do a profession versus a job? Did you ever notice that the best people in any profession are members of their respective associations? Would you use a physician, dentist, attorney, or CPA who does not belong to their professional organization?
Second- Advocacy for your clients and the tax advantages that our products offer.
What would it look like if health benefits, life insurance cash values, and/or death benefits were taxed? What if there were even stricter limits on how much cash value you could accumulate? It certainly would not have a positive impact on clients’ financial plans, not to mention our profession.
These issues have come up before and we may be safe at this minute, but rest assured we will be facing these challenges again. It is just a matter of time. If you doubt this, speak with a peer in Canada, France or the UK. The larger our membership is, the louder our voice will be.
Third- You should consider being a member of NAIFA and/or getting more involved in NAIFA, to grow your business and stay in the business.
Being a member and getting involved in NAIFA has absolutely contributed to my success in the industry. And I know the same will be true for you.
I have made new friends. I have heard speakers and learned planning ideas that I would never have learned because the presenters were from a different company, perhaps even a competitor.  My membership has also resulted in new business from strategic alliances. These ideas and alliances have more than paid for the nominal dues that I invest in my membership and IFAPAC.
Joining NAIFA is not only making a commitment to be a stronger advocate for your clients, it is making a commitment to being in the business.
                    Now the call to action:
If you are not a member, become one. It is the right thing to do for your clients, your business, and your profession. If you consider yourself a professional and are not a member of NAIFA, I strongly encourage you to consider joining your professional organization whose main purpose is to advocate for your clients. If you are already a member, take it to the next level and contribute to IFAPAC and get involved in a committee.
If you are not a member of NAIFA you are not part of the solution. It is like not voting and complaining about the elected officials. Membership numbers count. If you are a member recruit a new member. Make sure the person you are doing joint work with and the person in the office next to you are also members. Strength in numbers is real. Let’s be strong together in NAIFA.
I wish you much success in 2018!
Steve Earhart, CFP, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, RICP
President, 17-18