A Message From NAIFA President Robert Miller

Hello NAIFA, and welcome to 2012. I hope you’re ready for an exciting and successful year with your professional association.

This year will mark NAIFA’s 122nd birthday – that’s 122 years of protecting our members’ interests in Washington and in every state capital! That’s 122 years of protecting the way you do business under a commission-based model. And that’s 122 years of telling our members’ stories to ensure that key decision leaders understand the important ways you strengthen our economy and protect American families and businesses.

I like to think we’re not just 122 years old, but we’re 122 years strong. Each new year adds to NAIFA’s prestige, influence and value to its members.

But over the course of 12 decades, change is inevitable, and NAIFA has always been committed to ensuring our federation continues to lead our industry and help our members in new and dynamic ways. I believe that NAIFA must tackle three critical inter-related issues to keep our association moving forward: modernize our governance model; revitalize our membership activities; and re-message our value proposition. Each of these areas depends on the others and only together will they work to bring NAIFA to the next level of success in leading our industry and serving our members.

That’s why the NAIFA Presidential Blue Ribbon Task Force is examining NAIFA’s governance structure to make certain that the way we operate is up-to-date and as effective as possible in achieving the NAIFA mission. Ensuring efficient governance of NAIFA will guarantee that the federation best serves our members and remains strong and vital into the future. The Task Force has an extremely important mission for 2012, and I will continue my commitment to regularly report on Task Force activities on the NAIFA web site. Look for further updates after our next conference call scheduled for January 17.

But improving NAIFA’s governance model is only one component of the three inter-related initiatives already underway to strengthen your association. Just as important, energizing NAIFA membership is a major priority for 2012. We have bolstered the efforts of our National Membership Committee by focusing their energy on their home states to help build membership; NAIFA-National is providing robust strategic guidance and support to federation leaders on how to re-energize and refocus their membership efforts in the coming years. This fall, we launched the incentive campaign – which literally will pay off when each association grows, and NAIFA has provided leaders with valuable resources on the membership portion of our web site, including: the NAIFA Online Service Center, NAIFA Online Leadership Academy, Online Leaders Training Center, NAIFA Membernet, and leaderscenter/membership. Finally, under the direction of Dr. Waters, the NAIFA-National staff personally reach out to thousands of members by participating in monthly staff membership phone-a-thons. And in addition, of course, NAIFA is forging ahead in developing membership programs with numerous insurance companies and is making strides in efforts to attract the independent market.

Changing how we structure our federation and how we recruit and retain members are two core components of keeping NAIFA strong. But a third and equally critical component is how we message the value of NAIFA. We will re-message NAIFA in ways that are more compelling and relevant to today’s members and prospective members. A NAIFA re-messaging campaign currently under development carries a simple and true message – that NAIFA members make more money. The success of this campaign will depend largely on the support, participation and engagement from you and your fellow members and leaders. Stay tuned for more on this important initiative.

Taken together, our aggressive efforts on three fronts – governance, membership, and messaging – form a coordinated strategy to ensure NAIFA’s indispensable role in protecting our industry and helping members like you grow their business and protect the financial security of the American public.

Thank you all for supporting NAIFA. I am honored to serve as your president.

Robert Miller, M.A., M.S.
2011-12 NAIFA President