Join Me in Advancing Our Industry and in Preparing for Our 75th Anniversary Celebration
In 1942, Click Glenn, who was working for the Federal Insurance Company at the time, became aware that the War Department planned to reduce surety premiums by 19% and commissions by 86% on all Army and Navy construction projects relating to the war. He notified a few of his general agents. All seven of them went to Washington, DC, to meet with Colonel Reece Hill, head of the War Department of Insurance and Bonding. After being convinced of the producer’s value and the product’s worth, Colonel Hill ultimately agreed only to decrease the premiums and commissions by 2.5%. From that urgency, NASBP was born and officially organized.
We have come a long way. We now have nearly 500 Members, almost 100 Affiliates, and 17 Associates. More than 760 people were in attendance at the 2016 Annual Meeting held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs last month. Immediate Past President Susan Hecker and her Annual Meeting Program Committee Co-Chairs, Chad Martin and Brian Ayres, delivered a first-class program that ran the gamut from thought-provoking panel discussions about the state of our changing industry and need for succession planning to a leadership presentation and educational sessions on joint ventures. Among these, they interspersed humor and heartfelt awards. The Annual Meeting networking opportunities, Expo, Affiliate entertaining, and closing party continue to reach new heights. Unfortunately, there is always one thing the Annual Meeting Program Committee cannot control, the weather; and it failed to cooperate as fully as we would have liked.
I want to thank all of the volunteers who participated in the planning and execution of this exceptional meeting as well as our awesome NASBP staff who truly make it all happen.
At the closing event, I had the opportunity to express my appreciation to the attendees for allowing me to serve as your President during our 75th Year; and I feel the need to tell you all how honored I am. When I think of all of the incredibly talented people who have held this position, I am truly humbled.
For those of you who know me, it will not come as a shock that I take this responsibility very seriously. There have been a number of sleepless nights over the last three years thinking about what I could do for our membership and our industry, as well as hosting a great celebration. It is quite apparent to me that since the Heard and the Miller Acts legislated corporate suretyship into business, our world has dramatically developed. For example, people were driving Model T cars, and now we are driving electric Teslas; the Sears Catalog was first distributed in 1894, and now we shop online; and, last but not least, the desk phone was invented in 1932, and today many of us don’t have one because we can use computers and smart phones to communicate. What has transformed within the construction industry? I believe some of the fundamentals, such as delivery methods, materials, training, and technology have changed. The surety executives who participated in the panel presentations at the Annual Meeting expressed the opinion that there is room for change in our industry and even the need. The word “relevance” was mentioned many times in conversations and on stage. One wise industry leader expressed to me that maybe our industry needs a shift in thinking from one of prerogative to one of relevancy. What if surety bonds were the risk product of choice because of their perceived value by our clients and by obligees rather than bonds being purchased because it is statutorily required?
My platform for the year consists of three simple goals. They may not be simple to accomplish, but we can certainly lay the groundwork for the future.
- Improve the image of the surety product, particularly with owners
- Create forums for industry leaders to examine product opportunities
- Further the NASBP 5-15 Leadership Committee and its connections with the SFAA Young Leaders group
There will be more on this subject throughout the year, and if you have constructive ideas, please feel free to reach out to me.
Our 75th Anniversary Logo
In commemoration of the NASBP Diamond Anniversary, NASBP has created a new logo. The team labored over the creative process, determined to convey the heart and soul of NASBP while representing a visual expression of our past, present, and future. So that none of the nuances and meaning behind the design are missed or, even worse, misinterpreted, I’d like to explain the message.
- The most obvious element is the shape and look of the logo. We reached back to our roots, to our first logo, which was a seal to anchor the message.
- Tag Line—“Building the Bonds of Surety“
a. “Building” not only represents much of our industry, but it is an active word that implies our progress and growth.
b. “Bonds” has a dual meaning of referring to our product and the guarantee it provides. It can also represent the bonds of friendship we develop with each other and our clients.
c. The word “Surety” has an alternate definition as it means the state of being certain.
- Tag Lines—“Honoring Our Past. Defining Our Future.” While this speaks for itself, I want to mention that we used the word “Our” instead of “The” to convey a greater sense of ownership. In addition, we placed a period instead of a comma at the end of the two phrases to stress the end and beginnings visually.
- You might ask, why interlocking rings? They convey strength, protection, connection, our community, and trust. All words that describe our product and traits of our industry.
- The three separate colors of the rings, which come from our current logo, can represent a set of three items, such as the three parties in the surety bond agreement: Principal, Obligee, and Surety; or the three NASBP membership categories: Members, Affiliates and Associates; or the three areas of focus in our mission statement: Advocacy, Education, and Networking.
- And last, but not least, the diamond symbol represents the Diamond Anniversary of 75 years of existence.
If you would like to download the logo for your company’s use, the following webpages, which require your NASBP login, are available to all Members, Affiliates, and Associates.
My husband, Doug, and I are looking forward to meeting many of you for the first time or getting to know you better. We have quite a bit to accomplish this year between preparing for the 75th celebration and addressing industry challenges, and I invite each of you to engage in one of the Association’s efforts. Hopefully, you will find, as I have, that NASBP is progressive and welcoming to those who are interested in advancing the industry.
Lynne W. Cook is Senior Vice President at Early, Cassidy & Schilling, Inc. in Rockville, MD. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.