President's Message


Network at the “New” Phoenician 

At the closing event of our 75th Anniversary Celebration in Boca Raton, I spoke of three core functions of NASBP—Professional Development, Advocacy, and Networking. As we approach our 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo in Scottsdale, my column in this issue of Pipeline focuses on NASBP networking opportunities and encourages our Members, Affiliates, and Associates to join us April 29 through May 2 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ.

First, Sue and I express our appreciation to the Site Selection Committee led by Carl Dohn and Bethany Jones in choosing The Phoenician as our site for the 2018 Annual Meeting. After the decision to have the Annual Meeting in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, BesmlrBobs-photo.jpgthany and Carl and Karen Dohn exhibited wisdom and foresight in negotiating a favorable contract when The Phoenician was planning to undertake a massive three-year renovation and expansion project. Our Annual Meeting attendees will see the remarkable results of this new construction. It is also unlikely that The Phoenician will offer future rates as low as those offered for this year's Annual Meeting., so this is a fantastic, limited time offer.

Second, we appreciate the program created by Annual Meeting Program Committee Co-Chairs Todd Loehnert and Monica Donatelli and their Committee members. They have organized an excellent program that will offer numerous networking opportunities. Plan to get started by first visiting our Registration Desk, which opens on Sunday. After registering, attendees can immediately tour our Expo Hall. They will not only interact with our Exhibitors; but also they will quench their thirst with a welcome beverage and light refreshments. Sunday’s opening reception will take place in a spacious and gorgeous outdoor setting. It will facilitate greeting old friends and making new ones.

Our Program Committee is also offering two continuing education opportunities this year—one on Sunday afternoon and a repeat offering of it on Monday afternoon. These timely presentations on P3s will allow attendees to enjoy both professional development and networking time.

Our General Sessions will be fast-paced to free up more time for networking. Our keynote speaker, Lt. Col. smlrBobs-photo2.jpg(Retired) Scott Mann, spent almost 23 years in the U.S. Army, with about 18 years as a Green Beret, Army Special Forces. Scott Mann is the best-selling author of Game Changers: Going Local to Defeat Violent Extremists and Mission America: Straight Talk About Military Transition. He is a leadership training consultant and CEO and founder of Rooftop Leadership. He will challenge us to rethink our response to obstacles we face and give us insight into how to lead in an environment where trust is quickly disappearing. I encourage you to take the opportunity to meet and visit with him afterwards in the Expo Hall, where we will also have information on NASBP’s efforts to raise money to help our veterans suffering from post traumatic stress.

Young leaders of the industry will have many networking opportunities. I encourage our Members to make it possible for a record number of 5-15 Leadership Committee members to join us in Scottsdale.

Affiliate Entertaining is always a highlight of our Annual Meeting. It will begin Monday afternoon and continue through the evening. We will have a record number of companies offering food and beverages. A major change in our schedule will take place on Tuesday morning. We will start with an awards breakfast. The General Session will begin later and end earlier to allow an afternoon of golf and meetings to get underway.

Plan to join us for the closing reception that will launch a fun evening of dinner, dancing, and desserts, filled with networking opportunities. Because NASBP received a positive response to the food stations and unassigned seating at last year’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, we will use that format again. One of NASBP’s favorite musical groups, Emerald City, will encourage networking on the dance floor. At the same time, desserts and drinks will be offered in a quieter setting. It will be a great way to conclude our Annual Meeting.

In conclusion, if you have not yet registered with NASBP and made your hotel reservations, please do so. Let’s gather and network at The “New” Phoenician.

Howard Cowan is Principal of Acrisure, LLC dba Cowan-Hill Bond Agency in Lubbock, TX. He can be reached at