NASBP Presents Awards at Annual Meeting

At the NASBP Annual Meeting, then NASBP President Tom Padilla presented several awards to the NASBP membership. On Monday, Padilla presented the NASBP John "Jack" J. Curtin President's Award and the NASBP Bruce T. Wallace Award. For additional materials and pictures from the 2015 Annual Meeting, visit

John "Jack" J. Curtin President's Award

At the Annual Meeting, Padilla, pictured on right, presented Todd Leohnert, left, President of L A Surety Solutions, with the NASBP John "Jack" J. Curtin President's Award. Padilla said he wanted to recognize Loehnert's over 25 years of continuous dedication and service to NASBP and the surety industry. Padilla said, "Loehnert has served in many ways including as a Committee Chair, Director, and Regional Vice President and as President from 2009-2010 and continues to serve today." "Loehnert is always ready to help NASBP and its membership," he added. 
The award, named the John "Jack" J. Curtin, Jr. President’s Award, honors an individual, who is chosen by the NASBP President for his or her outstanding service contributions during the President’s term to the Association and to the surety industry. The award was first presented in 2007 to John "Jack" J. Curtin, Jr., for whom the award is named.

Curtin, a past NASBP President, passed away in 2008, and had been a faculty member of NASBP’s acclaimed William J. Angell Surety School for 30 years. Curtin had served as a member volunteer in NASBP at all levels, including Director, Regional Vice President, as well as, Chair of several NASBP committees.

Recipients of the President's Award receive a framed certificate personally inscribed in two-toned color calligraphy highlighted in gold and signed by the NASBP President, as well as, a specifically minted NASBP President’s medallion customized with the NASBP logo and made of 2-troy oz. .999 fine silver. 

Bruce T. Wallace Award

Padilla, pictured on right, bestowed Gary Dunbar, left, President of Great American Insurance Company, with the NASBP Bruce T. Wallace Award. Padilla said that Dunbar has been and continues to be a tireless supporter of the surety industry and a good friend to NASBP. Padilla said that the award recognizes Dunbar’s many outstanding contributions to NASBP and to the surety industry throughout his distinguished career.
The Bruce T. Wallace award is a special award given by NASBP to those who have made substantial, career-long contributions to the advancement of the surety industry. The award, named in honor of the NASBP first association executive, Bruce T. Wallace, is not given every year, and only awarded when the NASBP Executive Committee identifies a worthy recipient.

There are 17 recipients of the NASBP Bruce T. Wallace award. The award was first awarded in 1990 to Vincent J. Como.

Tiger Trust Award

The next day at the NASBP Annual Meeting Tom Padilla and Larry McMahon presented the Surety Information Office Tiger Trust awards. They presented a Tiger Trust award to John Bustard of King & Neel and John "Stan" Halliday, Jacob Fulmer, and Mary Alice McNamara of Travelers Bond. The outstanding work of these award recipients are described below.    

Bustard of King & Neel persuaded the Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children to require Treasury-listed bonds as part of two of its projects---a new parking garage and a newborn and pediatric intensive care unit. The contracts together totaled $160 million. In addition, the Medical Center followed Bustard’s recommendation to require a bid bond on the competitively bid New Bingham Parking Garage project. Pictured from left, are Larry McMahon, John Bustard, and Tom Padilla.

Rating agencies are critical players in public-private partnership (P3) finance and many in the surety industry have been working to educate them about our product and its value, and learn of their concerns.
Halliday, Fulmer, and McNamara of Travelers Bond took this a step further with great success. Not only did they meet with those agencies and use real examples of just how surety bonds work in a default situation, but Travelers then developed an Expedited Dispute Resolution Bond Form that contains no liquidity provision (which is the previously preferred form of performance security on P3 projects), but does assure prompt response in the event of a declaration of default. As a result of their efforts, the surety industry will benefit from 100% bonds on two large P3 projects, totaling over $1.25 billion in construction value, the Indianapolis Justice Center and the Pennsylvania Bridges Rehabilitation Project. Three leading sureties will participate on these bonds. The use of bonds on these projects also sets a strong precedence for the use of bonds on future P3 projects. Pictured, from left, are Larry McMahon, John "Stan" Halliday, Jacob Fulmer, and Mary Alice McNamara of Travelers Bond and Tom Padilla.

2014 Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion and Advocacy

During the NASBP Annual Meeting, Susan Hecker and Lynne Cook presented the SIO Gold, Silver, and Advocacy awards. The Gold and Silver awards recognize Local Surety Associations (LSAs) for conducting at least ten and five public relations and educational activities, respectively, in a calendar year to promote the use of contract surety bonds in construction to non-surety audiences. The Advocacy Award is for LSAs that conduct significant activities advocating for suretyship, such as fighting legislative efforts to waive bonds or increase bond thresholds, or advocating for reasonable bond forms. Listed below is a sample of the activities that earned these LSAs their awards. 

Pictured, from left, are Susan Hecker; Tom Chambers of Shorewest Surety Services for the Surety Association of Wisconsin; J. Spencer Miller of Schwartz Brothers Insurance Agency, Inc. for the Surety Association Illinois; Don Ardolino of J.D. Kutter Insurance Associates for the Surety Association of St. Louis; Jenni Waggoner of M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services for the Surety Association of Indiana; Monica Donatelli of IMA, Inc. for the Surety Association of Kansas City; Lynne Cook; and Larry McMahon of Alliant for the Surety Association of San Diego.

Pictured, from left, are Susan Hecker, Frank Hertel of Travelers Bond, Ken Coate of Inland Surety/HUB International, Steve Swartz of South Coast Surety Insurance, and Lynne Cook. Hertel, Coate and Swartz accepted the Gold award. They are members of the Surety Underwriters Association of Southern California.

Gold Award

Florida Surety Association – The FSA conducted numerous activities to promote surety bonds, including members’ work with the Miami-Dade County Board that oversees and regulates the Community Small Business Enterprise Statutory Construction Program. An FSA member serves on the board and has significant input relative to the surety industry and bonding and, throughout 2014, advocated for the use of bonding and explained bonding’s benefits, particularly if and when bonds were not required. FSA members also served as facilitators as part of the USDOT/SFAA Bonding Education Program for the I-4 P3 project. FSA members participated in several networking events for small and emerging contractors and gave a presentation to a group of GCs persuading them to require bonds from their subcontractors. Among many other activities, the FSA also publishes a Bonding Newsletter for 11,000 contractors in the state.

Surety Association of Kansas City – SAKC members participated in the Public Risk Management Association’s convention, where they gave a presentation to 35 risk managers from various municipalities in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska on the benefits of bonding construction projects. Members set up booths at events throughout the year, including the American Railroad Engineer & Manufacturing Association, where several owners and engineers were given information about the benefits of bonding contractors and subcontractors. The SAKC also worked with small and emerging contractors. At the Missouri Small Business & Technology Center, Office of Research and Economic Development, SAKC members held a session to explain the how bonding helps build small businesses. Four contractors that did not have bonds before meeting with an SAKC member at this event now have surety credit. 

Surety Association of Ohio – The SAO performed numerous activities that qualified it for a Gold Award, especially ones geared toward small, emerging, and minority contractors. SAO members presented at the Detroit Business Technical Conference to minority-owned and small business owners about the value of bonding and how to obtain surety bonds. Also in Detroit, the SAO was in sessions of the Bonding Education Program. SAO members held a bonding seminar at the Akron Urban League for emerging and minority contractors, where they gave presentations and also had one-on-one sessions with each attendee to discuss their individual business situations and bonding needs. The SAO also participated in the 2014 SBA Ohio Business Matchmakers events for contractors and gave a presentation on the benefits of bonding and how to become bondable.

Surety Association of San Diego – An SASD member presented at the Native American Contractors Association Seminar on the basics of tribal bonding and key items contractors should focus on to obtain bonds. A presentation to the San Diego Unified School District included discussion on the benefits of bonding subcontractors and protections subcontractors bonds offer the district. Also, to emphasize the importance of subcontractor bonding, SASD members participated in the California Subcontractors Legislative Fly-In in Sacramento. In addition to other activities, the SASD set up a booth at the Public Agency Procurement Fair to spread the message of the importance of bonding contractors and subcontractors and how to obtain surety bonds.

Surety Underwriters Association of Southern California – SUASC members participated in several Bonding Education Program workshops and other events for small, minority, and emerging contractors, including the Korean Contractors Association Annual Meeting and Los Angeles Unified School District’s Small Business Boot Camp, where attendees were educated on the bonding process. SUASC met with the San Bernadino Community College District Bond Oversight Committee that was discussing the district’s decision to hire an outside consultant to provide a bond assistance program for small and emerging contractors. The SUASC member advocated for the district to work with SFAA and NASBP instead. SUASC members also set up booths at several events—including outreach events for the High Speed Rail Project, the California/Kern Regional Transportation Conference, and the Navy Gold Coast Events for military contractors—in order to discuss bonding and provide resources.

Silver Award

St. Louis Surety Association – SLSA members conducted seminars on the benefits of bonding and how good business practices can lead to being bondable for the American Subcontractors Association Midwest Council and the SIUE Construction Leadership Institute. The SLSA also spent time working with small, emerging, and minority contractors. Among these activities was a panel discussion and seminar for the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment to help small business owners understand the bonding process and how the importance of a surety relationship. As advisory members of the Regional Union Construction Center, SLSA members also spent time advising emerging contractors on how to secure bonding and establish a long-term surety relationship.

Surety Association of Illinois – An SAI member led a discussion with CFOs and owners of general contracting firms about the benefits of subcontractor bonding as part of the Association Builders and Human Resources Conference. Another SAI member worked one-on-on with five small construction firms educate them on the need for bonds and the bonding process. At the 2014 Construction Industry Conference in Chicago, an SAI member gave a presentation to owners and managers of construction firms on the importance of subcontractor bonding. Among other activities, SAI members met with the Crate & Barrel Construction Team to discuss the protections surety bonds offer that other forms of risk management do not.

Surety Association of Indiana –
SAI members conducted a presentation to several members of the Laborers International Union of America, Midwest Region, about the value of surety bonding, online resources, and SFAA’s Model Contractor Development Program®, which they also promoted on a radio show. Members also met with lobbyists and the Director of Enterprise Development/ Mayor’s Office for the City of Indianapolis to discuss their position on bonding P3s and to explain the benefits of bonding a P3 project. In addition to other activities, an SAI member gave a presentation to contractors and project owners about how each group could benefit from bonding.

Advocacy Award

Florida Surety Association – The FSA tackled many issues in 2014, including onerous bond forms, long-term warranties, and excessive A.M. Best requirements from contractors’ sureties. FSA members had bond forms successfully amended in several locales, including Coral Gables, Nassau County, and the City of Plantation, where the bond form language allowed the City to breach the contract, while not affecting the surety’s obligations under the bond. The purchasing manager for the City issued an addendum, correcting the onerous language. FSA members wrote letters regarding long-terms warranties to several cities, including the Town of Southwest Ranches, describing the challenges that its 10-year warranty requirement presented to the surety industry, and the Town changed the warranty provision to one year. In additional to other activities, the FSA also hosted FSA Legislative Day and met with lawmakers in Tallahassee to discuss current and future legislation.

Surety Association of Illinois – The SAI worked with SFAA to convince several project owners and others—including the project owner and architect at Prairie State College, the City of Evanston, and the Skokie School District—who originally required an A+ rating from a surety, that an A- rating or better would be sufficient. SAI, along with SFAA, also worked on long-term warranty issues in the state. On a school roof replacement project, they were successful in having the warranty reduced from five years to one to two years, and for a project with the Village of Skokie, the original 20-year warranty for defective materials on an exterior wall and roofing project was reduced to two years. This allowed for more competitive bids on both projects and guaranteed surety support.

Surety Association of Wisconsin – SAW members worked to have the Wisconsin DOT (WiDOT) reduce the warranty bond for the roof of a salt storage shed from 10 years to 4 years. Also, SAW members met with the WiDOT to educate department official on extended warranties and how they affect the bidders list and bid costs, information of which the officials had not been previously aware. Additionally, SAW members met with the Wisconsin Department of Administration about changes to state contracts in regards to single-prime contracting and their prequalification standards. Also, when an SAW member found out that the Village of Cottage Grove was requiring a 125% performance and payment bond when the architect originally called for a 100% performance and payment bond, the SAW member contacted the village administrator, and an addendum was issued to require a 100% performance and payment bond.