President's Message

Knowing Our Past Is Key to Our Success  

To improve a situation, we need to make changes. Sometimes I am amazed at how few really “new ideas” are out there. Since we are “Honoring Our Past” during this 75th Anniversary Year, I thought sharing some highlights of our history in the opening paragraphs of each Pipeline column might be fun.
Conceived in 1942, NASBP incorporated in 1943; and while World War II required suspending some annual meetings during the 40s, the members of NASBP began implementing our basic premises; the first being dues! The structure was based on gross written premium, self-reported, and ranged from $25 to $250 per agency annually.

The three original committees established were:

  • Nominations
  • Financing and Budgeting
  • Resolutions

Issues addressed at meetings included: 

  • Dues
  • Rate Manual Revisions
  • The Producer’s Role
  • Public Relations
  • Promoting Private Bonds
  • Directed Suretyship 

Surety premiums in 1946 were $95 million with $14 million in losses (15% L/R.) We produced our first publication, entitled Functions of a Qualified Contract Bond Producer. If anyone has a copy of this lying around, we would really like to borrow it for our exhibit in Boca Raton, Florida at the 2017 Annual Meeting held April 23-26 2017, where NASBP will celebrate its 75th Anniversary. Please let me know if you can locate a copy.
During the 1950s, the issue of unethical agents being appointed by carriers raised its ugly head. NASBP expanded the working committees to include a Forms Committee and divided the country into four regions, which resulted in appointments of the first Regional Vice Presidents. By the end of the decade dues had doubled, $50 - $500, based on premium; and we launched our first membership drive. The issue of directed suretyship continued, and AGC adopted a resolution condemning the practice. NASBP affirmed the resolution. Our major accomplishments included adopting a “Code of Ethics” and rewriting the "Contract Bond Producer" pamphlet. Of course, our annual meetings grew in attendance, and the "State of the Industry" presentation was introduced into the annual meeting program. Fast-forward to NASBP’s current initiatives: we are forming task forces that will examine the following subjects:

  • Product
  • Claims
  • Marketing

The express purpose of the findings of these task forces is to improve the surety business for Members, Affiliates, Associates and users of the product. Does this sound at all familiar? 

Since I wrote my first Pipeline column, NASBP has held two significant events that support our mission, the NASBP Legislative Fly-In and the NASBP Summer Surety School. While the attendance this year was lighter than last year, the people who made the trip to DC for the Fly-In established new and reaffirmed many contacts with members of Congress and their staff. The evening program featured U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY 22nd), who has been a good friend to the industry, supporting NASBP’s legislative efforts combating fraud and advocating for the expansion of the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program. In honor of his support and impending retirement from public life, Kevin Garrity, NASBP Government Relations Committee Chair, presented Representative Hanna with a written proclamation of appreciation from the NASBP Board of Directors.
Again this year we were fortunate to have some of our children join us for the Fly-in and visit offices on Capitol Hill. All feedback from both parents and these young attendees has been that the experience is unique, educational, and fun. We find that, when a youngster is with us, the aides are extremely attentive. In response to this positive situation, we are designing a new program for next year’s Fly-In, June 2017, to encourage students over age 10 to come to DC with their parents. Stay tuned for the exact dates.

Yesterday I returned home from the 2016 NASBP Summer Surety School that held Levels I, II, and III in Kansas City. Over the years, I have heard many people praise our educational offerings; I actually thought twice about even mentioning them. What a disservice that would be! The three Levels hosted about 100 students during the week. The 23 volunteer teachers (five of them were NASBP Past Presidents) and Liz Wise, NASBP Director of Professional Development, continue to deliver a first-class education to the attendees, filled with both technical knowledge and personal experiences. We honored our mentors, Bill Angell and Jack Curtin with some great stories and a few tears. The most amazing thing to me is that, after recovering from the week, NASBP Professional Development Committee Chair Dedi Belis and her team will debrief and start the process of improving the content based on feedback from the students and instructors so the Winter School in January 2017 can be even better!

Coming up next are the Regional Meetings. The Regional Directors have promised to offer attendees plenty of educational and networking opportunities. I am looking forward to seeing you in Austin, Nashville, Napa, and Puerto Rico and talking about both our successes and challenges. NASBP is built on committee involvement, and I just received the NASBP Committee rosters for my approval. I want to thank each of you for volunteering and offer the old adage “the more you get involved, the more you get back.” Please feel free to contact Dasha Brock, NASBP Manager of Membership Services, at about joining a committee and to reach out to me with any constructive comments. 

Lynne W. Cook is Senior Vice President at Early, Cassidy & Schilling, Inc. in Rockville, MD. She can be reached at