CEO Comments

Recharging NASBP for the Future - New Logo, New Office, New Image Campaign

Over the last several years, NASBP’s leadership has been engaged in advancing the Association through thoughtful introspection and action, realizing that the “old way” of assuming one’s worth was not a viable strategy for future relevancy. Then President Lynne Cook established task forces to look into what the future might portend for surety bonding and surety professionals and how collectively we might shape our own future. Her successor, Immediate Past President Howard Cowan, seized on the necessity of being proactive in shaping the industry’s image to stakeholders and to decision-makers, both familiar and unfamiliar with the merits of surety bonding, through public relations efforts. And current President Bob Shaw is emphasizing the need to conduct outreach internally and externally through “road shows” and industry relations, so we strengthen our base and can “sell more bonds.” Those leadership currents are propelling significant actions, the visible outcomes of which are becoming apparent this year.

Among the actions taken was looking at our own image as an Association. Perhaps the most visible symbol of any association is its logo, and NASBP had been utilizing its cityscape logo since 2003. One could certainly argue that the “cityscape” appeared dated and was not the best representation of both sides of surety, contract surety and commercial surety. The 75th Anniversary Celebration logo, however, focused on the three-party relationship of surety through an image of three interlocking rings of different colors. The tripartite nature of surety is true in all surety arrangements and was deemed a fitting representation for NASBP’s new logo, which debuted in more vibrant colors earlier this year.

This year also marked NASBP’s move to new office space and location. NASBP’s office lease in DC expired at the end of March. The DC office was located in an area of the city in which rents had climbed steeply. A move to the close-in suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, offered NASBP the opportunity to refresh its office environment through more contemporary space and furnishings and to realize significant savings on future annual rents. The savings in our new space will indeed be significant over the life of the lease, as NASBP was able to reduce its rentable space by 600 square feet due to a more efficient layout, have the hard costs of the tenant buildout picked up by the new landlord, obtain rent abatement for the first year, and reduce its per square foot cost by more than $11.00 per square foot. Our real estate consultant estimated that NASBP will save more than $1,000,000.00 over the life of the eleven-year lease when compared to remaining in the DC office location. The new office is a space of which to be proud, and all members are invited to use the space when in the DC metro area. A visual tour of the new office can be accessed here.

In the third and fourth quarters of this year, NASBP’s public relations campaign, the “Be Guaranteed to Succeed” campaign, will commence in earnest, reshaping conceptions of surety as a guarantor of personal and professional success. Print advertisements are being placed in select trade publications from September through December to elevate the visibility of the importance of surety bonding with owners and contractors. This is just the first step in a multi-tiered campaign that will also involve use of social media and of videos over the next several years and will expand to more stakeholders, such as lenders, design professionals, and attorneys. Instrumental in the success of the campaign will be your involvement, so NASBP is developing a Producer Communications Toolkit to be given to members later this year. The toolkit will help ensure consistency in messaging and contain instructions for facilitating social media posts. I will provide more information about the public relations campaign and other related efforts at this year’s Regional Meetings.

2018 is the start, and much more is to come.