President's Message

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The Back To School Season

With the fall term getting underway this month, education is on everyone’s mind, including NASBP’s!

This isn’t something new for our Association. Vince Como, NASBP’s President from 1975 to 1976, was instrumental in establishing education as a priority for professionalism among members, underwriters, and others connected to the surety business. Instead of following the traditional fall “back to school” time frame, the first Surety School was held for 23 students during the heart of winter in Hartford, Connecticut. The faculty was comprised of volunteers from NASBP member agencies and surety companies to provide a balanced perspective on how the surety business is conducted. From the outset, two NASBP agents from New England, Bill Angell and talented educator Jack Curtin, devoted countless hours of their time to developing an intense and meaningful curriculum. It was an honor, and very fitting, to name the School--the NASBP William J. Angell Surety School--in memory of Bill when he passed away in 1989.

Como recommended the formation of the NASBP Professional Development Committee (then called the NASBP Surety Education Committee) to enable members to work with the NASBP staff on educational programs and to fully commit to providing an annual Winter School. Later NASBP added an annual Summer School. Today, the annual Winter and Summer sessions provide an extensive curriculum to about 250 students every year. Educational offerings by NASBP don’t stop there. The NASBP Professional Development Committee provides numerous offerings throughout the year including the NASBP Leadership Workshop that teaches how to lead across the generations and manage a multi-generational workforce. This September 24 Workshop will help each of us understand generational expectations to build stronger relationships. We are all looking for ways to more effectively manage our teams, and NASBP’s Leadership Workshop is key. See the article on the Leadership Workshop in this issue of Pipeline

Our week-long Summer Surety School was held last month near Seattle, Washington. Volunteers from NASBP member agencies and affiliate underwriters still teach the classes. More than 20 instructors were fully engaged in the spirit of our theme this year—Making Every Minute Count. Introductory and advanced sessions on contract and commercial surety armed students with tools they will utilize to help them be the best they can be in the often misunderstood surety industry. Perhaps one of the reasons the NASBP leadership formed the School during Vince Como’s tenure was because they realized that education not only teaches the benefits of the product but also reduces misunderstandings about it! Check out all of NASBP's educational offerings.

Many still scratch their heads about the value of suretyship today. So to complement their educational offerings, NASBP recently established the Be Guaranteed To Succeed public relations campaign to promote the surety product. Yes, maintaining superior industry knowledge, based in-part on worthwhile educational programs, maximizes the chances of success! Witness the value knowledgeable surety professionals bring to bonding programs, by taking a minute or two to view the NASBP PR Campaign information and video testimonials at the following link: https://www.nasbp.org/guaranteed/home.

The pictures below show the NASBP Surety School students working as teams on in-class assignments and accessing case study materials through the new NASBP SuretyLearn platform

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John Bustard is Executive Vice President of King & Neel, Inc. in Honolulu, HI. He can be reached at john@kingneel.com and 808.539.5419.