Monday, August 30, 2010

A Very Poignant Day

As I sit here, NFCA CEO, Joe Annotti, is just finishing up his speech to the delegation. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

So far, today has been very full with a number of speakers and presentations. First we had Scott Ginsberg, aka “The Nametag Guy” speaking about the importance of being approachable. This was great information for lodge members and leaders. I hope we’ll be able to make some of his presentation available for other members and lodges to enjoy.

Then, just before lunch, we were treated to a short presentation by Linda McCormick from Borton Overseas, the Official Travel Partner of the 2010 International Convention. She provided delegates with information about all the wonderful discounts available from Borton to Sons of Norway members.

That brings me to now, after lunch, where Joe Annotti is speaking about the importance of Fraternal Benefit Societies and the importance of running them like a business. His whole speech very entertaining but I think there were two key take-away messages.

The first was that the holy trinity of the fraternal world is governance, relevance and solvency. All equally important, I think.

The second key message was that just because we are non-profits, that doesn’t mean that profits are bad. Quite the contrary, in fact because the more profitable we are, the more good we can do in the communities we serve.

I’m a fraternal guy at heart and think that fraternal programming is important, but Joe’s point is right on. If fraternals don’t behave like businesses and focus on profits, our future is very bleak. Very, very bleak.

That’s why Sons of Norway is placing renewed emphasis on our own holy trinity of fraternalism: Fraternal, Financial and Foundation. These are our three key areas of business and we understand their symbiotic relationship with respect to one another. When speaking about these areas of business, International President, Dan Rude, often uses the analogy of a three-legged stool: without one of the legs the whole stool falls (as would our beloved organization).

Something to think about when you wonder why Sons of Norway sells insurance, or why it has a foundation.

In closing it’s been a very poignant day so far. I’m hoping the rest of the convention is the same. If so, this is going to be the Best. Convention. EVAR!

More to come later!

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