Blake Finney is looking forward to attending the NAIFA Congressional Conference, which takes place May 23-24 in Washington, D.C. This will be the third time that the NAIFA YAT member, President of NAIFA-Middle Tennessee, and agent with Shelter Insurance will be attending this flagship event.
For Finney, taking part in the NAIFA Congressional Conference is a win-win situation. “When you are in the insurance industry, you do not often realize how legislative initiatives can affect your business,“ he said. “With the stroke of a pen, the insurance business can change, which may negatively impact our ability to serve our clients. Knowing my legislators and being active nationally and locally are very important to me. In addition to attending the NAIFA Congressional Conference a couple of times, I have also attended our association’s local Day on the Hill event for eight-plus years, and know my State Reps and Senators personally.”
The NAIFA Congressional Conference also offers Finney, who has been in the industry for more than 13 years, the opportunity to meet advisors from other companies and other states. “Chatting with other people who work in different areas of insurance stimulates my passion for helping clients,” he said. “Some of my best referral sources are other insurance professionals. I see NAIFA members not as competitors, but as part of my referral circle.”
Finney is so convinced of the value of the Congressional Conference that he has created a plan for getting more agents to attend the meeting and to join NAIFA. Under the plan, his local association pays for what the NAIFA stipend of $300 does not cover.
“The main goal of our local association is to be active,” he explained. “Our local association sponsored 15 members to attend our state convention, and we also sponsored five non-members in the hopes of gaining a new member. Getting advisors involved and seeing the behind-the-scenes advocacy that NAIFA does are key to having a long-term NAIFA member. On our local board, another advisor and I, both of us under 40, are on the state board. The state association gives us an allotment of $350 for each member, if needed, to attend the Congressional Conference.”
This year, Finney’s association is sending a brand new YAT member to the Congressional Conference, along with an eight-year NAIFA member who is also under 40. Both of them will share a hotel room. Hotel, airfare, and registration amount to about $700. When the state association kicks in $350 and NAIFA-National kicks in the $300 stipend, this can cover most of the amount needed for the trip, Finney said. “Young advisors who are new to the business can get the stipend and can room with us free of charge. This cuts the cost of the trip in half. The local association can come up with an extra $100, if needed. In this way, you get two active members who can bring in two non-active members.”
Finney is passionate about encouraging other agents to join NAIFA because he knows the value of NAIFA membership. When he first got into the business, Bobby Queener, a 30-plus-year NAIFA member, asked him to join NAIFA, and he did.
“From there, I have made many friends and served on the local board for 8-plus years,” he said. “I am currently the local president. I graduated from LILI in 2012--and that was a game changer for me on how I run and view my business. Being an advisor who respects other advisors and works hard to improve himself tends to attract lots of business. And as most of us know, it is much easier to attract business than to chase business.”
The Congressional Conference displays the strength of NAIFA’s grassroots voice, which is very critical to the success of the industry and advisors as they serve the American consumer. That is why it is important for you to register today for the Congressional Conference at www.naifa.org and display your strength as a NAIFA member.