For over 30 years, Diane Boyle has been the Senior Vice President of Government Relations for NAIFA. Diane advocates for state, interstate, and federal laws that benefit the good of the people. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in political science and government.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Diane Boyle talks about her governmental work to create a favorable environment for agents and clients
- Why you should be paying attention and developing relationships with lawmakers
- If you’re not going to educate lawmakers, who is?
- Diane explains how NAIFA is becoming more diverse and achieving financial security
- How advisors can become involved in developing relationships with political candidates
- Diane shares how social media can be a way to connect with your elected officials
- The positive impact of NAIFA’s Congressional Conference
In this episode…
When your passion and career revolve around making sure clients are on the right financial track, knowing how to politically advocate for them can be tricky. What should you do?
Get involved! You can help shape the policies put in place by advocating for the good of your constituents. Diane Boyle does just that. By examining the legislative component at local, state, and federal levels, Diane knows the advantage of staying active and educating political heads. But you have to be willing to continue conversations with people you disagree with — because they need education the most.
In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Diane Boyle, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for NAIFA, to discuss the importance of engaging in the legislative process. Diane talks about opportunities for insurance agents to get involved with their local government, lobbying for legislation, and how familiarizing yourself with local government can bring awareness and acceptance to your community.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Chris Gandy on LinkedIn
- Suzanne Carawan on LinkedIn
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
- NAIFA's Legislative Action Center
- Diane Boyle on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode...
This episode is brought to you by NAIFA's Advocacy in Action Center.
When funds need to be raised in government, politicians turn to the tax code to find revenue. NAIFA advocates at both the state and federal levels on issues that affect the well-being of both your clients' assets as well as your own advisor business. NAIFA membership is the best insurance you can buy to protect your business.
To learn more, visit https://advocacy.naifa.org/.
Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.
Chris Gandy 0:20
Hi, everyone, welcome to Advisor Today podcast, where we interview and talk to some of the brightest minds in the insurance and financial services industry. I'm here with my wonderful co host, Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne. Hi, Chris. I'm Chris Gandy, one of your one of your NAIFA trustees. We have a fantastic guest today. And you know, she is the guru of gurus. I'm not gonna steal her thunder. But let's kick it over to Suzanne. Suzanne, who's our sponsor, what's our sponsor for today's show?
Suzanne Carawan 0:54
So this entire episode is brought to us by NAIFA's. IFA PAC. And so we're gonna hear a little bit more about that as we get into it with Diane.
Chris Gandy 1:01
Awesome. So you want to introduce our guests today? And now jump right in?
Suzanne Carawan 1:07
Yeah, sure. So one of the things we thought would be really timely, important, et cetera, we're going to talk a little bit about a big event that we have coming up. But it's also what we like to call it NAIFA's. State Legislative Day season. And so I'll have Diane talk about what the heck that means. But the other piece is, it is Women's History Month. And so we want to make sure we touch on some of the pieces there as well. So we thought having Diane as our first podcast of the month would just be apropos on many different levels. So Diane Boyle here is our Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for NAIFA, and a tenured a tenured staff member who has phenomenal relationships and wait, we just hear about a day in the life of what Diane gets to gets to do and goes out to protect all of us. So turn it back to you, Chris.
Chris Gandy 1:55
Awesome. So Diane Boyle. Welcome.
Diane Boyle 1:58
Thank you. Thank you for having me. This is actually fun. And I liked the little accolade side when we got to that season part that really, really delicately, you know, 31 years at NAIFA's can add up quickly. But anyway, all fine. Thanks for having us.
Chris Gandy 2:15
So So Diane, for those who don't know, know who you are, they've seen your name kinda probably in some NAIFA's. I will call it part of the NAIFA stuff, right? There's a lot of NAIFA things that come out. Can you just share about your role in a fun and what you do specifically?
Diane Boyle 2:36
Sure, I had up NAIFA’s Government Relations program. So that encompasses what you're going to hear me talk in threes, I realized that as we start talking about just legislative stuff, everything seems to come in threes. So it's its state and our state and federal advocacy. And, you know, that's what we focus on. We look at insurances primarily regulated by the state. So we have a whole legislative component there. The Interstate is really an opportunity for model laws to be developed that then the states pick up on, so we influence at that level. And then obviously, at the congressional level, we're very much involved there. So I oversee those sort of three segments of our advocacy, and do that in a number of different ways we do if you go to the next three, you're talking about our PAC, which, you know, Suzanne mentioned that this was brought to you by by FAPAC, which is our political action committee that helps fund candidates running for office. And we have a federal PAC that helps with the congressional candidates. And then we have 50, state, IFA PACs, which actually support those state level candidates. So it's the PAC our grassroots and our professional lobbyists, that's sort of the next three of how we actually get into to advocating. So my role is really to make sure that all we're shooting on all of those cylinders.
Chris Gandy 4:04
So you have to be a jack of all trades.
Diane Boyle 4:07
Yes, I do.
Chris Gandy 4:09
Have to be a jack of all trades.
Diane Boyle 4:12
I don't know, I don't know whether we say of all trades, or you know, I may call it something else, but we'll keep it clean.
Chris Gandy 4:18
Well, you have to have the ability, you have to have a unique ability to deal with the, the, the political side of things, you have to have the ability to be able to deal with people like us as advisors, right, who have short brains and everything is like I needed I needed now we have to have the ability to deal with us. And then you have to have the ability to kind of put it all together and build bridges and new relationships with people who don't know or that that I will call it that, that collaboration of of different resources so that we can be effective and efficient. So you do have to be a master of many So
Diane Boyle 5:01
you're talking about the the political side, which is definitely we do it political policy, and then sort of the people and NAIFA members are our people. So it's our people, the political when you get into all of the political dynamics that exist, and then actually the policy, how do we get that good policy for our people? And and that's the education component that jack of all trades, as you say, figuring out what voice to use, and to amplify our voice by having us all say it the same way.
Chris Gandy 5:32
So if I'm an advisor, why should I care about if you know, if we go to DC, once a year, and we get a chance to take a picture on the hill, and maybe in our Capitol building? You know, should I care about the state? Or should I care about federal or what should I be paying attention to?
Diane Boyle 5:52
Yes, yes, yes. To pay attention to all of that. And I can add, the reason that why you want to be involved, Chris, in in, you know, this is there are 535 members of Congress, that shape the way you do business, there are 7000, state legislators that shape the way you do business, whether you like it or you hated, or you want it to go away. That's how we develop our laws in our country, and they govern our products, and the services that our members provide. So if you want to make sure that you have a favorable environment in order to operate into, then you need to be involved in advocacy. And I'll give you this the selfish side, because I know we have salespeople on the call that probably care a little bit about that side, too. So not only is it having the right environment in order to sell in, once you become active, you have yet another thing to go back to your clients and say, I'm fighting for you, you know, we sat down and develop these plans, because you said you wanted to save more you wanted to invest whatever plan it is that you sat down and devise with your clients, either for their families or their businesses, you then have this extra talking point once you become politically active, insane. And not only did I help you plan for that, because we had these conversations, I'm involved to make sure that the plans that we put in place, that the government doesn't step in and change how they operate. And so all of a sudden, it adds another layer of credibility to your relationship with your client. And that's huge.
Suzanne Carawan 7:32
And as I know, I mean, I've run our member orientation program for a couple of years now. And the the biggest, you know, to debunk and myth, one of the biggest things that new advisors are new, usually they're new advisors new to the industry, and often just new to NAIFA's. They'll say, Isn't there someone for that? Isn't that what the paid lobbyists does? Right? So how do you what do you normally say, give us your pitch, Diane, that you do so well? About? Why like just a regular advisor why that's important that they show up? And it's not just the professional lobbyist?
Diane Boyle 8:04
Oh, yeah. You know, and one, let's not ever underrate the professional lobbyists. Very, very, very, very important. We don't do they're good. Yeah. Very important. No, but when in did we set this at the beginning of the tower that I've been with me for for a really long time, I have really strong relationships with legislators on the hill, we have a great state advocacy program. So we have professionals that are advocating for you. That's what your membership should do. But without fail, if I walk into a member's office, doesn't matter what I'm asking for, and they'll say, you know, we have that trust relationship, I understand what you're saying, I know it to be true. Is it true in my district, give me a constituent who can say that that's true. And that's the need and the opportunity for the members to actually be involved. And it's an it's an easy, tell them what you do. They don't know what you do. And if you look at the new Congress, there's so many new members of Congress, they don't know what you do. They don't understand the service that you provide to your members. Also the member of Congress's constituents, which is who elected them to represent them in DC. So they're doing their job by saying, Diane, I need more than just you. I want you to help me with the technical language. But I want Chris to come in and tell me how that plays in Chicago, because I was brought here by the by constituents from Chicago, not from DC, not from Arlington, Virginia, not from New Orleans, Louisiana, where I'm from, right they want Chicago, Illinois, and every member of Congress wants that. And that's something that only our constituents can do. And that means As soon as you join NAIFA, as soon as you enter the insurance profession, you should be paying attention and making sure that you're having and developing those relationships with those lawmakers, and how deep you want to dive into that relationship development is up to you. We can take you from, yep, I just monitor and engage when asked to, you know, what I really got bit by the bug and I run want to run for office. You know, if you look at Congress, we have five members of Congress that are former NAIFA members. So you can run the gamut on how involved you want to be. But what shouldn't be optional, is whether you get involved or not.
Chris Gandy 10:46
So I had to ask the question, if I'm an advisor, how do I how do I get involved? What do I do first, like how do I how do I get? How do I get involved? Like, explain that process to me. So
Diane Boyle 11:00
there are a number of different ways, Chris, and the easiest is you can go on NAIFA's website and say, hey, I want to be an advocacy ambassador. And we'll walk through we have a great colleague named Andrew Holt, who heads up our grassroots program and some people may say what the heck is grassroots grassroots is that that spread of people throughout that have those different relationships. And so Andrew will walk through different opportunities are really great way is in you named one of them is to participate, come to Washington, come to to DC, for our congressional conference, congressional conferences, May 22 23rd. If you guys don't have that marked down in your calendars do registration is open now. Register comm it's fantastic. The beauty of congressional conference is that you're going to be paired with other NAIFA members to go in and see your member of Congress, we're going to give you talking points, you are going to get that fabulous food that you talked about Chris, where you have the capital, or a monument in the background, which is just really pretty nice, a beautiful time to be in DC. But it's an easy way to start that relationship, not kind of going at it on your own. The other and we're through a good number of them have we had 32 State Legislative Days scheduled in q1. So by the end of this month, we will have completed 32 Different states having legislative days. That's another way if you've missed your State Legislative Day, look for it next year, or maybe come to DC and then jump in next year, if you haven't, yours is on the the next to the next quarters, jumped in and see when their state legislative days are also a really good opportunity to get involved more on the state level. And what people don't realize, I think sometimes is like the lifecycle of a politician is that they're going to go through by and large, the state legislature and then they make their way to Congress. So developing those relationships early on, really matter. Because to answer Suzanne, like your question earlier, who don't we have people that do that? Yeah, we have three lobbyists and a couple of consultants who develop relationships with members of Congress, but we're developing him with the members who sit on the committees of jurisdiction primarily Ways and Means Senate Finance, can name the others. But that's where we focus our attention. There are 535 of them. So we don't have detailed one on one personal relationships with them. But what happens is, the relationships are developed at the state level, they come to Congress, then they land on our committees. And when they land on these key committees that we follow, they are a committees, which means everybody else in DC is scrambling to get to know them. So they're on the Republican side alone. 10 new members of the House Ways and Means Committee means I've got 10 new people to go introduce myself to but everybody else in DC is clamoring to go meet these people too. But what I have that some of the other industry stone is I have our NAIFA members in every state and every congressional district. So when I walk in, they may not have met me before, but they've met our NAIFA members. And so I go in with a warm introduction instead of a cold call. And that's tremendous. So that's why that involvement early on by our members is so important. And it actually is really a lot of fun. You know your business better than anyone else. These lawmakers are dealing with everything from you know, at the state levels. Yep. transportation issues and we have Chinese balloon hearings now in DC. It's crazy stuff all over the place. They're not experts in each of these issues. So they're looking to find Someone that can help them make educated and informed decisions. And if you're not there who's educating and informing them?
Suzanne Carawan 15:08
Yeah, that's exactly what John Wheeler, John Wheeler and I were talking the other day, and we did a little interview. And his point was, he said, he really struggled with this for a long time. He said, just didn't get it didn't get it packed and get the whole process until one day he, I think something you said it clicked. And he said, Wait, what am I doing? Who's going to do a better job talking about my business than me? Do I want to outsource it to anybody else? Like, no, I want me sitting at the table, right? explaining this explaining why let's not do this with a particular law, because that's going to hurt and why. And so that's really what I think was his call to action, it clicked for him. And I think that, you know, that's a common story.
Chris Gandy 15:48
I like the idea that you're right, the the the person to tell that, you know, we don't want to play telephone, right. And so there are people that make the laws, there's people that enforce the laws and people that actually use the laws, right. And so we are actually on the other side of that, as advisors, trying to figure out how to make this make sense. I can speak to my experience, you know, my first time experience, I think I said, the first time I've ever been to DC was with NAIFA's. So you guys are the people that that brought me to DC, our nation's capital. And I remember the first time going through and going down in the tunnels and I'm looking around like, like a, you know, a young kid in high school, like this is the Capitol, and starting to learn about DC. But, you know, we actually were sitting before everything was closed. But I remember sitting up top of one of the sessions, and we got a tour. But I remember sitting up top one of the sessions, I'm like, wait a minute, that's what we see on TV down there, then I'm talking and actually, but that's what we actually see. And I remember having to go through that. But it's like this demystification of this big over this, this, this huge, huge, huge ecosystem that exists, and being able to navigate it all the way down to Sydney with our congressperson locally, which was Kinzinger at the time and having a conversation and realizing that I actually recruited his brother into the business when he was an intern. Nathan Kinzinger, who's who's a Northwestern Mutual guy, so So that's how that's how connections and relationships work. And for someone that has never been, I think that was a great experience. So you know, Diane, let's talk about where we are, you know, obviously, you've got probably a lot to say, but obviously, we're on the cusp of, you know, we've seen unprecedented. Congress already right, you know, with all the votes, how many votes were there to see a new speaker 1515. But you did say, was it the most right, you did?
Diane Boyle 18:06
Tell us? Not the most? No,
Chris Gandy 18:07
not the most, but but, you know, obviously with with, with that being said, what do we need to know about this Congress? Because it's a fairly unique makeup. Right, it's, so what do we need to know? What do we need to pay attention to? As we start to deal with this, this, this, this this, this makeup of Congress? Sure.
Diane Boyle 18:35
The there's some things that are same, and some things that are different. It's a divided Congress, we've had those before we know how to work with them. NAIFA's policies are nonpartisan. So it doesn't matter what the mix up up is whether you have you know, in right now, we have obviously the Senate controlled by Democrats, we have the house controlled by Republicans, we have a Democratic administration. Those are things that we've navigated before, what's really different this time, is that we have record number of women. It's more diverse than Congress's ever been, still have some challenges to meet the diversity of the population, and so does our industry by the way. But when I went in this goes back. Three congresses ago, I think I got that right. Maxine Waters was first ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. She was then when the Democrats took control a chairwoman of the committee. Now she's back to being ranking because the Republicans have the majority. But when she was first ranking, and if we were coming upon one of our we were in having a meeting and I said we're going to bring constituents and she says, Oh, good. Bring some that look like me. Well, if you haven't met Maxine Waters, she's an African American female, mother, grandmother. Lots of demographic labels that you could put But on her right Whiteman is who showed up. And I'm like, I know we have to have a woman, a grandmother, an African American member, I need something that says an adds to our credibility. The fact that she said to me, bring me people that look like me, because she wants them to look like her constituents. And it doesn't mean that the white men in her district because they weren't constituents would they didn't have value with her that they did. And they could communicate the same issues and the policies that we talked about. But it would have been that extra layer when we say we want financial security for all, but we constantly show up with the same people. It's not quite as strong, right, we could be better, we could do better. And what I always find interesting is sometimes people think diversity means race and gender. And that's it. Diversity is so much more than that. It's my effect. Suzanne, and I have a call later today, on the ABLE accounts. And I don't know if you guys remember that it was 2014. I think that we worked on it. And basically, the ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save without losing access to some of the government program benefits that they're entitled to. So people with disabilities, that's different, that adds diversity. At everything, we need to mirror, ideally, what our population looks like, when we're legislating if we're truly saying that we want financial security for all, and that's what we're trying to achieve. But a step even closer, if we can't quite get there yet. You've got to match the diversity of Congress. And you know what our membership actually has that we're starting to see. And I always joke, when I first started going to NAIFA's members, we would go to big meeting, and we'd go into the large restrooms that have multiple stalls, and I walk into the ladies room, and it would be Oh my. And, and now it's it's a inconvenience, that are welcome. I walk in. And sometimes there's a wait for the ladies room because NAIFA's membership has become more diverse, at least male female wise. But you know, what I'm still not seeing, I'm still not seeing the females are the women in our group to actually engage in advocacy. And they need to because record number of women and the 100 and 18th Congress Congress that we're in now, they're going to want to see that our voices differ slightly, we want to all say the same thing. We want to be able to show that it crosses all of the diversity lines that are out there. Right, so that we really are trying to achieve that financial security for all. So what are the obstacles that that different segments of our society encounter? And do we as an industry have products and services to help those individuals? And we do. But we have to be able to communicate it that way. And we add credibility to our communication, when we have those diverse voices all singing together?
Suzanne Carawan 23:26
And I think when you put it from that perspective, maybe talk to most advisors and say, Hey, are you know, are your women clients? Important? Right? Like, you know, are they when you're doing planning? What does that look like? I mean, since 1946, there's been more women in the United States than men. Right? And yet, no one's really thinking about it that way. So we all know, from an advisor standpoint, you're like, Oh, yes, you know, we know what happens if, you know, the, if the it's a kind of traditional, quote, unquote, traditional husband, wife and husband dies, and those stats for the woman changing her advisors like something what is like 80? Some percent? Right. So we know that, but then how do we, how do we miss the gap to say, okay, so therefore, women as advisors need to get politically active? We need to, we haven't made that we haven't connected the dots on that one yet.
Chris Gandy 24:12
Well, I think it's Suzanne, I'll just add, I think it's, it's even deeper than that. Right? It's, it's, it's one is I think, people have to be willing to accept change, or at least appreciate it and understand it, right? Whether they participate or not, it's different than then than what they remember. And it's even going to be even more different for the people that are just now, the workforce now. I mean, we look at the workforce now. It's completely different. Even have some some scenarios where, you know, whether it's men, whether it's women, whether it's non gender, it doesn't mean at the end of the day, people are people are less segmented in the Longer population than segmented. So if you're going to be the voice for them, and Congress is going to be the voice of those people, then it's going to start to look different. Right? And so that is part of the awareness and acceptance. And, you know, it is fighting a, a historic, you know, history. Right. And so, So Diane fighting history that that's it's very interesting. What would you say, is the one of the things that as an advisor I can do, to have my voice be heard, either locally or nationally, specifically in around the political space.
Diane Boyle 25:49
So on the political space, there are a couple of different ways that you can engage, you can engage on that policy level, which really is developing that relationship with your lawmaker. So that assumes that they've already been elected. So who are your existing legislators, and we can tell you that if you go into NAIFA's, advocacy Action Center, you'll type in your home address, we'll tell you exactly who all your legislators are. Get to know them, that's going to shake that policy. The other way that you can get involved is on the candidate side. And if you're a political junkie like I am, that's actually kind of exciting, too. Because you can say, you know, what, I hate the guy that represents me, or the gal that represents me, and I want somebody else and now you can play in the candidate world, right? Because in the way that you do that is through contribute contributing to hyper PAC is how we do it, what the pack does, and people misunderstand this a good bit, he can't buy a vote, there are limitations on how much can be given to candidates. So it absolutely doesn't buy in. But what it does is it buys you access, an opportunity to develop a relationship. It allows us to support candidates that have an understanding of our industry. That's what the pack does. It supports candidates, you as an advisor can get involved in both contributing to the pack, but also developing those relationships with candidates. And that gives you your opportunity to say, Hey, I'm volunteering on a campaign, you're getting to know somebody before they're elected into office, you're developing that relationship. So now they kind of know you, they kind of know what you do. They know who you serve, when they're faced with a policy discussion, if they're elected, they're going to know, to contact that Chris, he kind of knew what he was talking about. So you've helped them by developing a relationship and the candidate base. What I want to stress here, though, if your candidate loses, because they hear this all the time, involved in the campaign, great candidate, understood our issues was the go to guy and they lost. So no, no, the guy who lost doesn't have a vote, I don't care how great they were, they don't have a vote, the guy who won has a vote. And I would argue even more important for you to develop a relationship with them. You know why? Because they didn't agree with your press, they didn't, because if they did, you probably would have been supporting them. So they probably don't have an understanding of our industry, they're in greatest need of that relationship with you. It doesn't mean that when they're up for reelection, that you still can't go back to that candidate that you love best. But you have to be willing to continue to have those conversations with people that you disagree with, because they're in need of the education the most. And that would be my take on how you could kind of get involved both developing on the policy relationship side, and then supporting the candidates. And you can do that with the pack is how we do it.
Chris Gandy 29:07
Dan, let me unpack what I think I heard you say, right, there's a lot there. Right. So hopefully, if you're out there and you're watching this podcast, you go back and rewind it. She unpacked a lot in that little short period of time is number one, she said get involved. Number two, build some relationships. Number three, help shape policy. You can't buy votes, but you can actually help shape policy through advocating and getting your message out there. And then coming to DC participate in the IFA PAC, there was a series of different things steps you just kind of said there. You rattled off pretty fast. And so if you got a chance to go back and re listen to this, Diane's great and if you spend time with her, you need to have your pin ready so you can go back and start to do those things. Because it's not just about listening. It's about taking action, right and if you're going to take Can action get involved? That's what I would encourage you all to do. So, Dan, a day in the life of Diane Boyle, what is what does that actually look like? It sounds like you're talking to politicians, you're talking to advisors, you're helping people coordinate, you're, you're talking a lot, like so. What is that? What is what's a day in the life of Diane Boyle?
Diane Boyle 30:19
Well, and the reason why I'm really laughing at that one, Chris is I have three boys, my youngest son is a senior in high school. And the other day, suddenly, a girl suddenly realizes like, Oh, I'm going to college, like, eventually, I'm going to have to become a professional, I'm gonna have to be self sustaining at some point. So how am I going to do that? And he goes, so he's kind of paying attention, like he's lived with me all his life, and is just now noticing what I do and because So what exactly do you do? And he goes, because I've been home now. And after a pandemic, I'm working primarily from home. And then I go to the Capitol, and actually closer from my house, and then headquarters, so kind of do a little bit of both. So he's been hearing and because it sounds like, You talk a lot. Right? Yeah. And then you recommend other people to go talk to other people? And I'm like, Yeah, that's true. And then you go out to eat a lot. And you drink a lot? And because that's like what I do. No, actually, it's not a lot like what you do, but the clothes. But so I do, you're right, I get up. Typically, if Congress is in session, as a matter of fact, they're coming back in person again, which is really exciting. Because you know, even though some of the other states have been open for a while, the Congress, even though they've been meeting again, in person, they hadn't opened up the congressional complex completely. And so we would go in for episodic, if it wasn't open, it is now where we could go in and basically, what lobbyists are called troll the halls. You walk through the buildings, you pop in and meet people in addition to your scheduled appointments. So if Congress is in session, which they typically are Tuesday through Thursday, they'll be at a breakfast event, usually, at eight or 830. I don't like to eight o'clock. 830, for some reason is okay. But there's a usually a breakfast, then there's a lunch meeting, and typically a dinner reception. And I was talking with another hobbyist other day, and they're like, I can't remember we did this, three or four nights a week, three to four events a day, in addition to the actual policy side, that would be the political side, those events that I was talking about the then you have your policy discussions, where you're going in and meeting with staff, and members of Congress to sit down and say, Okay, you're looking at a proposal, let me share where I think there needs to be changes or how that would impact our members and the clients that they serve. And so you're having those conversations too. And then you're right, then I'm talking because if I'm going to represent you, I've got to talk to our members and know what your thoughts are. So as we're starting to hear things, and I'll give you a good example, there was legislation that was introduced at the end of last Congress where we were like, wait a minute, where did this come from? This is this is not good. And the not good part was it was looking to introduce a government run retirement plan. In the press release, or the impetus behind it was not everyone has access to employer sponsored retirement plans. And this is true. But that doesn't mean that they don't have access to you, Chris, that somebody can walk into your office, any type, whether you work for an association, a company, or you're self employed, and you can help them plan for their retirement. Am I right? Yeah. So why is there a need for this government program then to duplicate efforts, so we kind of scratched our head. So then that gets into the other part of my day where I go, Okay, now, I'm going to look at the sponsors of the legislation. And I'm going to say, Chris, you got to call your guy. He's, he's, he's missing the point here. Because we just pass secure 2.0 Which for small employers now has more opportunities than ever to put together plan some incentives to help small employers put together plans for their employees. You've got on the individual retirement side opportunities. Let's talk through because we're missing a step here. So it's not that they need to hear just from Diane but Diane needs to pick up the phone and say, hey, who in this district? Because I can't have you. As I said, Chris, it wasn't your member. So that's why you didn't actually get a phone call. You want to be strategic As you can hear, you have placed those calls because they have limited resources. And while the laws that they put in place, affect everyone, the individual members of Congress were elected to represent their constituents. So you don't want to have a non constituent calling one, they're not going to take your calls for the most part, they're going to redirect you and say, Oh, your representative is Danny Davis, I'm gonna go ahead and transfer you now. And you're like, but Danny's not sponsoring the Delta. But that's where you're gonna land because I don't want to talk to you, you're not mine. So that's why we have a very robust grassroots program where we track not only whose district you're in, but who our members develop relationships with. So if you went to college, or you played ball with somebody that's now in Congress, I want to know that relationship, because that helps me gauge whether they're going to take your phone call, whether you're just growing that relationship, whether you have an established relationship, whether we need to couple you with two or three other different advisors to come in, whether they have a very diverse district, so then we're going to want to have all aspects of the district represented. Anyway, so we put together those plans. I guess that's what was my question, what do I do in a day? That's what I do in a day?
Chris Gandy 36:22
You do a lot, you do a lot. So, um, you know, I'm gonna bring in something different. It wasn't on our questions, but I'm interested. So I see that with this new Congress, more than ever, there's more people utilizing social media, right? From TikTok to two
Diane Boyle 36:50
can't use TikTok in the government go on
Chris Gandy 36:53
Instagram, to, to Facebook to whatever, right. So they're using the social media, there's usually in the social media platforms, whether it's to spread the message or to get out their perspective or whatever, maybe, right. How do you see that playing out with the impact as it deals with inch insurance and advisory work? You know, because we also are in a regulated space, right? There's certain things we can and can't do us. But is that a medium that we as NAIFA. And as NAIFA's members can actually engage in our with our, our, our leaders that way? Also, since they are so active? There are very there are some that are super active, obviously. And there's some that are still old school, and I'm letting I'm not touching that. But and then that was one question Part A and Part B. is, will that be a significant part of the way we engage with, you know, politicians and our leaders in those areas going forward? Yeah, it
Diane Boyle 38:15
absolutely is it they all serve a different role. I would encourage everyone to follow your legislators find out what they are saying and not saying on social media, it's a good way for you to kind of get to know them. You're not going to change. And I think this is true. Across the board, whether you're dealing with the you know, your Uncle Johnny, or you're dealing with your elected official, you're not going to change their position, fighting over social media. But what you do do is you learn where they are, you can say thank you. I can't stress enough how much if you have an opportunity to thank a legislator, they really do feel thankless, and not in an arrogant, you don't appreciate any kind of way. But they get the hard punches. If we don't like what they're doing. We're loud about saying no. If you can be the guy who's developing the relationship now, don't think them needlessly if they're screwing up, please don't go on social media and say thank you. But if they're if they're doing something right, there's an opportunity to say, hey, thank you for for listening. Thank you for participating. Thank you for having this discussion with me. And when you're on the hill, when you do come to congressional conference or go to your state ledge day, always take that opportunity to have that social media. Hey, I met with Representative so and so to discuss retirement one. They appreciate it because they're trying to get out to their constituents that they're listening and we do that stop. So now it's who I was the legislator who was listening to the white hat guys and having a conversation, trying to preserve your financial security and give you greater access. So they look good when you post it. You look good, because you see it and go with him. Chris Gandy guy was in DC look at him with, with the big ones. So it's good for you. Absolutely. There's a role for social media. And I think you need to be engaged, you should be engaged, it should be all positive. That that would be my stress. If you're going negative on social media, you're going to lose. And I love your your, I guess description of the the varying levels. If you look at our Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer still uses a flip phone. But Chuck Schumer will not miss an opportunity to talk to the press, including social media. So he has staff that are that are utilizing it and they watch it and they monitor and go back to that that relationship development. When you get to that level to that you have a relationship with a lawmaker, and then you're the guy who goes to their town hall meeting or their tele town hall meeting, and you ask a meaningful question, and you give them the platform to look good. Oh, I like I like seeing that crisp guy. And he's knowledgeable. So when I have a question I'm going to call him in social media does that too, right? It reinforces all of the conversations in the relationship development that you've done on the back end, and in person. So I absolutely think it's a, it's a really good way to engage. And like you said, they're there. So it's a good way for us to learn what they care about. And just like when we sit down and have conversations, knowing a little bit about each other is cool and good to know. So all of a sudden, if you're watching them on social media, not only do you know their stance on our issues, you might know that you guys support the same charitable organization. So next time you see him, you can say, hey, you know, that was really cool. I was there to
Suzanne Carawan 42:16
know speeds up the relationship, right? build rapport faster. Yep.
Chris Gandy 42:20
You're building rapport is super important when building trust. And building trust is the name of the game. We need to trust them as they need to trust us, right as the voice of mainstream is the longest standing professional association in this industry. In the insurance industry. We we have something that others do not have. I'll get off my soapbox for that purpose of that exercise. But let's let's let's get involved here. So So Diane. Well, Suzanne, do you have anything else for Diane? Before I put her through the
Suzanne Carawan 42:56
Yeah, we gotta we gotta wrap it up and go to our lightning round.
Chris Gandy 43:00
Diane, we are coming up on congressional conference. So how do they find you? I mean, are you going to be a congressional conference?
Diane Boyle 43:08
I will absolutely be congressional. This is the I love congressional conference. This is like, my happy time is when all of the agents come to DC. And so you've heard me say this a million times, Chris, but you're gonna have to listen to me again. It's like my proudest moment. Congressional conference, their members from every state that come it's the opposite that lobbyists dream about. Right? All of my members are here from everything. And I get in the elevator and a member of Congress looks at me, he's like, Fine, you people are everywhere. And I'm like, Yes, I will absolutely be at congressional conference. It is a fantastic opportunity, again, May 22 23rd, you can register at NAIFA.org. And we, we want everybody to be there because I want to be able to say again, we have members from every state. I want the legislators to feel like you guys are everywhere, because that in their mind says you represent a lot of people. You represent a lot of people that I'm supposed to represent. So if you're telling me something is good, then it probably is good. And I probably should do that. If you're offering caution. I should probably pay attention to that too. And it really is that optic, you talked about developing trusts, you can do that in a number of different ways. The beauty of the congressional conference is it's a visual of it's not just in this segment, it's universal. And so it's really important and exciting and fun.
Chris Gandy 44:47
Well, we look forward to seeing you at congressional conference and Suzanne also, but dance team does a great job everyone. They will have us prepare ARED they'll have us educated and they will have us ready to go to the Hill and be able to, to bring together one voice for NAIFA collectively, as we start to touch base with our our local representation in DC in our state, or national legislature, legislators. With that being said, said, let's move on to the lightning round, which is always fun, because no one knows what questions I'm going to ask. But, you know, Dan, the name of the game here is just whatever off the top of your head. It is what it is, it is what it is. Right. And so we'll start with one that I'm sure you probably have thought about, but favorite museum in DC? Oh.
Diane Boyle 45:50
That's a tough one. So yeah, there are lots of favorite museums the one all right. Aaron, space
Chris Gandy 45:59
aerospace, wonderful. Movie.
Diane Boyle 46:03
My cousin, Danny. Mica.
Chris Gandy 46:08
Everybody gets a chuckle out of that. Got it. Favorite landmark in DC.
Diane Boyle 46:17
Oh, gosh, what just popped in my head. And I don't know that it's my favorite, but it's not bad is the awakening. They just moved it. But anyway,
Chris Gandy 46:24
the awakening, okay. So if you're on this podcast, venture to the awakening when you when you come to DC for congressional conference. Last two, you ready? So if you can go back in time, and meet with anyone, any one of the presidents and have breakfast? Who would it be and why?
Diane Boyle 46:50
Thomas Jefferson, and probably because and this is gonna be a goofy reason, but I'm gonna tie it back to the monuments. His monument is really cool. If you ever go, it's his whole life depicted like their tobacco leaves that actually grow up beside because he raised tobacco. Anyway, so I, Thomas Jefferson, because he has a cool monument. And I want to know more about all of the little aspects of the monument that were represented.
Chris Gandy 47:19
Okay. I have two for you, actually. DC is known for like these little secret spaces for food. I know because I've gone I'm like they so favorite place that you've probably never heard of in DC to eat. Everyone take your pen out because you probably places.
Diane Boyle 47:41
Alright, so I'm going to do one that's actually not in DC proper. Only because it's across the street from our soon to be new headquarters is there's a speakeasy called salt. And it's in Arlington, Virginia, directly across the street from NAIFA's. New headquarters.
Chris Gandy 48:02
Okay, wonderful. And then last but not least, Diane, if I'm getting into the business today, and this is my first time coming to congressional conference, what advice would you give me wear comfortable
Diane Boyle 48:13
shoes? Wear comfortable shoes, you you want more than that?
Chris Gandy 48:19
I'm assuming it's so there's a lot of walking and
Diane Boyle 48:23
walking and like I said, I was from New Orleans, New Orleans is flat. DC is a Capitol Hill is actually a hill. And you know, people think, Oh, I'm going into the Capitol, I'm gonna get fancy. I'm gonna put on my nice dress shoes. And then we're hiking you back and forth in the capitol itself takes up a good amount of space. So to think that, Oh, I'm just crossing the Capitol from the Senate office building to the House Office Building. You're pretty pretty long johns. You've done that, huh? Yeah, in the past,
Chris Gandy 48:58
that's actually an Uber ride, because it's quite a 45 minute and that's if you're moving. It's 45 minutes. It's not a an easy walk. So thank you, Diane. Suzanne, do you have anything else before we give it to Diane to to to for her final words?
Suzanne Carawan 49:16
Nope. That's it. Thanks, everybody. Yeah,
Chris Gandy 49:18
Diane, do you have any final words for our wonderful listeners and podcast? enthusiast?
Diane Boyle 49:25
I do. And one, thank you. Thank you very, this was fun. This was a nice change and in my routine. If you're not a member, join, if you're a member, get involved, then come to the Congressional conference, participate in your legislative day. And if there's ever anything that I can do for you. I'm here to represent you. So just give me a call.
Chris Gandy 49:48
Thank you, Diane. So Thanks, Diane. I'll wrap this up. Thanks for everyone for tuning into Advisor Today's podcast where we talk to the leaders like Diane Boyle. Thank you, Diane for being here. Thanks. you, Suzanne, wonderful Suzanne are co hosts for being here and putting this all together. You know, just a reminder that NAIFA is a place where we collectively come together to uplift and to and to encourage and to support each other. As we are in up we are in a place where we represent our clients as best we possibly can for Main Street America, but at the end of the day, our whole point is to make everyone here a better person. So we appreciate it. Thanks. God bless. Have a great rest of your week, and we'll see you at congressional conference. Thank you.
Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know