Andrew Holt is the Government Relations and Grassroots Manager at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). NAIFA works on behalf of its members to promote a favorable regulative environment, provide professional education services, and ensure ethical professional conduct for insurance and financial advisors.
Andrew spent several years of his career in the political arena, getting his start as an intern for a senate race in South Carolina, where he found his passion for connecting voters with elected officials. This eventually led to his current position at NAIFA, where he influences public and elected officials on legislative priorities, engages volunteers in grassroots efforts, and leads grassroots lobbying efforts at the state level.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Andrew Holt defines “grassroots” and gives context to the term
- How the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) impacts voting, elections, and legislation
- Why should financial advisors care about what's happening with politics?
- Andrew discusses the importance of advocacy during this critical time for our country
- Andrew talks about a fun challenge that has been issued to all NAIFA chapters
- Why it’s important to make relationships with your local elected officials
In this episode…
What does “grassroots” really mean? It’s more than just knocking door-to-door and making phone calls.
The heart of grassroots is about teaching, coaching, and helping guide people to make a difference. Grassroots is about mobilizing the public's passion for tackling the issues that directly affect them. There are many ways to get involved and make a difference in the world, and voting is just one of them — not just at the federal level but also at the state level. Financial advisors are trusted advisors who help people and businesses make sound financial decisions, but legislation also impacts their advice. Knowing what’s going on in politics is essential for financial advisors because they must be in the political fold in order to protect their clients. What else can you do to be engaged and advocate for the decisions that affect your life?
In this episode of Advisor Today, host Chris Gandy and co-host Chad Franzen of Rise25 welcome Andrew Holt to the show. Andrew is the Government Relations and Grassroots Manager for NAIFA, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Andrew shares his thoughts on what “grassroots” means, discusses how business and politics interrelate, and reflects on the importance of making connections with your elected officials.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Andrew Holt On LinkedIn
- NAIFA: Get Out The Vote
- Email Andrew Holt: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email Suzanne Carawan: email@example.com
- Chad Franzen 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 0:21
Hi, everyone, this is Chris Gandy, your neighbor, the trustee and the CEO of Midwest legacy Group. Today we have a special edition of advisor today podcast where we feature the top leaders in insurance and financial services throughout the country. I will be being assisted today by our co host from Rise25 Chad Franzen, Chad, go ahead and take it away. Tell them a little bit about yourself.
Chad Franzen 0:45
Yeah. Hey, thanks, Chris. I have done hundreds of interviews with successful entrepreneurs and CEOs. And I look forward to being a part of today's episode. Before we get started. I'll let everybody know that this episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA. The number one association for producers and financial services at NAIFA. They enhance professional skills promote ethical conduct and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments. NAIFA members make more money and stay in the business longer and are happier. If you're already a member, you know how awesome they are. And if you are in the financial services business, and are not a member yet, join today. If you're interested in becoming a member, go to NAIFA.org. To learn more, or you can email them at info@NAIFA.org. We have a special guest today it's Andrew Holt. Andrew has spent the past several years of his career in the political arena. Starting off as an intern on a Senate race in South Carolina. He found his passion of connecting voters with elected officials, which led him to managing campaigns from US congressional races down to City Council. This led to his current position at NAIFA heading up grassroots advocacy. In his most recent role, he influenced public and elected officials on legislative priorities, engaged volunteers and elected in grassroots efforts and led grassroots lobbying efforts at the state chapter level. Andrew is a proud alumni of Clemson University, but has just left the great state of South Carolina to move to Washington, DC to be at NAIFA headquarters. During his time on the campaign trail. Andrew always had his dog with him. And by the end of his time on the road, the two of them hit 19 states across the southeast and the Midwest. Chris, go ahead and take it away.
Chris Gandy 2:28
Awesome. Thank you, Chad, we get a chance to interview Andrew and Andrew, it's an honor to spend some time with you today. Again, just sit back and relax and enjoy yourself. Let's let's kind of shoot off the cuff a little bit. You know, I'm ask you some questions. But you know, we let's let's have a conversation. Fair. You know, we have this conversation, we talk about NAIFA. And we talk about the association, we talk about government. Talk to us a little bit about, you know, here this common word of grassroots. What is that? Really? What does that really mean? Can you give us some some context to the to kind of that because it kind of gets thrown around a lot, you know, grass roots?
Andrew Holt 3:10
Yeah, I'd be more than happy to. But first off, I want to say thank you for welcoming me on your show today. So grassroots can mean a lot of different things, and a lot of different arenas, right, you know, traditional grassroots, when you think of the word, you think of knocking on doors, making phone calls, sending, you know, postcards to voters, specifically on elections. You know, when I think of grassroots from the view of NAIFA, it's a little different, I think of it grassroots is about mobilizing the public on legislative issues at every level of government. And when I think of that, I think of building relationships, something that our agents and brokers do on a daily basis with their clients, it's building that trusted relationship with their client, because at the end of the day, they're the sub subject matter expert, and they want to, you know, help folks and make sure that they're financially sound, and they're going forward in their lives. So similar to that, I think it's building that relationship and building that trust with your legislative officials, you know, and when a bill drops in, whether it's the State House, the state, you know, your your city council, or even up here in Washington, DC at the federal level, when that bill drops, we want to make sure that our legislators are contacting our people and saying, Hey, how does this impact your your clients at the end of the day, it's all about our clients. Right? And so, grassroots is is it's truly it's just about being, you know, friendships, building those, you know, that trusted core and making sure that when, you know, when they have a question about an issue within our sector, they're calling us and they're calling they're making sure that we can help explain it to them. And so you know, when you think about that, it's it's not your traditional just knocking on doors mobilizing on that front, it's it's about me Making sure that you know, we are the first person that they're calling. When we go to events, they're walking up to us and saying, hey, oh, it's great to see you, you know, you have that friendship. It's not just that transactional relationship that you see on other
Chris Gandy 5:12
fronts. No, Andrew, that's, that's, that's those are, those are great comments. You know, it just brings a thought to my head of actually, you know, grassroots starts with a seed, you see, you mentioned first and, and all grass starts with grass seed, right, and it gets watered, and then some comes up, some doesn't, which I'm sure happens in politics. So I always think about candidates seed, as you mentioned first, and that really kind of resonates. Talk to me a little bit, Andrew, about kind of what you do and why, you know, NAIFA? You know, I mean, does NAIFA really impact voting and elections and legislation? I mean, it's an organization that that has been founded based on membership of advisors. So how does that from what you do? And how does that really impact kind of the the industry?
Andrew Holt 6:07
Yeah, no, that's a great question. So, you know, what I do is that I was brought on to the Navy team about four months ago, what I do is, I'm teaching and I'm coaching people, I'm helping guide folks, at the end of the day, you know, you think of grassroots and you have your lobbyists, I am basically going in and helping advisors across the country and explain to them that, hey, you can make that difference. You just have to put your, you know, put your foot out there, step through that door and say, Yeah, I want to be a part of this process. You know, and I think about this purse, you know, over the last three years, you know, we went through a pandemic global pandemic, and I think a lot of folks saw that wait a second decisions are being made rapidly. And you know, that's something we have to make sure that our industry is being represented properly during those rapid decision making process. And that's not just at the federal level, but that's also at the state level, you know, a lot of a lot of bills pop up all the time. And, and we always joke, you know, when you see a bill pop up in one legislature across the country, odds are in the next four years, it's going to pop up in some other legislatures somewhat of a copycat, some would say, system of government when it comes to that front. So making sure that we have our folks at the front lines, talking to our elected officials, making sure that our clients are protected from you know, we always want to talk about good legislation, right, there's a lot of good things that are happening at the government level. But at the same time, there's a lot of dangerous legislation, not dangerous in the sense of harmful legislation, but it can impact the industry in ways that you know, those those unseen impacts. So a lot of what I do is going around and talking to folks and saying, hey, you know, you need to be that voice, you need to get in the fold. Because at the end of the day, most people don't do that. And it's not because they don't want to, it's because life happens, right? You know, from eight to five, you're working, you're protecting your clients, you're working your products. You know, in that five to eight hour, you might have a family, you might have Jim's got a grocery store, you got to go to soccer practice, you got to know football, it takes 15 minutes to get involved. But most folks don't realize it only takes 15 minutes, it doesn't take hours on hours every day. And those little 15 minutes, you can be very impactful. So a lot of what I do is is explaining that to people and trying to bring them into the fold. Because at the end of the day, it's not easy to get politically involved, if it's not your profession, because you have other things going on. And so I tried to show folks that there's a million ways that you can get involved, right, you know, some people are happy to send emails to legislators, some people have time to go to an event after work, or during lunchtime luncheon. Some people have time to, you know, spend and write 100 letters, it's a matter of identifying each individual's ability and time and then activating them. And it truly is, it's an exciting piece of work. Because as people get into the political fold, you know, we want to talk politics, and it's, you know, it can be somewhat of a nasty business. But there's a lot of fun that can happen, right? There's a lot of cool things that you can do that it's you know, everybody always looks for that Grand Slam. But at the end of the day, the person that gets on base every single time, that's what we're looking for, we need for people that are hitting those pop fives people that are hitting those ground balls, because they're getting on base, and they're building those relationships. And it you know, just like when you you have friends, it takes years to build that trust. And so it's just those little increments. And so that's a lot of what I do is explaining to folks that you can get involved and so when, you know, to your second point of that question, we think about candidates and voting, you know, we don't have a national voter day, right? We don't we don't get that day off. Voting is At best, probably 50%. And then in the midterms, in primaries, it's very low. Most people think that everybody else votes, you know, I like to channel I have a friend that was in the 2020 cycle was in Iowa, six votes decided a US Congressional race six, Your vote matters. And so explaining that to people that goes, Hey, six people have decided who's representing an entire district of people in us in the US House for two years. You know, we go back to Virginia, I think this was four years ago, they actually had a flip of a coin based off a law from the 1800s, to decide because there's a debt even split on the vote. So explain to people that, hey, it really does matter. And it's not just at the federal level, I always like to believe that government closest to you can make the most impact. So voting matters, especially on the down ballot races, because they can make huge impacts. You know, we have, for instance, we've seen this past year alone, in the last four months, we've seen wage theft legislation that has come out across the states, we've seen worker classification, legislation has come out on the state level, those are huge bills that would directly impact our brokers and agents, and how they do their business. And that, in turn, will directly impact their clients. So it's truly it's a learning curve. And it sounds silly, and I, people, you know, everybody thinks, oh, we all have to vote we all everybody does it. But at the end of the day, not everyone does it. So we need to make sure that our people at NAIFA are stepping up to the plate, and are making sure that their clients are protected by getting involved in the legislative process voting and making sure that they're highlighting hate primary voting matters just as much as general election voting.
Chris Gandy 11:43
Let's talk a little bit about let's shift gears for just a moment, Andrew, and let's let's just talk about you know, when I joined the financial services industry, I joined to work with people and I joined to help families be able to protect the things that are most important to them, whether that's their businesses, or their families, and VA have the right to be able to to accomplish the American Dream through planning, right. And so when I joined the industry, I remember having a conversation with one of my good friends who happens to be a lobbyist. And I remember they said that, Chris, you know, the line bleeds between business and politics, you just need to know where the line is. So let me ask a question. Most financial advisors will say, I'm not political. I don't want to have anything to do with politics. Okay, like politics? Well, I don't wanna have anything to do it politics, but can you explain just one thing is that? Why should financial advisors, one understand that business and politics are kind of synonymously talked about? But why should they? Why should they care about what's happening with politics as it deals with financial services?
Andrew Holt 13:03
Now? And that's a great question. Um, you know, actually, funnily enough, I was with some folks yesterday, and this, the same question came up. So if you're the, you're the trusted advisor for someone, they're coming to you, your clients coming to you and your their financial advisor, they're trusting you to make decisions that are going to best impact their life and your future their retirement? Well, I would say it's, it's not malpractice, but it's, it's almost, it's just, you know, you have to take that next step. Because if you truly there trusted person, well, then you have somewhat of a responsibility to make sure that when you because you know, this industry, that client nurses might not necessarily truly understand the industry and legislation in general. So you're the person if they trust you to make sure that their money is is properly you know, being invested, or whatever it is? Well, I would say that it's partially your responsibility to make sure that, you know, you're watching out on the legislative process to make sure that that bad legislation isn't going to impact your clients, because at the end of the day, bad legislation might impact your business, which in turn will impact your clients. And I think, you know, an example of that is Kentucky, about four months ago had a bill introduced in their state senate, that would put a 6% sales tax on top of set of your typical taxes simply for financial services. Well, let's talk about that, Chris. I mean, come on. People already need to get that don't necessarily use financial advisors. Now you're talking about another 6% on there, you're going to meet with people, right? That's actually driving people away from talking with advisers. So I would argue that if you're an advisor, getting into that political fold is protecting not only your business but your clients because you want to make people financially literate with a 6% sales tax on top of sales, that people are going to stop coming in. We're at a A very interesting point in our economy right now, that extra 6%. That's tough that that hurts the pocketbook. So I would say it's somewhat of a responsibility of our agents to be in the political hole. And you don't have to be political. And I think this word political has gotten kind of a bad taste in a lot of people's mouth over the last five, six years, you can just pay attention. You don't have to be at every fundraiser, go to every campaign event or, you know, be on your Facebook or Twitter nonstop retweeting articles, you can just pay attention and build those relationships silently sit just like you do with your clients pay it, you know, when Bill bad legislation pops up, and I'll use that Kentucky, you know, when that legislation popped off our NAIFA Chapter and Kentucky immediately mobilized and they looked at the relationships that we had in that state, and said, Okay, here's our key committee that we have to go after because this bill is currently in committee, we want to, we want to make sure that we kill this bill in committee before it goes to a floor vote on the Senate floor. Well, what did we do? We had folks drive up and they met with their legislators two days before that committee meeting. Guess what happened? That bill didn't make it through that is, that is the essence of grassroots mobilization is the essence of why you should be in the political fold. Because for all, you know, I mean, I don't I just moved to the Washington area, Chris, I don't know if my neighbor, my neighbor might be my city council, I have no idea. You realize that those people are normal people as well, you can go and meet them in a lot of different ways. And so making sure that you know, you're protecting your clients by being in the fold is it's just the essence of what grassroots is and why it's important to be a part of an organization like NAIFA, also, just to pay attention.
Chris Gandy 16:49
So let's talk about voting because, you know, lots of conversation around politics and lots of conversation around rocking the vote and in themes that, you know, around those those type of conversations, talk to me a little bit about why so little people vote and the impact that voting could actually have as it deals with making change?
Andrew Holt 17:19
Well, and that's a that's an interesting question. I think that pollsters and political consultants have tried to figure out for the last 50 years, you know, you mentioned the Rock the Vote, how many times every election cycle, do we see these new initiatives to drive people out to vote? Well, you know what that tells me, that tells me that voting is still very low within the population, people still don't pay attention, right? We wouldn't you wouldn't put millions of dollars behind these initiatives. If everyone was voting. There's a million reasons why people don't vote. I'm just face level. Some people don't vote because it's raining on election day. People and I go back to that that point I made right off the bat, right. The beginning is people have lives. So they don't necessarily think their vote matters. You know, I think in the last presidential election, 151 million people voted. I don't know, off the top of my head, I think the last I checked, our population was 320,000,300 30 million. So we're talking less than half the population voted in a presidential cycle. That number drops even more as we get close to the 2022. midterms. It's tough. And it's something that they some people just don't think that their vote matters. Some people might think I'm just one of a number. And I go back to that point in Iowa, six people decided a congressional race. You know, that's, that's wild to me. And I'm a political nerd. And that's the kind of stuff that I'm very interested in. It's, it's about motivating people to explain why it matters. And I always go back and I go back to that point, you know, at the top of the ticket, you know, your vote may seem like it's just a number in that 100 50 million. But when you get down to city council, I was just in South Carolina before I moved up here, and we had our primaries back on June 14, I think the total vote counts for most state House races were about 3000 people, those people are making decisions, right? Those people are making decisions. And we go back to that that Kentucky bill that's in the state level. So that bill that's 6% is decided by folks that are elected by 3000 people, right? So on a on a district by district basis. So it's important to vote just because it's not only your civic duty, but it's actually your your duty as a agent or broker because that your vote is not just a vote for yourself, but it's also a vote for your clients. And you know, whether it's on either side of the aisle, that doesn't matter. I still encourage every single person to get out and make their voice heard. Because it matters. It matters in the sense of you never know when a bill is going to drop that actually will directly impact you until it finally drops and then it's you and you go, Oh man, I should have voted in that last election, that that person who introduced that bill is actually my representative and I could have voted against them or voted for Then whatever way you go, but it's tough to motivate people. But that's where I think, you know, when I look at what we are trying to do, we've got a great social media push in June. And we're looking at doing another one August. And then for the primaries, just making sure people know that their primaries are happening in their states. And we have a great website that I'd love to plug. It's a GOTV for financial security.org. And that is a great website, because not only does it give you information on all of your ballot based off your, your address, your home address, it also gives you up to date news on races across the board across the country, both at the federal and state level. It also provides you with more information to your Secretary of State's websites, you know, again, I encourage people, I think voting starts at the primary level. So you know, we've got August coming up for some states and Arizona and Florida. So if you're in those states, please make sure you get out and vote, check out that website, you can see who's on your ballot, and educate yourself, it takes to 20 minutes, you don't have to like like I said earlier, the word political is a nasty taste in people's mouth, we don't need to have it that way. You don't have to go out and voice who you voted for on your social media, you seem to go out to that ballot box and make sure that you cast your vote.
Chris Gandy 21:16
You know, I you know, Andrew, you bring up a thought that I have. If we go back and just think about the history of the country and where we've come from and what's happened. You know, you're right, you're right to vote is you know, people sacrifice their lives, right? If we go back and just read history, right, people sacrifice their lives just for the privilege to vote. And now people have I believe that people have kind of forgotten the history a little bit and, and started to take it for granted that it's it's so easy to do it now. Right. And so I think bringing it to top of mind similar to what you've you've done in our conversation today is so important, just to remind us of a have the privilege to vote and the right to vote and our response, you said great work the responsibility to do so. Let's talk about all you mentioned August, I'm gonna ask you at the end a little bit about the website, I'm asking you to repeat that a couple times. Because, you know, as financial advisors, you know, we go 100 miles an hour, and we're doing 12 things at one time. So I'm gonna ask you to repeat it a couple times along the way. But, you know, as we go down this journey in this path, through advisor today, this podcast, you know, we're really exploring and, and trying to draw out the key information that people can kind of tap into and, and take with them along the way, when they listen to it on on just the audio or they actually watch the video. You mentioned August. Can you elaborate what is August, other than the time in which kids get ready to go back to school and parents get a little freedom? I mean, what's what's August? What, what's so special about August? Well,
Andrew Holt 23:06
first off, I think, you know, I appreciate you bring up the history part because that is true. It truly is a sacred duty of every American to vote. You know, a lot of people didn't have that right? For a long, long time. So, you know, we're sitting here in 2022 on a on a video podcast, you know, 100 years ago, nobody would even thought that we had internet right so making sure that we get out to voters is important. So August and August is a big one August is the final month of true big primary season ahead of the general election. You have some major states that are that are gonna be voting on their both Republican and Democrat candidates going into November it's it's one of the biggest the bigger months it's it's it's an interesting one in voting because it's truly that last push I know all the guys and girls that I know that are campaigning right now, you're almost there, you're almost at the finish line, you get you know, two days off, and then you're going to the general election if you win, but you made a key point there that I want to point out just right now is August kids go back to school people get back in the swing of you know, life on that that structured basis. That goes back to that point of why people don't vote. August is a busy month for life. Right? So if you have an election, you may go Oh, I'd like to go vote but I gotta get my kid to school and I gotta go to work and then you know, everything kind of kicks back into gear so that's it makes it very difficult. So August is a great month for Florida. I know Arizona off the top of my head which are both states that have heavy mail in balloting. So if you're looking to vote and you you may think, oh gosh, I life might hit me, Hey, make a plan and that's something that you will continuously hear on those going back to that Rock the Vote or whatever type of issues make a plan to vote in those states. They have mail in balloting where you can request your your ballot and they'll send it to you you can fill Without millet back in, go ahead and do that. Now you can get that done. And then you don't have to worry about, you know, waiting in line on election day or, you know, waking up and going, Oh, it's, we have a hurricane in Florida and I can't go vote. It's making that plan. So that's that's really August is the last final push before, everything shifts into gears where we go into September, October. And then the first week in November, where it's a true sprint to two months and one week sprint to the general election, the midterms, and some of these states that are popping up in August are some very consequential states have some very interesting races, both at the Senate level, the gubernatorial level, and even the congressional level, they're really the Senate level, you're going to see, you know, you've got a very interesting race in Florida, as well as Arizona, at the two Senate races, make make sure that you get your vote casted because once you get to that general, you only have two options. You can you know, right now you have plenty of people to pick from. So that's, that's that's about what August is looking like, especially on those Senate races.
Chris Gandy 26:06
Talk to me a little bit about, we're coming down to final stretch, one of the things we tried to do for those who are tuning in to this for for the first couple of times, you know, we try to we try to make sure we're on point timewise and make sure we're keeping everything tight. Right, Andrew? So talk to me a little bit about advocacy, because, you know, being an advocate for something and speaking up, you know, at NAIFA we happen to be the advocacy arm for wfs women in financial services, nya FSP. And it's important that we can we come together to diversify financial services across all different types of industry, whether it's through through color, create, organizations, institutions, talk to me a little bit about advocacy and why it's so critical at this time in this country and also in our industry, to to be an advocate for for for something dealing with government and the financial services business.
Andrew Holt 27:14
Well, so that's, that's a great question. Um, we truly are at a great point, I wouldn't quite say an inflection point, we're at a very interesting point, our governance, you know, over the last two years, as I mentioned, we went through the pandemic, we're seeing what happened during the pandemic, you saw a lot of rapid legislation get passed, and a lot of pass, it will explain it later, it's never been more important to make sure that we are right at the door. And we're reading this legislation before it gets passed, not just for our businesses, but for our clients. There's a multitude of things that we can do. But I go back to, you know, when we talked about worker classification bills, you know, when you look at what California passed two years ago, with AB five laws, where, you know, there's an exemption for financial the financial sector on those 1099 rules, and you know, how you classify somebody that's a 1099. Employee, those are things that you're seeing across the board that are shifting across the state. So right now is never been more important. Because at the end of the day, we need to make sure that when those bills pop up, whether it's North Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa, you know, we have, we're the frontline folks to say no, this can't pass, we can't allow this because it won't just directly impact my business. Because obviously, we're all in, you know, everybody's in business to make money provide for their family. But it also will impact your clients, which is a double fold on your business, because it will hurt your business right off the bat saying, Oh, we might have to reclassify how we we pay our employees. On top of that, it will take away that independent broker aspect. And then on top of that, our clients may go, well, now it costs more money to come use you. I don't necessarily want to use, you know, I don't want to spend that extra money. Well, now we have people that might be making bad financial decisions, because they aren't able, or they're afraid to go to their financial security. Financial agents say, hey, help us, I need your help, but I can't afford it. So it's very important to get involved. And like I said, it's important at all levels of government. You know, one thing that we always, you know, we laugh about at the federal level is how long people have spent in Congress or in the Senate or whatnot. Go look at their history, most of those people started at a local level in government governance, so getting involved with your local officials, early in their careers, can pay huge dividends. You know, 40 years down the road, when who knows they may go graduate to Congress or graduate to the Senate. And then they're on the you know, whether the they get to the house and they're on the Ways and Means Committee, who knows they might become the chair of the Financial Services Committee. Well, hey, you built that relationship 20 years ago. Now when a piece of legislation pops up, you don't think about that how building that relationship early We can mature 20 years down the road to that phone call of the chairman of the Financial Services going, Hey, Tom, you know, Chris, I add this bill just was introduced to my committee, how will this impact the finance your your business and your clients? Well, you know, that's, it's so simple to start that relationship, and you never know where that will pay off, you know, end up right in your note, you don't have to do it for gains, you just do it. Because at the end of the day, it's probably the right thing to do for your clients. Because you never know where that person you know, where that road will lead that person. And if you become that SME, that subject matter expert for that member? Well, that's a beautiful place to be to make sure that you're protecting your clients, right? They're calling you to say, how does this impact your industry? Should we pass this? What parts of this bill? Can we strip? Or what can we add to make sure that we're protecting your clients, you know, going down the road?
Chris Gandy 30:56
You know, Andrew recently just came from Washington, DC. You know, NAIFA came together the association, we came together a congressional conference where we got a chance to actually go into, you know, the House and the Senate, and he kind of got us a chance to kind of visit with exactly what you were talking about, is to be able to have conversations with our, our legislation, and our, our committee members, and people in the House and the Senate. So what was really interesting is, I remember having a conversation about and someone asked, So what parts of this is good, and what parts of this are bad. And we you know, and we can we really laughed, because we said, we didn't read the bill. And so this is how what we did is we tried to translate what that actually would mean for real life people, normal everyday people. And so, you know, NAIFA is big. And right now, we are super excited because we represent Main Street America, we represent the people, we give them a voice. And at the end of the day, it's very, very, very important that that people exactly that get involved, volunteer, show up vote. All those wonderful things that you've got to talk about. Can you kind of talk just a moment? There's a there's a new program that's coming up. That's super exciting. For NAIFA. That's coming up here shortly in Arizona, where we're taking it to the mate, we're taking Mainstreet America, and we're bringing them all together and advisors just to make them to go to the next level of their business. Can you can you talk for just a moment about there's a new program coming out? Yeah,
Andrew Holt 32:47
yeah, real quick, I just want to circle back to one thing that you mentioned, when you guys would everyone was up here for congressional conference. And when they you know, when you're asked, What does this mean, and you know, you've mentioned injury, the bill, you know, a lot of these bills are hundreds and hundreds of pages. And we also have to remember, our legislators had lifes before they ended up in Congress or their state house, you know, their doctors, their teachers, their, you know, everything under the sun, they might not be financial advisors, they might not they might really not have that in their wheelhouse. That might not be their purview. So it's important to remember, hey, when we go and meet with these people, it's we are the we're the experts, they may have no big, you know, no idea about this sector, because it's something that they may have never done. So it's just like you mentioned, it's very important that we get involved. Because, you know, just off the top of my head, I'm thinking, you know, you've got an optometrists in the Senate, they may not have the understanding of insurance as much as you know, we would so and especially on their staff side, so it's important to make sure that we are the ones that are filling them in and, you know, when they they need those anecdotes, and it's telling those stories, storytelling is important when it comes to advocacy, because it's not, you know, we read books all the time, we you know, you can read a bill, and it's just words on paper, those personal anecdotes of someone in coming, you know, coming up and saying, this line right here, this, I have a story about this, and this is why this is bad. That's where we make the change, not only at you know, it's changing hearts and minds, because at the end of the day, they vote yes or no or Absolutely. But to get them to vote yes or no. It's about making sure that we have when they go to vote, they have that story pop up in their brain going, Oh, wait, I heard this. Just you know, that's a personal anecdote. It's not just some you know, you know, I need you to vote no, anyone can tell somebody to vote no. Here's why you need to vote no, or here's why you need to vote. Yes. So I just wanted to make sure that I pointed that out. So yes, we have a very exciting thing coming up this August. It's called our August in District chapter challenge. We are challenging all our chapters in fun way to go out and meet with their legislators. So from August 1 until September 9, the House and Senate are on recess. And we're at a very fun point and an interesting point, because due to the fact that it's the midterm elections, you know, August recess, typically an off your elections can be vacation finally taken some time to be with the family or whatnot. Because it's an election year, just about every single elected official will be hosting events, there'll be hosting town halls, they'll be hosting fundraisers. So we thought, what better way to go and get into the fold. If you've never been involved in advocacy than right now, there's a million things that are going to be going on in your state, go out, meet with your legislators, contact your state chapters, you know, they'll have a list of the events that are going to be going on tagalong see what this is about. Because like I said earlier, advocacy, grassroots at, you know, going and talking to a legislator can seem daunting to someone that's never done it before the end of the day, they're people, they're humans, they love the interaction. You just have to put yourself out there and say, Hey, here's my hand up, I want to join, I want to go and see what this is about. And it's not that you know, as buttoned up, you know, we came up to Capitol Hill. And that's always very fun time and everyone seems to really enjoy it. I think we have about 500 people this year. Back in District, these are where there's people this is their comfort zone, go and meet with them, don't go go to coffees go to their fundraisers. If you're interested in getting involved we have a great on our website, we have a sign up formula eat become an advocacy ambassador for us. Get involved, the August in districts are going to be really great. We've had 31 states already pledge to be involved, we have, I think four more of come off this morning. So we're going for that 100% participation, I think we're gonna get there. It's very exciting. People are seeming really jazzed up about it, people are excited. And there's, there's different ways to get involved. This is taking kind of that pressure off of I'm gonna go sit in office and talk legislation. No, it's about going and meeting people and seeing what get it you know, going to events is all about, you know, if you've never been to a political event before, they are fun, they are a spectacle on both sides of the aisle, you're going to have a great time. You know, I think of back where I came from, in South Carolina, there's an annual barbecue every year, nearly 1000 people come to, and every time you talk to people that are new, they go, tweet, this is what getting involved means like this is coming in, you know, in meeting people and talking about ideas, it's fun. And there's a lot of different, you know, as I mentioned, there's a lot of different ways to get involved. So please, if you are interested, make sure to reach out to your, you know, your chapter exec your grassroots chairs, your presidents have your chapter and say, Hey, I've never done this before. But I'd like to try. And I'd like to see what this is
Chris Gandy 37:48
about. Andrew, as we wrap up, you're exactly right. August is a super busy month, not only from the political side, but also from the association side. You know, we recently have a fantastic program going on also in August 16, at the Biltmore, where we're gonna get an opportunity to come together for a unique conference, where it's going to be able to meld politics, growth, the practice, and also the opportunity to get better collectively together. As we were, as we talked a little bit about, you know, the importance of people, you know, one of the things that that we realize, and working with people is there are certain groups of people that typically are overlooked as it deals with or may not be as involved because of that, and, and because of that, we're going to bring that to this conference, the opportunity to work with women and Hispanics and African American and different cultures to kind of bring that message together. And so as we come to Capitol Hill next year, or at the end of this year, as we start talking about the impact that we can make along the way, we can collectively do it together. So with that in mind, any final thoughts that you'd like to share with everyone as we kind of start to start to make our way down the road for the balance of the year? Yeah, just
Andrew Holt 39:20
last last thing also in August, we have our pack, IFA packs, birthday. So you know a lot of stuff going on for Navy with you Apex IFA pack our chapter challenge. There's just you know, it's a busy month schools getting back in there. So it's exciting. You know, the last thing I'd love to just plug is, again, our website GOTV for financial security.org. That's G O TV for the letter four, or the number gosh, the number four for financial security.org. It's a great resource to look at the primaries, the different elections that are going on. And the last thing I would just challenge everyone that's listening to this make that first call, make that first step, call your legislative call your city council member, you know, you don't realize these folks are normal people they will meet with you go in and put yourself out there and build that relationship. It doesn't have to be pulling teeth to be in the political world. It doesn't. You don't have to watch the news every single day, you don't have to, you know, post on your social every single day, just quietly, you know, if you want to get involved, you can quietly do it, let us know, we'd love to have you join the fold. We're really excited about a lot of stuff that we have going forward. You know, we're building up the advocacy side, we're really working on the grassroots, it's going to be great, you know, at the end of the day, there's gonna be a lot of great things coming. So the only thing I ask is, you know, join jump on the train now, don't wait, get involved. I you know, there's like I said, there's a million ways to get involved. Chris, it doesn't have to be your you don't even have to if you're not comfortable going out and you're you don't have the time to go meet with your legislator, you can write them a letter, you can say thank you. And that's the last thing I'd like to say is, hey, all the time, legislators get picked on you know, they're they're yelled at they're they're chastised for everything on both sides of the aisle. You know, it's important to make sure that when they do, you know, when they do something that's good, especially on our industry, and that impacts our clients, right in the thank you letter, send a thank you email. Because for every meal, you know, 100 emails, they get as negative, that one, thank you, I guarantee you will stand out. And I've talked to legislators across the country. And every single one of these comments, when they get a thank you letter from someone and they say, Gosh, I actually save that written letter, it's on my office because I don't get many of them. And that makes their day because at the end of the day, they're putting themselves out there to represent a, you know, XYZ constituency. They, you know, there's that they're still there. They're part of the community, they're just our representative. Remember, they work for us, we elect them to represent us, whether it's at the state house or at the federal level. So making sure it's, you know, saying thank you is is important. So that would be that'd be the last thing I'd like to plug is just just get involved and you know, put yourself out there, you'd be surprised how fun and easy it is to get in the political world.
Chris Gandy 42:13
Andrew, I'm going to wrap up with this. I'll wrap up at the end. But I'd like to have a little fun, you know, scatter of who I am. I played sports in my previous life. I'm a recovering athlete. Don't judge me. It's okay. So this is just called you know, we used to have been sports we used to pass the ball to each other you had to get to call, you know, hot they always call it Hot Ball hot, whatever. So I'm gonna say something and the first thing that comes to mind I want you to tell me I'm ask you a question. You get one word. That's it. So don't you don't go into detail here. We'll see you How come how much fun we can have. I'll ask you three or four questions and I'll wrap it up fair. Ready. When I say the word South Carolina was the first word comes to mind. Clemson. Clemson. Interesting. What I say, Washington, DC, what's the first thing comes up on? Humidity? All right, advocacy. first word that comes to mind. Grassroots, grassroots. And last but not least, when I say nay for what's the first thing that comes to mind? best, the best. Thank you, Andrew, for your time, energy and effort. You know, thank you for sharing all your wisdom and thought, obviously, you know, we can't do this without professionals like you. Thank you for your long term commitment as a part of being a you know, a part of NAIFA your hard work and everything you do to represent everybody out here who's listening to our podcast for advisor today, where we all come together to be better, to step up to be involved and to advocate for the lives of those that we represent. So thank you, Andrew, we appreciate it. And we'll see you on the next advisor day podcast. Thank you for tuning in. Bye bye. Thank you