This week we brought staff and leaders together to host a new member orientation for the Texas state chapter. With so many new members coming into the NAIFA Family from the merger with FSP, the NAIFA-Texas board thought it would be a great idea to supplement the orientation that NAIFA holds every week with their "Welcome to Your State Chapter" so that they could tell members all about the history, culture, and activities that make NAIFA-Texas uniquely NAIFA-Texas.
The virtual event was hosted by Rick Demko, (loyal member since 2015 who is a LILI grad, Triangle Team member, a National 4 Under 40 award winner, and 2023 NQA recipient), and started by Rick telling his own NAIFA story which entailed him moving to a new location, knowing no one, and then finding NAIFA. "The fellowship that NAIFA provides is the real value of NAIFA," stated Demko. "I know people join for different reasons, but what you can count on is that you are surrounding yourself with real, good quality folks."
While Rick was talking, I was watching the chat where many members were introducing themselves, giving shout outs to others, teasing each other (think Dallas v. Houston), and then a new member asked a question, and a seasoned NAIFA member responded in what can only be deemed the NAIFA way. She chatted a simple question, "How can I serve?".
The spirit of servant leadership has been protected, cultivated, and celebrated in NAIFA-Texas. The pride that the leaders have in their board, their state, their profession, and our United States was clearly evident. High standards, high expectations, and high touch is what NAIFA-Texas is all about and was easily witnessed when President-Elect Jim Thompson (loyal member since 2009 and IFAPAC Defender) took the spotlight to fill new members in on the power of grassroots advocacy, of showing up and speaking out. Jim invited everyone to attend Texas' annual event on February 15-18th in Dallas, but reiterated what Demko said about fellowship. He explained that it's easy to leave an organization, but it's hard to leave friends and NAIFA is the place where you will find true friends for life. He also challenged the group to consider dipping their toe into servant leadership and reassuring new members that "leaders may be born, but they still must be trained". He noted that at the upcoming event, all new LILI graduates will also be honored and encouraged members to consider investing in the LILI program which always has stellar reviews and raving fans.
Andrea Ames (loyal member since 2013 and LILI grad) told her NAIFA story by explaining that she is a third generation financial security professional and grew up loving the profession and understanding the power of NAIFA. She explained to new members that "the reason you chose this business is because you have a servant's heart, but having a servant's heart means that you also have to take care of yourself. My self-care is NAIFA." She urges new members to "just show up" and she notes that while we love our members, we need to protect our family" and this is why you need to contribute to IFAPAC. It isn't an automatic program, you have to opt-in, but Texas leads from the front, so consider getting active now."
NAIFA National President-Elect Doug Massey also joined the call to welcome members and provide some input into what's happening overall at NAIFA. He provided an update on the newly expanded association that includes FSP and Life Happens. National staff Randy Clark and myself rounded out the conversation with an update on all the new member benefits that now exist due to blending member bundles.
Thank you, NAIFA-Texas, for your leadership and for choosing to belong to our professional association. Good luck on your upcoming event and we are #NAIFAproud to serve together in the industry and in life.
Know someone that should be a member but isn't? January is the time for resolutions, so resolve to be involved in 2024! Join now.
Contributions to IFAPAC are voluntary and are used to contribute to campaigns of candidates for elected office. Your contributions will be divided between your state chapter’s IFAPAC and IFAPAC National if you have directed NAIFA to do so. You have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. The amount contributed will not benefit or disadvantage you in any way. Corporate contributions to IFAPAC’s political fund are prohibited. Contributions to IFAPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. For NAIFA-Massachusetts members, the division of funds will be 60%/40% up to the state limit of $500 per calendar year. For NAIFA-New York members, a contribution on an LLC account will be retained 100% by the IFAPAC administrative fund due to state campaign finance rules.