During her welcoming words at NAILBA 33 in Hollywood, Florida, 2014 NAILBA Chairman Barbara Crowley shared how proud she is of how high the NAILBA membership retention rates have stayed, and thanked her wide network of support for making her success possible throughout the years.

“One of the activities that I’m most proud of is our new strategic planning,” Crowley adds. “To remain relevant, we must be focused on the needs and wants of our members, and on serving as the voice of independent brokerage. To stay relevant, we must revise our plan every few years.”

The board of directors recently convened to revise that plan, which was last updated in 2011.

barbara crowley

The new direction and forward thinking of the board aimed to lay a new groundwork for the next three years, and to do so, they realized they needed input from their members.

“After conducting extensive research, your input helped us create a very fresh and ambitious strategic plan that your incoming Chair, David Long, will share with you tomorrow.”

Crowley further asserts that NAILBA is and strives to stay an advocate for the industry, and will be expanding its partnership with the Association of Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU).

“I am pleased to share that we have entered into a joint venture with AALU to provide government affairs services. This will include opportunities for personal and political involvement for the brokerage community represented by NAILBA. The AALU will also represent NAILBA in the Secure Family Coalition that supports the position that life insurance and related products are taxed appropriately today,” Crowley announces. This venture will allow membership to become more involved with AALU for extensive advocacy efforts for the distribution side of insurance sales.

“By formalizing this partnership agreement to provide services to each other,” Crowley adds, “our current and future members will see the value of their investment increase.”

In the official press release, AALU’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Marc Cadin, shared his excitement about the venture: “We have to shift the public policy focus so that legislation and regulations encourage more people to get the financial and retirement security they need through life insurance and annuities. Our country’s challenges are too great not to have the leading voice of brokerage, and the tens of thousands of producers they represent, more engaged in making a difference.”

NAILBA will also provide content for AALU’s professional development programs targeted towards brokerage and networking opportunities, about which 2014 Chair-elect David Long will share more about tomorrow.

Among Crowley’s final comments are points she has reiterated throughout the year. “We need to stand tall; we need to be proud of what we do,” she says. “We need carriers, insurance organizations, marketing groups, and NAILBA members to find ways to encourage the younger generation to enter our most admirable profession. It must become a priority for all of us. Our country is grossly underinsured for life insurance, disability income, and long-term care. Advisors are now relying on our firms when they venture outside their comfort zone, and we have to be prepared to assist them in many ways the days of old did not bring.”

For more of our coverage of NAILBA 33, go here.