by Cara L. Detring
This year marks the 100th anniversary of ALTA®. We plan to celebrate all year long and finish with a bang at our big party during the Annual Convention where it all started - in CHICAGO! Here are some of the things we will be doing to generate some excitement and celebrate this amazing milestone! It’s been my pleasure to serve as the chair of ALTA®’s 100th Anniversary Committee. Members of the committee have had conference calls once a month since late 2005. That’s a lot of meetings! (See the sidebar for a full list of committee members.) We’ve accomplished a lot, and we are all excited about the things we’ve come up with to celebrate this momentous occasion.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of ALTA®. We plan to celebrate all year long and finish with a bang at our big party during the Annual Convention where it all started - in CHICAGO! Here are some of the things we will be doing to generate some excitement and celebrate this amazing milestone!
It’s been my pleasure to serve as the chair of ALTA®’s 100th Anniversary Committee. Members of the committee have had conference calls once a month since late 2005. That’s a lot of meetings! (See the sidebar for a full list of committee members.) We’ve accomplished a lot, and we are all excited about the things we’ve come up with to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Creating a Logo
The committee decided that a great way to involve the membership in the anniversary was to hold a logo contest. The contest was promoted in ALTA® E-News and Title News, and we received 18 entries. We have some very creative members! The winning logo was submitted by Catherine Loveland of Connecticut Attorneys Title in Rocky Hill, CT, and she won a trip to the 2006 convention in San Francisco. We should all be proud of our tagline - 100 Years of Protecting the American Dream. See it on this page and in many places throughout the year.
The committee reviewed proposals from three video production companies to develop a DVD about our history. Each sent DVDs they had done for other companies celebrating anniversaries so that we could get an idea of what ALTA® could do and what their capabilities were. We selected Seven Three Media out of State College, PA, to produce our DVD.
We got right to work identifying hot topics and industry luminaries to speak on those subjects. It was actually quite interesting listening to committee members talk about the issues we faced years ago, and not surprising to find that some of those issues are still around today. RESPA is one issue that we have been working on for many, many years. Indian Land Claims is another. Over the years, government affairs issues have been a big part of ALTA®. TIPAC, our political action committee, was started in 1988 to help us with those issues. But did you know that when ALTA® moved to Washington, we were not allowed to lobby? Here is what we learned from committee member Bill McAuliffe, who was executive vice president of ALTA® from 1965-1984 during his interview for the DVD:
"When I became executive vice president, I was told that the association did not lobby. We were here to relate to the government agencies that were related to our interests and to various trade associations. Then along came an issue, and I was working with Congress and all of a sudden I had to register as a lobbyist. At that point ALTA® decided that, yes, we could lobby."
The production company traveled far and wide to conduct interviews with many former and current members of our industry. We think we got a good cross section of men and women, underwriters and agents, and were pleased with the way the interviews turned out.
The 12-minute DVD will debut during the ALTA® Annual Convention this October in Chicago. You will not want to miss it. As a bonus, there will be special sections on the DVD with more excerpts from the video interviews.
Copies of the DVD will be given to convention attendees and available upon request to those not able to attend the convention. In addition, portions of the video will be posted on ALTA®’s Web site to enjoy all year. We are really looking forward to the finished product!
In addition to being interviewed for our DVD, Bill McAuliffe also took on the Herculean task of writing ALTA®’s history for the past 50 years. Bill went through volumes of old convention proceedings, board minutes, issues of Title News, and other association publications. Information from the resulting article will be shared all year in Title News, will be available on ALTA®’s Web site, and will be distributed at ALTA®’s Annual Convention in Chicago.
The history of the first 50 years was summed up by Benjamin Henley in the proceedings from ALTA®’s 50th convention in Miami Beach, FL. You can read that summary in this issue of Title News on page 16. We will also be working with the state affiliates celebrating 100th anniversaries to have them display memorabilia during the Annual Convention.
Anniversary Page on Web Site
A special anniversary section has been developed for ALTA®’s Web site. There you will find clips from the video interviews historical photos, excerpts from our history, and historical facts, as well as information on how you can show your pride and order various products displaying the 100th anniversary logo. We hope to update this section of the Web site all year long.
There will also be a section to list your company’s name with a link to your Web site if you, too, are celebrating a 100th anniversary. We want our members to be able to share their history too.
Items for Sale
A variety of items will be available all year with the anniversary logo and/or dates. Anniversary pens (see the photo to the right) were distributed to attendees at ALTA®’s 2006 Annual Convention in San Francisco. They will also be distributed at the Federal Conference, Tech Forum and Annual Convention. Lapel pins, short and long-sleeved shirts, jackets, hats, and golf balls will be available for sale shortly. Check the Anniversary page on ALTA®’s Web site for information on ordering these products to share in the celebration.
A banner ad will be developed to promote the anniversary on our Web site, and Title News will have an anniversary section in each issue. All snail mail coming from ALTA® will have an anniversary sticker on it, and emails from ALTA® staff will have an anniversary message at the bottom of each email. Look for anniversary messages on our fax cover sheets and on our office answering machine as well. Members will also receive a special anniversary membership certificate during the year. If you happen to visit the ALTA® offices, look for the sculpted anniversary piece in the lobby.
We would like to create a time capsule that would be stored not buried. If you have suggestions for what we can include in our time capsule, please let us know. Business cards with notes on the back is one idea, or perhaps an online time capsule, but we’d love to hear other ideas from you.
Finally, we will have all sorts of special things going on during ALTA®’s Annual Convention this year. We will have a special Centennial lounge with memorabilia displays special events during the meeting, and a very festive closing banquet with an anniversary gift for each attendee. You will not want to miss this one.
Let the celebration begin!
|Cara L. Detring is president of Preferred Land Title Company/LandChoice Company in Farmington, MO. She is chair of ALTA®’s 100th Anniversary Committee, chair of TIPAC, and a member of the Government Affairs Committee. Cara served as president of ALTA® in 2000 -- ALTA®’s first female president..|