Linda and I find it difficult to believe that we are half-way through the presidential year at ALTA®, that the Annual Convention in Colorado is just around the corner, and that the New Millennium is upon us. I think this is true because the Association has been working so hard to improve, defend, and protect our industry in this fast-changing and technology-driven business environment that we have forgotten about time altogether.
Your Association has accomplished much in the fields of technology, education, government relations, and communications. These accomplishments have been due to the combined efforts of many dedicated volunteer committee members and section executive committees, the Board of Governors, and our outstanding ALTA® staff. We have elaborated upon and analyzed our accomplishments in the above areas, and we are now planning future tactics and strategies in all of these areas.
However, when I think of ALTA®, I always think first of the personal relationships which we establish over the years. Whenever we ask for feedback from our members regarding what is most valuable in terms of conventions, publications, committee meetings, and other functions, one of the main comments is, "the ability to network with other people from other parts of the country who are in the same business as I am." As a case in point, we have just completed a tremendously successful Mid-Year Convention in New Orleans, where I observed constant examples of our members networking with one another, both from a business standpoint and socially.
When you go through the chairs of this Association, you have the opportunity to visit other parts of the country, to talk with people about their business, and to observe the different methods of evidencing title. In spite of all our differences in the way we do business, and the fact that there is competition within our business, our members have managed to pull together to work for the good of our industry. Our industry seems to attract people who are devoted and loyal to their business as well as to their local and national associations.
Linda and I have enjoyed all aspects of serving the Association, but what stands out the most with us is the lifelong friendships we have established with ALTA® members and title insurance people in all parts of this country. As we face the challenges of a new technological world and the advent of many others wishing to get into our business, I am sure that the dedicated and loyal people whom I have met in this industry will find a way to survive.
Since we have several more state conventions to attend this year, we are looking forward to continuing to meet and work with members of our Association and discuss their issues on a local level.
As the year winds down, I, like any other officer of the Association, can only say that I hope I have contributed something. Nonetheless, I have benefited and learned much more from knowing and relating to our members than I could possibly ever contribute. For this I thank all of you.
No matter what anyone says or what challenges we face in the future, the evidencing, servicing, and insuring of titles will remain a "people" business.
Joseph M. Parker, Jr.