ALTA Announces Winner of ALTA Our Values Award

October 14, 2021

ALTA announced the winner of the 2021 We Lead ALTA Our Values Award. The award program showcases the title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as a cultural compass and highlights core ideals ALTA members embrace. 

The We Lead ALTA Our Values Award winner was honored during ALTA ONE, the largest annual event for the land title insurance industry, being held Oct. 12-15 in New Orleans and virtually. The ALTA Our Values are:

  • We Lead: We are the authority in real estate transactions and innovate for our customers.
  • We Deliver: Our customers trust us to do the right thing, the right way--before, during and after the transaction. We ensure land transfer is accurate, swift and secure.
  • We Protect: We protect the property rights of those we serve.

Michael O’Neal, vice president of corporate underwriting at First American Title Insurance Co., which has offices across the United States, won the We Lead Award for his leadership in the drafting, education and other efforts needed to introduce the SECURE Notarization Act in Congress.

“The drafting and introduction of the SECURE Notarization Act could not have been accomplished without Michael’s dedication and expertise,” ALTA CEO Diane Tomb said. “Michael has the rare ability to craft bill text and explain the nuances of legislation to title industry professionals, related industries and government officials. His work promoting remote online notarization (RON) legislation that is safe for consumers and viable for use in real estate transactions will have a positive impact on our industry for decades.”

“I’m honored to receive the We Lead Award,” O’Neal said. “When I joined the title industry, I did not believe my experienced coworkers who said they continued to learn something new every day. Twenty years later, I believe it! Although our industry is relatively small, we punch above our weight because we are blessed with a wealth of expertise. Our ability to respond within days of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and draft the SECURE Notarization Act was due to years of consideration and collaboration that ALTA helped lead.”

According to Robert Grubb, chair of the ALTA Our Values Work Group, the group was proud to award O’Neal for his work in the advocacy arena.

“When considering anyone for an ALTA Our Values Award, the work group looks for someone truly serving others in an extraordinary way,” Grubb said. “Michael’s persistence and understanding of the details and the impact of potential changes placed him in a unique position to lead this legislative effort. Without Michael, our industry would have missed the opportunity to be the national leader of the SECURE Notarization Act. Association, founded in 1907, is the national trade association representing the land title insurance industry.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].