When It Comes to Advocacy, Personal Relationships Can Be Key

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of IFAPAC, the NAIFA Blog will run occasional posts by NAIFA members highlighting their political involvement and action.

By John C. Johns, LUTCF
2015-2016 National Chair, NAIFA Committee on Political Action

When I came into the business 35 years ago, my manager insisted that I join NALU (National Association of Life Underwriters, now NAIFA) and contribute to LUPAC (Life Underwriters Political Action Committee, now IFAPAC).
 
For years, I was just a regular, dues-paying PAC contributor with no real involvement. But about five years into my career, my brother-in-law was elected to the Mississippi state senate. As a result, the NAIFA-Mississippi state government relations chair asked me to serve as his co-chair hoping that I would cultivate relationships between NAIFA agents and advisors and my newly elected family member.
 
When the legislature convened the next year, a tax bill was introduced that had to move through a very prominent house committee chaired by one of my insureds. The bill was cosponsored by many other legislators and supported by almost every trade association in the state. The only opposition to the bill was one individual who happened to be the next door neighbor of that committee chair! Needless to say, the bill never saw the light of day that session. And that’s when I had my “aha” moment – The most powerful influencer with a legislator is the right person with the right relationship!
 
That relationship - reinforced by political support to the lawmaker - was an unbeatable combination. At that moment, I realized that agents and advisors have a choice. We can sit on the sidelines and watch things happen, or get involved with IFAPAC and APIC and be at the forefront of public policy making. We don't have to just accept the legislation and regulation we are given. Instead, we can help craft the laws and regulations that govern how we do business and impact our clients.
 
It has been a great honor serving you as National IFAPAC Chair in 2015. I look forward to continuing to serve you as chair in 2016 during IFAPAC’s 50th Anniversary. I hope, in 2016, that you will make a New Year’s resolution to get involved in making things happen!


Comments
Adam Sachs
Johnny. It has been an honor to serve with you on the IFAPAC National Committee. Thank you so much for sharing your passion!
2/4/2016 11:09:46 AM
Kay Candelora
Good article, Johnny! Thanks for all your work!
2/3/2016 10:36:14 AM
Kay Candelora
Good article, Johnny! Thanks for all your work!
2/3/2016 10:35:56 AM
Nick Kelley
Johnny, thanks for sharing that. I'm sure there are many similar stories. Thanks for all you do for the PAC.
2/2/2016 6:44:17 PM
Diane Boyle
Thanks Johnny. Great article.
2/2/2016 6:02:48 PM
Candace Dupree
Great Article...I'm not an Agent or Advisor just your Paramedical Sales Manager with EMSI! I believe that if you are a professional and this is how you make your living; then you should be a PAC Contributor. Do you care about your clients? Do you care about your business? Would you like to keep writing Insurance and keep your clients happy? Then be an IFAPAC Contributor, know what's going on in this industry...Support Yourself! That's my belief....
2/2/2016 1:42:35 PM