2014 Congressional Conference: NAIFA President John Nichols's Remarks

Good afternoon! It is my pleasure and honor to welcome you to Washington, D.C., and the NAIFA 2014 Congressional Conference.
As you know, NAIFA is an association representing insurance agents and advisors. We have a very loyal and supportive group of companies who have helped us in accomplishing our Conference goals.
Please join me in acknowledging MassMutual, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, State Farm and Thrivent as well as many other companies that have helped promote the Conference.
Special thanks should also be given to ACLI and our Secure Family coalition partners. Please join me in thanking these friends of NAIFA.
And, thank YOU. You are all taking time out of your lives, away from your families and businesses, to be here. Many of you have traveled long distances. Your sacrifice is important.
Representing your profession and your industry, you are the best people fully qualified to explain the value our products and services provide and how they help your clients obtain financial security.  You are the best at sharing your client stories and showing how decisions made on Capitol Hill affect regular people back home.
When you meet with your Senators and Representatives tomorrow, they will listen to you. They will learn from you. And they, also, will thank you for your expertise, insight and dedication.
I’m not the only one that appreciates your participation, the congressional leadership is happy to have you here, too. Let’s listen.
[Welcome video to NAIFA attendees from House Speaker Boehner Played]
Wow – what a welcome. If you enjoyed the speaker’s video as much as I did, take out your phone and tweet him a thanks.
Take a look around you.
You see people representing every State in the Union. Some have been doing capitol visits for decades. Others are just getting their first taste of grassroots activism. You see people with a variety of clients, colleagues and professional experiences – from cities, suburbs and rural areas.
Take another look around.
You see agents and advisors who, just like you, are politically involved. They are not Washington insiders or professional lobbyists. They are voters, tax payers and employers. Together, we share a strong sense of caring about our clients, our colleagues and our profession.
What makes the Congressional Conference a success is that we are a diverse group, yet we speak with one voice. Tomorrow we will take a unified message to Capitol Hill, but each of us has a unique way of getting that message across. We will speak with members of Congress from Idaho to Louisiana, from Chicago to Honolulu. Using words and stories they understand, we will tell them how our industry bolsters the U.S. economy. How we help 75 million American families and growing achieve financial security.
As your NAIFA president, I have experienced firsthand how much the lawmakers and regulators appreciate hearing from practitioners like us. From my visits with congressmen on key tax writing committees to meetings with SEC commissioners, it became crystal clear that they have experts on policy and theory. It’s also clear that they are lacking in real world insurance practices. It is our responsibility to share our expertise with them. 
We have information that they need to hear. We have stories about their constituents back home that they want to hear. The Congressional Conference is our big chance to tell them these things. Together we can and will make a difference!


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