Volunteers are the life-blood of organizations such as the VLTA.
Some land title associations are dominated by employees of underwriters since they generally work for larger organizations and are better able to get away from the office for meetings and events. Title agents and examiners often find it difficult to get away from the day to day demands of running a small or medium sized business.
Fortunately, the VLTA By-Laws provide that our board of directors and officers must be divided evenly – 50% underwriters and 50% title agents/examiners. Additionally, officers must be staggered on the same basis so that underwriter representatives can only serve as President every other year.
As a result, when our organization considers an issue, we have the benefit of the experience and insight of a broad range of title professionals; from examiners who are in courthouses on a daily basis, to settlement agents who understand the pressure to “get it closed”, to underwriting counsel who have seen a lifetime of scenarios. That combined experience and wisdom is hard to beat.
Our challenge is to continuously identify and develop new leaders who can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to VLTA affairs – especially title agents and examiners. Otherwise we risk becoming complacent and falling into a routine of doing the same things year after year because, “That’s how we have always done it”.
In August, the VLTA Board of Directors will attend a strategic planning session and will have an opportunity to take a step back, consider long range strategies to improve the organization, and make sure we are prepared to meet future challenges. One of our top priorities will be to improve our leadership development efforts. We will consider, for example, better ways to use the committee structure to bring in fresh recruits and give them an opportunity to hone their management skills while getting a better understanding of how the VLTA functions.
We will report back on our efforts in the fall. In the meantime, please reach out to our President, Sonia Kuppert or any board members if you would like to get involved. Don’t underestimate the value you can bring to the table –the VLTA certainly does not.
Stewart “Skip” Sacks
VLTA Secretary 2018-2019
Underwriting Counsel, Stewart Title Guaranty