Hello, I am Julie Ann Rutledge, and it has been my pleasure to serve as your VLTA President for the 2020-2021 term. Founded in 1974 with the mission of the Association to advance the efficient and secure transfer of ownership of real property, the VLTA of today is a testimony of the passion and tenacity of our VLTA Family over these many years.

These are unique times. Working during the pandemic over the past few years, we have all experienced challenging and changing times as professionals and as individuals. The Title Industry has ensured the continuity of service during the pandemic with almost seamless delivery of products and services for the consumer. The Title Industry is resilient and has adapted to this ever-changing environment. While working during this time, it is wonderful to witness industry professionals working together to quickly adapt and transition the ways of doing business by implementing many new processes and technologies to meet the changing needs.

Looking back over this past year, it is hard to grasp that the year has almost passed, and what a busy year it has been in the Title Industry. It has also been a busy year for the VLTA Board of Directors. The Board has worked hard to develop and implement policy manuals to assist in operations with the adoption of the VLTA Financial Policy Manual, the VLTA Convention Manual, a Revision of VLTA Bylaws, and a Leadership Pathway to help identify future VLTA Leaders. There is still work to be accomplished in these areas, but I feel it is a positive accomplishment for the VLTA Board to have begun the process.

Building Bridges and working with our industry partners during these challenging times has been essential to the industry. The VLTA Leadership and volunteers over the past few years have continued our pursuit to build bridges with industry partners in our work with the VLTA BOI Taskforce, the Virginia Circuit Court Clerks Association, and most recently the VLTA Building Bridges Taskforce with the Virginia REALTORS Association.

This year, the Work Force Development Taskforce Chair and members have continued their efforts to assist with identifying areas to find potential future title industry professionals. They have focused their work to build bridges with Community Colleges and High Schools in Virginia in an effort to spread the word about the Title Industry as a viable professional avenue. They have continued to develop training materials and guidelines for mentorship and internship programs within the industry.

The VLTA Membership Director and Committee members have continued the commitment to our membership by the implementation of our new membership social networking communication software VLTA TradeWing. Please join us at http://www.vltatradewing.com to access the membership benefits and networking available to you. While operating in a virtual environment, the Membership Director and Committee members have delivered valuable membership webinars. The VLTA Association continues to grow our membership and strives to find new and innovative ways to serve you.

This past year the VLTA Event Director and the Education Co-Directors and their Committees have worked very hard to fulfill the VLTA Education goals while working within a virtual setting. They have continued to provide quality education webinars held throughout the year. Also, with the hard work of these committees and many volunteers, the VLTA will present the second-ever VLTA Virtual Convention in October filled with quality educational and networking opportunities.

This past year the VLTA 2021 Legislative Committee presented the VLTA Legislative Update Webinar to inform VLTA members and title industry professionals about the new legislative changes. The Legislative Committee Director and members continue to stay in the forefront of any upcoming potential legislation, to be involved and influential. It is import that we have title industry leaders representing the Title Industry on legislative and regulatory issues, and that we have a seat at the table when working with legislators. The VLTA PAC Committee has worked hard over the past few years to help support our legislative endeavors. The VLTA Board is proud to say that the VLTA PAC Committee is now self-sustaining due to all the hard work with fundraising efforts.

The VLTA is made up of our Title Industry Leaders, Educators, Mentors, and Volunteers. Every year the VLTA relies on scores of professionals who work together to further the Title Industry Mission and Vision. I want to commend and thank the VLTA Board of Directors, the VLTA Executive Director and staff, and the many Volunteers for their diligent work during this past year. Also, I want to sincerely thank our many Sponsors for their support throughout the year. It is the support of our Sponsors that enable the VLTA to provide many benefits and quality programs for our Association.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your VLTA President. I look forward to seeing all of you online at our 2021 Virtual Annual Convention on October 18 through 22.

Julie Ann Rutledge
Julie Ann Rutledge serves as the current VLTA President. Julie has served as President Elect 2019-2020 on has served on the VLTA Board of Directors and been a member and volunteer since 1996. Julie was elected to the VLTA Board of Directors 2015 through June 2018 to serve as the Director/Editor of the VLTA Examiner Magazine and then served as Treasurer June 2018. She is the President and owner of Land Title Research Inc. and a graduated of James Madison University. Julie developed the Virginia Certified Title Examiner classroom course in 2012 and is the instructor for the VLTA Virginia Certified Title Examiner (VCTE) Course. Julie then developed the online VCTE Course, which was launched in 2016. She has served on the VLTA Examiner Magazine Editorial Board since 1997, serving as columnist of The Abstract View & Title Tips & Trivia for the Examiner. Julie served as the Editor-in-Chief for two years from 2012 through 2014.

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