TitleBytes News & Happenings

2017 MLTA Summer Convention Recap

Aug 7, 2017

By – Bob Wuerfel, CLTP – Lighthouse Title Group

Over 135 MLTA members along with approximately 40 guests, vendors and exhibitors attended the Summer Convention held at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City July 16-18, 2017. Sunday evening saw great weather for the welcome dinner and the cigar tent. As the evening chilled, the campfire and s’more’s station kept many people warm. While another group headed downtown to hear members Tobias Lipski and John Bommarito play in a band at Union Station.

Monday morning began with Committee breakout meetings over breakfast, while a group of nearly a dozen past presidents convened to share and hear of the MLTA happenings. MLTA President Debbie Wiley welcomed all the members and Secretary/Treasurer, Phil Savich gave a brief financial update. A moment of silence was also recognized with the passing earlier this year of long time member, Sharron Ardanowski.

Immediate Past President, Marcy Welburn, presented the nominations for the Board of Directors: Lavinia Biasell of Fidelity National Title Group and Jacquie Brink of WFG National Title Insurance were presented and unanimously approved by the MLTA membership. Tom Lico of Capital Title Insurance was also approved as the Secretary/Treasurer, as well as Phil Savich of Old Republic Title as President-Elect and John Bommarito of ATA National Title Group as the new Association President.

ALTA President Daniel Mennenoh, ITP, NTP, discussed national issues that affect our industry. A poll commissioned by ALTA and other associations, found that 58% of registered voters in key battleground states say the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should be run by a bipartisan commission. In 2017, ALTA will focus on six strategic priorities: Best Practices; Communicating with Homebuyers; Core Industry Values; Information Security and Talent Focus/Business Basics.

Congressman David Trott, a long time MLTA member and our voice in Washington, spoke on key issues in the Nation’s Capital. Rep. Trott supports the Choice Act and concurred with the ALTA poll that the CFPB should be overseen by a bipartisan commission. While more bills have been passed in first six months of President Trump’s term than in past 30 years, Rep. Trott believes the President should have started out with bipartisan infrastructure initiatives vs. healthcare and also needs to be more curious and learn vs. using twitter.

Douglas G. Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, shared his updated forecasts on the economy, housing, and mortgage markets. The United States is in the third longest economic expansion time period in history and in two years will be the longest. All end at some point and Doug spent time looking at our current situation. Consumer and corporate debt levels are at pre-recessionary levels and bank lending has fallen. 2017 GDP is up 2% and 2018 GDP estimate is at 1.8%. Doug’s analysis of next twelve months is that there is very little risk of a recession.

Monday evening, our MLTA dinner included installation of all the elected directors and executive team. A warm thank you, along with recognition plaques, were extend to the outgoing President, Debbie Wiley as well as Board Member Lori Nehring. Newly elected MLTA President John Bommarito thanked fellow members, the board, Marcy Lay, Brian Clark and Cami Pendell and looks forward to leading the MLTA in the upcoming year. Cindy Immonen received the Robert J. Jay award for outstanding leadership and contributions to MLTA. Tim McDonnell was the recipient of the esteemed Mary C. Feindt Award for dedicated service to the MLTA! The evening wrapped up with Exhibitor giveaways, the MLTA PAC Silent Auction (raising over $3,300) and a revitalized Room Crawl.

“Tech Tuesday” morning, Justin Tucker of WFG National Title spoke about the future of Real Estate Marketing and Technology. Consumer’s expectations are changing at a high rate, which means the expectations of the title agents need to change as well. Scott Montgomery of OST shared with us that all data at some point can or will be compromised. Always update your apps, operating systems and use cryptic passwords.

Cami Pendell gave us a Legislative update on the Lansing happenings, with much of the talk focused on Robert Richie a/k/a Kid Rock and his potential run for US Senate. With the visions of Kid Rock in our heads as well as the tech talks, the MLTA summer convention successfully concluded. The 2018 Summer Convention will be back at Mackinac Island at Mission Point Resort!


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