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Education, fun, comradery, comedians and the yellow brick road – Oh MY!! The MLTA 2019 Summer Convention Recap

Aug 7, 2019

By Debbie Wiley, NTP, CLTP, First American Title Insurance Company

Another successful and fun filled MLTA Summer Convention in the history books. The 2019 version was held at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan. We were certainly blessed with some beautiful northern Michigan weather this year, and the only time we had rain and thunder showers was during our Monday morning sessions, when we were all inside.

The convention started out as usual on Sunday evening with the Welcome Reception outside and in the big white tent on the Plaza Terrace of the Grand Traverse Resort grounds. After a delightful dinner, beverages and the usual comradery we stayed in the tent for a competitive yet fun PAC event of Trivia. There were 14 teams working to raise the most money for the PAC and, of course, to be the team to provide the most correct answers, as winner of the Trivia event.

Congratulations to First American’s “Eagle Maniacs”, for raising this most money for the PAC, and to Capital Title’s “Smartinis”, for creating the Best Team Uniforms. But, the Trivia Contest Winner was “The Board” (or was that “The Bored”?), consisting of Darlene Wilsey, Eileen LaPlante, Bryan and Debbie Haught, and Emily and Meredith Weingarden. Very entertaining and spirited competition!

After breakfast and committee meetings on Monday morning we focused on conducting the business and education sessions, while the storms passed over, before we could go out and enjoy all that Traverse City has to offer. We headed into the convention hall via the Yellow Brick Road that took us past our many vendors and exhibitors. Thank you all for joining us at our Convention this year!

First speaker of the morning was David Townsend, President and CEO Agents National Title Insurance Co., and ALTA Board Member, who provided an informative ALTA Update. Cami Pendell, of MLC and MLTA’s lobbyist, followed with her always enlightening update of what is happening in Lansing. Dan Elsea, President of Brokerage Services at The Real Estate One Family of Services, presented a wealth of information in his overview of “Michigan Housing Update and Trends in Michigan Real Estate”. After a coffee break with our vendors and exhibitors Jeff Butler talked to us about “Multi-Generational Management – The Ins and Outs of Managing 4 Generations in the Workplace”, very insightful.
Just as the morning sessions concluded the skies cleared, and the sun came out to make for a beautiful afternoon. We all grabbed our “Lunch Boxes TO GO” and went out to enjoy the activities. A Big Thank You to Phil Neuman and Gregg Nathanson of Couzens, Lansky law firm for hosting a fun filled wine tour to three local vineyards. And more thanks to Bank United for hosting a catamaran ride in the Bay. Others went golfing or into Traverse City to enjoy the sites, the shopping and the beaches.

That evening, we cleaned-up, put on our fancier clothes, and came back together for the President’s reception and banquet. During the banquet, a thank you and a plaque was given to Kim O’Connor, WFG National Title Insurance Company, for her years spent serving on the Board of Directors. The 2019/2020 Board of Directors were then sworn in. Thomas Lico, Capital Title as President; Darlene Wilsey, Fidelity National Title Group as President- Elect; Eileen LaPlante, Bell Title Company, as Secretary -Treasurer; Philip Savich, Old Republic Title, Past President and Ex-Officio Officer; and Board members Lavinia Biasell, Fidelity National Title Group; Jacquie Brick, WFG National Title Insurance Company; Brian Roberts, ATA National Title Group; Debbie Haught, Mt. Pleasant Abstract & Title.; David Martyn, First American Title Insurance Company and Amy Zemple, Stewart Title Guaranty Company. Congratulations to the new Board of Directors for 2019-2020.

Each year at the convention, someone is presented with the “Robert J. Jay Award” for outstanding leadership and contributions to the MLTA. This year’s deserving recipient was Lori Nehring, Superior Title & Settlement Agency. Another award that is only given periodically is the prestigious “Mary C. Feindt Award” (sort of a lifetime achievement/contribution award). It has only been presented to 14 individuals throughout the entire history of the MLTA. This year the award was presented to another most deserving recipient, Tony Viviani, ATA National Group. Congratulations to both Lori and Tony.

As the festivities drew to a close, to our surprise, we were entertained by Stand-Up Comedian Pat McGann who brought many of us to tears of laughter. He was terrific! And we were not done yet, as more fun and entertainment was planned. We moved down to another room for more beverages, yummy appetizers with an amazing singer with a guitar which allowed us all to continue to mingle and enjoy each other’s company until it was time to call it a wrap. What a Grand (Traverse) Convention!

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