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The Michigan Land Title Association was founded in 1901 which means we are celebrating our 120th birthday this year. The bylaws state that an annual meeting is required, so we very well may have just had our 120th Annual Meeting this past July. Mazal Tov!
In a quick look back to 1901, the Detroit Tigers competed in the inaugural season of the newly formed American League. Teddy Roosevelt became the youngest U.S. President after the assassination of William McKinley by Alpena native Leon Czolgosz. Henry Ford dissolved his first attempt at starting an automobile company and started his second, called the Henry Ford Company – which would later become Cadillac Automobile Company.
In our world – the Michigan Abstractors Association (n.k.a. MLTA) elected D.B. Taylor, proprietor of Lansing Abstract & Title Co., as its first President. Now after two World Wars, a couple of pandemics, a Great Depression, a Great Recession – the tradition continues and we’re stronger than ever.
Our now Immediate Past President, Darlene Wilsey, passed the gavel to our new President, Eileen LaPlante, at our annual meeting on July 13. Jacquie Brink slid into the President-Elect role and Brian Roberts moved up to the Secretary / Treasurer position to round out the Executive Board. Kristen Dankert and Wes Parkinson joined David Martyn, Amy Zemple, Iain Bryant, and Maura Snabes to complete our 2021 / 2022 MLTA Board of Directors.
For the second year in a row, we were forced to hold our convention virtually. While things seem to be opening up, many wondered why this was still necessary. To mitigate any reservation penalties with the Mission Pointe Resort, your Board had to make this decision in late December. At that time there were still too many unknowns revolving around the pandemic, such as: indoor crowd size restrictions, resort staffing, attendees’ comfort with traveling, sponsor travel restrictions – just to name a few.
Mission Pointe agreed to waive any penalties with a couple of conditions; 1) we host our convention there in the summer of 2023, and 2) we hold a Board Meeting at the resort this past June. The Board took advantage of the June meeting at the resort to record all Board and Committee updates in preparation of the Annual Convention. This was an opportunity to still incorporate the Mackinac Island “vibe” to the virtual sessions.
Along with the introduction of the new Board of Directors to our members, also during the convention of the presentation of the Robert J. Jay Award. The “Jay Award” is given out annually to a member that has shown outstanding leadership and contributions to the MLTA. Due to the disruptions of the Pandemic in 2020, the Board never had the opportunity to present the award to its winner. To make up for this, the Board had presentations for both 2020 and 2021. Congratulations to Lisa Rozmarniewicz from Capital Title for winning the 2020 Jay Award and congratulations to Debbie Wiley for being the 2021 Jay Award recipient.
Beyond the updates from the Board and the Committees, this year’s convention also delivered four presentations. We first heard from Jack Rattikin (ALTA – Board of Governors) who gave us an update from ALTA. Strategic priorities for ALTA in the next year include preventing wire fraud, affordable housing, and giving back to the community.
Following the ALTA udpate was Darryl Turner whose theme was “2021 Part 2 – Thriving in a New World”. Adjusting to the evolution of our business, along with an inevitable slowdown in refinance transactions, Darryl gave us the Sales Perspective on how to increase your customer count. For more information, you can visit www.darrylturner.com.
Our next speaker was Will Bowen whose mission is to create a complaint free world. This accomplished author and speaker discussed why people complain and how you can change your habits to eliminate complaining from your world. To learn more, please visit www.acomplaintfreeworld.org.
The final speaker of the day was Business Economist Martin Lavelle from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago/Detroit branch. Mr. Lavelle highlighted all the economic fundamentals that are in our favor (e.g. Demographics, interest rates) with the ever changing variable of a Covid resurgence that can send things sideways.
A special thank you to Eileen LaPlante and Darlene Wilsey for organizing this year’s convention under the challenging circumstances of a virtual format. We also thank all our members who were in attendance, and we look forward to one day meeting again in person.
Happy Birthday MLTA!
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 CONVENTION SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS!! We could not do it without you!