TitleBytes News & Happenings

MLTA Convention

Jul 29, 2016

Geoff Prichard
Title Express Agency

The Michigan Land Title Association Summer Convention began Sunday evening, July 17, with food, laughter and entertainment, before turning to business and a series of distinguished speakers. The laughter and entertainment centered on the latest MLTA-PAC FUNdraiser, featuring five teams in a spirited Lip Sync Battle. Those teams, representing Capital Title Agency, Corporate Settlement Solutions, Fidelity National Title Group, First American Title Insurance Company and Lighthouse Title Group, portrayed such iconic rock groups as Devo, the Spice Girls and KISS, with the winner being the ladies from Fidelity (Lavinia Biasell, Cindy Immonen, Meredith Weingarden, and Darlene Wilsey) with their rendition of the Bangle’s Manic Monday – great fun. After the competition, master MC and DJ, Tom Lico, opened the floor for other attendees to participate in lip syncing, dancing, and even a few cocktails making for a very enjoyable wrap up to a spectacular event.

The following morning was all business, beginning with committee meetings and our first speaker, John Hollenbeck, Executive Vice President of First American Title Insurance Company, and current President of the American Land Title Association. His presentation focused on the current state of TRID regulations, and what the ALTA sees as future changes to the way these practices will be regulated and implemented. Mr. Hollenbeck also discussed how ALTA continues to work with the U. S. Legislature and regulatory bodies to help represent and protect our industry, keeping our voices heard in this era of strict regulation and oversight, especially looking out for smaller title insurance agents.

Wayne Stanley, Director of Public Affairs for the ALTA, was the next presenter. Mr. Stanley is responsible for launching ALTA’s Homebuyer Outreach Program (HOP), spreading the message to first-time homebuyer’s on the importance of title insurance in their transaction. He showed how title insurance agents can join in marketing that message effectively to consumers.
The next speaker went in a different, but exciting direction. Thomas Mynsberge, founder of Critical Incident Management and retired Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team veteran, demonstrated the importance of having a disaster or emergency plan for your office and its employees. Officer Mynsberge, explained how to avoid potential harm during hostile situations, which was extremely informative in light of recent tragedies.

After lunch, Michigan Legislative Consultants’ Cami Pendell, gave a progress report on the legislative success that she and the MLTA had achieved. On the strength of our 2016 MLTA Legislative Day, Cami and the MLTA team were recently successful in helping to get legislation passed, which creates a $30 flat recording fee for all documents. This groundbreaking legislation was sponsored by Michigan State Senator, Peter MacGregor. In honor of Senator MacGregor’s efforts, the MLTA presented him with their MLTA Legislator of the Year award, given to the state legislator who advocates for and assists the MLTA and title industry. Senator MacGregor gave a brief speech, thanking Kim O’Connor and Lorri Lavelle, Kent County constituents, for their efforts during the Legislative Day that brought the need for this legislation to his attention.

The day’s final speaker was Roger Lubeck, Ph.D. and President of Corporate Behavior Analysts Ltd., who showed the attendees the importance of behavioral management and how to determine behavior when hiring employees. A key factor, Dr. Lubeck pointed to, is the generation which the employee belongs to, Baby Boomer, Generation X, or Millennial, that could influence the productivity and loyalty that employee will give to your organization The convention then shifted to a team building activity, a combination of Trivial Pursuit and the Food Network, dubbed Margaritaville – MLTA Style, which concluded the afternoon.

We reassembled that evening for the Annual Banquet, Officer Installations, & Awards. The newly elected MLTA Officers and Board of Directors, led by new MLTA President Debbie Wiley, were installed by ALTA President, John Hollenbeck. Then, the MLTA committee chairpersons and the outgoing MLTA President, Marcy Welburn, were recognized for their service and dedication in making this another successful year for the MLTA.

The banquet concluded with two recognitions, Meredith Weingarten, for achieving the designation of Certified Land Title Professional (CLTP), and Debra Bartlett, who received the Robert J. Jay Award for distinguished service to the MLTA. Finally, a record 17 vendors, raffled off prizes and gift cards, selected from those who had visited their displays, followed by the announcement of the winners of the MLTA-PAC silent auction with a number of coveted prizes. The convention concluded, Tuesday morning, with a workshop by Dr. Lubeck, who further instructed the attendees on managing current and future employees.

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