This year’s Annual ALTA Convention was held in Scottsdale, Arizona and was rebranded as ALTA ONE. The new format and rebranding made this convention by far the best we have ever attended, as we found out what ALTA ONE actually stands for and learned to Face Our Fears.
The new branding of the ALTA Annual Convention as ALTA ONE has many meanings. “Out of Many, One” was the main message of the branding, reminding us that although we all come from different states and have a variety of agencies and company structures, we still come together as a single voice for our industry. ONE was also reflected in the updated agenda and education.
Omni sessions were implemented that occurred 1-2 times a day and were an hour long with all attendees of the convention.
Notables were 1-2 hour smaller sessions that gave attendees the opportunity to earn CLE credits.
Engagement Labs were interactive ½ hour sessions with a small audience that gave attendees the opportunity to “engage” in conversations over a variety of topics.
Kirsten Pollock, Chair of the Internal Auditing Committee and I held an Engagement Lab on “An Internal Best Practices Assessment, aka the Most Valuable Thing You Can Do for Your Business.” It was a great opportunity to show attendees the resources ALTA supplies to provide an internal assessment for your agency, and also included some tips and tricks on how to manage your compliance once you’ve completed your internal assessment. Compliance is not a single point in time. Your Compliance Management Report is a living document and as such should be updated and reviewed on a regular basis. Kirsten and I showed attendees how that task can be very manageable, regardless of the size of your business.
My favorite session of the entire convention was an Omni Session that was hosted by Erik Wahl. Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized graffiti artist and best-selling author. (Google him)! His speech was focused on creativity, and how rediscovering that can unlock our potential. He emphasized the benefit of taking ownership, taking risks, and exploring opportunities set before you. In an industry where risk assessment is such a critical part of our job when insuring transactions, it’s easy to forget that it still pays dividends to take risks when planning out your short and long-term goals. Erik painted throughout the presentation along to music. Within the timespan of a song, using his hands and brushes he created amazing renditions of Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty, a soldier, and Albert Einstein. It was after his piece on Albert Einstein that he reminded us of Einstein’s quote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Erik encouraged the entire audience to find inspiration stating, “How will you awaken and reignite your own curiosity and fascination to figure out changing consumer behavior and new ways to shape your brand?”
It was during this incredible presentation that Erik threw a ball into the audience to select a participant from the audience. This ball, of course, ended up in my lap, and Erik proceeded to produce a “Fear Factor” challenge. I don’t know if you remember that show, but all that I remember about it was that contestants were faced with the unsavory task of eating and touching bugs, so you could imagine my “excitement.” The task before me was to either accept the challenge, or give the envelope to any audience member of my choice. Surrounded by people that have come to be a second family to me in addition to complete strangers, I took the challenge myself and prayed I wouldn’t have to eat bugs! My decision paid off, as my reward for facing my fear was Erik’s painting of Abraham Lincoln, and a second painting of Marilyn Monroe! BEST CONVENTION EVER!
Erik’s presentation reminded us to get back in touch with our creativity, even in our highly regulated industry. I am grateful to ALTA for the endless opportunities they have created. I have a deep affinity for our association and what it stands for, and what we can accomplish as “one out of many.” ALTA makes it easy to show up to do my part to help further our industry. I am proud to be the voice of our company and represent the values that my father, Nicholas Timpanaro, instilled in me throughout the country. Fortune Title Agency, Inc. is more than just a family business, it’s my family. We are a company whose dedication to our industry represents our core values; experience, trust, and innovation. We are a company who will always give our all for you.