Focuses Theme on Speaking for Each Other, Standing up for Each Other and Looking Out for Each Other’s Interests
TAMPA, Fla. (September 20, 2006)—Gerald P. Schmidt, CPCU, president & CEO, Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Co., Enumclaw, Wash., is the 2006-2007 chairman of the board of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. (NAMIC). Schmidt announced his theme for the year, “Out of Many, One,” in his acceptance speech during the NAMIC annual business meeting.
Schmidt recalled his most memorable inspiration for his theme by recalling a situation that occurred during a short speech he made at the Arkansas Association of Mutual Insurance Companies convention in June of 2005. “As I was reviewing federal issues with the group, I sort of went off script, something the NAMIC speechwriters hate, and in front of God and country, I admitted that I had no real personal interest in small-company taxation issues.”
A short pause. Schmidt picked up the story: “Well, that quieted the audience!”
He continued, “And then, it dawned on me. I had been, and still am, a vocal spokesperson for their concerns through the Congressional Contact Program. And I realized that many of them could be counted on to support issues important to my company. They had, and would continue to be, my voice on Capitol Hill.”
Schmidt emphasized the point: “When we speak up for each other; when we stand up for each other and look out for each others’ interests, we begin to walk the talk of a trade association.”
To illustrate his reason for choosing his theme, Schmidt recalled a story dating back to the 1700s when the Great Seal of the United States was designed. “The message contained an uncommon notion that is still one of the most uncommon ideas in the world today. It is the idea that people from different countries, with different religions and different belief systems and traditions – people with different economic interests could come together and form one nation and sustain our freedom.
“You know this message well. It is written across our great seal. It’s in your wallet on the back of every one-dollar bill and on the cover of every U.S. passport. It is, quite simply: E pluribus unum: out of many, one. This is truly an uncommon idea, just as democracy was an uncommon idea in the late 1700s.
“Our strength as a trade association lies in the truth of those words. Because we share a common bond, what is important to each of you is important to me. What is important to us is important to NAMIC.”
He then challenged the NAMIC membership to consider how each of those assembled could bring the message to life. “How can we who represent large and small insurance companies work together supportively as one – to serve the needs and interests of our policyholders and to represent our great industry in our communities?”
Schmidt reminded the crowd, “Each of us has a voice to be heard. Each of us has a role we can play. Each of us can be a source of inspiration and leadership to others. Find your voice. Find your role. Be an active part of the many… because, out of many, we are one.”
Schmidt is followed by
Three new directors were named
Directors continuing in service are
Outgoing officers were also recognized
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