Andi Bolin, agency sales manager for Stewart Title Guaranty Co., worked in the title industry for nearly a decade before she learned about ALTA. But once she joined and raised her hand to get involved with ALTA’s engagement groups and attend events, Bolin noticed a seismic shift in her industry knowledge and growth of her networking circle.
“Being a member of ALTA has been the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my title insurance journey,” Bolin said. “Because I have had the opportunity to meet the most incredible, amazing people and build relationships, where I can have honest, genuine conversations with people who aren’t worried about me getting into their markets and making any kind of strategic moves.”
Deborah Bailey, managing member of the Georgia-based law firm Bailey Helms Legal LLC, has received more from her membership than she ever imagined.
“ALTA was that organization that I always dreamed about being a part of,” Bailey said. “It has provided me a sense of family, a place for me to grow and to develop, and to interact with people who are performing at the highest level of their profession.”
Nicole Timpanaro, CEO of Fortune Title Agency in New Jersey, described being an ALTA member as “life changing for your business.”
“There is so much knowledge that you gain from participating in the events and meeting other business owners,” she said. “The peer-to-peer interaction is just second to none. I’ve never attended an event where I have not come home with knowledge that has made my business better.”
Marlen Rodriquez agreed with others that the knowledge gained from attending ALTA events, as well as the resources the association provides, is second to none. Having worked in the industry since 1999 on the agency and underwriter side, Rodriquez understands the importance of being involved with ALTA. In July, she launched her own title agency, New Dawn Title Group in Florida.
“Networking with other agents from across the country has been great,” Rodriguez said. “You not only can validate some of the things that you’re going through by sharing some of the same stories, and oftentimes, you get to learn by what agents in other parts of the country are going through.”
It’s support like this that helped validate ATLA’s decision earlier this year to recalibrate its dues structure. ALTA also worked with an outside consulting firm that also interviewed many members about potentially adjusting membership dues. Despite doubling the number of members served, and vastly expanding its portfolio, ALTA dues remained unchanged since 2007. Accounting for inflation, dues went down over the past 15 years.
“ALTA strives to provide you with the highest value and the best possible experience,” said ALTA Past President Bill Burding NPT. “The additional funding will enable the association to continue serving you at the optimal level that is expected. Some members may be pleasantly surprised to see their dues went down. Smaller companies with lower title insurance revenue will have a lower, discounted yearly rate.”
Elizabeth Reilly, senior privacy counsel for Fidelity National Financial, co-chairs ALTA’s Data Privacy Work Group and participates in a bevy of other groups that deal with important issues such as redaction, discriminatory covenants and information security. ALTA membership gives the opportunity to connect with people who have experience and knowledge in the industry and with others focused on niche areas important to title operations.
“I can meet with folks I wouldn’t normally cross paths with,” said Reilly, who has gotten more involved with ALTA the past few years. “The opportunity to problem-solve together has been awesome.”
Reilly only wishes she became more engaged sooner.
“I’ve realized how much I could have gained had I become involved earlier,” she added. “ALTA is a fantastic resource for all things.”
ALTA President Dan Wold acknowledged how involvement with the association helped him advance in his career. He said the advocacy, connectivity and other benefits that you get through membership are inspiring.
“I’ve learned so much about the industry and also all of the inner workings about advocacy and the other aspects of ALTA membership that benefits our industry,” Wold said. “For me, ALTA membership is worth every penny. It is a nexus where change happens that benefits the industry.