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A First Timer's Perspective by Jody Nishida- South Bay Association of Insurance Professionals

2019 REGION VII Conference – March 14th to 16th, 2019

From the perspective of a First Timer:

Arriving in Sacramento for my first Region VII conference in itself was exciting. Luckily I had attended the 2018 California Council meeting as a first timer in Fresno so I knew what to expect (not). I had volunteered to be on a committee at the Conference definitely not knowing what to expect from that. 

Due to time constraints of others traveling with me and the fact than none of us needed additional CE credits at this time, we arrived in Sacramento around 9pm on Thursday. We met up with others of our local association. We were told that the classes were informative and fun.

The next morning was breakfast at 8 and then on to the business meeting, intro of the convening board members and the IAIP International Officer, Geraldine Platt standing in for Angie Sullivan who was absent due to problems with her flight. The roll call of delegates was then made. Afterwards, the corrections of the program was made (thank goodness I was sitting next to a seasoned member – thank you Margaret) and could not keep up with the changes as I had no idea who the replacements were and in looking at the list, got confused.  Report of Region VII History indicated that they are still looking for additional information regarding the history of Regions VII, VIII & IX and to please forward any copies of past programs. After the first break, the CWC competition was conducted, Mark McDonald (San Diego), Keri Herlong (Las Vegas), Ron Mui (Honolulu), Brooke Lesniak (Orange County) and Sandy Malone (Seattle) – and the winner is… be announced at the Awards Banquet. After lunch on our own, there were a few group meeting, President’s Meeting, First Timers/Gold Timers Gathering – I did attend, more on this later, Conference Chairs Meeting and a Conference Briefing (discussion of the 1 member/1vote) and info on the Meet the Candidate – International Secretary.  After the conclusion of the business meeting, we adjourned and was given the opportunity to meet and greet all the members in attendance at the Welcome Party.

Yes I know I am rambling – but there was so much to take in. Everyone in the association needs to attend these conferences at least once during their career.

The next day we had a remembrance breakfast which highlighted careers of 5 members that are no longer with us. Extremely moving and had most members in tears remembering our lost sisters. After breakfast, we were off and running on the business for the day which included the once again the roll call of the delegates (just to make sure we did not lose one). Discussion on the 1 member/1 vote was discussed and voted on by the delegates. (Now this is where my volunteering came in – I was part of the “Teller” committee and we passed out the ballots, collected them and then exited the room to count the ballots.  There was an agreement that we should move forward to International with our final vote to discuss at the International Conference in Reno this June. After that vote, we then proceeded to the voting for the new RVP (Region Vice President). The Previous day we had 1 candidate and then the nominations were opened from the floor at which time another candidate was added to the roster and seconded. So now we have 2 candidates and need to actually vote on the candidate – we broke out by our associations to discuss the candidates giving as much information to our delegates for their vote. Once again the Tellers were called upon to pass out ballots, collect and tally the results.  Upon re-entering the conference room, you could hear a pin drop. The results were handed to the current RVP, Kim Cameron for the announcement of the new RVP. – I would say winner, but both candidates seemed very qualified to hold the position. And the new RVP is – Robin Souza –Robin Souza was then installed as our RVP along with her assistants, Alison Holmes & Rose Kaerth.  Let’s all congratulate her and give her as much support in the coming years during her 2 year term. We then finished with the confirmation of the next Region VII bids for the next and future conferences.

Now back to the First Timers/Gold Timers gathering. We were entertained by Bart (Christine Chandler Tillet) & Clem (Keri Herlong), mustache and all,  who explained the First Timer’s bill of Rights and attempted to explain the Gold Miners-excuse me – Timers bill of rights but somehow they only had the print out for the First Timers. As First Timers, we all understood what entailed being a first timer, but a gold timer – these women are 60 or older and have been a member in good standing for 25+ years. I am in awe of the gold timers. As a first timer we were given our scavenger hunt for to locate members based on information given – meaning we must talk to members to see who they are – member spoke 5 languages, 2018 CWC Region winner, a current CWC contestant and find an International Offer in attendance,  just to name a few. We were also given green bandanas which we were to wave at Bart and Clem to get tickets for a special drawing for new timers – to be announced at the Awards Banquet. I also got to meet my cousin, Sharilyn (not really, but I might have cousins who is related to her).

Now to the Banquet - excellent food, excellent conversation, really cute decorations, a chance to meet members that I missed during meeting and a really funny skit after the banquet. Awards were given out to the very deserving members in different areas of insurance. Then came the drawings for the First Timers were also handed out by Bart & Clem (without mustaches) – drawing by ticket – I won (lucky me) and then came the winning of the scavenger hunt and again, that was me.  Woohoo – and no I did not head to Las Vegas.

Thank you Insurance Professionals of Sacramento for a wonderful venue and all your hard work.  Thank you all members of California for remembering who I was from the Council and others who sought me out as we had communicated via email on different things. Thank you to all the members who made this a once in a lifetime experience – you can only be a first timer once.