Another year has come and gone. Despite, the challenges presented by the economy, we are incredibly pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm during the 45th Annual ARA convention. Our members enjoyed reconnecting, sharing in lively discussions about our association and provided our new Board of Directors with guidance on the future of ARA.
We were also able to bring more than a dozen clients to our convention – including Wells Fargo, Chase, Capital One, Americredit and several others – to speak with the Board, address our members and, hopefully, lay the foundation to better partnerships. I’d like to thank our Executive Director, Les McCook, for forging these relationships and ensuring that ARA remains top of mind for lenders across the country.
During this year’s convention, we also discussed our current initiation fee structure. While our current fee structure may have served our goals in years past, it is no longer a viable solution to growing and retaining the best in our field. That in mind, the new Board of Directors will be working on ways to restructure our fees to be affordable, while still retaining the market value that ARA is known for.
As with every convention, the membership elected new members to serve on the 2010 Board of Directors.
Jim Hall, President
Joe McOwen, Vice President
Chris Dunleavy, Secretary/Treasurer
Art Blanchette, Immediate Past President
Todd Abelhouzen, Director
Art Christensen, Director
Tom Crosby, Director
Chris Finn, Director
Paul Hallock, Director
Mary Jane Hogan, Director
Brian Long, Director
To the 2009 Board of Directors, I want to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all of your hard work. I would also like to thank the home office for their unwavering dedication and hard work to make ARA a success.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our marketing/communications partner — Wellington Group. Dawn Wellington and Allison Bonlander have worked so hard on behalf of ARA. Their ability to prepare me for media interviews ensured I represented ARA in the best possible light and resulted in some of the best articles we could have hoped for.
Lastly, I would like to thank the membership for electing me to serve this association six times. While I hope that I’ve been able to make a positive impact on ARA, I can guarantee ARA and each and every one of you has made a positive impact on me.
Thank you all for the confidence you had in me.