Where are they now?

While at the AICP National Conference in Seattle last week, our booth was bustling with a stream of visitors looking for information and the latest Currin Compliance swag—often with stories of the adventures of their “buddies” collected in previous years. If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending an event where we had an exhibit booth, you’ve missed out on our very popular giveaways. Over the years our items have included the Compliance Hero, the Currin Cow, the happy yellow cell phone holder, the fuzzy bobble-head pen, the talking stress reliever, and the list goes on.

So many of the visitors who stopped by our booth last week made comments about their buddies from previous years, as if giving us an update on what our little friends have been up to since leaving our booth at a conference. It may sound silly now, but the stories were always warm and heartfelt. Whether lined up on their desk at work, on the top of their TV at home, or passed along to children or grandchildren, the buddies seem to make their way around, spreading a little happiness wherever they go.


During a break at AICP, one of our long-time CCS fans, Ken Bach, shared a story about two bobble-head pens he collected several years ago. Ken took them home and eventually ended up planting them in his yard. He sent a picture of them to his daughter, as in “look what just popped up today” like a tulip or a daffodil. Now Ken regularly sends an updated picture to his daughter as a way to say hello and to put a smile on her face. Amazingly, the pens have survived the Connecticut weather and are not looking too bad! He shared this picture with me, and I agree, the buddies look pretty darn cute.

If you have a story or a picture of one of your CCS buddies that you would like to share, please send them to us via email. We would love to include them in our newsletter as they're sure to put a smile on a face or two!

Another fabulous AICP National Conference

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I began my October 2017 at the 30th Annual AICP National Conference in Seattle, Washington. This conference is always my favorite, and it did not disappoint this year! Some of my favorite parts included:

  • Delicious chicken parm dinner at Palomino, the Italian restaurant across the street from the hotel.
  • Meeting with fellow chapter officers at the chapter officer training and hearing from AICP leadership about their plans for the year.
  • Giving out our CCS cows with “Seattle raincoats,” aka our yellow eye glass cleaners, and meeting so many conference attendees. 
  • Hearing different perspectives on health care reform from commissioners from WA, WI, and ID during the View from the Top, Life Annuity and Health session.
  • The fact that the View from the Top session was held on the top floor of the hotel with amazing views!
  • The beautiful tribute to Rick Guggolz, former AICP Executive Director, who passed away unexpectedly this year.
  • Amazing views of the city from the Puget Sound aboard the Spirit of Seattle ship during the multi-chapter event.
  • Presenting with Hazel Delane of Milliman, Inc. on Combination Products.

This list could go on and on, the AICP Conference is always jam packed! Now that I have returned to the east coast, I also have a newfound appreciation for our Executive VP and COO, Machael Heise, who travels coast-to-coast every month. Jet lag is for real! As is the AICP National Conference. Next year’s conference is scheduled for September 23-26 in Nashville, Tennessee, mark it on your calendar!

Spring Conferences - on the road again!

I have been to three different conferences in three weeks. They show me just how diverse our industry is, while also sharing much in common. The three conferences were organized around three different elements: Geographical Location, Product Type, and Organization Type

Geographical Location: New England Chapter of AICP

On May 12, the New England Chapter of AICP held its Education Day (E-day) at the Nathan Hale Inn in Storrs, CT – right on the UConn campus, which is an unusual type venue for an industry event. It has seemed to me that AICP is getting slightly more P & C focused in the last few years, and that appeared to be true at this event as well. Those of us who focus on life, annuity, and health need to attend these programs and the AICP national conference. This year the national conference is in Seattle – who doesn’t want to go to Seattle? That said, back in Storrs, CT there was lively participation in the two sessions I presented: Managing Compliance Risk and Corporate Governance (With Kathy Donovan of Wolters Kluwer) and New York Developments, where we focused on proposed regulation 210, Circular Letter 1 (2017), deferred to immediate annuity replacements and recent policy form filing experience.

The New England Chapter of AICP is holding a joint meeting with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter in August to meet NYSDFS staff – it is sure to be informative and interesting, so if you are a member and want to join us, feel free to contact me.

Product Type: Group Annuity and Pension Compliance Association (GAPCA)

On May 18th and 19th, GAPCA met in Omaha. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, so I did not do as much exploring of Omaha as I had intended. I was only in Omaha once before and it was also for a conference and I didn’t stray far from the hotel. I love GAPCA conferences and I highly recommend it if you do any group annuity work. I again spoke about developments in NY, however since we were talking about group annuities, this time the developments were primarily of the policy form filing experience type. Many commiserated about experiences of different reviewers providing different reviews. This may be because the group annuity outlines are among the oldest and the most difficult to use. They are organized in a way that does make it easy to determine which applies to what product(s). Perhaps the Life Bureau will reach out to GAPCA for some input when those outlines get picked up for refreshing. GAPCA has tremendous experience to help that effort.

Organization Type: American Fraternal Alliance Spring Symposium

This was the biggest of the conferences I attended and the most different from the typical conferences I attend because it was not limited to compliance. Held in Chicago, the AFA had multiple tracks happening at the same time, so attendees could spend the whole time attending compliance track programming, but they could also pop into a session held by the business operations or investments actuarial tracks. I spoke on cybersecurity from a compliance perspective, not an IT perspective. That said, because of all the different folks that AFA gathered, there were multiple perspectives on the issue and we had a great discussion after we walked through the NY regulation and talked about what might or might not make it into a NY-based NAIC model regulation.

Altogether, these three events reminded me why I love what I do. I met lots of different people in distinct parts of the niche of the industry we occupy. I was able to talk about issues and hear reactions from people who I normally don’t interact with or only communicate with via email or social media. The three weeks I spent at industry events were a bit tiring, but so worth it. Thank you to all the great folks who put these events on – I know it is a lot of work! Thank you to all who spent a few moments with me and shared your wisdom and experience. It is one of the best parts of this work and I value it tremendously.