Dear TLTA members, 
I am honored to present the following update on our association. One of my goals this year was to re-institute the Town Hall meetings – and we did! The TLTA team that included Leslie Midgley, Aaron Day, Shea Place and me, hit the road starting in College Station in September and made our last meeting in Houston on Nov. 28. During those whirlwind three months, we conducted eight Town Hall lunches/breakfasts, five executive dinners/lunches and 14 grassroots legislative meetings with state legislators in their home districts. We connected with 335 of our members at the Town Halls, 90 members at the executive meetings, and more than 50 members participated in the grassroots meetings with their elected officials. I'm proud to report that our team was able to personally share the “State of the TLTA” with almost 500 TLTA members.
The message and the tool box of information we delivered gives our industry a unified voice and a great story to tell about why our current system of Texas title insurance regulations is the best in the industry and the model for the rest of the nation. More importantly, through the grassroots initiative, we were able to share our story with numerous key state legislators and their staffs. These one-on-one connections with our members, potential members and legislators were extremely effective and will continue in the future as an ongoing outreach program. Thank you to all who attended and participated in these meetings. I’m confident you are now equipped and ready to deliver the TLTA message to every person you meet. 
We also spent time over the past few months working on our strategy to fight the ongoing re-regulation efforts. We know this issue will again be brought up during the next legislative session. While that’s still a little over a year away, we intend to have our action plans in place in the next few months. We’ll continue to retain the best lobby team available and use all our members’ personal relationships with their legislators to tell our story. It’s the grassroots efforts that will win the day, which makes this a great time to emphasize the importance of our TLTAPAC and remind you that the PAC has established a goal to reach $400,000 in donations in 2018. The PAC Board has enlisted the help of four fundraising co-chairs: Bill James, Bo Feagin, Jordan Anderson and Brad Irelan to reach out to our members to attain this critical level of giving. This is a united, industry-wide effort, so please consider the importance of our TLTAPAC and give generously in 2018.

The educational program that the Cyber Security Task Force recently presented in conjunction with the Texas Land Title Institute was a huge success and brought to light the importance of fighting and preventing cyber fraud. The information presented demonstrated the sophisticated level of expertise we face as we combat these criminal elements. This is one of the most critical issues our industry faces in the future and TLTA will stay at the forefront of the effort to educate our members and develop the tools necessary to protect our customers. If you missed the program, it was videotaped and will be available soon, so stay tuned for more information.

Earlier this month, the 27th annual Texas Land Title Institute was held at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and was another sell-out success. This consistently professional program of relevant information delivered by expert speakers, combined with the multiple opportunities for fellowship and social gatherings has become one of the “must attend” events of the many TLTA-sponsored programs. Thanks to Roland Love, his committee, and the TLTA staff for once again delivering a top-notch program. 

I am still deeply honored to be your TLTA president and have enjoyed all that we have accomplished in the first six months of my term. I look forward to all the plans we have for the New Year, which include the Land Title School of Texas at the Westin Austin at the Domain from Feb. 5-7, and the highly anticipated launch of the new Texas Land Title Association University (TLTAU). TLTAU is designed for a higher level of learning and will be presented in conjunction with the Title School on Feb. 6.  Nominations are now being accepted for TLTA's fifth Leadership Academy which will be held April 16-17 in Austin. Space is limited, so get in your nomination today. Also, before we know it, we will be gathering for our Annual Conference at the brand new Fairmont Austin Hotel from June 11-13. There is plenty to do over the next six months and I will keep you posted as the new year progresses. Please contact me or any of the TLTA staff if you have questions or concerns about our industry.  

Lastly, from my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy this time with family and friends and remember to take a moment to count the many blessings in our lives. We work in one of the best industries, in one of the best states, in the best country in the world.

J. Christopher Phillips
Texas Land Title Association