Dear TLTA members, 
It is time to pass the gavel and welcome the new TLTA President to this forum. John Martin of Lone Star Title in El Paso will be installed as the 104th TLTA President on June 12, 2018, at the TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting. I am excited for John, and I know that his experience and knowledge of our industry will serve all of us very well during his tenure.  

I have bittersweet feelings about moving into my new role--immediate past president. I will miss traveling around Texas and participating in neighboring state conferences as an emissary for our association. I will miss representing you at state legislative gatherings and in Washington, D.C. I will miss the connection with TLTA staff and traveling with Leslie, Aaron and Shea. And, I will miss TLTA’s excellent Board of Directors, who helped us develop the strategies and plans that defeated the re-regulation efforts we faced at the state Capitol in 2017. The board’s good work will continue to serve us with success when the Texas Legislature meets next year. 

When I started my year as president, one of my goals was to communicate the message that the title industry bolsters Texas’ real estate economy, and without the regulatory system that currently governs our industry, our real estate economy may falter. Beginning last fall, Leslie, Aaron and I road-tripped to a series of town hall-style meetings across Texas to deliver that very important message. It was effective, exhausting and a lot of fun. 

Another goal I set at the beginning of my presidency was continuing to grow the TLTAPAC and achieve the contribution targets that we established. I am proud to report that TLTA’s members understand the importance of our PAC initiative, and they have worked very hard to meet our goals.  We continue to receive Career Commitment pledges, and a number of companies have achieved 100 percent PAC participation.

I want to thank the hard-working TLTA committee chairs and committee members for their time and effort. These committees are the workhorses of our association, and they do a tremendous job sifting through the challenges they are assigned and getting the job done.  

I also want to recognize our TLTA staff. We have heard it many times from many people: the staff at TLTA are some of the most hard-working professionals in the country. I could not have done my job as your association president AND my other job as president of First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI) without the support of our TLTA staff and their leader, Leslie Midgley. An identical thank you goes to the FNTI team for picking up the slack while I was out on association business.
I started my term with an emphasis on family, and I end my term feeling even more convinced that this incredible industry is a special family--a group of friends, competitors and co-workers who are stronger standing together than we are standing alone.  

Thank you for your support and for allowing me to serve as your president this year. It is an honor that I will never forget.  

J. Christopher Phillips
Texas Land Title Association