Dear TLTA members, 
As I begin my year as president of the Texas Land Title Association, I am ever mindful that I follow in the footsteps of a long line of talented leaders and volunteers who helped build this association and our industry. As TLTA’s 104th president, I am committed to following the fine examples demonstrated by those who came before me, and I look forward to another challenging, but successful year. 

A resounding thank you is due our immediate past president, Chris Phillips, for a fine year of service. Chris’ presidency was marked by sound leadership and hard work. Likewise, our association’s gratitude goes out to all the board members, committee chairs and committee members who voluntarily gave their time and talent to our association this past year. 

Our goals and strategies for the upcoming year are clear and simple. First and foremost, we must win the next battle of the re-regulation fight at the Texas Capitol. Our industry’s success will require our resources—time and money, yours and mine—and through all of it, we must continue to take the high road that has served us so well.  

If you’re not sure how to help, you can start by donating to our TLTAPAC. Or, if you have relationships with members of the Texas Legislature, sign up to volunteer for TLTA’s grassroots initiative, which is responsible for managing our relationships with state legislators. You don’t need legislative experience to play a valuable role on our grassroots team—just bring your passion for our industry and an eagerness to tell our story to the local legislators who care about your opinion and your livelihood. 

In the year ahead, our industry will work with the Texas Department of Insurance to address their upcoming review of title rates. We must work together as a team to weave our legislative and rate strategies, highlighting why Texas’ title insurance system works so well. Hard choices will have to be made along the way, but we must remember that we can guide our own destiny, and decisions made now lead to positive impacts in the future for our industry.

Other priorities and goals for the coming year will be discussed at our board planning session scheduled in September. You can help shape the outcome of that planning session, and influence TLTA’s many long-term initiatives, by volunteering to serve on a committee. While our committee chairs and members for 2018-2019 were announced recently, there’s plenty of room on any of our committees, and it’s never too late to get involved. Please contact Kim Schoppert at to sign up for a committee.

In closing, I am honored and humbled by the confidence you have placed in me to serve as your president this year. As I stated at this year’s annual conference in Austin, all of us working together—underwriters, independent agents and affiliates—is more important than ever as we head into the coming year. Basketball legend Michael Jordan said, “A loss is not a failure until you make an excuse.” Our good work is essential, but this is a long campaign, and we need more than one-off successes to emerge victorious from the ongoing battle in which we are engaged. We don’t want excuses, we want results! Please heed the call when our industry requests your assistance to step up and serve.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. May the year ahead be a great year for you and for our industry.

John C. Martin, CAEP, CTIP
Texas Land Title Association