Dear TLTA members,
 
As we navigate the final weeks of 2019, many of us are tackling end-of-year business and finding opportunities to share holiday joy with family, friends and colleagues. Before the year ends in a flurry of activity, I hope we’ll all invest a few minutes reflecting on our industry’s successes this year, so we are prepared to continue that success as we charge into the new decade ahead.
 
I had the honor this year of working with TLTA staff to conduct a series of town hall-style events and membership meals with title professionals across Texas.  While each of the communities we visited is unique, some universal themes were present everywhere we went. From Tyler to El Paso and Amarillo to McAllen, our industry’s professionals share a common fear of threats from cyber criminals, as well as a common vision for developing our workforce and growing the leaders who will guide our industry into a healthy, prosperous future.
 
Yes, cyber fraud continues to be a serious threat. We must maintain our vigilance and take every opportunity to learn all we can about the tactics these criminals employ. After all, as Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.” If you haven’t already done so, check out some of our association’s on-demand webinars related to cyber crime. I recommend you take a few minutes to peruse the tips, tools, checklists available on TLTA’s cyber fraud resources webpage, too. And, while you’re learning more about best practices to combat cyber criminals, know that your team at TLTA is working with state and federal leaders to identify public policies that will protect our customers and our businesses from this disruptive scourge.
 
Discussions about our industry’s concerns and fears were only a small part of our town hall experience, however. More often than not, our colleagues statewide wanted to talk with excitement about the future. As you might expect, workforce development remains a dominant theme in our collective vision for what’s ahead. Title professionals statewide told us that we must help train good people to do quality work, and we must demonstrate for our people that there’s a future for them in our industry. Many of you know how I feel about this; if there are young people in your network who are ready for investment like that, TLTA’s Land Title School in the spring is a great place to start.
 
Likewise, we were told time and time again during the town hall tour that Texas title professionals must identify and grow the next generation of leaders who will guide our industry into the future. I’ve been beating that drum for years, but something about going on the road to talk with our friends and colleagues brought it all together for me. It was easy as we sat together and broke bread to see with greater understanding the thinking that drove our association’s founders to build TLTA’s foundation more than 100 years ago. Our individual bottom lines are only part of the industry-wide equation that makes this business possible, and we must nurture the leaders who can keep their eyes on that reality as our industry’s march into the future continues.
 
If I don’t have the chance to see you before the year ends, please know I am deeply grateful for our work together this year. And, I look forward with eagerness to the new decade ahead! Together, we’ll continue providing our customers peace of mind and bolstering Texas’s robust real estate economy.
 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as president of our familial network of title industry professionals. Serving you is among my highest honors.
 
See you in 2020!

Respectfully,

Michael C. Savas, CTIP
President
Texas Land Title Association Texas Land Title Association