Dear TLTA members,
When I became the 106th President of the Texas Land Title Association a little less than a year ago, I imagine I was not unlike many of the TLTA presidents who came before me – unsure what challenges our association might face in the year ahead, eager to serve our members and our industry, and committed to carrying on the good work of the presidents who came before me.
 
Now it’s time for me to pass the gavel, this time to the honorable John Updegraff Jr. and I’m pleased to report that my perspective on the power and value of our association is unchanged following my experiences at the helm this year. Furthermore, my commitment to strengthening our real estate marketplace in the face of disruptors like COVID and the complicated politics we face as a nation is stronger than ever, following the good work I witnessed and participated in this year to help keep real estate transactions flowing smoothly statewide.
 
John Updegraff Jr. will be sworn in as our association's 107th president alongside all the industry volunteers who serve on our board of directors at our Annual Conference and Business Meeting Aug. 9-11 at the brand-new Kalahari Resort in Round Rock. If you haven’t registered yet, you should register now. And, if you want to stay with us at the resort, book your room soon, as this one-of-a-kind, family-friendly venue is sure to sell out.
 
Among the subjects we’ll cover at this year’s conference is the Texas Legislature’s 87th Session, which concluded May 31. With the support and guidance of our Legislative and Regulatory committees, as well as our board of directors, TLTA’s legislative team went into the legislative session planning to win passage of two bills (Quitclaim Bill, SB 885 by Sen. Hughes, and Homestead Certainty, HB 3115 by Rep. Shine). I'm proud to announce that when the final gavel fell and the Texas Legislature adjourned Sine Die, our association once again walked away from the Capitol in Austin with 1) 100% passage of our priority legislative items, 2) new, stronger relationships with legislators and legislative staff, and 3) reinforcement of our powerful connection with other building trades organizations. We are grateful for the lawmakers and everyone on our legislative team who made this record of success possible in a very unique and challenging session. Our legislative record and more will be part of our legislative update at conference, and I encourage you to attend, as many of the issues we faced this legislative session will be back again in the future.
 
Since we’re talking about the good work of the volunteers on our legislative and regulatory committees, please note that TLTA is now actively recruiting TLTA members like you for our upcoming year of volunteer and committee service work. Our volunteers accomplish important goals at TDI, the Texas Legislature and beyond, producing meaningful, measurable impacts on our real estate marketplace, and developing educational tools that help agents do business seamlessly while remaining compliant with industry regulations. To continue that good work, we need the diverse perspectives and experiences of title pros like you. If you're ready to lend a hand, share your unique area of expertise and build relationships with other talented title professionals along the way, please complete this volunteer survey, or reach out to Kim Schoppert via kim@tlta.com
 
While our association's successes this year are too many to list in this message, I want to point out a couple highlights of which you should be aware. We introduced a brand-new educational program this year, Abstracting & Examination Fundamentals: A Practical Approach. For years, Texas title insurance professionals have been calling for an educational program that helps agents strengthen, preserve and perpetuate abstracting and examination departments, and this year we finally made it happen. This one-of-a-kind industry educational program is built specifically for title insurance professionals who need to learn the fundamentals of abstracting and examination from experienced professionals. Presented in April for the first time ever, this new virtual program was a huge success, and now you can now access it anytime on-demand.
 
Also, I’m especially proud of the special Town Hall Insights series we created this year when we realized that the pandemic would severely restrict our ability to travel around the state to provide issues updates, gather member feedback, and make new connections with our colleagues. TLTA’s new Town Hall Insights Series featured the latest, timely info we need to navigate the unprecedented and challenging marketplace we're operating in, and we were honored to count among our series guests Glenn Hegar, Comptroller of the State of Texas, Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of the Texas Tribune, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, and other luminaries who helped us make sense of an unpredictable and unprecedented time.
 
It has been my honor to help our association navigate this year of exclusively remote meetings and events, but I admit I'm so excited to see all of you in person for our conference in Round Rock this summer. 
 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve this year, and I look forward to continued success and good work in the years ahead.
Respectfully,
John P. Bruce, CTIP
President
Texas Land Title Association