TLTA RELEASES STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION 2009 


In February, TLTA released its State of the Association 2009 featuring our achievements over the last year. We encourage you to take the time to read this in-depth report, including the special introduction from Executive Vice President Leslie Midgley featured below. If you have any questions or comments please share them with us at tlta@tlta.com.

Dear Member, 
One of my highest priorities as TLTA Executive Vice President is to keep you informed about your association and the work we are doing on your behalf. In keeping with that commitment, I’m proud to present the Annual TLTA State of the Association, highlighting our achievements during 2009.

As you will see, TLTA has been successful on many fronts. Our membership numbers are solid, our financial picture is good, and your need for strong representation and resources are being met through our extensive programs. In fact, TLTA is more vibrant and vital than at any time during its 100+ year history. This is in spite of, or perhaps even because of, the changing and challenging times we are experiencing. The scope of the work being done is greater than ever before, making TLTA’s role increasingly more valuable.

This increase in scope is reflected in the size of this report, but I do hope you will find a few minutes to read it and take pride in the magnitude of what your association has accomplished. It was an unprecedented year in terms of regulatory and legislative advocacy. We represented you through three important TDI hearings, at regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature and on multiple critical issues in Washington, DC. We took on new initiatives aimed at more fully engaging all segments of our membership from young professionals to escrow officers. We totally redesigned our educational programs to meet your changing needs, sent a record-breaking number of informational emails and newsletters, implemented our professional certification program, rolled out a new and improved website, introduced a downloadable version of the TLTA Directory, developed business solutions with you in mind and enhanced the image of the industry with our new voter registration program…just to hit the highlights. Of course, none of this could have been accomplished without a fully engaged membership.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing loyal support, not only through your dues dollars, but also through your valuable input and your volunteer efforts – our success is your success. I also want to compliment you. These are tough times for our industry and our country, but I am in awe of your perseverance, your continued optimism, and your absolute true grit. This industry has an amazing history of riding it out together and I’m honored to be sharing this ride with all of you.


Best regards,

Leslie Midgley
Executive Vice President

Read the TLTA State of the Association 2009 

KNOW SOMEONE MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
NOMINATE THEM FOR A TLTA PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

Do you know an employee or co-worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty? Someone whose attitude, contributions, and dedication set them apart from all the others. If so, then nominate them for the prestigious TLTA Professional Excellence Award. 

DOWNLOAD YOUR 2010 TLTA DIRECTORY TODAY

For the first time ever the TLTA Directory is now available to all TLTA members in a real-time downloadable format that you can print yourself and then store in a special TLTA Directory binder. 

The new enhanced directory features an interactive county look-up map making it easier to locate your company, along with other title companies across the state. You’ll also notice a new expanded Individual Member section which includes company names for greater exposure and ease of locating individuals within the industry. 

Prefer to let us do the printing for you?

*Please note: If you downloaded the directory from the TLTA website prior to February 19, the agent listing by county may have been out of alphabetical order. This error has now been corrected. Please check your version and if necessary, you may download your directory again. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

ALEX HALFF, SR., 1922 – 2010

TLTA mourns the loss of Past President and Honorary Member Alex Halff who passed away in February. Read the full obituary here


Alex joined Alamo Title Company in the mid 1950’s. He was named President in 1970 and later retired as Chairman of the Alamo Title organization in 1999. In addition to serving on several TLTA committees, Alex served as President of TLTA from 1977 to 1978. In 1985, he was awarded TLTA’s highest honor, Title Person of the Year, and during the 2009 Annual Conference and Business Meeting, Alex was awarded Honorary Membership for Sustained and Meritorious Service to the association.

TLTA PAST PRESIDENT B.B. SCHRAUB RETIRING FROM THE BENCH


In January, TLTA Past President and Honorary Member B.B. Schraub announced his pending retirement as the Presiding Judge of Texas’ Third Administrative Judicial Region, a bench he’s occupied since 1990.

B.B. is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Guadalupe County Bar Association and a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He’s also an honorary commander of Randolph Air Force Base and served in the United States Marine Corps before attending law school at Saint Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio.

WIN A FREE REGISTRATION TO TLTA'S 2010 CONFERENCE & BUSINESS MEETING

Register now for the TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting and you will be entered into the drawing to win a free registration. Drawings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month from now until May. Once you’re registered you’ll be eligible for all additional drawings. The next Free Conference Registration Drawing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23. 

CHANGING LANDSCAPES - TLTA Annual Business Conference & Business Meeting
June 23-25, 2010 - Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe 

Q&A With Kristy Santelia, TLTA Young Professional

Kristy Santelia
Vice President/Branch Manager, North American Title Company 

 
How did you get started in the title industry? I fulfilled my obligation to the US Air Force in August of 2002 and decided that it was time to move back home to Houston. After interviewing with many different companies in several different industries, I accepted an offer extended by North American Title Company. I had absolutely no experience in the title industry, but I was eager to learn and start my new beginning. 

At first, I had no real job description. The idea was to send me through the transaction process to determine if we could find more efficient ways of operating and to get a fresh perspective on our business. The majority of my time was spent learning about the industry and training. I was fortunate enough to train in the title plant and in escrow. I spent six months at our title plant in Houston prior to beginning my escrow training, and was promoted to branch manager of an escrow office within three years.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a young title professional? By far, the biggest challenge I have faced is this changing economy. Beginning with the sub-prime lending implosion, our industry has been faced with many challenges and changes. I remember when the down-payment assistance programs went away; many in the industry thought the buyers would, too. 

We are a service-based industry, and networking is the key to our success.
 
When the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and, most recently, RESPA changes were implemented; again, many were concerned with the effect this would have on our industry. One thing stands true - our industry continues to evolve with the changing regulations, needs of our clients, and the ebb and flow of economic cycles. No matter how daunting changes may seem, nothing is impossible and we will persevere!

What advice would you offer to other young professionals who are new to the industry? Get involved! Become a member of professional organizations such as TLTA, Womens Council of Realtors (WCR), and any other relevant real estate groups. We are a service-based industry, and networking is the key to our success. However, just joining an organization is not enough! Volunteer for committees. While it will require some extra time and effort, the personal growth and leadership skills gained will be very rewarding. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Many times, a question asked is a claim avoided. 

Continue your professional education! Whether it is taking a continuing education course or an extensive conversation with underwriting counsel regarding an issue on a file, each experience is an opportunity to learn. 

Love your career! Life is much more enjoyable when you love what you do!

What are you most proud of professionally or personally? Aside from my beautiful family, I am most proud of my service in the Air Force. My life was forever changed by the life skills I took from that experience. I gave the Air Force five years, and in return it gave me so much more. From the work ethic instilled on day one to the life-long friendships that developed, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve my country.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Yes, the Twilight Series.

Name one thing people would be surprised to learn about you. Most people are surprised to learn that I was a weather forecaster in the Air Force. 


CALLING ALL YOUNG TITLE PROFESSIONALS


Join our network and learn more about this dynamic new group. Kickoff Happy Hour events are being planned in the Austin and Houston area for Thursday, April 8. Mark your calendar and plan to meet other young professionals and have the opportunity to talk with TLTA mentors and volunteer leaders.