July 2012

Successful 2012 Annual Conference Educates, Entertains and Informs

TLTA's recent Annual Conference and Business meeting at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel was a huge success and it wouldn't have been possible without all of the incredible attendees, volunteers and sponsors! Mark your calendar now for next year's Conference, June 19-21 at the Barton Creek Resort near Austin.

More than 300 members of the title industry came together to hear about the latest market conditions, regulatory changes, industry trends, management techniques and advances in technology that are impacting businesses every day. The Opening General Session kicked off with an informative speech from TDI's former Title Division Director and new Assistant General Counsel Rob Carter who talked about some of the recent changes at TDI. He also discussed an automated licensing system called Sircon that he said will soon make the agent licensing process more cost effective and efficient. Fannie Mae Director of Economics Richard Koss also provided insight on consumer spending and the housing market, emphasizing that Texas has fared better than the rest of the country.

At Friday's General Session, ALTA President Chris Abbinante discussed some of the key federal issues impacting the industry and urged attendees to learn more about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's project to integrate the current TIL, GFE and HUD-1 Settlement Statement into a set of combined forms. He also talked about the importance of Fannie and Freddie and making sure that whatever changes are made to them, title insurance remains a requirement.

In the afternoon, communications expert Sue Hershkowitz-Coore coached attendees on how to more easily explain the complexities of the industry to the average person. She said you can't let someone else tell your story - you have to be the person to tell it, you have to tell it well and you must connect on an emotional level.

The Friday and Saturday TLTAPAC Breakfasts were also informative and inspirational. At Friday's breakfast, Evan Smith shared his thoughts on Gov. Rick Perry's Presidential run and said he doesn't anticipate Perry will run again for Governor in 2014. He also discussed the changing demographics of the state and the impact a burgeoning Hispanic population will have on future elections in Texas. At Saturday's closing PAC Breakfast, former Dallas Cowboy star wide receiver Drew Pearson talked about some of his favorite moments as a Dallas Cowboy and how he was able to bring his winning philosophy on the football field into his life and career after football by surrounding himself with winners.

Hot Topic breakout sessions throughout the afternoon also offered something for everyone, ranging from the latest in how title companies can utilize social media to enhance their business, to a comprehensive update on the recent TDI Rule Hearing and the looming RESPA changes. A new awards luncheon also recognized several award winners in addition to newly Certified title professionals and the inaugural class of the Alex H. Halff Leadership Academy.

Stay tuned for a big TLTAPAC announcement regarding this year's fundraising goals, and we can't wait to see you next year at the Barton Creek Resort, June 19-21!  


Enjoy Some Conference Highlights!

View highlights from the Conference here. If you took a photo with Drew Pearson at the Saturday PAC Closing Breakfast, you may view that album here. You'll need to sign up for a Flickr account to order prints. Don't forget to "Like" TLTA's Facebook page to see additional photos from the Conference and other events throughout the year.

2012-2013 Board of Directors Elected

During the Friday morning business meeting, TLTA installed the new 2012-2013 Board of Directors:
President Randy Pittman, West Texas Abstract & Title Company, Midland
President-Elect Joe Grealish, Fidelity National Title Group, Houston
Immediate Past President Phyllis Mulder, CTIA, Alliant National Title Insurance Company, San Antonio
Agent Section Chair Dawn Moore, Allegiance Title Company, Dallas
Agent Section Vice Chair James Dudley, Central Texas Titles, Inc., Horseshoe Bay
Agent Section Delegate Byron Jay Lewis, Edwards Abstract and Title Company, Edinburg
Agent At-Large Director Alex Harris, Bay Area Title Services LLC, Corpus Christi
Agent At-Large Director John DeLoach, CTIA, Sierra Title Company, San Antonio
Underwriter Section Chair Mike Savas, First American Title Insurance Company, Houston
Underwriter Section Vice Chair Dan Hassen, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, Houston
Underwriter Section Delegate Patti Bonner, CTIA, Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Austin
Underwriter At-Large Director Teresa Frost, CTIA, National Investors Title Insurance Company, Austin
Underwriter At-Large Director Bill James, Fidelity National Title Group, Dallas


Celia Goode-Haddock Awarded Title Person of the Year

Celia Goode-Haddock, Chairman of the Board/CEO of University Title Company in Bryan/College Station, was awarded the prestigious Title Person of the Year Award during the President's Dinner Friday night. The award recognizes significant and longtime contributions to the title industry and the association. It is the highest honor bestowed by TLTA.

"We are honored to present Celia with this prestigious award," said Leslie Midgley, Executive Vice President and CEO of TLTA. "Celia has been a constant champion for our association and the title industry in Texas. The contributions she has made as part of our association leadership are too many to name and we are privileged to have her among our ranks."


Janet Minke Awarded James H. Garst President's Award

Janet Minke, Vice President of Underwriting Support Services at Alliant National Title Insurance Company in Boyd, was awarded the esteemed James H. Garst President’s Award during the President's Dinner Friday night. The award recognizes the achievements of an individual who has shown outstanding service to the TLTA president during his or her year in office.

"Everyone in the Texas title business knows Janet because of her countless contributions to the industry over the past 35 years," said Phyllis Mulder, 2011-12 TLTA President and CLO/Executive Vice President of Alliant National Title Insurance Company. "We are delighted to honor Janet with this award in recognition of her tireless and cheerful undertaking of any challenge needing strong intellect, leadership and follow-through."


Belinda Mitchell, Don Hughes and Kary Mersmann Honored with Professional Excellence Awards 

The title professionals below were nominated by their peers for their behind-the-scenes work and going above and beyond their required job descriptions through their attitudes, character and deeds. The 2012 winners of TLTA's Professional Excellence Award are Belinda Mitchell, Excel Title Group, LLC; Don Hughes, Lone Star Title Company of El Paso; and Kary Mersmann, University Title Company. Read their full press releases by clicking on their names below.     

Belinda Mitchell Don Hughes Kary Mersmann 


Allyson Macatee and Pam Butler Receive E. Gordon Smith Award

At the Awards Luncheon during Conference, TLTA awarded Allyson Macatee, Escrow Assistant, Benchmark Title and Pam Butler, Vice President, Lenders Services Manager, North American Title Company the E. Gordon Smith Award. The award is given to the person with the highest score on the Land Title School of Texas final exam, and both Allyson and Pam scored a 96. Read their full press releases by clicking on their names below.

Allyson Macatee 
Pam Butler 


Lisa Beville Receives Peggy Hays Teaching Excellence Award

At the Award's Luncheon during Conference, TLTA awarded Lisa Beville, Vice President of Agency Support Services and Regional Training Coordinator for the Fidelity National Title Group, the Peggy Hayes Teaching Excellence Award. The award honors a Land Title School instructor who has given of their time and talents to ensure quality education for title industry professionals. 


Congrats Certified Title Professionals!

TLTA would like to congratulate all of the title professionals who became Certified over the last year, including the newly Certified professionals below who attended the Awards Luncheon at Conference. TLTA Certified title professionals met all the requirements, studied and passed a final examination. Visit www.tlta.com/Certification for the Fall 2012 exam dates and application deadlines - if you haven't already, join this elite group of title professionals today!

Marilyn DeLuna, CESA 
Betty DeReese, CTIA 
Megan Dulaney, CAEA 

JJ Hataway, CTIA 
Suzanne Ward, CTIA 
Camille White, CESA 


Save the Date for Next Year!

Save the date now and plan to join us June 19-21, 2013 for the next TLTA Annual Conference and Business Meeting at the Barton Creek Resort!

Our Sincere Appreciation to This Year's Sponsors: