Q and A about the upcoming convention

Western Fraternal Life building

Western Fraternal Life building

Q: What is the National Convention?
A: The National Convention is Western Fraternal Life’s legislative and governing body. Delegates are elected by members from each lodge. At the Convention, delegates elect the Board of Directors and the Association President. They also consider and vote on proposals for changes to the bylaws and donations from the Association.

Q: When is the National Convention Held?

A: The National Convention is held every four years. The next convention will be July 23-July 24, 2015 at the Mariott Hotel in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Q: Who can be a Delegate?
A: Any member 16 years or older in good standing both at the time of the election and at the time of service. Member delegates and alternates are elected by the lodge and should have attended at least four meetings per year and be active participants in the lodge.
Q: How are Delegates chosen?
A: Each lodge is entitled to one delegate and alternate for every one hundred (100) members, rounded to the nearest 100. (For example, a lodge with 231 delegates would get two delegates and two alternates. A lodge with 460 members would get five delegates and five alternates.) Any member in good standing is entitled to be voted on and elected. To encourage young members to become actively involved, each lodge will be granted one additional delegate if that additional delegate is age 40 or under at the time of election. Lodges vote for delegates and alternates between November 1 and April 1 in the twelve month period preceding the Convention. Results of the election must be received by the Association no later than April 15.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the delegates?
A: The main job is to understand the issues and to know who is running for election. Since you are representing the lodge, you need to find out how members feel about the issues and who the majority would vote for. Once at the convention, you should be present for all votes.
Q: If I am a delegate for my lodge, will I have to pay for travel, hotel, meals, and registration expenses?
A: The delegate will receive a set travel allowance and a set hotel allowance not to exceed three nights from the Association. Most meals will be provided during the Convention. Your lodge may vote to cover the cost of the difference for the hotel, meals, or travel expenses not covered. There will be a registration fee for each delegate that is either covered by the lodge or the member delegate. Please check with your lodge to find out if money has been or will be set aside for such expenses.
Q: Can guests be a part of the convention?
A: Yes, there is a special place where paid guests can register and watch the proceedings; however they are not allowed to address the floor or vote. Paid guests will be able to receive the same meal package as the group.
Q: Who should I contact with questions?
A: Contact the Association’s Administrative Assistant Sandi Seaver through our toll free telephone: (877) 935-2467 or e-mail at sseaver@wflains.org.

Employee Spotlight: Chris Cole

This January, Chris Cole started in Western’s Accounting department. Learn a little more about Chris here!

Chris Cole

Chris Cole

– How did you first learn about Western?
A: I first learned about Western through Sandi Seaver (family friend and administrative assistant at Western). She informed me about a position that she thought I would be interested in and the rest is history.

– What is your role at Western?
A: My role at Western is to report monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements regarding investment transactions. I also do the reconciliations and recording of these transactions. I also carry out the updating to Electronic Funds Transfer daily and the reconciling of such accounts.

– Before working at Western, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A: The most interesting job I had would be working on a race team. I use to work for McGrath Racing and we would travel all over the United States to go racing in a traveling series.

– If you could switch your job with anyone else within Western, whose job would you want?
A: Jack’s (Jack Minder, Vice President and Treasurer). I have always wanted to be a controller in a company.

Jack Minder passing the torch to Chris Cole

Jack Minder passing the torch to Chris Cole

– What are three words to describe Western?
A: Caring, friendly, open-minded.

– What do you find the most challenging in your job?
A: The thing that I find most challenging in my position is the requirements when it comes to reporting investments. There are a lot of requirements out there that tell you how things should be recorded and where they need to be recorded. Learning all these requirements takes some time and also experience from working with it.

– What do you like most about Western?
A: The thing I like most about Western is the people that work here. It’s very easy to talk to any person who works here and get along with everybody.

– What have you gained from working at Western?
A: I believe that I have gained a lot of knowledge about how the service industry works, specifically an insurance industry. I have also gained a lot of experience and knowledge from the employees that work here. I am constantly learning new ways to do things in excel and I’m also always learning more and more about investments and reporting of investments. The knowledge of all these different things is a huge gain in my eyes.

– Any favorite line from a movie?
A: Did we just become best friends? YEP! (Step Brothers).
– Any random facts you could share with us?
A: If you have 3 quarters, 4 dimes, and 4 pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.

– Best vacation you’ve been to?
A: Alabama. I went down to Gulf Coast, Alabama for spring break and loved staying on the beach and touring everything else down there.

– Do you have a favorite quote?
A: “Yesterday you said tomorrow.” Nike

– Do you have an office nickname? What is it?
A: Yes, Big Dog.

– Do you recall any embarrassing moment at work?
A: Probably when I tried to change a light bulb in the morning before everyone was here and it ended up falling down and going everywhere. There were only a few people here at that time, so thankfully it wasn’t too life ending.

– Favorite travel spot?
A: Okoboji, IA. My family has been going there for as long as I can remember.

– If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
A: Sean William Scott.

– Motto or personal mantra?
A: Live every day like it could be your last day and don’t be afraid to take chances.

– What advice would you give to new hires?
A: Don’t be scared to talk to anybody. Everybody is so easy to talk to and it’s very easy to make friends here.

– What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
1. You always have to look out for yourself, because no one is going to do it for you.
2. Always try to keep a positive outlook on things when nothing seems to be going your way.
3. Work as hard as you can and people will notice.

– What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People chomping their gum or food!

– What is your favorite sport?
A: Favorite sport to play is probably basketball at the moment.

– What is your hidden talent?
A: Being able to whistle really loud or being able to work on vehicles.

– What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
A: I like to physical activities like workout or go play some sort of sport. I would say my number one hobby right now is fishing.

– What music is on your iPhone/Android phone?

– What one food do you wish had zero calories?
A: Pizza. Hands down.

– What’s on your bucket list?
A: Go skydiving, go to Ireland, invent some sort of product or software, drive a Lamborghini.

– Where would you like to travel to?
A: Alaska.

– Which cartoon character would you most like to switch lives with?
A: speedy Gonzalez.

– You’d like to be famous for?
A: Creating some sort of invention.

– You’re happiest when?
A: I’m surrounded by family. (Most of the time….)