Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bail Bond Industry - Investing in Our State Associations

Over the past few months I have heard a lot of chatter in our industry about the role of bail agent associations. Are they worth the time investment? Are they worth the financial investment? Do they really help bail agents? The simple answer to all these questions in my opinion is “yes” they are worth it and they do help bail agents. But there is one caveat that goes with this answer….it is only a “yes” if everyone involved (both the individual agents, the association leadership and the sureties…yes the sureties) engage together in a meaningful and productive way. In my 20+ years in the bail bond industry, I have seen a lot of good come out of state associations. I have seen agents and sureties work successfully together and it is a pretty powerful thing. I have seen everything from proposing and writing legislation to raising money for national charities to informing and educating agents, judges and other opinion leaders about new things going on in our industry…and each time when these great things happened it was because everyone left their egos and attitudes at the door…everyone brought a common sense of purpose and optimism to the table. The bail bond industry is not the dirty unethical industry that the media has portrayed us to be. We know that we are better than that, and we know the potential that we bring each and every time we come together as a group. Let’s not feed the fire and act like they expect us to act…as they say, “like bail agents.” Let’s act like we all know that we are capable of…with honesty, integrity and purpose.

In the next few weeks, our team at AIA will be attending several state association meetings: Michigan (MPBAA), California (CBAA), Texas (PBT) and South Carolina (SCBAA). Our team is coming with passion and energy to do what we can to improve the conditions and morale in our industry. We ask ALL bail bond agents to do the same. Use these association meetings as opportunities to light a fire under our industry…use these association meetings as a way to educate and inform yourself of what is happening in your industry and what you can do to help…use these association meetings to challenge and question your peers and colleagues (including your surety), what they are doing to make a difference. I know it sounds corny, but together we really can do anything. I have seen it before and I know I will see it again.

So, our entire team looks forward to seeing you all at the next association meeting near you….we will be there, ready to make a difference, will you?

I look forward to your comments.