So they felt very strongly that we should stand as one...even so strongly that they felt we should consider meshing the dues together so that there really is no choice, and that it's one association, and not only do you get your local, but you get your state and national, all in one.
SIW: Was that approved?
The dues? No. I think later on you'll see in the report that they want to see the membership committee begin studying to see what effects a flat dues structure would have. There are a lot of differences between our dues structures all across the states. Some states are similar to us in that they charge based on number of employees. Some charge a flat dues amount, and they're all in varying amounts. And some states charge a flat dues amount and then an assessment for lobbying efforts. So a lot has to go into consideration before we move down that road. But ultimately what they did decide is that, yes, we want to be a chapter, and the chapter program should require membership not only in national, but in the states as well.
SIW: Was there a sense that cost of dues is prohibiting companies from joining the NBFAA?
I think certainly there are situations where some would-be members find it cost-prohibitive. But again, we have our members say they see value at the cost where it is right now. Most of them have even said they'd be willing to pay more than we're paying right now because of the value that the NBFAA is delivering today. Cost will always be an issue, just like's it is an issue in the market.