NAPBS 2004 Annual Conference
NAPBS Annual Conference Scottsdale, Arizona March 2004
Would you believe these stats for the first conference? 226 attendees representing 175 different companies with 21 vendors exhibiting. Total membership of NAPBS is now at 268 with a goal to reach 500by the end of 2004.
Frankly, I was surprised and overjoyed at the tremendous enthusiasm generated at this meeting. Everyone seems exceptionally willing to partake and work on committees to really make this a great organization. I met a half dozen people whose companies had not joined before the conference and each of them said there was no question they would join as soon as they got back to their offices.
Here are some NAPBS business highlights:
There are now eight committees and each met for several hours to hammer out their mission and goals. While these all must be coordinated through the Board of Directors, here is a brief overview:
1. Fiscal responsibility.
2. Provide funding by creating funding mechanisms.
3. Affinity programs such as E&O insurance, prepaid legal service, group discounts and employee benefit programs including health and retirement programs.
Public Awareness and Communications Committee
Goal: To Clarify and promote the purpose, goals and accomplishments of NAPBS to the public, using press releases to the general press, Federal, State and Local government and to industry press.
Best Practices State and Federal Committee
1. Establish and promote and inform legislative bodies.
2. Compliance issues including e-signatures and a checklist of “must haves”
client contract terms.
3. Certification requirements for companies and for individual members (similar to ASIS).
Ethics and Procedures Committee
1. Create a Code of Ethics.
2. Create standard terminology for the industry (e.g. “National criminal search”).
3. Define industry standards for FCRA vs. Private information.
Government Relations Committee
1. To engage with all levels of government to further the industry mission.
2. Establish legislative alerts to membership.
3. Establish relationships with other advocacy groups.
4. Protect the keeping of personal identifiers on public records.
1. Establish standards.
2. White paper on Criminal Records (who/what/where/why/how).
3. Provider Profiles.
4. Digital Certificates for retailers and providers.
5. Education of court clerks as to what we do.
1. To position NAPBS as the defining voice for the screening industry.
2. Recruit and retain members and deliver measurable value to members.
3. Goal is 500 total members by end of 2004.
4. Generate a quarterly e-newsletter.
a. To existing members as a retention tool, educating as to the value of the association.
b. To potential members as a recruiting tool.
5. Have a booth at major customer conferences (ASIS, SHRM) for NAPBS.
6. Have placards for member companies to display at trade shows.
Reference Library Resource Group
1. Create an internet library and bookstore.
2. All the laws for all the states.
3. Collect all state specific release forms.
4. List all court fees.
5. Create dictionary of industry terms.
Note: This is not the official summary of these committee goals and missions, just what I understood from them. More official information will be coming. But, aren’t you impressed with what they are set to accomplish? I sure am.
The format of the conference was also better than I expected. The schmooze session/vendor exhibitor time on Sunday evening was outstanding and this continued on at 8AM-9AM on Monday and Tuesday for continental breakfast and Monday evening after sessions.
Monday morning was a concise, on time welcome. We then broke into committee meetings that were well organized because the day before the committee chairpersons met with the board of directors to set the agenda. I am part of the membership committee and we had a dozen people in the meeting who all gave great input and did so very productively.
For lunch we had 15 different roundtable discussions with each table having a topic selected and pre-established by NAPBS and lead by someone with expertise in that subject. Again, a good way to mix and learn something from an expert (my table topic was “How to value your company”).
After lunch on Monday there were concurrent sessions on:
- Effects of the new FCRA laws
- Financial background investigations
- Best practices between Retriever and screening firms. Everyone I talked to
thought these were pretty well done.
Monday night was highlighted with a Texas Hold’em Poker that turned out to be a lot of fun. A third of the entrants never played before and a few never even played poker before, but it was still a lot of fun for all. Mike Pachuta from RAMs group came in first, Todd Shoulberg from Florida Drug Screening came in second and Jason Morris from Background Information Services took third.
This was probably one of the best-run conferences I have been to. The hotel and the facilities were great ,too. Kudos go to our association management group (IMI), Mike Sankey of BRB Publications and Les Rosen of Employment Screening Resources and many others.
- Everyone seemed to have an excellent February and a pretty good March.
- Sales increases reported to me by different companies topped out at 55% over last year for the first quarter.
- One of the “different” vendors exhibiting was QUEST Research, Limited.
- This is not Quest Diagnostics, but a screening company out of Asia that said that they had grown from almost nothing to over 275 employees in about four years. Looks like the screening is booming there too.
- There were a couple of Venture capital firms there. One interested in straight buyouts and another interested in investing but not controlling.
- NAPBS is to be pronounced N-A-P-B-S not “nabs” or “naps.”
Usually I hear a lot. For this meeting, everyone was positive and focused on the success of the association.
One question that was asked by a non-attendee was “is this organization being controlled by the big boys?” The answer is “heck no.” Everyone was participating. Sure, the big boys contributed seed money but so did a total of 45 companies, including many smaller. The big boys’ people have volunteered to help, but just to work alongside everyone else. The organization is being driven by everyone, big and small. Just look:
• The chairpersons are David Hein from Hein Site Services and Les Rosen from ESR.
• The Co-Chairpersons elect are Jason Morris from BIS and Mary Poquette from Verification, Inc.
• The Secretary is Katherine Bryant from ChoicePoint
• The co-treasurers are Catherine Aldrich from Accurate Background and Barry Nadell from InfoLink.
• Other directors are:
o Kevin Connell from Accu-Screen.
o Ann Lane from Carolina Investigative Services.
o Larry Henry from the law firm of Boone, Smith, Davis, Hurst and Dickman.
o Mike Sankey from BRB Publications.
Overall, this was just a great conference. Good facilities, good food, good camaraderie, good networking, good education and a great start for what will become the spokes organization for our industry.