At the cross section of history and the future is the present. Over the past few months, we at the NICB have been providing a behind the scenes look at our employees’ roles in the fight against fraud as well as sharing some of our fondest memories and stories around our 100 years of history. By chance, our biennial All Employees Meeting just happened to fall within the same year as our Centennial celebration. Accordingly, some people here at HQ spent the greater part of the last 18 months planning the agenda and organizing the logistics for the meeting to ensure that it was a memorable one.
The meeting kicked off with a reception at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare. Upon arriving in the foyer, I was immediately immersed in a sea of blue shirts. This was the beginning, a gathering to bring together employees from NICB’s HQ and nine regional offices. These were fellow employees whom I and most others would probably never have an opportunity to meet face-to-face otherwise. Sure. We may have heard their names before, here and there. We may have even been called upon by them for assistance a time or two. But this was our time to put names to faces, talk, and connect. And everywhere I turned, people were talking, laughing, and catching up on all the latest events since the last gathering back in 2010.
At exactly 8 a.m., Joe, our President and CEO, stands on the stage and jokingly admonishes all the late comers and stragglers who are just walking through the doors. He’s a stickler for punctuality. After all, he’s a retired Air Force General. Getting down to business, Joe highlights some of our accomplishments from the past year and our focus for where we need to go in the days ahead. HR, Public Awareness, Training and Data Analytics follow suit.
Sometimes our colleagues in the Law Department take a ribbing for their advice to include words like “allegedly,” or “may have been” in our write ups and communication. But as our General Counsel pointed out in Thursday’s opening presentation, our choices of words are important.
Next, our nine regional offices presented some of their recent cases ranging from alleged identity theft to possible organized crime. Although there’s a hint of rivalry amongst the regions for bragging rights on who makes the best presentation, ultimately we’re all united behind the same cause – to defeat fraud.
We know the importance of the work that we do. But hearing first-hand from a member company and the Chair of the Board of Governors about the value that we provide is a perfect lead in to Joe’s final words on the need for us to not be complacent about our past accomplishments and to keep looking forward to where we need to be in the future.
Yeah. It was a good meeting. But now it’s time to stop looking back, and start looking ahead.