It is hard to believe that it’s that time of year once again for our annual NAMB/WEST event. All of the planning and hard work by all of the volunteers is coming to a head. To be truthful, the committee and volunteers are still working to make sure that your conference is educational, informative, relaxing and professional. As you pass through the halls and rooms of the conference, please think about all of the hours that these volunteers have given to make your time in Vegas productive. I cannot speak highly enough of the job that Penny Fagan and her Communications Committee has done getting all of the information out and helping with the many NAMB/WEST Webinars. And to Andrew T. Berman, a big thank you to you for helping with this platform so we could get it out to everyone. Making the Webinars available sure has brought the association into the 21st Century and it shows that NAMB is up-to-date with the current trends. On Saturday, Dec. 5, come early to take the SAFE ACT Test Prep class from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. It will give you a crash course on what you need to know to take the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) national test. Then, go get ready for an Opening Reception to welcome everyone to Las Vegas for NAMB/WEST 2009. It will be a lot of fun meeting your new friends, old friends and members of NAMB. Sunday, Dec. 6 marks the start of a very full and concise conference. You will get economic updates, updates from NAMB’s Government Affairs team, SAFE Act updates, Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act (MDIA) updates, Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) updates, and Red Flags Rule updates just to drop a few topics to be openly discussed and presented. In the afternoon, we will host a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program and a Veterans Affairs (VA) session … what better way to meet new lenders or to find out what programs old lenders have that maybe you didn’t realize that they had. We end Sunday with a rash of NAMB Committee Meetings in what you, the NAMB member, requested as face-to-face meetings. Monday, Dec. 7 at NAMB/WEST will help you understand what you can do with the magic of Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Mark Green and Mark Madsen will take you to where you need to be to build your business, and Frank Garay, co-creator of Think Big Work Small, will show you how to use video in your business. Also on Monday, we will host the first Exhibit Hall Showcase presented by NAMB since the our Annual Convention in Indianapolis in June of 2008. This one will be jam-packed with lenders, vendors and companies that want to do business with NAMB members. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, we will wrap NAMB/WEST 2009 with the Delegate Council Meeting and NAMB Board Meeting. On a final note, membership in NAMB is a must if you are trying to follow all of the government affairs items, and having a voice in what the association does on a state and national front in your best interest. I had a discussion with a state regulator, and he commented on the fact that now is the time that people should belong to an association more than ever, due to the rapidly-changing rules and regulations. Being an NAMB member makes your individual vote count on a larger scale, rather than trying to do it yourself. If you have not been a member of NAMB for three years or more, we now have a great “Get Back to the Membership” program available for you. You can join for the cost of $100 this year (NAMB portion of dues) plus your state affiliate’s dues. So, call your state affiliate of NAMB and sign up now to start getting all of the important information and stay informed. ► For the complete and most up-to-date NAMB/WEST 2009 Agenda, click here. ► For attendee registration information, click here. ► For exhibitor and sponsorship information, click here. ► For hotel information, click here. ► For NAMB/WEST Frequently Asked Questions, click here. Donald J. Frommeyer is Membership Committee chair of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and senior vice president of Amtrust Mortgage Funding Inc. in Carmel, Ind. He may be reached by phone at (317) 575-4355.