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Meet the 2020-21 NYSLTA Officers

Posted By Robert Treuber, Thursday, August 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 27, 2020
On August 25th, the Land Title Association held the annual election of officers, under special conditions dictated by social distancing and pandemic safety protocols.


The new officers are:

President - Jean Partridge, Benchmark Title Agency

President-elect - James Thanasules, AmTrust Title

Treasurer - Eric Swarthout, Thoroughbred Title Services

Title Section Chair - Steve Vincini, First American Title Insurance

Title Section Vice-chair - Robin Schwartzman, WFG Title Insurance

Agent Section Chair - Richard Giliotti, Judicial Title Agency

Agent Section Vice-chair - DeAnna Stancanelli, National Granite Title Agency

Past-president - Dawn Pereyo, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co.


The election and induction was held outdoors in Rye Brook, NY. ALTA President Mary O'Donnell joined via Zoom to conduct the oath of office.



New President, Jean Partridge, made the following statement as her first official act.


Annual Meeting 2020 - A Word from NYSLTA President Jean Partridge

So, 2020, it’s been….a challenging year. 

In 1964, Bob Dylan famously sang these lyrics, “Oh, the times they are a-changin.”
Just as Dylan’s anthem embodied the shifting American societal landscape during that turbulent decade, the title industry (like the rest of the world) is undergoing its own turbulent era of change amidst the 21st century and the corona virus pandemic. 
My message today is one of optimism. There is no doubt that the coming year will be full of hurdles; however, I am confident that we will persevere and overcome the obstacles placed before us with the dedicated slate of professionals who have just been sworn in as your officers. 
Nevertheless, as the saying goes “I have a tough act to follow”.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Dawn for an incredible job in successfully leading the Association through uncharted territory in what may have been the most unstable year of our professional, and personal, lifetime.
Those with children are all too familiar with the saying “are we there yet” when taking long car rides. I think at this juncture, we all may be experiencing that same feeling. Are we DONE yet? Is it OVER yet? Well, not really. Clearly, we have not yet overcome this extraordinary historical moment of the pandemic, but we have been able to survive, and more importantly, are poised to effect positive change in our industry. We have many goals to strive for:
I believe our primary goals should be to continue to ADVOCATE for our industry and EDUCATE our members.
Additional goals include;
  • Prepare for the ever-changing technological capabilities – more specifically;
  • Electronic/digital closings. Understand, compare RON/RIN/ Rulona.
  • Increase awareness, educate and inform our members and consumers alike regarding the ever-increasing wire fraud and mortgage closing scams.
  • Engage and COMMUNICATE effectively with our regulators.
  • Expand and increase membership, get more diverse members – large and small agents alike from both zone 1 and zone 2.
We need to remember that diversity breeds success and there is strength in numbers!
I understand most of us spend most of our time running our business. As business owners, your voice in the NYSLTA provides leadership to our industry. I encourage you and your colleagues and your staff to become involved with the Association, we need your ideas and energy. 
A final important goal is to increase awareness of what we do, how we do it and most importantly, the GOOD that we do.
We have made some small strides in changing the media and public perceptions of the title insurance industry through recent publications placed by our media communications firm. However, there is more work that needs to be done. We need to spread the message that the system that allows land to be freely bought, sold, and transferred in the United States depends on the work WE do! 
We are important and vital to stimulating the economy as ALTA so poignantly states.
We provide proof that people own their real property and because of this people can use their real estate capital to grow their assets, which stimulates the economy. 
And because our work gives lenders the confidence to provide mortgage loans, we’re the backbone of the real estate economy, which is, in turn, the backbone of the nation’s economy.
Without the work we do, people’s rights to their property could be jeopardized, their collateral and equity lost, and our economy badly impacted.
We need to convey this message, and no one can tell it better than we can.
It is with great pride, honor and humbleness that I commence my term as President of NYSLTA, particularly as we celebrate our 100th year anniversary, which, coincidentally, is also the 100th year anniversary of the enactment of the 19th amendment to the constitution granting women the right to vote. For the first time in our long history, we have had three consecutive woman Presidents and I am extremely proud to be one of them. I am also honored to have been sworn in today by the esteemed Mary O’Donnell, a very impressive woman in her own right and the current President of ALTA. 
I know that with your help we can see the title industry weather this storm and we will come out stronger. We are all competitors, yet we are a cohesive organization that supports each other as we support the American dream of real property ownership. We need to work hard, work together and remember that “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement” - Helen Keller.
In closing, I hope my message of unity and optimism will stay with you throughout the year.
And to reiterate, we are NOT done yet but with optimism, forward thinking, cohesiveness and diligence things will get easier and brighter…. As the lyrics say in the song “Oh, Oh Child” by Five Stairsteps.


Tags:  Annual Meeting  Convention  Election  Executive Committee  President's message 

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