President's Report - July 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013   


There are a lot of great things on the horizon for CALI this year but following is a recap of what we accomplished last year:

  • The CALI Certified Professional Investigator (CPI) exam, rewritten by Justin Hodson, and Certified Security Professional (CSP) exam, rewritten by Robert Gardner and Renny Thomas, were administered at the annual conference. This was the first time the tests have been offered in the past 3 years and renewal of these certifications will become operational again.
  • We’ve moved the CALI insurance policies to a new provider, realizing a savings of approximately $3,000 annually.
  • Two programs that were losing the association money, BizUnite and PI Magazine, have been terminated saving CALI approximately $45,000 annually.
  • We’ve created multiple new member discount benefits through relationships with the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators and others that the CALI office has setup.
  • With the help of several CALI members we’ve identified multiple companies using the CALI logo on their websites, stating they were active CALI members, and sent the offending parties Cease & Desist letters.
  • We have transitioned all of CALI’s bank accounts to Wells Fargo with a dedicated banking representative to personally handle the needs of the association.

With the major shift in investigation management by State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) by contracting with two new Vendor Management Companies (VMC) to oversee and manage all claim and fraud related investigations, California investigators who have previously done business with SCIF have had to deal with some tremendous challenges to their case load and income. CALI created a committee comprised of Anthony Hopkins, Francie Koehler, Jerry Desmond and I, along with several other participants who preferred to remain anonymous, to battle the new measures that have threatened the livelihood of so many California PI’s. To date we have met with State Fund on four separate occasions, the most recent being July 17, and are continuing to work with them to ensure the best possible scenario for California PI’s working with SCIF in their new vendor management company investigations management model. We’ve made tremendous progress in several areas such as:

  • A signed memorandum of understanding was entered into, committing SCIF to working with CALI to correct several issues that negatively affected California PI’s.
  • Ensuring that the vendor management companies (VMC) will only use their own employees to conduct investigations under extraordinary circumstances and only with prior approval from State Fund, guaranteeing that all other investigations would be assigned to licensed California PI companies.
  • Sole proprietor PI’s not utilizing employees will not be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
  • We will be able to maintain our own company identities to clients and witnesses when working investigations for the VMC’s.
  • There will be no limit to the number of companies that can become investigation vendors for SCIF.
  • We’ve also asked SCIF to make the procedures required by their two VMC’s consistent and that they pay subcontract investigators more reasonable rates, expenses, travel time and mileage. We explained with examples how their current pay schedule was not competitive and they committed to analyzing this but would most not likely make a change to this particular position until after one year.

Below are some of the ways we have been successful in improving CALI for our current and future members by increasing the value of membership:

The Board voted to now offer all members a no charge membership to the online CI (California Investigator) Magazine. Members will have the opportunity to submit articles for publication and advertise their business at a discounted rate.

We will now offer for sale on the CALI web site, PI business forms that have been professionally crafted by attorney David Queen at a heavily discounted rate. These forms would cost an individual client thousands of dollars to hire an attorney to create and specifically address the laws as they apply to California PIs. The rate for a complete package of these forms is only $200 for active CALI members. We currently offer several free forms and templates on the CALI website on the Links and Resources page but this is just a compilation of forms that several PI members have submitted for use by our members and have not necessarily been crated or reviewed by an attorney.

We’ve created a contact information capture page on our website where potential speakers can visit and fill-in their contact information for the conference committee and district governors to use when looking for qualified speakers.

We conducted a member survey to get a feel for the membership’s needs and impressions of the value of their membership. This helped tremendously in understanding the pulse and temperature of our members for future marketing and CALI’s overall value proposition. It was determined that networking, training and legislation are the topics and benefits our members are most concerned with.

We’ve begun sending out regular "drip” type notifications to the membership every two weeks like reminders, "Did You Know?” announcements and helpful hints regarding features of the website and membership that many of our members are unaware of.

We have successfully increased our membership by decreasing non renewals and reaching out to PI’s who have never been CALI members before. I visited several conferences in California and other states and obtained multiple Active and Association membership applications.

We have also successfully increased revenue to the association. The CALI office has focused heavily on promoting advertising and sponsorship opportunities to vendors for inclusion in our conference, newsletters and website.

I’ve been meeting with the President and Executive Director of CALSAGA to discuss creating a formal relationship with CALSAGA to include their promoting membership in CALI and participation in our SCIF group insurance program.

We are also working on creating a corporate membership and I’ve been discussing what that membership should look like with several of the larger, national PI companies to determine how much we can charge and what benefits will be included in their membership. I believe that the smaller companies have bared the cost and weight of all legislative efforts in California and it’s time for the big companies to do their part by supporting our collective interests.

Change can be good or it can be bad. In almost all cases for CALI this last year it has been great and we intend to continue adding, increasing and improving the level and quantity of service to our members and our profession in California in the coming year.

Michael Julian, CPI PPS