Mark Winter Becomes ALTA President-Elect

March 10, 2009

At its February 28 meeting, the ALTA Board of Governors unanimously elected Mark Winter to fill the unexpired term of President-Elect, a spot made vacant by the resignation of Ted Chandler, the former CEO of LandAmerica.  Mark Winter is Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Stewart Title and was elected Chair of the Underwriters Section in 2008.  Mr. Winter brings years of industry and policy experience to his position.  His elevation to the Position of President-Elect and his agreement to serve out the remainder of Mr. Chandler's term preserves the tradition of rotating the Presidency of ALTA between an agent representative and an underwriter representative.

Because ALTA's bylaws provided less than desirable clarity about how proceed under the extraordinary circumstances, in agreeing to elect Mr. Winter to the position of President-Elect, the Board voted unanimously to invoke a provision in the association's bylaws (Article XII, Section 3) that allows, in cases of emergency, amendment to the bylaws by three-quarters of a vote of the whole Board.  By invoking the emergency powers, the Board passed a resolution giving itself the power to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Chandler's resignation.  The resolution adopted by the Board (the complete text follows) requires the Nominating Committee of the Association to submit to the Board a candidate to fill the unexpired term. The Board can accept this nominee by majority vote and this person will automatically succeed to the office of the President. The Nominating Committee of the Association submitted the name of Mark Winter to fill the unexpired term of President-Elect. The Board of Governors unanimously confirmed the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and elected Mr. Winter President-Elect.

With Mr. Winter's election, the Chair of the Underwriters Section was vacated. In accordance with the bylaws amendment, the Underwriters Section Executive Committee confirmed the recommendation of the Underwriters Nominating Committee at their meeting on March 3rd, 2009, and elected Chris Abbinante the Chair of the Title Insurance Underwriters Section. Mr. Abbinante is the President of Eastern Operations for Fidelity National Title and has served on the ALTA Board of Governors for five years.

In taking this action, the Board discussed and agreed that the ideal method of making bylaws amendments is to do so with prior membership notification, which is why the Board added a sunset provision to the emergency bylaws change that was enacted.   The Board will submit a permanent change in the bylaws to the membership.

Amendment to the ALTA Bylaws by the Board of Governors
February 28, 2009

Replace Article VII, Sec. 1(b)(3) with:

If the office of President-elect shall become vacant, the Nominating Committee of the Association shall submit to the Board a candidate to fill the unexpired term of the office. If the Board accepts the nominee by a majority vote, the nominee shall serve as President-elect for the remainder of the unexpired term. The nominee shall automatically succeed to the office of President.   If the Board rejects a nominee, the Nominating Committee shall submit another nominee to the Board until the Board accepts a nominee.

If the accepted nominee is a Chair of a Section, the vacated Chair shall be filled upon recommendation of the section nominating committee, approved by a majority vote of the section executive committee.

This bylaw amendment will expire at the close of the next Annual Convention, October 21, 2009, unless made permanent in accordance with ALTA Bylaws Article XII.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or

North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.