Lowell Beck was a lobbyist and association leader from the 1960s into the '90s. He was directly involved in many of the major political issues during these tumultuous times. This was a period when the United States was seriously challenged internationally and domestically. A new young American president brought encouragement and hope, and immediately was faced with the possibility of nuclear war and urban riots and unrest over civil rights. War was escalating in Indochina. The president was assassinated. A president committed illegal acts that led to his resignation. Inflation was raging. A commercial insurance liability crisis hit many of the nation's doctors, schools, day-care centers, municipalities and others who couldn't obtain insurance to conduct their activities. The country was hit with devastating natural disasters. In I Found My Niche, Beck writes about his role as a lobbyist and association executive during this period. He points out that lobbying, regardless of some publicized bad actors, is a respectable and even necessary part of government. He describes his work on numerous issues, including the adoption of the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, and securing the mandating of vehicle airbags. As deputy executive director of the American Bar Association, founding executive director of Common Cause, and president of the National Association of Independent Insurers (the nation's largest full service property casualty insurers trade association), he describes how professional and trade associations function. Managing associations is very different from managing profit-making businesses. An important lesson in this book, particularly for younger people, is how fortunate you are to "find your niche" in life. And, that niche might not be readily apparent for a while. Beck found his, but hadn't planned on it, even while in law school. Urged by his family, this is a memoir of how Lowell Beck found the right life's work, and how fulfilling that can be.
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