If you are a health insurance agent who has joined the National Association of Health Underwriters, you probably already recognize that there are many benefits to your membership. You, like tens of thousands of other NAHU members, have gained access to nearby chapter meetings and CE classes. You receive the national and state magazine for agents and can also use the online resources of the national member website.Chances are that you joined the association to gain exposure for your business and to learn from your peers. Nonetheless, every chapter has certain agents who set themselves apart, and these agents always gain the most from their membership. Maximizing your NAHU member experience takes a bit of extra effort on your part, but the rewards are worth it in the eventual credibility you earn with your colleagues, which often results in referrals. Here are several things you can do to stand out in the crowd and bring the most value to your membership.1) Volunteer for a board position. Every local chapter has a board of directors, and the need for leaders is an ongoing cycle. While they range in size, the average urban chapter may have around 150 – 200 members. However, all too many members simply read the association communications and show up for the occasional monthly meeting. The group of people who step up to volunteer for board positions or committees are a select few, but they are critical to the chapter’s longterm success. Since most boards consist of 8 – 12 people, just being on the board will create visibility for you at your local chapter functions.Furthermore, your involvement in the monthly activities that are facilitated and organized by the board will give you opportunities to take on projects that help you to meet the other members of the association. Knowing other agents on a first-name basis is an important step in developing permanent referral relationships with colleagues. If you feel nervous about the extra time a board position entails, try joining a committee first, and see if you have what it takes to participate at a deeper level.2) Write an article for your chapter newsletter. Perhaps you are an expert on wellness or Cobra or health savings accounts, while various other members specialize in different parts of the industry, such as Medicare or small group sales. These other agents are involved in the association so that they can learn from each other, and that includes you. Jot down a few tidbits of information that demonstrate your expertise in your chosen area, and submit them to the newsletter chairperson for publication. Newsletters are always in need of content is by voluntarily submitting an article on what you know best, you can put your expertise on display for other members to see. When those members need to refer a client to an expert in your particular specialty, they are likely to remember the article you wrote and send that business your way.3) Attend industry conventions. While your state chapter likely has thousands of members, only a small percentage participate in the annual state and national conventions. To be sure, going to conventions takes time and money. However, at the convention you will discover the subset elite of the insurance world. Convention attendees largely consist of local and state board members. These are the movers and shakers in your industry. Getting to know these people during a round of golf or at an interactive CE seminar will be invaluable to you in the long run. It only takes attendance at a few of these conferences for you to become a familiar face in the crowd.4) Give it up for charity. Almost all NAHU associations get involved with charitable foundations. In some cases, participating may be as simple as pulling a few dollars out of your wallet. Other times you may put in several hours of your time helping consumers enroll in state insurance programs at a chapter-sponsored event or serving meals to elderly people in your area. Being involved in these events sets you apart not just as a member but as an agent, because you give back to the community from which you earn your living. People tend to remember who was involved in these events, and your reputation as someone who cares about more than just how much business you can write will grow.These few simple things are a great way for you to get involved and develop a good reputation among other NAHU members. It’s terrific that you joined the association in the first place to try to be the best agent you can be. Now, if you are willing to go the extra mile, you will soon see that you’ll develop colleague friendships and referral-trading relationships that can pay great returns over the course of your career.