News Releases

News Releases


April 21, 2009, SIO Recognizes 11 LSAs, 1 Surety Professional for Excellence

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

SIO RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN SURETY INDUSTRY

APRIL 21, 2009, WASHINGTON, DC—The Surety Information Office (SIO) has inducted Steven E. Minard, Minard-Ames Insurance Services LLC, into its prestigious Tiger Trust and awarded the 2008 Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion to 11 local surety associations (LSAs) for their yearlong commitment to education and outreach.

The Tiger Trust is an elite honorary society of surety industry professionals who work with private construction project owners and lenders to ensure that contract surety bonds are specified on their projects. Minard persuaded the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Arizona Inc. not to forgo a surety bond on the construction of its $220,000 commercial parking lot.

The Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognize LSAs that promote the value and benefits of contract surety bonds in construction. LSAs are independent organizations with no formal ties to SIO or the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) or The Surety & Fidelity Association of America.

The Silver Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognizes LSAs that conduct at least five activities to promote surety bonds in construction. Recipients of the 2008 Silver award are:

  • Surety Association of Kentucky
  • Surety Association of Wisconsin

The Gold Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognizes LSAs that conduct at least 10 activities to promote surety bonds in construction. Recipients of the 2008 Gold award are:

  • Surety Association of Arizona
  • Florida Surety Association
  • Surety Association of Illinois
  • Surety Association of Indiana
  • Surety Association of Kansas City
  • Surety Association of Ohio
  • Surety Association of San Diego
  • Surety Underwriters Association of Southern California
  • Surety Association of St. Louis

The Tiger Trust plaque and Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion will be presented April 29, 2009, at the NASBP annual meeting in Palm Springs, CA, and the SFAA annual meeting May 13, 2009, in Washington, DC.

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SIO was formed in 1993 to disseminate information about the benefits of contract surety bonding in private and public construction. Located in Washington, DC, SIO is supported by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which sureties prequalify contractors and assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and will pay certain subcontractors and suppliers associated with the project. For information on the benefits of surety bonds in construction, contact the Surety Information Office at (202) 686-7463 or www.sio.org.


April 16, 2008, SIO Recognizes Excellence in Surety Industry

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

SIO RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN SURETY INDUSTRY

APRIL 18, 2008, WASHINGTON, DC—The Surety Information Office (SIO) honored seven surety bond professionals and 10 local surety associations (LSAs) with the 2007 Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion for their year long commitment to education and outreach. SIO also inducted three individuals into the Tiger Trust, an elite honorary society of surety industry professionals who work with private construction project owners or lenders to ensure that contract surety bonds are specified on their projects.

The Platinum Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion is given to members of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) and recognizes the success of the individual’s overall actions in promoting the value and benefits of contract surety bonds throughout the year. Seven surety professionals received the Platinum award:

  • Mike Battenfield, The Hartford, Heathrow, FL
  • Matt Curran, CNA Surety Corp., Maitland, FL
  • Michael Dennis, Liberty Mutual Surety, Maitland, FL
  • Gary Dunbar, Great American Insurance Co., Cincinnati, OH
  • Edward Heine, Payne Financial Group Inc., Missoula, MT
  • Steve Nelson, SureTec Insurance Co., Austin, TX
  • Michael Youngblut, Hess Egan Hagerty & L’Hommedieu, Chevy Chase, MD

The Silver and Gold Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognize LSAs that promote the value and benefits of contract surety bonds in construction. LSAs are independent organizations with no formal ties to SIO, NASBP, or SFAA.

Recipients of the Silver award are:

  • Alabama Surety Association
  • New York City Surety Association

Recipients of the Gold award are:

  • Florida Surety Association
  • Surety Association of Illinois
  • Surety Association of Indiana
  • Surety Association of Kansas City
  • Surety Association of Nevada
  • Surety Association of Ohio
  • Surety Association of St. Louis
  • Surety Underwriters Association of Southern California

The three individuals who were inducted into the prestigious Tiger Trust were:

  • David G. Miclette, Bowen, Miclette & Britt Inc., Houston, TX – Texas Children’s Hospital Neurological Research Institute Project (Phase I), $26 million
  • Matthew J. Rosenberg, Rosenberg & Parker, Bala Cynwyd, PA – SAP America Headquarters Expansion Project, $100 million+
  • Michael A. Viner, HRH of Northern New England, Auburn, ME – LL Bean Order Fulfillment Center Expansion, $20 million

The Tiger Trust plaque and Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion were presented April 16, 2008, at the NASBP annual meeting in Miami, FL, and will be announced at the SFAA annual meeting May 6-9, 2008, in Washington, DC.

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SIO was formed in 1993 to disseminate information about the benefits of contract surety bonding in private and public construction. Located in Washington, DC, SIO is supported by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which sureties prequalify contractors and assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and will pay certain subcontractors and suppliers associated with the project. For information on the benefits of surety bonds in construction, contact the Surety Information Office at (202) 686-7463 or www.sio.org.


July 24, 2007, New CD for Bankers, Lenders Provides Clarity on Contract Surety Bonds

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

NEW SIO CD FOR BANKERS, LENDERS
PROVIDES CLARITY ON CONTRACT SURETY BONDS

JULY 24, 2007, WASHINGTON, DC—In today’s growth construction market, contractors risk spreading themselves too thin by taking on more work than they can manage. More and more bankers and lenders are turning to a risk mitigation tool that has been relied on for years by the public and private construction sectors: performance and payment bonds.

The Surety Information Office (SIO), the leading source for information on contract surety bonds in construction, has developed a new CD especially for bankers and lenders featuring the Risk Management Association’s (RMA) “Banking & Bonding” Webinar and other resources that explain how bankers can protect their lending capital by specifying contract surety bonds as a condition of a construction loan. Surety bonds ensure completion of the contract and prevent subcontractors from filing mechanics’ liens on the project.

For a copy of “Surety Bonds: A Guide for Lenders,” contact SIO at (202) 686-7463 or sio@sio.org. To order the CD or any of SIO’s materials for bankers and lenders, visit the SIO Web site at www.sio.org and select “brochures and CDs.” SIO also can arrange for a surety professional to give a presentation on surety bonding to bankers and lenders.

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SIO was formed in 1993 to disseminate information about the benefits of contract surety bonding in private and public construction. Located in Washington, DC, SIO is supported by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which sureties prequalify contractors and assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and will pay certain subcontractors and suppliers associated with the project.


May 14, 2007, SIO Announces 2006 Tiger Trust inductees and award winners

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

 

SIO ANNOUNCES 2006 TIGER TRUST INDUCTEES,
WINNERS OF AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN SURETY BOND PROMOTION

MAY 14, 2007, WASHINGTON, DC – The Surety Information Office (SIO) has named the recipients of the 2006 Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion and the newest members of the Tiger Trust. The SIO Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion are presented annually by SIO to local surety associations that actively promote the benefits of surety bonds.

Silver Award

The Silver Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognizes local surety associations that conducted at least five promotional activities in 2006. Three LSAs have won the Silver Award:

  • Alabama Surety Association – This is Alabama’s ninth consecutive SIO award. This group focused on topics such as bonding subcontractors and long-term warranties, while continuing its popular education courses for students at Auburn and Samford Universities.
  • Mid-Atlantic Surety Association – Covering Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, this group presented and exhibited to contractors, developers, public owners, bankers, and students. The judges commended this hard-working group for their efforts to derail an individual surety bill in Maryland. Members also worked with Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) chapters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on statewide bond forms.
  • Surety Association of Syracuse – This association reached an important audience – bankers – with presentations on bonding and financial analysis and Work-in-Process schedules. Members also educated general contractors on bonding, claims, lien laws, and WIP schedules. They also provided SIO materials to educate general contractors on the claims process.

Gold Award

The Gold Award for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognizes local surety associations that conducted 10 or more promotional activities in 2006. Eleven LSAs have won the Gold Award:

  • Florida Surety Association – FSA is extremely active in the state Legislature, dealing with such issues as bonding for emerging contractors, bonding mega projects, bond waivers, and onerous bond forms. Members are also active in educating contractors, students, and public owners on the value and benefits of contract surety bonds. They had a recent victory in bringing the City of Miami’s bond forms into compliance with Florida statute changes.
  • Surety Association of Illinois – Members of the Surety Association of Illinois gave 10 presentations to public officials, CPAs, contractors, bankers, and educators. They worked with SFAA on such legislative issues as bond forms, contract terms and renewal options, and long-term warranties. In addition, they assisted SIO with the exhibit at the Risk Management Association conference in Chicago, met with JP Morgan Chase Investment Group, and attended a Small Business Administration (SBA) open house to distribute information on surety bonding.
  • Surety Association of Indiana – This association has done an outstanding job educating emerging contractors. Members presented at several SBA district seminars and other events on building a surety relationship and how to obtain bonding. The association also was active in its state Legislature to fight onerous contracts on the Colts Stadium and state bond thresholds. Congratulations to Sharon Stradling, CNA Surety, for her testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 360, which would have increased the bond threshold from $150,000 to $500,000.
  • Surety Association of Kansas City – This is one busy group of surety professionals. Reaching engineers, CPAs, attorneys, contractors, emerging contractors, and students, members covered such topics as managing construction risk, market conditions and trends, construction accounting, contractor financial analysis, financial statements, and much more. This group is especially committed to its community, donating more than $2,500 to Kids Building Blocks, construction organizations’ fund-raising efforts, and scholarship funds. Members also spearhead food drives and participate in Habitat for Humanity.
  • Nevada Surety Association – Nevada Surety Association members canvassed the state, educating various public entities including the City of Henderson, the state Public Works Board, and the Nevada Contractors Board on the value of bonds. Members addressed large-scale Nevada Department of Transportation projects and assisted the Contractors Licensing Board with a consumer protection bond for pool contractors.
  • Surety Association of Ohio – SAO members made a concerted effort to educate emerging contractors on how to qualify for surety bonds by participating at five SBA events. Members also exhibited at a National Association of Women in Construction expo, published articles in the Ohio Bar Association magazine and the Business Journal, and supported scholarships and other community service.
  • Rocky Mountain Surety Association – In addition to educating small and minority contractors, members were extremely busy in the classroom at Colorado State University’s Construction Management Program. They effectively used SIO materials to work with the local AGC and City of Denver to ward off bond waivers on small contracts.
  • Surety Association of San Diego – This group reached small and emerging contractors and general contractors with presentations on the basics of bonding, how to qualify for bonds, and what to expect from the surety. Members also presented on understanding subcontractor bonding and the state of the surety marketplace. Members further spread the word by writing six articles on surety to educate contractors, CPAs, and bankers.
  • Surety Underwriters Association of Southern California – Association members reached more than 100 students and 200 general contractors with a positive bonding message. They exhibited to small contractors at an SBA boot camp and promoted careers in the surety industry to more than 1,000 contractors at an AGC job fair. Their generous $1,500 contribution to Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Insurance Studies will further a lucky student’s career in the field.
  • Surety Association of St. Louis – This group presented to just about everyone in St. Louis in 2006 – private owners, public officials, contractors, minority contractors, subcontractors, attorneys, accountants, and students. In addition to its community service efforts, this group is commended for its legislative accomplishments including persuading the City of Blackjack to reduce its five-year maintenance bond requirement to two years. SASL also donated $1,500 to the Construction Careers Center.
  • Surety Association of South Texas – With the University of Texas System Bonding and Technical Assistance Program, the City of San Antonio, and the SBA, the Surety Association of South Texas sponsored a number of surety bonding events reaching hundreds of small, emerging, and minority contractors. In addition to several articles published by members in construction and general news periodicals, they also entered a strategic alliance of memorandum with the SBA District Office in San Antonio to promote SBA program bonds and distribute information about surety bonds to small and emerging contractors.

Platinum Award

Only 11 Platinum Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion have been given since 1998. This award recognizes individual NASBP and SFAA members who have undertaken special initiatives to promote contract surety bonds. This award is not based simply on the volume of activities, but takes into account the impact of the member’s actions in promoting the value and benefits of contract surety bonds. Four individuals have won this award:

  • Mike Battenfield, The Hartford, Heathrow, FL – Battenfield has demonstrated genuine leadership of the Florida Surety Association and is the driving force behind the success of this very active group. He proactively promotes surety bonds to various audiences, particularly emerging contractors, state legislators, and engineering students. Battenfield has led the charge in a difficult state legislatively and successfully rallied members of the Florida Surety Association to follow him into battle.
  • Matt Curran, CNA Surety Corp., Maitland, FL – Curran has been actively involved with the Florida Surety Association for several years, leading the charge against onerous bond forms in Florida, meeting with state legislators, and actively promoting contract surety bonding to public owners and contractors. Curran and Battenfield, backed by members of the Florida Surety Association, present a united front in a difficult state legislatively.
  • Donald D. Burden, Zervos Group, Southfield, MI – Thanks to Burden’s efforts at Michigan Contractor Assistance Program seminars, several emerging and minority contractors have been prequalified for surety. He personally assisted at least six minority contractors with their bonding needs. One Minority Business Enterprise who does surveying, environmental, and general construction went to Burden for help. He recommended a construction CPA and helped him prepare for the meeting with the surety underwriter. The MBE started off small with personal credit and now qualifies for standard, traditional surety in the $500,000-$1 million range.
  • Michael D. Specht, Minard-Ames Insurance Group, Phoenix, AZ – Specht’s efforts are helping emerging contractors understand what surety bonds are all about. He teaches practical accounting and finance so participants gain skills to help them improve their bonding capacity and understand how information provided in the field affects the information provided to the surety. He also teaches bonding to students and contractors. He is active in several construction organizations and is President of the Surety Association of Arizona.

2006 Tiger Trust Inductees

Two individuals and an agency were inducted into SIO’s prestigious Tiger Trust for persuading private construction owners to require bonds on $66 million in projects in 2006:

David R. Bradbury

David R. Bradbury, Murray Insurance Associates Inc., Lancaster, PA, convinced Franklin & Marshall College, not once but twice, under severe time and scheduling constraints, to require its contractor to specify subcontractor bonds for the $45 million Life Sciences Building.

The original contractor was heavily promoting subcontractor default insurance, but Bradbury persuaded the college to require performance and payment bonds instead. Then the college and its contractor parted ways and the second contractor also advocated subcontractor default insurance. Once again, Bradbury reiterated the shortcomings of default insurance relative to surety bonds. The college, despite extreme pressure from the contractor, wisely listened to Bradbury and required subcontractor bonds. Thanks to him, 16 subcontract bonds were written.

“On behalf of Franklin & Marshall College, I would like to thank you for the time and effort you committed to educate our staff on the value of utilizing surety bonds in our construction project,” said Barry Bosley, Associate VP for Administration, Franklin & Marshall College. “In addition, your insight detailing the differences between [subcontractor default insurance] and the surety bond product was influential in our decision making process.”

Gibson Insurance Group

A group effort by J. Kevin Hughes and Thomas McGovern of Gibson Insurance Group, South Bend, IN, convinced Madison Center to bond two of its projects – a $16 million mental health facility and a $3.3 million child day care center. The bonds generated $110,000 in premium.

“On behalf of Madison Center I would like to thank Gibson Insurance Group for stressing the importance of requiring performance and payment bonds for our new facilities,” said Andrew Poole, Chief Financial Officer, Madison Center Inc. “Your influence and advice helped persuade Madison Center to require surety bonds for these two high profile projects.”

Jason Gusso

Jason Gusso, Gusso Surety Bonds Inc., Sioux Falls, SD, persuaded Home Federal Bank to require a surety bond on its $1.7 million branch building because, while its general contractor had an excellent reputation, a surety bond provided the “umbrella” protection the bank needed.

“Jason emphatically stated that protecting our project with a contract surety bond was an excellent idea and an outstanding risk management tool,” said Steve Johnson, Facilities Manager, Home Federal Bank. “I appreciate Jason taking the time to explain the benefits of bonding and the practical application of using surety on our project.”

Bradbury, the Gibson Insurance Group, and Gusso were inducted into the Tiger Trust at the National Association of Surety Bond Producers’ annual meeting April 25, 2007, in Phoenix, AZ, and were recognized at The Surety & Fidelity Association of America’s annual meeting May 10, 2007, in Washington, DC.

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SIO was formed in 1993 to disseminate information about the benefits of contract surety bonding in private and public construction. Located in Washington, DC, SIO is supported by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) [surety agents and brokers] and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) [surety companies]. Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which sureties prequalify contractors and assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and will pay certain subcontractors and suppliers associated with the project.


June 16, 2006, Making the Grade: SIO Offers New Surety CD for Students

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

 

MAKING THE GRADE: SIO OFFERS NEW SURETY CD FOR STUDENTS

June 16, 2006 WASHINGTON, DC – The Surety Information Office (SIO) has a new Macromedia Flash® CD designed to help educate students about contract surety bonds. This interactive, narrated CD provides a comprehensive overview of types of bonds, roles of the producer and underwriter, and how bonds differ from letters of credit and insurance. The CD also includes a contractor questionnaire, sample indemnity agreement, financial statement, and work in progress report.

The CD’s resources include:

  • A case study on how the surety’s involvement saves projects;
  • An in-depth “Study Guide” covering the many facets of surety bonding, the prequalification process, why contractors fail, claims handling, and the contractor-producer-surety relationship;
  • How to Obtain Surety Bonds;
  • Importance of Surety Bonds in Construction;
  • AGC’s Overview of the Contract Surety Bonds Claims Process; and
  • Surety Bonds at Work, a compilation of claims case studies.

SIO can also assist in finding a surety professional to speak to your class. Contact SIO at (202) 686-7463 or sio@sio.org. All of SIO’s products and materials – including Surety Bonds: A Guide for Students – can be ordered via SIO’s online store at www.sio.org.

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SIO was formed in 1993 to disseminate information about the benefits of contract surety bonding in private and public construction. Located in Washington, DC, SIO is supported by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) [surety agents and brokers] and The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) [surety companies]. Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which sureties prequalify contractors and assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and will pay certain subcontractors and suppliers associated with the project.


April 20, 2006, SIO Inducts 5 into Prestigious Tiger Trust

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

 

SIO INDUCTS FIVE PROFESSIONALS INTO PRESTIGIOUS TIGER TRUST

MAY 10, 2006, WASHINGTON, DC – The Surety Information Office (SIO) has inducted five individuals into its prestigious Tiger Trust, an elite honorary society of surety industry professionals who work with private construction project owners or lenders to ensure that contract surety bonds are specified on their projects.

  • David Fortenberry of Stewart Sneed Hewes Inc./The Insurance Center Inc. in Hattiesburg, MS – Fortenberry convinced the Hattiesburg Clinic Professional Association to bond its $13.5 million specialty medical office building on its main campus in Hattiesburg.
  • Paul L. Hayden of National Grange Mutual Insurance Co. in Jacksonville, FL – Hayden convinced Our Lady of Good Counsel of Wheaton, MD, to bond the construction of its new $35.3 million high school.
  • J. Kevin Hughes of Gibson Insurance Group in South Bend, IN – Hughes convinced PrimeCare Physicians Health Network/Goshen Health Systems to bond the construction of its $2.3 million Shipshewana Medical Office Building in Shipshewana, IN.
  • Charles E. Reagin III of Wright & Percy Insurance in Baton Rouge, LA – Reagin convinced NCRA Refinery to bond the construction of its $36 million clean fuels project in McPherson, KS.
  • John P. Smith of Chubb & Son Inc. in Warren, NJ, served on the St. Bernards Episcopal Church committee to select a contractor and review the contract to rebuild the church after it was severely damaged by fire last year. He made certain that a surety bond was required for the $3.5 million restoration project.

The Tiger Trust plaque and pin will be presented May 10, 2006, at the annual meeting of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers in Lake Buena Visa, FL, and May 18, 2006, at The Surety Association of America’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which surety companies and surety bond producers prequalify contractors to assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and paying certain laborers, subcontractors, and suppliers.

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SIO is the information source on contract surety bonds. For information on the benefits of surety bonds in construction, contact the Surety Information Office at (202) 686-7463 or www.sio.org.


April 14, 2006, SIO Recognizes Local Surety Associations for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion

For Immediate Release
Contact: Surety Information Office
sio@sio.org

 

SIO RECOGNIZES LOCAL SURETY ASSOCIATIONS
FOR EXCELLENCE IN SURETY BOND PROMOTION

APRIL 14, 2006, WASHINGTON, DC – The Surety Information Office (SIO) has honored nine Local Surety Associations (LSAs) with the 2005 Gold and Silver Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion for their yearlong commitment to education and outreach.

Recipients of the Gold Award are:

  • Surety Association of Ohio
  • Surety Association of San Diego
  • Nevada Surety Association
  • Surety Association of St. Louis
  • Surety Association of Kansas City
  • Florida Surety Association
  • Mid-Atlantic Surety Association
  • Rocky Mountain Surety Association

The recipient of the Silver Award is:

  • Alabama Surety Association

“These surety associations were extremely active in reaching out to contractors, subcontractors, minority contractors, engineers, architects, design professionals, CPAs, public officials, state legislators, and students through presentations, exhibits, and published articles,” says Marla McIntyre, executive director of SIO. “These associations also are to be commended for their participation and support of community endeavors such as Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, and various construction industry scholarships and events.”

The Gold and Silver Awards for Excellence in Surety Bond Promotion recognize Local Surety Associations that educate the many participants in the construction process on the value and benefits of contract surety bonds.

Sponsored by SIO, the awards will be presented May 10, 2006, at the annual meeting of National Association of Surety Bond Producers in Lake Buena Vista, FL, and May 18, 2006, at The Surety Association of America’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Surety bonding is a careful, rigorous, and professional process in which surety companies and surety bond producers prequalify contractors to assure project owners that these contractors are capable of performing the contract and paying certain laborers, subcontractors, and suppliers.

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SIO is the information source on contract surety bonds. For information on the benefits of surety bonds in construction, contact the Surety Information Office at (202) 686-7463 or www.sio.org.