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GCU President/CEO December Report

January 6, 2022

Hope, Faith, Peace, Love....

There are numerous “words” and “greetings” we hear and read over the course of the “Christmas Season” – Hope, Faith, Peace, Love, Good Tidings— the list is extensive. “Hope” is one word that is relative to each and every day of our lives. In the business world I often state that “Hope is Never a Strategy!” However, if there is a vision and plan behind that “Hope,” “Hope” is a great starting point. I liken “Hope” to “Vision” as “Vision” is the first building block of developing a “Strategy.” Examples of my thoughts are as follows:
• “Hope” - In my afterlife is to enter the “Gates of Heaven.”
• ”Vision” – To be in Heaven with my family and friends where there is no pain, no sorrow or suffering.
• “Strategy” – Glorify God and be Thankful for all that He has provided — Live a life full of love – Be a kind, respectful and caring individual — Be a patriotic citizen of our Great Country – Treat my fellow man like I would like to be treated – Be successful but yet modest in all that I do – Provide for my family.
• “Hope” – The GCU continues a path of financial and fraternal success.
• ”Vision” – To have the GCU recognized as a progressive and well respected insurance and annuity carrier within the fraternal benefit system.
• “Strategy” – Continue to attract strong leadership at the Board of Directors, Executive Staff and Departmental Management levels – Continue to provide a pleasant and positive work atmosphere to attract talented support Staff – Be cognizant of the inherent risks associated with in the life insurance and annuity business sector – Be aware of the latest trends and new products within our industry – Provide exceptional service to our members and agents – Update our technology systems to be more efficient and enable our members and agents to access information electronically – develop a new fraternal framework to attract more members to participate in volunteer, fundraising and community events in support of the GCU’s Mission.

The examples of my “Hope” leads my thoughts to the Season of Advent and the celebration of Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, gives us all “Hope” that He will provide to us guidance to inspire us with a “Vision” and “Strategy” in dealing with the trials and tribulations of life. As all of us have conversations within our mind with the Lord, he certainly provides to us the strength to deal with the various challenges we are faced with both within our careers and personal lives. We must also be thankful for all the joy and blessings bestowed upon us as well as many of our “Hopes” and dreams that are realized.

On February 14th of 2022, the GCU will be celebrating its 130th Anniversary. The Founding Members included representatives from fourteen lodges and six clergy that met on February 14, 1892 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with a “Hope” a “Vision” and “Strategies.” As our publication “Opportunity Realized – The Greek Catholic Union’s First 100 Years” informs us, our Founders’ initial “Hope” was to spread love and friendship among the Rusin Greek Catholic people living in America; give material and financial aid to members and their heirs in the event of death; provide the ways and means necessary for the education of the people in national and religious requirements and provide aid to churches and schools and if financial conditions permit, give aid to the injured and indigent members. I am sure our Founders are looking down upon us with great pride and joy as we continue this “Path of Financial Success” that enables the GCU to further expand upon assisting other religious entities, organizations and individuals in need of financial support. It is no accident that the Patron Saint of the GCU is St. Nicholas of Myra as the GCU emulates his passion of giving, not only at this time of year but throughout the year as various needs arise.

The “Hope,”, “Vision” and “Strategy” presented above is our current focus with several other strategies in place to lead our Society on this continued path of success. We must always be cognizant of the current financial markets and changes within our society and adjust our strategies accordingly. There have certainly been many challenges presented over the course of the GCU’s history. This leads me to one of my favorite quotes made by our past President, Mr. George Batyko, during his address to the delegates of the 1988 Convention – “We all know that on the same area and on the same day, one boat will sail south and another north, one will sail east and another west, which proves that it is not the wind, nor the gale, but the set of the sail that will determine the course of our future.”

Through the grace of God and our Patron St. Nicholas of Myra, we are fortunate once again to present to you the GCU’s third quarter financial statements as we continue to grow our assets & surplus and achieve sustained profits. Our Chief Financial Officer, Tim Demetres, presents a detailed commentary on our 2021 third quarter results on page 4 of the December Magazine. Again, our sincere thank you to our members and agents that enables the GCU to continue on a path of financial success.

Once again, our thank you to our lodge and district officers and members for the several activities held this past year supporting the various needs by our Byzantine Parishes and needs with our communities that were greater than ever under the COVID-19 pandemic environment.

Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family of Mr. Andy Zeedick who recently passed away. His wife Georgia, who was always by his side also recently passed. “Mr. Z” wore the GCU on his sleeve as he was actively involved in local GCU lodge and district activities throughout his life. He also served on the GCU’s Board of Directors and as National Vice President and was actively involved with Seven Oaks serving on the Men’s Golf Committee. His smiling face and greetings will truly be missed. May God Grant Them Both Eternal Rest and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them!

In closing, my congratulations and thank you to our Board of Directors, Executive Officers, Department Directors and our entire Support Staff that has allowed for the GCU to experience another successful year! May the Birth of Our Lord and Savior and the joy of this holiday season provide to you and your family Hope, Faith, Peace, Love and Good Tidings during this Christmas Season! My best wishes for a safe and Happy Holiday Season and all the best for a healthy and prosperous New Year!


George N. Juba | President CEO

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