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GCU President / CEO February Report

February 22, 2024

Happy Founders' Day GCU

GCU will be celebrating its 132nd anniversary on February 14th, as our Society was founded at a meeting conducted at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on that date in 1892. The GCU is a fraternal benefit society, a membership organization that is legally required to offer life, health and related insurance products to its members, be not-for-profit, and carry out charitable and other programs for the benefit of its members and the public. The GCU’s current “Mission Statement” – “Protecting Families, Promoting Faith and Fellowship, Strengthening Communities” could have certainly been adopted on day one of our Society’s founding and has stood the test of time over the course of our 132 years.

Our founders and forefathers would be very proud of what GCU has accomplished in terms of financial success. But the foundation our Society was built upon was not based solely on financial support in time of need. It also included the importance of God, family and the care and love of our fellowman, which in today’s society gets placed far too many times on the back burner.

Is it an accident or was there really any thought to the fact that the GCU’s founding occurred on Valentine’s Day? History gives us no guarantees on the origins of Valentine’s Day, but it is known that it contains vestiges of the early Christian church in ancient Rome and a pagan festival. The history records of the GCU makes no mention of the association of Valentine’s Day to its founding, but the history publication of the GCU “Opportunity Realized – The Greek Catholic Union’s First One Hundred Year’s 1892-1992” does note that one of the aims of our Society was to spread love and friendship among the Rusin Greek Catholic people living in America! So, just maybe having this meeting on Valentine’s Day created this one aim by our founders!

In celebration of the GCU founding and Valentine’s Day, I would like to share with you a widely circulated essay:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life, we've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more but learn less.
We plan more but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to
produce more copies than ever, but we communicate
less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
big men and small character; steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say "I Love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Give time to Love, give time to speak, give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Today, our Founder’s initial aims and vision continue and have been expanded through the GCU’s fraternal programming offering financial and volunteer support to individuals, communities, organizations and our Byzantine Catholic Church and other Christian denominations in need. We are now in our second year of the GCU’s Fraternal Metamorphosis Program and encourage all of our members to participate in the various volunteer, fundraising and social events sponsored on a national level or by your local Constellation. Please visit the GCU’s website – – and click on “Events”.

The Fraternal Programming is funded by the GCU’s financial strength and success. We are in the process of completing our annual financial statements. Despite the extremely challenging financial and investment markets in 2023, preliminary results project total year end admitted assets of $2.7 billion a $36 million or 2.3% increase from year end 2022. Surplus increase $2 million to $221 million with net income increasing $6 million after realized capital losses of $5 million. The GCU’s Chief Financial Officer, Tim Demetres, will be publishing our 2023 year-end report and detailed commentary in the April 2024 Annual Report issue of the GCU Magazine.

The GCU was recently reviewed by KBRA (Kroll Bond Rating Agency). We are pleased to report that they reaffirmed our current A- rating with a stable outlook. We invite you to view the press release issued by KBRA on page 9 of the February Magazine.

In closing, GCU has been blessed over our 132 year history. We must never become complacent and rest upon our laurels. We must constantly be aware of the “ifs” and “risks” ever so constant within the economic and financial markets to assure our society’s continued success. I can assure you that your Board of Directors, executive officers and general counsel have and will continually make sound fiscal decisions in the best interest of our members and of the GCU!

George N. Juba | GCU President/CEO

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