AM Best Assigns GCU "A-" (Excellent) Rating

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GCU President / CEO October Report

November 7, 2022


Here in Western Pennsylvania, it is that time of year to once again witness the beginning of the fall season—with its incredible change in landscape as nature begins the transformation to its winter slumber. I have been traveling by vehicle over the last four weeks announcing to our lodge and district Officers the GCU’s new Fraternal Metamorphosis Program. I have observed firsthand this act of nature as each week the array of colorful trees that adorn our hills and mountains became more vibrant right before my eyes. What an astounding act of nature that God has created for us to enjoy!

Unfortunately, along with this incredible beauty nature does “rear its ugly head” at times as various natural disasters occur, volcano eruptions, tornadoes, blizzards, avalanches, earthquakes, torrential rains, forest fires with many more other occurrences that destroy property and take human lives. We recently witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida and the Carolinas. We encourage you to support the GCU’s Natural Disaster Relief Matching Funds Program as the GCU will match up to $10,000 of funds raised through the GCU Foundation. Please visit the GCU’s website - to make your tax-deductible donation through the GCU Foundation. The funds raised will be donated to Catholic Charities, The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. I am sure you have seen the destruction that occurred, especially on the west coast of Florida where families and individuals have lost everything. Please support our fund-raising efforts as it is going to take years to rebuild communities and businesses affected by this natural disaster. The American People are resilient and with your financial and spiritual support provided, individuals, families and business will eventually recover.

It also ceases to amaze me how “nature itself” recovers from these natural disasters with very little human intervention. Forest fires are a great example along with how the Hawaiian Islands came into being through volcanic eruptions. I have been fortunate to visit Hawaii which is truly the “Paradise of the Pacific”! There are so many areas in our “Great Country” and around the world that are truly masterpieces that are astounding as God is truly a “Master Creator”! I do hope that the easing of the threat of COVID-19 has allowed for you to travel this summer and get out to enjoy the “great outdoors”!

As the GCU is celebrating its 130-year anniversary since its founding on February 14, 1892, many challenges have been faced over our history as I have presented in my previous articles published in the GCU Magazine this year. Our current and past administrations are to be commended in addressing the various socioeconomic and financial market challenges and for making sound fiscal decisions to first and foremost protect the business our members and agents have placed with our Society.

The GCU is in the strongest financial position ever. This now allows for the Board to address an issue that has been a major concern, our fraternal structure. As I mentioned previously, I have been introducing the GCU’s Fraternal Metamorphosis Structure that will be a new beginning. This structure will focus on making more of a presence within the communities our members reside, supporting local volunteer and fundraising efforts in addition to providing family social activities while continuing to support our Byzantine Catholic parishes. More details on the new GCU Fraternal Metamorphosis Program will be forthcoming.

We are extremely pleased to announce that AM Best has assigned GCU a Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a- “(Excellent). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect GCU’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as adequate, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings reflect positive sales and membership growth, earnings trend and diversification efforts. GCU has recorded strong growth in operating earnings through management of the annuity spreads. This rating by AM Best will provide for additional distribution opportunities in supporting the continued growth and financial stability of the GCU.

The Board of Directors, Executive Officers, Department Mangers and entire Support Staffs’ dedication and conscientious efforts have led to this “excellent rating” by AM Best, the largest credit rating agency in the world specializing in the insurance industry. We pledge to our members and agents our continued commitment in offering competitive life insurance and annuity products supported by excellent customer service. Please review the AM Best Press Release located on page 3 of the October Magazine.

It is with heartfelt feelings that I announce to you that two Members of the GCU’s Board of Directors, Dorothy Foran and Barbara Kushner, have submitted to the Board their desire to retire from the Board effective October 1, 2022. I have known these two individuals forever as they brought various expertise to the Board. Their dedication and commitment to the GCU was unwavering as they truly always made decisions in the best interest of the GCU and our Members. They will be truly missed! Thank you Dorothy and Barb for your years of service!!

Change is always difficult! A part of my commentary in presenting the new GCU Metamorphosis Fraternal Program, I reminisce to my youth when Sundays were a day of attending church services, socializing in the church hall with fellow parishioners and paying your GCU dues (premium) to your Lodge Secretary, visiting grandparents and family, taking a country ride and in the case of my family, playing a “chip and putt” golf course and stopping for some ice cream afterwards. These truly were the good old days. “Blue Laws” were in effect, stores and bars were closed, no youth sporting practices, truly a “day of rest”! May I suggest to you to “bring back the good old days,” for at least one day over this fall season, attend church service, visit family and especially take that country ride to enjoy the colorful landscape that God has provided for us to enjoy!

As always, please contact me if you should have any questions or concerns!

George N. Juba | GCU President CEO

Dorothy joined the Board in October 2000 after being elected to the Board at the GCU National Convention in Louisville, KY and was reelected at each successive convention and in the initial membership election held in 2020. As a GCU Recommender she spent many years promoting GCU in the Hazleton, PA area and earned the Fraternal Insurance Counsellor designation in 1993. Dorothy was a very active lodge and district officer prior to joining the GCU Board. She currently resides in Hazleton, PA with her husband Deacon Lawrence Foran.

Prior to joining the Board, Barb was also very active in her lodge & district and was a sales agent for GCU. She was elected as GCU Second Vice President in July 1988 by the National Convention in Toronto, Canada and was reelected to that position at each successive Convention through 2004. Barb was elected as a GCU National Director in 2007 to finish the term of National Director Judy Gula who replaced Secretary-Treasurer George Juba. George was elected by the Board to replace retiring National President Michael Roman. She was reelected to the Board at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 National Conventions and by the membership election in 2020. Barb resides in Canonsburg, PA with her husband Bill.

The entire GCU would like to thank Dorothy and Barb for their contributions to the success the organization has experienced while they served on the GCU Board. May God grant them health and happiness as the enter this new phase of their lives.

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