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Insurance Board Directors Look to the Future

UCCIB Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (10/17/2007) -- The United Church of Christ Insurance Board (UCCIB) October meeting focused on future growth, strategic plans and positive financial outlook. Such strong positive reports by executive officers and the Insurance Board’s brokerage partners were well received by board directors who raised several questions to reassure themselves that the fiscal and administrative struggles from two years ago were past.

Responding in the affirmative with specific examples were Dale Cable, Chief Financial Officer; David Nelson, Vice-President of Insurance Operations; Cathy Green, CEO and President; as well as executives of Willis of Ohio, the broker for the UCCIB.

“Financially, we now are current with a full audit through September 2006 and we have begun the September 2007 audit process expecting a timely and positive report,” said Cable. “We expect to end the 2007 fiscal year in the black and are projecting a stronger cash flow for our current year. We have also put new fiscal monitoring matrixes in place to be vigilant in following our cash flow, which is critical in any successful financial operation,” he added.

Nelson noted that operationally the UCCIB has stabilized with a new management team in place, renewed commitment by agents, and a revitalized service model that is very responsive to customers. “Our focus now is to reach out to churches that were with the UCCIB program in the past, and regain their confidence and participation,” Nelson added.

Green praised the new executive team of Cable and Nelson that is allowing her to give increased amounts of time to visits and direct contact with conference and regional leaders as well as Insurance Board agents. “I am very confident that we have the right people in place to provide efficient customer service to the churches and the UCCIB agents,” said Green.

Willis executive Ed Shaffer, Senior Vice President, Willis of Ohio, gave high praise to Green and Nelson in recent negotiations with the insurance carriers. “Reduced costs by the carriers are largely due to the efforts of Cathy Green and David Nelson speaking to the carriers in a very creditable manner on behalf of the UCCIB, Shaffer told board members.” The reduced premium costs made possible 2007-2008 allocation reductions for insured churches of up to 10 percent.

Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree and Jim Matschulat of Lyme are members of the UCCIB's Board of Directors. Bill MacKay Keckles of Farmington chairs the United Church Insurance Company.

Board members approved 2007-2008 goals and objectives that call for net growth of 100 churches insured in 2008, increasing to a total of 2530 churches and other ministries. The business plan also projects retaining 92 percent of current participants, up from 88 percent retained this past year.

Green described encouraging results from a recent marketing campaign focused on former participants. To assist the UCCIB in meeting its growth goals, the organization has engaged a Cleveland marketing firm that will develop an integrated marketing plan over the coming weeks. The UCCIB also anticipates hiring a marketing director by the beginning of 2008.

A report was presented by the Rev. Alan N. McLarty, conference minister for Penn West Conference of the United Church of Christ, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, a board committee that is working with UCCIB management on long-term strategy. McLarty told directors that a proposed plan is to be finalized at a January board retreat, with recommendations slated for presentation at the annual meeting of the Corporation in February, 2008.

Other actions at the October meeting included approval of the 2007-2008 budget which projected a significantly improved operating result.

The next Insurance Board meeting of directors will be January 24-26 in Orlando Florida.

United Church of Christ Insurance Board, established in 1981, has corporate offices in Cleveland, Ohio. The UCCIB, a not-for-profit corporation, provides risk management services and educational resources through property and liability insurance programs for church entities of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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