First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association Leadership Responds to Coronavirus
Read Messages to Members, Agents and Recommenders
The President's Message:
As we enter the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) national emergency, we at First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association are following the guidelines of our state officials and participating in the Restart Ohio program. The health and safety of our members, employees, producers, all officers, and everyone in our community continue to be our primary concern. Our home office in Beachwood, Ohio is now open as of May 4, 2020, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Most of our dedicated employees will gradually return to our office and the rest of the employees will continue to work remotely, so if a member, agent, recommender or visitor needs service please contact us by telephone so we can assist you. We appreciate your patience during these times, and are proud of keeping business as usual, as much as possible.
We recommend that branches, districts, and members follow local, state, federal, and diocesan guidelines and restrictions regarding Covid-19. We encourage you support virtual or other remote means for FCSLA events and activities until we return to a more "normal" state of affairs in this great country of ours, the United States of America.
Our Task Force made up of Karen Jakubowski (or designee), Head of Human Resources, Chair and the other key members of our management team are working with me on Restart Ohio as this emergency evolves. FCSLA has a Business Continuity Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan that would be triggered in case of a natural disaster or a specific instance affecting our ability to conduct our operations out of the home office. These plans have been used in conjunction with our Task Force recommendations so we can continue to service the needs of our members and our producers.
My heartfelt thanks go out to all who have dedicated much time and effort to develop our phased in plans and for our conscientious efforts in their implementation so far. I am proud of all these efforts, especially of all those essential workers who have come into the home office for essential duties. I invite you to read the other messages from my colleagues on the website as well.
We are grateful for your trust, confidence, and loyalty as we navigate through this current crisis. We have weathered many storms and challenges in our 128-year history, including the 1918 Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression and World War II, we will weather this challenge with grit and courage too! We have been fortunate to have many great leaders and we are strong both financially and fraternally. With a membership base of 109,000 members, FCSLA's assets exceed $1 Billion and our surplus is over $107 Million.
May you and yours be safe and keep healthy in these challenging times. You can count on FCSLA to be here for you!
Cynthia M. Maleski
National President (CEO)
From the Desk of Our National President:
Cynthia M. Maleski
Happy Spring, fellow members!
We hope that everyone is in the process of getting one of the vaccines to protect all of us against the COVID-19 virus! We are grateful for the scientists who quickly ramped up efforts in developing and getting these vaccines out to market as soon as possible. Let's not forget all those who work to get the vaccines into our arms, those who ship it, deliver it, freeze it appropriately, those who text and e-mail about registration, and those who administer it and monitor us after we receive it. What a massive international, national and local effort!
Now is the ideal time to take the opportunity, during this Lenten season, to spend some quiet time in prayer and meditation with the Lord. As we sit quietly, let us listen to what God has planned for each of us in our journey in life. What an awesome way to take advantage of the time with the Lord, walking with the Blessed Mother. Now is the perfect time!
We take this opportunity to show our gratefulness to all those in our lives who connect with us as we help each other, our families and friends, our amazing co-workers, board members, branch and district leaders and members who work with us to move our association forward, especially in these unusual times.
As the weather becomes warmer, we look forward to being outside, to take walks and reflect on what we have to be grateful for in our lives.
Happy St. Casimir's Day, St. Patricks' Day and St. Joseph's Day as well!
The American Fraternal Alliance (AFA) announced a new Chair of the Board at its recent virtual ENCORE leadership and education event on December 15-16, 2020.
Cynthia M. Maleski, President and CEO of First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association of the U.S.A. (FCSLA) proudly accepted the virtual gavel from AFA outgoing Chair, Timothy Kuzma. Below is a copy of Cynthia's acceptance address which began with a word of gratitude to FCSLA for support of its service to AFA, and by commencement had clearly outlined her vision to lead the effort to achieve common goals for the benefit of all.
2020 Leads to Redefining Our Outlook
in 2021 and Beyond
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is Cynthia Maleski, incoming Chair of the Board of the American Fraternal Alliance and President/CEO of First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association of the U.S.A. Thank you to my society for its support of our service to AFA.
Fraternal benefit societies have an overarching purpose of affirming and uplifting the dignity of every person, in our country and in our world.
In 2020, our leaders have responded courageously and with determination to confront even greater challenges with the pandemic, social unrest and the disruption of our political landscape.
Yesterday, fellow AFA board member Nicole Gourley talked about how we arrived at our inspiring new Vision & Mission Statements that will help guide us into the future. We thank her for taking on this leadership role to recreate these messages at this important time in our journey together.
Mission: We unite members through advocacy, education and networking to advance the fraternal benefit society movement.
Vision: We strive to be "A world where we live fraternally – United to improve the lives of others and to be financially secure."
Our strategic plan for 2021 is closely aligned with these inspiring Mission and Vision statements.
Working Towards Common Purpose/Common Good
Fraternal benefit societies are uniquely positioned to work in concert and partnership for the common good that ultimately benefits all. We can engage every one of our members to protect life, to preserve the framework of good government in a democratic society and ultimately to promote peace.
In uniting and connecting, we can better the communities around us to recognize, affirm and uplift the dignity of every individual person.
Through our lodges and chapters, we provide much needed aid and assistance to thousands in hundreds of communities across our nation and beyond by reaching out to those at crossroads in life, to those in need of food and clothing and to those needing a kind word or prayer during crisis in their lives. We provide access to needed financial products to many who normally would not have such access, to fortify their financial well-being and independence.
Each one of our societies is founded on a different cultural and historic basis; however, we are bound together in these unified common goals for the greater good of our communities in general.
In the past, the AFA, has achieved many goals:
- Defeating threats to our federal tax exemption;
- Unbundling or eliminating unfair regulation that does not take into account our unique nature;
- Funding significant consumer research so that we may better communicate our value proposition;
- Through our branch system, serving as beacons of hope and light in thousands of communities in our country, as well as Canada.
- In 2019 alone, over 7.5 million members, donated over 66 million of volunteer service ours and gave more than $631 million to community organizations.
Moving Forward: Building on Connections for
the Common Good
In 2021, it is even more important to stay connected so that our collective positive outcomes can be shared by even greater numbers of members of our communities.
Our goals are clear: We will increase our number of virtual educational events, broaden the number of member leaders who serve on advocacy committees and task forces, gather more input and fraternal industry information, reach out to some former members to return and partner with similar groups outside of our fraternal world.
We are grateful to outgoing Chair, Tim Kuzma, for his leadership to keep us on track during these changing times; for his foresight in promoting stronger vehicles to refine our advocacy efforts, and for his support for new AFA CEO, Allison Koppel. Also, thank you to Allison Koppel, outstanding leader and recently named CEO, for your adaptability and positive outlook during these unusual times.
I am looking forward to continuing work with our board and all our fine leaders as a team during the coming year. With humility, I am honored to accept this gavel to continue to lead our efforts so that we, together, can foster the common good for the benefit of all.
First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association receives an "Excellent" rating from A.M. Best
First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association (FCSLA) is proud to announce that the organization has received a high rating amid one of the most challenging and financially adverse times in our nation's history. A.M. Best Rating Servicea forward-looking, independent, and objective insurer's rating servicereaffirmed FCSLA's A- rating or "Excellent" on its life insurance products and services during the past year.
The organization expressed enthusiasm about announcing this news following National Life Insurance Awareness Month (September 2020), which is a national awareness effort to help educate consumers about life insurance benefits and how it can protect families due to the death of a key provider. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in consumers' interest in life insurance, which further validates the importance of this news, as it relates to the industry and consumer interest at-large.
Currently, independent life insurance consultants remark that FCSLA's A- rating from A.M. Best is almost unprecedented and reflects the association's historically strong performance and capital position. Furthermore, they offered additional commentary about the rating service, "...Very few companies achieve such a high rating from A.M. Best, but this is exceptional for smaller companies and fraternals."
In 2019, FCSLA achieved strong financial and fraternal results, with a significant 38% increase in combined life and annuity premiums. FCSLA National President and CEO, Cynthia M. Maleski, shares, "Our balance sheet strength, enhanced operation performance, expanded business profile, key innovations, process improvements, technology enhancements, and advanced enterprise risk management programs collectively earned us our high-rating with A.M. Best. All of these drivers demonstrate our adaptability, strength, and agility despite the adversity that has come from these difficult times."
Fraternal Life Insurance And Annuities
With over 108,000 members, the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association (FCSLA) is a fraternal benefit society that ranks among the top fraternal societies active in the United States today. Since its founding in 1892 in Cleveland, Ohio, FCSLA has grown to provide licensed financial products in 48 states and Washington, D.C. Membership and its benefits are available to all Christians living in the United States. Discover the fraternal advantage discover the FCSLA!
The primary concerns of First Catholic Slovak
Ladies Association are:
FCSLA offers modern life
insurance protection at attractive premiums
for the entire family.
Caring for Others
This concern is expressed in a variety
of ways, such as by visiting the sick, assistance
helping needy members, and by many other methods
that say we are brothers
and sisters trying to follow Christ's examples.
Involving Young People
FCSLA actively involves our young members with
scholarship programs, a variety of contests (such
as photo, essay and art), Christmas parties, and
Join Hands Day activities.
Our motto is, "For God and Country." It is part of all of our meetings and programs.
With over 500 branches across the United States, FCSLA members meet
regularly to socialize, plan special projects and elect officers.
First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association
24950 Chagrin Blvd.
Beachwood, Ohio 44122-5634