Robert L. Sweezey
In the past five years Adventist Risk Management (ARM) has continued
its mission to provide solutions that minimize risk in the Seventh-day Adventist
Church. With the increase of membership outside the United States, ARM has placed
a priority on reaching the international church.
Through risk management programs and site visits from field
representatives, ARM tries to maintain a physical presence in areas in which
our churches are located. By providing preventative measures and educating the
church about risks, we aim to limit exposures that may harm the church and its
assets. When accidents do happen, we carefully note information and guide our
clients through the claims process.
In 2002 the International Risk Management Conference (IRMC)
was introduced to raise awareness about new products and services. This three-day
conference provides the international church with the latest information regarding
risk management education. Equivalent to the domestic Risk Management Conference,
the IRMC offers church leaders, administrators, and managers techniques to protect
their institutions and members.
To further assist the international community, the Gencon Insurance
Company International, Ltd., began operations on January 1, 2003. This is the
first Gibraltar-licensed insurance company to be formed by a United States-based
corporation, and the most recent addition to our risk management and insurance
This company provides insurance policies to Seventh-day Adventist
organizations located in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The Gencon Insurance
Company International, Ltd., is a captive insurer and wholly owned subsidiary
of Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont--which is 100 percent owned by the General
Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists.
Helping the local community is a part of ARM's ministry. Last
year our mission of giving continued in cities such as Denver, Colorado, during
our annual Risk Management Conference. Through the support of business partners
and sponsors who support our mission, we were able to honor Adventist Community
Services (ACS) Community L.I.F.T. as the 2004 beneficiary of our Community Plunge
charity event. Community Plunge was introduced in 2002, replacing the annual
golf tournament. The first three years of Community Plunge has raised more than
$50,000 for Adventist charities in North America. This multifaceted outreach
program, now an annual event for the domestic conference, encourages conference
attendees to arrive early and help make a difference through acts of service.
In 2003 Community Plunge made a difference in Ottawa, Canada, by donating proceeds
to assist the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank in Newfoundland. Whatever
the needs of the host city, conference attendees willingly provide landscaping,
renovations, area cleanup, and food and clothing distribution.
In 2004 a series of tropical storms hit many of our church properties.
Hurricanes Charley, Ivan, Frances, and Jeanne caused major damage to churches,
institutions, and other property within their paths. Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada,
the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas were among the hardest hit areas. With an
estimated $10.6 million in damages claimed, this is the biggest loss the company
has seen since the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, and Hurricane Andrew. With more
than half of the claims paid out, many more are waiting finalization. Our members
in those disaster areas are rebuilding and replacing their insured items.
Adventist Risk Management, Inc., has come a long way since its
humble beginnings in the early 1900s. In the summer of 2004 ARM released The
Church at Risk, a history book detailing our formation and growth as an
insurance company. Written by Wayne Taylor, an experienced retired insurance
executive, this book provides a straightforward account of how the Lord is at
the helm of this ministry.
ARM is dedicated to providing insurance needs for the church
and its many outreach ministries and institutions throughout the world. It is
a ministry that directly cares for the needs of churches, schools, employees,
and their families. Our aim is to help the church limit its exposure to risks
and to conduct business with honesty and integrity.