Cheese Curd Mutual Highlights Business Challenges, Solutions
By Tyler Vancura, Reinsurance Client Manager
Board meetings are important to the operation of a mutual company, but they can present challenges. At this year’s WRC All Manager Meeting, WRC employees and Heather Wagner, General Manager of Ralls County Mutual Insurance Company, conducted a light-hearted mock board meeting of the fictitious Cheese Curd Mutual to demonstrate those challenges and strategies for working through them.
Peggy McDaniel, WRC Reinsurance Manager – Missouri, acted as board chair, and acting as directors were Reinsurance Client Manager Tyler Vancura, Reinsurance Client Representative Brandon Hollis, Manager – Reinsurance Administration Katie Bula and Commercial Underwriting Consultant Linda Ziegler.
Board members had a range of viewpoints about the prospect of making changes to the company. The financial results of Cheese Curd Mutual had been continuously poor and the manager was looking to make the following changes:
- Increase rates
- Increase deductibles
- Add exclusions
During the discussion, some board members worried about changes to their personal insurance and impacts to their own agency, while one board member spent most of the meeting on her cell phone. These behaviors were exaggerated but did reflect real challenges that occur in board meetings.
WRC wanted to emphasize that when people enter the board room, they are no longer policyholders, they are directors for the company and must take the actions necessary for the good of the mutual. It can be difficult to maintain that approach, but the focus should always be on the company. Having board members with diverse backgrounds brings varying perspectives, yet it can also create some challenges. The purpose of the presentation was to help our managers identify behaviors and see examples of how to bring together all board members to facilitate company growth and overall health.
You can find the presentation slides and handouts by logging in to the secure WRC website and going to Documents > Operational Assistance > All Manager Meeting Materials > 2022 All Manager Meeting.