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Loyal Christian Benefit Association Leader Shares Unique Model for 134 Years of Service, Success

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As providers, we all want to ensure that our loved ones are taken care of, even if something unexpected happens to us. The Loyal Christian Benefit Association (LCBA) recognizes this, providing financial protection — insurance and other products — for its members while also helping those in need. Here, Brian Young, president and chief executive officer of LCBA, discusses the mission of the Erie-based, not-for-profit organization and its unique service model as it marks its 134th year in 2024.

As president and CEO, you have a critical leadership role at LCBA. Tell us about your- self, including as a former Patrick R. Locco Scholarship winner, your team, and your drive to serve and succeed.

My career development started in manufacturing, right here in Erie! As a graduate of the Erie County Technical School, I was recognized for my early achievements by the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) in 1999 with the Patrick R. Locco Scholarship. Receiving that honor began a 25-year path of progression with positive influences from local businesses and amazing opportunities to grow and succeed. The role of president and CEO here at LCBA is a culmination of the experience and acumen gained along that path, set in motion in 1999 at the MBA’s Annual Event. I am truly blessed to come into a team of people with similar stories of progression, all working for the health and resiliency of our organization, centered around caring for our members and community.

The Loyal Christian Benefit Association has deep roots in our community, dating back to Titusville in 1890. Tell us how it began and the courageous women who started it.

Sadly, at the time of our founding, women were considered an uninsurable interest. So, a group of courageous Practical Roman Catholic women responded to the need and formed the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association right here in northwestern Pennsylvania. It was the first insurance society formed, operated by, and solely for the benefit of women. Over the years, our membership has progressed to include men, women and children of all Christian faiths.

Since that time, LCBA has grown considerably. Please describe LCBA’s membership, footprint and the services it provides today.

Today, LCBA serves approximately 35,000 Christian members in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Our core business has been preneed whole life insurance and preneed annuities, sold through funeral directors, used to fund preplanned funerals and burial expenses. Recently, we have added two low face value whole life insurance products, sold through traditional agents, to help more people fund their final expenses and relieve the burden so many families feel at the time of the loss of a loved one. Our products support our mission of helping Christian families successfully transition through life’s stages.

LCBA is different than many other organizations in that its earnings go back into communities and causes, not pockets. Explain this unique approach.

Loyal Christian Benefit Association is a Fraternal Benefit Society. As such, we offer financial products to our members, we have a common bond in our faith, and we have a branch system throughout the tri-state region that we aid in funding benevolent giving and community outreach using the financial proceeds from our product sales. These branches support their churches and communities in many ways and have worked tirelessly for over a century to continue our tradition of giving back here at LCBA. Our national branch also adopts annual causes to financially support on behalf of our members. Additionally, we fund member benefit programs like discounts, and newborn and survivor benefits. For the families left behind by a member in passing, we provide bereavement benefits like memorial tree seedlings, flag cases for veteran members and a grief recovery program.

What are some examples of the scholarships and charitable events that LCBA supports?

For members, their children and grandchildren, we offer 35 annual scholarships for summer camps, elementary and secondary schooling, and post-secondary education. Our local efforts have impacted organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Second Harvest Food Bank, Bethany Outreach Center, Erie Co. Crop Walk, Love Inc. and many more. Our drive to grow the association is fueled by the greater opportunity growth affords us to fund additional giving. When people purchase financial products and become members, they provide protection for their families and fund charitable giving instead of choosing between the two. This is what makes LCBA truly special.

What is the best way to learn more about LCBA?

Visit lcbalife.org and watch our welcome video, as well as our history under the About LCBA tab. We are on Facebook and Instagram, as well as LinkedIn, and take every opportunity we can to share who we are, and what we are doing here at the Loyal Christian Benefit Association.