Written by Anthony Moujaes
A self-described man of faith with more than two decades in the insurance industry has been called to lead the United Church of Christ Insurance Board.
Timothy S. Harris, who has worked in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility -- as an insurance broker, underwriting director, and area vice president — has been hired to succeed the retiring Cathy Green as president and CEO of the company that now insures nearly 3,700 UCC, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Presbyterian congregations nationwide.
"My Christian faith has been the cornerstone of my life since childhood," said Harris, who begins his new role Dec. 16. "The combination of the Christian mission of the IB and my insurance experience provided the perfect career marriage for me. I'm thrilled about the prospect of highlighting my professional expertise in an environment where faith is an integral part of the position."
"Tim will be a great president and CEO for the Insurance Board," said UCCIB retiring President Green. "He has 23 years insurance experience and has worked with risk pools and large, multi-state clients. He also is a person of faith that is excited at the opportunity to use his professional skills to serve the church in this financial ministry."
The UCCIB, with an annual cash flow in excess of $41 million, has been serving churches for almost three decades. Under Green’s leadership, the Insurance Board relocated its office to the Church House in Cleveland from Gaithersburg, Md., and expanded its reach to serve a third denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). Green suggested Harris apply for position as her successor, and as he noted, "I was, frankly, flattered by her request and, after some reflection, believed this to be a wonderful ‘next step’ for me in my career."
"We are very pleased that Tim has accepted our offer to champion the Insurance Board," says Board Chair the Rev. John Deckenback, UCC Central Atlantic Conference Minister. "He is excited at the prospect of working in a financial ministry of the church where his faith is not only encouraged, but expected. Tim’s experience, aptitude and faith will combine nicely to help move the IB forward."
As an area vice president with Arthur J. Gallagher & Company since 2007, Harris handled a diverse book of property and casualty business, which he built. He has been responsible for starting up the business unit, as well as production, customer retention, marketing, managing insurer relationships, and providing consultative support and solutions for clients across multiple states.
Prior to his work at Gallagher & Company, Harris held previous management and insurance positions with Thomas Rutherfoord Companies, Inc. and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company.
Born and raised in Pottstown, Pa., Harris served in the U.S. Army Reserve while attending the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a B.S. degree in economics with a concentration in risk management and insurance. He is also a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter.
In addition to the technical skills that he has accumulated over the years, Harris offers the Insurance Board his ability to effectively network, market, and connect with existing and potential clients.
A member of Avon Lake UCC, in Avon Lake, Ohio, with his wife Anita and three daughters, Harris is active in the community and currently serves as vice-chair of the Board of the Community Foundation of Lorain County.