Managing complexity and changing to meet future needs
To passersby, Everence Financial’s main office, a few blocks out of Goshen’s downtown core, looks like many other modern commercial buildings.
Only the sign listing the businesses working under the Everence corporate umbrella gives any hint of the complexity of an organization that includes a trust company, the Praxis mutual funds firm, and the Everence Federal Credit Union.
“Our job is to be the concierge and manage that relationship for those folks and manage the complexity,” says Ken Hochstetler, the company’s president and chief executive officer.
Everence is one of the larger employers in the city of Goshen (the largest employers, recreational vehicle manufacturers, are based in outlying areas of the county), but Hochstetler worries that the organization is one of the better-kept secrets both in the community and the wider church.
“We’re working to make sure that people learn more about us.”
Everence currently has 75,000 members, who live in all 50 US states, and over 350 employees in 20 locations across the nation, about half of whom work in Goshen.
It has volunteer stewardship advocates in 1,000 congregations, serving more than 30 denominations.
The organization has over $3.4 billion in assets. Medicare supplement insurance, annuities, mutual funds and banking are the engines that drive earnings. It has had $1.3 billion in charitable impact over the past 73 years, including sharing funds and client donor-advised funds.
A current strategic priority for the organization is providing distance-oriented electronic solutions for clients who live in areas where Everence doesn’t have a physical presence, Hochstetler says. That is important preparation for a future where people are very mobile “a diaspora, going places.”
Everence is working to become more diverse in the racial and ethnic makeup both of their employees and the people they serve, with a focus on Spanish-speaking clients, he said. “We have been largely baby boomers serving baby boomers and retirees. As our baby boomers retire, we have the opportunity to become more diverse. People generally want to work with people who look and sound like them.”
They are opening a presence in Philadelphia as a way of growing beyond their rural and suburban base. “We’re looking to help people at the intersection of faith and finance, in urban settings, in a way that will serve the future church.” ◆