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AFBA and 5Star Life Insurance Co. Name Birye Abebe as Chief Information Officer

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In new role, Abebe will continue focusing on digital transformation efforts

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA) and its affiliate, 5Star Life Insurance Company, announced today the promotion of Birye Abebe to Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, effective January 1, 2020. This announcement comes as Madeline Delahan will retire at the end of the year after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer since 2012.

“Madeline’s vision, expertise, and leadership have made for a better AFBA / 5Star Life enterprise, and she will be greatly missed,” said General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart, USAF (Ret.), Chairman and President of AFBA.

As CIO, she aligned IT initiatives to meet the objectives outlined in the 2014-2018 strategic plan and established a high-performing team with the necessary technology skills and certifications to deliver modern solutions. She defined a cloud-first strategy that was instrumental in replacing legacy applications with cloud-based flexibility and established a cyber security program built around the NIST framework and successfully demonstrated compliance with standards like NAIC Model Law and the NY Department of Financial Services regulations. In her prior role as Deputy CIO, she led the transformational effort to modernize two legacy policy administration systems. Her background in software product development and government consulting served our organization well.

“As we looked for a new leader, we were pleased to leverage our deep bench of talent within the organization. Birye’s technical expertise and thorough knowledge of our enterprise will be an asset in his new role. By supporting critical enterprise systems, safeguarding us from cybersecurity threats, and steering our digital efforts, Birye will enable us to continue fulfilling our mission – serving those who serve this great nation,” added General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart.

“Over the past five years, we have made a significant investment on our digital transformation efforts, acquiring new technology, re-engineering existing processes, and leveraging new tools to make us more effective and efficient,” said Mark Singleton, 5Star Life President. “We are delighted to have Birye leading those efforts as we continue to expand our digital transformation.”

Abebe brings more than 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Before joining AFBA / 5Star Life in 2007, Abebe worked for American University, NTT Data, and AT&T leading technology implementation projects. Since joining our enterprise, he has played an instrumental role in our digital transformation efforts, delivering business solutions that increase automation and efficiencies. Abebe holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and earned his master’s degree in Information and Communication Systems from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Over the next five to 10 years, we will experience the impact and pressures of new and disruptive technologies, artificial intelligence, and robotics,” said Abebe. “I look forward to helping the enterprise align its technology investment with organizational strategies.”

About Armed Forces Benefit Association

With the support of the General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA) was established in 1947 in the basement of the Pentagon to ease the strain on military members and their families who, at the time, could not purchase life insurance that would pay a death benefit if the member was killed in combat. Today, headquartered in Alexandria, VA, AFBA continues to honor its mission, in war and peace, promoting the welfare of its members providing death benefits and other benefits to those who serve this great nation, including members of the uniformed services, first responders, government employees, and their families. AFBA has 650,000 members with $40 billion of death benefits in force and has paid nearly $2 billion of death benefits since inception. AFBA death benefits are underwritten by its affiliate, 5Star Life Insurance Company (a Lincoln, Nebraska domiciled company).

About 5Star Life

5Star Life Insurance Company (5Star Life) is the primary underwriter of the Armed Forces Benefit Association (AFBA) member policies and is also a growing provider of group and worksite voluntary products. Its business model enables 5Star Life to serve the needs of a diverse clientele as an insurance advisor to individuals and organizations, and as a trusted partner to brokers. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, 5Star Life is currently licensed in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

Contacts

Cynthia Light

703-224-5004

clight@afba.com

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Business Wire

Shortages of Low-Skill, Middle-Skill, and High-Skill Workers Causing Revenue Declines and Other Headaches for Employers, TrueBlue’s Latest Study Finds

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TACOMA, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While there has been a lot of discourse around the shortage of high-skill workers in the U.S., a new study by staffing giant TrueBlue shows a significant percentage of employers are also struggling with deficits in low-skill and middle-skill workers – and dealing with a host of business challenges as a result.

According to TrueBlue’s nationwide survey, which included nearly 1,500 managers (HR, operational, and business), skills shortages are widening across skills categories:

  • 32% of managers can’t find workers to fill low-skill positions (generally classified as those that may or may not require a high school diploma and require little to no experience)
  • 46% can’t find workers for middle-skill jobs (typically require some experience and continuing education such as college courses, an apprenticeship or certification, but don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree)
  • 35% can’t find workers for high-skill jobs (typically require a four-year degree or higher and specialized experience)

Low unemployment coupled with globalization, accelerated technology advancement, and evolving work models are creating talent deficits across all skill levels within organizations,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “The skills supply is not keeping up with demand, which is fueling a greater intensity in an already competitive labor market and adversely impacting productivity, service quality, and revenue growth for businesses.”

Impact of Talent Shortages on Businesses

The top three business challenges managers are experiencing due to prolonged job vacancies within their organizations include:

  • Quality – More than a third of managers (35%) reported that extended job vacancies have caused lower product or service quality.
  • Turnover – 25% have seen higher employee turnover.
  • Revenue – 23% said their companies experienced a decline in revenue.

To address talent shortages and minimize associated business impact, 2 in 5 companies (41 percent) reported that they plan to raise compensation for entry-level workers and nearly half (46 percent) plan to train and hire the long-term unemployed in the coming year.

Survey Methodology

This SurveyMonkey survey was conducted online in the U.S. by TrueBlue between September 23 and October 15, 2019. It included 1,499 managers (HR, operations and general). The survey was across regions, industries, and company sizes.

About TrueBlue

TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a global leader in specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2018, the company connected approximately 730,000 people with work. TrueBlue’s PeopleReady segment offers on-demand industrial staffing services, PeopleManagement offers contingent and productivity-based, on-site industrial staffing and driver staffing services, and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at www.trueblue.com.

Contacts

Jennifer Grasz

Vice President, Corporate Communications

jgrasz@trueblue.com
(312) 840-6327

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Business Wire

Law Firm of Estey & Bomberger Reports: Uber Says Nearly 6,000 Rapes, Sexual Assaults Occurred in Two-year Period

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SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The law firm of Estey & Bomberger reported today that Uber’s long-awaited sexual assault report was released Dec. 5, with the ride-hailing company admitting that 5,981* passengers and drivers were raped or sexually assaulted between 2017-2018.

“I applaud Uber for releasing the data that acknowledges there is a problem with sexual assaults occurring in rideshare. While we believe these assaults were preventable, Uber’s report represents a tremendous step for ride-hailing safety,” said Estey & Bomberger attorney Mike Bomberger. “I think there are many positive measures Uber is taking. However, Uber still has an obligation to help the victims who have been raped and assaulted and facing a lifetime of emotional pain. They will need ongoing therapy.”

Estey & Bomberger represents more than 100 ride-hailing sexual assault victims.

“It’s important to remember when reading this report that only one in three women report their sexual assault,” Bomberger said. “Therefore, the number of women who have been sexually assaulted is certainly much higher than reported here.”

Bomberger reiterated his call for all ride-hailing trips to be digitally recorded.

“We’re pleased that Uber is now testing cameras in Texas. That’s the real solution to this problem – if drivers know they’re being recorded they won’t rape and assault,” Bomberger said.

Estey & Bomberger is asking Lyft and Uber sexual assault victims, along with former employees of the ride-sharing firms, to contact its office by calling 866-964-1708 or emailing info@lyftsexualassaultlawyers.com.

*statistic courtesy NPR “Uber Received Nearly 6,000 U.S. Sexual Assault Claims in Past 2 Years,” Dec. 5, 2019.

Contacts

for Estey & Bomberger

Ed Vasquez, 408-420-6558

ed@ejvcommunications.com

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Business Wire

Best’s Market Segment Report: AM Best Maintains Global Reinsurance Market Outlook at Stable

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OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has maintained a market segment outlook of stable on the global reinsurance industry for 2020, citing a stabilized pricing environment — albeit at levels below long-term adequacy — the continuing alignment between traditional and third-party capital and ongoing stability in the global life reinsurance segment.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, “Market Segment Outlook: Global Reinsurance,” states that although rates in the non-life reinsurance market have improved modestly, pricing has not kept adequate pace with the changing risk dynamics, as illustrated by loss development from events such as hurricanes Irma and Maria and Typhoon Jebi, and potential losses from more-recent events (e.g., Hurricane Dorian). Property catastrophe pricing still is being driven by the availability of third-party capital; however, the increasing interdependence between traditional capacity and third-party capital through joint ventures, retrocession and direct ownership should serve to more closely align return objectives for the market overall. Third-party capital also represents a benefit in the form of stabilized earnings of rated balance sheets, due to tail risk being assumed by this capital.

Overall market conditions are improving, but AM Best remains concerned about insufficient rate adequacy relating to certain U.S. casualty lines, a steady decline in the benefit of favorable reserve releases and the pervasive low interest rate environment. The collective effect of these factors requires underwriting discipline, and failure to react to these pressures could adversely affect the segment.

The report outlines other factors that are driving the stable market segment outlook, including:

  • AM Best believes alternative third-party capital will hold the line on future return expectations following the recent heavy catastrophe loss years;
  • A decline in capital consumption and earnings volatility, due in part to the increased utilization of third-party capital in retrocessionaire programs;
  • Greater emphasis on underwriting discipline due to pressure on interest rates and potential slower economic growth globally;
  • Improving pricing momentum driven by higher loss costs, coupled with lower loss reserve redundancies;
  • Increased demand for non-life reinsurance due to primary companies’ recent loss experience, as well as new risk transfer opportunities and mergers and acquisitions;
  • Stable operating performance among life reinsurers, which continue to maintain defensible market positions and offer services beyond risk transfer that create hurdles for new entrants.

To access the full copy of the overall global reinsurance briefing, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=292334.

Separate briefings on the non-life and life reinsurance segments can be viewed at:

To view a video with AM Best Associate Director Scott Mangan about the global reinsurance market segment outlook, please visit http://www.ambest.com/v.asp?v=globalreoutlook1219.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data provider specializing in the insurance industry. The company does business in more than 100 countries. Headquartered in Oldwick, NJ, AM Best has offices in cities around the world, including London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Robert DeRose
Senior Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5435
robert.derose@ambest.com

Greg Carter
Managing Director
+44 20 7397 0288
greg.carter@ambest.com

Michael Porcelli, FSA
Director
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5548
michael.porcelli@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

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