Modern Woodmen of America grew in 2016. Compared to the previous year, the fraternal financial services organization says assets increased 4.4% to $15.4 billion last year.
Mel Rambo, Chief Risk Officer, says Modern Woodmen is achieving its goals despite low interest rates which may be good for homebuyers but not for people who live on fixed incomes.
"We're sitting on about $1.6 billion of surplus, and that has continued to show steady growth as well. And that surplus allows us to continue to grow our business. But also in case there would be an adverse event, to absorb that to protect those members and protect their future benefits."
Modern Woodmen is also growing in terms of employment with 510 working at its Rock Island headquarters.
"And that has gone up by roughly 25 employees over the last year. We're expanding in our IT area and developing some new services structures for our members, some new, innovative processes. So we've had to add staff."
Rambo says Modern Woodmen's contributions to communities in 2016 totaled $21.7 million. The money supports scholarships, social, educational, volunteer, and other activities. For example as part of a project called, "Be an Everyday Hero," local employees raised money to help pay for the Davenport Police Department's first K-9 officer.