David Gautsche has proven his leadership skills, not once, but three times. Upon graduating from college, David started his career in the manufacturing sector. Next, he moved to financial services. Most recently, David was recruited to become the president and CEO of Goodville Mutual. Goodville is a mutual property/casualty insurer headquartered in New Holland, Pennsylvania.
A Natural When it Comes to Leadership
David understands that leadership is partially learned and partially a quality with which people are born. It’s fortunate for Goodville Mutual employees and policyholders that David is blessed with both. His father was not only a strong leader, teacher and pastor, he also passed his leadership genes to David.
Carrying both the genetics and the lessons from his father is certainly an advantage for David. Just as importantly, he understands that an important characteristic of being a successful leader is earning trust. At Goodville Mutual, David earns the trust of employees by meeting with every employee at least once per year. This is just one part of David’s goal of always being accessible and emphasizing the importance of relationships.
Strong Values for a Strong Leader
David also has a unique ability to clearly communicate the values that are important to him. An example of this ability is captured in his statement about why he joined Goodville Mutual. Joining the company included uprooting his family to move to New Holland, Pennsylvania. About that, David says, “Who you are during your work week should integrate with who are as a person.”
David knew that tight integration of who he is as a person was a fit with Goodville Mutual for a few reasons. During his time in the financial services sector he worked with some of the marketing representatives, board members and agents for Goodville. This gave David the confidence that Goodville was already a company where both his weekend and work week values would be appreciated.
Unique Skills for a Unique Market
David understands, and believes strongly in having a sense of a “community.” In fact, looking beyond his leadership skills, building and appreciating community is a second defining characteristic of David.
Before joining Goodville Mutual, David spent 15 years with a fraternal benefit organization where he served as the president of a family of mutual funds. This gave David deep experience in working with a tightly knit community.
Throughout his time in the fraternal movement, David developed an even greater appreciation for this strong sense of community. He also realized there are benefits to all parties when that strong sense of community is a core value. David summarizes that reality in his statement, “a sense of community has a positive impact on results.”
The Strength of the Community Culture at Goodville Mutual
A good example of the community at Goodville Mutual can be seen in the tenure of the employees. In 2018 they have a couple key employees retiring. One that’s been with the company for 47 years. Another that’s been with the company for 53 years. The long-term commitment of Goodville’s employees is an indication of the quality of the company as well as the sense of care the employees have for one another and the mission of the organization.
In part, the community culture is a function of the history of Goodville Mutual. At inception, the company was formed as a mutual, with most of the initial members being from the Mennonite community. Over time, the company and policyholders have become much more diverse. Currently, less than 50% of the policyholders come from the community built on faith, but those original values are evident in the culture of the organization.
The Perfect Blend of Skills and Values
David is excited to be part of the mutual insurance industry. We expect that David’s appreciation of community; strong core values and leadership skills will ensure that Goodville Mutual continues to be an award-winning performer on behalf of policyholders for years to come.
The “Leadership Excellence” blog posts by ValChoice features CEOs of the best auto and home insurance companies. We identify the “best” companies based solely on how well they perform for policyholders. We aim to write profiles of the CEOs for all the best companies. There is no requirement to be a customer of ValChoice in order to be featured in our Leadership Excellence posts.