March 9, 2011
Western National Announces New Management Roles
(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Insurance Group (WNIG) today announced a partial realignment of its management team, effective immediately.
The following members of WNIG’s management team have assumed new roles:
Jeff Couchman, CPCU, ARe, AU, formerly Vice President–Corporate at Western National Mutual Insurance Company (WNM) and Senior Vice President and General Manager at Western National Assurance Company (WNA), has assumed the role of Vice President–Marketing & Business Development in WNM. Couchman is in his fourth year with the group, having started his career in commercial lines underwriting and having spent the 7 years just prior to joining the group working in risk analysis and reinsurance. In this new role, he will oversee the entire group’s marketing, communications, and business development functions.
Cindy Doble, CPCU, API, WNM’s Vice President–Personal Lines since 2004, will assume the new role of Chief Underwriting Officer–Personal Lines. Doble has been with the company for 35 years and will now lead the entire group’s Personal Lines underwriting and support efforts.
Brian Jermeland, formerly the group’s Vice President–Commercial Lines Operations, will assume the new role of Chief Underwriting Officer–Commercial Lines. Jermeland has been with the group since 2007, having previously worked in specialty lines for Northland and Travelers after a career start in loss control. He brings over 20 years of specialty lines underwriting and management experience to the position. He will also retain the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager of Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company.
As part of the Commercial Lines Underwriting restructuring, Eric Ellefson, CPCU, will be promoted to Assistant Vice President – Commercial Lines Underwriting. Ellefson has been with the company since 1989 and has taken on progressively greater roles in underwriting management.
Mary Manley, CPCU, who has served the group for the last seven years as its Senior Vice President–Corporate Affairs & Administration, will now assume the new role of Executive Vice President of WNA, in addition to her role as Executive Vice President of Umialik Insurance Company. Manley’s responsibility will encompass the group’s Northwestern U.S. operations. She has served Western National in a variety of leadership positions since joining the company in 1973.
Steve Richards, formerly Vice President–Commercial Lines Underwriting for WNA, will be promoted to the role of Senior Vice President and General Manager of WNA. Richards has been with Western National for 27 years and has overseen the Commercial Lines Underwriting staff as well as the day-to-day operations of the group’s Seattle office since 2003.
“Our group’s recent growth in size and scope has brought with it the need for us to adapt our organizational structure,” said Stuart Henderson, President and CEO of Western National. “These new roles better align our management team to our expanded operations, and focus attention on the critical areas of our operations that drive our success. We will be better positioned to enhance the products, service, and continued financial stability we provide to our policyholders.”
Western National Insurance Group, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of nine active companies serving the property-and-casualty insurance needs of individuals, families, and businesses. Written premium as of December 30, 2010 was $290.5 million, on Policyholder Surplus of $252.8 million and Assets of $620 million. The group’s products are sold exclusively through professional independent agents in 13 states in the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S.
For further information, please contact:
Steve Norman, AIT*
Director of Communications
(952) 921–5680 or (800) 862–6070 Ext. 7680
* Associate in Information Technology (AICPCU-IIA)