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May 23, 2013

Western National Insurance Group Announces 2013 Scholarship Recipients

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Insurance Group today announced that its scholarship committee has selected six applicants to receive merit-based college scholarships worth $3,000 each for the upcoming fall term: Nicholas Antonson (Beresford, S. D.), Heather Aune (Baldwin, Wis.), Jane Becker (Roseville, Minn.), Abby Bretl (Antigo, Wis.), Kelly Burkart (Green Lake, Wis.), and Jon Watson (Kirkland, Wash.).

Nicholas Antonson, son of Bradley and Sarah Antonson, will be a freshman this year at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. Nicholas is a 2013 graduate of Beresford High School. In school, he has been part of National Honor Society, several sports teams, Student Council, and Concert Band. Outside of school, he has been active in his community by volunteering at multiple summer camps and at his church.

Nicholas’ father, Brad, is a Western National agency partner at Jensen Agency Inc. in Beresford, S.D.

Heather Aune, daughter of John and Marlaine Aune, will be a senior this fall at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. In school, she has been part of the Educator Program Preparation Council and the women’s chorale. Outside of school, she has been active in her church as a Sunday school teacher, a member of the worship band, and part of the youth group leadership team.

Heather’s father, John, is an employee in the Claims Department at Western National Mutual Insurance Company in Edina, Minn.

Jane Becker, daughter of Jim and Barbara Becker, will be a freshman this fall at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Jane is a 2013 graduate of Roseville Area High School. In school, she has been part of National Honor Society, Raiders Against Destructive Decisions, and the volleyball team. Outside of school, she has volunteered at the Roseville volleyball summer camp and at several events at her church.

Jane’s father, Jim, is an employee in the Claims Department at Western National Mutual Insurance Company in Edina, Minn.

Abby Bretl, daughter of Corrine Thomas and Charles Bretl, will be a senior this fall at Concordia University – Wisconsin in Mequon, Wis. In school, she has been part of her college’s children’s ministry, VISTA, and the Beautiful Feet Mission Conference. Outside of school, she has been part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteered as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, and volunteered at her church.

Abby’s mother, Corrine, is a Western National agency partner at The Insurance Center in Antigo, Wis.

Kelly Burkart, daughter of Philip and Linda Burkart, will be a freshman this fall at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Kelly is a 2013 graduate of Ripon Senior High School. In school, she has been part of National Honor Society, Student Council, and Future Business Leaders of America. Outside of school, she has volunteered at the Green Lake Rotary Club, American Legion, Green Lake Association, and Green Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Kelly’s father, Phil, is a Western National agency partner at Burkart-Heisdorf Insurance in Green Lake, Wis.

Jon Watson, son of Tina and Jon Watson, will be a freshman this fall at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. Jon is a 2013 graduate of Juanita High School in Kirkland, Wash. In school, he has been part of the Drama club, school orchestra, Thespian Society, Chess Club, soccer team, and the school newspaper. Outside of school, he has been involved in peace activism training and peer mediation.

Jon’s mother, Tina, is a Western National agency partner at Insurance Services Group in Woodinville, Wash.

Scholarships are available annually to six eligible, college-enrolled children of Western National Insurance Group partner agents and employees. Applications were blindly scored.

“It is very gratifying to be able to award these scholarships to such a talented and accomplished group of students,” said Western National president and chief executive officer Stuart Henderson.  “These six young men and women have proven their continued commitment to knowledge and to leadership in the service of their communities. We wish them well, and say 'congratulations' to our ‘Class of 2013’.”

Western National Insurance Group, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of seven active property-and-casualty insurance companies serving individuals, families, and businesses in 18 states in the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S. The group distributes its products exclusively through independent insurance agents.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Norman, M.A., AIT*
Director of Communications
(952) 921–5680 or (800) 862–6070 Ext. 7680
steven.norman@wnins.com

* Associate in Information Technology (AICPCU-IIA)