June 30, 2023

Western National Mutual Insurance Company Announces Board of Directors Changes Following Annual Policyholder Meeting

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Mutual Insurance Company today announced several changes in the composition of its Board of Directors following its annual policyholder meeting. New and re-elected members’ service begins immediately.

Jennifer Kray (Chief Financial Officer, Ashling Partners) has been re-elected to a three-year term following a two-year term.

Stephen McFarland (Principal, 247 Logistics, LLC) has been re-elected to another three-year term.

Penny Cermak (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, HealthPartners) has been elected for an initial two-year term. In addition to her work at HealthPartners, Ms. Cermak has held similar financial leadership roles at Baylor Scott & White and BroMenn Healthcare System as well as co-founding Immanuel Health Center. She holds Master of Science and Bachelor degrees in Accounting from Illinois State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Rick Hammond (Principal, Insurance Claims and Litigation Consultants, LLC) has been elected for an initial one-year term. Mr. Hammond has both industry and legal experience on a broad spectrum of insurance matters from serving as an Illinois Department of Insurance regulator, supervising claims to litigating and trial of coverage and bad faith cases in multiple states and jurisdictions. He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and is an adjunct insurance law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Dean Hildebrandt (President and CEO, Assurex Global) has been elected for an initial three-year term. Mr. Hildebrandt has more than 25 years of experience across the independent agent and broker industry. Before joining Assurex Global, he was president and CEO of Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting (ABRC), a subsidiary of Associated Banc-Corp. Mr. Hildebrandt earned both an MBA (Finance) and an Ed.D. (Organizational Development) from the University of St. Thomas.

Stu Henderson (retired former CEO, Western National Insurance Group) has chosen to retire from the Board after 23 years of service to Western National. The Company extends its sincere thanks to Stu for his many years of service and wishes him all the best in the future.

Board member terms are intentionally staggered to more-evenly distribute the number of Board members whose terms may expire in any given year.

“We will miss Stu and are grateful for his decades of contributions to Western National, including 20 exceptional years as Chief Executive Officer,” said Steve McFarland, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Western National Insurance Group. “At the same time, we are pleased to add three talented new leaders to our Board of Directors in Penny, Rick, and Dean. We look forward to the positive impact these three new Directors, with their broad range of experiences and expertise, will have on Western National and its policyholders, agents, and employees.”

For further information, please contact:

Steve Norman, CPCU, M.A., AIT
Senior Vice President – Communications & Customer Experience
(952) 921-5680 or (800) 862-6070 Ext. 7680

western national and power of nice hybrid logo

At Western National Insurance, nice is what’s guided us for over 100 years.

And we’re just getting started.

professional insurance agent badge
trusted choice badge
top work place badge
wards 50 badge
A.M. Best 'A+' badge