May 28, 2019

Western National Insurance Group Announces 2019 Scholarship Recipients

Western National Insurance Group today announced that its Scholarship Committee has selected the following eight applicants to receive merit-based college scholarships worth $3,000 each for the upcoming fall term: Emily Benz (Wabasso, Minn.), Bryce Borland (Waconia, Minn.), Benjamin Cartford (Stacy, Minn.), Katherine Simpson (Spencer, Iowa), Zachary Strong (Baxter, Minn.), Emily Undeland (Aurora, Minn.), Emily Veronen (Verndale, Minn.), and Sydney Zeiler (Davenport, Wash.).

Emily Benz (Wabasso, Minn.), daughter of Nichole and Brett Benz, will be a sophomore this year at Minnesota State University, Mankato studying Psychology. In recent years, Emily has served as Captain of the cross country team, Secretary of Future Farmers of America, and a member of the basketball and softball teams. She has also spent time as a Sunday School teacher and as a volunteer for community education programs.

Emily’s father, Brett, works in the Claims Department at Western National.

Bryce Borland (Waconia, Minn.), son of Michelle and Joel Borland, will be a freshman this year at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities studying Political Science. In school, Bryce has served as Captain of the swimming and diving and cross country teams, Treasurer for the Student Council, and as a peer mentor. Outside of school, he has volunteered as a coach of a Special Olympics swim team.

Bryce’s father, Joel, works in the IT Department at Western National.

Benjamin Cartford (Stacy, Minn.), son of Julie and Chuck Cartford, will be a freshman this year at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities studying Biology. In school, Benjamin has served as Treasurer and Committee Chair for the Student Council and as a member of the Environmental Club and National Honor Society. Outside of school, he competes in chess tournaments and performs magic at various events.

Benjamin’s mother, Julie, is a Western National agency partner at Alliance Insurance Advisors in White Bear Lake, Minn.

Katherine Simpson (Spencer, Iowa), daughter of Scott and Alison Simpson, will be a junior this year at Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa) studying Marketing and Public Relations. In school, Katherine has served as Panhellenic Delegate for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, has held a position on the Executive Council for the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and has contributed to Drake’s student newspaper as a staff writer. Outside of school, she has participated in various volunteer opportunities and has served as a Legislative Page for the Majority Leader of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Katherine’s father, Scott, and mother, Alison, are Western National agency partners at Community Insurance Group Inc. in Spencer, Iowa.

Zachary Strong (Baxter, Minn.), son of Kellie and Daniel Strong, will be a freshman this year at University of Minnesota, Duluth studying Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering. In school, Zachary has competed as a member of the alpine ski team; has served as a soloist for the choir; and has played drums, guitar, and bass for the jazz band. Outside of school, he has served as Band Leader for his church and has volunteered as a camp counselor.

Zachary’s father, Daniel, is a Western National agency partner at Nisswa Insurance Services Inc. in Nisswa, Minn.

Emily Undeland (Aurora, Minn.), daughter of Kathleen and Aaron Undeland, will be a freshman this year at College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, Minn.) studying Physical Therapy. In school, Emily has served as Captain of the volleyball, basketball, and track teams, and as a peer mentor. Outside of school, she has volunteered with her church and at various community events, including a local 5K fundraiser.

Emily’s father, Aaron, is a Western National agency partner at Range Reliable Agency, Inc. in Virginia, Minn.

Emily Veronen (Verndale, Minn.), daughter of Jennifer and Scott Veronen, will be a sophomore this year at University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, N.D.) studying Secondary Math Education. In recent years, Emily has served as Class President; Treasurer for the National Honor Society; and a member of band, the cheerleading squad, and the knowledge bowl team. She has also spent time volunteering for the Circle of Friends Humane Society and the Salvation Army.

Emily’s father, Scott, is a Western National agency partner at National Insurance Brokers in Forest Lake, Minn.

Sydney Zeiler (Davenport, Wash.), daughter of Pamela Zeiler, will be a freshman this year at Eastern Oregon University (LaGrande, Ore.) studying Biology and Spanish. In school, Sydney has served as Captain for the varsity basketball, volleyball, and softball teams. She has also served as Treasurer and President of the Future Business Leaders of America and as Treasurer for the Associated Student Body.

Sydney’s mother, Pamela, is a Western National agency partner at Basin Pacific Insurance in Moses Lake, Wash.

Scholarships are available annually to eight eligible, college-enrolled children of Western National Insurance Group partner agents and employees in the Group’s states of operation. Applications are judged on a variety of criteria (including academics, curricular and extra-curricular activity participation, a letter of recommendation, and an essay), with students’ identifying information hidden from the judges to ensure the integrity of the scoring process.

“It is our pleasure to award these scholarships to such a talented and accomplished group of students,” said Stuart Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “These eight young men and women have proven themselves to be extremely hard-working students, leaders among their peers, and highly active participants in the communities where they study and live. They represent a very bright future, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them as our ‘Class of 2019’.”

Western National Insurance, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of property-and-casualty insurance companies providing personal and commercial coverage in 20 states across the Midwestern and Western U.S. as well as in Alaska; and surety bonds in 32 states. The Group writes over $660 million in Direct Premium through eight active insurance companies—Western National Mutual Insurance Company, Western National Assurance Company, Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company, Western Home Insurance Company, Arizona Auto Insurance Company, Umialik Insurance Company, American Freedom Insurance Company, and Nevada General Insurance Company—and through one affiliate, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. All of the Group’s products are sold exclusively through professional Independent Insurance Agents.

For further information, please contact:

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

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