June 18, 2021

Western National Insurance Group Announces Officer Promotions of Smith and Buness

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Mutual Insurance Company today announced that it has promoted Lori Smith to Senior Vice President (from Vice President) and David Buness to the position of Assistant Vice President (from Director), effective immediately.

Lori Smith, now Senior Vice President – Human Resources, joined Western National in 2013 and has over 30 years of experience in a variety of human resources and leadership roles. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and Management from the University of Minnesota.

David Buness, now Assistant Vice President – Claims, joined Umialik in 2004 and has held a variety of roles during his time with the company, including managing the property, casualty, and auto claims adjusters in the Northwestern Region. He was promoted to Director of Property Claims for the West and Northwest Regions in 2020. He has nearly 30 years of experience working with claims. Buness earned his Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University.

“Lori and David have proven themselves to be outstanding leaders in the service of our customers, business partners, and internal stakeholders,” said Rick Long, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to recognize their contributions with these promotions. I look forward to continuing to utilize their talents, thoughtful approaches to leadership, and expertise to further grow our business and enhance our customer experience, both internally and externally.”

Western National Insurance, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of property-and-casualty insurance companies. The Group writes business 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 is affiliated with Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. Together, the affiliated companies write over $800 million in personal and commercial Direct Premium in 22 states across the Northern, Midwestern, and Western U.S. as well as in Alaska; and surety bonds in 41 states. All of the affiliated companies’ 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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