June 20, 2012

Western National Announces Board of Directors Changes

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Insurance Group (WNIG) of Edina, Minn., today announced changes to its Board of Directors, including the resignation (in accordance with term limits) of longtime Chairman Ernie Lindstrom and the election of Steve McFarland as the company's new Chairman. The changes are effective immediately.

Outgoing Chairman Ernie Lindstrom has served on the company's Board since 1991 and as Chairman since 1994. Lindstrom is a partner in the Lindstrom Law Office (Edina, Minn.) and a former Majority Leader (1971–1972) of the Minnesota House of Representatives (where he served from 1966–1974). As Chairman at Western National, he served the company during its turnaround from a storm-battered regional insurance company into a super-regional insurance group recognized for its financial stability.   

Incoming Chairman Steve McFarland has served on the company's Board since 2010.  After stints in technology positions with Northern States Power and Comdisco, McFarland started (and later sold) his own technology outsourcing company, Orbit Systems. Today, he manages his own technology consulting firm.

“Western National has a long tradition of excellence in governance, and that excellence was exemplified by Ernie's time leading our Board," said Stuart Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Western National. “We appreciate and thank Ernie for his 20+ years of service on behalf of Western National's policyholders, agents, and employees, and we are confident in Steve's ability to step into the Chairman role and continue that tradition."

The changes are the result of the annual Policyholder Meeting and quarterly Board of Directors Meeting of the group's parent company, Western National Mutual Insurance Company. Both meetings are held annually in June at the company's headquarters.

Policyholders also re-elected directors Kathleen Cooney, Kaye O'Leary, and John Kapanke to three-year terms.

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, 2011 was $314.4 million, on Policyholder Surplus of $269.6 million and Assets of $689.7 million. The group’s products are sold exclusively through professional independent agents in 16 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