June 29, 2007

Western National Mutual Insurance Company Names Three New Members to Board of Directors

Minneapolis based insurer Western National Mutual Insurance Company today announced that they will add three (3) new members to their Board of Directors, effective immediately.  Serving the policyholders in this capacity will be Kathleen M. Cooney, Kaye O’Leary and Dr. Michael J. Pesch.

Ms. Cooney is Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer at HealthPartners, a non-profit health care organization based in Minneapolis, MN.  She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (B.S. Nursing) and the J.L. Kellogg School of Management.  Ms. Cooney has been actively employed in the health industry for her entire career, starting as a management consultant at Ernst & Whitney (now Ernst and Young), and serving in progressively more responsible management positions at HealthPartners since 1986.  She also serves on the Board of the College of St. Benedict.

Ms. O’Leary has been the Chief Financial Officer of BUCA, Inc., an Italian themed restaurant company with 93 locations in the US, since 2005.  Previously she was employed in various senior financial and strategic planning roles for Navitaire, Inc., Onelink, Inc., Carlson Companies, PepsiCo, Dun & Bradstreet, Dannon and A.H. Belo.  Ms. O’Leary has a BS in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance from Pace University in NY.  She serves on the Boards of the Girl Scout Council and Food for Hungry Minds, and as a mentor in the Mentium Program.  She is also a guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business Executive Development Center.

Dr. Pesch is currently Professor of Operations Management and the MBA Program Director at the Herberger College of Business, St. Cloud State University, one of only four accredited business schools in Minnesota.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (B.A. in Political Science & History), Ohio State University (M.S. in Agricultural Economics), the Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business (MBA - Logistics) and the University of MN’s Carlson School of Management (Ph.D – operations management).  Dr. Pesch came to St. Cloud State University as an Associate Professor in 1987, after teaching business and economics at Monmouth College in IL.  He is an award winning business management author and speaker, and is a regular contributor to ROI Central Minnesota.  In addition to being active in his university community, Dr. Pesch serves on the Board of the Harold Anderson Entrepreneurial Center.

Western National Insurance Group consists of five regional Property and Casualty Insurance companies, in total writing approximately $250 million of commercial and personal lines premium in MN, WI, SD, ND, WA, OR, NV, UT and IA.  Total assets exceed $500 million.  All of the companies’ products are sold exclusively through professional independent agents.

For further information, contact:

Mary S. Manley

SVP Corporate Affairs & Administration