Madison, Wis. (Feb. 8, 2011) — Jack Salzwedel will succeed Dave Anderson as chairman and chief executive officer of American Family Mutual Insurance Company on Nov. 1, 2011. The change was approved today by the company's board of directors.
Salzwedel has served as the company's chief operating officer since 2006, becoming president in January 2007 when Anderson assumed his current role as CEO and chairman. Anderson will retire Oct. 31.
"We want to ensure a planned, orderly succession so that our policyholders, agents and employees, and the communities where we do business know that the company will continue to flourish in the years ahead," said Anderson.
"Jack Salzwedel is a visionary leader with an outstanding track record," Anderson said. "In the past four years, he led development of a new mission and vision statement, strategic plan and organizational structure, focusing the company on customer value and satisfaction."
During Salzwedel's tenure as president, American Family initiated a technology transformation and created or expanded customer service options, including 24/7 call centers for claims, service and billing, as well as online purchase and binding of policies. The company's customer satisfaction and retention numbers reached record highs.
Salzwedel joined American Family in 1983 as a health claim adjuster. Two years later, he became an agent, later serving as a district sales manager and state sales director for eastern Wisconsin.
In 2000, he was elected vice president of the company's personal lines division, and in 2003 was elected vice president of American Family's life insurance company. A year later, he was elected executive vice president overseeing the company's regional sales operations, marketing and broker/dealer divisions.
Salzwedel earned a bachelor's degree in biology and business administration at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he serves on that school's board of regents. He also co-chairs the American Family Children's Hospital advisory board. He serves on several industry trade organization boards, including the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America and the Insurance Information Institute.
Anderson, a native of Plymouth, Wis., will retire after a 36-year career with American Family. He joined the company in 1975 as budget director and held various positions in the controller/finance area until his election as vice president of information services in 1996. He was elected president and COO three years later before assuming his current role as chairman and CEO in 2007. During his tenure, the company accentuated financial strength, with policyholder equity increasing to a record level of $5.4 billion in the recently completed financial year.
Anderson earned business and MBA degrees from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a distinguished alumnus award from the school in 2009.
A decision regarding the president/chief operating officer position after Salzwedel assumes chairman/CEO responsibilities will be made after a review of the company's executive structure.
Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam