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Annette's Journey at West Bend

It's time for another Throwback Thursday! Annette began her career at West Bend in August of 1991 as a policy processing technician in Commercial Lines. She remained in that position until 1996 when she decided she needed a change of pace and went to the print shop. At that time, offset presses were still used so it was quite a change to go from wearing business attire and rating and assembling policies, to wearing uniform attire and working with ink. In 2001, she switched gears again, transferring to the Imaging Services area where she acquired various job titles, but the job itself remained much the same. Today, Annette is an imaging process support specialist and she works closely with Commercial Lines and Personal Lines Underwriting, Audit, Collection, Accounts Payable and Receivable, and IT. Annette tells us, “There have been so many changes these last 25 years. I remember typing forms with carbon paper and manually rating some lines of business, to now having everything electronic. Plus, the clothing trends have definitely changed. When I started, we had to wear full business attire with pantyhose and closed toe shoes! Now we can be ourselves and dress casually in jeans. The different positions I’ve held have definitely helped me understand the various departments. There is never a dull moment, but what I like most about working here is the people. I have formed lots of friendships over the years.” 


Silver Lining Claim Experience March Winners

The S.L.C.E. Recognition Program celebrates those Claims associates who deliver exceptional service to our customers.  The Promise Kept award is based on feedback from our policyholders, while the Silver Lining Standout award goes to those getting great feedback from all others.  Winners are chose monthly from all nominations received.  Congratulations:

Justine R.
Josh M.
Bonnie H.
Tony K.
Sharon T.
Bill M.
Tom C.
Jennifer W.

March Key Recognition Winners

Key Recognition is West Bend's peer to peer recognition program that celebrates individuals and teams who do what's right and deliver results by offering timely, frequent, and personalized recognition.  Congratulations to the March winners:

Chris S. -  Argent Claims
Kevin H. - Property/Casualty Claims
Michael F. - Property/Casualty Claims
Greg W. - Internal Services

Kelly Tighe Over the Years

Kelly_Tighe_TBT_Collage.jpgHappy Throwback Thursday! Kelly started at West Bend in 1999 when he “still had some hair” (direct quote from him). He’s spent all of his West Bend career in the Sales Department, first as state sales manager in charge of Illinois and Indiana. Early in 2001, he was promoted to director of sales for Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. This role gave Kelly the opportunity to work very closely with one of the all-time nicest people in the insurance business, Greg Loyda. Like many here at West Bend, he wishes Greg was still with us. He was promoted to assistant vice president of sales in 2007 and now serves as vice president of sales. In order to support the company’s growth goals, Kelly spends much of his time working with our sales team, the underwriting division leaders, and our independent insurance agencies.

Kelly shared, “I am continually impressed with the people in our organization. They’re our differentiator and they make a difference. It might sound a bit ‘Mayberry-like,’ but the culture we have here is unlike anything else I have experienced at any of the previous places I worked. The key here is to keep this culture going as we grow. I am very confident we’ll be able to do it.”

West Bend's HR staff honored by Milwaukee Business Journal

HR.jpgWest Bend is among the 10 winners selected for the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2016 HR Awards!  West Bend competed in the large private companies category.  

The awards were established to recognize the important work individuals, companies, and organizations do in the field of human resources to make Southeastern Wisconsin firms and organizations successful. Primary requirements were that a company or organization entry be based on an HR program or practice currently in operation or recently completed, and that the program/practice be the result of an organization's own work and not that of a consultant.  

Our HR team highlighted their comprehensive onboarding program that offers opportunities for new associates to integrate into our culture, understand our core values, establish relationships within the organization, and become productive members of their teams.  HR recently named the onboarding program the "Red Carpet Welcome" to highlight they type of treatment new associates receive during their first few months at West Bend.  While the name is new, the onboarding program has been impressing new associates for many years.  It provides new hires with the appropriate information and guidance throughout the onboarding process, which as had a lasting positive effect on retention and overall engagement at West Bend.  

Sandy's Success

Wilkens_TBT.jpgSandy began her career at West Bend in April 1974, typing policies as a Kewaskum High School co-op student. Over the years, she held many different positions, all in Commercial Underwriting. The jobs varied from checking and assembling polices, to manual rating, supervising, and underwriting. She worked on various teams in the underwriting division (IA, IL, IN, and WI). Her current position is an underwriter on the Metro Milwaukee team.

Sandy will retire May 2 and has this to say about her time at West Bend:

“The company has given me so many opportunities over my 42 years here. There are much too many to list individually, but a highlight would be obtaining my CPCU designation in 1989 and the company sending me to the CPCU convention in Anaheim, California. I will miss the daily interaction with the other associates here. My co-workers are really like a second family to me. I will also miss working with our agents. Being able to help them write and retain business with our company has been very gratifying.” ‪#‎TBT‬

Free Throw Madness

SAM_0029.jpgWest Bend's final four tiebreaker went down today at high noon. The associate that most closely estimated the number of free throws our Asst. VP of HR could make in two minutes was the winner. Deb shot 7 free throws leaving first and second place tied again! The final winner was chosen by the old standby...pick a name out of a hat. Congrats to our associates that won prizes and a huge thank you to Deb for being a great sport!

Applause, applause!

LindaLuka.jpgCongratulations to Linda, agency education coordinator in Marketing!  Linda was recently elected secretary of the Certified Insurance Services Representative (CISR) Board of Governors.  The election took place this month at the James K. Ruble MEGA Seminar of the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research in Denver, Colorado.
Officers serve one year in their executive board positions.  "Our new board officers and all member of the three boards are top industry professionals and leaders with extensive knowledge of our programs and designations.  Their contributions to the growth of The National Alliance, and practical understanding and experience of the insurance and risk management industry, provide the highest value for our guidance and the enrichment of the programs for our participants and designees," said William T. Hold, Ph.D., CIC, CPCU, CLU, president of The National Alliance.

February S.L.C.E. Winners



The Silver Lining Claim Experience (S.L.C.E.) Recognition Program celebrates those Claims
associates who deliver exceptional service to our customers. The Promise Kept Award is based
on feedback from our policyholders, while the Silver Lining Standout Award goes to those
getting great feedback from all others. Winners are chosen monthly from all nominations



Congratulations to:

Jennifer W.
Eric W.
Kerri L.
Beth S.
Deb A.
Danielle L.
Linda Y.
Patti F.

Hippity, Hoppity Time of Year

The one, the only Mr. Easter Bunny visited West Bend this past weekend. Associates and their families enjoyed a wonderful breakfast, crafts, cookie decorating and, of course, direct access to Mr. Bunny himself!Easter_Bunny_Collage.jpg