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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

Pi Day + IT Department = Fun!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th around the world,  West Bend Mutual’s IT/EPS Department joined the world in celebrating Pi Day with a Pie Contest.  The pies were judged on appearance, crust, filling and overall flavor. There were 5 Team Members up for the challenge; Esther Pinter with chocolate cream cheese pie, Shane Oppermann with Dutch apple pie, Tammy Weber with raspberry pie, Tess Olson with apple pie and Lisa Zielinski with blueberry pie. Celebrity judges were flown in for this inaugural Pi Day Contest: Mince Meat Steiner, Flaky Kent, Lemon Meringue Ertmer, Coconut Cream Jacques, Mississippi Mud Fox and A la mode Dunn.

The competition was fierce but in the end, Esther Pinter won with her Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie. And the IT/EPS Teams were treated to a lot of pie!  ‪#‎PiDay‬ ‪#‎Yum‬


Marketing Department = Perfect Fit

Lynn_Taesch_TBT.jpgLynn has been with West Bend since 1990 where she started in the Records Department. She transitioned into personal lines policy supervisor and held that position for several years. Next, she was promoted to personal lines business process specialist and also worked on the process improvement team with various departments throughout the company. In March of 2008, Lynn joined the Marketing Department and she found the perfect fit. She started planning the meetings and events, and purchasing the company merchandise. "Although I never expected to be here for 25 years, I am thankful for all the opportunities given to me at West Bend. I have wonderful friends at this company, both retired and still here, and it has been a great experience for me." ‪#‎TBT‬

West Bend Chef Mentors Area Students

culinary_team.jpgIn addition to his duties as head chef in our Terrace, Michael Rennicke has been busy serving as mentor to several area high school students.  Serena, Samantha, Frannie, Jesse and Macie make up the West Bend High School's ProStart Competition Team.

Michael and the Terrace staff have been wonderful supporter of the students, the high school culinary program, and their upcoming competition.  The students will represent East and West High Schools, as well as the West Bend community, at the Midwest Foodservice Expo on March 8 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

You may have seen the students recently in the Terrace or at a variety of restaurants in our community.  Sally Heuer, culinary and hospitality instructor at the West Bend High Schools, says these events provide wonderful opportunities for the students to increase their skill levels and reach for that "next level" in hospitality.

We wish the students well in their upcoming competition!