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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.

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


Ice Cream for Breakfast!


#‎icecreamforbreakfast‬  International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is February 18th. We honor all children who have fought or who are fighting a battle with cancer, because kids get cancer too. Several associates ate ice cream in honor of Lily & Bailey Dove, for all the other children battling and for those that only live in our hearts. It was wonderful to have Lily, Bailey, Erin and Ryan join us! (Maddie we missed you). Thanks to everyone that participated!  For more information on this event, click here.

94 Years of Experience

Nel_Lisa_Bonnie_Collage.jpgMeet Nel (left), Bonnie (right), and Lisa (seated).  The collective knowledge of this group of lovely ladies is amazing!  I can only imagine there are few companies that have this type of dedication and tenure.  

Nel worked at West Bend part-time as a policy checker from 1978 to 1981. The hours were perfect since her husband could be home with their children and they didn’t need to hire a sitter. They moved back to Upper Michigan but returned in 1989. She began working once again at West Bend, this time in Personal Lines. Over the years, Nel worked in various departments - Commercial Lines, Accounts Receivable, the Help Desk in IT, Marketing, and now in the Executive area where she’s been for 16 years. “By working in several departments, I got a chance to learn a lot about each of them which helps me in the job I have today. I consider myself fortunate that I love what I do and I get to do it at such a great company! The job, the people, the benefits, the building, and grounds all make this a great place to work. It’s so nice to escort guests around our company and listen to their comments – they’re in such awe. I tell them we are very spoiled and we know it!”

 Bonnie started her career at West Bend, also part-time, during her senior year at Kewaskum High School in 1974. Her first position was in what was called Agent’s Service (a typing pool). She then moved into the checking area (proofreading what was typed in Agent’s Service). “After doing this for a couple of years, I realized I was not going to quit and go to college, as was my original plan,” Bonnie said. “It was time to do something else. I applied for a position in the Rating Department and became a rater of homeowners and dwelling fire policies, and then an underwriting assistant.” West Bend’s president and CEO at the time convinced her to take some insurance courses, and before she obtained her Associate in Underwriting designation, she was promoted to personal lines underwriter. She’s been underwriting for 30 years in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota. Bonnie is currently a senior personal lines underwriter for Minnesota and Iowa. “While I regret not taking the time for college, I am happy to still be working here after 42 years. I truly appreciate the career opportunities offered to me by West Bend.  By far the best thing about working at West Bend is the people I’ve gotten to work with and to know over the years.”

Lisa started in Agent’s Service in 1986 and transferred to Personal Lines in 1987 where she held three different positions. When her daughter was born in 1998, chose to stay at home. In 2006, she returned to West Bend and to the same position she had when she left: assistant underwriter in Personal Lines. In order to have a bit more flexibility for her young family, she took a position in Office Services/Policy Assembly/Printing. She worked in that role until she was promoted to office services supervisor in 2009. Then in 2013, she took a position as a commercial lines policy processing supervisor because she was ready and excited to grow and learn more about other areas of West Bend. Lisa said, "I am very thankful for all of the opportunities West Bend has given me and I look forward to the future. I enjoy change and all the chaos that goes with it - it has been a great ride and I look forward to my future at West Bend."



Argent Honored by Kuhl Insurance

Argent.jpgKuhl Insurance in Morton, IL recently honored Argent with their 2015 Commercial Lines Insurance Carrier of the Year Award!  According to Kuhl Insurance, the award recognizes a carrier that has "gone above and beyond in developing their partnership with our agency."

A number of factors determine the recipient of this award, including competitive products, product line/appetite, ease of doing business (underwriter flexibility, promptness in quotes, timely policies and endorsements, and flexibility in billing plans), claims service, and loss control capabilities.   

:"This isn't a popularity contest," said Scott Howard, director of operations at Kuhl Insurance.  "We put a lot of thought into who deserves this award.  Our service and production staff makes the decision, not upper management."

Nicole Celebrates 30 Years at West Bend

Nicole_Richter_TBT.jpgNicole will soon celebrate 30 years at West Bend and she says, “It has gone by so fast!” She started her career in September of 1986 in the Staff Underwriting Department part-time through her high school co-op program. Then, after graduating early in January of 1987, she moved on to the Agent Service Department full-time. Afterwards, she joined Personal Underwriting where she stayed for 18 years and had three positions: set up associate, teleprocessing, and assistant underwriter. Desiring a change, she moved on to the Information Technology Department where she is currently a senior production support specialist with her main focus in Personal Lines, as well as learning Commercial Lines. “There is never a dull moment in IT and you learn something new every single day. This is such a great company to work for with all the opportunities and benefits that it has to offer. I have grown so much professionally and personally. Looking forward to being a lifer here at West Bend!” Interested in a career at West Bend? Click to view open positions!http://www.thesilverlining.com/careers ‪#‎tbt‬

Mike's Throwback

Mike_Bury_TBT.jpg‪#‎TBT‬ Happy Throwback Thursday! Meet Mike, who started in 1987 on the Commercial Lines Underwriting Wisconsin team. In 1991,he moved to Minnesota to do field underwriting and came back to the home office in 1996. He had an Illinois territory until 2006 when he moved back to the Wisconsin team. "Commercial underwriting has been a great career choice for me and I am very thankful for the opportunities and education West Bend has given me. I have made some good friends here. I have seen lots of changes, not only in where we are working, but in how we do it. I am looking forward to all the new challenges ahead." 

West Bend Earns Gold Designation from WELCOA

WELCOA.jpgWest Bend recently received the Well Workplace Award from WELCOA (The Wellness Council of America)! West Bend successfully met the criteria to achieve a WELCOA national Well Workplace Gold designation. The Gold designation is for companies that successfully build comprehensive worksite wellness initiatives and demonstrate and document concrete outcomes.

By achieving this level of excellence in workplace wellness programming, West Bend has demonstrated its commitment to protecting and enhancing the health and well-being of our most valuable asset - our associates!  

Healthy snacks were served in honor of our award!