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Press Release

May 13, 2014

Western National Insurance Group announces 2014 Scholarship recipients

(Minneapolis, Minn.) Western National Insurance Group today announced that its scholarship committee has selected, through a blind scoring system, six applicants to receive merit-based college scholarships worth $3,000 each for the upcoming fall term: Daniel Broderick (Dubuque, Iowa), Anthony Joyce (Lakeville, Minn.), Thomas Joyce (Lakeville, Minn.), Jessica Kester (Anchorage, Alaska), Steven Long (Bayside, Wis.), and Hannah Russert (Caledonia, Minn.). 

Daniel Broderick, son of Joseph and Beth Broderick, will be a freshman at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. studying accounting/finance or technology. A 2014 graduate of Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque, he has served as student body president, as a student and admissions ambassador, as quarterback on the football team, and as a member of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, he has been active in the Dubuque Area Youth Leadership Council and as a volunteer with Boys and Girls Club.

Daniel’s father, Joseph, is a Western National agency partner at Cottingham & Butler in Dubuque, Iowa.

Anthony Joyce, son of Michael and Mary Joyce, will be a junior at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. studying history and letters–constitutional studies. A 2012 graduate of Lakeville North High School, he has been active in the OU Concert Band and Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and OU Honors Student Association. Outside of school, he has been active as a volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, OU’s “Big Event”, and as an usher and greeter at parishes in Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Anthony’s father, Michael, is an employee in the Claims Department at Western National’s office in Edina, Minn.

Thomas Joyce, son of Michael and Mary Joyce, will be a junior at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. studying political science and letters–constitutional studies. A 2012 graduate of Lakeville North High School, he has been active in the OU Concert Band and Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, the Honors Reading Group, and the Political Science Club. Outside of school, he has been active as a volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, OU’s “Big Event”, and as an usher and greeter at parishes in Minnesota and Oklahoma.

Thomas’s father, Michael, is an employee in the Claims Department at Western National’s office in Edina, Minn.

Jessica Kester, daughter of Dave and Elena Kester, will be a freshman this year at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif. studying pre-med/biology. Jessica is a 2014 graduate of Grace Christian School in Anchorage. In school, she has been an active member in the National Honor Society, the Women’s Vocal Ensemble, and as a lead musician in school chapel services. Outside of school, she has been active in dance choreography, anthem singing at sporting events, and worship leading at Filipino Bible Church.

Jessica’s father, Dave, is a Umialik Insurance Company agency partner at Alaska USA Insurance Brokers in Anchorage, Alaska.

Steven Long, son of Mike Long and Mary Reilly, will be a sophomore at DePaul University in Chicago, Ill. studying psychology and screenwriting. A 2013 graduate of Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wis., he has been active in the DePaul men’s a capella group, in theater and the International Thespian Society, and as a multi-instrumentalist in several school ensembles. Outside of school, he has served as a member of the Catholic Youth Ministry, helped at the Elizabeth Residence, and worked at the Wellspring Organic Farm.

Steven’s mother, Mary, is a Western National agency partner at Robertson Ryan & Associates in Milwaukee, Wis.

Hannah Russert, daughter of Judy and Bryan Russert, will be a sophomore this year at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. studying biochemistry. A 2013 graduate of Caledonia High School, she has been active as an FFA President, a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of her high school and college soccer and track teams. Outside of school, she has held leadership positions in 4-H, volunteered as a teacher at basketball camps, and worked on service projects with the soccer team.

Hannah’s mother, Judy, is a Western National agency partner at Fleis Insurance Agency in Onalaska, Wis.

Scholarships are available annually to six eligible, college-enrolled children of Western National Insurance Group partner agents and employees. Applications are judged on a variety of criteria, with students’ identifying information hidden from the judges to ensure the integrity of the scoring process.   

“We’re pleased to be able to award these scholarships to such a talented and accomplished group of students,” said Western National president and chief executive officer Stuart Henderson.  “These six young men and women have excelled in their studies, their in-school and extracurricular activities, creativity, and leadership among their peers. They represent a very bright future, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them as our ‘Class of 2014’.”

Western National Insurance Group (WNIG), headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of seven active property-and-casualty insurance companies writing over $400 million of personal, commercial, and surety premium on over $315 million of policyholder’s surplus. The group serves the insurance needs of individuals, families, and businesses in 19 states in the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S., with products sold exclusively through independent insurance agents.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Norman, CPCU, M.A., AIT
Assistant Vice President – Communications
(952) 921–5680 or (800) 862–6070 Ext. 7680
steven.norman@wnins.com