Mountainous horizon with the text 'For Alaskans. By Alaskans.'

Press Release

May 13, 2016

Western National Insurance Group Announces 2016 Scholarship Recipients

(Minneapolis, Minn) Western National Insurance Group today announced that its scholarship committee has selected, through a blind scoring system, eight applicants to receive merit-based college scholarships worth $3,000 each for the upcoming fall term: Alecia Alto (St. Bonifacius, Minn.), Andy Becker (Minnetonka, Minn.), Kate Burkart (Green Lake, Wis.), Katherine Craemer (Minnetonka, Minn.), Austin George (Onalaska, Wis.), Zoe Holman (Butte, Mont.), Payton Miller (Spokane Valley, Wash.), and Zachary Splonskowski (Madison, Minn.).


Alecia Alto, daughter of Janet and Ivan Alto, will be a sophomore at the University of Minnesota – Rochester studying health sciences. In school, she has been the Co-Chapter Leader for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an Executive Board Member of the Pre-Professional Club, and a member of the International Club. Outside of school, she has been a Teen Leader for Summer Stretch and a Camp Counselor.


Alecia’s mother, Janet, is a Western National agency partner at American Agency in Minneapolis, Minn.


Andy Becker, son of Kelly Becker, will be a junior at Simpson College studying mathematics, biology, and applied philosophy. In school, he has been a member of Math Club, Beta Beta Beta, as well as a Biology Teaching Assistant and a Simpson Hawley Center Tutor. Outside of school, he has been involved with InterFraternity Council and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.


Andy’s mother, Kelly, is the Customer Relationship Director at Western National’s office in Edina, Minn.


Kate Burkart, daughter of Philip and Linda Burkart, will be a freshman this year at the University of Wisconsin–Madison studying veterinary medicine. A 2016 graduate of Green Lake High School in Green Lake, Wis., she has been the President of the Student Council, Secretary of the Spanish Honor Society, as well as an active member of Honors Band, Volleyball, and Math Team. Outside of school, she has volunteered with Town Square, Green Lake Nursing Home, Boys and Girls Club, and United Way.


Kate’s father, Phil, is a Western National agency partner at Burkart Heisdorf Insurance/McClone Insurance in Green Lake, Wis.


Katherine Craemer, daughter of Joleen and Michael Craemer, will be continuing as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying nutritional science and global health. In school, she has been involved in the Greenhouse Community. Outside of school, she has volunteered with Hopkins Library Summer Programs, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Chapel View Nursing Home, and Eagle Heights Community Center.


Katherine’s mother, Joleen, is an Auto Manager in the Claims Department at Western National’s office in Edina, Minn.


Austin George, son of Cheryl and Tom George, will be a freshman this year at the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse studying business management. A 2016 graduate of Holmen High School in Holmen, Wis., he has been the Vice President of Media Relations for Holmen High School DECA, Senior Captain of the Track and Field Team, as well as an active member of National Honor Society. Outside of school, he has been involved with Brice Prairie EMS and Rescue, Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin, Soberfest, and Holmen Area Backyard Softball League.


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


Zoe Holman, daughter of Rody Holman, will be continuing as a freshman at the University of Montana – Butte studying international business and finance. In school, she has been the Club President of FCCLA, the Club Secretary of TASK, as well as a member of Key Club and Youth Legislature. Outside of school, she has been involved in figure skating and dance.


Zoe’s father, Rody, is a Western National agency partner at PayneWest Insurance in Butte, Mont.


Payton Miller, son of Pam Miller, will be a freshman this year at Montana State University studying mechanical/electrical engineering. A 2016 graduate of University High School in Spokane Valley, Wash., he has been an active member of National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl, Spanish Club, and Crimson Crew. Outside of school, he has been involved in Awana, Upward Flag Football, and Vacation Bible School.


Payton’s mother, Pam, is a Western National agency partner at Moloney & O’Neill in Spokane, Wash.


Zachary Splonskowski, son of Sara and Daniel Splonskowski, will be a sophomore at the College of Saint Scholastica studying accounting and finance. In school, he has been involved in Accounting Club, Circle K Club, and Drumline. Outside of school, he has been involved in the Relay for Life of Lynden and Sonlight Christian Reformed Church Youth Group.


Zachary’s mother, Sara, is a Western National agency partner at Klein Insurance in Madison, Minn.


Scholarships are available annually to eight eligible, college-enrolled children of Western National Insurance Group partner agents and employees in all the Group’s states of operation. 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 Stu. “These eight young men and women have excelled in their studies, their in-school and extracurricular activities, their creativity, and their leadership among their peers. They represent a very bright future, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them as our ‘Class of 2016’.”


Western National Insurance Group, headquartered in Edina, Minn., is a super-regional group of seven active property-and-casualty insurance companies. The Group insures personal and business coverages plus surety in 19 states across the Midwestern, Northwestern, and Southwestern U.S.; and surety-only in another 7 states. The Group distributes its products 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