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Press Release

May 17, 2017

Umialik, Western National Insurance Group Announce 2017 Scholarship Recipients

(Anchorage, Alaska) Umialik Insurance Company and Western National Insurance Group today announced that its Scholarship Committee has selected the following eight applicants to receive merit-based college scholarships worth $3,000 each for the upcoming fall term: Steven Aune (Hammond, Wis.), Maria Brown (Elk River, Minn.), Megan Cornell (Bloomington, Minn.), Max Lerman (Mendota Heights, Minn.), Matthew McLachlan (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Cole Miller (Prairie du Sac, Wis.), Mercedes Olson (Rogers, Minn.), and Sarah Vos (Caputa, S.D.).

Steven Aune, son of Marlaine and John Aune, will be a senior this fall at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse studying World History. In school, he has served as Chapter President for the National Honor Society, as a delegate of the Inter-Fraternity Council, and as a member of the Phi Alpha Theta Academic Honor Society of History Majors. Outside of school, he has volunteered at the Moose Lodge and the Rotary Club of La Crosse.

Steven’s father, John, is a Claims Representative at Western National.

Maria Brown, daughter of Elizabeth and James Brown, will be a freshman this year at Concordia University, St. Paul studying Nursing. In school, she has served as Captain of the track and field team and as a member of the National Honor Society, the hockey team, and the cross country team. Outside of school, she has volunteered at Guardian Angels Nursing Home and participated in mission trips and her church youth group.

Maria’s father, James, is a Western National agency partner at Foster White Agency in Monticello, Minn.

Megan Cornell, daughter of Becky and Jeffrey Cornell, will be a freshman this year at Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) studying Business. In school, she has served as Captain of the varsity track team, as Captain of the varsity hockey team, and as a member of the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she has been a member of the Girls Elite Hockey League and has attended the USA Hockey National Camp.

Megan’s father, Jeff, is the Auto Physical Damage Claims Manager at Western National.

Max Lerman, son of Lisa and Mark Lerman, will be a freshman this year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison studying Entrepreneurship. In school, he has served as a member of Student Council, the National Honor Society, and the tennis team. Outside of school, he has served as Membership Outreach and Senior Programming Chair of the United Synagogue Youth Regional Board, as President and Engagement Coordinator of the United Synagogue Youth Chapter Board, and as a volunteer at Sholom Home.

Max’s father, Mark, is a Western National agency partner at HUB International in St. Paul, Minn.

Matthew McLachlan, son of Molly and Anthony McLachlan, will be a freshman this year at the University of Wisconsin - Madison studying Physics. In school, he has served as Captain of the Forensics Speech Team, as a peer tutor for the Jesuit Honor Society, as a member of the head council for the Celtic Club, and as a member of the tennis team. Outside of school, he has been a tutor at Saint Rose Messmer School, volunteered at Hart Park Square Senior Living Home, and has earned his first-degree black belt in karate.

Matthew’s mother, Molly, is a Western National agency partner at Marsh & McLennan Agency in New Berlin, Wis.

Cole Miller, son of Debra and Bradley Miller, will be a freshman this year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse studying Pre-Medicine. In school, he has served as Captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams, and as Chair of School Service for the National Honor Society. Outside of school, he has been a 6:8 volunteer and participated in mission work.

Cole’s mother, Debra, is a Western National agency partner at Schwarz Insurance in Prairie du Sac, Wis.

Mercedes Olson, daughter of Jackie Olson, will be a freshman this year at Indiana University (Bloomington, Ind.) studying Intelligent Systems Engineering. In school, she has served as a member of the National Honor Society, as a member and senior leader of the basketball team and soccer team, as a member of the track team, and as a participant in DECA. Outside of school, she has been involved in youth group and has volunteered at the KA Bike Race.

Mercedes’ mother, Jackie, is a Western National agency partner at North Risk Partners in St. Cloud, Minn.

Sarah Vos, daughter of Dallas and Wade Vos, will be a freshman this year at South Dakota State University (Brookings, S.D.) studying Animal Science. In school, she has served as Senior Class Co-President of Student Council, as Treasurer of the National Honor Society, and as a section leader in the band. Outside of school, she has served as Secretary and Treasurer of 4-H and participated in rodeos.

Sarah’s mother, Dallas, is a Western National agency partner at Western Dakota Insurors in Rapid City, S.D.

Scholarships are available annually to eight eligible, college-enrolled children of Western National Insurance Group partner agents and employees in the Group’s states of operation. Applications are judged on a variety of criteria (including academics, curricular and extra-curricular activity participation, a letter of recommendation, and an essay), 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 Stuart Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of the Western National Insurance Group. “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 2017’.”

Umialik Insurance Company, headquartered in Anchorage, Alaska, has served the property-and-casualty insurance needs of Alaskans since 1981. Umialik is a member of Western National Insurance, a super-regional group of property-and-casualty insurance companies providing personal and commercial coverage in 20 states across the Midwestern and Western U.S. as well as in Alaska; and surety bonds in 32 states. The Group writes over $631 million in Direct Premium through eight active insurance companies—Western National Mutual Insurance Company, Western National Assurance Company, Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company, Western Home Insurance Company, Arizona Auto Insurance Company, Umialik Insurance Company, American Freedom Insurance Company, and Nevada General Insurance Company—and through one affiliate, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. All of the Group’s products are sold exclusively through professional 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