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Press Release

May 19, 2015

Western National Insurance Group announces 2015 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: Alecia Alto (St. Bonifacius, Minn.), Katherine Craemer (Minnetonka, Minn.), Kari Erickson (New London, Minn.), Molly Pass (Shakopee, Minn.), Zachary Schroeder (Falcon Heights, Minn.), and Luke Sherry (Ashland, Wis.).

Alecia Alto, daughter of Janet and Ivan Alto, will be a freshman at University of Minnesota – Rochester, studying medical laboratory science. A 2015 graduate of Waconia High School, she has been an active member of the cross country team, Students Against Destructive Decisions, National Honor Society, and Peer Mentors. Outside of school, she has been a faith formation teacher, been part of the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association, and volunteered with Feed My Starving Children.

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

Katherine Craemer, daughter of Joleen and Michael Craemer, will be a freshman at University of Wisconsin – Madison, studying nutritional science. A 2015 graduate of Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn., she has been the Captain of the ski team, also Captain of the cross country team, president of Good Karma Club, as well as a member of National Honor Society and concert choir. Outside of school, she has been an active volunteer at Hopkins Library, Chapelview Nursing Home, and Methodist Hospital.

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

Kari Erickson, daughter of Paul Erickson and Deb Boonstra, will be a junior at University of Minnesota – Morris, studying elementary education. In school, she has been active in National Honor Society, Letterwomens Club, Peer Helpers, and college golf. Outside of school, she has been a Sunday school helper, ZONE Afterschool Tutor, and a volunteer at the Humane Society.

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

Molly Pass, daughter of David and Mary Pass, will be a freshman at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., studying both health science and Spanish. Molly is a 2015 graduate of Shakopee Senior High School. In school, she has been active in Future Leaders of America, LINK, National Honor Society, and the volleyball team. Outside of school, she has been involved in dance, Dollars for Scholars, and volunteering with Feed My Starving Children.

Molly’s father, David, is a Western National agency partner at Agency One Insurance in Shakopee, Minn.

Zachary Schroeder, son of Kevin and Sally Schroeder, will be continuing as a freshman at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., studying both theater and psychology. In school, he has been involved in the symphonic band, Thespian Troupe as president, and Back to School One Act Summer Camp. Outside of school, he has been a volunteer at YMCA Camp du Nord.

Zachary’s father, Kevin, is a Western National agency partner at Cox Insurance Associates in Falcon Heights, Minn.

Luke Sherry, son of Michael and Kimberly Sherry, will be a freshman this year at Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minn. A 2015 graduate of Ashland High School, he has been captain of both the soccer team and the tennis team, as well as a member of the Spanish Club and National Honor Society. Outside of school, he has been active in the Field Improvement Team and Faith in Action.

Luke’s father, Michael, is a Western National agency partner at Holden Insurance Agency in Ashland, Wis.

Scholarships are available annually to six 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 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, 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 2015’.”

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