Matanuska Glacier, AK
Photo by Stacey Matteson | Umialik Employee

Press Release

May 24, 2022

Umialik, Western National Insurance Group Announce 2022 Scholarship Recipients

(Anchorage, Alaska) Umialik Insurance Company and the 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 term: Kamille Berns (Dubuque, Iowa), Kendra Borland (Waconia, Minn.), Emma Bushinger (Wadena, Minn.), Brianna Cannoy (Sheldon, Iowa), Erin Fricker (Brookfield, Wis.), Emily Hanneken (Pine River, Minn.), Emily Onken (Asbury, Iowa), and Blayre Wisneski (Shakopee, Minn.). You can read more about our 2022 scholarship recipients below.

Kamille Berns (Dubuque, Iowa), daughter of Tim and Kristen Berns, will be a freshman this year at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) studying Nursing. In school, Kamille has participated in cross country, National Honor Society, and track and field. Outside of school, she has participated in piano lessons and volunteered her time with Ginter Family Feast and cleanup after the Iowa Derecho.

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

Kendra Borland (Waconia, Minn.), daughter of Joel and Michelle Borland, will be a freshman this year at the University of South Florida (Tampa, Fla.) studying Pre-Pharmacy. In school, Kendra was a captain of her soccer and hockey teams, and has been involved with student council. Outside of school, she has participated in club soccer.

Kendra’s father, Joel, is a Sr. Business Analyst in the Information Technology Department at Western National.

Emma Bushinger (Wadena, Minn.), daughter of Julie and Chris Bushinger, will be a sophomore this year at North Dakota State University (Fargo, N.D.) studying Criminal Justice and Psychology. In school, Emma has participated in the NDSU Concert Choir and the WDC Concert Choir, and was president of National Honor Society. Outside of school, she was a leader at her church’s youth group.

Emma’s mother, Julie, is a Western National agency partner at North Risk Partners in St. Cloud, Minn.

Brianna Cannoy (Sheldon, Iowa), daughter of Trisha and Ryan Cannoy, will be a freshman this year at the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) studying Biomedical Engineering. In school, Brianna was a captain of her volleyball team, was the clarinet section leader of her high school marching band, and was involved with large group speech. Outside of school, she has volunteered time with the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team, Avenue of Flags, and Love INC.

Brianna’s mother, Trisha, is a Western National agency partner at Perspective Insurance in Sheldon, Iowa.

Erin Fricker (Brookfield, Wis.), daughter of Tracey and Matthew Fricker, will be a freshman this year at Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.) studying Journalism and Theater Arts. In school, Erin was president of DSHA Angelaires, was the Prayer Officer for her campus ministry, and was coordinator for Gr8 Lengths. Outside of school, she has participated in Acts 17:28 Dance, was a cast member of the MUHS Prep Players theater program, and sang at the Wisconsin School Music Association Solo and Ensemble.

Erin’s mother, Tracey, is a Western National agency partner at Robertson Ryan & Associates in Milwuakee, Wis.

Emily Hanneken (Pine River, Minn.), daughter of Chris and Tina Hanneken, will be a freshman this year at Creighton University (Omaha, Neb.) studying Pre-Medicine. In school, Emily was captain of her volleyball team, was student council secretary, and was a member of National Honor Society. Outside of school, she has participated in the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association and was a member of her church choir.

Emily’s father, Chris, is a Western National agency partner at Hanneken Insurance Agency in Pine River, Minn.

Emily Onken (Asbury, Iowa), daughter of Darci Dannatt, will be a freshman this year at Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa) studying Physical Therapy. In school, Emily has participated in cross country, track and field, and band. Outside of school, she has served as a Eucharistic Minister at Resurrection Parish, and volunteered her time with food drivers and serving meals.

Emily’s mother, Darci, is a Western National agency partner at Friedman Group in Dubuque, Iowa.

Blayre Wisneski (Shakopee, Minn), daughter of Julie and Gene Wisneski, will be a junior this year at Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) studying Neuroscience and Psychology. In school, Blayre has been a member of Alpha Phi Omega and the Luther Psychology Club. Outside of school, she has volunteered her time with the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center.

Blayre’s mother, Julie, is the Manager of the Customer Relationship Center at Western National.

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.

“It is an honor and a privilege to award these scholarships to such an impressive group of students,” said Rick Long, President and CEO. “These eight young students have proven themselves to be accomplished, hard-working, and generous with their time and energy. We congratulate our 2022 scholarship recipients on their success and look forward to their ongoing excellence in the communities where they study and live.”

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 Group, a super-regional group of property-and-casualty insurance companies providing personal and commercial coverage in 19 states across the Northern, Midwestern and Western U.S. as well as in Alaska: and surety bonds in 41 states. Together, the affiliated Group writes over $800 million in personal and commercial direct premium through five active insurance companies—Western National Mutual Insurance Company, Western National Assurance Company, Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company, Umialik Insurance Company, and American Freedom Insurance Company—and through one affiliate, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. All of the companies’ products are sold exclusively through professional Independent Insurance Agents.

For further information, please contact:

Julia Jenson
Director of Communications
(952) 303-8789
julia.jenson@wnins.com