Ryan Hicks promoted to Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Farmers Alliance Companies

MCPHERSON, KANSAS — Ryan Hicks has been named Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Farmers Alliance Companies, effective May 22, 2019. The announcement was made by Brian D. Lopata, President and Chief Executive Officer. With this promotion, Hicks joins the companies’ Executive Management Team.

According to Lopata, “I have the utmost confidence that Ryan has earned the trust and respect of employees across the company, and he is fully committed to leading, protecting and preserving our most valued assets: our culture and our people.”

Hicks joined Farmers Alliance in early 2016, after several years in sales-related leadership positions. His experience has shown his focus on building strong relationships, and a commitment to caring for others. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he will now assume additional responsibilities regarding Strategic and Operational Planning, in addition to management and direction of the Human Resources staff.

A graduate of McPherson High School, Hicks received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Friends University in Wichita, KS. He lives in McPherson with his wife, Jamie, and their three children, Allie, Colson and Cooper. Hicks is also involved in the McPherson community through the McPherson Recreation Commission, First United Methodist Church, various activities with his children, and singing at community events.

Farmers Alliance selects new payment vendor partner

Effective March 27th, Farmers Alliance online customer payments will be processed through Clearwater Payments. Policyholders will see little to no change, and no interruption in service, though screen design will change slightly. Anyone who has “bookmarked” the current “Make A Payment” website will need to update that bookmark after March 26th. Other than that, no action is needed, as all links will automatically be redirected to the new location. Customers who choose the phone option for their automated payment will also see a new phone number beginning March 27th: 1-800-522-6063.

Customers with questions about making online payments are encouraged to contact their Farmers Alliance agent for options, or call Farmers Alliance billing & collections staff at 800.362.1075, ext. 1590.

Farmers Alliance looks forward to working with Clearwater Payments to add new functionality for customers later this year.

Farmers Alliance Employee Food Drive Feeds Many

Farmers Alliance employees prepare to load more than 80 family food baskets for transportation to the distribution center. Food and money were donated by Farmers Alliance employees for the McPherson County Christmas Project.

MCPHERSON, KANSAS — Farmers Alliance employees were recently made aware of a need in our community, and came together quickly to meet that need. In just three short weeks, employees collected enough food for more than 80 family food baskets for the Christmas holiday. Each food basket includes all the items for a full holiday meal, based on the size of the family. Organizers estimate that more than $2,500 of food is included in those 80 baskets, which will also include certain perishable items when delivered. In addition to the food items, the employee group collected more than $500 in cash donations, which will help provide those perishable items, which will be purchased closer to the delivery date.

According to Brian Lopata, President and CEO, “The Food Drive has been a great opportunity for us to share in a fun project, knowing that we’re helping to meet a need in our community.” He continued, “Our company was founded more than a century ago on the principles of neighbors helping neighbors. We work every day to help our policyholders protect their property and their financial stability, and then work hard to restore lives if there’s a loss. The McPherson Country Christmas Project has a similar mission of helping neighbors, and we’re happy to support their efforts with this contribution. Our employees have very caring hearts.”

Farmers Alliance employees rest for a moment after loading more than 80 large bags of food items into these pickups for delivery to the distribution center, where they unloaded the items for sorting.

 

 

The food basket items are ready for sorting at the distribution center. Pictured are just a few of the Farmers Alliance employees who participated in this project.

CPCU Conferment in San Diego

The 2018 CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) Conferment took place in San Diego, October 13th. FAMI Employees receiving their CPCU Designation are: Carri Brobst (I.T.), Amberle Fowler (Underwriting), Ashly Goering (I.T.) , Julie Miller (Claims), and Chris Mines (Product Management). Congratulations to all on their accomplishment!

Farmers Alliance Employees Support WACCC with Creative Contest

MCPHERSON, KANSAS — Farmers Alliance employees recently crowned employee Zack Lock, Application Programmer, as the 2018 FAMI “Prince of Pink” in a special ceremony at the Home Office. Lock was one of six employees who volunteered to compete for the title by raising funds for McPherson’s Women And Children Combatting Cancer (WACCC). All combined, the 6 potential “Princes” collected $3,503.76 for the local organization. The other candidates included Tyler Bruton, Electronic Communications Coordinator, Jeff Collins, Buildings & Grounds Supervisor, Thomas Gray, Underwriter, Pat Reed, Office Claims Adjuster, and Stephan Rhymer, Underwriter.

Farmers Alliance employees participating in the “Prince of Pink” competition to support WACCC. Front row: Joshua Paine, Natalie Zink, JoLynn Stout, Zack Lock, Tammy Cape, Dixie Barrow. Back row: Jamie Hubin, Stephan Rhymer, Jeff Collins, Tyler Bruton, Thomas Gray, Pat Reed.

The “Prince of Pink” campaign was initiated by the Farmers Alliance Wellness Committee. Chairman Sandy Baldwin, Casualty Claims Manager, explained that the committee believes “wellness” includes more than just eating healthy and leading a physically active lifestyle. “It’s also about supporting your community, especially those who are facing health-related challenges,” she said. WACCC provides financial and emotional support to those fighting cancer.
The week-long campaign featured numerous fundraising activities presented by the six teams. Each “Prince” candidate was assigned a volunteer “campaign manager” who assisted with fundraising and promotion. Activities included all types of baked goods for sale or auction, arts and crafts items for auction, “candy-grams”, chances to win tickets to various events and activities, and a fun “Herd That” activity that would send a “herd” of cows to a co-worker’s office, which they would have to pay to have removed. In addition to supporting a great organization, the contest allowed employees to learn more about the mission of WACCC, as well.
President and CEO Brian Lopata (a two-time recipient of the “herd”) said, “Our Farmers Alliance family is much like any other family — we like to enjoy fun and food together, but we also like to make a difference in our community. The “Prince of Pink” campaign has been a great opportunity for us to have fun together while helping to meet a need in our community. And, we got to see Zack in that beautiful dress!” He thanked all employees for supporting this cause, especially the candidates and their campaign managers for all their hard work.

 

The Farmers Alliance Wellness Committee with WACCC representatives. Left to right: JoLynn Stout (FAMI), Sandy Baldwin (FAMI), Angie Timson (WACCC), Gloria Schroeder (FAMI), Jen Bonham (WACCC), Shayna McElwain (FAMI).

Your identity is as valuable as the cash in your pocket. Protect it!

At Farmers Alliance, we want to help you protect your property AND your identity! Your identity is valuable, and recovering from an identity theft can be difficult and costly. A first step toward protecting identity theft is by assessing your risk. Through our partners at Cyber Scout, you can evaluate your risk quickly and easily.

It’s called your ID RiskCompass, and with just a few quick questions you can identify areas of strength AND weaknesses to address, with helpful tips for making simple changes.
You can find this at www.fami.com, click “Protect Your Identity” under the “Already a Customer?” list of options. You’ll see ID RiskCompass right at the top!
There’s even more great information available from CyberScout — you’ll find it in the Knowledge Center at that same web location.

As a reminder, you and your household members have access to an experienced, personal-touch fraud specialist from CyberScout at no cost. If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, call to be connected to a fraud specialist at the CyberScout Resolution Center. A personal fraud specialist will guide you through the resolution process until the problem is fully resolved and your peace of mind is restored.
For help: 800.362.1075, ext. 1128 For info: www.fami-idtheft.com

Farmers Alliance Gives Back!

As a Farmers Alliance customer, we want you to be proud of the company you trust for your insurance protection. One way that we work to earn your trust is by supporting the communities where we live and work. Farmers Alliance is headquartered in McPherson, Kansas, a community of about 14,000 situated right in the center of the country. This community is where our company was started more than 135 years ago, and is a big part of who we have become. Here are just a few ways that Farmers Alliance works to “give back” to our hometown:

• Support the local Food Bank, especially during our fall food drive• Participate in the McPherson Relay for Life supporting cancer research

• Support the McPherson County United Way by volunteering, employee pledges and company contributions

• Provide leadership and support to numerous civic and youth organizations, including Optimist Club, Kiwanis, and various sports

 

And the list goes on! Thank you for being a part of our “FAMI-ly”!

Distracted Driving is a Growing Risk — let’s stop it NOW!

You’ve seen them, the videos and commercials warning about the dangers of texting and driving. But do you REALLY pay attention?
The danger is actually from any type of DISTRACTED DRIVING, and the danger is very, very real. While teen drivers are more susceptible to this due to their lack of experience, ALL drivers are at risk. Here are some things you can do to keep from getting distracted while driving. Simple, but can save lives!
• Do not text or use cell phones. If you need to use your cell phone, stop in a safe parking area.
• Avoid arguments or distracting conversations with passengers.
• Leave a little early to allow yourself time to stop to eat.
• Be sure children are properly and safely buckled up and give them books, toys or games to occupy their time.
• Properly secure pets in a pet carrier BEFORE moving your vehicle.
• Adjust vehicle controls, such as mirrors, heat or air conditioning, before you begin your trip. Take advantage of normal stops to adjust controls, or ask your passenger to adjust controls.
• Review maps and plan your route before you begin driving. If you need to look at a map stop in a safe parking area.
• Do not talk with occupants of other vehicles.
• Do not wear headphones to listen to music.
BOTTOM LINE: Stay focused, pay attention, expect the unexpected.

Keith Birkhead receives 2018 “Ad Astra” award from Kansas Association of Property and Casualty Insurance Companies

Keith Birkhead, Chairman of the Board for the Farmers Alliance Companies, was recently honored by the Kansas Association of Property and Casualty Insurance Companies (KAPCIC) for his service to the industry and the state. Annually, KAPCIC recognizes one individual who has been a long-standing, positive influence on the Kansas insurance industry. For 2018, the award was presented to Keith Birkhead.

Keith serves a Chairman of the Board for Farmers Alliance, having retired as President and CEO in 2015, with more than 38 years of service. During that time, Keith represented the Kansas insurance industry on numerous national boards, including the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Alliance of American Insurers (now known as PCI), and the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters. In late 2017, at the request of the Farmers Alliance Board of Directors, Keith returned to “active duty” as interim President & CEO during the company’s search for new leadership. He continued in that role until late August 2018.

According to Jack Rader, President of KAPCIC, “We want to recognize Keith for his decades of service to the insurance industry in Kansas. In addition to his past accomplishments, Keith’s recent actions were instrumental in maintaining the stability of the company during a time of significant change. This has benefitted policyholders and employees, and ensured a strong, stable future for Farmers Alliance and the entire market in Kansas.”

Birkhead is pictured with, left to right, Brian Schmidt (Farmers Alliance Property Claims Manager), Andy Edwardson (Farmers Alliance Chief Information Officer), Curtis Holle (Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company President, and KAPCIC Board Member), Ryan Hicks (Farmers Alliance Vice President for Human Resources), Chris Brown (Upland Mutual Insurance Company President and KAPCIC Board Member), Rick Wilborn (Kansas State Senator and former KAPCIC Board Member), Sandy Baldwin (Farmers Alliance Casualty Claims Manager), Tonya Schafer (Farmers Alliance Vice President for Compliance & Product Development), Sue Howard (Farmers Alliance Corporate Secretary), Randy Lutgen (Farmers Alliance Vice President for Underwriting), Keith Birkhead, and Jack Rader (Farmers Alliance Chief Marketing Officer and KAPCIC President).

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