Keith Birkhead retires from Farmers Alliance

Keith Birkhead

Keith Birkhead

MCPHERSON, KANSAS  — In early March, 2015, Farmers Alliance CEO Keith Birkhead retired from Farmers Alliance after a 38-year career. He will continue as Chairman of the Board for the Farmers Alliance Companies.

Moving to Kansas from Texas, L. Keith Birkhead joined Farmers Alliance in 1976 in the Accounting Department.  He was promoted to Assistant Vice President, and then Vice President of Accounting in 1979. Continuing to accept additional responsibilities, he served as Treasurer from June 1985 to June 1997, and as Secretary from March 1989 to June 1997. In June 1997 he was named President and CEO of the Farmers Alliance Companies.

During his tenure as President & CEO, Birkhead also provided leadership to several industry organizations, including the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Alliance of American Insurers, and American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters.

Birkhead has made significant contributions to the McPherson community. In addition to supporting church and school activities as his children grew up, he also served on the boards of Peoples Bank and Trust, McPherson Health Care Foundation, McPherson Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Multi-Community Diversified Services (MCDS), Disability Supports of the Great Plains and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). With his family, he also developed a large area in downtown McPherson, including multiple retail spaces.

In 2007 Birkhead received the “President’s Award” from the McPherson Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of his contributions to the business community of McPherson. Birkhead was heralded as “someone who has unselfishly given their time for the betterment of McPherson.”

Birkhead was recognized by a special resolution at the Farmers Alliance Companies’ 127th Policyholders’ Meeting in February, 2015. The resolution formally thanked him for his exemplary, loyal, and dedicated service to the Companies.

According to Joe Brossard, President and CEO at Farmers Alliance, “Keith leaves a legacy of service and professionalism, carried out each day through the staff at Farmers Alliance. We will work hard to maintain the standards that he has set, and to build on the strong foundation he helped to create.”

Birkhead was honored at a reception at the Farmers Alliance Home Office in early March, where hundreds of coworkers, agents, policyholders, community members, family and friends gathered to celebrate his career.