Our Management Team 2


The Farmers Alliance Companies are led by a Management Team with extensive industry and company experience. They are guided by a Board of Directors who meet quarterly and oversee all aspects of the companies’ business. Directors are very involved in the operations and financial status of the companies and provide valuable leadership and direction to the Management Team.

The Farmers Alliance Management Team includes Brian Lopata, Andy Edwardson, Ryan Hicks, Jack Rader, Paul Taliaferro, and Aaron Valentine.

Brian Lopata, AU, is President and Chief Executive Officer. Brian joined Farmers Alliance in 2018, with more than 25 years of management experience from another regional mutual insurer. He has extensive experience in all areas of company operations, as well as a passion for working with independent agents to provide the highest level of service to policyholders. Brian serves on the Farmers Alliance Board of Directors.

Andy Edwardson is Senior Vice President, Information Technology, and Chief Information Officer. Andy oversees all aspects of the company’s technology efforts, supporting employees, agents and policyholders, and has been with Farmers Alliance since 1996.

Ryan Hicks is Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. Ryan 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.

Jack Rader, CPCU, is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Reinsurance, and Chief Marketing Officer. Jack joined Farmers Alliance in 1977 as a Claims Adjuster, and has since held field and management positions in the Marketing Department. Jack continues to manage the companies’ reinsurance, as he has since 1997.

Paul Taliaferro, CPA, CPCU, is Senior Vice President, Accounting and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer. Paul is responsible for the regulatory and tax reporting functions of the companies, and provides all needed financial information for the Board of Directors, policyholders and authoritative bodies. Paul oversees the companies’ asset portfolio. He joined Farmers Alliance in 1995.

Aaron Valentine, CPCU, CPA, is Senior Vice President & Chief Insurance Officer. Aaron joined Farmers Alliance in 2019 bringing 25 years of management experience from a regional mutual insurer. Aaron oversees company operations in Underwriting, Claims, Compliance & Product Development, as well as Internal Audit.

The Farmers Alliance BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Keith Birkhead, CPCU, is Chairman of the Board. Keith joined Farmers Alliance in 1976 and held various positions in the Accounting Department prior to being named President and CEO in June of 1997. In 2014, Keith relinquished his President role, and in 2015 he retired from the company, while continuing to serve as Chairman of the Board.

  • Vincent Amanor-Boadu, PhD – Manhattan, KS
  • Eric J. Larson – Wichita, KS
  • Brian D. Lopata – McPherson, KS
  • Marilyn Pauly – Wichita, KS
  • Brett A. Reber – McPherson, KS
  • Donald W. Schwegman – Greensburg, IN
  • Ernest W. “Ernie” Weeks – Clinton, NY
  • Kirk Ketcherside – Encinitas, CA