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Management & Directors

Management & Directors

Senior Management

James P. Brannen
James P. Brannen
Chief Executive Officer
James P. Brannen James P. (Jim) Brannen was named Chief Executive Officer of FBL Financial Group, Inc. in August, 2012. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Brannen served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Treasurer since 2007. He joined FBL in 1991, and held various positions in finance and executive management. Prior to joining FBL, Brannen worked in public accounting. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Brannen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was named “Outstanding CPA in Business & Industry” in 2015 by the ISCPA.

Brannen is active in industry and community organizations, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Great Western Bank and as member of the Iowa Business Council and Greater Des Moines Committee. He also serves the insurance industry on the CIC Advisory Committee and as Second Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors for PCI, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. He also serves on several PCI committees, including as chair of the Working Group on Federal Tax Reform.
Donald J. Seibel
Donald J. Seibel
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Donald J. Seibel Donald J. (Don) Seibel was named Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in August, 2012. Prior to his appointment as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Seibel served on the executive management team as Vice President – Finance since 2007. Seibel joined FBL in 1996 and became GAAP accounting vice president in 1998 and vice president-accounting in 2002. Prior to joining FBL, he worked in public accounting.

Seibel holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Iowa State University, is a certified public accountant and chartered global management accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants, and holds the Fellow Life Office Management Institute (FLMI) certification. He is also active in civic and industry organizations, serving on the boards of directors of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa and Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity.
Casey C. Decker
Casey C. Decker
Chief Information Officer
Casey C. Decker Casey Decker was named Chief Information Officer for FBL Financial Group, Inc. in June 2016. Decker joined FBL in 2004 and progressed through various information technology roles, leading to Business Technology Vice President. Since 2014, Decker served as Agency Support Vice President, leading the team that provides strategies and solutions to support agents in growing successful and sustainable businesses. Prior to joining FBL Financial Group, Decker was the Director of Technology for a not-for-profit organization in Chicago with responsibilities for creating and leading programs that improved information systems capabilities for various social service agencies and public schools.

Decker holds a bachelor's degree from Drake University and a master's degree in Management of Information Systems from DePaul University. He serves on the boards of directors of the Food Bank of Iowa, Junior Achievement, the Global Insurance Accelerator and as a member of the Education Cabinet for United Way of Central Iowa.
Nicholas C. Gerhart
Nicholas C. Gerhart
Chief Administrative Officer
Nicholas C. Gerhart Nicholas C. (Nick) Gerhart, J.D., M.H.A., joined FBL Financial Group as Chief Administrative Officer in January 2017. In this role, Gerhart has responsibility for enterprise strategic planning, government relations, human resources and health services, among other administrative functions.

Gerhart served as the Insurance Commissioner for the State of Iowa from February 2013 until December 2016. During his time as Commissioner he was very involved at the NAIC and appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.

Prior to serving as Commissioner, he worked at Sammons Financial Group and American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company. He earned his law degree and health law certificate from St. Louis University School of Law and a Masters of Health Administration from St. Louis University School of Public Health. He also earned a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa. Gerhart is an active community leader and currently is a deputy of the Iowa Business Council, a member of U.S. Bank Advisory Board and of United Way of Central Iowa's Workplace Cabinet and serves on the boards of The Homestead, ChildServe and Carpe Data.
Charles T. Happel
Charles T. Happel
Chief Investment Officer
Charles T. Happel Charles T. (Charlie) Happel is Chief Investment Officer of FBL Financial Group. He joined the company in 1984 as a Farm Bureau Financial Services agent, moving to the corporate office in 1986. Over the next 15 years, he held various positions in investments, including securities analyst and portfolio manager. Happel became securities vice president in 2001, vice president - investments in August 2008, and was named chief investment officer in September 2009.

Happel is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and earned an MBA from Drake University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and holds a number of industry designations, including CFP, FLMI, ChFC, CLU, and CPCU. He is also a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Iowa.
David A. McNeill
David A. McNeill
General Counsel
David A. McNeill David A. McNeill, General Counsel of FBL Financial Group, joined the company in 1989. He held various positions in the legal department before being named to his current position in 2009. Prior to joining FBL, McNeill was in private practice as an attorney in the Springfield, Mo. law firm of Miller & Sanford (now part of Lathrop & Gage) and later, the Des Moines law firm of Davis, Hockenberg, Wine, Brown, Koehn & Shors (now the Davis Brown Law Firm).

McNeill received his Juris Doctorate, with honors, from Drake University Law School and his bachelor’s degree from Simpson College. McNeill is active in a number of charitable organizations and is a director and serves as Secretary and Vice Chair of the Kansas Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association; is a director and serves as Vice Chairman of the Wyoming Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Iowa College Foundation.
Daniel D. Pitcher
Daniel D. Pitcher
Chief Operating Officer – Property Casualty Companies
Daniel D. Pitcher Daniel D. (Dan) Pitcher is Chief Operating Officer – Property Casualty Companies of FBL Financial Group. Prior to his current position, he served as vice president, property/casualty companies from 2007 to 2011. Pitcher joined FBL in 1998 and held various information system roles including as information systems vice president in 2002. Prior to joining FBL, Pitcher spent 15 years with Nationwide/Allied Insurance in various life and property casualty information systems roles. Pitcher holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Drake University, and holds the Fellow Life Office Management Institute (FLMI) certification. He is a member of the United Way of Central Iowa Board of Directors.
D. Scott Stice
D. Scott Stice
Chief Marketing Officer
D. Scott Stice Scott Stice was named Chief Marketing Officer of FBL Financial Group, Inc. in June 2013. Stice has overall responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution for the company’s brand, Farm Bureau Financial Services, and its multiline exclusive agency force.

Prior to joining FBL, Stice was senior vice president and head of field strategy and execution at Farmers Insurance. Stice began his insurance career with Farmers as an exclusive agent in 1990, and held various agency, marketing and field operations positions. Stice holds a BS in Business Management and Administration from the University of Redlands, and he earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. Stice serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association of Central Iowa.
Raymond W. Wasilewski
Raymond W. Wasilewski
Chief Operating Officer – Life Companies
Raymond W. Wasilewski Raymond W. (Ray) Wasilewski was named Chief Operating Officer – Life Companies of FBL Financial Group in July 2014. Wasilewski most recently served as Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for Information Technology, Human Resources and Agency Services. Since joining the companies in 1997, Wasilewski held various roles in information technology throughout the enterprise. Wasilewski holds a bachelor’s degree in vocational education from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University. Before joining FBL Financial Group, he was a consultant, a commercial software designer, a computer science and electronics instructor at Alaska Junior College, and he served in the U.S. Navy for 17 years in the cryptography field.

Board of Directors

Craig D. Hill
Craig D. Hill
Chairman
Craig D. Hill Craig D. Hill, Chairman of the Board and chair of the Executive Committee, has been a Class B Director since 2007 and previously from 2002 to 2004. He was elected President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and its subsidiary, Farm Bureau Management Corporation, in December 2011 and has served on its board of directors since 1989. He was its Vice President from 2001 to 2011. He served on the board of Farm Bureau Life from 1989 to 2007, and again from December 2011 when he also became its President. He has been on the board of Farm Bureau Property & Casualty since 1989, and also serves on the board of Western Ag. Hill is also a director of the American Farm Bureau Federation and FB BanCorp. Hill farms 1,000 acres of row crops and has a swine operation near Milo, Iowa.
Paul E. Larson
Paul E. Larson
Vice Chairman
Paul E. Larson Paul E. Larson is FBL's lead independent director. He has been a Class A Director since 2004 and retired in 1999 as President of Equitable Life of Iowa and its subsidiary, USG Annuity and Life, after 22 years with the companies. Larson holds both a law degree and a certified public accountant designation. He was named Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry by the Iowa Society of CPAs in 1999, and inducted into the American Institute of CPA's Business and Industry Hall of Fame in 2000. He is a member of the board of directors of non-public companies Wellmark, Inc., Wellmark of South Dakota, Inc., GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company and GuideOne Specialty Mutual Insurance Company. He was also a board member of EquiTrust Mutual Funds (which was then managed by one of our subsidiaries), where he was chair of the Audit Committee and the committee's financial expert. He resigned from the EquiTrust Mutual Funds board upon election to our Board in 2004.
James P. Brannen
James P. Brannen
James P. Brannen James P. (Jim) Brannen was named Chief Executive Officer of FBL Financial Group, Inc. in August, 2012. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Brannen served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and Treasurer since 2007. He joined FBL in 1991, and held various positions in finance and executive management. Prior to joining FBL, Brannen worked in public accounting. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Brannen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was named “Outstanding CPA in Business & Industry” in 2015 by the ISCPA.

Brannen is active in industry and community organizations, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Great Western Bank and as member of the Iowa Business Council and Greater Des Moines Committee. He also serves the insurance industry on the CIC Advisory Committee and as Second Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors for PCI, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. He also serves on several PCI committees, including as chair of the Working Group on Federal Tax Reform.
Roger K. Brooks
Roger K. Brooks
Roger K. Brooks Roger K. Brooks, Class A Director since 2009, is the retired Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of AmerUs Group. He retired from AmerUs in 2005, after nearly 50 years of service. Brooks has served on numerous community boards and is a member of the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame and Iowa Business Hall of Fame. He was previously a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Brooks graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa. He also participated in Stanford University's Executive Program.
Richard W. Felts
Richard W. Felts
Richard W. Felts Richard W. Felts is President of the Kansas Farm Bureau and is a director of Farm Bureau Life and Farm Bureau Property & Casualty. He farms near Liberty, Kansas and is a partner in Felts Farms, a diversified grain and livestock operation. Felts earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and animal science from Kansas State University.
Joe D. Heinrich
Joe D. Heinrich
Joe D. Heinrich Joe Heinrich, Class B Director since 2013, was elected Vice President of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation in 2011 and to its board of directors in 2004. He is a director of Farm Bureau Property & Casualty and Western Ag, and a member of the Class A Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Heinrich and his family farm with his nephew. Together, they have a diversified operation including corn, soybeans, oats and hay, plus a beef cow-calf herd and a dairy operation.
James A. Holte
James A. Holte
James A. Holte James Holte, Class B Director since 2016, was elected president of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation in 2012 and to its board of directors in 1995. He is a director of Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company and has served on the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors since 2015. Holte raises beef cattle and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
Paul A. Juffer
Paul A. Juffer
Paul A. Juffer Paul A. Juffer was elected as a Class A Director to the board of FBL Financial Group in May 2017. Juffer is the Managing Partner of LWBJ Financial, LLC ("LWBJ"), where he has practiced as a certified public accountant since 1997. Through LWBJ, Mr. Juffer has served as Chief Financial Officer for several emerging technology companies, including most recently for Harrisvaccines, Inc. from 2013 to 2015. Prior to his time at LWBJ, he was Chief Financial Officer for a technology company and worked as an auditor at KPMG. Juffer is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Iowa.
Kevin D. Paap
Kevin D. Paap
Kevin D. Paap Kevin Paap was elected as a Class B Director to the board of FBL Financial Group in November 2017 and is a member of the Class A Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Paap was elected president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation in 2005 and to its board of directors in 1997. He is a director of Farm Bureau Property & Casualty and Western Agricultural Insurance Companies. He is past state president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, a graduate of the first Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program and a policy fellow through Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, 2002. Paap is also a past member of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids National Board of Directors. He serves on the Alumni Board of the University of Minnesota – Waseca, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in crop production. He and his wife own and operate a fourth-generation family farm in Blue Earth County, Minnesota.

Scott E. VanderWal
Scott E. VanderWal
Scott E. VanderWal Scott E. VanderWal was elected a Class B director in May 2011. VanderWal has been president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation since 2004, and a member of its board of directors since 1997. He is also a member of the boards of directors of Farm Bureau Property & Casualty (since 2004), Farm Bureau Life (since 2004), Western Ag (since 2006), FB BanCorp (since 2004) and American Farm Bureau Federation (since 2006). In January of 2016, VanderWal was elected as the Vice President of the American Farm Bureau Federation. He previously served on the American Farm Bureau Federation audit committee for five years, including three years as chairman. He also serves as chair of the Farm Bureau Property & Casualty audit and budget committee.

VanderWal received a bachelor's degree in General Agriculture, with a Plant Science minor, from South Dakota State University in 1985. His family farm operation near Volga, South Dakota includes corn, soybeans, custom cattle feeding and custom harvesting. VanderWal does the overall financial management, accounting, crop management and planning for the farm operation. He has also participated in agricultural and marketing trips to Brazil, China, Switzerland, Cuba, Panama and Colombia.