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Living Our Values

Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.® 2019 Annual Report

The Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., part of the Church Mutual Holding Company, Inc., family of companies was built on a foundation of serving those who serve others. That foundation now provides a bedrock for our core values that will carry us well into the future. In 2019, we pulled together and solidly regained our footing after a challenging prior year. We did it by living our values: recognizing our customers are the company, being powered by purpose, acting with honor and being courageous and bold.

A Message
From Our CEO

I served nearly three decades in the U.S. Navy, both active and reserve duty, so I know a thing or two about “turning the ship around,” literally and figuratively. That experience has served me well as I steer this ship known as Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

After an incredibly challenging 2018, we faced 2019 knowing we had to turn this ship around. I am proud to report that 2019 was indeed a turn-around year. Financially, it wasn’t our best year, but we made a very strong recovery.

Richard V. Poirier

President And CEO

We recognize our customers are the company

Nothing is more important to us than the relationships we build with our customers. We exist for our customers and because of them. We strive each day to provide them with superior customer service while treating them with empathy and understanding. By carefully managing our financial assets, we ensure we are strong, nimble and always prepared to meet our customers’ needs.

Mutual Holding Company (MHC)

In 2019, Church Mutual crossed the necessary regulatory hurdles to prepare for a historic change to our company structure. The move to a mutual holding company structure, which became effective Jan. 1, 2020, allowed Church Mutual to stay true to our roots while opening a whole new world of opportunities.

The insurance industry has changed dramatically since Church Mutual was founded more than 100 years ago. The MHC structure will position this company for continued success in the next 100 years.

The MHC structure will give the Church Mutual Group the ability to more readily invest in or acquire other companies whose products or services fit with our goals and objectives.

Armed Intruder Preparedness

Sadly, armed intruder attacks continue to occur at an alarming rate. To help our customers prepare for the terrifying possibility of an attack on their people, Church Mutual presented armed intruder preparedness events across the nation with our partners and industry-leading experts. Nine events drew thousands of attendees in 2019.


The CM Sensor® temperature and water alert program continues to save our customers from damage to their buildings and disruption to their missions. In 2019, CM Sensors logged more than 9,000 alerts, saving Church Mutual policyholders an estimated $7 million in damages and bringing the total estimated savings to more than $18 million since the program began.

We are powered by purpose

Church Mutual provides protection to organizations that do amazing work to strengthen communities and elevate the human condition. We are humbled to play a supporting role in their ministries and missions. For our part, we are committed to improving the communities where we live, work and serve customers.

CM Serves

At Church Mutual, we firmly believe in bettering the communities where we live and work. Through our CM Serves program, our employees can take paid time off to work for causes and organizations that change lives. In 2019, 344 employees provided a total of 1,914 volunteer hours to make their communities even better.


Since 2017, CM CARES®, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, has been the presenting sponsor of Lifest, the largest Christian rock festival in the country. Boasting daily attendance numbers of 35,000, this festival brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate, worship and connect. Bolstering our sponsorship, many Church Mutual employees – from our CEO to our summer interns – participate and volunteer at the event.

United Way

The Church Mutual family of companies and its employees offer a hand up to their neighbors in need by donating generously to the local United Way campaigns at both our Merrill, Wisconsin, and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, office locations.

In 2019, Church Mutual was proud to present a check for $175,602 to Merrill Area United Way. Employees raised $87,801, with the company matching dollar for dollar. Since 2000, Church Mutual and our employees have contributed more than $1.5 million to Merrill Area United Way.

In Mechanicsburg, CM Regent Insurance Company® employees pledged a total of $8,262.14 to United Way of the Capital Region.




Total Pledged


CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, provided 164 donations for more than $650,000 in 2019. CM CARES contributes to local and national charitable, educational, religious, scientific and literary causes, all in keeping with Church Mutual’s focus on protecting the greater good. Since its inception in 2016, CM CARES has donated to 671 organizations.


Church Mutual is dedicated to education and getting students on the path to a solid career, as demonstrated by our generous scholarship programs.

CM Family Scholarships

To help relieve some of the financial burden that comes with pursuing higher education, the CM Family Scholars program awarded eight $3,500 scholarships for undergraduate degree programs and one $1,000 scholarship for vocational/technical school program for the 2019-2020 school year. The recipients of these scholarships must be children of employees who work for the Church Mutual family of companies.

Rich and Jane Poirier scholarship

Church Mutual President and CEO Rich Poirier and his wife, Jane Poirier, personally awarded four scholarships to local high school seniors in 2019. Awards were based on leadership and community service.

Religious Scholars

To support future religious leaders, CM CARES offers a Religious Scholars Program to assist students in their pursuit of careers in ministry. In 2019, CM CARES set aside $250,000 to provide 50 scholarships of $5,000 each. Applications are taken during the first quarter of each year.

First Baptist Church reopening

While no insurance policy will ever replace a life lost to violence, Church Mutual was humbled to provide assistance to First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, as it recovered, rebuilt and moved forward following a tragic shooting at the church. When First Baptist Church dedicated a new facility in May 2019, Church Mutual commissioned and gifted a painting to honor the 26 lives lost.

We act with honor

At Church Mutual, we always strive to do the right thing – even when nobody is watching. The insurance industry itself is built on trust between a customer and a company. Acting with honor means upholding our end of that bargain. That commitment to do what’s right filters through our entire organization, in our interactions with customers and with each other. We embrace diversity and respect people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Launched in June 2019, the Dialogue in Diversity speaker series brought some insightful cultural perspectives to Church Mutual employees. These employee education sessions have featured nationally-known experts presenting on topics including the Hispanic and Muslim cultures and the Tuskegee Airmen. These engaging presentations were delivered to an in-person audience at our home office and streamed live to our employees nationwide.

Furthering our commitment to diversity and inclusion, Church Mutual established the African American Pastors Advisory Group (AAPAG) to give us greater insights into the needs and challenges faced by houses of worship serving African American members. The AAPAG also helps us better understand the communities in which the pastors live and work, providing valuable direction to CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation. The AAPAG is made up of six representatives from Church Mutual’s leadership team, who join nine African American pastors.

Giving our employees a voice to speak directly into the ears of leadership, the Employee Advisory Council stretched its reach enterprise-wide in 2019. The 20-member council now includes representatives from Church Mutual’s subsidiaries and field staff. Since its inception in August 2018, the council members have worked with President and CEO Rich Poirier on a variety of important topics. The council also provides feedback on foundational business principles including mission, vision and values.

The Church Mutual Insurance Company family is dedicated to helping area students grow and learn. As part of that commitment to education, we hosted 21 interns over the summer of 2019 at our Merrill offices and one at the CM Vantage Specialty Insurance Company office in Madison, Wisconsin. They all brought their talents to our team while gaining valuable, real world experience.

We believe in recognizing a job well done and showing our employees that we appreciate them when they go above and beyond. And our employees do a lot of great things! Our Applause employee recognition program presented 1,186 rewards in 2019. Of those, 14 were Diamond Rewards, earning each recipient $1,000 and dinner with President and CEO Rich Poirier and other senior leaders.

In furthering our commitment to being a top workplace and offering a strong work/life balance, Church Mutual expanded our employee benefits for 2019.

Paid parental leave was a new benefit that’s been warmly welcomed by employees. The benefit provides employees, male or female, with paid time off to care for and bond with their new child. The benefit provides six weeks of paid base salary for birth, adoption or foster care placement. In 2019, 29 Church Mutual employees took advantage of this new benefit.

Also, recognizing that pets can be valued members of employees’ families, Church Mutual made some enhancements to our bereavement and sick time policies. Employees may use one day of bereavement leave for the loss of a pet. They may also use their sick time to care for a pet or take a pet to a veterinary appointment.

Underscoring our dedication to diversity and inclusion, Church Mutual was a presenting sponsor of 2019’s inaugural Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference. The statewide conference on overcoming barriers to inclusion featured more than 100 panels and presenters, highlighting approaches to inclusion in the workforce and communities. Church Mutual President and CEO Rich Poirier served as a conference co-chair, along with Marian College Senior Vice President of University Relations George Koonce, a board member of our subsidiary, CM Regent.

“Our goal is to create a Wisconsin where every resident is educated, embraced, encouraged and economically integrated. We don’t want to see anyone left behind, marginalized or excluded from the abundant opportunities available in this state,” said Church Mutual President and CEO Rich Poirier. “My hope is that those who participated came away with practical ways to tap the state’s diverse talent to improve our communities, build their workforce and address cultural needs.”
Richard V. Poirier
President and CEO

We developed the IT Scholars program to help young people jumpstart their careers in information technology. Church Mutual pays 100% of a qualifying student’s tuition, books and fees to obtain a bachelor’s degree in return for an agreement to work for us part-time while in school and then full-time after graduation.

Given the wide range of great career opportunities in the insurance industry, we invite college students to “think insurance.” For nine years, we’ve been selecting college students from throughout Wisconsin to join us for an all-expenses paid, three-day retreat during which they learn about career opportunities at Church Mutual, as well as the insurance industry as a whole. Many former Think Insurance Retreat participants have gone on to become our summer interns and full-time Church Mutual employees.

Church Mutual partnered with Marquette University to present the 2019 Path to Peace forum, focused on the church’s role in the civil rights movement, both historically and in the present day. Developed by Church Mutual and Marquette, Path to Peace is an annual interreligious forum dedicated to promoting understanding and peace through thoughtful discussion.

We are courageous and bold

Church Mutual is a recognized leader in innovation. We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways we can disrupt in the industry to better protect our customers. Welcoming change and challenging the status quo have put us on the forefront of emerging technologies to the insurance industry.

CM Wildfire Solutions

We are currently monitoring more than 6,000 customers in the wildfire-prone areas of northern California. The monitoring system sends an email or text message alert to those who are in the path of a wildfire, giving them time to prepare and evacuate. If danger is imminent, Church Mutual can deploy a fire mitigation service to help protect our customers’ property. Defense tactics may include removing combustible items and applying temporary sprinklers or fire-retardant gel to the building and grounds. In 2019, we tracked 194 fires and authorized four truck deployments.

Disruption Lab

The Church Mutual Disruption Lab debuted in 2019 with two innovation challenges that empowered our employees, giving them a voice in submitting and developing ideas. Knowing that the best ideas to move our company forward come from the people who know our business best, we challenged our employees to propose innovative solutions to help protect our policyholders and increase efficiency in our operations. Hundreds of employees have participated in the process.

Deloitte Distinguished Performer Award

Celebrating our neverending quest to disrupt the industry, Church Mutual was honored with the Wisconsin 75 by Deloitte US 2019 Distinguished Performer award in the innovation category. We are extremely proud of the company’s role as an innovator, which will help keep us moving forward well into the future. Programs like CM Sensor, CM Wildfire Solutions and the Disruption Lab signify Church Mutual’s commitment to being courageous and bold while leading the marketplace.

Leadership Initiative

Constantly striving to bring new and useful programming to our Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), we hosted a panel discussion in 2019, featuring six highly respected female business leaders from Central Wisconsin. In 2019, WLI presented its first scholarship to a Merrill High School graduating senior. The WLI board also approved expanding the scholarship program to CM Regent’s local area of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. As WLI takes root beyond Merrill, CM Regent now hosts its own WLI events and has two representatives on the board of directors. WLI empowers female Church Mutual employees to follow their dreams, both professionally and personally.

CM Unite

We made some major upgrades to our business in 2019 that set Church Mutual up to be competitive well into the future. In moves that touched every department in the company, we introduced a brand new product line while simultaneously bringing a new policy administration system into production. It was an action-packed year for many at Church Mutual, full of wins both big and small. In the end, we rolled out our new Premier Policy products featuring 59 major coverages that offer a higher level of flexibility for our customers. The new products are backed by a policy administration system that greatly improves efficiency. Starting with Wisconsin and Minnesota in February 2020, Premier will be rolled out to the rest of the country in waves through May 2021.

  • John (Jay) B. Williams
    Chairman of the Board of Directors
    Director of Associated Banc-Corp, Inc.,
    Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, Inc.,
    Milwaukee Public Museum, and
    The Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Gregory A. Smith
    Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors
    Executive-in-Residence and Lecturer
    University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    Lubar School of Business
  • Judith P. Greffin
    Former President
    Allstate Investment Management Company (AIMCO)
  • Richard V. Poirier
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.
  • Allen L. Leverett
    Retired Chief Executive Officer
    WEC Energy Group
  • Marsha A. Lindsay
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer
    Lindsay Foresight & Stratagem
  • David F. Pauly
    Retired – CEO and Chairperson
    Capitol Transamerica Corporation
  • Michael E. Ravn
    CEO Emeritus
    Church Mutual Insurance Company
  • Lori A. Weyers
    Northcentral Technical College
  • Richard V. Poirier, JD
    President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Kevin D. Root, CPA
    Executive Vice President
  • Robert M. Buckley, CPCU, CIC, ARM, ARe, ASLI
    Senior Vice President
    Commercial Lines and
    Chief Strategy Officer
  • Scott M. Names, CPCU
    Senior Vice President
    Shared Services and
    Chief Information Officer
  • Steven C. Rominske,

    Senior Vice President
    Chief Actuary and Chief Risk Officer
  • Michael M. Smith, JD
    Senior Vice President
    Secretary and General Counsel
  • Jeffrey D. Steffen, CPA
    Senior Vice President
    Chief Financial Officer
  • Angela K. Bailey, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
    Vice President
    Human Resources
  • Kurtis L. Brandau,

    Vice President
    CM Select
  • Edward W. Hancock
    Vice President
    Chief Underwriting Officer
  • Dawn R. Lemke
    JD, CPCU

    Vice President
    Assistant General Counsel
    and Chief Regulatory Officer
  • Alan S. Ogilvie
    Vice President
    CM Vantage
  • Randall W. Oja

    Vice President
    Broker Underwriting
  • Richard J. Schaber,

    Vice President
    Direct Sales
  • Janet L. Selnes

    Vice President
    Broker Distribution
  • Scott W. Steele
    Vice President
    Chief Marketing Officer
  • Herman W. Vandenberg, CPA
    Vice President
    Treasurer/Corporate Controller
  • Breigh R. Voigt, CISR
    Vice President
    Commercial Operations
  • Robert A. White,
    CIC, ARM, AAI, ARe

    Vice President
    CM Regent
  • Dale J. Brom, FLMI
    Assistant Vice President
    Information Technology
  • Rodney M. Flanders,

    Assistant Vice President
    Learning and Development
  • Laura E. Huggins, MBA
    Assistant Vice President
  • Craig S. Huss

    Assistant Vice President
    IT and Chief Information Security Officer
  • Dean J. Jarnow
    Assistant Vice President
    Strategic Resource Management
  • Peter J. Mahler,

    Assistant Vice President
    Direct Underwriting
  • Guy A. Russ, MBA, CPCU, ARM
    Assistant Vice President
    Risk Control
  • Joy E. Slogar
    Assistant Vice President
  • Allan D. Wilcox AIC, INS, AIM, FCLS
    Assistant Vice President
  • Sandra M. Woller, CPCU
    Assistant Vice President
    Chief Compliance Officer
  • Cynthia M. Brandt, CPCU, AINS, AIS
    Assistant Corporate Secretary

Financials At A Glance

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