The Main Street America Group, a super-regional property/casualty insurance company, has announced Chris Listau, the company’s current president of insurance operations, will succeed Tom Van Berkel as president and CEO. Van Berkel will retire on Sept. 30, 2019, after being affiliated with Main Street America for nearly 30 years.
Listau, who joined Main Street America last year following the company’s mutual merger with American Family Insurance, has had a long career in the industry, including 25 years at American Family, which included multiple executive sales and leadership positions.
In addition, Jeff Kusch, Main Street America’s current president of field operations, has been appointed as chief operating officer. Kusch joined Austin Mutual Insurance Co. in 1992 and held several leadership roles before Austin Mutual’s affiliation with Main Street America in 2012.
Listau thanked Van Berkel for his leadership during his nearly 30 years of service with Main Street America.
In his role as president and CEO, the heads of audit, finance, sales, enterprise solutions, human resources and legal, as well as chief operating officer Kusch, will report to Listau. He will remain based at Main Street America’s Jacksonville, Fla., headquarters.
Listau joined Main Street America in 2018 as executive vice president of insurance operations and was promoted to president of insurance operations in early 2019. Prior to that, he had an extensive history with American Family, serving in many key executive roles. He joined the organization in 1993 as an agent in Mora, Minn. From 1996-2002, he held several field marketing roles of increasing responsibility. He served from 2002-2007 as Iowa sales director and was appointed as central regional sales vice president in 2007. Listau was named Commercial Farm Ranch vice president in 2012 and promoted to president of the division in 2014.
As chief operating officer, Kusch will oversee the company’s core insurance functions – including commercial lines, personal lines, bonds, assumed reinsurance, agribusiness, and Main Street America’s claims/integrated customer solutions division. He will remain based at the company’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
Following Austin Mutual Insurance Company’s affiliation with Main Street America in 2012, Kusch became the company’s Western Region president, a role he held until his appointment in 2015 as senior vice president of field operations. In 2017, Kusch was promoted to executive vice president of insurance operations. Kusch transitioned to the role of executive vice president of field operations in 2018 and was promoted to president of field operations in early 2019.
Kusch joined Austin Mutual in 1992 as an accounting manager. His leadership roles at Austin Mutual included treasurer, secretary, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. Prior to joining Austin Mutual, Kusch was a member of the senior audit staff at Coopers & Lybrand LLP.
Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Main Street America offers a range of commercial and personal insurance, as well as fidelity and surety bond products, to individuals, families and businesses throughout the United States. The company writes more than $1.1 billion in annual premium exclusively through independent insurance agents.
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