ABOUT WISCONSIN RIVER MUTUAL INSURANCE
Wisconsin River Insurance Company was established on November 25, 1873, and Lodi Mutual Fire Insurance was established on March 28, 1877. For over 130 years the company’s business was conducted out of the homes of the Secretary. On October 1, 2008, the two companies merged under the name of Wisconsin River Mutual Insurance Company and are now renting office space in Prairie du Sac, WI. The company has two full-time employees- General Manager and Administrative Assistant and they currently write business in Columbia, Grant, Sauk, Dane, Iowa, Richland, and Juneau counties.
In the mid to late 1800s, farmers could not afford (or the cost was too prohibitive) to purchase property insurance on their residence, personal property, and outbuildings. In those days, stock insurance companies felt that if there was a farm fire, it would most probably be a total loss by the time the fire department arrived on the scene. Therefore, they were reluctant to insure farm property. At this time many local insurance companies sprang up throughout Wisconsin, at one time over 300 companies. They were called town mutuals and were only insuring for fire coverage. The format was that 25 farmers were needed to originate a company to insure each other’s losses. The concept was neighbor insuring neighbor. These community-founded companies were organized and continue to operate under the supervision of a Board of Directors of local community members. Today Wisconsin River Mutual Insurance provides coverage for homeowners, farm owners, extended coverage, personal auto, mobile homeowners, dwelling packages, inland marine, watercraft, personal umbrella, commercial package policies, general liability, business owners, and commercial property
The office has two full-time employees, General Manager, and an Administrative Assistant.
Vicki Kearney began working as an Administrative Assistant for Wisconsin River in 1989. She obtained her property and casualty insurance license in 1991 and was appointed General Manager of the company in 1996. She then became a director in 1997.
Vicki served on the Wisconsin Association of Town Mutual’s Board of Directors from 2006-2013.
In 2008 Lodi Mutual merged into Merrimac Mutual as Merrimac Lodi Mutual Insurance Company. Vicki has served as General Manager since the merger. Vicki earned her Professional Farm Mutual Manager designation in 2017 and earned the Namic Merit Award in 2018.
In her spare time Vicki enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling and spending time with her 10 grandchildren.
Jordan Wood has been working in the office and as an agent for Wisconsin River Mutual since 2012. Jordan is a graduate from Sauk Prairie High School with a degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. He resides in Prairie du Sac and is committed to finding the correct coverage for policyholders of Wisconsin River Mutual.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brian Gasser is a lifelong resident of Lodi, WI and is currently the Chairman of the Board as well as an agent at Wisconsin River Mutual. He has been in the insurance industry for over 16 years. He comes with years of agronomy and agricultural experience and is the owner of Gasser Ventures and co-owner of Gilbralter Rock Cattle Company. Brian is a believer in forward and positive thinking and keeps his customer’s interests first. He is married to Trish Boelter Gasser and has two adult children. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching sports, working on his farm, and spending time with family and friends.
Paul Dietmann is Senior Focused Lending Specialist at Compeer Financial, a member-owned rural lending cooperative and Farm Credit System institution serving the upper Midwest. He co-leads Compeer’s Emerging Markets Program, which provides loans and business planning assistance to farmers who market their products through local food systems.
Dietmann previously spent 16 years with the State of Wisconsin, first as a county agricultural agent with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, then as director of the Wisconsin Farm Center, which is the farmers’ assistance program in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and finally as Wisconsin’s Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.
Dietmann is President of the Sauk-Prairie Police Commission, Vice President of Wisconsin River Mutual Insurance Company, Treasurer of the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, serves on the board of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Wisconsin, and is actively involved with many other organizations.
Dietmann holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois, and a Master’s Degree from UW-Madison. He is co-author of the books Fearless Farm Finances: Farm Financial Management Demystified and Financial Risk Management for Specialty Crop Farmers, and author of Turning Grain Into Dough: Farm Financial Management for Organic Grain and Crop Rotation.
Keith Yanke has lived in the Sauk Prairie area his entire life. He is self-employed in production agriculture; mainly dairy farming.
Ron Bula is retired from Compeer financial Services where he was a loan officer working with farmers in Sauk and Juneau counties for almost 40 years. He is now a full time farmer with his wife, Maureen, son Patrick and daughter Justine. They raise grass-fed beef, pork, broilers, lamb and eggs on their farm west of Baraboo that they direct market to customers. He is a director of SSWIG (Sauk Soil and Water Improvement Group); a group of farmers practicing regenerative farming in Sauk county. Ron has been a director of Merrimac Lodi Mutual Insurance since 2012. The Bulas enjoy farming, camping and travel.
Kim Adler has been a policyholder of Wisconsin River Mutual for 30 years.
Kim was born and raised in the Sauk Prairie area. She and her deceased husband, Brent Albers, lived in the Leland area for 20 years and had three children: Sally (Mark) Ladsten, Sarah and Lane Albers.
She and her current husband, Terry Adler, reside in rural Prairie du Sac and are the proud grandparents of granddaughter, Mabry and grandson Emmett Ladsten.
Kim is a Registered Nurse for UW Health Specialty Clinics, Sauk Prairie.
Andy Jones is a CPA and is currently the CFO of Premier Cooperative in Mt Horeb. Andy is the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 173 in Prairie du Sac and is also on the Stewardship Board of St John’s Lutheran Church in Prairie du Sac. He resides in Roxbury with his wife and children.
Pam Shaw (Schulenburg)
Pam Shaw is a Sauk Prairie native working in the banking industry for the past 12 years with the Bank of Prairie du Sac, where she is currently the Assistant Vice President of Retail. She enjoys investing time in the community and has previously served on the Sauk Prairie Police Commission Board of Directors. During her free time, Pam enjoys watching football, being outdoors and spending time with family and friends.