New Berlin, NY – Preferred Mutual Insurance Company announced that they have promoted R. Benedikt Sander to the role of president and chief executive officer and Jeffrey M. Lopata to chief operating officer and executive vice president, effective January 1, 2022. PMIC’s current CEO, Christopher P. Taft, will be retiring but will become the chairman of the company’s board of directors, replacing Robert A. Wadsworth, who will continue to support PMIC as a member of the board.
Sander, who joined PMIC in June 2019, has been serving as EVP, insurance operations, and has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry. In his time at PMIC, he has championed strategies to improve company growth and profitability as well as initiatives that foster strong relationships with employees, agents and business partners.
Lopata, who has been serving as EVP, chief strategy officer, has been a driving force behind PMIC’s strategic planning initiatives and a visionary across several key areas of the company during his 17-year tenure, including information technology, enterprise project management and the development of many business strategies and services.
“As we position PMIC for its next chapter, we’ve identified an opportunity to strengthen our corporate structure by promoting two individuals who will lead PMIC into the future,” said Taft. “My new role as chairman of the board will allow me an opportunity to continue to focus on shaping the culture and strategic direction of PMIC in partnership with our leadership team.”
“I am humbled to be PMIC’s next leader and am looking forward to continuing its proud 125-year-old tradition of being centered on our community, our policyholders, our agents and all our employees,” said Sander. “We have a supremely talented team at PMIC and I look forward to working closely with Jeff Lopata, the leadership team, our new chairman Chris Taft, and the board of directors as we chart the course to continued success.”
“This company is built on a foundation of strong relationships with our agents, customers and employees,” said Lopata. “I could not be more excited about our partnership in leading PMIC, or more confident in our leadership team as we navigate into the future.”