Holmes Murphy Makes Three Executive Appointments

The super-regional, independent insurance brokerage has announced executive roles in Innovation, Finance, and Marketing.

(Ellen Willadsen, Chief Innovation Officer, Holmes Murphy. Source: Holmes Murphy.)

Holmes Murphy (Waukee, Iowa), an employee-owned, super-regional independent brokerage founded in 1932, has made three executive appointments. Ellen Willadsen will become Holmes Murphy’s first Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) after being the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the past 10 years. Lindsay Chase will assume the role of CFO for Holmes Murphy, and Susan Hatten will assume the role of Holmes Murphy’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), according to a statement from the company.

Willadsen joined Holmes Murphy in 1995, playing a key role in the organization’s growth, increasing the organization’s profitability, and providing invaluable counsel on major financial decisions, according to the Holmes Murphy statement. She also played a role in the creation of the Women Optimizing Women (WOW) initiative, dedicated to realizing the potential of women at Holmes Murphy and within the insurance industry.

“Ellen consistently exceeds expectations, tackles tasks with dedication and determination, and is an excellent thought leader,” comments Dan Keough, Chairman and CEO, Holmes Murphy. “Perhaps even more notable, she’s an advocate for females in our industry—and in business in general—and is a trusted mentor by many.”

Lindsay Chase, CFO, Holmes Murphy.

Chase joined Innovative Captive Strategies (ICS), a subsidiary of Holmes Murphy in 2006 and, as a member of their Executive team, has been instrumental to the subsidiary’s success according to the Holmes Murphy statement. In 2020, Chase was promoted to Senior VP, Finance with Holmes Murphy and will now assume the role of CFO.

Leader with Unlimited Potential

“Lindsay is truly an expert in her field and has a clear grasp on the financial vision and direction of Holmes Murphy,” says Keough. “She’s not only a focused young professional, but she’s also a team player and a leader with unlimited potential. I look forward to her wisdom and expertise as our CFO.”

Hatten joined Holmes Murphy in 2014 after leading business development for a marketing and advertising firm. She has been involved with Holmes Murphy sales, clients, marketing, and community culture, which is instrumental as she leads the Marketing efforts of Holmes Murphy.

Breadth of Expertise

“Given Susan’s breadth of expertise and knowledge at Holmes Murphy, within BrokerTech Ventures [BTV], and in the community, she is well positioned to take us to the next level with sales, brand, and communication experiences,” Keough comments. “Her growth in the company has been tremendous, and I’m eager to see the impact she can make in her new role.”

Susan Hatten, CMO, BrokerTech Ventures.

Willadsen and Hatten have played important roles in building BTV, the industry’s first broker-led group and accelerator program co-founded by Holmes Murphy. As the Executive Sponsor and COO of BTV, Willadsen and Hatten, respectively, have worked closely with Keough and Madison, Wisc.-based M3 Insurance (a co-founding member of BTV) to develop the company.

Holmes Murphy describes itself as having been deliberate in its encouragement, engagement, and development of next generation leaders. “These intentional leadership appointments allow Holmes Murphy to continue to perpetuate its privately held status and dedication to non-nepotism, which have both been paramount to the company since its inception in 1932,” the Holmes Murphy statement says.

“We look forward to seeing Ellen, Lindsay, and Susan in their new roles as they look to innovate the industry and serve our number one priority—our clients,” Keough adds.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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