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WILMIC’s Kunzke to retire as CEO; Watson to step into role

Tom Watson

Tom Watson

Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. President and CEO Katja Kunzke is retiring after more than 17 years. Kunzke will step down from her position as CEO on Feb. 1, when Senior Vice President Tom Watson will take over. Kunzke will remain with the company through May, when her term as president comes to an end.

Kunzke took over her position in June 2004. She will leave WILMIC as the longest-serving president and CEO in the company’s 35-year history.

Kunzke piloted WILMIC through a wave of change in technology, shifts in the lawyer population in Wisconsin and, most recently, the pandemic. During her tenure, WILMIC has paid out almost $6 million in dividends to policyholders. The company also moved in recent years to online delivery of many services, including virtual CLE programming during the pandemic.

Kunzke joined WILMIC in 1989, just three years after its creation, developing the company’s in-house claims department after being in private practice for several years and then working at Rural Insurance.

After a six-month national search process, the WILMIC Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to appoint Watson as the company’s next CEO. Watson has been with the company for almost 17 years, serving most of that time as senior vice president and director of marketing, communications and risk management.

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