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2018: Sammons Financial Group Promotes Rhonda Elming to SVP, Annuity Product Development

Midland National’s parent company, Sammons Financial Group, Inc. (SFG), promoted Rhonda Elming to Senior Vice President, Annuity Product Development. In this role, Elming will have greater involvement with risk management and reinsurance strategies for fixed annuities, in addition to serving the product needs of Sammons Independent Annuity Group and Sammons Institutional Group.

Since joining SFG in 2013, Elming has developed strong cross-team collaboration in Annuity Product Development, and she helped implement new programs for staff development, such as an intern program, job rotation program, and staff calibration. “Rhonda leads by example as demonstrated by her daily commitment to SFG’s core values: accountability for results, openness to feedback, and a deep respect for her stakeholders,” says Rob TeKolste, President of Sammons Independent Annuity Group. 

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1906: Company Founded In The Black Hills Of South Dakota

The company that would eventually evolve into Midland National Life Insurance Company was born on a late summer evening in the Black HIlls of South Dakota.

Meeting at the Smead Hotel in Lead, South Dakota, a group of six men (John Walsh, Joseph Moore, Charles Turney, Claude Sterling, Daniel Bannister, and Fred Smith) elected officers for a company to be known as Dakota Mutual Life Insurance Company.  They also authorized the publishing of "legal notice of the company's intention to begin business."

The meeting culminated from months of planning.  Records show expenses dating from May 1906.  Evidently, the proposed name was under debate until shortly before the August meeting since a draft of the Articles of Incorporation was submitted to the South Dakota Secretary of State under the name of "Western Mutual Life Insurance Company."  The company was incorporated on August 30, 1906, and commenced business on September 4.

To capitalize the new company, the directo…

1961: William Rigsbee Named President

In November 1961, William Rigsbee was named president of Midland National.  For the next 31 years, Rigsbee, as president and chief executive officer, set Midland National on a course of unparralleled growth, stability and financial strength.

He established the Regional Sales Director (RSD) program and set in motion a belief that he carried with him through his entire career with Midland National Life - give the agent three things:

1.  Excellent products.
2.  A contract that rewards the agent for superior performance.
3.  The company service philosophy that, "The most important person is the one who makes the sale."

Under his leadership, the company increased life insurance policies in force from $275 million to $50 billion; and achieved a compound annual growth rate of 15% while maintaining superior industry ratings and a high quality investment portfolio.*

*Source: Midland National internal information, 1961.

1981: Midland National Celebrates 75 Years in the Insurance Industry

Midland National’s 75th anniversary celebration kicked off with newspaper ads and radio spots proclaiming, “As we look forward to our 75th Anniversary, we salute our people… more than three hundred reasons why Midland National is a great insurance company. We wish you could meet all of them because these are the people with the talent, the skill, and the ideas that make us a strong, successful, growing company.”