Four executives to be inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame

The Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame has announced this year’s inductees, who will be honored at an induction ceremony scheduled for Oct. 18 in Altoona. This is the 25th year of the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame.



To be eligible for consideration, nominees must have ties to Iowa, serve as role models for youth and others in the insurance industry, demonstrate the highest standards of ethics and have made a significant impact on the insurance industry. The Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame was established in 1997 to recognize outstanding contributions to the state’s insurance industry. The selection committee is evaluated on criteria that include ethics and impact on the industry.



The candidates for 2022 are:

Jim Armstrong

Former deputy commissioner and chief examiner with the Iowa Insurance Division

Jim Armstrong had more than 35 years of service with the Iowa Insurance Division and assumed the position of deputy commissioner and chief examiner in 2002. He has also earned great respect for his thoughtful leadership by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and his deep understanding. financial issues. He was a respected administrator, not only in Iowa but throughout the country. His role in maintaining the stability of the Iowa industry while navigating new types of insurance through private practice is the guiding principle. Armstrong also played a major role in the successful management of Principal Financial Group and his leadership in this process was hailed as a success. He was known for his thoughtful leadership and understanding of financial issues. Armstrong retired from the Iowa Insurance Division in 2020.

And Houston

Chairman, President and CEO, Principal Financial Group

Dan Houston joined Principal in 1984 in Dallas. He has held several management positions: Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, President of Retirement and Income Solutions. He was appointed president and chief operating officer in 2014 before assuming his current position in 2015. In 2020, Houston served as chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers, which represents 280 companies representing 95% of the insurance product in the US. He chairs the Greater Des Moines Water Trails initiative and serves on several boards, including the Business Roundtable, Employee Benefits Research Institute, Iowa State University Business School Dean’s Advisory Council, Future Ready Iowa and the Partnership for a Healthier America. In October, the Des Moines Executive Committee named Houston to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the promotion and development of the state’s economy.

Steve Rasmussen

Former Director, World

Steve Rasmussen has spent 45 years working for the Nationwide family of companies. Before being named CEO of Nationwide in February 2009, Rasmussen was the company’s president and chief insurance officer from 2003 to 2009. He joined Nationwide in 1998 through the merger with Allied Insurance, where he was president. and chief of staff. He joined Allied in 1974. Rasmussen has served on numerous boards, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, American Electric Power, Catalyst, OhioHealth, the National Urban League, the Insurance Information Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Columbus Metropolitan Library, as well. as a trustee of Grand View College in Des Moines. He received his degree from the University of Iowa and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter.



Ellen Willadsen

CProfessional office, Holmes Murphy & Associates

Ellen Willadsen joined Holmes Murphy in 1995. In more than 27 years with the company, she has been instrumental in increasing Holmes Murphy’s profitability and igniting innovation and growth within the company and industry. From 1995 to 2021, Willadsen was chief financial officer, assisting in all aspects of budgeting, evaluating potential acquisitions, cost-benefit analysis and Holmes Murphy’s vision for growth. When he joined Holmes Murphy in 1995, the company had six owners, none of whom were women. During her tenure, she has helped the business grow to over 200 employee owners, nearly a third of whom are women – proof Willadsen’s studies. Under his leadership as CFO, his visionary thinking and financial growth, 190 employees grew to over 1,000. In recent years, Ellen has served on Holmes Murphy’s Executive Committee, where she was the first woman on the committee, and the board of directors and the continuity committee, compensation and accounting committees, providing information and helping to make decisions that affect the entire company. In 2021, Willadsen transitioned to chief technology officer, and is also the managing partner of Holmes Murphy at BrokerTech Ventures.



The induction ceremony for the 2022 honorees will be held Oct. 18 at 5 pm at the Meadows Event Center in Altoona. Registration for the event is open until Oct. 11.