Demonstrating Our Commitment to Ag

Demonstrating Our Commitment to Ag

As you may well know, California Agriculture (Ag) is Zenith’s largest business segment. Our commitment to this industry is reflected in the many employees who actively support and engage with our customers and their agents, as well as with a wide variety of Ag associations, organizations, and educational institutions.

One example is our involvement with the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). We have been the Platinum Leadership Sponsor of CALF’s Annual Ag Leadership Breakfast at the World Ag Expo in Tulare for over 20 years. This year’s breakfast was their largest turnout with almost 1,000 attendees, including many of our policyholders. Barry Bedwell, President of CALF, recognized Zenith at this year’s breakfast with these comments:

“I had the opportunity to work very closely with Zenith in my prior position with the California Fresh Fruit Association, and I got to know their senior management. I’m convinced Zenith is committed to providing value to their customers, and it’s a company that cares deeply about this state and California Agriculture. They’re a company that really designates a fairly significant percentage of their pre-tax earnings to philanthropic activities. And it’s probably no surprise that their No. 1 contributions go to – guess what – California agriculture. That’s an amazing statement from a company.”

In addition to our support of the fundraising breakfast, we pledged $275,000 over the next five years to CALF, an important nonprofit committed to growing new leadership in California Ag through its California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP). The program is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. Since 1970, more than 1,200 people have participated in the program and have become the influential leaders and active volunteers we see today in Ag and other areas.

“The program exposes you to different ways of thinking and a world of possibilities as a leader,” said Sandy Fiack, Zenith Ag Association Marketing Specialist, who attended the program from 1999-2001 as part of Class 29. “Each session expands your view of the world, pushes you to grow, and prepares you to go out into the world to make a difference. I truly value the unique and life-long relationships I have developed over the years, as well as the access I have to a diverse and impactful group of leaders.”

Our pledge to CALF demonstrates our commitment to listening, learning, and providing support to the organizations that are important to the state’s Ag industry. We’re a Fellowship Sponsor of CALF, and our own Marcia Shafer, Senior Vice President, will participate in the initial creation of the Leadership Round Table, a group developed to work with CALF’s board of directors, staff, and faculty and provide input about CALP.

“We are honored and excited to be a part of this outstanding program,” said Kari Van Gundy, President and CEO of Zenith Insurance Company. “By supporting the development of future leaders and building long-term relationships with them, our commitment to California agriculture extends to future generations.”

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