Austin, TX – Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently announced it has named longtime employee and chief operating officer, Jeanette Ward, president and chief executive officer by a unanimous board vote.
Ward will assume her new role on March 1, 2023, following the retirement of Rich Gergasko, who has served as president and chief executive officer for the last 10 years.
“After an extensive nationwide search, the board was pleased to find our ideal candidate was an internal one,” Ron Simmons, chairman of the Texas Mutual Board of Directors, said. “Jeanette (Ward) is dedicated to our mission and policyholders. She exemplifies all that we stand for as an organization and will continue to do so as she begins this new chapter in her career.”
Ward joined Texas Mutual in 1993 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government from The University of Texas at Austin. In her 29 years with the company, she has served in a variety of roles across the organization, beginning as a receptionist. She has also led strategic planning, had oversight of the claims, safety and medical network operations teams, and most recently served as the organization’s chief operating officer.
“It will be an honor to lead Texas Mutual,” Ward said. “Our board and team members are the best in the industry, and I am proud of how we serve our policyholders and their employees across the state. This company has made tremendous strides over the last three decades, evolving to meet the changing needs of businesses in Texas. I look forward to building on that strong foundation.”
In addition to her work for Texas Mutual, Ward volunteers her time with several nonprofit organizations, including the American Heart Association, Early Matters Greater Austin, United Way for Greater Austin and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation.
She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named a Business Insurance Woman to Watch by Business Insurance Magazine, an Executive to Watch by Risk and Insurance Magazine, and one of Insurance Business America’s Elite Women in the insurance industry.
“Jeanette is a servant leader who puts people first—our policyholders, their employees and our employees,” Gergasko said. “Beyond that and her deep institutional knowledge, she is strategic and passionate about our mission to create a stronger, safer Texas. I am confident Jeanette will take Texas Mutual to new heights.”
Source: Texas Mutual