Acuity Insurance announced that, as part of the company’s long-range leadership perpetuation plan, Melissa Winter is named the company’s President. Ben Salzmann, who had been both President and CEO, will remain as CEO. He anticipates staying with the company for three years to help ensure a successful transition and will also continue to serve as a member of Acuity’s Board of Directors. The change is effective immediately.
“Melissa is an outstanding, proven leader who has earned the role as well as the respect of everyone at Acuity. She is the right person to guide us into the future,” Salzmann said.
“It is truly an honor to step into the role of President,” Winter said. “We have an incredible staff and a remarkable period of success over the past 24 years under Ben’s leadership. I look forward to helping us keep that going.”
Under Salzmann’s leadership since being named President and CEO in 1999, Acuity has achieved an unprecedented period of success, outperforming the industry by an average of seven percentage points on its combined ratio, growing its revenue at nearly double the industry rate, and increasing policyholders’ surplus at more than twice the industry rate.
Winter began her career at Acuity in January 1998 as a Claims Representative and was promoted to Central Claims Manager in April 2001. She was named a Claims Consultant in November 2005 and promoted to General Manager – Staff Claims in June 2010. In 2016, she was named Vice President – Business Consulting where she oversaw Acuity’s dynamic strategic planning process, staff functions, and internal innovation teams.
A graduate of Cardinal Stritch University with a major in sociology, Winter has earned the Casualty Claims Law Associate designation. She also holds advanced leadership certificates from the University of Milwaukee – Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin Executive Education Center, and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.