System News Releases

Church Mutual Named WTCS Futuremakers Partner

October 26, 2016 | Conor Smyth

PHOTO: WTCS President Dr. Morna K. Foy; NTC President Dr. Lori Weyers; Church Mutual President & CEO Richard Poirier; WTCS Board Vice President S. Mark Tyler; NTC Board President Maria Volpe [Download high-resolution photo here.]

Merrill, WI - The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and Northcentral Technical College honored Church Mutual Insurance Company for their commitment to technical college education. The award recognizes the dynamic and enduring partnerships between Wisconsin's technical colleges and their community and employer partners.

"The Futuremaker Partners include some of Wisconsin's leading companies," said Mark Tyler, the WTCS Board's Vice President. "The leadership within these companies understand the important role the technical colleges play in their success and we are pleased to join Northcentral Technical College to honor Church Mutual."

Church Mutual routinely and actively hires Northcentral Technical College graduates and believes in the value of a well-educated workforce. This is demonstrated by the Church Mutual IT Scholars program, a new partnership that provides financial assistance to graduating high school seniors seeking a career in Information Technology (IT). Qualified participants receive full financial assistance for their associate degree in IT at Northcentral Technical College and their required bachelor degree, and have the opportunity to work at Church Mutual during and after their studies.

Church Mutual is also instrumental in "The Branch," an entrepreneurial skills accelerator program for students at NTC led by the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. The program aims to keep a skilled workforce in central Wisconsin and received its initial $250,000 investment from Church Mutual.

"Church Mutual Insurance Company is one of the most community minded companies that I have had the privilege of working with," said Lori Weyers, Northcentral Technical College President. "As a strong supporter of NTC, they have been instrumental in providing opportunities for our students, including Church Mutual IT Scholars and The Branch, both of which support valuable skills development and promote economic vitality for the region."

"I am humbled by this honor and proud of our team for continuing Church Mutual's long history of being involved with education," said Richard Poirier, President and CEO of Church Mutual Insurance Company. "Tomorrow's workforce needs encouragement and assistance today, and I'm pleased we can have a hand in that important transition."

"The Branch program is a cornerstone of the chamber's connection between business and education," said Dave Eckmann, President/CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber. "The state chamber of commerce reports the number one issue for more than 70% of Wisconsin's employers is finding qualified people. Church Mutual's involvement has given the program the jumpstart it needs to help educate a much-needed future workforce."

This award comes on the heels of Church Mutual being named one of Wisconsin's Top 75 Private Companies by Deloitte US. Church Mutual has been based in Merrill since it was founded in 1897 and now employs more than 800 people in Wisconsin. Another 250 employees, primarily sales representatives and risk control professionals, are located elsewhere throughout the country.

"We are delighted to have Church Mutual in our backyard and this is a well-deserved honor for them," said Debbe Kinsey, CEO of the Merrill Chamber of Commerce. "They are our largest employer and a great asset for our chamber and community."


The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) offers more than 400 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas and certificates. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized business solutions and technical assistance to Wisconsin employers. More than 300,000 individuals access the technical colleges each year.

Church Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1897, offers specialized insurance for religious organizations of all denominations, as well as schools, camps, denominational offices, and senior living facilities. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and liability insurance, including multi-peril, workers' compensation, and commercial auto insurance. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

  • A.M. Best Company "A (Excellent)" rating
  • 2016 Ward's 50 Top Performing Property and Casualty Insurers
  • BenchmarkPortal Top 10 National Customer Service Center