Company Profile •
Larry, a graduate of Purdue University, is President of Merchants Bonding Company. He joined Merchants’ Phoenix branch office in 1989. In 1994, he moved to the Corporate Headquarters in Des Moines, and he became the company’s President in 1996. Larry is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, past Chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties, a past Board Member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a past Board Member of Master Builders of Iowa Associate Council, President of the Board of Directors of Youth Homes of Mid-America, and a United Way Campaign volunteer.
BILL WARNER, JR.
Bill is Merchants Bonding Company's Secretary. He attended Louisiana State University and has been with Merchants since 1988. Bill has worked in Merchants’ Phoenix, Austin, and New Orleans offices during his career. From 2001 to 2003 Bill owned Coastal Surety Services, Inc. in Gulf Breeze, Florida, then returned to Merchants Corporate Headquarters in Des Moines in 2004.
MIKE FOSTER, AFSB
Executive Vice President, Underwriting
Mike serves as Executive Vice President of Underwriting for Merchants. He holds an accounting degree from the University of Kansas and began his career in the surety industry in 1980. His background includes years with USF&G and TransAmerica Insurance. He joined Merchants’ Phoenix branch office in 1992 and relocated to Corporate Headquarters in Des Moines in 1997. He is a member of the Contract Bond Advisory Committee of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, is on the Government Affairs Committee for the AGC of Iowa, Master Builders of Iowa, and the National Association of Surety Bond Producers. Mike has obtained the Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bond underwriting designation from the CPCU Society.
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Don Blum joined Merchants Bonding Company’s executive team as its Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer in 2010. He came to Merchants from the Weitz Company where he worked for 23 years, most recently as Treasurer. He is a 1986 graduate of Iowa State University in accounting. He achieved his CPA certification in 1988. Don is a founding member and past president of the local Construction Financial Management Association, a past volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of Iowa, and a teacher for Junior Achievement of Iowa.
Vice President, Marketing
Therese is a graduate of Miami University of Oxford, Ohio with a degree in Journalism. She spent 15 years as an award-winning broadcaster for NBC affiliates in Ohio and Iowa. She served for a decade as Owner and Chief Marketing Officer for three technology start-up companies honored on the INC 500 list of fastest growing companies in 2003. After selling those businesses, Therese joined Merchants' leadership team. Therese has been honored as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, serves as the Chair of the SFAA Communications Advisory Committee, and serves on the Small Business Development Center Advisory Board of Iowa.
Vice President, Information Technology
Jay is Merchants’ Vice President of Information Technology. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BBA in management and an emphasis in information systems. He serves on the E-Business Advisory Committee of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America. Prior to joining Merchants in 1997, Jay worked as a programmer and systems analyst for Midwest Legal Services.
Vice President & Claims Manager
Steve Dorenkamp began his surety career with Merchants Bonding in 1995 as a Contract Underwriter and held the titles of Senior Contract Underwriter and Assistant Vice President Contract Underwriting prior to joining the Claims Department. In 2009, Steve was named Assistant Vice President, Claims and in January 2012, was named Vice President & Claims Manager, joining the Executive Committee at Merchants. Steve is a graduate of Luther College in Northeast Iowa and is a member of several surety claims organizations.