Announcement: New Midwest Region Leadership & Team

December 17, 2018

Merchants Bonding Company announces a new and enhanced Midwest Region for contract underwriting, featuring a team focused on our growth goals and dedicated to deliver on our brand promise of common sense underwriting and first class service.

Leading the team will be Regional Vice President Kirk Rathjen. Kirk joined Merchants in 1999 and has since held the titles of contract underwriting manager and training director, assistant vice president and effective January 1, 2019, regional vice president for the Midwest Region. In addition to overseeing the region, Kirk will continue his leadership of Merchants’ contract underwriting training program. Kirk has been instrumental in developing and delivering training that has garnered the praise of underwriters and agents alike.

The Midwest Region will include the Des Moines and Kansas City underwriting teams; serving Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri. 


The Kansas City office will continue under the leadership of Assistant Vice President Contract Underwriting Mike Foster, along with Contract Underwriter Kathryne Willman.  

Joining Kirk in the Des Moines office will be Director of Contract Underwriting Mike Reed. Mike joined Merchants in 2003 and will continue his agency relationships in Minnesota and assist Kirk with regional management. Additionally, Mike will take on a new role with the training team and assist with its ongoing development.  

Senior Contract Underwriters Tim Foreman and Steve Potts will also serve the region. Tim joined Merchants in 2007 and Steve arrived in 2017. Together they have more than 50 years of experience, and both of them will continue serving their current agencies, assisting with training and providing mentorship and guidance across the country where needed.  

Other team members will include Contract Underwriters Justin Knock and Austin Dupont. Justin, who joined Merchants in 2015, will continue to serve his current agencies and take a larger role in serving Iowa agencies. Austin joined Merchants in 2017 and we congratulate him on his first team assignment.