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Executive Team

 

Larry Taylor

Chairman of the Board & President

Larry joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 1989 and 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 member of the Greater Des Moines Committee, a past Board member of the Master Builders of Iowa Associate Council, past President of the Board
of Directors of Youth Homes of Mid-America, and a United Way Campaign volunteer. He is a graduate of Purdue University.

 

 

Bill Warner, Jr.

Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary

Bill began his career at Merchants Bonding Company™ in 1988, has been Corporate Secretary since 1996, and was appointed COO in 2015. He is the Vice Chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties. From 2001-2003, Bill owned Coastal Surety Services, Inc. in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and then joined Merchants' home office in 2004. He has served on the Board of Holding Tiny Hands since 2014. Bill attended Louisiana State University.

 

Don Blum

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Don joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 2010. Prior to joining Merchants, he was with The Weitz Company for more than 22 years and held several positions, most recently
as Treasurer. Don is a founding member and past president of the local Construction Financial Management Association. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in accounting and his CPA certificate.

 

Josh Penwell

Vice President, Contract Underwriting

Josh joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 1996. He served as Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of Merchants' Austin, Texas office before joining the Des Moines office in 2013 as Vice President, Contract Underwriting. Josh is a member of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Association of General Contractors of America, and the Construction Financial Management Association. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in finance.

 

Therese Wielage

Vice President, Marketing

Therese joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 2008 after serving as Owner/Chief Marketing Officer for a technology company honored by INC 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in 2003. Prior to that, Therese spent 15 years as an award-winning broadcaster for NBC affiliates in Ohio and Iowa. Therese is Chair of the SFAA Communications Advisory Committee and serves on the boards of the Small Business Development Centers and the West Des Moines, Iowa Chamber of Commerce. Therese has a journalism degree from Miami University.

 

Brad Rasmussen

Chief Information Officer

Brad joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 2014. Prior to joining Merchants, Brad held the role of Senior Director of Sales & Marketing Technology Delivery at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa. Prior to that, Brad was the CIO at GeoLearning, Inc. Brad has held numerous technology and business leadership positions in start-ups to large organizations. He is also an active member in the Technology Association of Iowa and currently serves as Board Chair. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.

 

Steve Dorenkamp

Vice President, Claims Manager

Steve began his career with Merchants Bonding Company™ in 1995 as a Contract Underwriter, holding the titles of Senior Contract Underwriter and Assistant Vice President prior to
joining the Claims Department. In 2012, Steve became Vice President/Claims Manager and also joined the Executive Committee. He is a Board Member of the National Bond Claims Association and a member of several other surety claims organizations. Steve is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.


Jim Holter

Vice President, Commercial Underwriting

Jim joined Merchants Bonding Company™ in 2004 to lead the Commercial Surety department as Assistant Vice President. In 2014, he was promoted to Vice President of Commercial Surety. Jim sits on the SFAA Commercial Committee, is active in the National Association of Independent Sureties (NAIS), and has been an instructor at the NAIS Surety School. Prior to Merchants, Jim was with Western Surety & CNA Surety. He attended the University of South Dakota. He lives in Johnston, Iowa,with his wife and children.