Great West Casualty CEO Recognized After 47-Year Career
SIOUXLAND, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota – At their 36th annual fundraising dinner held at the Sioux City Convention Center on Thursday evening, the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce presented its most prestigious recognition, the W. Edwards Deming Business Leadership and Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, to Jim Jensen of Great West Casualty Company. Jensen, who recently celebrated 47 years of employment with the South Sioux City, Nebraska-based insurance company, was lauded for his corporate, community, and Chamber leadership.
Speaking to a sold-out Sioux City Convention Center, Jensen, who served for 15 years as Great West’s chief executive officer, fondly recalled his local roots, acknowledged the opportunities the company afforded him, and thanked his fellow employees and the community for their unparalleled support. Jensen stated, “I am so grateful for my employment with Great West which began just after I graduated from high school. It continued through college and included leadership assignments in Denver and Boise, before culminating with my role as the chief executive officer of this outstanding organization.” Jensen continued, “I am humbled by this recognition, and indebted to Great West’s remarkably dedicated employees and unbelievably loyal customers. Carla and I owe a significant debt of gratitude to Siouxland, and we have done our level best to make sure that we give back to this community, which has sustained us, both personally and professionally, for nearly five decades.”
Jensen’s relationship with the nation’s leading over-the-road semi-tractor/trailer insurance company began when, as a seventeen-year-old high school student, he was retained to mow lawns for the company. His employment with Great West continued when, as a college student at Briar Cliff, Jensen spent nights at the company’s corporate headquarters working as a dispatcher answering emergency phone calls. Joining the company’s underwriting department after graduating from college, his career eventually took him to leadership roles in Colorado and Idaho before returning to South Sioux City in 2007 to lead the organization as CEO. Over the course of Jensen’s career with Great West, the company’s revenues grew from $12 million to a staggering $1.2 billion annually.
Rich Waller, who, while CEO of Security National Bank, served with Jensen on the board of The Siouxland Initiative, asserted that Jensen was an excellent selection and a welcome addition to the exceptional Siouxland leaders who have received the award over the years. “Jim is most deserving of the Deming Award and his legacy of leadership in Siouxland is one I am proud to affirm. His subtle contributions, critical thinking, and bold vision for what his company and this community can be, have made a profoundly positive difference for both.”
Siouxland Chamber of Commerce president Chris McGowan echoed Waller’s sentiments and explained that Jensen’s years of service on the boards of directors of Briar Cliff University and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s, as well as the boards of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and The Siouxland Initiative, both of which he served as chair, coupled with his role serving as the honorary chair of the Boys and Girls Home and Family Services tailgating fundraiser for kids, were all factors in his selection for this year’s Deming Award. McGowan said, “Since returning to Siouxland, Jim has distinguished himself as one of the key advocates for our community. While he can be a very vocal and outspoken leader, he has most often chosen to quietly lead by example, which I believe is the gold-standard for servant leadership.”
The Deming Award is presented annually to an outstanding business executive and exceptional community leader in the tri-state region. Jensen joins a notable list of past recipients who have been recognized for their entrepreneurial success, business leadership, and commitment to Siouxland. This year marks the 31st time the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce has presented the Deming Award dating back to 1991.
The W. Edwards Deming Business Leadership & Entrepreneurial Excellence Award is presented in honor of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a Sioux City native and world-renowned statistician, philosopher, and educator. This award is designed to recognize local business executives who have exhibited outstanding leadership and corporate citizenship, within the Siouxland community, as well as originality, quality, productivity, and performance within the realm of their business.
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Dr. W. Edwards Deming Business Leadership &
Entrepreneurial Excellence Award
Award Criteria: The W. Edwards Deming Business Leadership & Entrepreneurial Excellence Award is presented in honor of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a Sioux City native and world-renowned statistician, philosopher, and educator. This award is designed to recognize local business executives who have exhibited outstanding leadership and corporate citizenship, within the Siouxland community, as well as originality, quality, productivity, and performance within the realm of their business.
- Ted Waitt, Gateway
- Wrede Smith, American Pop Corn Company
- Harold Bomgaars, Bomgaars
- Fred Davenport, Davenport Companies
- William Dible, Terra Industries Inc.
- Byron Brower, Brower Construction Company
- Sam Bernstein, State Steel Supply Company
- Robert Williams, Williams and Company
- Roland Junck, Prince Manufacturing
- William Metz, Metz Baking Company
- Robert Peterson, IBP, Inc.
- Eldon Roth, Beef Products, Inc.
- Chuck Long, Long Lines
- Irving F. Jensen, Jr., Irving F. Jensen Company
- Pat Boeshart, Lite-Form Technologies LLC
- Ken Ackerman, K & B Transportation
- Leonard Gill, LP Gill, Inc.
- Allen Mahaney, Soo Tractor Sweeprake Company
- Mike Bennett, Terra Industries
- Roger and Jane Bomgaars, Bomgaars
- James Yanney, Guarantee Roofing & Siding
- Steve Schneider, Gerkin Windows and Doors
- Mike Wells, Wells Enterprises, Inc.
- Garrett Smith, American Pop Corn Company
- Regina Roth, BPI
- Richard Waller, Security National Bank
- Bev and Jim Wharton, Briar Cliff University / City of Sioux City
- Douglas Palmer, Tegra Corporation, Palmer Candy Company
- John Gleeson, Klinger Companies, Inc.
- No Award Presented Due to COVID-19 Global Pandemic
- John Reynders, Morningside University
- Jim Jensen, Great West Casualty Company