HASTINGS — Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. President and CEO Joseph Babiak plans to retire on March 31.
Babiak has been with Hastings Mutual since 2001, starting as vice president of financial services and then senior vice president of insurance operations. He’s served as president and CEO at the Hastings-based property and casualty insurance carrier since 2012.
Renee Beauford, Hastings Mutual’s senior vice president of operations, will succeed Babiak as president and CEO under a long-term succession plan. Beauford has nearly 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, “and her broad management and executive leadership experience make her an ideal candidate to fill this position,” the company said in an announcement on the leadership transition.
Beauford started at Hastings Mutual in 2007 as director of field claim operations and moved up to vice president and chief claim officer in 2012, then to senior vice president of operations.
Under Babiak’s leadership, Hastings Mutual’s surplus grew to more than $560 million and total assets exceeded $1 billion. Direct written premiums grew to nearly $400 million. The company also credits Babiak with leading a “complete modernization of operations.”
Hastings Mutual operates in six states — Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin — and writes commercial, personal, and farm insurance through a network of independent insurance agents.