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Executive Team

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    Curt Zeck

    Interim President and CEO

    Curt Zeck is a multi-faceted Executive who embraces culture, builds teams by developing leaders, understands technology, connects strategy to tactical execution, and embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion while delivering business results. A native of central Iowa, Curt joined Royal Neighbors of America in 2008.

    Curt began his career at Bandag, Inc. in an entry level call center position. During this time at Bandag, he graduated from the University of Iowa to launch is career in the IT arena. During his 16 years at Bandag, he enjoyed numerous positions in IT and Marketing. He was involved in building a product that was sold to their distribution partners as well as leadership assignments.

    Upon joining Royal Neighbors in 2008, Curt led the Information Technology function which gave him an opportunity to learn the business and organization. Curt then migrated to Operations overseeing the internal controls of Royal Neighbors life insurance and annuities products and gaining further business acumen of the life insurance sector. He then went on to manage and move Royal Neighbors’ sales department forward while additionally guiding product design to help move the Society to year-over-year annual record sales highs. Curt has embraced Royal Neighbors’ Philanthropy function of the business which aided to the Society’s social good impact record of $20.5 million in 2021. Having significant impact in providing innovative leadership in many functional areas within Royal Neighbors, he is currently serving as Interim President and CEO.

    Curt is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Business and has achieved his ALMI (Associate Life Management Institute) designation. Curt is a member of the Royal Neighbors of America Board of Directors as well as a member of the Governance and Investment Committees for Royal Neighbors. He is a Representative Payee for Alternatives for Older Adults, a member of his church council, and a Junior Achievement mentor.

    Curt and his wife Sheri have three daughters, Emily, Taylor, and Madison. He enjoys golfing, camping, and spending time with family.

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    Tom Myers

    Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

    Thomas D. Myers is a seasoned insurance financial executive with over 35 years of experience and has dedicated his career to the life insurance industry. He has held roles beyond traditional finance positions including Chief Operating Officer and President and brings a well-balanced, holistic view in his oversight of the Society’ financial operations.

    Thomas has been Royal Neighbors of America’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since 2018. Prior to joining Royal Neighbors, he was with the Kemper Life and Health division of Kemper Corporation for 23 years and progressed his career from a corporate accounting manager to President of Kemper Life and Health’s flagship life insurance company. His first position after graduating college was with the public accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand where he spent eight years providing assurance services to financial services client, including, but not limited to, life insurers.

    Myers possesses a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University and is a non-active CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and a FLMI (Fellow Life Management Institute).

    Married to Therese and father to Sean, Thomas enjoys spending time with his family watching sports, theater, traveling, and playing golf.

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    John Friederich, JD

    General Counsel and Secretary

    John Friederich became a member of the Royal Neighbors staff in 1992 when he accepted the position of Assistant General Counsel responsible for legal review of investments.  His successive roles have included Senior Assistant General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel.  He was appointed General Counsel and Secretary in 2018.

    Graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, John earned his Juris doctorate at the University of Iowa. A member of the Iowa/Illinois and American Bar Associations, he serves as the secretary/treasurer of the RNA Real Estate Holdings, Inc. board; is secretary of the Royal Neighbors Foundation; and is a member of the law committee for the International Claims Association. In addition, he holds membership in the Association of Corporate Counsel, the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Association of Fraternal Benefit Counsel. He also serves on the Policy Development Task Force for the American Fraternal Alliance and the Litigation Committee of the American Council of Life Insurers.

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    Angie Johnson

    Human Resources Executive

    A native of Muscatine, Iowa, Angie Johnson’s role unites perfectly with her passion for serving people and her commitment to the mission of Royal Neighbors.

    As Human Resource Executive, Angie directs the strategy and processes related to developing and retaining an exceptional team of professionals along with optimizing people-centered activities such as talent acquisition, talent development, performance management, succession planning, and total rewards planning, as well as championing organizational culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Known as an influential leader, Angie maintains an acute focus on the organization’s mission, vision, and values while leading and motivating her team along a path of strategic and futuristic direction.

    Prior to joining Royal Neighbors, Angie was Vice President of Human Resources for UPH – Trinity Regional Health System, VP of Operations for UPH – Trinity Regional Health System (developing a culture of continuous improvement - leading the Process Improvement Team, Clinical Education Team, and Patient Experience Team), as well as the Executive Director for UPH - Trinity Muscatine (accountable for overall success of a sole community hospital).

    Johnson holds an Associate Degree in Accounting from Muscatine Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business from the Iowa Wesleyan College.

    In alignment with the Royal Neighbors mission, Angie is heavily involved in serving her community. Positions currently include the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine Board of Directors and Investment Committee, the Muscatine Center for Strategic Action Board of Directors and Finance Committee Member, the Vision 20/20 Strategic Planning Committee, and Crossroads, Inc. Finance Committee Member.

    Angie enjoys traveling, loves the outdoors, and spending time with her husband, Chad and their six children.

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    Karen Hayes

    Operations Executive

    Karen Hayes is an experienced insurance professional and leader with a specialty in business process improvement. She currently serves Royal Neighbors of America as Operations Executive overseeing Underwriting, Agent Services, and the Customer Support Center.

    Since joining Royal Neighbors in 2011, Ms. Hayes has held leadership positions over multiple functional areas including Senior Director, Agent and Customer Services where she oversaw Society functions relating to Customer Support, Claims, Underwriting Operations, Licensing, Contracting, and Commissions. Before joining Royal Neighbors, Ms. Hayes was a senior manager at Allsteel in Muscatine, Iowa.

    A native of the Quad Cities, Ms. Hayes graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management. Ms. Hayes has earned both the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) Leadership Institute Fellow (LLIF) designation as well as the Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) designation.

    Ms. Hayes dedicates her time as volunteer with Junior Achievement of the Heartland, is past member of United Way Mental Health and Substance Abuse Strategic Investment Committee, and previously served as a judge for Royal Neighbors Nation of NeighborsSM and Scholarship panels. Additionally, Ms. Hayes serves as President of the lift Women’s Foundation (formerly the Royal Neighbors Foundation) and is a member of the LIMRA Executive Development Steering Committee.

    Ms. Hayes is an avid football fan and rarely misses an Iowa home game. Married to Aaron and mother to daughters Cassandra, Grace, Brooke, and son Caden, Ms. Hayes enjoys spending time with family, traveling (especially to any beach and to the Northwoods), and simply being together.

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    Raja Krishnamurthy

    IT Executive

    Raja Krishnamurthy believes in the power of strategy and technology to create competitive advantages for organizations in the marketplace. He has over two decades of experience in executing technology and business initiatives through influence, transformational thinking, and teamwork. He regards knowledge sharing, sustainable living, and grassroots philanthropy as powerful ways to create a world of opportunity and progress for all.

    Joining Royal Neighbors in 2008, Raja has served in numerous leadership roles in IT, Finance, and Marketing. He has over 20 years of experience in software design and development, enterprise architecture, business intelligence, information technology management, and corporate strategy development.

    Raja considers himself fortunate to have served in a variety of roles learning from leaders with varying leadership styles. He has held positions ranging from highly focused and technical roles to broad strategic leadership and management roles. He was honored to receive the Royal Neighbors Employee of the Year award in 2010.

    Since 2019, he has held the role of IT Executive, with leadership responsibility for Corporate Strategic Planning, Portfolio Management Office, IT Infrastructure, IT Applications Design and Development, Information Security, and IT Production Support.

    Raja earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Madras, India, a Master of Computer Applications degree from Bharathidasan University, India, and a Master of Organizational Leadership degree from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. He also holds the FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute), FSRI (Fellow, Secure Retirement Institute), and ACS (Associate, Customer Service) designations in the insurance industry, and several technology certifications.

    Raja enjoys supporting and participating in volunteering efforts sponsored or organized by Royal Neighbors. He volunteers at his temple, coaches a local robotics team, and serves as a mentor in a community spiritual program.

    When not at work, he loves spending time with his family consisting of his wife and two children, reading, meditating, going for long walks, biking, and enjoying his favorite sports.

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    Juliet Christenson

    Director, Product Strategy

    A native of the Quad Cities, Juliet Christenson is a highly effective leader with a dynamic professional history, holds numerous personal achievements, and is committed to her strengthening her community.

    Juliet’s acclaimed career at Royal Neighbors of America spans three decades. Her career trajectory has included a holistic range of experiences including customer service, underwriting, marketing and sales, human resources, and information technology, where she spent 16 years. Most recently, Juliet is a leader within the organization’s Growth Area as Director Product Strategy and Development where she manages strategic product planning and the product development lifecycle for life, annuity, and health product portfolios. Juliet has a history of building highly productive teams through training and mentoring staff. In 2012, Juliet was named the Royal Neighbors Employee of the Year.

    Throughout her career at Royal Neighbors, Juliet has earned numerous designations including the PMP (Project Management Professional) from PMI (Project Management Institute), the LLIF (Leadership Institute Fellow) from LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association), the FLMI (Fellow Life Management Institute), the AIRC (Associate, Insurance Regulatory Compliance), and ACS (Associate, Customer Service) from LOMA (Life Office Management Association). She also possesses a Six Sigma Green Belt.

    Juliet is currently a volunteer board member with the lift Women’s Foundation (formerly the Royal Neighbors Foundation) as well as a volunteer board member and outcall advocate for Family Resources. She was previously a volunteer and co-chairperson for the Caddie Committee with the John Deere Classic for 10 years and the President of Rock Island Little League and Quad City A’s travel baseball organization.

    Married to Leif and mother of sons Zacariah and Ethan, and daughter-in-law Kara, Juliet is an avid sports fan and enjoys spending time with her family.

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Board of Directors

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    Suzanne Riesterer

    Chair – Edina, MN

    A business leader with a track record of achieving profitable growth through setting strategic direction, developing highly effective cross-functional teams, and driving broad organizational change, Ms. Riesterer has demonstrated substantial success in business line and finance roles. Her diverse background includes the hospitality, manufacturing, technology, and learning resource sectors. Ms. Riesterer is on the board of directors and audit chair for Adolfson & Peterson Construction. She is also on the board of trustees for Washburn Center for Children in Minneapolis, the state’s leading children’s mental health center. She most recently served as the Chief Financial and Investment Officer for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and previously served the organization as Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration. She also held roles for Carlson as Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis and Vice President of Audit and Business Risk Management. Prior to joining the Carlson team, Ms. Riesterer was the Chief Financial Officer for Gelco Information Network. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting and business administration, summa cum laude, at Augustana College and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in strategic management at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. She was named an Outstanding Woman Financial Executive by Treasury & Risk magazine in 2011. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2013.

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    Marie Ziegler

    Vice Chair – Bettendorf, IA

    Ms. Ziegler has extensive board leadership experience. She is vice chair of QCR Holdings, a $5.7 billion bank holding company, and serves as its audit committee chair. She is a community leader, serving as chair of the Regional Development Authority, in addition to sitting on several other not-for-profit boards. Ms. Ziegler is the retired Deputy Financial Officer of Deere & Company, where she had responsibility for global treasury operations, risk management, pensions, and investments and investor relations. There she also served on the Chairman’s Global Leadership Council. Her expertise includes strategy, finance, and communications. Ms. Ziegler graduated with a degree in Accounting from St. Ambrose University, earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa, and is a Board Leadership Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2018, she serves as its vice chair, she is chair of the investment committee and is a member of the audit committee.

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    Alejandra Evans

    South Haven, MI

    Ms. Evans’ dynamic leadership in the insurance industry spans three decades across multiple disciplines including consulting, business strategy, financial performance, risk management, sales, and marketing. She retired from USI Insurance Services, a leading brokerage firm, in March of 2021 as Senior Vice President of Risk Management. Ms. Evans currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Davey Tree Expert Co., a $1.2 billion employee-owned company, and is a member of its governance and audit committees. She received her B.A. in Business Management from Loyola University of Chicago. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2021, she is a member of the governance and compensation committees.

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    Marla Glabe

    Northbrook, IL

    Ms. Glabe has in-depth experience managing and providing leadership at sophisticated nationwide organizations in highly regulated businesses. Ms. Glabe is Senior Advisor for Management Control International, Inc., a privately-owned family asset management firm. She previously served as a senior executive with Allstate Insurance Company, where she gained extensive experience in building and developing new businesses and leading major operating organizations within the Allstate Financial Group. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in actuarial science from the University of Illinois, Ms. Glabe is also a graduate of Duke University’s Strategic Executive Education Marketing Program and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Ms. Glabe serves on the Board of Directors for Wintrust Financial Corporation, Wintrust Wealth Management, and Northwest Community Healthcare, and on the Executive Committee for First Insurance Funding and Wintrust Life Finance. She is past President of the North Shore Chicago United Way Board of Directors. She is also a member of Heidrick & Struggles Chief Advisor Network and the YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers, and an Executive Mentor for The Menttium Program. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2013, she is chair of the audit committee and is a member of the compensation committee. Ms. Glabe also serves as a Board of Director for the Royal Neighbors Foundation.

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    Patricia Jones

    Minneapolis, MN

    Ms. Jones is the founder of Culture Circus LLC, a management consulting firm. She previously held executive positions with TCF Financial Corp, Arctic Cat, Lifetouch, Inc., Allina Health, H.B. Fuller Company, and Northwest Airlines, Inc. Ms. Jones’ experience crosses several disciplines, including human resources, law, corporate governance, operations, process improvement, communications, and public and community relations. Ms. Jones received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations/Spanish at the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor at William Mitchell College of Law. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2013, she is chair of the governance committee and is a member of the investment committee.

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    Janet Sichterman

    Muscatine, IA

    Ms. Sichterman is a strategic business leader that is skilled in developing leaders and new business opportunities. As Executive Vice President at Kent Corporation, she is responsible for Enterprise Innovation. Her prior role at Kent was Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Communications. She previously held executive roles in North American sales, global human resources, and organizational development with Bandag, Incorporated. Ms. Sichterman received a Bachelor of Arts from Central College, and Master of Business Administration, Master of Accounting, and Master of Organizational Leadership degrees from St. Ambrose University. She was an honoree for the Athena International Women’s Leadership Award in 2019. Ms. Sichterman currently serves on the Muscatine Art Center Foundation and has previously served on Boards for UnityPoint/Trinity Regional Health System, Community Foundation, United Way, Red Cross, Leadership Muscatine, Junior Achievement and many more. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2020, she is a member of the governance and compensation committees.

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    Tracey Gray-Walker

    Plainfield, NJ

    Tracey Gray-Walker is an accomplished CEO and board member and a financial and marketing expert within both regulated and unregulated industries. Tracey’s 25 years of financial services experience in financial and insurance, national and global markets delivers strong, executive level engagement, P&L management, B2B, and B2C marketing strategies, and solid business leadership for leadership teams and the boards she serves.

    Currently, Tracey is the CEO and member of the board of American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Trust and United Veterinary Care. Her AVMA leadership impact includes strategies to unify the positioning of the Trust, enhance member experience, improve productivity and efficiencies, all while creating additional value for members. Within Tracey’s first year, she successfully led the merger of two individual insurance Trusts, and the simultaneously launch of an Association Health Plan, for a 95,000-member organization.

    Prior to joining the AVMA Trust in 2019, Tracey spent over twenty-five years in the financial services industry. At AXA Equitable she was responsible for P&L for AXA Equitable’s Association Business where she led the successful relaunch that generated double digit growth, enhanced client engagement and overall client satisfaction levels.

    Tracey’s current corporate board experience includes service on AVMA Trust’s and United Veterinary Care boards. In addition, she serves on the Investment Committee for the Association Health Insurance Company (AIC), and formerly served on AXA Equitable’s 401(k) Board. Tracey’s expertise is informed by 15 years of non-profit board experience, and she is a former Board Member of The Executive Leadership Council.

    Prior to joining AXA Equitable, Tracey spent four years with Deloitte & Touche formerly Touche Ross & Co. as a senior auditor.

    During Tracey’s career in Financial Services, she received various awards and recognition, including but not limited to one of The Network Journal’s “Twenty-Five Influential Black Woman in Business,” and she was featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its “Women Worth Watching”. She was also included among Uptown Professional’s prestigious list of, “Top Executives in America”, and a Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.

    Tracey received her BS, Accounting; Business from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Elected to the Royal Neighbors board in 2021, she is a member of the audit and investment committees.

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    Curt Zeck

    Interim President and CEO

    Curt Zeck is a multi-faceted Executive who embraces culture, builds teams by developing leaders, understands technology, connects strategy to tactical execution, and embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion while delivering business results. A native of central Iowa, Curt joined Royal Neighbors of America in 2008.

    Curt began his career at Bandag, Inc. in an entry level call center position. During this time at Bandag, he graduated from the University of Iowa to launch is career in the IT arena. During his 16 years at Bandag, he enjoyed numerous positions in IT and Marketing. He was involved in building a product that was sold to their distribution partners as well as leadership assignments.

    Upon joining Royal Neighbors in 2008, Curt led the Information Technology function which gave him an opportunity to learn the business and organization. Curt then migrated to Operations overseeing the internal controls of Royal Neighbors life insurance and annuities products and gaining further business acumen of the life insurance sector. He then went on to manage and move Royal Neighbors’ sales department forward while additionally guiding product design to help move the Society to year-over-year annual record sales highs. Curt has embraced Royal Neighbors’ Philanthropy function of the business which aided to the Society’s social good impact record of $20.5 million in 2021. Having significant impact in providing innovative leadership in many functional areas within Royal Neighbors, he is currently serving as Interim President and CEO.

    Curt is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Business and has achieved his ALMI (Associate Life Management Institute) designation. Curt is a member of the Royal Neighbors of America Board of Directors as well as a member of the Governance and Investment Committees for Royal Neighbors. He is a Representative Payee for Alternatives for Older Adults, a member of his church council, and a Junior Achievement mentor.

    Curt and his wife Sheri have three daughters, Emily, Taylor, and Madison. He enjoys golfing, camping, and spending time with family.

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Form #: P00003; Rev. 6-2022