Church Mutual Partners with WIPPS to Study Diversity in North Central Wisconsin

MERRILL, Wisconsin – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Church Mutual Insurance Company, SI (a stock insurer)1, partners with the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS), a unit of the University of Wisconsin system, to study public perceptions of diversity, inclusion and access, and identify opportunities positive change in Marathon and Lincoln counties in Wisconsin.

Church Mutual, a national insurance company headquartered in Lincoln County, will provide $ 50,000 to WIPPS to conduct the benchmark research. The information from the study will inform ongoing work to improve and strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion in cities, towns and rural areas in both counties.

“We can’t meet challenges, make improvements, or strengthen what works well without objective research,” said Rich Poirier, President and CEO of Church Mutual. “Some residents say this region embraces diversity and inclusion, while others think we have deep-rooted biases that thwart efforts to make everyone feel welcome and valued. At Church Mutual, we want to be agents of change. It must begin with an accurate assessment of our current condition and the perceptions of the people of Marathon and Lincoln counties. ”

Eric Giordano, Ph.D., Executive Director of WIPPS, said: “The recent controversy in Marathon County over a ‘Community for All’ motion for a resolution has led to unexpected divisions, injuries, concerns and a feeling in some that the voices are not being heard. . Others have openly questioned whether our communities are welcoming to diverse peoples and viewpoints. Church Mutual supports us in our quest to let data, rather than rhetoric, tell the story. Like Church Mutual, our goal is to inform, understand and facilitate positive change.

WIPPS is organizing a research steering committee representing a variety of stakeholders to help steer the project. Research is expected to begin later this year and the results will be shared with the public through various channels.

About the Church Mutual

Church Mutual Insurance Company, SI, founded in 1897, provides specialty insurance for religious organizations of all faiths, public and private schools, colleges and universities, senior residences, camps, and lay and non-lay conference centers , and nonprofit and human service organizations across the United States. Church Mutual markets most lines of commercial property and general liability insurance, including property and casualty insurance, workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance. In addition to insurance, Church Mutual offers a range of value-added solutions that benefit its clients. Church Mutual holds the following honors:

  • AM Best Company classification “A” (excellent)

  • Wisconsin 75 Top Private Company by Deloitte US, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020

  • Wisconsin 75 Distinguished Performer: Innovation by Deloitte US 2019

  • Recipient of the 2021 Gallup Prize for Cultural Transformation

  • American Property Casualty Insurance Association 2020 Women and Diversity Award Recipient

  • Futuremakers Partner by Wisconsin Technical College System

  • Celent Model Assurer for innovation and emerging technologies

  • Innovation Prize for Entrepreneurship and Innovation awarded by the National Association of Insurance Mutuals

  • Employer of the Year 2018-2019 by Northcentral Technical College

For more information visit

About the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service

Founded in 2007, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) is a unit of the University of Wisconsin system. Its mission is to educate and engage the residents of Wisconsin, train future leaders and help communities meet identified needs. For more information visit

1Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company incorporated on 1/1/20. SI = a stock market insurer.

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