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Three women ascend to key leadership roles at Holmes Murphy


Waukee-based insurance brokerage Holmes Murphy announced that it has promoted three of its female leaders into key leadership roles in the firm.

Effective July 1, Ellen Willadsen, the company’s chief financial officer for the past 10 years, was named the firm’s first chief innovation officer. Lindsay Chase will assume the role of CFO for Holmes Murphy, and Susan Hatten will assume the role of Holmes Murphy’s chief marketing officer.

Willadsen joined Holmes Murphy in 1995 and has played a key role in its growth, increasing the organization’s profitability and providing counsel on major financial decisions. She was also instrumental in the startup of the Women Optimizing Women (WOW) initiative, which focuses on the unique potential of women at Holmes Murphy and within the insurance industry.  

Chase joined Innovative Captive Strategies, a subsidiary of Holmes Murphy, in 2006 as a member of the executive team. In 2020, she was promoted to senior vice president, finance. In April, she was named to the Business Record’s 2021 Forty Under 40 class. Read her Forty Under 40 profile here.

Hatten joined Holmes Murphy in 2014 after leading business development for a marketing and advertising firm. She has been involved with Holmes Murphy sales, clients, marketing and community culture. In 2017 she was recognized by the Business Record as an Emerging Woman of Influence.

In addition, Willadsen and Hatten have been integral in building BrokerTech Ventures, a broker-led venture group and accelerator program co-founded by Holmes Murphy.

With 374 employees locally, Holmes Murphy has been deliberate in its encouragement, engagement and development of next-generation leaders as a privately held company, Chairman and CEO Dan Keough said. “We look forward to seeing Ellen, Lindsay and Susan in their new roles as they look to innovate the industry and serve our number one priority — our clients,” he said.

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