Brent Porteus, past president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, was elected to the Board of Directors for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company April 7. He was elected to a three-year term.
“I view this new role as a great opportunity to serve an even broader group of constituents, including many Farm Bureau members who are customers of Nationwide,” Porteus said.
Ohio Farm Bureau founded Nationwide as Farm Bureau Mutual in 1926 and has sponsored and endorsed the company for the past 85 years.
Porteus also will serve on the Nationwide Board Sponsor Committee, which oversees the company’s relationship with eight Farm Bureaus and two major agricultural cooperatives in the United States. Nationwide Agribusiness is the nation’s largest insurer of farms and farm cooperatives.
“As a mutual company, Nationwide has no publicly owned shares, so it’s in business only to serve policyholders, not shareholders, Porteus said. “That mutual philosophy, along with its ag-based heritage, make Nationwide a different kind of insurance company.”
Ten of Nationwide’s 16 board members farm for a living, and eight are former Farm Bureau leaders. Porteus is a managing partner of the family-owned farming and agricultural business, Blair Porteus and Sons, in Coshocton County where he raises beef cattle and crops with his father, brother and daughters.
He served as president of OFBF from 2008-2011 and held many leadership roles, as well as representing the organization on trade missions to Cuba and Hong Kong.
Porteus also held leadership positions with the Ohio Corn Growers Association, Ohio Corn Marketing Program and the National Corn Growers Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the Ohio State University.
“Brent embodies the agricultural heritage that built Nationwide Insurance into what it is today,” said Nationwide Chairman Keith Eckel, a past president of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. “With an entrepreneurial background in developing a successful agribusiness strategy, he understands risk management and the need for business diversification. Brent is an ideal partner to help guide Nationwide through the complex issues of the insurance and financial services marketplace.”