IBHS Announces Leadership Transitions for 2010


TAMPA, FL – December 7, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today announced a change of leadership as the organization looks toward 2010. Kevin Kelso, chief marketing officer and executive vice president of the Farmers Group, will become IBHS chairman at the end of this year. In addition, Carl Hedde, vice president of Munich Re America, will become IBHS vice chairman. Both appointments were lauded during the Dec. 4 IBHS board of directors meeting.

Kelso will succeed Rod Matthews, vice president of property and casualty underwriting for State Farm Insurance, whose two-year term as chairman is ending. Hedde, who as the Institute’s vice chairman will lead the organization’s executive committee, succeeds Kelso, who served as IBHS vice chairman for the past two years.

“I look forward to working with the IBHS board and staff as we launch the new hazard research center in 2010,” said Kelso. “Natural disasters are increasing in size and frequency, and no area of the U.S. is immune. The IBHS hazard research center will provide the scientific basis for building safer homes and business buildings.”

“IBHS is very fortunate to have Kevin as our new chairman,” said IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman. “With the new lab coming on line, Kevin’s extensive insurance and marketing experience are tremendous, timely assets for us. We look forward to Kevin’s active, insightful leadership during what promises to be an exciting two-year period.”

In these challenging economic times, a single natural or man-made disaster can overwhelm a family, business or entire community. “IBHS members understand the imperative to gain wide public and industry acceptance of proven, effective and affordable ways to harden their residences and commercial structures,” noted Rochman. “Kevin and Carl are exactly the right people to have in such important roles as we change the world of applied building science for the benefit of our society.”

Rochman also offered her and the Institute’s appreciation to Matthews for his service as chairman. Noting that she joined IBHS at the same time Matthews became chairman, Rochman expressed gratitude for “Rod’s support, guidance and wise counsel. Rod led IBHS through a pivotal time as we reoriented the organization and went from dreaming about a world-class, multi-peril research facility through the planning process into full construction mode. No matter how many bumps we encountered along the way, Rod was always there to help. His passion for, and commitment to, making homes and businesses stronger and safer in order to save lives and reduce property damage is quite impressive.”

Turning to the full 2010 IBHS board of directors, Rochman concluded by stating that “IBHS staff recognizes that our board members all have full-time, challenging executive jobs with insurance or reinsurance companies. We greatly appreciate the time and talent commitment each of them makes to IBHS with their board service.”


IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

Ed Domansky (813) 442-2845
edomansky (at) ibhs (dot) org


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