COLUMBUS, Ohio – November 3, 2006 – The State Auto Insurance Companies today announced the appointment of Mark A. Blackburn to the position of executive vice president – chief operating officer.
As chief operating officer, Blackburn will assume responsibility for the companies’ marketing and enterprise risk management efforts, while continuing to oversee State Auto’s sales, claims, underwriting, and information technology operations.
Blackburn, who had been senior vice president and director of insurance operations, is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He joined State Auto in 1999 after holding executive-level positions with Grange Mutual Casualty Group and General Reinsurance Corporation. His experience also includes positions with American Reinsurance Corporation, Continental Insurance Corporation, and Motorists Mutual Insurance Corporation. Blackburn has served a number of non-profit organizations, including The Buckeye Ranch and the Columbus Museum of Art.
“Mark’s appointment is both well deserved and necessary,” said State Auto Chairman and CEO Bob Restrepo. “We have developed an excellent business partnership and a warm personal relationship. Working together, we will take the steps needed to help State Auto get to the next level of performance.”
The State Auto Insurance Companies, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, are engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial insurance products through more than 22,500 independent agents associated with approximately 3,000 agencies in 27 states. The State Auto Companies include State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STFC), named Forbes Magazine's "Best Managed Insurance Company in America" for 2006. STFC also received the 2006 Mergent Dividend Achiever Award for having increased its dividends for ten or more years in succession. The State Auto Insurance Companies are rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company. Additional information on State Auto can be found atwww.StateAuto.com.