Current News

MAY 2021

Stacey A. Rebbert Graduates from Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women


Towson University announced that Stacey A. Rebbert, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Harford Mutual Insurance Group, graduated from the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women, a professional development program dedicated to increasing the capacity for leadership and influence for women leaders in Greater Baltimore. Towson University honored the entire 2021 class at a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. This was the sixth cohort of the leadership program.

Forty-five participants completed the leadership development program, a three-month learning and coaching program focused on improving leadership skills in women. The 2021 class reflects a cross-section of sectors and is diverse in profession, ethnicity, and age.

“It is my passion to facilitate the experience of women leaders in Baltimore in this unique leadership program as they strengthen their own leadership voices,” said Kathleen Case, program facilitator and senior consultant, Cindy Zook Associates. “Each participant has gained new perspectives, skills, and relationships that will serve them and their organizations for years to come.”

Rebbert joined Harford Mutual Insurance Group in October of 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson University and a master’s degree in contemporary communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

The Towson University Professional Leadership Program attracts women from across industry, government, and non-profit sectors serving in a wide array of capacities within their organizations. Towson University's program is open to early- and mid-career women who are committed to increasing their capacity for leadership and influence within their organizations and communities. For more information about the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women, please visit www.towson.edu/womensleadership or email womensleadership@towson.edu.

About Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women

The Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women is designed for women who are committed to increasing their capacity for leadership and influence. Designed by business, community, and educational leaders, the program provides hands-on practical learning and coaching in a supportive environment. The four-month program culminates in enhanced skills, added self-confidence, and the capacity to immediately impact their organizations and communities in powerful and positive ways. The first cohort of the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women graduated in 2015, and our alumni network continues to grow to include a diverse group of over one hundred and fifty women leaders from Greater Baltimore representing the corporate, government, military, education, and non-profit sectors. To learn more, please visit www.towson.edu/womensleadership or email womensleadership@towson.edu.

MARCH 2021

Harford Mutual Announces Industry & Educational Achievements

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Harford Mutual Insurance Group announces industry and educational achievements reached in 2020.

Harford Mutual’s Internship Program has quickly grown over the last eight years and is now one of the best in the insurance industry. The company was recently named a 2020 Winner for the Rising Insurance Star Executives (RISE) Elite 50 Internships, an annual program recognizing the top 50 insurance internship programs in the U.S.

Submissions were anonymous and judged in 10 categories, including full-time employment opportunity, meaningful work assignments, diversity & inclusion and culture, training and mentoring, and program structure.

“In looking at our industry, it is vital to have an intern program in place. It provides a potential talent pipeline for a recruiting perspective while providing valuable insight to the students so they can apply real-life situations to what they are learning in the classroom,” said Patrick Gagen, Director of Human Resources.

Since 2013, more than 40 young professionals have interned in multiple departments at Harford Mutual, including Information Technology, Underwriting, Actuarial, Accounting, and Marketing. Harford Mutual’s Internship Program runs each year from June through early August. A total of 14 interns have become full-time employees. 

Additionally, in 2020, eight Harford Mutual employees received industry designations from The Institutes, the continuing education provider of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU). As the leading provider of coursework for the insurance industry, certification from The Institutes is the most recognized identifier of subject knowledge mastery for the insurance community.

Director of Underwriting Operations Jennifer Berger, Senior Claims Examiner DJ Gargano, and Commercial Underwriter Jennilee Sobczak earned their Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations.

Claims Examiners Brett DeMille and Matthew Stansburge earned their Associate in Claims (AC) designations. Loss Control Representative Meredith Johnson earned her Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation. Commercial Underwriter Brittany Stein earned her Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) designation. Marketing Communications Specialist Sandra Taylor earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designation.

Accounting Manager Brigette Reed also passed the CPA exam and was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in February 2020 by the state of Maryland.

MARCH 2021

Harford Mutual Announces Changes to its Leadership Team

Asset_2.pngHarford Mutual Insurance Group, projected to surpass $277 million in direct written premium in its 179th year, announces changes to its leadership team.

Senior Vice President Jeffrey Rink has been promoted to Executive Vice President with the added oversight of Administrative Operations, Customer Service, and the Special Investigative Unit.  Joining Harford Mutual in 2009, Rink has transformed its Business Development team and oversaw the successful expansion and new office in their Southern Region. In recent years, Rink’s leadership was essential in the creation of distinct Foundation, Middle-Market, and Large Business Units and the development and implementation of the new online rating system RapidWrite and Agent Portal. As Executive Vice President, he will continue to foster innovation in strategic planning and support the company’s vision and growth plans. Rink has over 30 years insurance experience with national carriers including Travelers and Great American Insurance. He holds the CPCU designation and a bachelor’s degree from McDaniel College.

Assistant Vice President of Underwriting David Curtin and Assistant Vice President of Claims Wayne Gearhart have been promoted to Vice President. Curtin joined Harford Mutual in February 2019 and has been instrumental in realigning the company’s Foundation Unit, analyzing profitability by segment, and preparing Harford Mutual for the responsible introduction of predictive analytics. Curtin has more than 30 years of experience with both mutual and stock insurance carriers. Originally from Sauk City, Wisconsin, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration/Economics from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and a Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. Curtin holds the CPCU, CIC, CRM, AIM, and AINS designations.

Gearhart joined the company in September 2019 from Westfield Insurance, bringing over 25 years of claims perspective to his role. While at Westfield, Gearhart led the $1.9 billion dollar company through an operational and claims technology transformation, one of his key strategic goals at Harford Mutual.  Gearhart serves as a mentor for the Harford Mutual Leadership program and is an advisor to the company’s Innovation Chamber. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The Ohio State University and received his CPCU designation in 1999.


Harford Mutual AVP, General Counsel & Secretary Geneau M. Thames, Esq. Elected to Membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

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Harford Mutual Insurance Group announces Assistant Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary Geneau M. Thames, Esq. has been elected to join the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC).

The FDCC is an international, professional trade association composed of leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction in the civil defense, corporate legal, and insurance industries. FDCC membership is limited and selective. A peer must nominate a new member. An independent admissions committee then reviews each nominee’s qualifications before being elected by the board of directors.

Thames joined Harford Mutual Insurance Group in May of 2015. As Assistant Vice President, General Counsel, & Secretary, Thames directs all legal matters relating to the company’s objectives and provides advice and legal counsel to the Board of Directors, the CEO, and management. In 2019, she was appointed to the Maryland State Ethics Commission by Governor Larry Hogan. Thames was also named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record in 2020. Thames earned dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics from Towson University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore.

The FDCC was formed in 1936 and is dedicated to advancing the principles of knowledge, justice, and fellowship. There are currently about 1400 members across the globe.


Harford Mutual Insurance Group makes Multi-Year Commitment to the NAMIC Mutual Insurance Foundation Scholarship Program


Harford Mutual Insurance Group announced a multi-year, $25,000 commitment to support the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Mutual Insurance Foundation Scholarship Program. The program provides financial assistance to undergraduate students pursuing a wide variety of career opportunities related to the growing insurance industry. Beginning in 2020, Harford Mutual pledged to donate $5,000 per year for five years.

The NAMIC Mutual Insurance Foundation Scholarship Program was developed in 2012 and is funded through personal and corporate contributions. Individual scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified students, with the funds forwarded directly to the school at which the student attends in the fall of 2021. Applications are now being accepted

The scholarship program is also generating internships across several different areas in the world of property/casualty insurance, including at Harford Mutual. “This is dramatically increasing the number of internship applicants we’re seeing at Harford Mutual, and we have been placing six to seven interns each year in divisions across the company,” said Steven D. Linkous, president and CEO of Harford Mutual Insurance Group and a NAMIC Mutual Insurance Foundation Board Member. “Internships were once targeted to underwriting and claims; now we are seeing interns in IT, actuarial, accounting, and marketing,” said Linkous.

In 2020, the NAMIC Mutual Insurance Foundation Scholarship Program awarded more than $130,000 to 33 deserving students, helping to propel their future careers as insurance industry professionals. NAMIC is the largest U.S. property/casualty insurance trade association with more than 1,400 member companies serving more than 170 million policyholders.


Harford Mutual Insurance Group donates over $500,000 to Charitable Organizations in 2020, Including $250,000 in COVID-19 Support  


In a year of unprecedented need, Harford Mutual Insurance Group announced it has donated over $500,000 to 93 charitable organizations in 2020.
As part of the company’s annual charitable giving commitment, $285,000 was given to its nonprofit partners as pledged. This included financial support to assist with health and human services, as well as community enrichment programs. The largest donations were presented to United Way of Central Maryland, the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties, The Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center, Harford Family House, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, Harford Community College Foundation, The American Cancer Society, and Mason-Dixon Community Services.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company made the decision to commit an additional $250,000 for targeted relief efforts. A $50,000 donation was presented to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health COVID-19 Response Fund. Nearly $178,000 was dispersed to local and regional nonprofits in the states where they write business addressing homelessness, the digital divide, domestic violence, and mental health, including $20,000 given to first responders identified through their partner agencies. Another $15,000 targeted food insecurity and $10,000 in matching challenge funds for Giving Tuesday was also disbursed.
In 2020, the 178-year-old commercial property and casualty insurer also formed the Inclusion, Diversity and Opportunity Committee to create meaningful change through self-examination in the areas of inclusion and diversity at Harford Mutual Insurance Group. To support that effort, the company donated $10,000 to help students further their education and create more opportunity for the future. A $5,000 donation was gifted to The CollegeBound Foundation, which funds the need-based Last Dollar Grant program that supports Baltimore City public high school graduates annually for up to six years of college. A $5,000 donation was also made to support the LASOS Aspire program, a 16-week program for at-risk youth and young adults which provides support focused on language skills, GED and education studies, and job training.
Harford Mutual employees also personified the company’s value of community involvement by choosing to donate more than $12,000 in unused PTO to charities of their choice.


Harford Mutual Insurance Group President & CEO Appointed to Baltimore Equitable Insurance Board of Directors 


Steven D. Linkous, President & CEO of Harford Mutual Insurance Group, has been appointed to the board of directors for Baltimore Equitable Insurance, the oldest company in Baltimore as well as the second oldest insurance company in the United States. Linkous was appointed on November 3, 2020. He will serve on the Finance & Operations and Audit Committees. He will serve a two-year term and will be eligible for reappointment in 2023.

Linkous was named President & CEO of Harford Mutual in 2006 having directed the accounting, finance, and information technology divisions within Harford Mutual during his more than 35 years with the company.
Linkous currently sits on the board of trustees for Harford Community College (recently serving as Co-Chair of the HCC Presidential Search Committee). He also serves on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America Baltimore Area Council, Maryland Joint Insurance Association & DC Property Insurance Facility, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Board, the NAMIC Mutual Insurance Foundation Board, the George Washington University Executive Leadership Advisory Board, the Harford County Public Library Honorary Board, and the AON Client Advisory Board. Linkous was named as one of Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs for 2020 by The Daily Record.