2017-2018 ELP Class

  Meet the 2017-2018 Class of Emerging Leaders:



Sheila Backer – Farmers Mutual Hail

Sheila Backer began her Crop Insurance career as an Underwriter over 9 years ago and is now an Insurance Specialist Manager with Farmers Mutual Hail. She has been with FMH for 5 years. She has worked in both the Underwriting and Training areas of Crop Insurance.  Sheila has a Bachelor of Art’s degree from Simpson College.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, golfing and watching any kind of sporting event. Sheila resides in Waukee, IA with her husband, son and daughter.



Joshua Bright – ARMtech

Joshua Bright was born and raised in Petersburg, TX.  After graduating from Petersburg High School in 2002, he attended Texas Tech University and received Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Economics.  In August 2007, he started a job with Highway Pipeline, Inc. In October 2013 Highway Pipeline was bought by JP Energy Partners and he worked for JP Energy until April of 2016.  In June of 2016 he began work at ARMtech Insurance Services where he currently serves as the Quality Control Manager.  He is married to Elizabeth Bright and has a one year old son, Coyt Bright.

Brad Clow  – COUNTRY Financial

Brad ClowBradley Clow is the Crop Claims Manager for COUNTRY Financial. He started his career in the Property Casualty department serving multiple roles including supervisor of claims. In July of 2010 he started managing the Crop Claims department. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sangamon State University in Springfield, IL. He lives in LeRoy, Illinois and is married with four daughters. He is active in the community athletic program and coaches girls softball for the local schools as well as a travel team.

DSC04398 (2)Chad Groen – Farmers Mutual Hail

Chad Groen is the Regional Claims Manager of the Northern Region for Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa.  During his last 14 years with FMH he has served multiple roles from sales to claims throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.  Chad grew up in rural West Central MN and earned a bachelor’s degree in Plant Science from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA.  He lives in Redwood Falls, MN with his wife and 3 boys.  Outside of work, he enjoys golf, spending time at the lake, and cheering on the MN sports teams.

Heather HorneHeather Horne – RCIS

Heather Horne serves as a vice president, relationship manager, with RCIS, managing the overall business relationship with key crop insurance agencies in the eastern U.S. Through her role, she focuses on customer satisfaction, retention and opportunities to help agencies grow their business.

Horne, who was promoted in May 2017, also serves as a liaison across functional teams to drive improvements in business processes and service experiences. Previously, Horne, a nineteen-year veteran of the crop insurance industry, served as a field service representative. She has led both underwriting and processing teams as a manager at RCIS. She has a strong understanding of RCIS technology and serving varying types of agency teams.

Horne is a graduate of North Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education General Studies, with an emphasis in Biological Sciences. Horne and her family reside on their family farm in Madison, N.C.

Justin PicJustin Newman- ADM/Crop Risk Services

Justin has spent 11 years in the grain industry with the last 3 years at ADM.  Justin’s current role is Integration Manager for ADM.  His territory includes the Mid-South region which consists of Southeast MO, KY, TN, Northeast AR and surrounding areas.  His responsibilities include working between all business units within ADM to align and identify opportunities to better serve the farmer customers.  Justin’s main focus is on commodity risk management and leveraging crop insurance with grain marketing.  He also spends time helping educate ADM employees and customers on price risk management.  Justin currently resides in Murray, KY with his wife Courtney and his 4 boys Mason, Owen, Westin, and Ethan.

Dan PottsDan Potts- Crop Risk Services

Dan Potts has spent half of his professional career in education and half in the insurance industry. Dan has held positions as a lead teacher, independent agent, director of sales, and sales manager for both start-up and established companies. He holds degrees from The University of Iowa and Western Illinois University. Currently Dan serves as a sales manager for Crop Risk Services. He resides on a century old family farm in rural Henderson County IL.  Dan is passionate about his family, agriculture, and The Iowa Hawkeyes!