Westfield Insurance Foundation Creates James R. Clay Scholarship


Westfield Center, OH, November 10, 2015 - The Westfield Insurance Foundation announced it is creating the James R. Clay Scholarship to honor its outgoing chairman and CEO. The Ohio Farmers Insurance Company (“OFIC”) Board of Directors authorized the transfer of $100,000 to the Foundation to establish an endowment for the purpose of creating a scholarship to assist college and university students who are pursuing careers in insurance, risk management and insurance-related fields.

“Jim is a consummate expert in the field of property/casualty insurance and this scholarship is a most fitting way to extend Jim’s professional legacy to many worthy future college students pursuing a career in this vitally important industry,” said Thomas E. Workman, President and CEO, Life Insurance Council of New York, Inc. and OFIC Board member.

In its first year, the James R. Clay Scholarship will provide one $5,000 scholarship. As the endowment grows, additional scholarships will be available. The scholarship will be managed by the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation.

“I’ve worked with Jim for 25 years and he instilled in me the importance of stewardship and leaving the Company in better shape for the next generation of leaders,” said Westfield Insurance President and CEO and Westfield Insurance Foundation Chairman, Ed Largent. “Jim took Westfield’s involvement to another level when it came to recruiting young talent for our industry. This scholarship will continue Jim’s stewardship efforts far into the future.”

The James R. Clay Scholarship augments two additional scholarships offered by Westfield. They include:

  • The Westfield Insurance and Westfield Agents Association Scholarship for insurance and risk management majors, a national scholarship program developed by Westfield and the Westfield Agents Association board to attract talent to the insurance industry (also managed by Griffith Insurance Education Foundation)
  • The Westfield Insurance and Westfield Agents Association Academic Scholarship for Dependents of Westfield and Agency Employees, a scholarship program developed by Westfield and the Westfield Agents Association board to recognize and reward excellence in academics, personal achievement, leadership and community involvement of Westfield employees and employees of its agents.

“Establishing a scholarship in Jim’s name is very appropriate because of his passion for the insurance industry and its need for future leaders,” mentioned Gary Hallman, retired President and CEO, Medina General Hospital and OFIC Board member. “Jim was instrumental in developing the relationship with Kent State University and assisting Kent in creating an insurance major. Westfield will see and feel Jim’s impact from his involvement in the years ahead.”

Clay began his 35-year career as part of Westfield’s trainee program and eventually ascended to the role of Chairman and CEO. During his tenure, he demonstrated a persistent focus on attracting both youth and adults to the insurance industry, elevating the significance of employment opportunities available now and in the future. This is evidenced through his service as a trustee of the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and as a trustee of the Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America. Clay was selected by Governor John Kasich to co-chair the Insurance Industry Resource Council (“IIRC”), a collaboration of 13 Ohio insurance companies that have aligned for a statewide career awareness initiative to address the coming industry talent gap. The insurance industry in Ohio is projected to have 26,000 job openings by 2020.

Since the IIRC was formed in 2012, it has overseen the building of a public-private coalition consisting of insurance companies, insurance trade associations, institutions of higher learning and public officials, all focused on attracting new talent to Ohio’s insurance industry.

About Westfield Insurance Foundation
Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. In keeping with the values of Westfield Insurance, the Foundation exists as a dedicated community and industry partner; concentrating resources to have an impact on safety, disaster relief and family stability. The Foundation donates $2 million annually to a variety of charities.

About Westfield Insurance
Westfield Insurance is a part of Westfield Group, a customer-focused insurance and banking group of businesses headquartered in Westfield Center, Ohio, and in business for more than 167 years. Westfield Insurance provides commercial insurance in 21 states, personal insurance in 10 states and surety services to customers in 50 states. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agencies. Westfield Insurance was named as a Top Workplace in northeast Ohio in 2014 and as a Top Workplace in central Ohio in 2015. Westfield Bank provides banking solutions for businesses and individuals, and Westfield Services provides service and training support for independent insurance agencies. Learn more about Westfield Group at www.WestfieldInsurance.com and www.Westfield-Bank.com.

© Westfield Insurance Company. All rights reserved