Kurt Bock will retire as chief executive officer from Country Financial effective Jan. 31, 2019, after serving in this leadership role for the past seven years.

A search for his successor is underway. As CEO, he led Country Financial through rapid changes focused on increasing digital capabilities, customer centricity and employee development. During his tenure, he led the maturation of company strategy, the transition of regulatory oversight from the Federal Reserve and development of future capabilities in analytics and business intelligence. In addition, Bock led the mergers of Cotton States Mutual Insurance companies and MiddleOak Insurance companies into Country Financial.

"With all the changes underway driving technology and innovation at COUNTRY Financial, I am extremely proud that we keep our focus on the customer and on the people who take care of them," Bock said. "I am very proud to be a part of this industry and all we do to protect customers and secure futures. For me, there has been no better or nobler purpose."

Country Financial is the third largest insurance company in Illinois. There are 308 financial representatives in Chicago and the suburbs, including offices in Lake, McHenry, Will and DuPage counties as well as in Orland Park, Aurora, Carol Stream, St. Charles and Elgin.

During his tenure, Bock has served as a member of the Department of the Treasury's Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, testified to both the House Financial Services Sub-Committee on Housing and Insurance and the Senate Sub-Committee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, and presented to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Prior to serving as CEO for Country Financial, Bock served as the chief executive officer of the IAA Credit Union from 2003 to 2005, treasurer of Country Financial and the Illinois Agricultural Association from 2005 to 2008 and chief operating officer of Horizon Hobby from 2008 until 2012. Bock served in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years, attaining the rank of colonel.

He earned a bachelor's degree of science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, master's degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University and a doctorate of philosophy in business administration from Saint Louis University.