President, United Heartland
Steve Cooper is president of United Heartland and has over 30 years of property-casualty experience. Prior to his appointment as president, he served as vice president of Claim Operations & TPA for Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. He’s also held senior leadership roles at Specialty Underwriters Alliance, General Electric Insurance Solutions, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Travelers Insurance Company.
Steve served on the board of Ele’s Place, a nonprofit organization dedicated to support for and healing of grieving children. He currently serves on St. Anne’s and LindenGrove board of directors, supporting life-enriching care of the elderly. Steve is also a member of the La Casa de Esperanza Foundation board and the Waukesha Business Alliance.
Steve served in the United States Navy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Central Michigan University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Vice President of Field Operations
Appointed United Heartland vice president of field operations in 2015, Justin is tasked with leading and controlling the operations of business development, agency management and risk management services (RMS) for United Heartland.
Between 2015 and 2019, he led the charge with United Heartland’s national expansion efforts entering eight additional states – during which time United Heartland grew their top line by $100 million, a 40% increase in direct written premiums. Prior to serving as vice president of field operations, Justin served as regional director of the Kansas City region. In this role, he was responsible for opening a new office and leading claims, loss control and underwriting disciplines in a four-state region, generating $60 million in written premium and a combined ratio of 90%. Prior to that, he worked as a regional underwriting manager and senior underwriter with United Heartland.
Justin is an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the Brewers, Packers and Bucks – most of his free time is spent coaching his kids’ sports teams year-round.
He has a Bachelor of Science in occupational safety from UW-Whitewater, a Master of Business Administration from Baker University, and is a graduate of Accident Fund Holdings’ Accelerated Leadership Program.
Rick Hobbs, CPCU, AIC, AIM
Vice President of Claims and Loss Control
As vice president, Rick is responsible for creating, implementing and monitoring the strategic direction of the Claims and Loss Control departments, while executing operational plans for continual improvement.
In 1986 Rick began his career in commercial casualty insurance with a focus on claims, underwriting and loss control. Prior to joining United Heartland in 2012, he held various leadership roles with Wausau Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Rick earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in management from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He’s also earned the following professional insurance designations: Charter Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Management (AIM).
Rick was born and raised in southeast Wisconsin and is a long-time fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.