The revolving door of corporate leadership that is often the norm in today’s business world is not the case at AAA – The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA Club in North America, which serves more than 66,000 members in North Dakota.
Joseph (Joe) J. Richardson Jr. was elected by ACG’s board of directors and has stepped into the driver’s seat as President and Chief Executive Officer of the more than 9 million member organization, succeeding Charles (Chuck) H. Podowski who recently retired after a successful 17-year career.
The leadership change comes as the superregional auto club and insurance enterprise celebrates one of the most successful years in its history.
“I am honored to have been given this opportunity to build on a solid foundation of success,” said Richardson. “We are a people-oriented business, and I am committed to investing in our employees, products, service delivery and communications in a way that meets the changing needs of our members, who are the lifeblood of our organization.”
In a strategic effort to ensure a smooth leadership change, a seamless transition was planned and executed over the past nine months during which Richardson worked side-by-side with Podowski and other senior officers to understand the company’s values, priorities and business practices. Town hall meetings were held across the company’s 11-state territory as a way to help him get acquainted with ACG’s more than 8,000 employees. Richardson gradually assumed responsibilities for all business lines and departments within the organization.
Richardson is a third generation insurance executive who brings more than 30 years of experience in the property and casualty insurance, life insurance, financial services and roadside assistance industries. He has worked in multiple senior executive positions with Allstate Insurance Company and Farmers Insurance Group. Richardson most recently served as President and Head of Distribution for Farmers where he led countrywide strategy and field operations and expanded the Farmers brand into new markets. Prior to his position at Farmers, he held the position of Executive Vice President at Allstate. He earned a B.A. at Temple University and he is a graduate fellow of the advanced executive program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Richardson serves on the boards of directors of Business Leaders for Michigan, Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) President’s Council and the Henry Ford Health System. He is married and has four children.