Company Leadership

Our company’s executive team provides leadership to ensure Homesteaders’ security and stability long into the future.

Back Row (L to R): Senior VP-Chief Actuary Tom Doruska; Executive VP-General Counsel Marla Lacey; Executive VP-Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer Steve Pick; Executive VP-HR/Administration Judy Ralston-Hansen; Executive VP-Operations Wade Comstock; Senior VP-Planning & Development Kim Medici Shelquist; Senior VP-Chief Investment Officer Doug Earney; Senior VP-Marketing & Communications Dean Lambert Back (L to R): Executive VP-Chief Innovation Officer Nick Gerhart; Executive VP-Sales & Marketing Lyndon Peterson; Chairman, President and CEO Steve Shaffer; Senior VP-Customer Service Krista Frank; Senior VP-Accounting Wayne Huegerich; President, eFuneral Solutions, LLC Luke Frieberg

Meet the Senior Leadership Team

  • Steve Shaffer

    Board Chair, President and CEO

    Steve, who joined Homesteaders in 2014, is a well-known and influential executive in the funeral and cemetery business. Prior to joining Homesteaders, he co-founded and served as President-CEO of Foundation Partners Group, LLC, and served as co-founder and CFO-EVP at Keystone Group. Steve also completed two three-year terms as a Funeral Service Foundation Trustee. His experience in the funeral service profession helps ensure Homesteaders is well-positioned to continue its strong tradition of growth, profitability and financial strength.

  • Steve W. Pick

    Executive VP-Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer

    Steve joined Homesteaders in April 2013 with extensive experience in the insurance and investment management industries, including more than 10 years in Chief Financial Officer roles. He is responsible for directing Homesteaders' accounting, investment, treasury and risk management functions. Steve holds a BS in Accounting and Economics from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. He is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs and is a Fellow in the Life Management Institute (FLMI).

  • Tom Doruska

    Senior VP-Chief Actuary

    Tom leads the team responsible for Homesteaders’ profit testing, product development, actuarial services and long-range profitability planning. He works closely with the enterprise strategy team as well as the sales, marketing and financial departments to develop new products and evaluate opportunities to support the company’s goals. Tom has more than three decades of experience in the life insurance industry, including new product development, in-force policy management and preneed. He is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

  • Doug Earney

    Senior VP-Chief Investment Officer

    Doug joined Homesteaders in 2019 with over 20 years of institutional investment management experience, much of which was spent managing insurance company portfolios. Throughout his career, he has successfully managed multi-sector portfolios across a variety of strategies, objectives and asset classes while implementing creative portfolio solutions and process improvements. As Chief Investment Officer, his responsibilities include overseeing all investment-related activities to ensure the long-term security and growth of Homesteaders' investment portfolio. Doug holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and is a CFA® charterholder.

  • Judy Ralston-Hansen

    Executive VP-HR/Administration

    Since joining Homesteaders in 1997, Judy has worked to help employees be productive, engaged and successful through our company’s commitment to continuous improvement and personal accountability. She helps cultivate a workplace that is enjoyable for employees and provides the resources and training they need to excel in their careers. Judy works on a wide variety of projects while overseeing all human resources activities, organizational design, administrative services and facilities. As part of the leadership team, she helps ensure Homesteaders’ long-term security, and also coaches and mentors our current and future leaders.

  • Marla G. Lacey

    Executive VP-General Counsel

    Marla is responsible for overseeing legal and compliance matters and is committed to ensuring that Homesteaders continues managing our business with the highest level of ethics, integrity and adherence to the laws and regulations that govern the preneed insurance industry. With nearly 30 years experience in both corporate and private legal practice, Marla has gained a wealth of insurance compliance expertise. Marla earned her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 2004 and her Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation in 2005. She received her undergraduate degree from Drake University and her law degree from the University of Iowa.

  • Lyndon Peterson

    Executive VP-Sales & Marketing

    Lyndon represents Homesteaders’ ongoing commitment to our funeral home customers. As the Executive VP-Sales & Marketing, his role includes overseeing the account executive and third party marketer programs. Lyndon has an exceptional understanding of agency management and multi-channel distribution systems. He joined Homesteaders after a 27-year stint with Wellmark, Inc. He holds a B.A. in Finance and a Masters degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa as well as an MBA from Drake University. Lyndon is a fellow in the Life Management Institute (FLMI).

  • Wade Comstock

    Executive VP-Operations

    Under Wade's leadership, Homesteaders continues to develop the solutions that provide state-of-the-art technology to manage our business and serve our funeral home customers, sales counselors and policy owners. He is skilled in developing technical solutions that support customer and company success, including networks, programming, computer operations and technology support to customers. Wade brings to Homesteaders nearly two decades of experience in the information services field. He holds his Bachelor degree in Computer Science from University of Iowa.

  • Nick Gerhart

    Executive VP-Chief Innovation Officer

    Nick is responsible for proactively seeking out and developing opportunities to optimize company growth through innovation that is consistent with Homesteaders’ core values, purpose and vision. A proven change agent, strategist and executive leader, Gerhart previously served as Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division, where he transformed that department and increased the State of Iowa’s international prominence through his thought leadership and the creation of the Global Insurance Symposium held annually in Des Moines. He also previously served as Chief Administrative Officer for FBL Financial.

  • Dean Lambert

    Senior VP-Marketing & Communications

    Since 1993, Dean’s passion has been helping funeral professionals promote the value of what they do. His role at Homesteaders allows him to help people in the funeral business communicate how consumers can celebrate lives and ensure their own lives are remembered in meaningful ways. Dean manages a team responsible for all aspects of marketing, communications, corporate events and funeral home marketing services. He is a frequent presenter at funeral association events and has published numerous articles on funeral home marketing and public relations.

  • Krista Frank

    Senior VP-Customer Service

    In her role as Senior VP-Customer Service at Homesteaders, Krista ensures our customer service, operations and agent licensing/compensation teams have the resources, training and encouragement they need to provide prompt, thorough assistance to our company’s stakeholders. Krista has more than 30 years of experience in insurance and financial services and is deeply rooted in all major aspects of customer service including market research, competitive intelligence and sales operations. She holds both an undergraduate and Masters degree in business from Drake University.

  • Kim Medici Shelquist

    Senior VP-Planning & Development

    Kim joined Homesteaders in 2009, and now serves as head of our company’s Planning and Development team. She leads the efforts of a group that seeks opportunities and solutions to help our company and funeral professionals meet consumer demands long into the future. Kim has been a featured speaker at conventions for organizations such as the National Funeral Directors Association, and has also served as a Funeral Service Foundation Trustee. She previously served as Business Development and Communications Director for Hospice of Central Iowa, and holds an MBA from the University of Iowa.

  • Wayne Huegerich

    Senior VP-Accounting

    Wayne’s responsibility as Controller is to ensure the integrity, accuracy and timeliness of the financial information used in reporting the company’s financial statements and regulatory filings required by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and each applicable state insurance department. This begins with making sure daily financial transactions are captured and accurately recorded, ensuring timely payments are made to policy owners, funeral home customers, agent and vendors and maintaining proper financial data controls. Wayne earned a degree in accounting and is a Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI). He has been working in the insurance industry for 35 years and enjoys meeting the challenges of an ever-changing world of accounting rules and financial regulations.

  • Luke Frieberg

    President, eFuneral Solutions, LLC

    Luke is President of eFuneral Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of Homesteaders Life Company. He leads the breakout digital solutions company that helps funeral homes maximize market share through optimized online sales. Prior to joining eFuneral, Luke spent almost a decade in various roles with Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 insurance and financial services company. He is a graduate of Drake University where he earned his Bachelor’s and MBA.