Homesteaders Policy Owners Elect Three New Members to Board of Directors

West Des Moines, Iowa — Homesteaders Life Company Chairman Stephen R. Lang announced today the election of three new members to its Board of Directors. Elected by policy owners during their annual meeting held at company headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa, they are:

John W. Chandler, Jr., Past SVP-Chief Marketing Officer for MassMutual Financial Group, Chandler brings a wealth of experience in digital marketing, brand development and management, market segmentation and diversity marketing. He is a recognized keynote speaker and advisor on digital transformation, strategic marketing and branding and personal career growth. Chandler’s most recent corporate post was SVP-Chief Marketing Officer for MassMutual Financial Group. He holds an MBA degree from Dartmouth.

Maria Ferrante-Schepis, FLMI, CLU, was, in December 2017, named president of Maddock Douglas, Inc., an innovation consultancy specializing in helping brands learn the basic competencies of innovation and bringing new ideas to market. As EVP and managing principal, she built the insurance and financial services innovation practice for the firm, which now comprises more than 50% of its business. Ferrante-Schepis is a noted expert in insurance and financial services, working with large life insurers in the area of product and field marketing, sales technology, cross-selling and multi-distribution for individual life insurance. She is a frequent speaker and published author and holds an MBA in Management from Hofstra University.

Stephen Shaffer joined Homesteaders Life Company in 2014 and was recently appointed Homesteaders’ 10th president. A highly respected leader in the funeral profession, Shaffer spent 22 years in funeral home acquisitions and operations. Prior to joining Homesteaders, he co-founded and was CEO of Foundation Partners Group, LLC; and co-founded and was CFO for Keystone Group Holdings, Inc. Under Shaffer’s leadership, both funeral home acquisition companies experienced rapid and profitable growth. Shaffer is a frequent industry speaker and served as a Trustee and Chair of the Board for the Funeral Service Foundation. 

The Homesteaders Board retained Jacobson Consulting, Chicago, IL, to aid in a nationwide search for candidates with two primary criteria: product and pricing expertise and digital transformation experience. “After an exhaustive search, we’re very pleased with our new Board members,” said Lang. “Each brings the right skills that are complimentary to those of our existing Board members and are proven leaders that will help guide our company in achieving our Vision 2021 goals and beyond.”

The Homesteaders Board of Directors, normally an eight-member body, has increased to 11 in anticipation of planned retirements over the next three years.

Homesteaders Life Company, a mutual company owned by its policy holders, is a national leader providing products and services to promote and support the funding of advance funeral planning and end-of-life expenses.