Bruce Kelley earned his A.B. degree at Dartmouth College and his J.D. at the University of Iowa, focusing on corporate insurance issues. In 1979, he joined the Des Moines law firm of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, handling matters for many clients including EMC Insurance Companies. In 1985, he became EMC’s first in-house general counsel, as well as a vice president. He was named president and CEO of EMC in 1991. Bruce soon earned his CPCU and CLU designations, and has encouraged others to strive for continuous improvement through career learning. Consequently, EMC’s workforce has the highest percentage of employees holding the CPCU designation of any of the nation’s top 200 insurers.
Having led the company since EMC’s 80th year, Bruce has emphasized the company’s traditions: financial stability; high ethical business standards; commitment to employees, agents & insureds; and pride in the community at each of its 20 offices. In an increasingly complex and competitive business environment, Bruce has led EMC to high levels of performance, earning national honors such as Forbes 100 Most Trustworthy Companies list and ranking 4th for developing leadership within by Chief Executive Officer Magazine. Several acquisitions brought EMC into new territories and expanded its scope. EMC is among the top 50 US insurers of its kind based on net written premium of $1.57 billion. Bruce has balanced issues that come from being a mutual insurer with a stock subsidiary. Including EMC National Life Company, the enterprise has $5 billion in assets and more than 2,200 employees in 25 states.
Bruce has served in various roles for numerous national insurance organizations, including the American Association of Insurance Services, American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, NCCI Holdings, Inc. and the Property and Liability Resource Bureau. He remains the ethics chair for the Iowa CPCU Society, fifteen years after completing his four-year president/officer term. Bruce’s unwavering dedication to his community drives his civic work. Fundraising for critical needs, such as a 25 year effort to secure Salisbury House, two capital drives for Boy Scout facilities, the Des Moines Symphony and the campaign to build a new jail outside downtown, are among numerous examples representative of Bruce’s ongoing leadership. He also serves the Des Moines Rotary as its current president.
Bruce enjoys engaging with all employees and others, delivering Meals on Heals, staffing the CPCU fire safety school truck, and traveling to congratulate personally all new EMC CPCU designees and all branch employees at EMC’s winning branch of the year. His leadership spent with all levels of the Boy Scout program shines in many awards, including Eagle Scout, Distinguished Eagle Scout (Adult), and Silver Beaver. Bruce is always gracious, respectful and ethical. He is a role model for anyone in any family or profession.
Bruce’s love for and loyalty to his family is ever present as he continues to lead the company his great grandfather founded, and maintains its mission as a mutual insurance company dedicated to the welfare and benefit of its policyholders, rather than selling out for personal gain.