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Bock Named CEO For COUNTRY Financial

August 19, 2011

Kurt F. Bock of Bloomington has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of COUNTRY Financial effective in early 2012. He will succeed John Blackburn, who is retiring in January after 10 years as CEO and nearly 30 years of service to COUNTRY.

“Kurt understands our rich heritage,” said COUNTRY Financial President Philip Nelson. “He’s worked with COUNTRY and Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) management, and brings broad-based strategic experience to this position. He has led organizations in highly competitive regional and international marketplaces while always placing clients first.”

Bock has a solid history with COUNTRY and other companies in the IAA family. From 2005-08, he served as treasurer of COUNTRY Financial and IAA, and vice president of finance for IAA. He directed all treasury functions and cash management for the organizations.

Bock joined the IAA family of companies in 2003 as chief executive officers of the IAA Credit Union. He is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer for Horizon Hobby Inc., in Champaign. Horizon Hobby is currently the largest global radio control hobby manufacturer/distributor with subsidies in China, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

“We’ve worked closely with Kurt in the past. He understands our 86-year commitment to customer service,” said Blackburn. “His background and work experience show he is someone who is passionate about the same things we are – focusing on long-term financial strength. The management team and I look forward to working with Kurt in preparing for the transition.”

Bock served in the United States Air Force for 28 years, attaining the rank of colonel. During his career, he was selected as the only U.S. officer to lead NATO’s Military Committee Working Group on strategic issues. He also commanded flying units at the squadron and group level.

While a professor of Air Force Aerospace Studies at the University of Illinois, Bock led one of the largest Air Force ROTC commissioning programs focusing on strategy and leadership.

Bock earned a bachelor of science degree from the United States Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University and a doctoral degree of philosophy in business administration from Saint Louis University.

He furthered his education and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Treasury Professional designations. He serves as a board member of the Illinois State University Foundation and as a commissioner of the Central Illinois Regional Airport Authority, Bloomington.