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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

American Enterprise Group, Inc. (AEG) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to the American Enterprise Mutual Holding Company Board of Directors, the parent company of AEG. Susan S. Harnett, James M. Whisler and Gary P. Scholten have joined the Board of Directors after being appointed at the organization’s Annual Meeting, which was held this month. In addition, the Board of Directors also approved the organization’s 2021 Annual Report.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of these three industry leaders to our Board of Directors,” said Tom Swank, CEO of American Enterprise. “The Board considered a number of highly qualified candidates and determined that Sue, Jim and Gary bring the necessary knowledge, experience and strategic insights at this exciting time in our company. We look forward to their contributions and leveraging their insights to help us to continue to transform our business.”

Susan Harnett currently serves as an independent director and member of the Chair of the Nomination and Governance Committee and a member of the Business Risk and Compliance of the OFG Holding Company Bank Board (OFG). She is also an independent director of Life Storage, Inc. (LSI) and a member of the Audit and Human Capital Committees. Previously, Harnett served on the Board of Directors of First Niagara Financial Group and most recently held the role of Chief Operating Officer for QBE North America. There, Harnett was responsible for oversight of the company’s claims, information technology, corporate legal teams, board    support and transformation. Prior to that she spent most of her career at Citi. Most notably she ran the largest bank assurance network in Europe based in Germany.

Since 2015, Harnett has been a senior advisor to digital startups and mentor at the FinTech Innovation Lab. She co-founded a start-up, Juntos, and is an advisor to Equal Future. Juntos is a South American-style shoe company focusing on sustainability, while Equal Future is a technology platform that helps underserved people gain access to retirement advice and insurance solutions.

Harnett holds an MBA from Northwestern University and is a Certified Director by the National Association of Corporate Directors and a Certified Risk Director from the DCRO Institute.

James Whisler spent over 30 years of his career (25 years as a principal) with Deloitte, one of the largest consultancies in the world. While there, Whisler led complex and impactful projects for many of the most sophisticated players in the healthcare space. He oversaw strategic programs in areas such as M&A, product development and market-entry, health information analytics, expert testimony, health reform, value-based care and performance improvement. In addition, he held several leadership positions at Deloitte. 

Since retiring in 2020, Whisler has remained active as a leader in the industry, bringing significant healthcare, insurance and financial expertise to his roles.

Whisler holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Minnesota. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and member of the America Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).

Gary P. Scholten served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Principal Financial for 18 years, with a total tenure of 40 years with the company before his retirement in 2020. Scholten stepped into the CIO role in 2002 after the company went public, focusing his responsibilities on IT governance, global sourcing and procurement, and IT strategy processes. As CIO and Chief Digital Officer, Scholten played a key leadership role in navigating Principal through a significant digital transformation effort.

Since retiring, Scholten has played an active role nationally in the digital, technology and data business sectors. He was recently named a MIT Research Fellow and is involved in a leadership capacity with several technology start-ups.

Scholten holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Northern Iowa.

The Board also released its 2021 Annual Report at the Annual Meeting, highlighting another strong year of financial performance and accomplishments. A copy the 2021 Annual Report can be accessed online at