Modern Woodmen of America getting new CEO, president

Modern Woodmen of America is getting a new president and CEO to replace W. Kenny Massey, who will retire after four decades with the Rock Island-based fraternal financial services organization.

Modern Woodmen’s board of directors recently appointed Jerald J. Lyphout of East Moline as the organization’s 12th president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Kenny Massey

Mr. Massey, of LeClaire, will retire from the position on Dec. 31. In the coming months, he will  work with Mr. Lyphout during the leadership transition period.

“Jerry brings experience, integrity and commitment to the position,” Mr. Massey said in a news release issued Monday, April 25. “As the senior manager of Modern Woodmen’s operations, he understands the details and the big picture. His work ethic, intelligence and generous spirit will help him lead our employees and field representatives as they continue to improve the quality of life for our members and in their communities.”

Mr. Lyphout joined Modern Woodmen in 1983 and was promoted to systems supervisor in the former Issue Department in 1985. He was named manager of Qualified Plans/Advanced Sales in 1997 and became president and CEO of MWA Financial Services, Inc., in 2013. He was appointed to the organization’s board of directors in March 2014 and was named the national secretary on June 1, 2015. He has served in the role of national secretary and executive vice president since July 2021.

Mr. Massey will retire after more than 40 years with Modern Woodmen, where he began as a field representative in Mississippi in 1982. He was promoted to district manager in 1985 and named manager of the organization’s western Louisiana agency in 1988. Mr. Massey moved to the Quad Cities to become Modern Woodmen’s director of agencies in June 1997 and was appointed to Modern Woodmen’s board of directors in 2002. He was named president in 2005.

Last week, Mr. Massey was one of the featured speakers at the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal’s 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event in Davenport. He and eight other business and community leaders each gave 10 ideas on how to succeed in business and life, all of which were included in a special supplement for attendees. 

Mr. Massey’s top idea: You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

“This is true in business as well as your personal life. Ask yourself if the people you interact with add value to you and/or your purpose in life. Also avoid negative people, the vampires who suck energy from you. You will spend time trying to improve their attitudes at the expense of your own,” Mr. Massey wrote in that supplement.

Modern Woodmen traces its roots to 1897.

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