He replaces interim president Karnik Doukmetzian.
Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) announced the appointment of James Winegardner to serve as president and chief executive officer of ARM and Gencon Insurance Company of Vermont (GICV). Winegardner will begin his role at ARM effective immediately, replacing Karnik Doukmetzian, who has served ARM as interim president since April 1, 2021.
Winegardner is an ordained minister and has served as a pastor in the Texas Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States for more than 15 years. Most recently, he served as the senior pastor of the Keene Adventist church. Winegardner is also an attorney with 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer on professional liability claims and personal injury cases for Adventist Health System, Farmers Insurance, and in private practice. He returns to ARM after previously serving as claims director from 2002 to 2004.
“ARM is pleased to have James Winegardner return after some years of absence,” Doukmetzian said. “He brings to ARM a pastor’s heart, a keen sense of missional direction, as well as a sharp and focused business and legal mind. We look forward to his leading this organization for many years to come.”
Paul Douglas, board chair for ARM and GICV, said, “I believe God prepared James Winegardner for this moment to be the next ARM president. As a trained attorney who has also served with distinction in pastoral ministry, James is the best fit for the leadership ARM needs now and for the future.”
The board of directors’ unanimous decision followed a recommendation from a search committee chaired by G. Alexander Bryant, president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and vice-chair of the ARM and GICV boards. Faith Search Partners, a faith-based executive search firm, assisted the search committee.
When asked about the appointment, Bryant said, “I believe James Winegardner has been shaped and prepared by his multifaceted background and experiences with the insurance industry, the [Adventist] Church, and ARM itself, to lead this organization in this most critical time in our world. God has sent him at such a time as this.”
Winegardner earned a B.A. in religion from Southwestern Adventist College (now Southwestern Adventist University) in Keene, Texas, and his J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Law School (now Dedman School of Law) in Dallas, Texas. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and was board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization from 1997 to 2012.
Adventist Risk Management, Inc. is the risk management and insurance company of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The company provides risk management services and insurance product solutions to assist the Adventist Church in eliminating oversights that can lead to costly accidents. ARM has its corporate headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and satellite offices in St. Albans, England, and Brasilia, Brazil.