Mehran Assadi has been designated the next president and chief executive officer of National Life Group (NLGroup), the company’s Board of Directors announced on Tuesday.Assadi, currently president of NLGroup’s life and annuity division, will succeed Thomas H. MacLeay, who is retiring Dec. 31 as president and CEO. MacLeay will remain as Chairman of the Board.David Coates, the lead independent director on the board and chairman of the search committee, said Assadi has been instrumental in developing and executing a strategy of success for the life and annuity division.”Mehran is a proven leader,” said Coates. “He brings energy, enthusiasm and optimism to every assignment he is given. We believe Mehran is the best person to build on Tom’s tremendous record of accomplishment.”National Life Group, a Fortune 1000 company with combined 2007 revenues of $1.4 billion, serves the financial needs of more than 700,000 customers. NLGroup includes its flagship company, National Life Insurance Company, founded in Montpelier in 1848; Life Insurance Company of the Southwest in Dallas, Texas, and Sentinel Investments, Equity Services, Inc. and National Retirement Plan Advisors, all based in Montpelier.Assadi, 50, joined NLGroup in 2003 and was named president of the life and annuity division two years later. He oversees the life and annuity profit centers, which include sales and distribution as well as product development, new business, marketing, underwriting and customer service.”Mehran understands what makes National Life special: our history, our heritage, our mutual structure, our focus on the individual and our unwavering commitment to deliver on the promises we make,” said MacLeay. “Mehran also appreciates what we need to do to remain strong and competitive in tomorrow’s marketplace.”Assadi said that being named chief executive officer is an honor. “National Life is more than a company,” he said. “It is a jewel.””I feel privileged to be asked to lead National Life Group, especially as we mark the 160th anniversary of the founding of National Life Insurance Company,” he said.Assadi will only be the 16th person to serve as chief executive in the 160 years since National Life Insurance Co. was chartered. MacLeay has served as president for 11 years and as CEO and chairman for six years.Prior to joining National Life Group, Assadi served as executive vice president, chief marketing officer and chief information officer at Provident Mutual in Newark, Delaware. Previously he served for 16 years in various senior positions with United States Fidelity and Guaranty of Baltimore.A graduate of Towson University, Assadi has a Master’s in Management Information Systems from the University of Baltimore.Assadi and his wife Janet have three sons, Anthony, Jordan, and Ryan.
Project 2020 Card #54 https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a1/80/bob-gibson-project-2020-card-45_gz2xyl22tfq0126axq1kvpt7v.png?t=180848146&w=500&quality=80For reference, here’s the iconic card it’s based on: There have been all sorts of baseball card mishaps over the past 100 years, from misspelled names to pictures of the wrong player. None are as bad as one of the cards Topps is putting out this year as part of its “Project 2020” set.The idea of the set is simple: Have famous artists recreate historic cards with their own spin. Among the entries are Derek Jeter’s 1992 draft pick card, Mark McGwire’s 1987 card and George Brett’s 1975 card. (eBay) (eBay) Then there’s the rendering of Bob Gibson’s 1959 rookie card by artist Keith Shore at No. 54 in the collection. It’s an absurd perspective of Gibson that looks like it was hurriedly put together in Microsoft Paint. The exaggerated depiction of Gibson’s lips — a historically problematic caricature of black people in the U.S.— seems especially off. The lips (and eyebrows) are made to be the central focus of the work in a way that doesn’t line up at all with the original photo. For reference, his other contributions to the series — namely his interpretation of McGwire and Don Mattingly — aren’t as bad and done in a slightly different manner (perhaps aided by the original photo perspective). It’s hard to believe his Gibson is not a practical joke at first glance.Take a look at the worst baseball card of all time: If the new era of seminal artwork truly looks like an elementary school digital masterpiece, then baseball cards in the coming decades are going to be wild.Shore, to his credit, has a defining style of art he’s known for that he wasn’t going to deviate from for this project. This was perhaps just a poor match between an approach that works well in other mediums and a traditionalist canvas such as a baseball card.Baseball card mishaps of the past have actually inflated value, and it’s possible the same happens here should collectors genuinely deem the Bob Gibson recreation the worst card of all time. Or it’s something some people find cool precisely because it’s so different. Right now, it’s selling on eBay for more than $80. Original 1959 Bob Gibson card https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c7/b/bob-gibson-original-1954-card_1j0hup20iuywf1nbghlp4af8ub.png?t=181040146&w=500&quality=80MORE: How an abridged 2020 MLB season would workOn the back of the card, a description of “Project 2020” bills the series as Topps “ushering in a new era of seminal artwork.”