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The Bill Fitzwater Endowed Cooperative Chair was created in 2001. The chair was made possible by investments of $1M by the Oklahoma cooperative industry that was matched by the State of Oklahoma Higher Regents. The $2M from the endowment were used to create the position and to fund on-going programs.
The mission of the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair is to enhance the performance of existing cooperative businesses, facilitate the development of emerging cooperative enterprises and provide education on the cooperative form of business for the leaders of today and tomorrow.

History of Bill Fitzwater

Bill Fitzwater was born February 19, 1952 and was raised on a farm outside of Protection, Kansas. He was the youngest of eight children of Garland and Irene Fitzwater. As a youngster, he worked on the family farm and also worked at his local home town co-operative. He married Janet Webster on June 10, 1972 and received an Associate degree from Dodge City Community College, an Associate of Claims degree from the Insurance Institute and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) from the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters, Inc. He held a number of positions in the insurance industry including claims adjuster with Kansas Claims Service, western Kansas field adjuster for Farmland Mutual Insurance Company. At Farmland his career quickly expanded to include positions as Illinois State Claims Manager, Regional Claims Manager for Illinois and Kansas. He then progressed to the home office where he held positions as Director of Claims and Director of Commercial Lines Underwriting.

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