Betsy Bishop Wins ATHENA Leadership Award

Union Mutual President & CEO Lisa Keysar, left, with Union Mutual Board of Directors’ Betsy Bishop.

MONTPELIER – Union Mutual is pleased to announce Betsy Bishop, a member of the Company’s Board of Directors, was honored by the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce with the ATHENA Leadership Award in recognition of her guidance, achievement, and community spirit.

The ATHENA Leadership Award, named for the Greek goddess known for her strength, wisdom, courage and enlightenment, honors those whose mentorship has inspired others – particularly women – to realize their full leadership potential.

Betsy Bishop, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce since 2009, has devoted her impressive career to fostering innovative ideas for businesses and employees statewide. She started the VT Chamber Foundation, and under her guidance and vision, The Vermont Futures Project was born, leveraging data to study and promote workforce development. She is on the Vermont Futures Project Board and advocates for a thriving economy by growing Vermont’s workforce, grand list, median income, housing, gross state product and small and medium sized businesses. She serves on a wide variety of state government committees and boards of directors.

“Betsy’s diverse background and strong example as a female leader has been a great addition to Union’s Board,” Keysar said. “Her insightful, innovative contributions are instrumental in our ability to be a forward-thinking, inclusive, successful company.”

Current and past board memberships include: Union Mutual Insurance Company, Vermont Economic Development Authority, VT Biosciences Alliance, and the VT Steering Committee for Working Communities for the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. Betsy has served as Commissioner of the VT Department of Economic Development (2008-09) and was Governor James H. Douglas’ Deputy Chief of Staff (2002-08). She is President of the Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and is heavily involved with the US Chamber.

“Betsy has transformed us into much more than just a business membership organization,” Shannon Wilson, VP of Operations at the Chamber, said. “She has placed an important focus on our legislative work, growing that team and leading through the ever-changing political landscape. She gave our traditional events and tourism publications a fresh look, making them more appealing and profitable, and she created a vibrant, engaged board with numerous new subcommittees designed to bring laser focus to our programming.”

The 2021 ATHENA Award was presented to Union Mutual President & CEO Lisa L. Keysar. Keysar, who is also the Company’s first female President & CEO, encourages diversity in the workplace and focuses on employee engagement and development.  Under her leadership, the Company has made significant strides in attracting a new generation to the insurance industry. Through her vision and inspiration, the Company continues to be recognized with several prestigious awards, including a “Best Place to Work” in VT for 9 consecutive years, and a two-time finalist for the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business Award. During her tenure the Company has grown policyholder surplus to achieve a new Company record at year-end 2020 and received an upgraded accreditation from AM Best (a top insurance rating bureau) as an “A” rated Company in 2021.

“Union Mutual is proud of the number of women in positions of leadership within our Company,” Union Mutual Vice President & General Counsel Sarah Jarvis said. “Women hold almost half of the seats on the Board of Directors and comprise more than half of the C-Suite and middle management of the Company. The Chair of the Board and the President & CEO are both women – marking the first time in the Company’s nearly 150-year history that either of these positions have been held by a woman.”


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment—qualities embodied in the ATHENA Model. The Award is unique in both scope—local, national and international—and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is a nationwide program designed to honor those who are mentoring women in business and helping them strive to attain their highest level of accomplishment and leadership.


Union Mutual of Vermont Companies, founded in 1874, is a property casualty insurance group consisting of Union Mutual Fire Insurance and New England Guaranty Insurance Company Inc., both based in Montpelier, Vermont; and Community Mutual Insurance Company, based in Latham, New York. The three companies write a total of $193 million in direct premium annually through independent agents throughout New England and New York and are all rated A (Excellent) with a Stable Outlook by AM Best.