NEW YORK, October 22, 2004—Assurant, Inc. ("Assurant") (NYSE: AIZ), a leading provider of specialized insurance and insurance-related products and services, today announced that Michele Coleman Mayes, 55, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Pitney Bowes, has been elected to the Assurant Board of Directors. Ms. Mayes will also serve on the Board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and its Compensation Committee. The addition of Ms. Mayes increases the membership of the Assurant Board to ten and fills one of three open director positions.
"The addition of Michele reflects the Board's commitment to further strengthening Assurant's Board of Directors," said Kerry Clayton, President and CEO, Assurant. "Michele brings to Assurant extensive legal expertise, particularly in issues related to corporate governance and overall best practice."
Since 2003, Ms. Mayes has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Pitney Bowes Inc., where she is responsible for the legal affairs of the Company. Her 20-year corporate law experience includes senior legal and management positions with blue-chip corporations such as Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unisys Corporation. Previously, Ms. Mayes served in the United States Department of Justice as the Chief of the Civil Division, Eastern District of Michigan. Her areas of expertise include Corporate Governance, Compliance and General Legal Affairs.
Ms. Mayes is a member of Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), the leading national legal advocate for expanding the rights and opportunities of women and girls, and the Business Council of Southwestern Connecticut, a group which provides political and community leadership around issues critical to Southwestern Connecticut's viability as a business destination. Ms. Mayes has been the recipient of several awards including The ABA Commission on Women Margaret Brent Award, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Trailblazer Award, and she was named one of 'America's Top Black Lawyers' by Black Enterprise Magazine. Ms. Mayes received her Bachelor's of Arts and her Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Michigan.
Assurant continues to identify prospective candidates for two outstanding seats on the Company's Board. In addition to Ms. Mayes, other members of the Assurant Board are Dr. John Michael Palms, Chairman of Assurant and a Distinguished University Professor and former President of the University of South Carolina; Michel Baise, General Manager Finance at Fortis; Dr. Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., a professor of Health Policy at Harvard University's School of Public Health and a professor of Political Analysis at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government; Beth L. Bronner, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Jim Beam Brands; Howard L. Carver, retired Office Managing Partner of Ernst & Young; J. Kerry Clayton, President and CEO of Assurant; Allen R. Freedman, owner and principal of A.R. Freedman & Co., a corporate strategy development firm and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fortis, Inc.; H. Carroll Mackin, former Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Fortis, Inc. and is currently principal owner of Great Northern Manufacturing, LLC; and Gilbert Mittler, Chief Financial Officer of Fortis.
Assurant is a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and selected other markets. The four key businesses -- Assurant Employee Benefits; Assurant Health; Assurant Preneed; and Assurant Solutions -- have partnered with clients who are leaders in their industries and have built leadership positions in a number of specialty insurance market segments in the U.S. and selected international markets. The Assurant business units provide creditor-placed homeowners insurance; manufactured housing homeowners insurance; debt protection administration; credit insurance; warranties and extended services contracts; individual health and small employer group health insurance; group dental insurance; group disability insurance; group life insurance; and pre-funded funeral insurance.
The company, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ, has approximately $24 billion in assets and $7 billion in revenue. Assurant has more than 12,000 employees and is headquartered in New York's financial district.
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