Harper Retires After Almost Four Decades; Robison Named Successor
Almost 40 years after he began work in the data processing department of Alfa Insurance, Bill Harper retired Nov. 30 as senior vice president of Life and Loan Operations, drawing the curtain on a career marked by his quick smile, firm handshake and respect for his coworkers.”Bill Harper is the one person who represents all of the exceptional values of Alfa,” said Alfa’s Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Ellis. “He has a sincere love of our company and his fellow employees, and takes great pride in the way he carries out his job. He will be greatly missed by his Alfa family.”
Harper will be succeeded by Robert E. “Rob” Robison, a 26-year Alfa Companies employee and Alfa’s Vice President of Business Systems and Development.Harper came to Alfa in the summer of 1968 after his graduation from Auburn University. Before long, he left data processing to become a claims adjuster in Birmingham before returning to Montgomery to manage the Loan Department. In 1986, he was promoted to vice president of Life and Loan Operations, and in 1988, was named senior vice president.During his tenure, the company grew from having $2.5 billion life insurance in force to a remarkable $24 billion. The Loan Operations grew from $8 million to more than $130 million in outstanding loans.Harper is a firm believer in encouraging a positive attitude, and greets anyone he meets with a broad smile and respect.It’s no wonder, then, that Harper says he’ll miss Alfa’s people the most in retirement. He plans to spend his retirement serving the community wherever possible and traveling with his wife Jane, and visiting their children, Bradley and Polly.”The Lord has blessed me tremendously here,” Harper said. “I’m just honored to have been a part of the Alfa Companies for almost 40 years.”Robison, a graduate of Huntingdon College in Montgomery where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, came to Alfa Mutual Insurance Company in 1981 from EDS where he designed and developed a system to administer the State of Alabama’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program.His first position with Alfa was as a programming supervisor with responsibility for managing the property policy administration systems, a position held until 1985 when he was named systems manager for Alfa Mutual Insurance Company.In 1998, Robison was named Vice President of Business Systems Development with responsibility for planning and project management of all strategic projects, including major initiatives to replace core policy administration and financial systems, imaging, business intelligence and non-standard automobile processing.”Throughout his many years of distinguished service, Rob has shown outstanding leadership abilities and I am confident that he will continue to excel in his new position,” said Ellis.”With his vast IT knowledge base and project management experience, Rob will provide this position with an exceptional vision and energy to carry us into the future.””I am excited about the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of one of Alfa’s best,” Robison said.”The Life and Loans Operations here at Alfa have grown tremendously under the leadership of Bill Harper and the staff he put together during his long and successful career. I am looking forward to working with this staff to continue the growth and profitability of these operations.”An avid golfer who is also involved in youth baseball, Robison is also a volunteer assisting with fund-raising for the Montgomery Area United Way. His wife, Sharon, is employment manager in Alfa’s Human Resources Department.