Salzwedel was born in DeForest, Wisconsin. Salzwedel earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and business administration from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He served on the board of regents while at Wartburg College.
He started his career after college with American Family Mutual in 1983 as a claims adjuster. He became an agent in 1985 and a district sales manager in 1988. In 1995, he became a state sales director of Wisconsin East. Then, in the year 2000, he became the vice president of the Personal Lines Division and then vice president of Life/Health in 2003. In 2004, he was elected to be the executive vice president and in 2006 he became the company COO. By 2007, he was the president and COO of American Family Mutual. Finally, in November 2011 he was elected to be the chairman and CEO.
He is the co-chair of the American Family Children's Hospital advisory board. He also serves on a number of industry trade organization boards including the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America and the Insurance Information Institute.
Salzwedel married Sarah Jo Slife on June 11, 1983 in Wisconsin.
American Family Insurance (aka AmFam) is a private mutual company that focuses on property, casualty and auto insurance, but also offers commercial insurance, life, health, and homeowners coverage, as well as investment and retirement-planning products. A Fortune 500 company, its revenues for 2008 were over $6.7 billion.
It should not be confused with American Family Home Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Munich Re subsidiary American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., or American Family Life Insurance Company of Columbus.