Sammons Financial Expands Human Resources Leadership

WEST DES MOINES, IA - Jan. 29, 2020 — Sammons FinancialSM has named two long-term human resources professionals to new leadership roles within its Human Resources department. Sammons Financial’s overarching goal is to recruit, retain and recognize high caliber talent that makes a positive impact and shapes the company’s business growth. 

  • Tracey Knudtson (West Des Moines office) is named vice president – talent and organizational development, and will also continue to serve as the HR site leader in the West Des Moines office. In this role, Knudtson will lead talent acquisition as well as leadership, workforce and organizational development. In addition, Knudtson will continue as the HR business partner for the Sammons Institutional Group, Sammons Independent Annuity Group, Sammons Life Group, and Sammons Corporate Markets Group business units.
  • Rachelle Tieszen (Sioux Falls office) is named vice president – total rewards and will also continue to serve as executive site leader for the Sioux Falls office. In this position, Tieszen will lead compensation, employee benefits and performance management, employee relations and human resources compliance. Additionally, Tieszen will continue to act as the HR business partner for the shared services function. This role includes administration, agency services, annuity new business, continuous process improvement, information technology, life new business, business transformation and training.

“Tracey is a strong employee role model and demonstrates our core values. She is consistently committed to building high-performing teams,” said Anne Cooper, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “She is an exceptional leader and excels at building partnerships among the business teams she directly supports.”  

Knudtson has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and employee development. Since 2016, she has served as associate vice president and human resources business partner, and as the HR site leader for the West Des Moines office. Prior to joining Sammons Financial, Knudtson held roles in global leadership development and coaching at Principal Financial Group, Corteva Agriscience (formerly known as DuPont Pioneer) and ING Americas, all located in the Des Moines area. She holds an undergraduate degree in communications and broadcasting from University of Iowa, and maintains a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) designation from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).  

“Rachelle is an exceptional HR professional and leader who never hesitates to take on additional responsibilities,” said Cooper. “I am confident that in her new role, Rachelle will continue to build upon her HR expertise and further leverage it to ensure our healthy, high-performing culture remains strong.”  

Since 1996, Tieszen has held many varied roles at Sammons Financial and directly supported employee recruitment, compensation and benefits, employee relations and compliance. Most recently, she was an associate vice president and site leader of the Sioux Falls location. Tieszen will continue to be site leader for the Sioux Falls office. 

Tieszen holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Iowa State University and a minor in psychology. She maintains a Certified Professional designation from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


About Sammons Financial

The companies of Sammons FinancialSM are here to help families and businesses protect their future, so they can enjoy life’s moments today. A subsidiary of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., Sammons Financial is a group of privately-owned financial companies, including several of the most enduring and stable companies in our industry, and is comprised of three member companies:  Midland National® Life Insurance Company, which includes  Sammons® Corporate MarketsNorth American Company for Life and Health Insurance®; and  Sammons Institutional GroupSM, which consists of Midland Retirement DistributorsSM and  Sammons Retirement Solutions®. Together, the companies offer some of today’s most sought-after life insurance, annuity, and retirement planning products. Sammons Financial: With You for Every Moment®.