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Royal Neighbors of America President and CEO Cynthia Tidwell Announces Retirement

Jan 7, 2022
Photo of Cynthia Tidwell in front of Royal Neighbors Home Office

Rock Island, Ill. (Jan. 7, 2022) – Cynthia Tidwell, President and CEO at Royal Neighbors of America®, has announced her retirement. She has led the organization through a critical period of turn around, revitalization, and growth.

Royal Neighbors of America is a fraternal, mission driven life insurance organization. During Ms. Tidwell’s 16-year tenure, Royal Neighbors has seen growth in sales, membership, assets, net income, and has earned several Great Place to Work® certifications. Additionally in 2021, Royal Neighbors delivered over $21 million in social good through volunteerism and philanthropic impact.

“The Board would like to recognize and thank Cynthia for her visionary leadership and unrelenting dedication to the Society,” stated Suzy Riesterer Chair, Royal Neighbors of America Board of Directors. “Cynthia leaves the organization in solid financial standing with a strong leadership team and talented employees who will continue to transform the future for the next generation of success.”

“A leader always wants to make sure things are better when they leave than when they got there,” stated Ms. Tidwell in a recent LinkedIn post. And, Ms. Tidwell has done just that. In 2021, Royal Neighbors has enjoyed record revenue, increasing profits, growing philanthropic impacts, and an all-time high score from our Great Places to Work employee survey. Ms. Tidwell continued in her LinkedIn post, “I will miss everyone and the next generation of leadership is ready to continue our success.”

Royal Neighbors of America Vice President Curt Zeck will serve as Interim-CEO. “Curt, supported by the Board and the leadership team, are committed to ensuring continued focus on our mission, vision, and strategies as we transition leadership,” said Ms. Riesterer in a letter on behalf of the Royal Neighbors Board of Directors. “The board has expressed great confidence in Curt as Interim-CEO, the leadership team, and the 2022 Plan.”

About Cynthia Tidwell
Cynthia Tidwell joined Royal Neighbors of America as President and CEO in 2005. Ms. Tidwell is a member of the ACLI Board of Directors and is chair of the ACLI Forum 500 Board of Governors. She also is a member of the American Fraternal Alliance and the International Women’s Leadership Association. She won the prestigious 2008 Stevie Award as Turnaround Executive of the Year in the American Business Awards; was named a Professional Woman of the Year in Insurance by the National Association of Professional Women; was selected as one of CEO Connection’s Most Influential Women in 2018; was the recipient of the Athena Business Women’s Award for excellence in her profession and for the significant philanthropic difference she makes in her community; and was recognized as the 2012 Small Business Leader by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. A sought-after speaker, television guest and author of numerous industry and leadership articles, Ms. Tidwell also was featured in Business Insider for her career advice along with 24 other “super-successful” people.


About Curt Zeck
Curt Zeck joined Royal Neighbors in 2008 and has held leadership positions within multiple layers of the organization. In 2019, Curt was appointed to Vice President & Chief Product, Sales & Marketing Officer leading the organization’s Growth area. During Curt’s tenure, Royal Neighbors has achieved record growth in sales, assets, net income, Membership, and philanthropic impact. Curt is also a member of the Royal Neighbors Board of Directors, serving on the governance and investment committees.


About Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children. In 2020, Royal Neighbors was upgraded to “A Excellent” (3rd highest out of 13) by the AM Best Company for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificate holders. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, .


Media Contact:
Marie Young, Manager, Communications | (309) 732-8280

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