Allstate's Walker to retire

NORTHBROOK, IL: Allstate corporate relations EVP Joan Walker will retire from her position next month. The insurance giant did not immediately name a replacement.

NORTHBROOK, IL: Allstate corporate relations EVP Joan Walker will retire from her position next month. The insurance giant did not immediately name a replacement.

Walker has served as Allstate's communications chief and a member of its senior leadership team since joining the company in 2005 as SVP of corporate relations. She was also its interim CMO from 2007 to 2009.

Previously, Walker was EVP of marketing and communications for telecommunications carrier Qwest Communications. She also worked as SVP of global public affairs for Pharmacia. She has served as a partner at ad firm the Bozell Sawyer Miller Group and in government and educational roles, as well.

Walker was also the chair of the 2006 PRWeek Awards during her time at Qwest.

Last September, Allstate hired Marci Kaminsky for the newly created position of corporate relations SVP after realigning its organization to build on the public affairs model it put into place years earlier. Kaminsky, who joined Allstate from medical technology company Stryker, reports to Walker.

Vicky Dinges, VP of public social responsibility at Allstate, also reports directly to Walker.

Walker mentioned Allstate's “Heartland Monitor” polls as a key achievement during her tenure. The surveys ask US consumers about the problems facing the country with the goal of “bridging the gap between Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue,” according to the company.

“It's an incredibly rich longitudinal survey of American experiences and [it explores] how the middle class has navigated the Great Recession and how we've learned from that,” she said. “What we've been able to do in terms of creating a dialogue with public policymakers has been extraordinary.”

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