Commissioner Jim L. Ridling
Jim L. Ridling, a native Arkansan who has lived and worked in Montgomery for more
than 20 years, was reappointed State Insurance Commissioner by Gov. Robert Bentley
on January 17, 2011. Commissioner Ridling is a graduate of the University of the
Ozarks. Upon graduation, he entered a management training program in 1967 with Fireman’s
Fund Insurance, leading to several management positions and culminating in his service
as Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations. In 1987, Commissioner Ridling embraced
a new challenge, leaving California to come back to his native South. He traded
his stock in American Express (which owned Fireman’s Fund at the time) for ownership
in Southern Guaranty, a Fireman’s Fund subsidiary headquartered in Montgomery.
He came to Montgomery as President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Guaranty.
The following year, Southern Guaranty sold to Winterthur Swiss, and Commissioner
Ridling remained in his previous role and added the duties of Chairman until his
retirement on December 31, 2003.
Following his retirement from Southern Guaranty, Commissioner Ridling remained active.
He and other local business leaders formed River Bank and Trust, where he serves
as Vice Chairman today. He has also been an integral part of many community civic
Commissioner Ridling serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Jackson Hospital
and on the Boards of Directors of the Montgomery Airport Authority, the Montgomery
Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Alabama Community Foundation. He is a former
Chairman of the River Region United Way and holds memberships on several other boards.
He is married to the former Cathy Turner. He has two daughters – Erin Ridling and
the late Hannah Ridling.