Am Fam Chairman and CEO Ready for the Championship

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VERONA, Wis. (WMTV) -- The American Family Insurance Championship begins Friday morning at University Ridge in Verona.

Sports Director Mike Jacques introduces you to one of the people that got the ball rolling to bring the tournament together, American Family Insurace Chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel.

Don't let anyone tell you it's a tough week, it's a pretty cool week. A pretty cool week indeed for Jack Salzwedel.

"Normally running an insurance company is my day job and there are many challenges around that. But when you get to this week, it's all fun.

While his friend Steve Stricker might be the official host of the events, you could say Salzwedel is Stricker's assistant host.

"I actually thought if we could get a tournament that it would be a really cool thing, but the fact that Steve's stature in the game has improved even more than what it was over the last five or six years," Salzwedel said. "He's not playing on the big tour as consistently but he's a Ryder Cup captain next year and his stature in the game has been huge and he's a great brand ambassador for us."

Jack is great American Family, the DeForest native began his career with the company in 1983 as a claims adjuster, then an agent and worked his way up to chairman and CEO.

"I was looking to get back to Madison and there was a job opening at American Family and just kept working hard at every job I had and kept moving around the company. A lot of good luck and hard work and connecting with the right people and here I am it's been a great ride." Salzwedel said.

The ride includes this week as well, from playing golf in the pro-am's to handing out the big trophy at the end. But the best thing about the event?

"$4.7 million that we've raised so far. I think the projections from this year, by the end of 2020, we should be actually somewhere close to $10 million. Think about that. 185 charities that have gotten an average of $10-thousand per charity or more, it's been more," Salzwedel said.