The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the election of Jeff Gendron as the new chairman of its board of directors.

Gendron is senior vice president of property and casualty operations at Country Financial. He succeeds Alice Gannon, senior vice president and chief actuary of USAA, who served as IIHS chairman during 2013 and will continue to serve as a board member.

"IIHS is helping insurers lead the way in highway safety, and I am delighted to serve as chairman," Gendron said. "I look forward to the expansion of the Vehicle Research Center as we work to encourage the widespread adoption of crash prevention technologies."

"We welcome Jeff's expertise as we continue to develop and expand our research programs," added IIHS President Adrian Lund. "I know he will be an asset to the mission of IIHS."

The new chairman-elect is W. Neal Menefee, president and CEO of Rockingham Group. The new vice chairman is Jack Salzwedel, chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance Group.

IIHS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes on the nation's roads.