Rep. Jim Riesberg, D-Greeley, will resign his House seat on Thursday to become Colorado’s new insurance commissioner starting Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced on Monday.
“Jim has deep experience as a legislator and public servant. He also has a distinguished career in the insurance, human resources and private sectors,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “He shares our commitment to an ethic of outstanding customer service and we are pleased to have him as the new commissioner.
Riesberg will replace John J. Postolowski, who was appointed as interim insurance commissioner on December 1. Postolowski joined the Division of Insurance in 1998, and was eventually promoted to his current deputy position in 2004.
“We also want to extend our thanks to the interim director of the Colorado Division of Insurance, John Postolowski for his service. We are delighted that he will return to his deputy role and continue to work with us,” Hickenlooper said.
Riesberg was first elected in 2004 to represent House District 50 (Greeley, Garden City and Evans) in the Colorado General Assembly. He is the ranking member of the Health and Environment Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected by Gov. Hickenlooper to oversee the Division of Insurance for the state and to be recognized for my decades of experience in this field. There’s important work to be done, including implementing the Health Benefit Exchange. This position will require striking a balance between the needs of the insurance industry with the needs of consumers, and I’m confident this can be accomplished. I look forward to working with consumers, the insurance industry, the Department of Regulatory Affairs, the Governor’s Office, and my colleagues in the legislature in this new capacity,” Riesberg said.
Riesberg is a Colorado native who has lived in Greeley for 30 years. He worked for 24 years at various insurance and human resource companies, including Allstate Insurance Co. and Hearth Company Real Estate and Insurance. He also spent 16 years in leadership roles with nonprofit organizations specializing in aging, hunger and housing issues. He also taught junior high school for five years.
Riesberg has earned many honors, including the “Defender of the Patient” award from the Colorado Medical Society and Weld County Medical Society, the “Outstanding Achievement” award from the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association, and the “Legislator of the Year” award from Colorado Bioscience Association.
Riesberg earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in gerontology, both from the University of Northern Colorado. He completed the Graduate Realtor’s Institute and holds numerous certificates and awards for courses in insurance, real estate, sales training and personal development.