Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. Announces Passing of Director John O. Shirk

Nov 14, 2011, 16:00 ET from Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc.

LANCASTER, Pa., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. ("EIHI") (NASDAQ: EIHI) announced that John O. Shirk, Board of Directors member, passed away on Tuesday, November 8, 2011.  Mr. Shirk was 68 years old.

"We have lost a tremendous colleague and friend," said Robert M. McAlaine, EIHI's Chairman of the Board of Directors. "I had the great pleasure of working with John for 24 years. As a member of the Board of Educators Mutual Life Insurance Company in 2006, John was a key player in the innovative, simultaneous transaction, in which Educators demutualized, acquired Eastern Holding Company, Ltd. and had an initial public offering of the combined companies under the name of Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. John served EIHI as Chairman of the Nominating/Governance Committee and on the Executive and Compensation/Human Resources Committees. John was the consummate Director – always thoroughly prepared, collaborative, decisive and possessing a wealth of legal and business knowledge and experience. His wisdom was leavened with a cheerful sense of humor and respect. His Board colleagues and the entire Eastern community will miss him greatly. We express our heartfelt condolences to his family and legion of friends."

Mr. Shirk's distinguished career began more than 40 years ago with Barley Snyder Attorneys at Law. John was named a Partner of the firm in 1973 and acted as Managing Partner from 1983 to 1993. John had extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate finance, planning and structuring, real estate development and contract disputes. John was a past President of the Board of the United Way of Lancaster County, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, the EDC Finance Corporation of Lancaster County and the Lancaster General Hospital Foundation. He served on boards for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, Lancaster Newspapers Inc., Fulton Financial Corp., Pennfield Corp., the Horst Group, Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc., Educators Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Irex Corp. John graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1965 and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1968. Mr. Shirk is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, and two children, Michael and Caroline.


Some of the statements contained in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended.  In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "project," "plan," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential" or "continue," the negative of these terms or other similar terminology.  Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the time the statements are made and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.  No assurance can be given that management's expectations, beliefs or projections will occur or be achieved or accomplished.  Factors that could affect the Company's actual results include, among others, the fact that our loss reserves are based on estimates and may be inadequate to cover our actual losses; the uncertain effects of emerging claim and coverage issues on our business; an inability to obtain or collect on our reinsurance protection; a downgrade in the A.M. Best rating of our insurance subsidiaries; the impact of extensive regulation of the insurance industry and legislative and regulatory changes; a failure to realize our growth strategies and investment objectives; the further deterioration in the fixed income and equity security markets, the effects of intense competition; the loss of one or more principal employees; the geographic concentration of our business; the failure of independent insurance brokers to adequately market our products; and other factors described in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc.