The board of an insurance holding company with strong ties to organized labor has picked a new top executive.

Edward Smith, who has been executive vice president of ULLICO Inc., Washington, since January 2007, will take over as president May 1, the company says.

ULLICO is the parent of Union Labor Life Insurance Company and a number of other insurance and financial services companies, such as ULLICO Investment Company and ULLICO Casualty Company.

Smith joined the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Washington, in 1968, when he was 13.

In addition to working for ULLICO, he has been Midwest regional manager at LIUNA since January 2007.

Smith will retire from LIUNA when he becomes president of ULLICO, ULLICO says.