The Charity Issue

December 21, 2015
GEB IMG_2101 Gillis, Ellis & Baker
Employees of Gillis, Ellis & Baker Insurance (GEB) spent a recent weekend fixing up the exterior of the Gentilly home of Eleonor Sheppard. The GEB team repaired siding, painted the home’s exterior and built safe steps through Rebuilding Together New Orleans, whose mission is to allow low-income families to live in safety, warmth and dignity. L to R: Casey Darden, Howe Hubert, Margaret Hubert, Eleanor Sheppard, Sharon Miller, Brooke Davis, Karen Crouch, Charles Eshleman, Hill Dupuy, and Regan Dupuy

TMPAA_Troops Target Markets Program Administrators
Members of the Target Markets Program Administrators Association purchase, pack and ship more than 1,000 care packages to military men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the “Packages From Home” Initiative, TMPAA Charities has raised almost $50,000 to purchase the materials and shipping for these packages.

CHS CHS Insurance
CHS Insurance Agency was busy giving back to the community in 2015. Group volunteering involved sorting groceries at Neighbors Inc. food shelf and donating gifts for the holiday season to families in need. The entire agency also contributed ideas, crafting skills and donations to build a wheel barrow full of booze for a basket raffle in the company’s United Way annual campaign. The basket was valued at $985 and was one of the most popular raffle baskets for the United Way campaign.

Haylor Freyer Coon Haylor, Freyer & Coon
In June, Haylor, Freyer & Coon Inc. partnered with ARISE for its “Corporate Days of Service”. ARISE is a non-profit, community-based organization that works to ensure that everyone, regardless of disability, has the power to make life choices and achieve their dreams. One of the ways they achieve this goal is through a 70-acre therapeutic horse farm which provides inclusive summer camp opportunities, horseback riding lessons and therapy for children with disabilities. Over the course of three days 65-plus employees painted barns, cleaned horse stalls and planted three large rain gardens to provide proper drainage for the new all accessible playground.

Otterstedt Otterstedt Insurance
At the Otterstedt Insurance Agency’s annual company picnic, with a Science Fiction theme, “where no Otter insurance agent has gone before,” which raised more than 2,000 rolls of paper towels for Mickey’s Kids and Canine Assistants, who provides service and therapy dogs for special needs individuals. All of the agency’s insurance carriers donated paper towels and AIG donated the most.

Shepherd Insurance Shepherd Insurance
Shepherd Insurance is passionate about community service. Operation Shepherding began in 2011 as a yearround initiative to support the local communities where employees and clients of the agency live and work. In October, a group of approximately 80 Shepherd members whose team name was the “Unforgettables,” gathered to support The Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The team raised over $12,500 during their rookie year of the walk. The Shepherd Unforgettables were featured on local area billboards thanking them for their hard work, fundraising tactics and team spirit.

Assurant-HabitatforHumanity-VolunteerEvent Assurant
Through the Assurant Foundation, the company’s philanthropic organization, Assurant and employees support and partner with organizations that improve communities. One effort includes partnerships with Habitat for Humanity chapters across the country to help build affordable housing for families in need. With a focus on homes and property, employees donate time and sweat equity to make the dream of owning a home become a reality for low-income families.

Higginbotham Higginbotham
In partnership with the Community Foundation of North Texas, Higginbotham created the Higginbotham Community Fund in 2010 to provide monetary support to nonprofits operating in Texas. Since inception, the Higginbotham Community Fund has amassed $638,787 in employee contributions and pledges, $481,481 of which has been granted to more than 100 nonprofits in Texas. In addition to fundraising, employees get involved by joining the Higginbotham F.O.R.C.E. (Family Of Responsible Caring Employees) and engaging in charitable activities organized by the firm. In late May, the Higginbotham Community Fund granted $15,000 to nonprofit organizations in the most devastated flood areas of Texas, including Austin, Corpus Christi and Houston where Higginbotham has offices. Also, 20 employees volunteered with relief efforts that cleared debris and repaired homes along Blanco River in Wimberley.

Gowrie Gowrie Group
On Nov. 15, Gowrie Group launched its 12th annual Gowrie Challenge with a matching gift of $25,000 to The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Partner sponsors are providing an additional $22,500 in matching funds. Meeting this year’s goal of raising $125,000 will put the lifetime total amount raised by the Gowrie Group Shoreline Soup Kitchen Challenge over the $1 million mark. The agency is challenging local businesses and individuals to join together to reach its goal. The Gowrie Challenge runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.

Starkweather Shepley Starkweather & Shepley
Starkweather & Shepley Insurance’s Fred Tripp (former CEO of the agency) Walk for Wellness campaign raised funds and wellness awareness to benefit the local community. This year, Starkweather & Shepley teamed up with the Run for the Fallen Rhode Island, established to honor the memories and families of Rhode Island’s fallen heroes who have died since Sept. 11, 2001. The Starkweather & Shepley Charitable Fund also provides grants to local charities to give back to the communities it serves.

INSURICA created U Serve – a community focused initiative that organizes opportunities for volunteering and gives employees a chance to take time off to give back. In 2015, U Serve coordinated volunteer opportunities with Habitat for Humanity, OU Medicine’s Corporate Challenge, and Positive Tomorrows. INSURICA is also a long-time Pacesetter with the United Way, matching employee contributions dollar-for-dollar.

wortham_insurance_visitor_center (2) Wortham Insurance
In 2015, Houston-based Wortham Insurance celebrated its 100-year anniversary by teaming with 11 of its insurance carrier partners on a major gift to fund the Wortham Insurance Visitor Center as a primary gateway to the newly renovated Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston, Texas. The Wortham Insurance Visitor Center will serve as an enduring symbol of Wortham’s commitment to supporting the communities it serves. Wortham employees supported the effort with a substantial number of volunteer hours to help groom landscapes created by the $55 million project to renovate Buffalo Bayou Park. The Wortham Insurance Visitor Center represents a “thank you” to the businesses and individuals that the firm has served for the past 100 years.

Hylant Ronald McDonald (2) Hylant
Hylant supports the communities it serve through volunteerism, board service and philanthropic support. Here is a recent contribution to a local Ronald McDonald House.

AIS Auto Insurance Specialists
The company and employees of Cerritos, Calif.-based Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS) are active givers, participating in several walk and run events. In April, a large group of AIS employees did the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids. With a company contribution add-on, the group raised about $4,000 for this worthy cause. The following month, the AIS northern California office employees participated in the Bay-area Walk Now for Autism Speaks. In the fall, a team of AIS employees banded together to do MuckFest MS Los Angeles 2015. For the second year in a row, AIS had the largest corporate team. With a company match, the team raised over $7,500 to support the work of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Heffernan Heffernan Insurance
Since its inception in 1988, Heffernan Insurance Brokers has given close to $7 million to charity. In 2006, we created the Heffernan Foundation to further support communities. And in 2014, the agency gave back 16 percent of its profits. Through its foundation, the agency created its own Grant-a-Wish program, providing two deserving children who’ve endured hardship the chance to create a happy, lasting memory. Also, through its support of CollegeTrack, the foundation is able to award a $100,000 four-year scholarship to one new college student each year.

Horton Group Horton Group
The Horton Group always gives back two-fold. Each event includes on-site volunteers for the day as well as a financial contribution. Employees have packed food for the Children’s Hunger Fund, spent the day with members of the Smith Crossing Retirement Community, played bingo and served pizza to veterans at Manteno Veterans Home, donated meals and packed bags for its Thanksgiving Food Drive, made blankets for the children at Advocate Children’s Hospital, and bought Christmas presents for less fortunate children through a “Giving Tree” program.

SCM SullivanCurtisMonroe
At SullivanCurtisMonroe Insurance Services LLC, an employee-driven committee, SCM Community, has led the charge to give back locally and worldwide. SCM gives time and resources to charities with varying focuses such as: child and family services, military/service personnel, natural disaster relief, disease prevention/health promotion, and food banks/homeless missions. SCM employees also can take time away from work to help at local food banks.

Risk Strategies Risk Strategies
In 2004, Risk Strategies Co. established a charitable foundation to encourage and support employee community-focused efforts. One of the foundation’s first collaborative endeavors was a Thanksgiving food drive for Boston area families in need. From its humble beginnings providing food donations to local families, this annual event delivered 200 Thanksgiving baskets to various charitable organizations in Eastern Massachusetts in 2015. Named in memory of one of Risk Strategies’ first employees, and the original inspiration for the Thanksgiving food drive, the Mary Louise Warren Memorial Thanksgiving Basket Drive now involves the efforts and financial support of Risk Strategies employees around the country.

This year, HUB International Northeast chose Volunteers of America as their charity of choice for the IICF’s Week of Giving in October. The “Gifts for the Holidays” campaign aimed to collect new/unopened gifts for children of all ages who are in homeless and domestic violence shelters, pre-K schools for kids with developmental delays, and group homes for at-risk youth.

InterWest2 InterWest
One of InterWest’s fundamental guiding principles is to contribute generously to the betterment and strengthening of the communities it serves. InterWest’s charities are many and extend nationwide to those needing a helping hand. In 2015, InterWest donated more than $200,000 to support deserving organizations and those for whom they care.

Lockton Lockton
For more than 45 years, Lockton Associates have given back to their local communities. In the past year, Lockton contributed more than $4 million in sponsorships and charitable support to numerous organizations around the world. Highlights include: The Kansas City office had 96 percent participation in their United Way campaign this year, raising nearly $900,000. Mile High United Way honored Denver associates with their Emeritus Champion Award for raising nearly $750,000. Atlanta associates put together a last minute Thanksgiving dinner for veterans at the Veterans Empowerment Agency that included 130 pounds of turkey. Lockton’s Chicago office was recognized by the Carole Robertson Center as Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year.

During the month of August, more than 4,400 employees across the country from USI Insurance Services came together and helped almost 100,000 lives during the second annual USI Gives Back, a nationwide campaign where each of its 140 offices participated in local community service during 20 week days in August. Employees at USI’s corporate headquarters in Valhalla, N.Y., celebrated this event by packaging 4,000 pounds of rice into 2,000 zip locked bags at the Food Bank for Westchester in Elmsford, N.Y. Other local volunteerism that took place by USI offices included: numerous animal rescue and no kill shelters; senior centers; women crisis centers; youth and family services; food banks and depositories; homeless rescue missions; and beautification projects.

During the months of May through September, AmWINS Group Inc. participated in the firm’s first Summer of Service, an initiative dedicated to helping the communities in which employees live and work. More than 2,000 employees donated just over 10,000 hours of community service, representing 34 offices and impacting 55 different organizations.

Seal Pup PPIB
This year Professional Program Insurance Brokerage (PPIB) volunteered at the Marine Mammal Center located in Sausalito, Calif., for the IICF’s Week of Giving. PPIB was able to assist two days at the center sorting fish for the animals, scrubbing the pools that previous patients had been housed in, and providing overall cleaning and sanitation treatment. Shown: Northern elephant seal Fortissima stayed at The Marine Mammal Center for four months after being found alone on a beach at less than a month old. (Photo credit: Ingrid Overgard © The Marine Mammal Center)

Blue Goose Blue Goose
The Honorable Order of the Blue Goose International is a fraternal organization of individuals who work in the insurance related industry. Blue Goose members across the United States and Canada support hundreds of organizations in both countries with donations of goods, service hours and financial support. During its fiscal year ended June 2015, the group reported donations totaling in excess of $300,000 for charity, or nearly $80 per member.

nscareslogo Norman-Spencer Agency
In late 2014, Norman-Spencer Agency established the nonprofit foundation called NS Cares as a platform to help the various communities the agency serves, support national charities and organize volunteer efforts. In 2015, NS Cares raised $103,000 for various non-profits like the March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, Crayons to Classrooms and the American Heart Association. Employees have volunteered more than 150,000 in volunteer hours over the same time period.

buddy_walk_2013_23 (2) Buddy Walk
Joyce Unkraut of KDHK Insurance believes strongly in the ideals of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC). She has been involved with the nonprofit’s Buddy Walk fundraiser, shown here, since one of her friends had a child with Down syndrome 12 years ago and a nephew was born a couple of years later with Down syndrome. Fellow KDHK employees have since joined the cause, altogether raising more than $75,000 as part of the “Wolfie’s Wieners” team.

All Risks All Risks
Tiffany Way in the All Risks Austin, Texas, office has a personal fundraiser attempting to raise $40,000 for the Children’s Blood and Cancer Center of Austin. She is going to shave her head bald, then perform as her clown alias “Wendi Sillytoes” for the children on April 1, 2016. In addition to shaving her head, she is going to shave a logo of the largest corporate donation into her head for seven days. More information can be found:

Applied Systems Applied Systems
This year, Applied Systems sponsored and supported hosting the Georgia Chapter’s Drive for Charity event at TopGolf hosted by the Georgia Chapter Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF). Drive for Charity was the first annual event to support the IICF community grant’s program in Georgia and invited local insurance industry professionals to compete against one another in golf driving and accuracy competitions. The event also features a silent auction, delicious refreshments and prizes throughout the night. The event was attended by more than 375 individuals and resulted in more than $100,000 for charity.

Member Insurance Member Insurance
Since 2003, Member Insurance Agency has been involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Lunch Buddy program. Once a week during the school year, Member Insurance employees visit with their “little” to play games, help with homework assignments, and be a friend that the child can rely on each and every week. The program offers a unique way for employees to volunteer their time, demonstrate their mentoring skills and serve as a role model.

2015_iacure_walk_team SIUPREM
Siuprem Inc., an independently owned and managed premium finance company, based in Alpharetta, Ga., supports the fight against breast cancer by committing $5 for each commercialinsurance policy financed, to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer awareness and research. Over the past six years, with the support of SIUPREM’s Independent Insurance Agency Partners, SIUPREM CARES has donated more than $250,000 to breast cancer awareness and research. The goal in 2016 is to donate an additional $70,000.

ITC_lunch ITC
Once a quarter, Carrollton, Texas-based Insurance Technologies Corp. (ITC) cooks dinner or lunch for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas.

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Insurance Journal West December 21, 2015
December 21, 2015
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The Charity Issue – 10% of Net Sales Goes to IICF & City of Hope; Photos of Your Organization Involved in Charity Work; Insurance Heroes