CA Insurers Turn Out in Record Number to Help Nonprofits

November 6, 2005

An unprecedented number of California insurance industry professionals volunteered their time to charitable projects for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s recent 8th Annual Volunteer Week. The 2005 program, which was held October 15-22, included more than 2,600 volunteers who donated more than 10,000 service hours to nonprofit agencies and service projects throughout the state.

During Volunteer Week, the Foundation matches teams of insurance employees, strategic partners and family members with nonprofit agencies and service projects that support a variety of critical causes. Members of the California insurance industry worked in four-hour blocks in their local communities, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego. This year, more than 200 service projects with agencies such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, California Regional Food Banks, Earth Resource Foundation, Junior Achievement, Read Fresno, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and a host of additional organizations, were completed.

“The insurance industry volunteers did more than read books to kids-they helped us fight poverty” said Dr. Don Simmons of Read Fresno. “The ability to read is a primary indicator of whether someone will end up on welfare. The insurance representatives from Volunteer Week demonstrated the good that comes from an entire industry engaging in the community on a practical level.”

According to Dennis Doyle, senior vice president with American Reinsurance and chairman for the Foundation, Volunteer Week allows members of the industry to support the communities they serve, as well as brings a human quality to the insurance industry. “Everyday we strive to serve our companies and clients,” he said “Being involved with our industry’s Foundation and programs such as Volunteer Week also allows us to serve the society in which we live and create legacies that extend beyond our careers.”

To celebrate the industry’s accomplishments, the Foundation hosted three luncheons-in San Francisco, Central Valley/ Fresno and Los Angeles-the week of October 24. During the luncheons, volunteers Steve Hood of Chubb & Son in Los Angeles and Michelle Lonaker of The Heffernan Group in Walnut Creek, Calif., received the 2005 Leadership Awards. Shelly Taliani of Allstate in San Francisco and Robin Wallen of The Zenith in Woodland Hills, Calif., received the 2005 Volunteers of the Year awards.

The 2005 program was sponsored by Enterprise rent-a-car, as well as the USAA Foundation, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Zurich North America and Executive Perils Inc.

“We applaud the many companies and volunteers that were involved in this amazing week-long program,” said Susan M. Irwin, vice president and general manager for Enterprise.

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation strives to serve as the charity of choice and philanthropic voice of the insurance industry. It seeks to help communities and enrich lives by combining the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. For additional information regarding participating companies, nonprofit beneficiaries, and additional programs and services, visit Web site:

Award recipient Steve Hood, of Chubb and Son, and Ana Martinez, of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Teens joined their parents from Employers Compensation Insurance Co. to assist community nonprofit groups during Volunteer Week.

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