November Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the November Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

Next week most of us will enjoy time off from work, time with family, and some delicious leftover turkey sandwiches complete with cranberries and stuffing on the side.  We will pause to give thanks and we will reflect upon our lives realizing just how lucky we really are.      Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday; there is just something about it that makes me happy!   It made my dad happy as well.   For him, it was all about bringing together the ones he loved so he could recognize them, celebrate them, and spend quality time with them.

Years ago, this familial passion for the holiday infiltrated the building at Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.   Come fall, everyone on staff anxiously awaits the annual holiday feast.  Just like at home, every member of our Haas & Wilkerson family has a special dish they enjoy making and sharing.  As you can imagine, our plates overflow with the most amazing dishes and desserts.  For me and my brother Ryan, as it was for our dad, Bill, we enjoy this day because we get a chance to publically recognize and give thanks to our employees, to celebrate milestone anniversaries, and spend quality time with them.

As I start to reflect upon 2014 and realize that Haas & Wilkerson Insurance has now been a part of Accelerent for two years, I can’t help but think about the impact this business development platform has had on me and my company.  Our business network has widened, we have brokered new business opportunities in both commercial lines and personal lines.  We have engaged the services of many our Accelerent Partners.  We have new friends, cheerleaders, and mentors supporting us in our daily lives.  We are grateful.   The group is dynamic and the people involved are generous sharing not only business opportunities, but also time, money, and resources to the 16 not for profit groups we introduced as part of the Accelerent Nonprofit Initiative.

In 2013, many of you joined in to support:

    • Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City
    • Harvesters
    • Sleepyhead Beds
    • American Heart Association
    • First Tee
    • Guadalupe Centers
    • New House Shelter
    • Johnson County Christmas Bureau
    • Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park – 911 Memorial

And in 2014, you supported:

    • American Red Cross
    • Negro League Baseball Museum
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City
    • Happy Bottoms
    • Don Bosco Centers
    • Heart of America Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
    • KCPT Public Television 19
    • Higher MPact

Although hard to visibly see, I know that as a group we are making an impact.  I want to take a moment to share some words of gratitude from a few of the nonprofit agencies we supported:

  • From the Guadalupe Centers: We are thankful for you and the Accelerant group in Kansas City for allowing us the opportunity to display our programs and the good work we do in the community.
  • From Sleepyhead Beds: I can’t tell you how powerful and beneficial it is to have had you tell our story to almost 400 business leaders in the community.  Your efforts will touch hundreds of kids and strengthen our young agency.
  • From Don Bosco Centers: Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  You helped to make a difference for 200+ people!
  • From NewHouse Shelter: Thank you for partnering with us to truly make a difference in people’s lives.
  • And from Higher MPact: We appreciate your investment.  Thanks for making an impact.

In closing, my ask today is that you re-engage with one of the 16 nonprofits already touched by our Accelerent community.  I know they need you continuing support and that they would be grateful during this holiday season.

Thank you.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

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October Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the September Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance. 

 

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013.  As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations.  At the breakfast in September we asked you to engage with KCPT Public Television 19.  Today I want to shift your attention to Higher M-Pact.

 

Higher M-Pact’s founder, Tyrone Flowers, can spot a leader amongst a group of high-risk youth a mile away.    Unfortunately, they are usually leading in the wrong direction. Tyrone will tap those youth and engage them in Higher M–Pact’s programs, thus changing the direction in which they are leading…hence changing their lives.  That is what they do:  they transform high-risk urban youth into tomorrow’s leaders; leaders in their communities and leaders in their families. 

 

Higher M-Pact’s core client base consists of  high-risk urban youth ages 11-18. Many of these youth were told they’d never amount to anything because they’d be dead or incarcerated before adulthood.  Most are so consumed with meeting their daily needs that they never think about what tomorrow could hold – let alone their hopes and dreams 20 years from now. 

 

The typical high-risk urban youth are born out of wedlock and are living in a matriarchal household;  They experience and witnesses violence, incarceration and death on a frequent basis in their homes and communities; They are chronically truant from school and often placed on long-term suspension;  Their day-to-day activities are the focus of life, rather than the future; And their primary relationships are with peers.

 

Higher M-Pact intervenes by motivating and engaging these youth through intense, long-term mentoring and positive guidance to break this negative pattern. They help them transform obstacles into opportunities and create a solid foundation for a successful future. 

 

I mentioned that Tyrone Flowers engages the high risk urban youth into Higher M-Pacts programs.  Well, A few weeks ago Haas & Wilkerson was honored to receive the Higher M-Pact Career Explorers into our building for a few hours.  Not sure what to expect, we were nervous!  Upon their arrival, Ryan and I introduced ourselves and told them a little bit about our educational backgrounds and how it came to be that we are now third generation leaders of an independently owned insurance company.  Our nerves were quickly calmed as we informally got to know the very polite and well-dressed young men.

 

From there, members of our staff escorted the Explorers on a tour through our building making sure to visit all aspects of the business operation and taking time to talk to various department Managers, Account Executives, Account Managers, Producers, Processors, and even the CFO.  I was so excited to see the Explorers engaging with our staff by asking great questions and it was rewarding to listen to our staff speak with pride about their educational backgrounds, job duties,  and what it is like to work at Haas & Wilkerson Insurance. 

 

Upon completing the tour, Ryan and I sat back down with the Explorers and presented a little Insurance 101.  We then welcomed questions as we at pizza and sipped soda.  As the Explorers prepared to leave the building, we rang the bell and as a staff we thanked Higher M-Pact for allowing Haas & Wilkerson Insurance the opportunity to share our stories with the Career Explorers.

 

The time we spent together was invaluable.  Today, I would like to invite you and your business to have a similar experience by joining the growing list of area companies who have shared their place of business and employees with the youth of Higher M-Pact.  

 

Thank you for helping Higher M-Pact with their mission to instill hope and inspiration in the lives of high risk urban youth and every life they encounter. 

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September Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the September Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in June we introduced Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Heart of America Chapter and encouraged you to attend the KC Wine Opener. Today I want to shift your attention to KCPT Public Television 19.

KCPT Public Television 19 isn’t your father’s public television station. There is more than you realize going on under the big tower in midtown Kansas City! KCPT is reinventing public media in Kansas City to better serve the community through high quality television, fiercely independent local journalism & AAA radio shining a spotlight on KC’s best local talent.

How is KCPT accomplishing this?

Locally Focused Television Programming

o On a national level, some of the best television around- the Downton Abbey, Frontline, Newshour and Sesame Street

o Focusing on issues, topics and stories that matter with shows like Ruckus, Kansas City Week in Review & Arts Upload

The Hale Center for Journalism

o 100% regionally focused, digital news service with stories being distributed online and via social media.

o Stories of entrepreneurs, education and healthcare, science & innovation- all happening right here at home.

o Providing our community with the information it needs to participate in the economic, political and cultural life of our community.

The Bridge- 90.9 FM

o An NPR Music station with a focus on the promotion of local arts and the development of a vibrant local music scene.

o Broad playlist featuring everything from Bob Dylan to the Avett Brothers with local favorites like The Grisly Hand & John Velghe.

o 909 Sessions- exclusive music performances and musician interviews offered to individual & corporate supporters.

KCPT, like our Accelerant group, believes in the power of engagement to improve our community. A region engaged in the sharing of information and culture will create a civic and business community that will benefit us all in many ways. Today I ask that you engage with KCPT as a corporate partner or an individual member. To learn more and to schedule a tour of the studios, please contact:

Rebecca Johnson, Senior Account Manager, Corporate Partnerships

816.398.4228

rjohnson

Ted Place, Executive Director for Community Development

816.398.4280

tplace

Thank you for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative. As a collective, we can make an impact in our community by providing support to local nonprofit organizations like KCPT Public Television 19.

Kimberly

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June Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the June Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013.  As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations.  At the breakfast in May we introduced  Don Bosco Centers and encouraged you to help them with their wish list items.  Today I want to shift your attention to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Heart of America Chapter.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation serves the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community, which includes people with CF and their families, volunteers, and donors in the entire state of Kansas and the western half of Missouri.  Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.  An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF.  In people with CF, a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.  In addition, it obstructs the pancreas, stopping natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients.  People with CF can have a variety of symptoms including very salty-tasting skin; persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;  frequent lung infections; wheezing or shortness of breath; poor growth and slow weight gain, in spite of a good appetite;  and frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF. The Foundation funds lifesaving research and works to provide access to quality, specialized care and effective treatments for people with CF.  Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Through its efforts, the life expectancy of a child with CF has doubled in the last 30 years, and research to find a cure is more promising than ever before.

The Heart of America Chapter volunteers plan, organize, and implement various fund-raising projects throughout the year. Their calendar of events includes: formal and informal dinner dances; a fund-raising walk, Great Strides; golf tournaments; a sporting clay tournament; bowling tournaments and many other wonderful events.  Today I want to invite you to participate in the Kansas City Wine Opener scheduled for August 28th at Union Station.  From wine novices to advanced wine enthusiasts, The Wine Openeris a casual and fun evening for all experience levels!   Savor great cuisine presented at festive tasting stations where the area’s hottest chefs prepare their specialties just for you.  Discover the marketplace where local and national purveyors of fine foods, wines, liquors, and wine-related items present interactive displays for your enjoyment.  Along with delicious food and wine pairings, and the sights and sounds of the marketplace, guests will be treated to lively auctions and entertainment.

Individual tickets are typically $70.  However, we are asking that you consider participating in the Kansas City Wine Opener Corporate Partner Program.  Corporate partner ticket holders are entitled to all the benefits of the standard ticket but at a discounted rate of $60 per ticket, $40 of which is tax deductible.  Contact Jillain Williams with the Heart of America chapter at 913.384.8997 if you are interested in participating.

Thank you for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative.  As a collective, we can make an impact in our community by providing support to local nonprofit organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Heart of America Chapter.

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May Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the May Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013.  As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations.  At the breakfast in April we introduced  Happy Bottoms and encouraged you to Make a Difference for Mother’s Day by participating in their Mother’s Day diaper drive happening this weekend.  Today I want to shift your attention to the Don Bosco Centers.

Located near Columbus Park in the northeast corridor of Kansas City, the Don Bosco Centers is closely tied to the neighborhood and dedicated to the many generations and ethnic groups of people in search of a better life. The mission of the Don Bosco Center empowers the immigrant and ethnically diverse population of all ages in the metropolitan area of Kansas City to be self-sufficient and contributing members of their community.

In an effort to fulfill this mission and continue meeting the needs of their diverse community, Don Bosco has structured the organization to offer two core programs, English as a Second Language and the Senior Center.  To view a brief video about Don Bosco Centers, click here:  http://youtu.be/GTs-sXNZvks.

Don Bosco’s English as a Second Language program touches over 830 immigrants and refugees each day.  It is the largest and most comprehensive English-learning program of its kind available in the Kansas City metro area.   By teaching English, Don Bosco provides people with a foundation to continue their learning and obtain or improve their employment.  English classes are the first step toward success for many people and their families.  Without it, citizenship is nearly impossible, as is their success in this nation.

In addition to the ESL program, Don Bosco runs The Senior Center and its mission is to promote the emotional, physical and economical well-being of older adults by providing meals, transportation, fellowship, and activities that promote health, education and recreation.  In addition, the participation of senior adults in all aspects of community life is encouraged, thereby improving the quality of life and maintaining the highest level of independence.  Clients are eligible for services if they are over 60 years of age or are physically or mentally disabled.  More than 85% of their clients are considered low income and a significant number reside in low income senior housing.

The Senior Center’s meal service program provides a hot, nutritious lunch through three venues.  Each weekday, an on-site meal is prepared for approximately 145 seniors at the Center.  Part-time drivers deliver lunch to approximately 275 homebound individuals, and meals are delivered to three smaller senior centers serving an average of 185 individuals.  For many, this meal is the only one they will have each day.

Today I ask that you consider donating in kind to the Don Bosco Centers.  Their need is great and their wish list includes items including but not limited to: a delivery vehicle, a reach in refrigerator, insulated meal carriers, coolers, food carts, a television, a popcorn popper, pool tables, drinking fountains, walkie-talkies, schools supplies, and the installation of ramps for their school.

Thank you for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative.  As a collective, we can make an impact in our community by providing support to local nonprofit organizations like the Don Bosco Centers.

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April Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the April Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in March we introduced the Big Brothers Big Sisters and encouraged you to support Bowl for Kids’ Sake by forming a bowling team. Today I want to shift your attention to HappyBottoms.

Happy Bottoms is Kansas City’s only diaper bank. In only its third year, HappyBottoms has grown from providing diapers to 148 children at 8 local partner agencies in April 2011 to providing diapers to 1,457 children at 22 local partner agencies in February 2014. Last year, HappyBottoms distributed 665,500 diapers to local children, 77% of which live at or below federal poverty level.

Based on 2012 poverty statistics, there are an estimated 17,000 children in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area who need diaper assistance. Diapers are not covered by any safety net program such as food stamps (SNAP) or Medicaid nor can they be purchased through WIC. As a mother of a two year old, I can attest to the fact that diapers are expensive costing $80-$100 per month! Low income families often cut back on food, utility bills, medical expenses and rent in an effort to afford products including diapers.

Cloth diapers, while considered environmentally and economically friendly, are not an option for many of the families served as they do not have access to a washer and dryer at home. Also, many laundromats do not allow cloth diapers to be washed in their machines. Additionally, day care centers don’t accept cloth diapers. Without childcare, parents cannot go to work consistently. Children who participate in early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to go onto higher education.

Clean, dry diapers are important to the health and well-being of growing babies. If a family can’t afford diapers, a baby will spend extended periods, sometimes days, in the same soiled diaper. This amplifies the risk of numerous health problems, including skin and urinary tract infections. Unhappy babies are crying babies. Crying babies are more likely to be abused by already stressed-out caregivers.

The demand for diapers still outweighs supply with a “wait list” of 30 agencies with over 2,200 children. Today I ask that you Make a Difference for Mother’s Day an participate in the Mother’s Day Diaper Drive. On May 9th and 10th, four Price Chopper stores strategically located throughout the city will be encouraging people to donate diapers or dollars to HappyBottoms in honor of their own mother for Mother’s Day! Not only will you help babies in need and support a mother in need, but you can also do it in honor of your own mother or a special woman in your life. Thank you for helping HappyBottoms with their mission to work with partners to provide diapers to low income families through donations, both financial and in-kind while raising awareness of the need for diapers. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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March Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the March Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in February we introduced the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and encouraged you to go visit the museum. Today I want to shift your attention to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers a unique and rewarding volunteer experience that matches school aged kids in a one-to-one friendship with an adult volunteer. They target the children who need us most, including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration. Starting something begins with finding a great match between a Big and a Little. Making these matches, and performing all the background work involved with them, is possible because of donations from people like you.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ signature fundraising event, attracting over 2,000 participants, 15,000 donors and raising $475,000 annually. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary for Bowl for Kids’ Sake here in Kansas City and as such, the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ staff and board of directors have set a lofty goal to get 30 new companies involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake.

How can you and your company get involved? It’s easy-form a team or two! There are 18 bowling sessions during the second and third week of July at both Park Lanes in Shawnee and Z-Strike in the Power & Light District. Sessions will be scheduled during the week, on weekends, in the morning, during the work day and after work. Teams are each given an online webpage and pledge sheets to collect donations to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters leading up to the event. On the day of your chosen bowling session, you just show up with your team, hand in your collected donations and enjoy free cosmic bowling, beer, pizza and great prizes.

Accelerent Partners: Big Brothers Big Sisters has created a competition and set aside special bowling sessions just for us. I don’t know about you, but I love a highly competitive, I mean friendly competition. Haas & Wilkerson Insurance participated in this challenge last summer and we had a blast. I can’t wait to see who will win the traveling trophy this year!

If you or your company would like to form a bowling team, please let me know by replying to this email. I will in turn alert BBBS and they will reach out to you.

Thank you for helping Big Brothers Big Sisters with their mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one – to- one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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