Junior Achievement of Middle America: A Call for Volunteers

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What do Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, KISS vocalist Gene Simmons, and AOL co-founder Steve Case have in common? All are alumni of Junior Achievement of Middle America. (As is my stepdad – who taught my junior high economics class – but we’ll just keep that between us.) Junior Achievement (JA) has inspired many well-known movers and shakers of America, and with a program focused on “educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy,” is that really much of a surprise?

Empowering Young People To Succeed

The mission of Junior Achievement is simple: to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy. This program, which was founded nearly 100 years ago and has been active in Kansas City for the past 60, is powered by volunteers who impart their personal and professional experiences and skills in the classroom. Volunteers help students connect the skills they learn in school to their success in work and life. This approach makes learning fun and relevant while also encouraging active participation within their communities.

Junior Achievement is the largest organization dedicated to empowering young people. JA gives students the knowledge and tools they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and financial choices. In the end, this program provides endless advantages for students, schools, and society. Coming from a background in education, I truly understand the value that Junior Achievement’s volunteers bring to the table. If you’re looking for an opportunity to share your skills and improve the lives of young people, consider volunteering!

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What Does the Future Hold for the Insurance Industry?

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We always hear our kids and the younger generation talking about some new form of social media or the next smartphone innovation. The times are changing quickly and they have been for quite a while! Keeping up with all of these trends may be a daunting task, but the truth is, more and more insurance clients are adapting to this new technological paradigm, and they’re looking for insurance providers who do the same. There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, but the future of the insurance industry will be increasingly tied to technology. Let’s take a look at what that might mean and how companies like Haas & Wilkerson Insurance will likely be engaging with technology as our industry changes with the times.

These days, consumers are skipping out on direct contact with insurers and resorting to search engines, websites, and blogs like this one for facts and information about potential purchases. The future of consumer choice will rely heavily on their own research skills, which means that insurance professionals need to be active and engaged online. Embracing this change is one way in which we are adapting to the future of the insurance industry, because consumers are increasingly driving the demand for an updated experience.

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TNC Community & KC Dirty Duo – Getting Dirty for a Great Cause

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One of the most extraordinary races to come to Kansas City is happening this Saturday! This “obstacle and adventure race” requires two folks who are willing to get dirty for a cause. It looks like a lot of fun, but the best part of all is that the entire proceeds of the event benefit the TNC Community, a non-profit assisting adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Last year's Dirty Duo raised $25,000 for TNC! 

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Follow Your Passion. Find Your Purpose.

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Imagine for just a minute that it is your 80th birthday. What would you want your friends and family to say about you on this momentous occasion? What will you look back on and be proud of in your life? What will be something that you regret or wish you had not focused on because now in hindsight it seems meaningless?

This scenario was recently posed to me and a group of business leaders in Kansas City by my friend, Steve Griessel. He is business leader who has had it all, lost it all, had it all again, and then realized that he wasn't pursuing something he could be passionate about, so he left it all to find a life that truly fulfilled his purpose.

This exercise certainly got my attention. It’s hard not to think a little deeper about the meaning of all that you do when you think about your legacy in this way.

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Get in on the Deviation: Kansas City Art Institute’s Art and Design Auction

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A few weeks ago, I discussed how awesome it is that Kansas City embraces the arts in our profile of ArtsKC. I think it's so awesome, in fact, that I want to talk about it again this week. 

Many local organizations, the Kansas City Art Institute among them, work tirelessly to develop and maintain Kansas City's thriving arts community, earning us the reputation of “America's Creative Crossroads.” In fact, Travel & Leisure recently listed KC as #4 in America's Most Cultured Cities! At Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, we love these artist's inspiration and vitality, and eagerly anticipate their success. It’s for these reasons that we support the Kansas City Art Institute and are corporate sponsors of their upcoming 2015 Art and Design Auction — Deviation.

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Join Us for the American Heart Association – Heart Walk 2015

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If you or a loved one has experienced a loss due to heart disease, you are probably familiar with the American Heart Association, the nation's oldest and largest advocacy group for heart health. In 2004, Haas & Wilkerson Insurance lost our leader, Bill Wilkerson, to a heart attack. We deeply understand the consequences of heart disease and the need for education and prevention. That’s why we support the efforts of groups such as the American Heart Association in funding research and heart health education campaigns.

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Cyber Insurance: A Growing Need for Businesses

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While technology is undoubtedly changing business for the better, it also opens businesses up to previously unheard of risks. Cyber threats, such as the theft of sensitive business information or customer data including Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and addresses, are becoming more common than ever. Your business — no matter the industry — is likely at some level of risk. Taking into account the well documented impact cyber breaches have had on several big companies recently, many business owners are turning to cyber insurance as a way of reducing risk. Is it time you considered it?

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