As many of you know, I'm a proud board member at Kansas City's public television station – KCPT. I'm “all in” on its mission to educate, enrich and entertain the Kansas City community. Our public television station is one of Kansas City's best assets—one that brings our city and region together.
School’s out, pool’s open—summer is here! It’s also fairs and festivals season, and there’s no better event to kick off the summer season in Kansas City than Boulevardia. Held June 17-19 in the historic West Bottoms, Boulevardia is a celebration of beer, food, music and the best of Kansas City, brought to you by one of our favorite homegrown breweries—Boulevard Brewing Company. It’s a great way to spend Father’s Day weekend with family and friends.
It's graduation season! More than 7 million high school and college students will don cap and gown, hear their name called, and walk the stage for a handshake and a diploma as the Class of 2016. It's a time to say goodbye to the old and hello to new beginnings.
I fondly remember my graduation from Shawnee Mission East High School in 1994 and then four years later from the University of Kansas. Both were celebrations filled with joy as well as trepidation as I took those steps toward adulthood. I was fortunate to have a supportive family surrounding me as I took each of those steps forward in my life. I'm still thankful for what I learned in my education and how it has shaped my career in the insurance industry.
With so many schools around the country – and even here in Kansas City – battling tight finances, art in the classroom is often an unfortunate victim to budget cuts. But while it’s not considered part of the core curriculum, art programs can indeed provide a solid foundation for children’s emotional, social and creative development. Plus, art has been shown to actually help kids succeed in other academic areas, leading to higher SAT scores and increased graduation rates.
Here at Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, we know how important the arts are to our schools and our community as a whole. I love visiting the galleries during First Fridays, and I get excited when Kansas City is honored for our artistic achievements on the national level. So it was a no-brainer when we decided to participate in “Now Showing,” a program of the ArtsKC Regional Arts Council, last year. The program brings art and business together by providing opportunities for area artists to display their work in the conference rooms, lobbies and office spaces of local companies. The partnership exposes the artist to potential new audiences and brings the wealth of local talent and creativity to our area employers.
I suppose it goes without saying the heart is an important organ. But lately, I’ve been thinking about just how much we use the heart as a metaphor for the important things in life. We’ve published a few posts recently about the people who serve our organization with a lot of heart. We’ve also focused on groups that have contributed to the heart of our community. We’ve even had a few heart-to-hearts with some of our amazing clients.
But for Ryan and I, the heart has a particular significance. Back in 2004, our father, Bill Wilkerson, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack at the age of 58. The impact of his passing touched not just the Haas & Wilkerson Insurance family but the greater Kansas City community. We’ve always been grateful for the legacy our dad left behind by how involved he was in the insurance world and in our local community.
We've been very fortunate to work with a wide variety of businesses since the inception of Haas & Wilkerson Insurance. From small startups to established community firms, clients with niche specializations to individual policies, people from all walks of life—we've served an incredibly diverse amount of people and companies.
One of the more rewarding experiences we have in our business is watching our clients grow and achieve success over time. One client we've watched achieve great things in our community is Bank of Blue Valley. Chartered in 1989, Bank of Blue Valley opened in southern Johnson County down at 119th and Metcalf before the area had really been developed. The bank saw a potential for growth in that area, and given how we've all seen the area develop, they were definitely correct in their observation.
In my mind, one of the biggest rules for any family is that you always take care of each another. Through thick and thin, a family should always have each other's collective back. And because we pride ourselves on being a big family at Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, it's always been important to have people on our team who follow the same philosophy.
Carol Porter, one of the producers in our fair and festival division, is probably one of the people who best embodies the role of caretaker in our organization. From her commitment to taking care of clients to the positive energy she brings to work each day, Carol is such a warm and caring member of our agency. Plus. Carol's always inspired our team as as a woman who has really carved out her own pathway to success in a field where men have often been the majority. Check out our recent interview with Carol.