Superbowl for (Jeff) Saturday’s Kids

We were thrilled and honored to represent American Family Insurance, who was one of the title corporate sponsors at Monday’s fundraising event:  Superbowl for Saturday’s Kids at Woodland Bowl, benefiting The Peoples Burn Foundation.

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Money raised at this event benefits Jeff and Karen Saturday’s “Camp Saturday“, a FREE week long camp in the summer at Flat Rock River Camp for any child age 5 to 18 who has suffered a burn injury.

Camp Saturday is a week-long specialized residential camp for children who are burn survivors to heal from physical and emotional scars by providing opportunity “just to be kids” with volunteer counselors comprised mostly of firefighters and paramedics. The camp offers traditional adventures filled with therapeutic healing for young burn survivors for a week of summertime fun within a nurturing environment amongst their peers.

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Many campers were in attendance at Monday’s event to mingle with those who came to bowl and raise money for next summer’s camp while enjoying a yummy meal, compliments of Sullivan’s Steakhouse.  Jeff and Karen Saturday welcomed everyone and spoke from their heart about why this event was so special to them and their campers.

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Per their bio on Camp Saturday’s website, The Saturday’s became involved with The Peoples Burn Foundation after their youngest son burned both of his hands on the glass doors of a lit fireplace. They learned first hand the long recovery process of a burn injury and how it affects a child.

Former Colts Player and Superbowl Champion, Hunter Smith and his band, The Hunter Smith Band, performed live while we bowled and bid on silent auction items.  (The band is AWESOME!  Check them out – we all bought their CD, which Hunter Smith autographed for us.  He was so NICE).

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Band members Justin Langebartels, Alex Reiff, Ethan Ehrstine, Kyle Whiteley, and Hunter Smith

We LOVED the shirts available for purchase from Zella Mae Inspirations.  Every shirt they make conveys a positive message and for each shirt purchased Monday night, they donated a shirt to camp.  We HIGHLY encourage you check them out!  Amazing stuff!

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Writing our names on our purchases from Zella Mae. 🙂

Here’s some more fun pictures from the night:

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Girls V. Boys. We ALMOST beat them 1st Game.

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Camp Saturday
Healing through Encouragement, Acceptance, Respect, Togetherness & Sanctity

For information about Camp Saturday, please contact:
Lora Hays (317-518-5820) lhays@peoplesburnfoundation.org
Cindy Allison, Camp Director (317-803-2876), callison@peoplesburnfoundation.org

As part of the American Family Insurance “family”, we couldn’t be prouder that year round our company partners with & supports local organizations such as this in & around Indianapolis.  American Family Insurance, year after year, shows up and validates why we became a part of this company 12 years ago.

Shawna O’Brien
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

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Hoosier High School Basketball Hysteria

In Indiana, Hoosier hysteria is a way of life.

Though you won’t find it in the dictionary, this phrase is well known and describes the excitement surrounding Indiana basketball – specifically, Indiana high school basketball. My staff and I witnessed the hysteria earlier this month at the Fifth Annual High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship at Carmel High School, sponsored by American Family Insurance.

HS Slam Dunk

This event featured 16 outstanding high school seniors – eight young men and eight young women – from all over the country, competing in a one-minute three-point shooting contest. The senior boys also had just two opportunities to demonstrate their creative, challenging slam dunk skills for a panel of Indiana celebrity judges in the Slam Dunk Championship.

When we walked into the gymnasium, the energy was electric. Spectators from all over Indiana came out to witness and support the athletes demonstrating their amazing talent. This night had the potential to be history-making for some of these young players as they competed, hoping to become one step closer to pursuing their dreams. The cheers were deafening as Carmel senior Ryan Cline made it to the finals and won the three-point competition with 22 points in the final round (one and two points are awarded per shot).

Everyone from my office was thrilled to attend this event, as each has a love for Indiana basketball. Basketball brings together the old and young, boys and girls, urbanites and those from tiny rural communities. We gather at homes or at a restaurant to watch the games. And whether you live in the city, suburbs or on a country road, chances are, there’s a basketball goal within a rock’s throw.

More than half the homes in our neighborhood have basketball goals in their driveways. We see kids gathering nightly to play. I grew up playing in the neighborhood, on my high school team, and later with a group at our church. Our son has played basketball the last two seasons and this year I coached his third grade team. A basketball goal was a must-have feature on our “wish list” when we purchased our home late last year.

One of our office’s licensed producers is Noblesville, Indiana native Tom Coverdale, Mr. Basketball 1998. He was asked to judge the Slam Dunk Competition with four others including Boom Herron, running back with the Indianapolis Colts. Tom says in Indiana you are basically born with a basketball in your hands. Every kid dreams of playing for their high school team and in college. The state has a following unlike any other state when it comes to basketball. The atmosphere at Carmel High School was no different.

Bobby Plump, John Wooden, Larry Bird and Steve Alford all began pursuing their dreams in a high school gymnasium in Indiana. Hoosiers take great pride in remembering these young men before they were legendary players, and we feel a connection to their success.

It was an honor and a thrill for us to be involved in the High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship representing American Family Insurance. This event allowed these young athletes to demonstrate their athleticism and to “dream big.”

Whatever becomes of them as they pursue their basketball dreams, we will be able to say, “we were there” when it began.

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The Opposite of Growing “Pains” at AmFamPOB

tom birthdayIt’s been an exciting start to the new year.  The agency has almost doubled as we welcome TWO licensed agents to the team.  January 4th, licensed agent Tom Coverdale joined The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency, bringing years of experience and wonderful energy to the office.

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This February, Cindy Herr-Pino, already an amazing asset to the agency as our director of business development, passed her home, auto, life and health licensing exams.  Now, as a licensed agent, Cindy is able to not only promote the agency and it’s products, but she will be consulting and advising customers to find the best products to fit their needs.

 

Here’s some pictures of Pat and Kelly assembling Tom’s desk.  Future AmFamPOB employee?

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Another desk has been added for Cindy.  This time, Tom was recruited to help with the heavy labor.  (Kelly was on a break).

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Great job, guys – the desk looks great!!

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Cindy and Tom are excited to work with you.  Contact us to set up an appointment.

– S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

Should You Buy a New Car?

hondaWe’ve had our 2011 Honda Odyssey van for 4 years.  It came straight from the factory and had 4 miles on it when we drove off the lot.

With a very little interest rate, about $12 of each payment is now going to interest and the rest is going to principle.  It will be paid off soon and that’s a great feeling.  We haven’t had any issues with the vehicle and we weren’t considering trading it in until we received an offer in the mail from the dealer.  It seems this model is popular on the used car market and they are eager to get us into a new vehicle ($$$).  I gotta say, it’s tempting.

However, no car payment is tempting too.  We feel we’re in a good spot with a relatively “new” vehicle but when should we buy a new car?

I did some research and Edmunds.com says it’s almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one.  They say a new car typically loses an estimated 22 percent of it’s value in the first year and your existing car has already taken that depreciation hit.

On the flip side, if trips to the mechanic are costing you too much money and time from your work or family and you don’t want to worry constantly about future break downs, a new car may be worth the investment.  New cars are safer than ever with many safety equipment becoming standard on new vehicles.

Edmunds formula to making a decision is if the cost of repairs is greater than either the value of the vehicle or one year’s monthly payments, it’s time to buy another vehicle.

I asked Pat about the cost of insurance on an older vehicle v. a new one.  Would our insurance premium go up or down if we bought a new vehicle?  Of course all rates depend on the driver’s driving record and the type of vehicle (sports cars really do cost more to insure) but he said a newer car would cost more to insure (there are reasons and I’ll let him break it down for you).  But if you are in the market for a new care, the good news is, it’s also true that newer vehicles may have newer safety features that can lower your premium.  It’s important you research what your rates may be on a vehicle you are interested in purchasing before you buy.

IMG_4744In our case, the van isn’t that “old” and we have the most recent safety features such a side air bags, the back up camera and a lot of what I’d call bells and whistles on it: Navigation, DVD player, bluetooth, auto start = all awesome features when toting around kids (and when I want to learn my Jazzercise routines on long road trips).

Not having a car payment soon and keeping our premium low is more attractive to me right now than a new vehicle that’s going to depreciate thousands of dollars the minute I drive it off the lot.  And, according to Kelly’s Blue Book, if I wanted to sell the van to a private party, I could expect to receive just over $21,000.  Not a bad chunk of change should I change my mind in the near future!

Are you in the market for a new car?  Call us and ask what your insurance premium would be so you can factor the total cost of a new vehicle into your budget.  We’d be happy to assist you.

-S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

 

American Family Insurance Partners With Colts during Friday Night Football Tour

We were honored to represent American Family Insurance in partnership with the Indianapolis Colts during their Friday Night Football tour.

Prior to kick off at Fisher’s High School’s Friday night game on August 29th, The Patrick O’Brien Agency represented American Family and presented a $1500 donation from AmFam and the Colts to the Fishers High School’s health/wellness program.

It was an honor and a lot of fun participating in the pre-game festivities.

Go, Tigers!

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-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Clean a Stinky Garbage Disposal

If your kitchen is developing an odor and you’ve taken out the trash, it could be your garbage disposal.  Even if you run your garbage disposal until the last shred of food is gone, and you let the water run the recommended time, you can still wind up with an out-of control science experiment that stinks up your kitchen.

The reason is – some food is going to stick to the inside of the grinding chamber, and it’s going to decay.  You can clean the chamber by grinding ice and lemon rinds, adding baking soda or rinsing with vinegar and water.  Or, you can add commercial cleaners like Disposer Care, which is available at discount stores and most home centers.

garbage disposalIf there is still an odor after cleaning the grinding chamber, you’ll need to attack the underside of the splash guard.  Cleaning the splash guard is easier than you think.  you don’t even have to remove it.  Just clean it with a toothbrush and cleaner as shown.

Dip an old toothbrush in antibacterial grease-cutting kitchen cleaner and lift up one corner of the splash guard.  Scrub off the crud and rinse with cold water.  Repeat with each flap until it’s totally clean and rinsed.

Simple as that!

To prevent future odors and to ensure all the food particles are cleared away, don’t turn off the garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop.  It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.

– S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Can an Insurance Agency Office be “Pretty”?

Pat doesn’t spend a lot of time decorating or thinking about colors and texture.  He’s focused on meeting with customers and tending to the details of their insurance coverage and needs.

However, Pat, Shannon and Edna spend a lot of time at the agency – it’s like home away from home.  Customers and colleagues visit often and we want them to feel comfortable and welcomed when they are in our office.

So after scoring deals from our favorite consignment & bargain stores; accepting a family member’s cast off, and using a little elbow grease, here’s what you’ll see when you visit our office.

We hope you like it!

-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Below:  Purple chairs (Shannon’s favorite color), table and flowers from our favorite consignment store, Consigned by Design.  Canvas wall art from Home-goods; Pillows, lamp and vase from Target.

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Below:  A hand me down buffet table paired with decor found at Home-goods (in one whirlwind trip) becomes a space to store industry periodicals and a peg board displaying upcoming events, customer thank you notes, and inspirational messages.

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(Here’s what the table looked like during sanding and after paint).

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10 Years and Counting

10 yearsIn this day and age, not many people stay with a company for 10 years or more.  In fact, until now, neither had I.  So you can imagine when I received the notice that February 2014 was my 10 year anniversary with American Family, I was surprised (time flies when you’re having fun) and proud.

I started as an agent in 2004 and accepted a sales manager position three years later.  After six years as a sales manager, I returned to agency the Fall of 2013.  A lot comes to mind looking back on the last 10 years and I’d like to share my experience with  you.

I was first attracted to a career as an American Family Agent because of the opportunity to run my own business.  After many years in a corporate sales position with little control over my time and an ever-increasing gap between effort and reward, I realized I had the entrepreneurial drive to own a business.   In the role of an agent with American Family, not only do I control my time, effort and reward but just as important, I have the ability to provide superior products/claims from the best insurance company in the industry.

Not only was I happier in this new role but each year I received an added bonus of working with like-minded fellow managers, supportive company partners and motivated fellow agents.  Everyone I’ve encountered in the company, American Family Insurance, has the same focus:  Put the client and the Agent first!  The company’s sole purpose is to give the client the best experience possible as it pertains to the purchase & servicing of insurance products.

My time as an agency sales manager (2007-2013) gave me access to the inner workings and executive leadership of the corporation. The time spent working for the corporation was invaluable as it helped me understand who we are, where we are going and how important our clients are to the organization.  I had the opportunity to work alongside a team of talented sales managers (in Indiana and other sales states) as well as lead dozens of agency owners in District 556.

The opportunity to work once again as an agent, assisting current & prospective clients, has been the best part of this career.  Meeting with clients and learning about their families and understanding their story has been a privilege.  Our lives are so busy these days with work/family commitments.  I know that my clients need my agency’s advice and recommendations so they can make the best decision for their families.

I have so much gratitude for those that have helped me get to this point in my career:  My awesome wife, Shawna; my Parents; all the amazing mentors I’ve spent time with; and my past managers that gave me opportunities along the way.  All of these individuals helped me succeed in my efforts to be where I am today professionally (and personally).  I thank them for their support, encouragement, dedication, time and belief in me and the agency.  There’s so much heart and soul that goes into what we do every day and I hope you can feel that when you speak with me and Shannon.

I am optimistic for great things to come at The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency.  And those that know me well can hear my tone when I say, “I am pumped”!  Here’s to 10 more years!!

– Pat O’Brien
POB Agency

ps.  If you’d like to view American Family’s 2013 annual report, you can view it here.