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.

Cindy

 

 

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?

Kelly kelly desk Kelly desk2

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

desk pat and tom tom vacuum

Great job, guys – the desk looks great!!

Cindy2

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

– S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

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.

8 Ways to Have Integrity – In your Public & Private Life

Have you ever looked up the word, Integrity in the dictionary?  I admit, I had not.  Here’s what it says:
 
“Integrity” Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.in·teg·ri·ty
inˈtegritē/
noun
noun: integrity
  1. 1.
    the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    “he is known to be a man of integrity”
    synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness

Integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage.  I was raised on the 10 commandments and the golden rule.   Running a business and raising young people keep “doing the right thing” at the forefront of daily decisions. 

How we conduct ourselves in public and private life is crucial to the legacy we leave behind.  Maybe that’s why Pat loves golf so much.  It’s such a great life-lesson game.  It’s the only professional sport where the participants call penalties on themselves. 
 
We’re not perfect, of course, but the following (condensed from this article) is a good read whenever we need a reminder of how best to be honest, true, noble, trustworthy, and kind to family and customers.
 
1.    Root yourself in a moral foundation. 
 
2.    Look for the positive. 
 
3.    Resist the temptation to compartmentalize your life. 
 
4.    Determine to live for others ahead of yourself (Golden Rule).  
 
5.    Participate in an active accountability group. 
 
6.    Partner with a friend where you need to make progress.  That person should “hold your feet to the fire”. 
 
7.    Be in the habit of sharing EVERYTHING with your spouse (if you are married).  Keeping secrets, big or small, tends to have an impact on who we are
 
8.    Practice the habit of imagining the presence of someone whose opinion you value (Father, Grandparent, Spouse, your children) when conducting yourself with others.
 
And, if applicable, hold your children accountable.  Every lesson we bring to our children is something we need to hear too.
 
As mentioned at the beginning, “integrity is what you do when no one is watching; it’s doing the right thing all the time, even when it may work to your disadvantage. Integrity is keeping your word. Integrity is that internal compass and rudder that directs you to where you know you should go when everything around you is pulling you in a different direction. Some people think reputation is the same thing as integrity, but they are two different things. Your reputation is the public perception of your integrity. Because it’s other people’s opinions of you, it may or may not be accurate. Others determine your reputation, but only you determine your integrity”.
 
How do you maintain integrity in your public and private life?

– S.O.
POB Agency