Stephen Smith Family Fun Run: A Story of Loss & Hope

Join RIG with our friends Frank and Emily Smith on Saturday, April 21st for the Stephen Smith Family Fun Run, a great 5K race with the purpose of giving hope to those who have suffered the loss of an unborn baby.


Check out the video below to hear

Frank & Emily's  hope-filled story!

RACE DETAILS:

The starting line is at the Hilda Walker Intermediate School

19900 S 80th Ave
Tinley Park, IL 60487

•3.1 mile run/walk race on paved bike paths
•Safe course, no busy streets to cross
•Registration from 8:30-9:00 am
•Announcements 9:00 am
•Race begins at 9:30 am
•Awards and Raffles 11:00-11:30 am
•There will be fun outdoor games for the the kids and a massage booth set up after the race ($1 per minute, all proceeds going to Heavenly Brothers)

*Stroller/Wagons = Free
*No Dogs
•Runners/walkers registering after March 23 will not be eligible for a T-Shirt
•Day of race fees will be $35 (onsite only)

•We ask that you email us a name and/or date of anyone you know who has had a miscarriage or stillbirth.

New This Year (2018)
In honor of the 5th Annual Stephen Smith Family Fun Run, we are having long sleeve shirts vs. short sleeves. Please register in time to guarantee your long sleeve shirt!!

Client Spotlight: Total Roofing and Construction, Inc.

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 2.09.03 PM.png

We're always thankful for the roof over our heads, but this month we're especially thankful for our client and the exceptional team of people at Total Roofing & Construction Services, Inc. The company history begins with a great story, or more specifically, a play called “By the Sea.” Gregory Cooper, founder and current president, was the superintendent for University of Chicago’s roofing project when he requested for a day off work to attend his daughter’s kindergarten play. When informed that taking a day off was not possible and that he would be fired if absent, Greg quit that afternoon and attended the recital. After attending his daughter’s play he decided to start his own company. In 1986, the company was formed to provide income and the flexibility to raise his family, and now his family is a part of running the business too. Not only do they do excellent work, but they have their values and priorities set straight!

The first office was Greg's quaint house in Dolton, IL. The company phone was his home number and all the roofing equipment was stored near the back of the house. After developing a local reputation and numerous clients he relocated to a retrofitted office building in Thornton, IL. That building was the old Thornton brewery, a famous Al Capone hangout spot. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s to-do projects included: World Music Amphitheater (Now-First Midwest Bank Amphitheater), Alpine Valley Music Amphitheater, Intercontinental Chicago Hotel, Westin Hotel Chicago, and other high raises that required a bigger workforce and warehouse. In 2000, operations moved from the old Thornton Brewery building to an old restaurant in Dolton, IL. The founder grew up one block away from today’s location, but chose it for proximity to service the Chicagoland and the Northwest Indiana region.

Today, the kids are grown up and involved in all aspects of Total Roofing & Construction, Inc. from project managing, administrative assistants, safety, marketing, and sales. Anyone you contact from their operation is as committed to residential and commercial roofing as the president. As the next generation begins transitioning over responsibilities many of their founding principles and workmanship remain the same. If you have any roofing, window, siding or exterior work need for your residential or commercial property, these are they guys to trust!

Read our fun Q & A below with Phillip Cooper, Project Manager:

Q: What is your favorite type of roof and why?
We love the architectural shingle roofs because the many options with different colors and the before/after effect.
Q: What has been one of your favorite projects? 
The World Music Center Theater (now Hollywood Casino Amphitheater) in Tinley Park, IL. That project, although a challenge at the time because it rained practically everyday delaying completion, is one we will always remember.
Q: What has been your proudest moment at Total Roofing? 
Last year our company outing was at Six Flags Great America. It was great to enjoy a day of fun for the workers and their families.
Q: What would you like your clients to know?
We've been installing and servicing roofs since 1986 and during this time, we've come to realize that it's much more economical to be pro-active rather than reactive with home improvements.
Q : What is your favorite type of donut?
The girls in the office are very fond of chocolate frosted cake donuts, but the men in the office are all about maple donuts with a piece of bacon. 

Client Highlight: Chicago Santa!

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 2.07.49 PM.png

Ho Ho Ho! We here at Region Insurance Group must have been on the good list, because we've gained the one and only Santa Claus as a client! Mike Hickey and his wife Nijole have been in the business of bringing Christmas joy to Chicago and Northwest Indiana for over 3 decades! From small family gatherings to corporate holiday events, Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make appearances and don their suits that were specially tailored in the North Pole, sing holiday carols with music provided by their North Pole boom box, and of course meet with children, naughty or nice! Learn more about Santa in our EXCLUSIVE interview below!

✦ How/why did you get into the Santa business?
I started when I was 17 yrs old... I played football in HS and the football coach lived 7 blocks away from my house. He asked me to play Santa for him & his family since his kids were getting smart and figuring out that Santa was really Daddy. He gave me his suit and I came over and sat with his kids & family on Christmas Eve and had a fun time doing so. The next week or so his wife said she would pay me $35.00 to be Santa at her sorority. I had a lot of fun performing as Santa and I learned that people would pay me to be Santa! That was my AH-HAA moment... I could make money having fun dressed up as Santa Clause. The rest, as they say, is history... I have now been performing as Santa Clause for over 35 years. 

✦ How did you meet Mrs. Clause?    
I met my wife who is Mrs. Clause in 1996 and we have been performing together since we were married in 1998.

✦ What's the best or funniest gift request you've ever received?
 Women that want boyfriends that don't cheat!

✦ Has anyone ever pulled you beard?
Kids & especially babies will inevitably pull on the beard, but I have learned to make sure that the beard is secure to my face.

✦ What's your favorite Christmas song?
My favorite Christmas song is Gene Autry's version of "Here Comes Santa Claus". You can't help being in a happy mood after listening to this classic Christmas Song.

✦What's your favorite Christmas cookie?
My favorite Christmas Cookie is Peanut Butter Nut Cluster Cookies... I am always looking for ways to increase my intake of protein 'cause there is a fairly high amount of protein in peanuts. HO HO HO!!!

Client Highlight: Thoughtful Christmas Gifts from Crete Garden Center!

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 9.10.34 AM.png

Need a thoughtful gift or some tasty stocking stuffers this Christmas? Check out some of the products our good friends over at Crete Garden Center are carrying! They're the only vendor in Illinois for McCutcheon's Products, who tout some of the the tastiest preserves, jellies and jams around. Josh Rietveld, Co-Owner along with his father, is particularly fond of the apple butter and says it's THE BOMB. They also carry products from local vendors such as Pure Honey from Zee's Bees in Chicago Heights and Hull-less Popcorn (which leaves you with more taste and less kernels than regular white and yellow kernels) from Pilot Knob Comforts, a family farm located in Oneida, IL. For the green-thumbed person in your family, they also are selling gorgeous amaryllis plants that easily grow indoors. If all of these sound good, go ahead and purchase one of their ready-made Christmas baskets or ask for them to create a custom one for you! Give them a visit!

Client Spotlight: Verduin Automotive

Verduin Automotive.jpg

We're keeping it in the family for our first client highlight! Jimmy Verduin, Tim's older brother, has always had the mind of a mechanic. Ever since he was a small child, Jimmy was fascinated with taking things apart and putting them back together. He continued on his path for mechanic greatness, working in body shops and earning a full scholarship for the trade school he attended after high school. He even has something in common with the founding CEOs of Google, Amazon, Apple and Disney: he started his own company out of his home garage! After several years of working at a couple dealerships, he went off on his own and opened his own shop in 2015. With a brilliant mind and a heart of gold, Jimmy is the most trusted mechanic in Cedar Lake (not that we're biased or anything). Oh, and keep your eye out for Isaiah, Jimmy's 4 year old son who's taking after his prodigal father!

Q & A with Jimmy

 

Jimmy, what is something you would like your clients to know?

The whole reason I got into doing this is when I was a sophomore in high school, was working at a part time job, and had my first car. There was a charging system problem where the battery would intermittently go dead, so I took it to a shop in Lansing and told the guy that's all I want fixed. So he fixed that, but he also changed all the hoses and all the belts. So I had a $350 bill which is a lot of money when you're 16. I had to pay, but I didn't ask him to do any of that work, which I could have done myself at that point. So ever since then I was like, "I'm going to learn how to do this stuff myself." And that's the thing that I'd want my customers to know; I'm never going to charge them for stuff they don't need. 

What is your dream vehicle?

A 1970 Camaro SS     (shown below) 

And for our standard Question, What is your favorite type of doughnut?

Boston Cream!

Community Highlight: Sidelined Chicago

Sidelined.jpg

 

Happy Friday! On this day Region Insurance Group is very happy to announce a sponsorship of an organization and a young man that we find pretty inspirational: Sidelined Chicago, founded by Cade Pinalto.

We've known Cade, currently a junior at Lane Tech High School, ever since we started attending Edgewater Baptist Church in 2013. From his intelligence, passion and a charisma that allows him to connect with anyone, we've always known there has been something special about Cade. If you need more proof, just look at Sidelined, the non-profit organization that he co-founded and directs with his mother, Christine Pinalto.

Sidelined Chicago exists to reunite permanently sidelined athletes with their passions and inspire them to find a meaningful way forward through resources, connection, and mentorships. Cade, who was a dedicated athlete and basketball player, became sidelined himself during his 7th grade year. He was devestated when he was told he would no longer be able to compete in his sport. Later, when Cade reached high school, the mens varsity basketball coach offered to teach him how to coach. The experience was incredible as Cade was able to participate in his sport through another avenue. Cade was inspired to take his growth and learning through an adverse experience and share it with others, and the idea for Sidelined Chicago was born in April of 2016. 

Sidelined2.JPG

Sidelined Chicago has designed a local and national program to engage all permanently sidelined student athletes, regardless of their current stage of the emotional recovery process. The program is three-tiered: Social Support, Coping Resources, and Mentorship. Sidelined Chicago’s end goal is to provide permanently sidelined student athletes with mentorships that re-engage them with the sport they love through alternate avenues. These mentorship avenues include options like coaching, journalism,  photography and athletic training.


POSITIVITY         ADAPTABILITY       PERSEVERANCE

COMMUNITY     MEANINGFUL ACTION      DEVOTION

We love the core values that the organization is based on: they are all an integral part of living a meaningful life through the ups and downs of life that enable us to learn, grow and share our gifts with others. As athletes ourselves, we understand the value of sports and their formative role from childhood to adulthood as well as the passion and excitement they can bring our lives. We therefore also understand the devastation that can be experienced when it is no longer an option to participate. So we're so proud of our young friend and his determination to prove that our worth is not defined by what we can or cannot do, and that we all have a chance to make a difference in a world that so desperately needs it.

Onward, Cade!


If you are interested in learning more about this fantastic organization, participating, becoming a mentor, or even generously lending financial support, please visit their website:

www.sidelinedchicago.org

 

 

 

 

#InsuranceGames: A Day in the Life of an Agent

insurance.JPG

7:30 AM: It’s Friday. We deserve a treat. Time for bagels and coffee at Panera. #ButFirstCoffee

bagel.jpg

8:00 AM: It’s Friday. We deserve some tunes. #BlastTheTunes.

8:05 AM: We read through emails, and start responding with answers so beautiful and professional they leave you like, WOW!  #WOW

9:30 AM: Bring on the phone calls… someone needs a quote. TIME TO SAVE YOU MONEY. #SaveAllTheMoney

9:40 AM: As an independent insurance agency, we have contracts with multiple insurance carriers so we can #SaveAllTheMoney by working up different quotes and selecting the company that is most competitive and can offer you the best rate.  #Capitalism

9:45 AM: Here are some of the companies that we throw into the gauntlet and make them compete for you: #HungerGames, I mean, #InsuranceGames

Carriers.PNG

10:00 AM: Another call. OH NO IT’S A CLAIM. It’s okay… we got you. #InThisTogether

10:38 AM: Someone called in because you referred them our way. You’re #TheBest. That means a gift card for coffee and donuts is coming your way! #ReferralProgram #DONUTS

12:30 PM: It’s lunch time. But we’re insurance super heroes. We don’t need lunch. #KEEPWORKING

12:45 PM: Just kidding. We’re eating lunch. #Donuts

donut.jpg

 

2:15 PM: Still working through quotes, emails, billing questions, mortgagee faxes, certificates and paperwork like a #BOSS.

3:30 PM: Did you know we do commercial insurance? Of course you did, that’s why you called us to insure your donut shop. We’ll take very good care of you. #Donuts

4:15 PM: Received your new policy in the mail from one of our carriers. Time to send you your temporary Auto ID cards, with a business card of our beautiful faces.

5:00 PM: It’s 5:00 PM. Time to go home. Just kidding… #KEEPWORKING

6:00 PM: Okay, maybe we’ll go home…