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The Rough Notes Company Inc.



October 04
07:52 2018


Applications being accepted for independent agents, brokers and their firms for the Community Service Award

By Robert N. Kretzmer, CIC

The Rough Notes Company is pleased to inform readers that nominations are now open for the 20th Annual Community Service Award for independent insurance agents, brokers and agencies. Recommendations for this prestigious award will be accepted from now until December 31, 2018. We look forward to receiving nominations—complete the form on page 50 and include all supporting documentation—and learning about local community philanthropic projects.

In a recent meeting, I was reminiscing with Rough Notes Company President and CEO Walt Gdowski about the last 20 years of varied community service projects and the agents who have won the award. We discussed how local insurance agents have a wonderful tradition of volunteering their time, efforts, and financial resources on behalf individuals with needs in their local communities, and how most winners were too humble to want any public recognition.

Since its inception, the Community Service Award has recognized agents for such programs as:

  • Building and renovating homes for the less fortunate
  • Funding a program for adults with autism
  • A walk to benefit children with Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • Funding a radiation therapy institute
  • Operation of a therapeutic horseback riding clinic for autistic children
  • A benefit to provide the funding to build an emergency department at a local hospital
  • Development of a Boys & Girls Club
  • A program for abused children

In early 2019, the winner will be announced and invited to a special ceremony in Indianapolis, Indiana, held in conjunction with the annual Rough Notes magazine Agency of the Year dinner. The agent’s winning community service project will receive a $5,000 check in the name of the winning agent; and the winning agent, broker, or agency will receive an engraved sculptured eagle as a memento of the extraordinary philanthropic project.

Previous Community Service Award winners and their projects include:

2018—SouthGroup Insurance Services, Ridgeland, Mississippi: Organizes an annual Make a Difference 5K to benefit the Friends of Children’s Hospital and the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi.

2017—Wayne Coffey, Hunt Valley, Maryland: Founded No More Stolen Childhoods, an organization that raises awareness of childhood sexual abuse.

2016—Charlebois Trépanier Insurance and Risk Management, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada: Organizes multiple fundraising events for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

2015—The Henriott Group, Lafayette, Indiana: Partners with the United Way to improve young students’ reading skills and increase involvement in education by parents, businesses, and organizations.

2014—TG Nulty, Otsego, Michigan: Provides needed funding for Urban Youth for Africa, which helps economically disadvantaged teens finish high school and become community leaders.

2013—James Colangelo and Richard Morello, Florham Park, New Jersey: Founded and operate Family Reach Foundation, which provides funding for expenses for families dealing with pediatric cancer.

2012—Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers, Fort Myers, Florida: James Pender and Gary Trippe established a foundation that helps disabled veterans find career paths in insurance.

2011—Chris Paradiso, Stafford Springs, Connecticut: Provides funding for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

2010—Craig Moon, Middletown, Ohio: Created, developed, and funds an adult autism community living facility in Ohio.

2009—Barbara Galgiani, Modesto, California: Helped create and raises funding for a hospice organization in California.

2008—D. Gaines Lanier, West Point, Georgia: Reconstructs housing for poverty-stricken areas in Georgia and Alabama.

2007—Co-Winner Mark Williamson, Little Rock, Arkansas: Provides funding for a radiation therapy institute in Arkansas.

2007—Co-Winner Markham Rollins III, Rye Brook, New York: Constructs new housing and raises funds for building houses for needy families in Nicaragua.

2006—J. Douglas Reichart, West Des Moines, Iowa: Chaired a local Iowa United Way campaign to an all-time record donation year.

2005—Jim McGovern, Belmont, California: Created and is the program organizer for a local California Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

2004—Harry Swimmer, Charlotte, North Carolina: Founded and operates a therapeutic horseback-riding clinic for ill children and adults.

2003—Jack and Jason Rua, Fall River, Massachusetts: Chaired a fund-raising campaign and a key committee for a highly successful United Way campaign.

2002—Kenneth Felton, Vero Beach, Florida: Developed a local Boys & Girls Club in Indian River, Florida.

2001—Dick Lees, Pana, Illinois: Promoted funding for the addition of anew emergency room at a local hospital.

2000—Al Singer, Teaneck, New Jersey: Founded the People Against Starving Children program, which feeds children in New Jersey and around the country.

These past winners of The Rough Notes Company Community Service Award personify the idea of the “silent” heroes within our industry. They all have given to ensure that individuals in need are not forgotten or left behind. This is what builds strong communities.

The author

Robert N. Kretzmer, CIC, is executive director of the Rough Notes Company Community Service Award program.


The Rough Notes Company

Community Service Award

Award Conditions and Prerequisites:

Purpose: To recognize and present an award to an independent insurance broker, agent or agency that has demonstrated extraordinary community service within his, her or their local, regional or national community. To present the winning philanthropic organization designated by the agency with a check in the amount of $5,000 to help further its special cause(s).

Criteria: Nominees will be judged on their overall contribution (funds raised, people helped, volunteerism, etc.) to their community service project and/or initiative, and positive impact (both short-term and long-term) that their efforts have made in their community.

Nomination period: Nominations will be accepted at the offices of Rough Notes magazine by U.S. mail, overnight delivery or hand-delivery up to and including December 31, 2018. No nomination forms will be accepted after December 31. Please note that no facsimiles or emails will be accepted.


  1. Nominators must complete the nomination form in its entirety and provide all supporting documentation.
  2. All nomination forms and supporting documentation must be received no later than December 31, 2018.
  3. All nomination forms MUST include a supporting letter from the philanthropic organization verifying AND documenting the insurance broker, agent, or agency involvement.
  4. No facsimiles or emails will be accepted.
  5. All nomination forms and supporting documentation become the exclusive property of The Rough Notes Company. Further, the nomination form and supporting documentation may be used at the sole discretion of Rough Notes magazine to publicize the award and award recipient, and to promote the Community Service Award program.
  6. Incomplete nomination forms or nomination forms without supporting documents will not be considered.
  7. Nominators may nominate themselves or their agency.

Selection: Designated individuals from The Rough Notes Company and selected others will review all nomination forms and supporting documentation and select a winner and honorable mention recipients. The winner and honorable mention recipients will be honored at Rough Notes magazine’s Agency of the Year awards dinner in Indianapolis.


  1. The philanthropic organization will receive a check for $5,000 to be used to further its endeavors.
  2. The winning broker, agent or agency will be presented with a sculptured engraved eagle.
  3. Rough Notes magazine will publish an article to publicize the community service project and award winner.

The awards dinner will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, in March 2019.

Mailing: Send all nomination forms and supporting documents to:

The Rough Notes Company, Inc.

Attention: Community Service Award

11690 Technology Drive

Carmel, Indiana 46032-

Click here for the nomination form in PDF format

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