The Source - Partner Spotlight

The Source - Partner Spotlight

The Source - Partner Spotlight

The Source Volume 2 | Issue 5 Work Hard, Play Hard Page 6 Straight From The Source Blog Page 10 Rusty’s Remarks Page 9 Global Reach. Local Touch. Single Source. Partner Spotlight Safe Harbor Benefits Safe Harbor Benefits has a distinctive logo of a lighthouse with a beaming light that beacons a boat to its shore. It evokes a feeling of safety and symbolizes the firm’s ability to guide clients toward solutions. Higginbotham saw that light and found its way to Safe Harbor Benefits. Safe Harbor Benefits is an independent brokerage firm in Arlington providing insurance and financial services to business and personal clients.

It was opened in 1996 by Bryan Keathley, who had been a petroleum geologist and commercial banker before becoming a life and health insurance broker. Customers were drawn by Safe Harbor Benefits’ light, and Bryan enjoyed annual double-digit growth that enabled the purchase a property/casualty agency in 2001. Always looking for ways to better serve his clients, Bryan “knew the timing was right to explore merging and had been approached by other agencies.” But, it wasn’t until he received a phone call from New Partners Managing Director Sharon Godwin that he “learned about Higginbotham and our shared passion for doing right by our clients and our similar company cultures” and found the right fit.

With our partnership, Bryan can navigate clients toward expanded services. Welcome aboard our ship. Describe a typical day at your office in one word “Fluid.” Bryan Keathley, Executive VP Stats Year established: 1996 Location: Arlington Number of employees: 4 Practice areas: Employee Benefits, Personal P&C

The Source - Partner Spotlight

F .O.R.C.E. Family Of Responsible Caring Employees p2 Presbyterian Night Shelter Fort Worth employees donated three large boxes of gently used coats and tennis shoes to the Presbyterian Night Shelter in October to help it prepare for winter weather needs.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Rose Martinez in Portland joined the Radiology Associates “Pink Ladies” team in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Can you guess which is her? Breast Cancer Awareness Month Our Wichita Falls office showed its support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by purchasing pink t-shirts sold by the local fire station. Light the Night Walk Our Houston office had a team of 18 walkers raise $25,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in October.

Tarrant Area Food Bank UnitedHealthcare selected the Tarrant Area Food Bank, a long-time Higginbotham client, to receive a $2,500 donation given annually to a locally operating non-profit organization. Crime Stoppers Cops & Robbers 5K Pursuit A group from our Wichita Falls office walked in the Crime Stoppers 5K in November. They dressed as cops with Luann Yarberry’s son playing a bank robber. Luann took the prize for Best Dressed Cop. Greater Houston Builders Association Our Houston office brought Christmas to a family in need with the GHBA Frank Aranza Adopt-A-Family Project. They bought gifts for Mary Louzi and her five children, who moved from Sudan and were left homeless after Mary’s husband passed away.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth More than 40 children with the Boys & Girls Clubs enjoyed a pizza party and visit with Santa at our Fort Worth office to celebrate Christmas. They received gifts purchased by employees from their individual wish lists. Center for Child Protection Alexis Dowling and Erin Woodard in our Austin office volunteered a combined 10 hours with the local IIA at the Dancing With the Stars benefit for the Center of Child Protection in December.

The Source - Partner Spotlight

Adventures in Missions — $1,000 Christian ministry that sends thousands of people on mission trips every year. Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Houston — $1,000 Legal, education and intervention services to families that are victimized by violence. Cancer Care Services — $500 Help and hope to cancer patients and survivors and their families and caregivers. Camp Fire — $500 Programs helping youth explore their interests, find their strengths and fulfill their potential. Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend — $2,500 Drop-out prevention agency that empowers youth to excel in school and life.

Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center — $1,000 Outreach programs for abused families and individuals in crisis. Fort Bend County Women’s Center — $1,000 Assistance to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. Genesis Women’s Shelter — $1,000 Shelter, safety counseling and expert services to battered women and their children. Guide Dogs of Texas — $250 Training school providing guide dogs to visually impaired Texans. Junior Achievement of The Chisholm Trail — $500 Volunteers paired with teachers in grades K-12 to implement entrepreneurship curriculum. Kids Across America — $2,500 Christian-based camping and education for urban youth.

Manor Independent School District, For the Children — $1,000 ISD serving the Austin-area with numerous child development, community education and school supply programs. Moonlight Cats of Austin — $250 Cat shelter that provides protection, welfare and adoption services. The Samaritan Inn — $556 Programs that help homeless individuals and families gain dignity and independence. The Tara Sawyer Foundation — $1,000 Funding for young athletes and their families in need through scholarships, ministry, education and enrichment programs. Tarrant Area Food Bank — $3,167 Distribution hub for a 13-county network of hunger-relief programs.

p3 Higginbotham Community Fund Grants to Texas Non-Profits Total Contributions & Pledges as of 01/31/2014: $400,183.27 Check the intranet for the latest activity each quarter p3

The Source - Partner Spotlight

New Faces Welcome to the Best in Texas Team p4 Shea Diaz Comm. CSR Waco 10/07/13 Jacque Morse Benefits Exec. Assistant Fort Worth 10/07/13 Kia Lewis Comm. CSR Friendswood 10/10/13 Crisanna Lin Benefits Technology Fort Worth 10/23/13 Liz Kiertscher Health Risk Mgmt. Dallas 10/21/13 Jenny Buttelmann Benefits Acct. Mgr. Arlington 11/01/13 Julissa Chubbs Benefits Acct. Mgr. Arlington 11/01/13 Beverly McCann Pers. CSR Arlington 11/01/13 Melissa Knotts Comm. CSR Fort Worth 11/01/13 Tracie Neuls Benefits Acct. Mgr. Houston 11/11/13 Cindy Bison CSR Port Arthur 12/01/13 Bryan Keathley Benefits Producer Arlington 11/01/13 Aryanne Reusch Claims Fort Worth 11/19/13 Rebecca Crick Benefits Acct.

Mgr. Fort Worth 11/04/13 Rayette Corley CSR Port Arthur 12/01/13 Stacy Blackman CSR Port Arthur 12/01/13 Rebecca Cross Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13 David Fishel Producer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Lori Duvall CSR Port Arthur 12/01/13 Kim Crawford Marketer Tyler 12/01/13 Leonard Forey Managing Dir. Port Arthur 12/01/13 Trina Montesdeoca Benefits Acct. Mgr. Fort Worth 10/24/13 Jackie Francis- Breaux CSR, Port Arthur 12/01/13 Jill Forsythe Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Patty Gilliam CFO Hillsboro 12/01/13 Jimmy Harrison Producer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Joe Bass Producer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Shelley Booker Policy Processor Tyler 12/01/13

The Source - Partner Spotlight

p5 Leslie Harrison Producer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Brent Hill Producer Tyler 12/01/13 Paige Holst Admin. Assistant Port Arthur 12/01/13 Jacob Kirkpatrick Producer Fort Worth 12/01/13 Nina Howard Claims Rep. Port Arthur 12/01/13 Scott Kirkpatrick Managing Dir. Tyler 12/01/13 April Lewis Policy Processor Port Arthur 12/01/13 Mary Nelson-Hardy Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Ted Moor III Managing Dir. Port Arthur 12/01/13 Danette Prince CSR Montgomery 12/01/13 Sheila Sanders- Gillespie Supervisor, Port Arthur 12/01/13 Kathy McElroy Claims Mgr. Carrollton 12/01/13 Leslie Prince Policy Processor Colorado 12/01/13 Alan Ponder Loss Control Houston 12/01/13 Kay Spector Marketing Mgr.

Port Arthur 12/01/13 Sherry Sharp CSR Port Arthur 12/01/13 B.J.Terry Accounting Fort Worth 12/01/13 Heidi Ward Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Linda Trevino COO Port Arthur 12/01/13 Tina Stallings Marketer Tyler 12/01/13 Lisa Yarborough Accounting Fort Worth 12/01/13 Matt Kirkpatrick Producer Tyler 12/01/13 Cathy Caero Sect. 125 Coordinator Fort Worth 12/16/13 Carole Reeves Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13 Ricki Slone Marketer Port Arthur 12/01/13

The Source - Partner Spotlight

Work Hard, Play Hard Higginbotham Events Halloween Halloween p6 UT vs. OU Holiday Party Halloween Halloween Holiday Party Higg-mas Halloween Higg-mas Halloween Halloween Higg-mas TCU Head Football Coach Gary Patterson

The Source - Partner Spotlight

p7 Holiday Fashion Halloween Halloween Higg-mas Thanksgiving Holiday Party Holiday Party Halloween Halloween Holiday Party Higg-mas Halloween

The Source - Partner Spotlight

Employee Spotlight Who: Ross Carmichael Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Ross was one of roughly a dozen insurance agency representatives to participate in the National Association of Health Underwriters annual Principal’s Council in Washington, DC.

They discussed legislation and met with key policymakers at the summit. Who: Binni Carter Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Christy Eardley, executive assistant to David Hansen with Virtuoso, was tasked with submitting his family’s 2013 Explanation of Benefits for reimbursement. She thanked Binni for simplifying the process, “Thank you isn’t enough, but THANK YOU.” She paid her “a virtual pat-on-the-back.” Who: Maggie Hadden Office: Dallas Best in Texas Performance: Maria Perez with NuTone Solutions credited Maggie for a painless online enrollment launch. Despite last-minute requests, Maggie managed to have BenefitsInHand up and running by deadline.

Who: Donna Karpenko Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Ryan Casey with the Federation of State Medical Boards worked with Donna after he missed the deadline to apply for his employee benefits. “Not only did she call us out of normal business hours, she had excellent customer service! She answered all of our questions and walked us through the whole process. Not to mention how patient she was with us. In my opinion, consumers rarely experience quality, noteworthy customer service...Donna restored my faith in quality customer service!” Who: Mary Russell Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Mary was elected to the Safeco Insurance Central Region Agent Advisory Council.

She will serve a three-year term helping improve the customer experience by providing a voice for agents. Who: James Reed and Kevin Springer Office: Dallas/Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Carl Beck with Beck and Company Real Estate Services expressed his appreciation for the work that our claims team has done to resolve his loss issues. Curtis Page, the producer on the account, agrees by saying “The bottom line is that you and your team have established a long term relationship with Beck that will ensure we continue as their broker for many years to come.” Who: Theresa Stroud Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Dalynn Cross, a Flex Plan participant, gave Theresa high compliments, writing “I am so grateful for Theresa Stroud! She has helped me over the past two years keep out of trouble with my FSA and has patiently walked me through my errors.

I can’t tell you how much that means – please know that I can not adequately express my gratitude for all she does.” Who: Mistie Van Houten Office: Fort Worth Best in Texas Performance: Bruce Frankel with the Day Resource Center for the Homeless explained, “we found ourselves in the position of having to quickly change insurance carriers, and Mistie came through for us with flying colors – she literally saved the day, ensuring uninterrupted coverage for our agency...Mistie’s deft work on our behalf has been just another example of the great people at Higginbotham.” Who: Janice Winetroub Office: Austin Best in Texas Performance: After discovering rodent damage in his car, John Joseph with Coats Rose called Janice to file a claim.

He says that his experience with her is the reason he doesn’t buy insurance online. “It is so comforting to know that there are folks like Janice to intercede in our behalf in matters such as these. Janice is an angel and a professional. She is the best and I want you to know how much we appreciate the great service we get.” Who: Higginbotham Office: All Best in Texas Performance: Higginbotham received two awards for employment practices in October: a Hire Power Award from Inc. magazine recognizing private companies that lead the way in creating American jobs, and Best Places to Work in Insurance from Business Insurance.


The Source - Partner Spotlight

Our BEST IN TEXAS journey started in 2007 when we began seeking partners to carry our Single Source strategy across the state. And, the year 2013 saw us surpass many milestones. The numbers speak for themselves. Then… Now… $37.4 million rev. $110.0 million rev. 6 offices 22 offices 206 employees 609 employees Launch new partner strategy 15 partner firms Another initiative that gained traction in 2013 was the Higginbotham Community Fund. It was established in 2011 with $50,000. At the close of 2013, it has amassed more than $400,000 with your pledges and donations and aided 175 nonprofit organizations in Texas that you’ve advocated.

$1 million, here we come.

The success of the fund is due in large part to our expansion—more team members mean more pledges and a bigger impact on our community. Last year Capital Benefits Group in Austin, Safe Harbor Benefits in Arlington and Talon Insurance Agency in Port Arthur, Tyler and Fort Worth joined us on the journey. Already this year, Edgmon Insurance Agency in Odessa has followed suit. These partner firms often say that Higginbotham’s culture is what drew them to our firm. With our giving nature, employee ownership is another key component of our culture. Higginbotham simply couldn’t reach the milestones we’ve enjoyed without your tireless work.

To share in our success above and beyond a paycheck, we grant HIG Units. This plan was monetized in 2012, which resulted in $19.5 million distributed to you. Today, we have almost 450 HIG Unit holders and 200 employees who are also shareholders. In December 2013, shareholders received dividends totaling $46.7 million, and HIG Unit holders will learn what returns they can look forward to at our annual meetings in early May. Your invitation will arrive in your email.

What else can the BEST IN TEXAS expect in 2014? Considering our history of performance, our trusted leadership and your determination, we’re projected to reach between $125 and $126 million in revenue. Through the years, I’ve enjoyed coining an annual revenue goal catchphrase like “$40 premium in $4 revenue in 1994!” Because “We Are Higginbotham” and based on the revenue guidance provided above, please send me an email with what you think our revenue catchphrase should be for 2014. Here’s to you, the BEST IN TEXAS in 2014! Rusty’s Remarks We Are Higginbotham... one word, that means ‘family.’ - Susan Davis, Fort Worth “ ” ...because I know I make a difference.

With all the [health care] changes that occurred the 4th quarter 2013, it was Higginbotham customer service that set us apart from ‘the other guys.’ - Gloria Gil, Corpus Christi “ ” ...because we not only share our knowledge and work ethic, we also share our lives! - Regina Dingmon,Wichita Falls “ ” ...because we are unapologetically committed to doing business with integrity. - David Stewart, Dallas ” Rusty Reid, CIC Chairman/CEO “ p9 How would you finish this sentence? Tell us by emailing

The Source - Partner Spotlight

p10 Like Higginbotham on Facebook Announcements It’s a girl! Angela Gonzalez, Houston Daughter: Ava Joeli Born: October 1, 2013 Stats: 7 lbs., 15 oz. It’s a boy! Brian Schneider, Fort Worth Son: Owen Henry Born: November 7, 2013 Stats: 6 lbs., 11 oz. It’s a girl! Chanda Wiltz, Houston Daughter: Lauren Elize Born: October 15, 2013 Stats: 6 lbs., 15 oz. Events February 21: Biometric Screening, Port Arthur February 27: Producer Meeting and Awards, AT&T Stadium Contact Send story ideas to: It’s a girl! Billy Crocker, Austin Daughter: Joanna Margaret Born: November 30, 2013 Stats: 6 lbs., 14 oz.

It’s a boy! Teresa Ramirez, Austin Son: Cameron Born: December 30, 2013 Stats: 9 lbs.

Higginbotham launched a blog named Straight From The Source in January that is accessible on our website and social media. Straight From The Source will be updated weekly at minimum with information, resources, tips and announcements of interest to our customers at large. Topics will cover commercial lines, personal lines, employee benefits, individual life/health, risk management, health care reform, company updates and more. At the end of every month, the most recent blogs will be compiled into an e-newsletter and emailed to designated clients. You’ll also receive the e-newsletter so you’re prepared should a client contact you with a related question, but you can visit our blog as often as you like to keep current on postings.

Anyone can also sign up for the e-newsletter on our website.

Visit our blog at, and be sure to use the social sharing icons to post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’d like to contribute a written post to the blog or have a topic suggestion, please email Straight From The Source Higginbotham Blog

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