The Rough Notes Company Community Service Award for independent agents
Recognizing an independent agent for extraordinary philanthropic service
By Robert N. Kretzmer, CIC
Most people who give of themselves on behalf of others are much too humble to
want any public recognition. They perform acts of service from their hearts in
hopes that their contributions will positively affect others’ lives, as well as to fulfill their own need to give back to the communities
that have enabled them to become successful.
Independent insurance agents have a proud tradition of volunteering their time,
efforts and financial resources on behalf of others. It is this type of
philanthropic independent agent or agency that The Rough Notes Company desires
to identify, recognize and honor through its annual Community Service Award.
The Rough Notes Company invites its readership to help honor this spirit of
giving by nominating an independent agent or agency for the 12th Annual
Community Service Award for Independent Agents. The nomination process is quite
easy. Simply complete the Nomination Form that accompanies this article and
include all supporting documentation. Send the completed Nomination Form to The
Rough Notes Company on or before December 31, 2010.
The Rough Notes Company has been an integral part of the independent agency
system since its beginning in 1878 as a weekly publication for agents. Walter
Gdowski, president and CEO of Rough Notes, says: “Annually we honor an independent agent—or agency—for his or her special community service project and provide funds for the agent’s special project. And, we sincerely hope that this award recognition will
encourage other agents to begin or continue their service to others. I
encourage insurance agents, brokers, insurance company representatives and
others to nominate a deserving agent or agency for his or her service to
What are some of the qualities that all of our previous winners have had in
common? First, and perhaps foremost, they are humble, seeking no public
recognition for their philanthropic deeds. They also have shown themselves to
be sensitive, caring, kind and concerned. All, in their own way, have made a
significant difference in their community—from feeding starving children, to providing suitable housing, to raising
much-needed funds for charities.
Here is a listing of the previous award winners and their special community
• 2010 - Craig T. Moon of Middletown, Ohio. Instrumental in the planning, development, fundraising and operation of a new
farm for adults with autism.
• 2009 - Barbara Galgiani of Modesto, California. Raised significant funds for the nonprofit Hospice of San Joaquin and started
its fundraising auxiliary.
• 2008 - D. Gaines Lanier of West Point, Georgia. Financially supports poverty housing reconstruction projects in Georgia and
Alabama, helping the less fortunate afford new housing.
• 2007 - (Co-winner) Markham Rollins of Rye Brook, New York. Builds homes in poverty-stricken Central America by raising funds and gathering
people to construct the housing.
• 2007 - (Co-winner) Mark Williamson of Little Rock, Arkansas. Raised significant funds to support a radiation therapy institute and started a
special group to help support the ill.
• 2006 - J. Douglas Reichart of West Des Moines, Iowa. Chaired and directed a major funding campaign for United Way in his local
• 2005 - Jim McGovern of Belmont, California. Organized a special fundraising walk to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation.
• 2004 - Harry Swimmer of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded and operates a therapeutic horseback riding clinic for autistic and
other ill adults and children.
• 2003 - Jack and Jason Rua of Fall River, Massachusetts. Chaired and directed one of the most successful fundraising campaigns for the
• 2002 - Kenneth Felton of Vero Beach, Florida. Researched, developed and opened the first Boys & Girls Club in Indian River, Florida.
• 2001 - Dick Lees of Pana, Illinois. Chaired, promoted and directed a funding campaign to build a new emergency
department at a local hospital.
• 2000 - Al Singer of Teaneck, New Jersey . Founded and operates People Against Starving Children, which provides food to
These winners of The Rough Notes Company Community Service Award personify the
idea of the “silent” heroes within our industry. They all have given of themselves to ensure that
the underprivileged and infirm are not forgotten or left behind by their local
communities. This is what builds strong communities.
In early 2011, the winner will be honored in a special ceremony in Indianapolis,
Indiana, in conjunction with the 22nd annual Rough Notes magazine Marking Agency of the Year celebration. The agent’s winning project will receive a check in the amount of $5,000 in the name of
the winning agent or agency, and the winner will receive an engraved sculptured
eagle as a memento of his or her outstanding community service project.
To nominate an agent, broker or agency for the 12th annual Community Service
Award, please read the Nomination Form, conditions and prerequisites. Remember,
nominations must be received at the offices of The Rough Notes Company by
December 31, 2010.
Robert N. Kretzmer is with V. W. Brown Insurance Service, LLC, of Bethesda,
Maryland, and serves as the executive director of 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/its
local, regional or national community. And, to present the winning community
service project with a check in the amount of $5,000 to help further its
Criteria: Nominees will be judged on their overall contribution (funds raised, people
helped, volunteerism, etc.) to their community service project and/or
initiative, and the positive impact (both short-term and long-term) that their
efforts have made toward their community service project.
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, 2010. No nomination forms will be accepted after December 31,
2010. Please note that no facsimiles or e-mails will be accepted.
1. Nominators must complete the nomination form in its entirety and provide all
2. All nomination forms and supporting documentation must be received at the
offices of Rough Notes magazine no later than December 31, 2010;
3. No facsimiles or e-mails will be accepted;
4. 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;
5. A letter from the community service project verifying and describing the
project must accompany the nomination form;
6. Incomplete nomination forms or nomination forms without supporting documents will not be considered;
7. Nominators may nominate themselves or their agency.
Note: Please detail only one service project per nominee.
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 Marketing Agency of the Year awards dinner in Indianapolis. A representative
of the winning community service project will also be invited to attend this
function to be honored and presented with a check.
1. The winning community service project will be presented with a check in the
amount of $5,000 in the name of the award recipient.
2. The winning broker, agent or agency and honorable mention recipients will be
presented with a sculptured engraved eagle.
3. Honorable mention projects will receive a check for $1,500 in the name of the
4. Rough Notes magazine will publish an article to publicize the community service project, the
award winner and the honorable mention recipients.
5. The awards dinner will be held in Indianapolis in early 2011.
Mailing: All nomination forms and supporting documents are to be sent to:
Attn: Community Service Award
Carmel, Indiana 46032-5600