March 10, 2017 – West Bend, WI – West Bend Mutual Insurance Company recently presented the Spirit of the
Silver Lining Award to seven of its agents in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Additionally, West Bend donated $10,000 grants to each of the non-profit organizations the recipients of the Silver Lining Award support.
Byron Kauffman, Risk Manager at Wetzel Insurance Agency, Inc. in Warsaw, Ind. received the Spirit of the Silver
Lining Award for working with Operation FINALLY HOME. Operation FINALLY HOME was established in
2005 and provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to American military veterans and the families of the fallen.
Operation FINALLY HOME partners with corporate sponsors, builder associations, builders, developers,
individual contributors, and volunteers to help America’s military heroes and their family transition to the home
front by addressing one of their most pressing needs: a home to call their own. Around the nation, Operation
FINALLY HOME has built – or is in the process of building – nearly 190 homes in 33 states.
Chris Phillips, Vice President and Insurance Agent at City Securities Insurance in Indianapolis, Ind. was presented
the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for his involvement with Children’s Bureau, Inc. Founded in 1851, Children’s
Bureau, Inc. works on behalf of abused and neglected children and families in Indiana. Through their programs,
Children’s Bureau, Inc. acts as an advocate for all children and families, focusing on those that are at-risk. They
provide a full array of community-based prevention and intervention services and work in partnership with the
Department of Child Services and other community organizations statewide. Currently, Children’s Bureau, Inc.
provides child and family social services in 47 counties in Indiana to more than 43,000 children annually.
Craig Schroeder, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance, Inc. in Coralville,
Iowa was presented the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for creating The Fight With Flash Foundation in honor of
his son, Austin “Flash” Schroeder. Austin was diagnosed with a form of T-cell lymphoma in April 2014 at the age
of 14. Devastatingly, Austin passed away on April 28, 2015 from the highly aggressive cancer at just 15 years old.
Amazingly, Austin’s life-long positive energy, zest for life, and “Win The Day” attitude continued – and even
flourished – during his illness. The Fight With Flash Foundation was subsequently created to serve children,
adolescents, and young adults, as well as their families, when faced with a cancer diagnosis. The foundation also
supports the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program of University of Iowa Health Care.
Matthew J. Clysdale, President of Maguire Agency, Inc. in Roseville, Minn. received the Spirit of the Silver Lining
Award because of his support of Cradle of Hope Adoption Center, Inc. Cradle of Hope encourages life by
providing financial aid to women and babies in crisis, especially those women who might not choose life because of
financial pressures. For a pregnant woman and her baby, obtaining the necessary financial and material assistance
can relieve an abundance of stress during the already difficult time where she is contemplating her future.
Therefore, Cradle of Hope provides the necessary assistance to promote a healthy pregnancy, birth, and a future
filled with hope. To date, Cradle of Hope has allocated over $5 million to 25,000 Minnesota women who faced challenging pregnancies or crises related to the birth of their babies.
Jennifer Kolquist, Account Manager at Cartier Agency, Inc. in Duluth, Minn. and Shawn Sullivan, CEO of the MacKenzie Agency in St. Peter, Minn. were presented the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for their involvement with the Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter of the ALS Association. Established in 1985, the ALS Association is the national non-profit dedicated to fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The mission of the ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy, while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support. The Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter focuses primarily on providing services to assist people with ALS and their families. The National ALS Association focuses primarily on research and advocacy. The Chapter supports the National ALSA office through revenue sharing and research contributions. The National ALSO office supports the Chapter by providing up-to-date information and materials.
D.J. Rodrian, President of Rodrian Insurance, was presented the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for his work with Just One More Ministry, Inc. In the United States, an estimated 40 percent of food goes to waste each year. To combat this waste, Just One More Ministry rescues and repackages prepared food, fresh produce, and bakery items from numerous Milwaukee suppliers and redistributes it to 13 Greater Milwaukee inner city churches supporting pantries and community meal ministry programs. In 2016, Just One More Ministry donated more than 25 tons of rescued foods and provided around 125,000 meals.
“At West Bend, we have a proud tradition of giving back to the communities in which we do business,” said Kevin Steiner, president and CEO of West Bend Mutual Insurance. “The Spirit of the Silver Lining Award is a unique program that allows us to express our gratitude to our agent partners on whom we rely to identify the causes that matter most in our communities.”
Since 2006, West Bend has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants for sustaining support, special projects, or capital projects to nonprofit organizations representing a broad field of interests, including, but not limited to, arts and culture; education; the environment; family, youth, and elderly; health and human services; medical research; and community development. Grants are made to organizations within West Bend’s core geographic operating territory: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota.