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Employee Spotlight: Rachel Waddell

We have amazing employees at California Casualty. The Employee Spotlight is a new series aiming to highlight those talented individuals that make up our successful company culture and community. From human resource recruiters and learning and development trainers to claims adjusters, marketers, customer support specialists, partner relations, sales representatives, and beyond; each week, we’ll highlight a new team member, so you can get to know us better and see how our employees make us who we are as a company. 

This edition of the Employee Spotlight will feature our Learning Instructor, Rachel Waddell.

Rachel has been with us for 8 years now and is based in our Kansas City office.

Let’s get to learn Rachel!

Employee Spotlight

 

Where are you from?

Lane, KS (you’ll definitely have to Google it)

 

What made you want to be a Learning Instructor California Casualty?

After almost 10 years in claims, I had become a go-to person for newer employees. In a field of never-ending “if this, then that” scenarios, claims can be challenging when you’re just starting out. Even the first few years in claims can be a challenge for some. I enjoy helping others gain knowledge to do their jobs properly, so becoming an instructor was just an ideal fit. Now I am able to continue helping others gain the confidence to do their jobs correctly and efficiently inside the classroom and out.

I was also given the opportunity to take on sales training, and I’m excited to use my expertise there as well.

 

What is your favorite part about your job?

Well just to name a few, I have an awesome manager who encourages growth and values continued development. I also work with a wonderful group of individuals who strive for excellence every day.

There is a lot of variety in the job I do.  When I am not training a class I have several other projects that I give my time to. Keeping the learner in mind, we constantly look at ways to improve so we can provide the best learning experience for others.  I also enjoy doing one-on-ones with individuals who might be struggling in some areas. This helps for employee growth which I feel is very important.

 

What are your favorite activities to do outside of the office?

I enjoy spending time with my 7-year-old son, friends, and family. Also, going to family-friendly events and vacationing with some of my favorite people. I enjoy doing small home projects.  Although, that’s usually after DIY YouTube videos have convinced me I can do the work myself.

 

Anything else you would like the audience to know about you?

I love to dance and used to be a member of a semi-pro hip hop dance squad.

I once played in a softball tournament in Holland, representing the USA.

I grew up in a tiny town of 250 and loved it!

 

If you want to learn more about Rachel or are interested in a career at California Casualty, connect with her on LinkedIn! Or visit our careers page at https://www.calcas.com/careers

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Kelly Desousa

We have amazing employees at California Casualty. The Employee Spotlight is a new series aiming to highlight those talented individuals that make up our successful company culture and community. From human resource recruiters and learning and development trainers to claims adjusters, marketers, customer support specialists, partner relations, sales representatives, and beyond; each week, we’ll highlight a new team member, so you can get to know us better and see how our employees make us who we are as a company. 

This edition of the Employee Spotlight will feature our Talent Aquisition Specialist, Kelly DeSousa.

Kelly has been with us for 3 years now and is based in our Colorado Springs office.

Let’s get to learn Kelly!

Kelly DeSousa

 

Where are you from?

Originally Massachusetts, but I’ve been in Colorado for 27 years now and I’m absolutely loving it.

 

What made you want to work in Human Resources at California Casualty?

The people, the company and the groups we serve (police officers, firefighters, teachers, and nurses).  I have a friend who works here and she would talk about how great of a company California Casualty is, and I thought I have to work there, and now here I am!

 

What is your favorite part about your job?

My work family, in the human resources department, is the best! I work with people that I truly care about and I know they care about me. We all work so well together and have since day one. They make work fun.

 

What are your favorite activities to do outside of the office?

Anything with adventure and travel. Hiking, biking, etc.

 

Anything else you would like the audience to know about you?

I have a teacup Chihuahua “Benny” that loves to bike and hike with me.

I went skydiving last year.

A really fun fact about me is I love to travel, so much so that I did a mystery vacation where I had no idea where I was going until I got to the airport and had a blast!

 

If you want to learn more about Kelly or are interested in a career at California Casualty, connect with her on LinkedIn! Or visit our careers page at https://www.calcas.com/careers

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Cal Turner

We have amazing employees at California Casualty. The Employee Spotlight is a new series aiming to highlight those talented individuals that make up our successful company culture and community. From human resource recruiters and learning and development trainers to claims adjusters, marketers, customer support specialists, partner relations, sales representatives, and beyond; each week, we’ll highlight a new team member, so you can get to know us better and see how our employees make us who we are as a company. 

Our very first Employee Spotlight will feature our Talent Aquisition Specialist, Cal Turner.

Cal has been with us for 17 years now and is based in our Colorado Springs office.

Let’s get to learn Cal!

Cal Turner Employee Spotlight no background

What made you want to work in Human Resources at California Casualty?

I wanted to work in this position because it makes such an impact on the company. Finding and selecting the right employees for all of our different positions is very challenging yet very rewarding. When you work hard with a candidate, build relationships, get them engaged in our organization and then watch them grow into their role and become a success, it is very rewarding.

 

What is your favorite part about your job?

I have many favorite things about my company. I am a proud employee- in staffing, you have to be.  A HUGE part of your job is selling the company to candidates who have never had any contact with us what-so-ever, and you have to truly love the organization you represent. Luckily, I work for the BEST business and it is very easy for me to do.

One thing I love about my company is all the different levels of management and how there is no division within the rest of the company. Everyone from the CEO to Executives to Upper Management are all warm and approachable people. We are all on the same playing field and it becomes obvious as we get to know each other. It is great to be in a company where everyone is connected that way.

I love the people I work with. All of them. These are some of the best employees in the business, and I love to see all the positive attitudes and appreciative people that I interact with each and every day.

 

What are your favorite activities to do outside of the office?

I like to run, do yoga, watch movies and cook!

 

Anything else you would like the audience to know about you?

I have two awesome daughters who are also brilliant. One was passionate about becoming a lawyer and has recently passed the bar. She is now a Public Defender for the State of Colorado. She also has a heart to help those less fortunate and this has been her passion for many years.

My oldest daughter is a CPA for a respectable firm in Downtown Denver. She has grown and developed into a senior role and she is beyond successful. I am very proud of both of them. They are the best thing I have ever done in my life.

If you want to learn more about Cal or are interested in a career at California Casualty, connect with him on LinkedIn! Or visit our careers page at https://www.calcas.com/careers

 

 

Celebrating the Great Work You Do

Celebrating the great work that you do and giving to others are important aspects of the California Casualty culture. We believe in giving back through important community impact initiatives and charity that makes a real difference.

2019 work hard play ahrd garage makeover winner

Garage Makeover winner Kyle A.

We’ve been thanking first responders over the years for the hard work they do protecting our communities, with the Work Hard/Play Hard Sweepstakes.

In December, Pennsylvania firefighter Kyle A. was the recipient of a $7,500 Garage Makeover from California Casualty. Kyle, who is also a full-time 911 dispatcher, was thrilled. “My wife and I bought our forever home last year and we just purchased a storage shed so that we could clean out the garage to make it more useful,” he said.

He added that while he doesn’t seek recognition for what he does, he is grateful that California Casualty recognizes the hard work done by first responders.

While we are talking about firefighters, California Casualty wants to congratulate San Bernardino County, California, Fire EMT Kyle A. (a different K.A.). He is the grand prize winner of the California State Firefighters’ Association’s photo contest, sponsored by California Casualty.

The California Fire Service magazine. Quarterly winner

Kyle receiving his award from Field Marketing Manager, Charlene Rowens

The contest invited first responders to submit images highlighting the bravery and camaraderie of the men and women in the fire service and the explosive situations they encounter in their daily shifts. Kyle’s photo of Los Angeles firefighters battling a commercial auto parts blaze was a quarterly winner in the contest and will be featured on an upcoming cover of The California Fire Service magazine. Quarterly winners received cash prizes from California Casualty for their efforts.

You can see some of the amazing and outstanding pictures submitted to the CSFA/California Casualty photo contest here.

Knowing the challenges and expenses new teachers face when setting up their classrooms as full-time educators, California Casualty introduced a $500 New Teacher Shopping Spree for student members of the NEA.

Katherine Kirchhoff

Shopping Spree Winner Katherine (center) with California Casualty’s Gabby Sole (left) and KNEA representatives.

Ms. Kirchhoff, a KNEA member, applied for the award while she was a student teacher in Olathe. She was hired this year to teach 4th grade at Piper East Elementary School in Kansas City.

“I am so thankful for this giveaway from California Casualty,” she said. “Being a first-year teacher, I didn’t realize all of the things I would need, and this money is going to help me get supplies that I planned to purchase for my classroom and students.”

Ms. Kirchhoff will use the funds for essentials, such as Expo markers, pens, paper, and other materials that will benefit her students.

salvation army donations

Kansas Service Center’s Salvation Army Family Donations

To brighten the holidays for others, employees at our Kansas and Colorado Springs service centers chose to make a difference for families in need.

The Kansas Service Center Employee Activities Committee (EAC) adopted a family of four through the local Salvation Army. They bought dozens of toys, piles of clothing and hundreds of dollars in grocery gift cards to provide a joyous holiday for the three children and one adult.

donations

Colorado Service Center’s Silver Key Donations filling the bed of a truck.

The EAC in Colorado Springs asked employees to purchase high-protein, nonperishable foods and personal care items for Silver Key Senior Services, which gives assistance to the elderly, many of whom are shut-ins or have very little family support.

The donations helped stock the emergency food pantry, which gets depleted during the holidays. Our employees brought in enough food and care items to fill the bed and cab of an EAC member’s pickup truck.

 

TAKEAWAY: See the many ways that we say thanks to the men and women who make our communities better, by visiting the Community Impact page of our blog, https://mycalcas.com/community.

 

Car Safety Tips to Follow This Winter

Car Safety Tips to Follow This Winter

While winter weather has been lingering for a couple of months, there’s still more to come. Did you know that heavy rains, blizzards, and ice storms often arrive in February and March across many parts of the country?

Here are a few life-saving tips to remember as you get on the road this season.

  • Remove bulky coats/jackets when buckling children into car safety seats.

In an accident, the material will squish down and the harnessing system will be too loose to be effective. Layer blankets on your child’s lap after buckling them in.

A list of recommended warm clothing that won’t interfere with car seat safety can be found here.

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.

This prevents water condensation from getting into and freezing up fuel lines. A frozen fuel line means limited gas supply to the engine, stopping you in your tracks.

  • Use wiper fluid that is formulated to NOT freeze.

Windshields coated with ice or splashback from roads create dangerous visibility. You will need to clean your windshield while driving, and only fluid that stays liquid will do the job.

Experts recommend carrying tire chains, jumper cables, a shovel, ice scraper, and even spare wiper blades. Other life-saving items include bottles of water, high-calorie foods and snacks, blankets or sleeping bags, a spare pair of boots, flashlights, gloves, solar cell phone chargers, and a first aid kit. Kitty litter for traction is also a good idea.

  • Be aware of deadly carbon monoxide in your vehicle(s).

If you can smell exhaust in your vehicle’s cabin, you should have your systems checked. Leaks in exhaust systems, defective ventilation systems, and even an unsecured back hatch or partially open trunk can allow carbon monoxide gas into your vehicle. Tailpipes blocked with snow or ice can send carbon monoxide into the vehicle too.

Also, warming a car in a garage, even with the door open, allows dangerous concentrations of the gas into the vehicle and even into your home.

It’s important that everyone knows the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Bring essential medications in case you get stranded.
  • Don’t venture out in extreme conditions unless it’s an emergency.

You are not only putting your life in danger, but also the lives of first responders who will have to venture out to search for you if you get lost or stranded.

 

TAKEAWAY: Find more winter driving tips and preparation at the California Casualty blog.

 

How to Protect the Things You Cherish

protecting valuable posessionsDo you know the most popular time to receive jewelry? You guessed it – February.  Now, do you know if your homeowner’s or renters’ insurance policy protects your jewelry? Whether you said “yes” or “no,” you are correct.

Here’s why: Your homeowner’s policy only provides limited coverage on certain high-value items. You may not receive the full value if a loss occurs. Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) insurance, sometimes called a floater, provides additional coverage of valuables – above and beyond what your home insurance provides.

Here are some very important advantages with Scheduled Personal Property plans:

    • Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) offers much broader coverage for your precious items – if you misplace a set of earrings, they are covered; if a diamond falls out of a ring, or a guitar neck breaks, they’re covered.
    • There is no deductible if the covered items are stolen, lost, or damaged.
    • SPP provides a replacement for the actual appraised value of the item.
    • SPP usually costs about one to two percent of the item’s value.

And, Scheduled Personal Property insurance isn’t just for jewelry; you might need the endorsement if you have:

    • Fine art
    • Furs
    • Coin or stamp collections
    • Expensive cameras
    • Firearms
    • Fine silverware
    • Sporting equipment
    • Antiques

And even if you already have gold and jewelry or a rare watch covered with Scheduled Personal Property coverage, you may need a review. Gold and diamond prices have climbed the past few years and you may not have enough protection for their new value.

By nature, many of us are collectors of stuff, and much of that stuff is valuable. Whether you have purchased your priceless items from exotic locations around the globe, inherited them or painstakingly monitored eBay to find them, you no doubt want to protect them.

 

TAKEAWAY: Don’t wait until your precious items are lost, stolen or damaged to find out if you have enough coverage to replace them. Contact CalCas Customer Service today, at 1.800.800.9410 option 3, or www.calcas.com/customer-service.

 

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