CG360

CG360 is the embodiment of our four C's. Not only are we here to support each other in our careers , but also as members of our community.

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St Cloud-Place of Hope Charitable Contribution

On behalf of Stearns County Community Corrections, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the charitable contribution from Christensen Group Insurance towards the evening meals served on Monday, January 30, 2023.

With personal funding provided by the employees of our agency, corporate contributions by Costco, Christensen Group Insurance, and Sysco, we were able to purchase, prepare and serve a warm meal to homeless/transient individuals and families at three different locations in the St. Cloud area.

**Place of Hope-Westside: **Meal consisted of Pizza, bottled water, homemade desserts for individuals/families residing in temporary housing. Served approximately 120.

Lincoln Center Shelter-Eastside: 25 takeout meals were prepared and delivered consisting of long spaghetti, meat sauce, breadsticks, homemade desserts, bottled water for transient individuals spending the night.

Place of Hope-Downtown: Cafeteria style meal served of long spaghetti, meat sauce, mac/cheese, lettuce salad, breadsticks, assortment of desserts, milk, lemonade, and water for individuals/families residing at the housing facility and walk-in people. Served approximately 125.

Thank you for your partnership in reaching out to those in need within the St. Cloud area.

Best Regards,

Becky Bales Cramlet-Director
Greg Boelter-Supervisor
Brian Christian-Supervisor
Scott Ergen-Supervisor
Jenn Luberts-Supervisor
Enoch Owens-Supervisor
Joy Silbernick-Supervisor 

Nathan Bemboom- Agency staff coordinator for the meal.

Greg Boelter-Supervisor
Community Corrections-Juvenile and Adult Services Unit

Mission: Provide exceptional services to assure a safe, healthy, vibrant county for all
Values: Professional, Approachable, Responsive, Collaborative, Fair & Equitable

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MLK Jr Day of Service Highlights

January 26, 2024

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the 3rd annual MLK Jr. Day of Service. On that day, 118 individuals dedicated their time to serving, and we are grateful for the 74 participants who took the time to complete the post-event survey. The feedback received indicates that we indeed made a positive impact on our community. Today, we will release a video and social media post summarizing our community contributions.

Additionally, we're excited to announce the winners of our CG Connect photo sharing contest. Congratulations to Heather Joerg, Jenn Wendorff, Christine Andrews, Kelli Kaup, and Molly Bell. Each of you will be rewarded with a $20 CG Store credit.

Your valuable feedback from the post-event survey has provided insights into the charities you support and the ways you prefer to give back. We are inspired by your responses and will incorporate your ideas and suggestions into our future plans for MLK Jr Day and other charitable endeavors. We are sharing the survey results on "What impact did you make on the community today?" below because the outcomes are too significant not to be shared.

What impact did you make on the community today?

  • Packed 80 snack bags for The Open-Door Pantry in Eagan.
  • My 5-year-old daughter and I made 10 greeting cards for recipients of Meals on Wheels via the Greater Twin Cities United Way.
  • My friend and I brought old towels, blankets, dog, and cat food to the local SPCA / Humane society. In addition, last week I donated scarves that I knitted to Street Warriors, a group that provides clothes, food, and assistance to the homeless.
  • 33,000 meals packed - feeds 90 children for a year.
  • A group of us were able to make ~4-6 blankets for those in the community to stay warm in the winter months.
  • We packed 153 Boxes of food which is 33,048 meals.
  • Helped pack 153 boxes which feeds 90 kids for a year!
  • Put together 80 snack packs for school kids for The Open Door (Eagan, MN).
  • The bags packed for the INDY foundation will hopefully give a little light during a difficult time.
  • Made blankets to donate to the Monticello Cancer Center.
  • Our family packed boxes of food for families. We spent time at the Monticello Help Center for two hours, with the Craigs, and packed many boxes for our local community.
  • Our family purchased and packed 80 lunch packs for kids in need in our local community.
  • My wife and I also made 2 tie blankets to be donated.
  • We donated tie blankets to Ivy House in New Ulm. Ivy House is a 24/7 crisis nursery that provides care to children whose families are in crisis or stressful situations. Kids will be able to use the blankets during their stay or bring them home once they leave. We were able to tour of the home and learn more about the program. They shared some great information and amazing stories. We felt very fortunate to be able to help such an impactful organization.
  • Made two tie blankets.
  • We packed over 100 boxes of food for local families at the Monticello Help Center
  • The entire shift produced 153 boxes of meals. I believe it was enough for 90 children for the year.
  • Not our local community, but at the Coon Rapids FMSC location meals packed will feed 90 children one meal a day for one year.
  • I provided 3 warm blankets to those in need.
  • Packing bags for children battling cancer really got me today. Packing these bags is the least I can do to help a young child get through the worst days.
  • Packed 1000 Cancer Warrior bags to help children as they go thru their cancer battle.
  • We participated in 3 projects. 1) Made over 50 meals for homeless youth through TheLink MN. 2) Created 30 hygiene kits to be donated to the homeless and mobility unit of Minneapolis Schools and 3) tie blanket for CG
  • We made Valentine cards with candy gift bags for 20 isolated seniors in the community. These will be delivered to ACCAP (Anoka County Community Action Program) to handout to the isolated seniors enrolled in their kinship program.
  • I feel like my personal impact was minimal, and I wish that I could have done more! With this being my first year for the day of service, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
  • Worked on projects for our school.
  • It felt good to know we helped starving children. They show videos of our impact and tell you which country you are helping that day. It is a very good feeling!
  • We fed 90 Kids for a year!
  • I'm hopeful that our blankets provide comfort either to a child in need or an adult that is going through a tough time (such as a tough medical diagnosis) or needing to find source of warmth.
  • Worked with an Assistance Dog in-training. Someone will be able to be helped in the future by the work of Can-Do Canines and their volunteers.
  • Anything that is volunteered is making someone's heart smile.
  • I made 1 Tie Blanket
  • I donated handmade fleece blankets, food, and supplies to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
  • Our table packed 24 boxes and the entire facility packed 156 boxes.
  • I would like to think that making laundry pod bags and shopping for needed items at the food shelf will help people in need. We also gathered several bags of dog and cat food to donate to the pet food shelf.
  • We packed 33,048 meals in our short time at FMSC!! This will feed 90 children for a year! It's a HUGE impact on a lot of lives. It is an incredible feeling to know that we are helping so many starving people around the world. The crazy part is.... we only gave up about 2 hours of our own time to make such a meaningful impact.
  • Made greeting cards for hospitalized children.
  • We made meals for Haiti at FMSC.
  • We, along with the other volunteers, made enough meals to feed 90 children (I believe was the number).  Although this does not feed our local population, the positive impact is the local community coming together by sharing their time/resources to do good works and lifting fellow humans across the world.
  • I am proud to support the important work Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery provides to our community.  By serving as a trusted resource for families in crisis, in addition to other services, they provide care for children for up to three nights, to allow families time to address their crisis. Crisis Nursery has a "wish list" of items needed so that while children are in their care, all the "essentials" needed are provided for children/families free of charge.  I helped to support the organization by purchasing some of those "wish list" essential items and delivered to their center.
  • We packed over 20 snack bags for United Way/Chicago
  • Donated dog, puppy and cat food to our local animal shelter and spent time with the animals.
  • I volunteered with Community Table. They provide free meals to members of the community 4 nights a week. I helped to serve and clean up. I met a couple that has been married over 44 years and they have been running the meals at Mt. Zion Church since the 90's. Their commitment to the program is inspirational.
  • I feel the kids know each year this is kind of do on MLK day. Maybe next time I will do something different, but this became sort of a tradition. They always ask are we making tie blankets?
  • The New Ulm Office made tie blankets for The Ivy House, which is a crisis nursery located in New Ulm. When we delivered them, they gave us a tour and told us what they do, and it was so amazing! The Ivy House in New Ulm does so much for the kids/families in our community and local areas. They are incredible and we were so excited to donate the tie blankets to them!
  • I look forward to the impact the cozy blankets will have on members of our community! They will feel wrapped in love!
  • Helped make blankets for community members.
  • By making a tie blanket we will bring warmth to someone in need. My children and I made it together and read about the story of MLK. It was a day of learning and service.
  • I donated blood and then went to pack food. We packed 136 boxes which turns into 29,376 meals and will feed 80 kids for a year in Haiti.
  • We packed 136 boxes/29,376 meals/fed 80 kids a daily meal for a year.
  • We packed over 33,000 meals during our session at FMSC.
  • We helped pack 136 boxes, feeding 80 kids a daily meal for a year.
  • You could just go buy blankets and donate them, but I think taking time to make tie blankets feels more meaningful, and hopefully the people that receive them will special that people took time to make them something, rather than just buying it.
  • 80 kids fed for 1 year in Haiti.
  • We made 6 blankets with 4 more on the way (the shipping was delayed due to weather) - We are planning on donating these to Drumm Farms once we have them all completed.
  • Packing warrior bags for the Indy Foundation
  • Made tie blankets and donated towels to the humane society.
  • The Warrior Bags were not only an awesome way to give back to the community, but a great team building activity. We don't do many outsides of work activities that allow time to converse outside of work. This allowed everyone to bring their kids to help and enjoy each other’s time outside of work doing something for the community.
  • We made 5 tie blankets and donated them to the Ivy House which is a crisis "nursey" in New Ulm. Upon dropping them off, we were able to meet some of the staff who took us on a tour of the home. During the tour we learned about the many services and support they offer not only in New Ulm but in many surrounding communities (even the Twin Cities!) When kids come to Ivy House, they are provided with their own clothing, shoes, toiletries, and blankets, all of which they are allowed to take home. The staff explained that something as simple as a brand-new blanket means the world to these kids. Some of them have never had anything new of their own. Knowing that what we made will provide a child with something this special is a feeling I will cherish forever. The connection we made with Ivy House through this donation was incredible. We plan to make a point to find ways to support them in the future.
  • Our group packed 156 boxes at FMSC - our table alone packed 24 boxes! It was a great experience and I'm so happy we were able to pause from work for a day to give back in the community.
  • So far, $250 raised for Second Harvest - local food shelf = 2,500 meals (with approved CG match, 5,000 meals)
  • It so sad to see the Homeless Encampments around the Cities. I hope these blankets bring some comfort to those who will receive them.
  • Helped with tie blankets.
  • As a team, we made a variety of tie blankets that are going to be donated to those who will benefit from them most. Whether they go to hospitals, homeless shelters, animal shelters or anywhere in between, our tie blankets will help bring warmth to recipients near and far.
  • Made tie blankets for children and sending those blankets to local charities.
  • Helped to provide a small amount of entertainment to kids and families that are dealing with cancer in their family.
  • Glad we were able to participate in some positive way in our community.
  • I have heard food shelters are needing donations and food; it felt good to visit with the volunteers and I have planned to help in the future.
  • Donating gifts to the Monticello Giving Tree and reading the heartwarming responses from the students’ lives that were touched.
  • I feel the tie blankets will keep someone warm when needed.


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Special Olympics Polar Plunge - Sign up now

January 12, 2024

_It’s that time of year again to do something crazy!!!! _ _ _ Looking for all those brave and/or adventurous souls that are looking to plunge for a great cause!!

Who is brave enough to join in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge?

Julie Knack will be plunging again this year and would love to have other brave souls join her. Last year, with the help of Christensen Group employee match, the team of 22 plungers raised over $16,000! Let’s work to exceed that this year!!  Who’s in (literally?!))) Let’s make a big splash again this year!! 😊 _ _ All offices are welcome to join us. If you want to be part of the fun and it more convenient or are more comfortable doing a virtual that is fine as well. Our very own Sarina Khariwala has experience in this or the Minnesota Polar Plunge website has some suggestions but bring out your creative side!!!)

When: March 9,2024 Where: Eden Prairie, MN Time: _Plunging begins at noon- our exact plunge time is not determined until Friday evening before- a group text will be sent to the team members announcing the time as well as an email to the staff if anyone is interested in coming out and cheering us on). _ Team Name: 08.MSS.CG ROSS'S REBELS Ross Abraham is a Special Olympic Athlete and has been a team member for 11 years. He enthusiasm for this event is contagious! 😊 He is in the photo attached.)  (Team theme: TBD- Any suggestions?)   For those who have joined the team in the past, and/or anyone who has expressed interest in either joining the team or donating, now is the opportunity to sign up to join us or to donate to this wonderful cause! (It would be great to have some producers and management team join in on the fun this year!!) **Spouses and family members are also welcome and encouraged! **ALL are welcome.

Last year, with the help of Christensen Group employee match, the team raised over $16,000! Let’s work to exceed that this year!!  Who’s in (literally?!)))   You can sign up to join the team or donate using the link below. We can also use support the day of the plunge at Lake Riley in Eden Prairie as it does take encouragement to make that plunge into those icy waters!!! (NOTE: Each Plunger is required to raise a minimum of $75 to participate, and your participation is one important piece of an inclusive movement that raises millions of dollars every single year for Special Olympics Minnesota! There are other added incentives for different levels of monies raised.) _ _ https://reg.plungemn.org/team/08msscgrosssrebels

AFFINITY PLUS BONUS DONATION for the 1st 2000 Plungers to use the code so act now!:  USE PROMO CODE: AFFINITYPLUS Because of our generous friends at Affinity Plus, when you register for the 2024 Plunge (virtual or in person) and use the promo code AFFINITYPLUS, you’ll receive a $50 donation toward your fundraising efforts! This campaign is limited to the first 2000 Plungers who use the code. Here’s what you need to do to earn an automatic $50 donation: Register for a virtual or in-person Plunge_ and enter the code AFFINITYPLUS in the promo code field during Step 3. Don’t forget to click the APPLY button after entering the code!_ Special Olympics MN makes a positive impact on athletes with intellectual disabilities that will last a lifetime and all funds raised goes towards programming and events for more than 8,000 athletes statewide.   Through sports, SOMN athletes celebrate their abilities, not their disabilities. Their world opens with acceptance and understanding. They become more confident and empowered by their accomplishments. They make new friends, joining the most inclusive community on the planet- a global community that's growing every day.   Our agency currently writes several accounts that specialize in providing care for the developmentally disabled and the compassion that the owners have for the work/service they provide is impressive.   So, while we do not provide the care that they do, we can offer support to empowering these individuals to celebrate who they are by participating in the annual Polar Plunge event and raise funds for a group that also shares that same compassion/enthusiasm for those with disabilities.

It feels good to be able to be part of it.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Julie Knack the details.

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Thank you for participating in the Giving Tree!

January 5, 2024

Thank you for all that participated in making this a very special time for those in need.

Our Waite Park office spread the joy and donated gifts to four families through Bri's Lodge helping to spread holiday cheer to families this holiday season.

The CG Kansas office lit up the holidays for homeless youth. We joined forces with Drumm Farm Center for Children to provide essential services in the Missouri/Kansas Area. The contributions help create a nurturing and healing community.

Eden Prairie employee-owners partnered with Perspectives in the Twin Cities to address pressing societal issues. Together, we're making a difference in equity, diversity, inclusion, homelessness, and more.

The New Ulm team spread warmth and hope with a donation to NUMAS Haus, offering emergency shelter and support to homeless women and children in Brown County, Minnesota.

Monticello Public Schools students benefited from the office's generosity, granting over 30 wishes to kids in need this holiday season.

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Monticello Giving Tree: Thank you from the School

January 5, 2024

The Monticello High School giving tree was another major success! We were able to get almost all the gifts out to students before the break. We got to those who were absent before break yesterday. Thank you so much for your care & support! With your help, we were able to spread cheer to over 50 students in our building this year.   Here are some of the reports from staff:   A girl got a longboard. She said she had dreamt of getting one for several years but said her family would never be able to get her one.  She was so happy!    A boy opening his gifts said he'd never opened such a beautifully wrapped present before. He acted like his gifts inside were made of gold.   "This is so amazing. I've been to 14 schools and none of them did anything like this."   Once the student opened his gifts, he immediately put the sweatshirt on!!! Smiling from ear to ear. I told him... but wait, there is more!! I gave him a grocery sack and asked him to look through the extras table. He was SO HAPPY!!!  As I walked him back to the office so he could store his stuff there until the end of the day... he said... this is the best day ever!!!   A student got a suit & said he's wearing it every week. He was so happy & proud. He wore it the next day & the first day after break.   We had one student cry. He said he didn't think anyone cared & didn't think he deserved it. The teacher assured him he deserved it & they both cried.   All students were so thankful & appreciative. Many wore their new clothes immediately. We saw so many smiling faces! New shoes, winter coats, clothes & lots of fun stuff were opened. We had students who also got much-needed hygiene & personal care products. It was tear-jerking to see how excited some were about those items in particular.   Thank you so much for bringing these students such joy! We appreciate your help & support more than words can ever say.

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Battery and Electronics Recycling

December 15, 2023

Please join the Green Committee in recycling your electronics January16th at the EP office! We’ll be sending an email with more information closer to this date. If you’re at the Eden Prairie office, battery recycling bins can be found in all copy rooms! Just tape the ends of your batteries and drop in to one of the bins pictured below.

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Battery & Electronics Recycling

December 15, 2023

Please join the Green Committee in recycling your electronics January 16th at the EP office! We’ll be sending an email with more information closer to this date.

 

If you’re at the Eden Prairie office, battery recycling bins can be found in all copy rooms! Just tape the ends of your batteries and drop into one of the bins pictured below.

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ESOP Garden

December 15, 2023

This year’s ESOP Garden yielded another successful harvest! With the addition of a second garden bed, we reduced the risk of overcrowding our vegetables, which allowed the plants room to grow and thrive.

 

This year’s crops included:

Tomatoes

Bell Peppers

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Jalapeños

Black Cherry Tomatoes

 

The ESOP Garden is for all to enjoy, so don’t be shy! Take anything you’d like, anytime.

 

Thank you to all who helped us plant the garden this year. And if you haven’t already seen it, check out our new ESOP Garden sign when it’s set up again next year.

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Plastic Recycling

December 15, 2023

As part of the TREX Recycling Challenge, we aim to recycle 1000 lbs of plastic bags every year.

So far in 2023, we have recycled a whopping 652 lbs! Keep bringing your plastic bags to the white bins in the EP copy rooms (pictured below) so we can get a little closer to our goal before the end of the year!

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Charity Bags Tournament Conclusion

December 1, 2023

The Charity Bags Tournament concluded with a victory for two past champions. Zach Freeman and Sam emerged as the winners of the 2023 tournament, triumphing over the team of Tony Larson and Amy Jo Van Culin from the Monticello office, as well as Tyler Gerads and Brittany Ratke, who substituted for Lauren Johnson from the Waite Park office.

The championship took place at the EP racquetball court following the fall business meeting on November 9.

A total of 50 participants signed up for the tournament, and an additional person chose to contribute through donation only, resulting in a total of $510. The CG Charity Committee matched these funds, leading to a substantial donation of $1,020 to an organization of their choice.

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CG Holiday Giving Opportunities

December 1, 2023

CHARITY COMMITTEE: ** If you are looking to give back this Holiday Season, Christensen Group is partnering with a few organizations:   Monticello High School (Monticello) ** Each year the Monticello office gives back to their local High School. Please review the available gifts HERE and sign up if you would like to take part. You may sign up for more than one gift, as we have 31 wishes to grant. The Monticello office will be wrapping these gifts on December 13th in the morning. Contact Amanda Vagle for questions!   Perspectives (Twin Cities Based) Perspectives is a human services program that addresses society’s most pressing issues: equity, diversity, inclusion, homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, food security, and lack of access to life-changing opportunities for disenfranchised women and children. The women and children served at Perspectives have experienced numerous traumas that have left them in despair, with little hope for a new life. Their model is designed to create a path of healing from their trauma so that they can move on to a promising future – free from addiction and mental illness. Perspectives is also insured by Christensen Group.   How can you help? Perspectives is having a Toy Drive! See the attached flyer for more information. Please have any diapers or toys shipped to Eden Prairie to my attention (Alicia Williams) or to Tom Broback’s attention.   Drumm Farm (Missouri/Kansas Based) Help make the holiday season bright for youth experiencing homelessness! This list includes essential basics as well as items personally selected by the young adults. In order to make sure all items are ready for the youth holiday party, please have all gifts to Drumm Farm (3210 S Lee's Summit Road, Unit 1, Independence, MO 64055)** **by Monday, December 11th. For questions regarding Drumm Farm (our insured) or donations, contact Alyssa Blake or Eric Bloss.

**Bri's Lodge (Waite Park) ** Bri’s Lodge in Waite Park has identified several families that would benefit from a little extra Christmas spirit this year. Bri’s Lodge was founded by Randy & Tami Kruzel of Sartell who lost their daughter Brianna unexpectedly to natural causes in 2013. Since then, Randy and Tami have made it their passion to help others navigate the loss and grief of losing a loved one. More information about Bri’s Lodge can be found here. The local families identified have lost immediate family members recently to car accidents, cancer, murder/suicide, and will remain anonymous. These are needs/wants that were noted by Bri’s Lodge when they inquired with these families and certainly not all encompassing so feel free to provide in any capacity.  Please contact Brandon Boetler to find out what needs are still on the list. We have four families we are supporting this season. We need all items collected in office by Friday, December 15th.

**NUMAS Haus (New Ulm) ** The New Ulm office is parenting with a local organization called NUMAS Haus. NUMAS Haus provides emergency shelter and support services to homeless women and their children primarily in the Brown County, Minnesota area. Find our more here. Contact Ashton Sabatino with any questions.   This is certainly not a mandatory event by any means but provides employees an outlet as a collective group to help sponsor local families in our community in need.   Thank you in advance for your support of these opportunities.

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CG Donated on behalf of West Bend to the INDY Foundation

October 13, 2023

CG has chosen the INDY Foundation of Minnesota as the recipient of a $5,000 donation, which West Bend Mutual Insurance sponsored in acknowledgement of our Silver Circle Agency status.

On October 9th, Kayla Keenan, the founder of INDY, along with other members of the INDY organization, visited our Waite Park office to accept the donation. During the visit, Kayla shared insights about the INDY Foundation, its profound impact on the community, and its goals for the future.

INDY is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization committed to helping courageous individuals battling cancer. We are privileged to join hands with this organization, thanks to West Bend's support, in our mission to aid cancer warriors across Minnesota.

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CG Monticello, New Ulm and Waite Park Back-to-School Donations

October 13, 2023

CG Monticello, New Ulm, and Waite Park offices each donated $625 to local organizations with the aim of making a meaningful contribution within their respective communities.

CG’s Monticello office directed their contribution to the Monticello Public School's Magic Closet program. This resource is accessible at all Monticello schools and serves as a lifeline for students facing crises or referred by their counselors. It supplies vital items such as food for families, socks, underwear, and hygiene products that may be lacking in their homes. The Magic Closet relies on continuous donations and extends its support to students from preschool age to high school.

The CG New Ulm team made their donation to the New Ulm Public Schools system, striving to make a positive impact in the region where they live and work. Sean Koster, the New Ulm Superintendent, expressed his gratitude for the donation, which will be utilized to enhance the district's playground equipment.

CG Waite Park continued its partnership with the INDY Foundation and contributed funds to the Warrior Pack Program, which provides bags to warriors battling cancer in hospitals and cancer centers across Minnesota. These bags include a journal, pen, warrior socks, water bottle, chapstick, and a personal note, offering comfort and reminding these brave individuals that they are not alone.

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Charity Bags Tournament - Teams and Info

October 6, 2023

Thanks everyone for participating in the 2023 Charity Bags Tournament! Your $10 entry donations will also be matched by the Charity Committee.

We had 50 people sign-up this year! 30 from Eden Prairie, 12 from Waite Park, and 8 from Monticello.

For Eden Prairie, we grouped everyone and then used random.org/lists to put you together into random teams:

  • Kim Bryan & Tim Munoz
  • Alicia Williams & Spencer Rose
  • Katy Mullin & Tony Reed
  • Carrie Des Marais & Eric Svobodny
  • Barb Michaels & Sean Kurtenbach
  • Becka Hoffman & Bill Kelly
  • Kristina Schmitz & Dan Rockwell
  • Sam Olinger & Matt Warren
  • Emily Cannon & Eric Johnson
  • Amanda Vagle & Brandon Perkins
  • Kyle Simmons & Charlie Anderson
  • Alan Starks & Tayler Amoe
  • Matt Hartlieb & Eric Simmons
  • Luke Olson & Joe Papa
  • Sam Doocy & Zach Freeman


For Waite Park, we grouped everyone and then used random.org/lists to put you together into random teams:

  • Kim Nygaard & Brandon Boelter
  • Kayla Helm & James LaTour
  • Lanette Boelter & Sean Karsch
  • Lauren Johnson & Tyler Gerads
  • Laura Falconer & Pat Waye
  • Ramona Schaefer & Terry Hanson


For Monticello, we grouped everyone and then used random.org/lists to put you together into random teams:

  • Amy Jo Van Culin & Tony Larson
  • Ashley Luoma & David Berning
  • Dustin Craig & Kyle Nybakken
  • Jake Olinger & Colton Oquist


The tournament starts 10/7.

  • You will be responsible for coordinating games with your partner and your current opponents.
  • Matches will be best 2 out of 3.
  • Attached is a copy of the rules that were used for the last tournament.
  • A fillable copy of the EP bracket will be in the event center for reference throughout the tournament.

The goal is to gather together and host the Championships around the fall party, Thursday November 9th. Each participating office will have a winner. And then we will have a double elimination tournament with the 3 winning teams.


Also, please share photos of the tournament on CG Connect!

Any questions?! Ask the Charity Committee.

Thank you and GOOD LUCK!

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Annual Charity Bags Tournament

September 26, 2023

Join us for our Annual Charity Bags Tournament! Last day to sign up is Monday, October 2nd!

We will be stretching out the timeframe of each round so more people will be able to play. The Tournament will run from October 5th through November 8th. 

  The event will be RANDOMIZED TEAMMATES.** If you would like to participate, you will enter as an individual and we will randomly partner you with someone else. This is open to all offices so you will be matched with someone at your office location. **Matches will be best of 3 games, single elimination.

  **The cost is $10/person. Upon entry into the tournament, each participant will submit their entry fee and name a charity that they are playing for. The funds raised by the entry fees will be donated to the winning team’s charity, and CG will match the donation! We will be putting more emphasis on the charity aspect of the tournament this year so please make sure to select a nonprofit organization that matters to you!

  If you would like to play, please sign up here. Tom Broback will be collecting your entry fee and keeping track of the charity you pick. Your team must pay the $20 entry fee prior **to starting your first game. Cash or Venmo is accepted (message Tom Broback for Venmo information). Once we have a head count on teams, we will be sending out a bracket which will be updated by the Charity Committee. We will send out teams and final details once everyone that wants to play is signed up.

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Backpack Stuffing Event in Eden Prairie

September 20, 2023

CG has teamed up with the Kids In Need Foundation to provide students with school supplies for the upcoming academic year. We packed 150 backpacks for the students of Stonebridge World School in Minneapolis.

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The Potato Head Project Recap

August 31, 2023

The results are in for the Potato Head Project Donation Drive:


WP - 10

Monti - 10

EP - 14

Remote - 5 + blankets

We also got a lot of snacks, baby books, tissue, hand sanitizer


If we stick to our original plan of seeing if the other locations could come together to form an Eden Prairie equivalent, then they've achieved it! The combined total is 25 compared to EP's 14. However, what really stood out to us was the impressive donations of our colleagues across the board and the remarkable skills of a few team members who crafted items to donate.  

Kristin Moan, from The Potato Head Project, came to EP to pick up the donations saying "We are SO thankful at the generosity and encouragement from Alicia and the team at Christensen Group Insurance!!! We couldn’t do what we do without such amazing supporters!!" 


A quick reminder, The Potato Head Project is an organization with a mission to provide care packages to families currently in the NICU due to the premature birth of their infants. The goal is to bring a ray of hope during this challenging period.


A big thank you goes out to all who took part!

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CG Women's Network Upcoming Events

August 8, 2023

We want to thank everyone for a great first year of the Christensen Group Women’s Network! This group was kicked off and filled with various gatherings which included many learning and networking opportunities.

**Christensen Group Women's Network **purpose is to foster a community of women who lift each other up, encourage, and motivate one another to thrive in work and life. The network hosts an event each season of the year. All CG employees and carrier partners, including men, who want to be supporters are invited to join.

What’s upcoming? A sneak peek into this fall’s gathering and what’s brewing for 2024! Virtual and in-person opportunities are available!

Fall
O C T O B E R 1 7 T H :
T R I C I A D I R K S
H O W T O O W N Y O U R V O I C E A S A W O M A N I N
L E A D E R S H I P
L E A D E R S H I P I S N O T D E F I N E D B Y R O L E
O R T I T L E - W E A R E A L L L E A D E R S

Winter
E D E N P R A I R I E :
S E L F D E F E N S E C L A S S

M O N T I C E L L O / W A I T E P A R K :
W I N T E R P O R C H P O T S

Spring
COMMUNITY GIVING FOCUS: CRISIS NURSEY VOLUNTEERING

Summer
C G & C A R R I E R S
N E T W O R K I N G E V E N T

Keep an eye out for Outlook invitations to each event which will be forthcoming throughout the year. In addition, all events and announcements can be found on CG Connect at https://connect.christensengroup.com/cg/cg360/womens-network. An easy way to add upcoming events to your calendar!
 
If you would like to receive invitations to our upcoming events & join the Teams group, please follow the link: Distribution list link
 
We look forward to building our Women’s Network with you.

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CG Women's Network June Event

June 15, 2023

Our CG Women’s Network coordinated a wonderful night of networking with our carrier partners. Thank you to all who came to build connections and grow a network of women in insurance.

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Potato Head Project Donation Drive: June 1-June 30

June 2, 2023

Christensen Group’s Charity Committee is partnering with the Potato Head Project again this year!

The Potato Head Project donates care packages to families that are currently in the NICU with prematurely born babies with the intent to spread hope during an unsettling time.

Potato Head Project Impact Story (from their website):

How are we partnering with the Potato Head Project?
We will be setting up donation sites at the front desks of Waite Park, Monticello, and the Eden Prairie Office.
And to make this more exciting… It’s a COMPETITION! All offices vs. Eden Prairie, who can donate the most? We are accepting donations until June 30.

What items are they looking for? (All items must be new and unused)

  • Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head
  • Personal care items (i.e. ChapStick, purse size tissues, unscented personal size lotions, personal size hand sanitizer).
  • Water Bottle packs
  • Snacks for the NICU families
  • IPSY bags
  • Items from their Amazon Wishlist (this will be shipped directly to them)
  • NICU Journal: https://www.mypreemiebabybook.com/order
  • Handwritten notes for families to read
  • Sew, Crotchet, Knitted items, see this page for specifics.

If you are remote, you can still participate by ordering items online and having them sent to an office location.

If you have any specific questions, please reach out to Alicia Williams on the Charity Committee.

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Earth Day Winners!

April 26, 2023

Thank you to everyone who participated in Earth Day Bingo! It was so fun to see you all posting your photos on CG Connect and getting involved in your communities to do something good for our planet.

Here are our randomly drawn winners from the 26 bingos we received:
Gift #1: Ginny Hosley
Gift #2: Dawn Blaisdell
Gift #3: Jenn Wendorff
State Park Pass #1: Amanda Vagle
State Park Pass #2: Betsy Galvan

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DEI Resource - OVERCOME Anxiety, Stress & Negativity with Indigenous Knowledge

April 19, 2023

Tuesday, April 25th at 7pm EST. FREE workshop to help you feel more confident CONNECTING, HEALING, and GROWING with Indigenous culture.

This workshop is a MUST attend if
You often suffer from imposter syndrome with your Indigenous heritage, feeling detached, and misrepresented of who you really are.
You’re an ally of Indigenous peoples, seeking to listen, learn, and build connections in a respectful way that values and honors the all
You want to connect with others who are on the same journey as you to build supportive relationships based on positivity, inclusion, and like-minded values.

Sign up here: https://malloryrose.mykajabi.com/workshop
malloryrose.mykajabi.com

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Join the Green Committee in Earth Day Bingo starting Monday, 4/17!

April 14, 2023

CG Earth Day Bingo!
(Starts, Monday April 17)
The Green Committee encourages you to go out in your community and make eco-friendly changes over the next week and complete a bingo board.

5 in a row – vertically, horizontally, or diagonally – gives you one entry into a drawing for one of five prizes. Feel free to do more; for each bingo, you will get an additional entry.

**If a square has a camera icon, you must submit a photo of the task on CG Connect to receive credit. **https://connect.christensengroup.com/cg/photos

Prizes:
3 Gift Baskets
2 State Park Passes

Bingos can be submitted until the end of day Tuesday, April 25th.
Abbey Johnson will be collecting bingo cards, or you can submit electronically here or by replying to this email with a list of the squares you completed. Bingos submitted electronically will receive an additional entry into the prize drawing.

Please email Abbey to get a copy of the bingo board. AJohnson@christensengroup.com

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Women's Network April Round Table Event

April 12, 2023

CG Women’s Network united to learn and engage in topics focused on time management, building your external network and how to be resilient. Ashely Kellerman, Linda Jackson and Sam Olinger led the round table discussions.

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Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities, Great Futures Fair

April 12, 2023

BGCTC’s Great Futures Fair (GFF) seeks to connect passion with purpose. Teens and young adults from across the Twin Cities will have the opportunity to meet with local corporations, businesses, colleges, tech schools, and trade unions as they begin to plan their post-secondary paths. Attendees, representing the next generation of the workforce, will have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of hands-on, interactive opportunities with top Minnesota employers and education institutions.
 
BGCTC’s Great Futures Fair is part of BGCTC’s Teen Pathways program, an inclusive model designed to prepare ALL youth for success post-graduation. Key components of Teen Pathways include social/emotional learning (SEL) integration, alignment of each participant’s aptitude and interest to a chosen post-secondary option, and a comprehensive multi-year strategy to engage youth in career exploration and teach real-world job skills that are transferable to the current job market. https://boysandgirls.org/get-involved/events/great-futures-fair/
 
Thank you to all the CG employees that participated. Look for this event next April!

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DEI Resources

April 5, 2023

Thank you all who attended the Power of Awareness Based Leadership & Decision Making sessions this week. Ramon Pastrano did a great job facilitating the event.
 
There is still time for anyone to join the April 10th virtual session. Encourage others who are on the fence to join for the last session.
 
I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions for future topics. Please fill out this feedback survey. Your input will help shape future leadership and DEI courses we bring to the team.
 
Unconscious Bias Workshop resources and references:
 
Six Photographers
https://youtu.be/F-TyPfYMDK8
 
Blind Spots
https://youtu.be/BFcjfqmVah8
 
**IAT – Why/how it was created. **
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWa09tUzqf4
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr9xAcWv790
 
**IAT Assessment: **https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
 
Peanut Butter, Jelly & Racism
https://youtu.be/1JVN2qWSJF4
 
Google: Making the Unconscious Conscious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW5s_-Nl3JE
 
**Trusted 10 Exercise: How diverse is your trusted network of people?: **https://tomorrowtodayglobal.com/2019/03/05/whose-in-your-top-ten/

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DEI Progress Update

March 29, 2023

An update on our progress towards the 3 focus areas outlined in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) roadmap. As you may recall, these three focus areas were created through hearing employees’ ideas during Listening Sessions in 2020. The roadmap was developed to guide our efforts towards creating a move diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace.

Over the past few months, our Diversity Task Force has been hard at work defining next steps and implementing initiatives outlined in the roadmap. We have made significant strides in areas such as:

Have a more diverse candidate slate and hire the best, qualified candidates.

  • Designed a program for Women Interested in Sales. Hosted an overview session on International Women’s Day.
  • Created a Job Shadow Policy to host individuals interested in learning about a career in insurance. Why did we decide this was a good next step? You can read more on the DEI Page.
  • Reached out to 7 community colleges and universities career centers for a partnership.
  • Posting entry level jobs at 19 universities and community colleges, increasing our outreach by more than 50%.

Have an inclusive culture.

  • Hosted 5 CG Women’s Network events. Next event, April 5, Roundtable Event.
  • Added a cultural floating holiday to our company holidays.
  • Added pronouns (optional) to our signature templates.
  • Providing (optional) Unconscious Bias training for all employees, April 2023. Event Calendar.

** **
Next, we will focus on defining next steps in our third focus area: **Give back to organizations that support our diverse communities. **We encourage you to share ideas or suggestions directly with the Diversity Task Force or through this feedback channel.

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Job Shadow Experience

March 27, 2023

During a recent Diversity Task Force Meeting, we discussed the hurdles to getting students interested in insurance.

We tried to partner with Career Centers at colleges to present at careers courses or to get in touch with the head of business departments, but quickly realized the career centers mostly limited us to posting our entry-level jobs on Handshake, a job posting site. We expanded where we posted jobs, but we wanted a better connection to students.

We wanted a way to create a more meaningful way to get someone excited about our career opportunities. We thought, a job shadow experience, could be a great way to expose individuals to the vast opportunities in insurance. Whether they pursue a role with us or at a carrier, it would be building the next-generation pipeline of insurance talent.

This is open to high school students, college students or any individual who is deciding to explore insurance roles.

We forged ahead to create a Job Shadow policy/best practice. We also added a simple application/interest form to weed out anyone not truly interested in exploring an insurance job. Such as students only interested in checking a box for a school requirement.

We then went a bit further and added a best practice for our current team to explore job shadows internally. Check that out too! Talk to your manager if you're interested.

So what? If you run into someone interested in a job shadow.
-Read up on the Job Shadow Policy to know what your role is in the progress. -Have them fill out the interest form.
-Get the job shadow experience approved by your manager.
-Don't forget to share names and information with HR if you think this person would be a good hire in the future.

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CG Polar Plunge 2023

March 15, 2023

CG’s Polar Plunge team, Ross’s Rebels, raised over $16,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota on Saturday, March 11, with many employee donations matched by the CG Charity Committee. Julie Kack led the team of 22 with Ross Abraham, a Special Olympic Athlete and team member for 10 years whose enthusiasm for the event is contagious!

Special Olympics Minnesota makes a positive impact on athletes with intellectual disabilities that lasts a lifetime and all funds raised go toward programming and events for more than 8,000 athletes statewide. 
Thank you to all that participated and donated.

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St Cloud-Place of Hope Charitable Contribution

February 20, 2023

On behalf of Stearns County Community Corrections, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the charitable contribution from Christensen Group Insurance towards the evening meals served on Monday, January 30, 2023.

With personal funding provided by the employees of our agency, corporate contributions by Costco, Christensen Group Insurance, and Sysco, we were able to purchase, prepare and serve a warm meal to homeless/transient individuals and families at three different locations in the St. Cloud area.

**Place of Hope-Westside: **Meal consisted of Pizza, bottled water, homemade desserts for individuals/families residing in temporary housing. Served approximately 120.

Lincoln Center Shelter-Eastside: 25 takeout meals were prepared and delivered consisting of long spaghetti, meat sauce, breadsticks, homemade desserts, bottled water for transient individuals spending the night.

Place of Hope-Downtown: Cafeteria style meal served of long spaghetti, meat sauce, mac/cheese, lettuce salad, breadsticks, assortment of desserts, milk, lemonade, and water for individuals/families residing at the housing facility and walk-in people. Served approximately 125.

Thank you for your partnership in reaching out to those in need within the St. Cloud area.

Best Regards,

Becky Bales Cramlet-Director
Greg Boelter-Supervisor
Brian Christian-Supervisor
Scott Ergen-Supervisor
Jenn Luberts-Supervisor
Enoch Owens-Supervisor
Joy Silbernick-Supervisor 

Nathan Bemboom- Agency staff coordinator for the meal.

Greg Boelter-Supervisor
Community Corrections-Juvenile and Adult Services Unit

Mission: Provide exceptional services to assure a safe, healthy, vibrant county for all
Values: Professional, Approachable, Responsive, Collaborative, Fair & Equitable

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Women's Network February Event

February 8, 2023

CG Women's Network had special guest, Alison Bowers, CIC, Senior Vice President at Christensen Group. She shared about her career journey as a Business Insurance Sales Producer and the team enjoyed time engaging and growing with each other.

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Women's Network Event

January 30, 2023

WOMENS NETWORK
Join us for the next Women’s Network event on Wednesday, February 8th at 9am in the Eden Prairie event center. Our special guest speaker is Alison Bowers, Senior Vice President & Producer Council Member. Hear Alison's career journey as a Business Insurance Sales Producer.
RSVP here and we will send you a calendar invite. 

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MLK Day of Service 2023

January 20, 2023

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Martin Luther King Jr.

CG Employee Owners took part in the MLK Day of Service and spent the day impacting the lives of many people in their communities.

35 employees spent time at Feed My Starving Children packing over 26,352 meals for families, enough to feed 72 kids for one year. Over 75 tie blankets were tied to be donated to the New Ulm Medical Center, Monticello Cancer Center, the United Way organization and Hospitals in St. Cloud.

Laundry Packs, Care Kits, Lanyard Paracords, Port Pillows, and Comfort Packs were assembled and donated to many outstanding groups helping to make a difference is so many lives.

One employee donated blood, a few gave of their time at local animal shelters, another family made Valentines for isolated seniors and a few employees donated snacks to their local police and EMT departments. Others wrote letters to military service members, packed lunches for the food shelf and heard about the process to becoming a partner for the Can Do Canines program.

In total over 122 CGers took part in the MLK Day of Service 2023. These acts of kindness enhance our personal lives, add value to our work lives, and positively impact our community. Check out photos on CG Connect.

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CG Employees Giving Back this Holiday Season

December 21, 2022

CG Eden Prairie donated over $1600 worth of gifts, paper goods and diapers to Perspectives in St. Louis Park. Perspectives is a human services program that addresses society’s most pressing issues: equity, diversity, inclusion, homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, food security, and lack of access to life-changing opportunities for disenfranchised women and children. The women and children served at Perspectives have experienced numerous traumas that have left them in despair, with little hope for a new life. Perspectives is also insured by Christensen Group.
The CG Monticello and Sarina K. helped to grant over 20 wishes to local high school students in need through the Giving Tree program. Students asked for a variety of items including a winter coat, shoes, gloves, a high school yearbook and clothes. Thank you to all that helped this Holiday season!  

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Sock Donation for People in Need

December 12, 2022

CG donated 435 pairs of socks to the Sock It To Em Sock Campaign, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that aims to put new socks on the feet of men, women and children experiencing homelessness and/or are in need. This was a collaboration with the Personal Lines department, the personal lines clients and the company Sock Club, which offered a buy one get, one promotion on Giving Tuesday.

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Winter Porch Pot Class

December 7, 2022

The CG Women's Network hosted a Winter Porch Pot class and enjoyed learning the tips and tricks to creating their very own decoration to display during the Holidays. Leah, a fellow woman and small business owner of Queen Bee's located in downtown Monticello did a fabulous job of instructing the group and showcasing her professional knowledge of greenscaping.

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CG Giving Tree and Ways to Get Involved

December 6, 2022

Happy Monday,

Reminders

Upcoming Office Closures

  • Christensen Group will be closing at 3:00pm on December 23rd and will remain closed on December 26th. We will reopen at 8:00am on December 27th.
  • Christensen Group will be closing at 3:00pm on December 30th and will remain closed on January 2nd. We will reopen at 8:00am on January 3rd.

Employee Well-Being

Charity Committee: Giving Tree

If you are looking to give back this Holiday Season, Christensen Group is partnering with two organizations:

  • Monticello High School
    Each year the Monticello office gives back to their local High School. Please review the available gifts HERE and sign up if you would like to take part. You may sign up for more than one gift, as we have 20 wishes to grant. The Monticello office will be wrapping these gifts on December 14th. Contact Amanda Vagle for questions!
  • Perspectives
    Perspectives is a human services program that addresses society’s most pressing issues: equity, diversity, inclusion, homelessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness, food security, and lack of access to life-changing opportunities for disenfranchised women and children. The women and children served at Perspectives have experienced numerous traumas that have left them in despair, with little hope for a new life. Their model is designed to create a path of healing from their trauma so that they can move on to a promising future – free from addiction and mental illness. Perspectives is also insured by Christensen Group.

How can you help?
Perspectives is having a Diaper and Toy Drive! See the attached flyer for more information. Please have any diapers or toys shipped to Eden Prairie to my attention (Alicia Williams) or to Tom Broback’s attention. We will be wrapping the gifts in the Event Center on December 13th at 2:00pm during the Cookie Exchange.

Get Involved

The below committees are looking for new members – read what they do below and contact the committee for more information.

Culture & Wellness Committee

The mission of the Culture & Wellness Committee is to support employee engagement and promote a healthy organization through internal programs and events. They aim to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life of CG employees.

What has the Culture & Wellness Committee done in the past? They have put together the Biggest Loser Challenge, Smoothie Bars, State Park Pass Giveaways, Monthly Lunches, and ESOP week.

Contact John Talbot (jtalbot@christensengroup.com) if you’re interested in learning more.

Charity Committee

The Charity Committee helps to promote community service across the organization and throughout the community in which we operate. Their mission is to spark engagement by providing employee-owners an avenue to give back. Ultimately, enhancing our personal lives, adding value to our work lives, and positively impacting the community.** **They have been able to make an impact at many organizations such as Potato Head Project, Boys and Girls Club, Perspectives, Monticello High School, and more.

Contact Tom Broback (tbroback@christensengroup.com) if you’re interested in joining.

Green Committee

The mission of the Green Committee is to assess CG’s environmental impact, explore creative ways to minimize those impacts and build sustainable solutions for the future. Most of the time, these sustainable solutions include cost savings, which is a double win for CG.
 
In 2022 the Green Committee launched the ESOP Community Garden at the Eden Prairie office.
 
Contact Tommy Watson (twatson@christensengroup.com) if you're interested in joining.

Welcoming Committee

They’re responsible for letting each and every new hire at CG feel part of the team. First days and impressions matter. They do everything from desk drops with CG swag to follow-ups and lunches to make sure newcomers are settling in nicely.

Contact Alex Moreno (alex.moreno@christensengroup.com) if you’re interested in joining.

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Bowlero in November

November 16, 2022

Women's Network at the Bowlero in November

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Charity Bags Donation to Feed My Starving Children

November 7, 2022

Thank you to all that participated in the bags tournament this year! We hope to make this event even bigger next year with more participation from all locations.
The winning team of Gail Bloxham & Zach Freeman picked Feed my Starving Children as their charity.
We had 42 participants who each donated $10 for a total of $420. The Charity Committee will be matching that to bring the total to $840.
Find out more about Gail and Zach’s charity here: https://www.fmsc.org/about-us

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Women's Network Kick Off Event

October 19, 2022

The Christensen Group Women’s Network held their kickoff event last week featuring Heather Boyer, President at Society Insurance, where she shared about her career journey and what led her to be who she is today.
The purpose of CG Women's Network is to foster a community of women who lift each other up, encourage, and motivate one another to thrive in work and life. The group of over 50 women and men shared a light breakfast and listened to Heather’s inspiring story on how to cultivate work life balance, set boundaries, be purposeful in all your endeavors and the power of mentorship in your career journey for both the mentor and mentee. 

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 10, 2022

Happy Monday,
 
Employee Well-Being
 
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Join in and wear pink on Wednesday, October 12th.
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. You can make a large difference in terms of prevention! 
 
Here are additional ways you can show your support or donate to Breast Cancer Awareness.

  1. Firefly Sisterhood
    1. This is a foundation that provides mentors (social and emotional support) for women impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis
  2. Breast Cancer Awareness events around the Twin Cities area
  3. Pay It Forward
    1. Pay It Forward is a non-profit fund that helps breast and women’s cancer patients pay basic living expenses while they go through treatment so they can focus on what’s really important - getting healthy
  4. Susan G. Komen

 
HEALTH
We will be having our annual Benefits Fair on October 18th, 2022. The fair will be from 10:00am-12:00pm in the Eden Prairie Event Center. This is a great time to learn about CG’s offerings before open enrollment in November. You can meet and chat with representatives from our carriers while enjoying a mid-morning coffee.
*If you plan on getting a flu shot at the fair, please sign up here for an appointment time and mark it on your calendar. (Flu shots are only open by appointment for employees at this time, dependents will be not able to come.)

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Upcoming Events

September 28, 2022

Happy Monday,
 
Employee Well-Being
 
CAREER
It’s important to have clear communication. We communicate with others through writing every day whether it’s texting, emailing, or handwritten notes. Do you want to freshen up your writing skills? Cal Simmons is hosting a writing class for all skill levels.
The writing class will be on October 11th from 10:30-11:00am. A calendar invite will go out to those that are interested. Sign up here.
 
HEALTH
We will be having our annual Benefits Fair on October 18th, 2022. The fair will be from 10:00am-12:00pm in the Eden Prairie Event Center. This is a great time to learn about CG’s offerings before open enrollment in November. You can meet and chat with representatives from our carriers while enjoying a mid-morning coffee.
 
Who will be there?

  • Medica
  • Delta Dental
  • First Stop Health
  • LegalShield
  • Train Right Fitness
  • Flu Shot Clinic*
  • Barista
  • And more!

 
*If you plan on getting a flu shot at the fair, please sign up here for an appointment time and mark it on your calendar. (Flu shots are only open by appointment for employees at this time, dependents will be not able to come.)
 
CHARITY
Join us for our Annual Charity Bags Tournament! Last day to sign up is Tuesday, September 27th!
We will be stretching out the timeframe of each round so more people will be able to play, even if they are out of the office on a specific day. For example, the first round will last a week; second round will be three days, etc... and you will coordinate with your opponent to find a day & time that works for everyone playing. We will announce the championship round at a later date.
 
The event will be RANDOMIZED TEAMMATES.** If you would like to participate, you will enter as an individual and we will randomly partner you with someone else. This is open to all offices so you will be matched with someone at your office location. **Matches will still be single elimination, but every round will now be best of three with the finals being best of five.
 
**The cost is $10/person. **Upon entry into the tournament, each participant will submit their entry fee and name a charity that they are playing for. The funds raised by the entry fees will be donated to the winning team’s charity, and CG will match the donation up to $500! We will be putting more emphasis on the charity aspect of the tournament this year so please make sure to select a nonprofit organization that matters to you!
 
If you would like to play, please sign up here. Tom Broback will be collecting your entry fee and keeping track of the charity you pick. Your team must pay the $20 entry fee **prior **to starting your first game. Once we have a head count on teams, we will be sending out a bracket which will be updated by the Charity Committee. We will send out teams and final details Friday, September 30th.  

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Backpack for Kids in Need Foundation

September 19, 2022

CG met on Tuesday, September 13, to stuff backpacks for the Kids in Need Foundation. The school supplies will be donated to Hennepin Elementary School, in Minneapolis, to help students in need this upcoming school year. The team in Eden Prairie stuffed 100 bags in a short amount of time and the boxes will be delivered by the Charity Committee in the next few days. Thank you to everyone that participated! 

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Introducing the CG Women's Network

September 12, 2022

We are excited to launch the Christensen Group Women’s Network. Our purpose is to foster a community of women who lift each other up, encourage, and motivate one another to thrive in work and life.
The network is open to all CG employees and carrier partners, including men who want to be supporters.
Kick Off Event: October 12, 9am, Event Center
CG will host Heather Boyer, President at Society Insurance 
Enjoy coffee and a light breakfast while Heather shares her career journey and what led her to be who she is today.
We will reach out closer to the date to get a final RSVP list.
Feel free to save the Outlook event to your calendar. You can share with carrier partners too!

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Charity Committee Donation Drive

July 11, 2022

CHARITY

The Charity Committee is joining forces with The Potato Head Project. The Potato Head Project donates care packages to families that are currently inthe NICU with prematurely born babies.

We will be setting up donation sites at the front desks of Waite Park, Monticello, and the Eden Prairie Office. This donation drive will go until August 5th.

What items are they looking for? (All items must be new and unused)

  • Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head
  • Personal care items (i.e. ChapStick, purse size tissues, unscented personal size lotions, personal size hand sanitizer).
  • Water Bottles
  • Snacks for the NICU families
  • IPSY bags

If you have any specific questions, please reach out to Alicia Williams on the Charity Committee.

CAREER

Travelers is putting together another SHE Travels Speaker Series and they are featuring Nicole Schmidt. This virtual event is on July 12th at 11:00amCST.

Nicole Schmidt is a Managing Partner, co-founder and member of the management committee of Oberon Securities, a New York City-based investment banking firm specializing in middle market businesses. In this speaker series event, Nicole will join Lisa Caputo, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience at Travelers, for a fireside chat. The pair will discuss topics including:

  • The concept of failure and how it is a stepping stone for success
  • Principles of integrity and how they should drive your decision-making
  • Workplace flexibility and its impact on women in the workforce
  • The importance of women advocating and supporting each other


Register for this webinar here.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

May 2, 2022

ESOP Meeting


INFORMATION

The annual ESOP Meeting is on May 11th at Interlachen Country Club (6200 Interlachen Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55436).

Please arrive no later than 4:30pm as the meeting will promptly start at 5:00pm.

For all the information you need to know regarding hotel, dress code, and parking see the ESOP Meeting FAQ!

We have had quite a few new hires in the last year. Want to put a face to the name of a co-worker before the ESOP meeting? Practice on Quizlet!

Employee Well-Being

HEALTH

May is Mental Health Awareness month! Taking care of you means taking care of your mind. Your mental health plays a key role in how you feel every day.

Poor mental health can:
  • Increase your risk for certain conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • Negatively affect your relationships with those you love.

If you are on Christensen Group’s medical plan, CG provides First Stop Health Virtual Counseling to you and your family. This is at no cost to you.

You can use this confidential service to get short-term support for:
  •   Anxiety & Depression Care
  •   Substance Use
  •   Work/Life Stress
  •   Grief and Loss
  •   Family & Relationships
  •   And more!
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Volunteer Opportunity

March 21, 2022

Employee Well-Being


COMMUNITY

Join us for a volunteering event at the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities. Sign up here.

We are looking for 10-15 people to volunteer alongside the Charity Committee at the Great Futures Fair.

Date/Hours: April 6th at 9am – 1pm

  •   9am – 12pm: Help set up for the event (tables, chairs, setting up lunch)

  •   12pm – 1pm: Help serve lunch

Location: Mt. Airy Club (690 Jackson St., St. Paul 55130)
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Return to Office Plans

March 7, 2022

Reminders


RETURN TO OFFICE

If you have not already filled out the Work Location Form, please do so by March 15th. You may have filled it out last year, but we are asking for an updated one for 2022. If you are unsure if you filled it out, you can ask your manager or Alicia Williams.

Plan your Return to the Office and Complete the Work Schedule Form:

  • Plan your days in the office to meet the needs of clients and your team.
  • Ask your leader and team, should you be in person for certain meetings or team huddles?
  • Know your personal productivity levels. Are you better suited picking specific days each week you’re in?
  • Understand the core hours for your clients and team. Confirm your work hours with your leader and team.
  • NEW: Update your calendars to show when you’re WFH. This change helps everyone know when to add a Teams Meeting or block a conference room.  Please update your calendars to allow individuals to see your calendar beyond the default free/busy. You can find directions here to update your calendar settings.
  • ACTION: Complete the Work Schedule Form (again) to let us know your Work Schedule Preference (Primarily in Office or 50/50).  Due by March 15, 2022.
  • Individuals who choose “Primarily in Office” will keep their permanent office/cube space. You are required to be in the office at least 60% of the time to keep your office/cube space.

Employee Well-Being


HEALTH

Use the Work-life balance employee assistance program(EAP)  
This service can help employees with issues from finding temporary day care to managing anxiety around your personal life or the events currently happening inthe world. It also provides guidance for management teams on employee productivity or managing a remote workforce. 

Employees can always use the EAP for anxiety and stress:

  • In-person visits with a licensed counselor per issuer per year. If in-person is not feasible, employees can schedule virtual counseling sessions via skype (or facetime).
  • Unlimited calls to our 24/7 call-center\
  • Unlimited online resources on [www.unum.com/lifebalance](http://www.unum.com/lifebalance)
Read more

Summer Fridays + 2022 Holidays

February 28, 2022

Reminders


SUMMER FRIDAYS

With the weather slowly warming up after a brisk couple of weeks, it’s nice to look forward to even warmer weather to come in the next few months! Summer Fridays will begin on June 3rd and end on September 2nd. For a refresher on Summer Fridays, refer to this article on the Knowledge Center.

2022 HOLIDAY CALENDAR

You can find the 2022 Holiday Calendar on the Knowledge Center!

  • If you are PTO eligible, you will find a Floating Holiday in your PTO bank due Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday. It became available for you to use on     January 1st, 2022 and must be used before the end of the 2022 calendar year. To use the floating holiday you will request PTO like usual on Paylocity but you will select “FLOAT – Floating Holiday” instead of the normal “PTO” option.

If you have any questions regarding Summer Fridays or the Floating Holiday, please contact Alicia Williams.

Employee Well-Being


HEALTH

Today is Rare Disease Day. Rare Disease Day is the globally-coordinated movement on rare diseases, working towards equity in social opportunity, healthcare, and access to diagnosis and therapies for people living with a rare disease. Since its creation in 2008, Rare Disease Day has played a critical part in building an international rare disease community that is multi-disease, global, and diverse– but united in purpose. It’s goal is to raise awareness and generate change for the 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease, their families, and their care givers.

Watch and support one of our very own, Brittany Ratke’s campaign, ‘Every Light for Everleigh and Rare Disease.’ On February 28th, leave a purple porch light on, wear purple, or share your favorite colors to shine your light on people living with a rare disease on CG Connect Photo Wall.
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Free COVID Tests

January 24, 2022

Reminder


PAYSTUBS

With our first payroll for 2022 complete, it’s important to log into Paylocity to confirm your that your 2022 benefit deductions are accurate, any changes made after January are not allowed unless you have a qualifying event. Please also confirm that your 2022 pay rate is accurate. If anything is incorrect, email Sean Karsch and Alicia Williams.

Employee Well-Being


HEALTH

The Federal Government announced free at-home COVID tests on January 14.Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. To order those free COVID tests go to covidtests.gov. For more FAQ’s on the tests and the process, read this article. The process to order the tests take less than 1 minute.

You can also order free at-home saliva tests through the State of Minnesota, for more information on that, read this article.

State of CG


Please join us for a State of CG on Thursday, February 3rd at 9:30am.

You must register and add this to your calendar. A recording of the meeting will be in the CG 360 on 2/7.

Register here:[](<https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1455143586534146061>)

Rocketbook Survey


Have you heard of Rocketbooks? It’s the notebook that you can use again and again! You can also scan your notebook pages to your email. Watch this video on How To Use A Rocketbook and take this survey if you are interested in using a Rocketbook.
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Omada and More!

January 18, 2022

Employee Well-Being


HEALTH

We’re excited to announce that Christensen Group has teamed up with Omada to offer a new way to support your physical and mental health—at no cost to you if you are on the medical plan. Omada’s science-based approach helps shift your mindset and change your health, with all the motivation you need along the way.

You’ll get a plan built around you that includes:

✓ Dedicated health coach & care team

✓ All the smart health devices you need

✓ Interactive lessons & online community

It only takes a few minutes to get started: [omadahealth.com/omadaformedica](http://omadahealth.com/omadaformedica) and then click ‘Am I Covered?’

Whatever ‘healthy’ means to you, Omada helps you get there.
  • Find new healthy habits that work for you
  • Manage your diabetes or high blood pressure

If you or your adult family members are at risk for type 2 diabetes or heart disease or are living with diabetes, and enrolled in our Medica health plan, Christensen Group will cover the entire cost of the program.

ERGONOMIC TRAINING

Save the date! It’s a good time to check your office setup. Tim Munoz is partnering with Hanover to present ergonomic training for CG employees. This training will be held virtually on January 25th at 10:00am.

An invite will be going out to all of CG with a Teams meeting link. Ifyou have any questions before the training, you can reach out to Tim Munoz or Shannon from Hanover (\srossean@hanover.com).

State of CG


Please join us for a State of CG on Thursday, February 3rd at 9:30am.

You must register and add this to your calendar. A recording of the meeting will be inthe CG 360 on 2/7.

Register here:[](<https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1455143586534146061>)
Read more

MLK Day of Service

January 4, 2022

CG 360 is back! We got a facelift over the new year!

Reminders

MLK DAY OF SERVICE

On January 17th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will be having a designated day of service in our offices. This is one of the ways we are making an impact in our Diversity & Inclusion action plan. We are fortunate enough to be able to have the opportunity to invest our time in giving back to our community, and we find it valuable to be able to give back to those in need. We will be giving options/ideas of how you can partake in this act of service, and we encourage everyone to participate and give back. The Charity Committee will be sending out an email this week with more information on the different ways to partake. If you do not feel called to participate, you may work a normal work day. 

Attached below is a google form that we invite you to fill out on how you plan to take part in this amazing opportunity.1 minute or less to complete.

Employee Well-Being

HEALTH

Need help creating a health and wellness routine?

In just 10 minutes a day (or less!), you can build a healthier, stronger you. Join the Wellbeats 14-day “A Stronger You” program for a schedule of short fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes to start fresh and stay motivated.

Joining the program is easy – simply click this link to enroll today:

(You may be prompted to log in to your account first.)

ERGONOMIC TRAINING

Save the date! It’s a good time to check your office setup. Tim Munoz is partnering with Hanover to present ergonomic training for CG employees. This training will be held virtually on January 25that 10:00am. Watch for more information.

Read more