Shepherd Insurance aids Prevail

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From left, David Shepherd, CEO at Shepherd Insurance; Susan Ferguson, executive director at Prevail; Michelle Corrao, assistant director at Prevail; Emily McDermott, market underwriter at Westfield Insurance; Michelle Moen, manager, human resources at Prevail; Jeff Kweder, president, Shepherd Insurance; Lisa Heldman, benefits advocate at Shepherd Insurance; and Quinn Shepherd, managing partner at Shepherd Insurance. (Submitted photo)

From left, David Shepherd, CEO at Shepherd Insurance; Susan Ferguson, executive director at Prevail; Michelle Corrao, assistant director at Prevail; Emily McDermott, market underwriter at Westfield Insurance; Michelle Moen, manager, human resources at Prevail; Jeff Kweder, president, Shepherd Insurance; Lisa Heldman, benefits advocate at Shepherd Insurance; and Quinn Shepherd, managing partner at Shepherd Insurance. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

For Shepherd Insurance employees, it is just the right thing to do to help others who are less fortunate.

Beginning in 2011, Quinn Shepherd, managing partner and son of owner David Shepherd, and Lisa Heldman, benefits advocate, launched Operation Shepherding as a year-round initiative.

“It just a way to give back to the community,” said Pete Harrington, chief operating officer and vice president of sales. “You think all the way back to the Bible, ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ So it’s been a mantra around here to continue that. To me when you are trying to create a corporate culture in a business, one of things you can do is to show a ‘give it back’ or ‘pay in forward (mentality)’ in the community. That means a lot to employees. So you have to practice what you preach. You have to show that year-round.”

Harrington said the dedication to giving back starts at top with David Shepherd, Quinn Shepherd and partner and president Jeff Kweder.

The annual Christmas tradition is to host a toy drive for Prevail, a nonprofit that helps victims of crime and abuse. During the Shepherd Insurance Christmas party at Indiana Grand Dec. 18, the company presented a check for $15,000 to Prevail. Shepherd Insurance had nominated Prevail for a grant by Westfield Insurance.

“Our collaboration with Westfield Insurance allows us to further our community outreach efforts and have impact in critically important initiatives,” Quinn Shepherd said.

Heldman said the company tries to do at least four initiatives a year, one per quarter. Prevail is always the Christmas beneficiary.

Shepherd Insurance has nine offices around the state, and each one has a different initiative for a family in community or serve their community.

Quinn Shepherd is one of four founders of Wisdom and Grace, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support and expand a school in Guatemala. A fundraising event was held in October.

Nearly 100 Shepherd Insurance employees did the Walk to end Alzheimer’s in October.

“Our staff raised $13,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association,” Heldman said. “When we get involved, we throw ourselves in.”

Harrington said it’s often easier for smaller, privately held companies or agencies to get things done in form of fundraising.

So the staff does fun things like paying to wear jeans for a week or a chili cook-off.

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