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Here Kitty Kitty
 

A young lady posed a question to me at the 2019 IBAS Convention. “What advice would you give to young women in the Insurance Industry?” I felt it was important to share this conversation piece and provide a more precise, more succinct response then what was given at the convention.

  • Get to know your personality style and learn how to communicate and interact with other styles. Figure out who you are, what your values are, and make sure you live them.
  • Figure out your best skill sets, what you’re good at. Working to your strengths is very rewarding
  • Never stop learning, formally or informally. Check out MOOC.org Focus on courses that build your leadership skills.
  • Look for opportunities to expand and build your skill sets. Look within your organization or outwards through volunteer opportunities.
  • If an opportunity presents itself - go for it. No matter where an opportunity takes you, there is always something to learn and take away from the experience.
  • Build a network of positive, energizing people. They will help pick you up during downtimes.
  • Search out a mentor or a personal coach or, better yet, put the money down for an executive coach. An objective third party will ask questions and challenge you, and this goes a long way into helping build you into a leader for where you are now and for where you will be in the future.

I thought I was done the list, but then my husband reminded me that I had forgotten one. It’s a discipline that I have struggled with and continue to work hard to make it a regular practice. It’s self-care. Take time for yourself - massage, hobbies, exercise - whatever relaxes you and moves you toward a positive mindset. This is key to having a long and rewarding career.

Yes, I started as a typist in the insurance industry. I was able to reinvent myself at least seven times over my career to take advantage of opportunities in many different areas - admin, underwriting, IT, stats, and leadership. I have enjoyed the various aspects of my career and was able to accomplish the changes while living in small-town Saskatchewan. We purposely chose to live in a smaller community as it fit the values that we had for raising our family.

It doesn’t matter where you are located as there are opportunities everywhere. The important factor is you and what you give, using those skills and personality traits that are unique to you.

 

Valerie Fehr, CEO

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Chief Empowerment Officer

My Mutual Insurance

Here Kitty Kitty

There are some things that just never change. Halloween isn’t one of them. Through the years, the night of spooky terror has undergone a few changes and depending on how many of them you have witnessed, some of the things may seem oddly familiar, some of them downright terrifying. We have for your enjoyment this year Halloween stories and novelties that were popular by decade.

1940’s

During the 40’s began the tradition all our sugar craved children have come to expect. Receiving candy for literally doing nothing but showing up. It used to be that treats, fruits and coins were exchanged during Halloween, but usually a song was required. Clowns and cowboys were all the rage and bobbing for apples was still a favorite at the parties.

1940

1950’s

By the 50’s most of the vandalism and tomfoolery was kept to a minimum and Halloween was becoming more of a family tradition. It was in the 50’s that candy companies began to produce what we have come to know as “Halloween Candy”.  It was during this decade that “trick or treat” bag became available and could be purchased for a few pennies at the grocery store. Children would cart their loot carrying bags and pick up Bazooka Joe, Tootsie Pops and Baby Ruths.

1950

1960’s

What didn’t change during the 60’s? Halloween was no exception, the Adams Family took to the airwaves, masks adorned by children were made from plastic and Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Keepers released the Billboard hit “Monster Mash”.  The candy didn’t change much, but the celebration was much more geared to children as Disney opened up its first ever Haunted Mansion inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

1960

1970’s

If Halloween was about anything in the 70’s, it was about the candy. Sugary delights like Laffy Taffy, Bubble Yum, Jelly Belly, Twix and the first Ring Pop were to be had. Reece’s Peanut Buttercups became so popular in the 70’s that the Hersey Food Corporation had to double its production! But it wasn’t just all for the kids. In the 70’s movies like The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out and terrified audiences both then and still today. And who could forget how difficult it was to get a Star Wars costume in the late 70’s. They sold out so quickly that it has been labeled “The Great Star Wars Halloween Costume Shortage.”

1970

1980’s

The 80’s saw us take Halloween to a whole new level. If candy was the game changer of the 70’s, the 80’s were all about the cinematic experience. Movies like The Shining, The Poltergeist, and Nightmare on Elm Street all came out in the 80’s. And who could forget the red leather clad Michael Jackson producing one of the most groundbreaking songs and music videos with Thriller.  It was in the 80’s that Halloween parades became popular, and the popular Trick-or-Treat for Unicef raised over $2 million in one year. The most popular mask in the 80’s was the plastic Ronald Regan mask which soared to popularity after he was elected in 1981.

1980

1990’s

If you were a kid in the 90’s and went to McDonald’s, which was every kid in the 90’s, you witnessed the era of the plastic pumpkin pails from McDonalds. Everyone had to have one. These buckets were named McWitch and McGhost. The buckets went through changes through the 90’s including a glow-in-the-dark edition. There was a return to home-made costumes with people leaving their plastic masks on the shelf for the season. Unfortunately these efforts were used to create the most Brittney Spears look-a-likes to be seen in one place at any time. People also had a new source for decoration, party and costumes; the internet began to be widely used in the 90’s to share and post great ideas.

1990

2000’s

Halloween costume ideas got a big bump in 2001 with the release of the first Harry Potter film. This costume frenzy was only to be rivalled by yet another run on the Star Wars merchandise as Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was released. But even both of these costume juggernaughts were overtaken in the late 2000’s by politics. The Obama, McCain and Palin masks became the thing to wear to your party. Not all Halloween events were man made either. In 2003 there were fantastic solar storms all over the world known as “Halloween Storms of 2003” where skies were lit up in red and green colors.

2000s

2010’s

Although the decade is not through yet, there has been a few additions to the tradition of Halloween during the last 9 years. The 2010’s saw the sharpest uptick in pets getting in on the Halloween fun with sales for pet costumes increasing 60% since the previous decade. Almost 70% of the candy consumed on Halloween is some form of chocolate, with the familiar Reece’s still leading the pack.

2010s

No matter how you choose to celebrate this year, please be safe and have fun. Every year is filled with great new stories, amazing new costumes and plenty of screams…of laughter I hope. This year when you answer your door, remember the costumes you used to adorn and the fun that was shared with friends and family. And if you need to brush up on Halloween safety, click the link below and see a safety video produced in the 80’s complete with an animated talking pumpkin.

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Here Kitty Kitty

Nature has various ways of reminding us what season we’re in. The yellow leaves, the cooler nights, the furnace turning on in the morning, and did I just hear someone whistling a Christmas tune?

While the melody may feel early, it’s not too late for you to begin the process of getting yourself ready for winter. Most of us are really good at it too. We’ve been through our share of Saskatchewan winters, and if there’s one thing we know, you have no idea what to expect.

There are however, some constants that never change. The brisk wind, the mounds of crunchy flakey snow, and that stop sign you just slid past as you tried with all your might to make your car stop. Although winter tires don’t often make the list of the most exciting things about winter, they can certainly help make your winter a lot safer.

Snow tires are made with unique rubber compounds that allow the tire to remain soft and pliable even at extremely cold temperatures. This feature alone gives you more control when braking, handling, and accelerating. The design of the tread is typically directional, like arrows, and these “channels” help move slush and water away from the tire, keeping the tread in constant contact with the road. You may also notice tiny “cuts” in the tread. This is called siping. As that area of the tire touches the pavement, the weight of the vehicle causes these areas to spread and “bite” into the snow or packed surface. It’s little features like these that make all the difference when you need it.

The decision to purchase snow tires can be rather daunting. There are so many kinds to choose from, and the tire companies don’t make things very easy either when they offer tires called “All-Season Tires” or “All Weather” tires. What makes snow tires different from these? Here are a few simple things to think about when you consider putting winter tires on your vehicle this season.

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See these tires in action by clicking on the link below!

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This Saskatchewan summer has been hot and wet, with heavy rains comes the need to ensure your home is draining water properly. 
 
Here is all you need to know about gutters and downspouts to make sure you are ready for the rain. 
 
Gutters are designed to catch the water from your roof and carry it towards your downspouts for proper drainage. If your gutters are plugged with leaves and debris, water can build up and not be allowed to drain which can cause issues. Checking your gutters yearly and removing any debris helps get the water to the downspouts and moved away from your home.
 
While checking your gutters, check the slope of your gutters to ensure they have the proper slope. If gutters are not appropriately sloped towards the downspout water will have trouble flowly freely. 
 
 It is also essential to check the length of your downspouts as water can pool near the base of your home and cause flooding and foundation damage is too short. The recommended length of the downspout from the house should be six to 8 feet. 
 
There are a few options when it comes to extending your downspout, make sure to chose the one that will suit your needs but also move the water properly. 
 
1. Purchase a new length of the existing downspout that will give you the proper range and install
downspout into gutter
 
 
2. If the area you need to lengthen is a high traffic area, you might consider attaching a hinged elbow to the gutter. The extension can be placed up when not raining and down when the rain arrives. Ensure when traveling or away from your home for a long duration of time that you ensure the extensions are down. 
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3. Attach a flex-a-spout, they are great for extending the drainage and also can be pushed and pulled apart to extent the length to your exact needs. 
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Some of these items can be done quickly but as always make sure to stay safe and call in a professional when necessary.
 
Happy draining from all your friends at My Mutual Insurance. 
 

Moto Saftey My Mutual

Motorcycles are a fun way to explore Saskatchewan and feel the warmth after a long winter. We want you to stay safe on the roads so keep these tips in mind as you hit the road. 

Check your bike before every ride. 

Performing a visual and physical inspection of your bike prior to every ride will ensure your bike is safe to hit the road. 

  • check your tires for cracks, punctures and overall tread life
  • look at the engine and underneath the bike for gas or oil leaks
  • test your lights, turn signals & brakes
  • test your horn
  • ensure your mirrors are adjusted properly 

Protective gear

While it may be tempting to wear just a vest & helmet during the summer, wearing the proper riding gear can save your life. Gear every rider should consider include a full shield helmet, motorcycle jacket & pants, boots and gloves. Research the gear you buy to make sure it meets safety standards and choose colors that are easy for motorist to see. 

Weather factors.

Weather plays a large factor in riding safety, so monitor your local weather forecast when you are planning to hit the road. Rain can reduce visibility & also make roads slick for motorcycle tires. 

Look after your ride.

Proper maintenance for your motorcycle is vital, make sure to follow your user manual for maintenance. Routine maintenance such as oil changes, brake pads or chain adjustment allows your motorcycle to function properly and helps avoid breakdowns or even accidents. 

Rules matter. 

While simple to say, sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement & forget about the rules of the road. Make sure to signal, stop at lights and turns and drive at safe speeds. 

Considering a package policy for your motorcycle this season? Find a local broker near you who can help you find the right coverage. 


 Share these tips with a friend or a loved one who rides a motorcycle.

 

You’re more than a policyholder, you have a voice. Let it be heard!

Contact our team, find a broker, become a part of the My Mutual family.