Cravens Warren Staff Celebrates the Holidays with Annual Christmas Party
On Friday, December 19, Cravens Warren Management continued their tradition of hosting an annual Christmas luncheon for its employees and special guests. This year’s luncheon was hosted at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on Richmond Avenue in Houston.
A festive occasion for all, the luncheon is a special time that management, staff, and retirees come together to socialize, be merry, and show appreciation to each other. There were two highlights in particular this year. The first was a gift presentation by Julie Hart, on behalf of the C/W staff. The presentation was particularly special this year, as the staff presented a $750 donation to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, in the name of Mrs. Anne Schneider, wife of President Mike Schneider. Anne was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and is currently undergoing treatments at MD Anderson. The staff also presented Mike Schneider, President, Conrad Hart, Vice President, and Margie Collins, Controller, with gift boxes filled with notes of appreciation, to show their love, support, and appreciation to the members of the C/W Management Team.
The highlight of the luncheon was the heartfelt speech of President Mike Schneider. First, Mike gave a brief overview of the past year here at Cravens Warren:
• Hurricane Ike challenged the agency, during a time that was difficult for the entire City of Houston. This challenged us to provide that which we have promised, and we were successful. We are particularly proud of how the staff pulled together to provide excellent service to our clients who had claims as a result of the storm.Mike’s speech then took a personal turn, and he had these 7 insights to speak on, of things he has learned and remembered in the past year:
• Our Customer Service Initiative is underway, and we have received very positive feedback. 79% of our customers have responded favorably to a recent survey, rating our agency a “9” or “10” in customer service. That compares favorably to the scores of customer friendly companies such as Apple, Vanguard, American Express, and Amazon. This is our first tangible proof that our customers think we’re doing a good job, and a good enough job to refer us to friends. This is a significant and gratifying result.
• Despite the wacky economy, the housing bubble, the market’s collapse, bank failures, and government bailouts, Cravens Warren is financially sound. The company has always taken a conservative approach to money management, and it will be able to comfortably withstand what looks to be a tough 2009. And, of particular delight to the staff, we remain part of the 1/3 of American Companies who reward staff members with year-end bonuses.
- Health Trumps All Other Personal Wants and Needs. If you have it, other “normal” aspects of life can be attended to; If you don’t have health, none of that matters.
- Live for Today. Live in the present tense, as time is precious. Don’t dwell on, or fear, tomorrow.
- Friends and Family that care about you are the most important “possessions” you can have in life. Their warmth gives you the belief that “you matter” .
- Spending time with loved ones is crucial. One can give no better gift than to spend time with others.
- We should express gratitude more freely and more often. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beattie
- Prayer is powerful and comforting, and is essential to a life of peace. And it works.
- Cravens Warren is a special company- a company of good people that work hard for others; that care deeply for customers and for our own CW family.
Mike closed his speech by thanking the staff for the acts of kindness after his wife’s cancer diagnosis, and then ended with this quote, by George Washington Carver: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
The luncheon was concluded by positive thoughts for a prosperous 2009, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The Cravens Warren staff stands ready for the challenges that 2009 may bring, and the firm is optimistic that 2009 will be a good year.