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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Top Halloween costumes for 2014

JackOGeckoIt’s going to be a Frozen Friday. The award-winning animated film leads the way as the most popular costume this Halloween, according to data compiled from forbes.com on Internet searches. Here are some of the characters you’ll see running around this Halloween weekend.


Elsa – The “Snow Queen” is the most searched-for costume this year.


Zombies – While this has always been a good choice, the popular television series The Walking Dead brings it back to life … so to speak.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Even though the cartoon series has been around since the 1980s, a new movie this year brings this costume to a new generation.


Maleficent – If you like movie themes, why not dress up as one of Disney’s most iconic villains.


Pirate – This is an easy do-it-yourself costume that you can customize to suit your personality.


Or, since you’re reading the GEICO Blog, dress up as one of our popular characters — the Gecko, Maxwell the Pig, or the over-eager “hump day” camel. That last one’s especially effective if you’ll be in the company of anyone named Mike.


No matter how great your costume is, safety is still of utmost importance. Check out these resources for everything from trick-or-treating safety to pumpkin-carving tips.



Happy Halloween!






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Elite Advisors Say Scalability, Succession Needs Will Fuel More RIA Deal Activity

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Allstate Reports Broad-Based Growth and Strong Profitability

This release contains: 1 Photo, 1 Related Document

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2014.


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Memory of the Month: In your face!

Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.


Pie in Face Here’s a motivational tactic that hasn’t really stood the test of time. During the early part of my career, though, this one was quite popular. Managers would challenge their teams to meet certain goals, and if the teams succeeded, they’d get to pop their managers in the face with pies – or at least pie tins loaded up with whipped cream.


This 1980s-vintage photo is probably an example of why we haven’t seen this particular tactic used much lately. Note the impressive spray of whatever’s in that pie tin, and also the evident gusto with which the woman is delivering the goods. I dare say the mess was not contained by the plastic sheet on the floor, and there’s a good chance this manager’s nose was quite sore afterward, if not bloodied or broken.


Either because of clean-up crew complaints, or possibly worker’s comp claims, we just don’t get this kind of entertainment any more. I guess some traditions just aren’t meant to last – and maybe that’s just as well. Can you think of other such bygone tactics? Let us know in the comments.






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TD Ameritrade's Advisory Affiliate, Amerivest®, Launches First-of-its-Kind Rebate Offer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Allstate Roadside Services Launches Advocacy Campaign to Raise Awareness of Move Over Laws

Support families of fallen service workers and Allstate will match donations up to $25,000

This release contains: 1 Photo, 1 Related Document

More than one tow truck operator is killed every week by motorists. Today, to honor the men and women who have lost their lives during service, Allstate Roadside Services has teamed up with the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum (ITRHFM) to launch the “Provider Safety Advocacy” campaign to raise awareness of Move Over laws.


As part of the national campaign, Allstate and the ITRHFM created an online Public Service Announcement (PSA) entitled "Move Over, Slow Down" to showcase the impact that Move Over laws can have on individuals both on and off the road. Featuring families who have lost loved ones as a result of motorists not slowing down or moving over when it mattered most, the emotional PSA reveals the lasting impact one moment in time can have when a motorist is distracted.


"Three feet can mean the difference between life and death," said Paul Huber, Allstate Roadside Services Sr. Director Service Operations. "With countless Providers on the road doing their job to help others, we want to ensure we are doing our part to help protect not only them, but all tow truck drivers and first responders by bringing attention to Move Over laws."


With the busy holiday travel season approaching, Allstate hopes that the “Provider Safety Advocacy” campaign supporting Move Over laws will help make motorists more aware of what they need to do if they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.


To help families of the fallen in their time of need, Allstate is encouraging individuals to make a donation to the Survivor Fund on the ITRHFM website (http://ift.tt/1oWgN77). Donations will be matched up to $25,000 through November 30.


"Our goals for the ‘Provider Safety Advocacy’ campaign are to raise awareness of Move Over laws and help create a safer environment for those on the road. We hope that this campaign will keep moving over and slowing down top of mind for those behind the wheel so that we can help reduce the number of lives lost," Huber said.


To learn more about the “Provider Safety Advocacy” campaign and watch the PSA, visit the Allstate YouTube channel - http://ift.tt/ZWUPoA. Use #MoveOver to spread the message and follow the conversation on Twitter.


About Allstate®

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2013, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $29 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.


About International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum

The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Chattanooga, TN, houses an array of displays and exhibits showcasing the history of towing and recovery. The rotating collection includes early equipment by Manley, Holmes, Vulcan, and Weaver. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have significantly advanced the industry. The Museum includes a theater, a library, and a gift shop selling souvenirs related to the towing industry. On the outside grounds is the Wall of the Fallen memorial, dedicated to towers who died in the line of service. The ITRHFM Survivor Fund assists the families of the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of service by providing a uniform financial gift at the time of their loss. ITRHFM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations for its programs and operations from individuals, corporations and groups. To learn more visit http://ift.tt/1oWgOYE.


# # #


Contact:

April Eaton, Allstate Media Relations

847-402-5600

April.Eaton@allstate.com


Katie Zach, Taylor

704-644-6556

kzach@taylorstrategy.com






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Allstate Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to Fund Financial Empowerment for Domestic Violence Survivors

Moving Ahead Financial Empowerment Grant program expected to reach 30,000 survivors

This release contains: 1 Photo, 1 Related Document, 1 Video

Today, The Allstate Foundation announced 14 recipients in a one-of-a-kind grant program supporting financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. The Moving Ahead Financial Empowerment Grant Program, now in its seventh year, provides funds to state domestic violence coalitions to help address the No. 1 reason victims stay in and return to violent relationships—finances.


"New research shows that three in five Americans know someone who has been the victim of abuse and more than one in four have been abused themselves," said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Allstate. "In almost all of these situations, financial abuse and control are used to trap women in abusive relationships. These grants will help women and their families leave abuse behind and take control of their financial futures."


The 2014 Moving Ahead Financial Empowerment Grant recipients are:


































California Partnership to End Domestic Violence



New Jersey Coalition For Battered Women



Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Ohio Domestic Violence Network



Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Texas Council on Family Violence, Inc.



Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence



Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc.



Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence



Nebraska Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition



Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault



Each grantee will work with local domestic violence organizations to provide education and support for domestic violence survivors in the areas of budgeting, credit repair and management, investing, and retirement planning. The Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, designed specifically for survivors, is the main financial education resource used to deliver the information.


Additionally, each of the grantees has identified a focus area in one or more of the following categories:


Job Readiness and Job Training: Helping survivors get or maintain training and meaningful employment, such as resume writing, developing interview skills and hard skills.


Matched Savings Program including IDAs: Helping survivors make the most of their savings and grow their savings using asset building strategies through one-to-one match savings accounts.


Micro-Loan: Providing smalls loans at no or low interest with flexible repayment rules and options. The loans are used as a means to improve or establish credit.


Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation has been helping survivors overcome abuse by partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and local nonprofits. More than 400,000 domestic violence survivors have been reached with financial empowerment services more than 7,717 advocates have been trained on the program’s main financial education resource: The Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum.


About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit http://ift.tt/QoU2bQ.


# # #


Contact:

Kyle Donash

847-402-5600

Kyle.Donash@allstate.com






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TD Ameritrade Reports Record 2014 Earnings; Sixth Consecutive Year of Double-Digit Asset Gathering

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Gecko at New York Comic Con: Right where he belonged

Super GeckoFor four days in New York City, fans of many pop culture genres came together and created a universe like no other at New York Comic Con (NYCC). What is Comic Con? It is a fan convention dedicated to comic books, graphic novels, anime, magna, video games, toys, artists, movies and television. But it’s much more; New York Comic Con is one of the largest pop culture events in the world, with an attendance of 151,000 earlier this month.


The GEICO Gecko was excited to attend (#GEICOCon) and was particularly intrigued by the “cosplay,” another term unique to this universe; it’s a contraction of the words “costume playing.” It’s dressing up, but way beyond what you normally see at a costume party.


The fans/attendees are what make the Comic Con experience extraordinary. It’s the ultimate Halloween town. Sure, you can see panels with your favorite stars and icons. And yes, you’ll find awesome exhibitors and great buys. But at their core, Comic Cons are primarily a celebration of what these fans care about, in an open and welcoming environment.


3D picturesGEICO pulled out all the stops at Comic Con, rolling in the GEICO Bus that features pinball games and GEICO Karaoke (#GEICOonTour). And just for Comic Con, we had a special green screen 3D photo facility that gave fans the opportunity to have their own action movie moment! But we didn’t stop there! We hosted a daily cosplay competition that gave some of the fans a chance to get a little extra time in the spotlight. I assisted in finding candidates for this competition, and there was certainly no shortage! Thank goodness the winners were chosen by crowd acclaim, because judging the best of all the fabulous outfits would have been too difficult!


The Gecko even participated in some cosplay himself, donning a SuperGecko cape. Superman might be able to save people in dire danger, but can he save you money on your insurance and help you get your damaged vehicle repaired after an accident? Can he offer you homeowners, renters or commercial insurance, not to mention all the other products GEICO sells? No, he can’t, but SuperGecko can!


Every day, 50 stuffed mini-SuperGeckos were hidden around the convention center. Each one included a little note asking their finders to take a selfie with him and bring him to the bus to get an extra special gift to go with the stuffed keepsake.


Unfortunately, the fun had to end. As you can see from my 3-D photo on this page, I rather enjoyed myself while representing GEICO at Comic Con, and if the opportunity should arise again, you can bet I’ll volunteer!


CosplayMob


FrishLeap






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Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Supplier Diversity Exchange Builds Foundation For inclusive Business Development

Allstate Hosts Event to Develop Procurement Opportunities for Diverse Suppliers

This release contains: 1 Photo, 1 Related Document

Sixteen diverse small businesses from around the country will meet on October 13 at Allstate’s headquarters to network and pitch their business to Allstate leaders and Allstate’s prime supplier partners.


The Allstate Supplier Diversity Exchange, now in its 7th year, brings diverse businesses together to learn about opportunities to work with Allstate and its suppliers and compete for a chance to win business. New to the program this year is a fast-paced business pitch format where each of the companies will have 10 minutes to present their product or service.


"We’ve seen continued interest from our network of diverse suppliers for this event over the years and it’s a great way for Allstate to build relationships," said Cheryl Harris, Allstate’s senior vice president of Sourcing & Procurement Solutions. "Having the right relationships is often a major obstacle for diverse business owners and the opportunity to pitch their product or service increases visibility, potentially leading to future business."


The Exchange accepts applications from businesses that are certified as minority, women, veteran and LGBT owned. Since its inception more than 100 participants have had the opportunity to compete for Allstate’s business, and over half have successfully won contracts.


"Allstate’s Supplier Diversity Exchange not only gives us access to decision makers within the organization but also allows us to interact with diverse suppliers with whom we may partner to further enhance our business," said Linda Sullivan, president of Administrative Strategies - a 2013 participant in the Exchange and 2014 planned attendee.


The Allstate Supplier Diversity Exchange has built a strong foundation for an inclusive environment and creates opportunities for all while developing longstanding relationships. With commitment from top management down, the company has highlighted the important role that diversity and inclusion has today, and will continue well into the future. In 2013, Allstate spent $409.1 million with diverse businesses.


The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” The Allstate brand’s network of small businesses offers auto, home, life and retirement products and services to customers in the United States and Canada. In 2013, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $29 million to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.


# # #


Contact:


Chris Bauer

(847) 402-5600

@Allstatenews






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Monday, October 6, 2014

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Raises Nearly $2.5 Million for Domestic Violence Services

YWCA Evanston-North Shore announced as winner of Purple Purse Challenge

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 1 Photo

The Allstate Foundation, through online donations and direct grants, raised nearly $2.5 million for domestic violence services during its Purple Purse Challenge that concluded late last week. YWCA Evanston-North Shore from Evanston, Ill., earned $311,407, the most of the nearly 140 participating organizations, and won the top prize of $100,000 from The Allstate Foundation to help survivors recover from financial abuse. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse encourages conversation and action around the No.1 reason victims of domestic violence stay in abusive relationships—finances.


The initiative enlisted the help of Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Kerry Washington to spread awareness and encourage the public to donate. The Challenge, the first for The Allstate Foundation, broke numerous records for the CrowdRise website and created a grassroots movement with the majority of donations under $50.


Milestones from the Purple Purse Challenge include:



  • More than half (53 percent) of donations were under $25 and 75 percent were under $50.

  • Raised nearly $1 million in the last week alone.

  • More than $450,000 was raised in the final 24 hours, and nearly half of that ($220,000) came in the final hour.

  • Broke the CrowdRise record for most raised in the first day of any Challenge. And, shattered the CrowdRise record for the most dollars raised in both the last 24 hours and the most raised in the final hour of any initiative on the platform.


"We are thrilled with the outpouring of support from 14,500 people who took the Purple Purse Challenge and gave directly to domestic violence service providers across the country," said Vicky Dinges, senior vice president of corporate responsibility at Allstate. "We know that social service providers are operating with fewer resources. Each donation, no matter how big or small, will help the thousands of women who need assistance gain access to life-saving services for themselves and their families."


The following Purple Purse Challenge winners will receive additional funding from The Allstate Foundation:





























































Organization



Funds Raised through the Purple Purse Challenge



Grand Prizes from The Allstate Foundation



First Place: YWCA Evanston/North Shore



$311,407



$100,000



Second Place: Wings Program



$281,709



$75,000



Third Place: YWCA Northwest Georgia



$276,152



$50,000



Fourth Place: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago



$153,555



$25,000



Fifth Place: Jewish Women International



$57,440



$10,000



Sixth Place: Jenesse Center



$50,935



$10,000



Seventh Place: House of Ruth



$44,840



$10,000



Eighth Place: Jersey Battered Women’s Service



$43,504



$10,000



Ninth Place: New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence



$43,004



$10,000



Tenth Place: Harbor House of Central Florida



$42,088



$10,000



The Challenge ran from Sept. 2 – Oct. 3, 2014. During that time, The Allstate Foundation contributed nearly $650,000 in incentive funding and direct grants to participating organizations. The Allstate Foundation will keep the fundraising site open through 2015, so people can still contribute to organizations at http://ift.tt/1qZFAFV.


The Allstate Foundation also offers the following tips for talking to someone you suspect may be in an abusive relationship:


Offer support without judgment or criticism.
There are a lot of reasons why a victim may stay in an abusive relationship, and many reasons why she may also leave and return to the relationship multiple times. Let her know it’s not her fault and that she’s not alone.


Don’t be afraid to tell her that you’re concerned for her safety.
Help your friend or family member recognize the abuse while acknowledging that she is in a very difficult and dangerous situation.


Avoid confrontations.
There are many reasons why individuals experiencing abuse don’t reach out to family and friends. It’s important to recognize when she is ready to talk about her experiences while still offering support.


Encourage her to get help.
Suggest ways she can get additional support. Help her look into available resources, such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline number (800-799-SAFE) or a local domestic violence agency with specially trained advocates to help her out of the situation.


For additional information on the program visit www.PurplePurse.com.


Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation Domestic Violence Program has empowered domestic violence survivors with resources, knowledge and skills they need to achieve financial empowerment and a life free from abuse. Since its inception, the program has helped nearly 400,000 domestic violence survivors leave abusive relationships through financial education, job training and readiness and microenterprise programs.


About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit http://ift.tt/QoU2bQ.


# # #


Contact:


Kyle Donash

847-402-5600

Kyle.donash@allstate.com






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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Play ball! Get ready for baseball’s best

?????????It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and not because the kids are back in school, although that’s nice, too. Rather, I refer to the wondrousness that is playoff baseball.


I’ve been an Orioles fan almost all my life, and we’re giddy to have our team back in the post-season. It has been WAY too long since 1983. But since 2005, I’ve become a Nationals fan first, just as I was a Senators fan first way back in the 1960s and early 1970s. So I’m doubly excited to have BOTH of the teams I support in the playoffs and, I hope, destined to meet each other in the World Series.


But between now and then, baseball fans everywhere – especially those who root for the Dodgers, Cardinals, Tigers, Angels or the other playoff teams – are in for a great roller-coaster ride, with peaks of exhilaration when our favorite teams are winning, and stark despair when things aren’t going so well. As a Nats fan, I’ve only experienced it once, two years ago, when Washington won the NL East, only to lose in excruciating fashion to the Cardinals in the first round. But that series also featured a walk-off homer in Game Four by the Nats’ Jayson Werth to extend the series to the final game. In all my years as a sports fan, that was one of the most exciting moments I’ve ever experienced.


There’s nothing comparable to the intensity of playoff baseball, which increases with every pitch, every at-bat, every inning, every game until the winner is determined. And for GEICO employees who are also baseball fans, like me, there’s an extra measure of pride in knowing that GEICO is a sponsor of Major League Baseball, and in seeing our logo displayed in the teams’ ballparks.


That’s not going to be much comfort if our teams don’t achieve the success we want for them, but it might ease the pain a little. Play ball!






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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Allstate's Corporate Headquarters Turns Purple

This release contains: 4 Photos

Allstate Insurance Company was aglow with purple today to kick-off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Allstate and The Allstate Foundation are raising awareness during October around the issue and the role finances play in keeping victims in abusive relationships. For more information about the program visit www.purplepurse.com.


Contact:


Kyle Donash

kyle.donash@allstate.com

847-402-5600






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