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This is just a little something from all of us to all of you wishing you good smiles and great joy this Christmas.

We take the message of giving to to others at Christmas seriously, which is why we donated funds to the Elizabeth Lausmann Jacobs Memorial Endowment Fund at to help fight cancer. We’re also making a donation to the Southeastern Guide Dogs organization’s Paws for Patriots, helping provide guide dogs for visually impaired veterans.

We definitely don’t take ourselves seriously, though, as you can see in the video below.

Merry Christmas from your friends at iMGA – Rob, James, Debra, Mike and Tony


iMGA Animated Christmas Card 2011 from James Dickey on Vimeo.

Texas Wildfire September 6, 2011

In Texas wildfires in just the last week:

  • At least two people have perished.
  • At least 1,626 homes have been destroyed.
  • The Texas Forest Service has had to respond to 176 fires covering over 126,800 acres.

Our top priority is to ensure every claim we receive is handled quickly so that your clients can begin to rebuild their lives as soon as possible.

Together We Can Do Even More Though

iMGA will donate $10 to the central Texas chapter of the Red Cross for every new policy you write with us during the month of September. Simply issue the policy and make sure the down payment is applied between now and the end of the month to have your effort add $10 to the total.

In addition we will match all direct donations by any of our agents to the American Red Cross of Central Texas (up to $500 total) and we will make sure that our collective donations are earmarked for wildfire disaster relief.

Thank you very much for helping the fire victims in any way that you can.

Please help us make a big difference in as many lives as possible.



To those of our agents who have already made a donation and emailed us the receipt – THANK YOU!!!! To those who have not yet, there is still plenty of time – just make your donation and email us a copy of the receipt.


More than 3 million acres of Texas land and hundreds of homes have burned since wildfire season started on Nov. 15, 2010. You can make a big difference, though, in several ways:

Don’t Cause a Fire

Most Texas counties are experiencing severe drought. Especially this weekend, remember that just a little spark can start a massive wildfire.

The Texas Forest Service
continues to urge caution when it comes to any outdoor activity that can cause a spark – from outdoor grilling or building a campfire to parking a car on dry grass or shooting celebratory fireworks in approved areas. More than 90 percent of Texas wildfires are caused by humans, with the most frequent cause being debris burning.

While we’re facing these drought conditions, don’t use fireworks and don’t burn debris.

Learn about Restoration

The Texas Forest Service performs many valuable services including seminars such as these which are given throughout the state. Keep an eye on their website for seminars in your area.

For example, landowners in Hardin and Tyler counties who have been affected by recent wildfires are invited to a workshop July 7 to learn how to restore their land in the aftermath of a disaster.

“We want to let citizens know what resources are available to them as they recover from these tragic wildfires,” said Carrie Smith, a forester with Texas Forest Service.

The informational “After the Fire” workshop will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Wildwood Meeting Hall, 2201 Button Willow, Wildwood, Texas.

Representatives from partnering agencies – Texas Forest Service, Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department, Big Thicket National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas AgriLife Extension Service and The Campbell Group – will be on hand to help answer questions.

Topics include planting, arson awareness, assistance from NRCS and “Firewise” safety principles. Similar workshops are being held in other areas around the state as well. See for more details.

Donate to the Cause

You can help the volunteer fire departments that have been battling the devastating 2011 wildfires by donating directly to the volunteer fire department of your choice.

The great folks at the Texas Forest Service have established the VFD Emergency Assistance Fund to help volunteer fire departments. Donations are tax deductible and can be earmarked for particular departments, counties or regions. ALL proceeds (yes, the full 100 percent of every donation) will be distributed to volunteer fire departments via grants for firefighting expenses.

Checks should be made payable to Texas Forest Service. Indicate the specific department, region or county department that you’d like to support on the check.

Donations can be mailed to:

Texas Forest Service
John B. Connally Building
301 Tarrow, Ste. 421
College Station, Texas  77840-7896

If you have additional questions about how you can help, email HelpingTexas (at)

Photo of GC the Longhorn - part of the iMGA Texas Heritage Collection

Our agents and partners have helped make this a very Merry Christmas and a great first year for the entire iMGA team. We look forward to making things even better together next year.

In lieu of spending money on printed cards and postage, we elected to donate $500 to Safe Place in Austin.  Safe Place provides safety for individuals and families affected by sexual and domestic violence so they can move beyond being defined by the crimes committed against them.  Safe Place also promotes safe and healthy relationships for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence, and works with others to create change in attitudes, behaviors and policies that perpetuate acceptance of, and impact our understanding and responses to, sexual and domestic violence.

If you are interested in learning more about Safe Place, visit the Safe Place web site.

May you and your loved ones have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

The iMGA Team

From left to right – Rob Reinarz, Debra Jackson, Tony McBride, James Dickey and Mike Gibbs

The news this week was full of coverage of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped 2,000 feet underground for 69 days.Photo of an unknown Chilean miner - NOT one of those rescued.

According to one article on the rescue,

Many agencies and companies around the world contributed expertise or products related to the rescue, from a high-calorie liquid diet, donated by NASA, to suppress motion sickness in the miners as they ascended; to iPods donated by Apple, which the miners were to receive when they emerged. Gifts for their families donated by unions, companies and individuals have ranged from food and clothing to sexy lingerie, wine, toys and children’s Halloween costumes.

The gift that has received the most attention, though, has been the Oakley Radar sunglasses that were donated to help the miners’ eyes during the period of readjustment to light levels on the surface.

Did Oakley make the donation (valued at $6300) out of the goodness of their heart or purely in a gambit to get media attention?

Bottom line – it doesn’t matter. Regardless of the reason Oakley made the donation, the miners got something that will help them at no cost to them. No laws were broken and no one had to be forced to make it happen.

Capitalism leads to better things for all – those in need and those looking to fill a need. It’s nice to see that this time it was noticed, but there are millions of times each year that similar things happen that don’t get reported on by the Associated Press.

That’s okay, but keep it in mind the next time you hear some talking head or politician promoting the need to take more from businesses by taxation or regulation. Good businesses already do a lot. Bad ones will ultimately go out of business. The market (you, me, our friends and neighbors making purchasing decisions every day) does sort these things out over time.

As insurance professionals it’s pretty clear what needs our businesses meet. Every time our customers have a claim, need to get a mortgage, or just want to sleep well knowing they’re protected in case something happens we’re there for them. Remember that – and be proud of it – the next time someone asks what you do or attacks businesses in general.

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