Happy Social Media Day!

In honor of Social Media Day, we wanted to introduce to you our marketing team, the dynamic duo that creates all of the entertaining content for all of our marketing and social media outlets.

(from left to right)

Kaylee Kirsch is our fearless Marketing Manager.  A creative master, Kaylee designs all of our internal and external marketing materials and is devoted to elevating Babb’s brand recognition.  She has an M.S in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University and a B.S. in Communication, Public Relations from Slippery Rock.

Tip for social media: Things change so quickly that it’s important to stay current with trends. That being said, social media can become consuming. I always encourage people to step away from time to time.

Sami Melaragno is our Group Benefits and Marketing Assistant and Social Media Coordinator.  She works tirelessly to keep our social media accounts updated with important information and current events happening throughout the company and Pittsburgh area.  A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in History and Political Science, the social media and marketing world is fairly new to her, only becoming an integral part of the team 2 years ago.

Tip for social media:  Be open, honest, and relatable.  People value authenticity and transparency from companies which are easily shown through posts that reflect what your company culture looks like, whether that’s a company picnic, an in house event, or just the day to day activities that make your company a great place to work.

#SMDay

L3 Leadership Breakfasts at Babb, Inc.

By:  Russell Livingston, President & CEO, Babb, Inc.

Once a month, on Saturday mornings, a group of aspiring and thoughtful young people get together in our ballroom here at Babb, Inc. to hear a presentation from a prominent Western Pennsylvanian leader.  The presentations have moved me to tears, made me laugh foolishly, stretched my views, and strengthened my beliefs.

Doug Smith, the founder of L3 Leadership, created this organization to create a community of like-minded individuals that want to grow and harness their leadership abilities.  For every new leader that Doug meets and talks with, he creates a podcast, interviewing them on their experiences, struggles, and what it takes to be a great and effective leader.  You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (L3 Leadership Podcast)

L3 Leadership has created a community of leaders through monthly breakfasts, leadership events, Master Mind groups, and service opportunities.  All of the activities can be found on their website, and on all of their social media pages.

If you haven’t experienced an L3 Leadership program or event yet, I would encourage you to give it a try.  The stories and the people are amazing.

To follow L3 Leadership

Facebook:  L3 Leadership
Twitter: @L3Leader
Instagram: @L3Leadership
LinkedIn:  L3 Leadership

Employee Spotlight: Lisa Polite

What is your role here at Babb, Inc.?

I am a Senior Account Manager in Babb’s Ft. Myers, FL office.

How did you get your start in the insurance industry?

I started as a Receptionist for a friend who owned a small Insurance Agency

What’s one of your hobbies?

When I have the time, I love to write.

What’s your favorite part of working at Babb, Inc.?  

My favorite part about working for Babb is the strong relationships I have created with the people I work with and for.

What or who is your spirit animal and why?

My spirit animal is definitely an Elephant, because of their strength & wisdom.

What was the first concert you went to? 

The very first concert I attended was The Boss aka Bruce Springsteen.

What is your favorite place in the world? 

This was a tough one, but I would have to say it is a tie between Venice, Italy and Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.  Both beautiful cities.

What is your favorite movie? TV show?  

At the moment, my favorite TV show is “This is Us” like the rest of America.  But, The Walking Dead is a very close second.  As for movies, my all-time favorite is “Goodfellas” and then “Unbroken”.

NASA Guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants

By:  Lynsey Bish

Surprisingly modern furnishings, synthetic building materials, and even your own carpet carry more chemicals than expected and can make up to 90 percent of indoor air pollution. NASA researchers Clean Air study found that plants can play a major role in effectively removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, ammonia, and xylene from the air. This list of chemicals have been linked to health effects like headaches and eye irritation.

So how do houseplants clean the air? Carbon dioxide and some particulates for the air are processed into oxygen though photosynthesis, but that’s not all! Microorganisms associated with the plants are present in potting soil, and responsible for much of the air purification. Beyond air purification indoor plants have shown to boost our mood. For example, patients who were placed in a recovery room after surgery with plants were more positive and had lower stress and blood pressure.[1]

For those of us who don’t really have a green thumb, I’ve selected five indoor houseplants that are almost impossible to kill.

Spider Plant

(Image from lovethegarden.com)

Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to take care of. So, if you forget about watering it for a few days, it’s okay! If you do notice that it is particularly dry, hang them in the bathroom while you’re in the shower. Spider Plants are non-toxic to pets and children. They love bright, indirect sunlight and can grow in any soil.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene

Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This plant is one of the hardest houseplants to kill, just make sure that you water it occasionally. Although, this plant does prefer drier conditions and some sun.

Pollutants removed: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is one of my personal favorite houseplants, in addition to being easy to care for; aloe has some hidden additional benefits. This plant is full of a clear liquid that is packed with vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pollutant removed: formaldehyde

Peace Lily    

You may not think that a Peace Lily will really make a difference with air purification based on its size, but it packs a punch with some major air-cleaning abilities. They enjoy shady areas and a moist soil. Just be mindful that they do bloom throughout the summer which can contribute some pollen and floral scents.

Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene

Garden Mum

The Garden Mum is the air-purifying champion! This plant is inexpensive and available at local garden stores. Mums love light and lots of water. They are simple to grow and to propagate. Mum’s bloom through the months when other plants are completely spent. Take advantage of this unique plant and spruce up your home or office with an array of colorful Mums.

Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene

 


[1] Park, Seong-Hyun, and Richard H. Mattson. “Ornamental Indoor Plants in Hospital Rooms Enhanced Health Outcomes of Patients Recovering from Surgery.” The Journal of Alternativeand Complementary Medicine 15.9 (2009): 975-80. Web.

 

Surprise Visit at Babb

Yesterday, we were surprised with a visit from The Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher, Tony Watson.  This event was made possible by a couple very dedicated Babb employees and The Hartford insurance company.

The Hartford selected Babb, Inc. for this year’s event.  Our employees were treated to a meet and greet with Tony and lunch afterwards.  During our meet and greet, we were allowed to ask Tony questions about what it’s like to juggle a professional baseball career with family life, how to get yourself past your own mental roadblocks, and what it’s like to play minor league  vs major league ball.  After speaking with us, we were allowed to get an autograph and take a photo with Tony.

We just want to take the opportunity, again, to thank The Hartford, Tony Watson, and the Pirates for putting together a wonderful event for all of us here at Babb, Inc.

History of the William Penn Snyder Mansion

Since 1970, Babb, Inc.’s headquarters have been based in the old William Penn Snyder mansion located on, what was once, Millionaire’s Row in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  William Penn Snyder was in the iron ore development business in the Lake Superior area with Henry W. Oliver.  He was also the owner of the Shenango Furnace Company.

Built in 1911, it takes up the entire corner of Ridge and Galveston Avenues standing three stories high.  It was built in the 18th century French Renaissance style complete with ornate woodworking, marble fireplaces, detailed plaster, stained glass, and an exterior faced in Hummelstown brownstone.  The state rooms and the grand staircase in the entryway are more reminiscent of the English Renaissance style that was popular from the Elizabethan to the Georgian eras.

By the 1920s the house was vacant, but in 1930 was bought by the Knight’s Life Insurance Company who put an addition on the building in 1948.  The addition was faced with Hummelstown brownstone from the same quarry to match the original.

In 1976 the building was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The building contains some fascinating original architectural and technological advances that, at the time, were revolutionary.  It had an in house vacuum system, a working push-button elevator, air-conditioning, and a garage in the lower level containing an entrance that lead to the French style ballroom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Designing a Healthful Diet

By:  Lynsey Bish

What exactly is a healthful diet? A healthful diet provides the proper combination of energy and nutrients. It has four characteristics: it is adequate, moderate, balanced, and varied. No matter how young or old, overweight or underweight, healthy or ill, if you keep these characteristics in mind, you will be able to select foods that provide you with an optimum combination of nutrients and energy each day.

What tools can help you design a healthful diet?

Many people feel it’s not possible for them to eat a healthful diet. They mistakenly believe that the foods they would need to eat are too expensive or not available to them, or that they’re too busy to do the necessary planning, shopping, and cooking.

Although designing and maintaining a healthful diet is not as simple as eating whatever you want, most of us can do with a little practice and a little help. Here are some tools to help get you started.

Dietary Guideline for Americans

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are a set of principles developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health to promote health, reduce the risk for chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of obesity among Americans though Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity[1].

They include twenty-three recommendations for the general population, but you don’t have to remember them all! Instead, they encourage you to focus on the following four main ideas.

Balance Calories to Maintain Weight

An important strategy for balancing your calories is to choose nutrient-dense foods (foods that provide the most nutrients for the least amount of calories). For example, skim milk is more nutrient dense than whole milk, and a peeled orange is more nutrient than an orange soft drink. At the same time, being physically active for at least 30 minutes each day can reduced your risk for chronic diseases!

Limit Fat and Sugars

Fat is an essential nutrient and important part of a healthful diet but, because fats are energy dense, eating a diet high in total fat can lead to becoming overweight. Less than 7-10% of your total daily calories should come from saturated fat, and you should try to consume less than 300mg per a day of cholesterol[2]. You can achieve the goal by replacing fats, like butter and lard, with plant oils, and replacing full-fat milk, yogurt, and cheeses with low-fat or nonfat versions.

Limit foods and beverages that are high in added sugars, such as sweetened soft drinks, cookies, and cakes. Many foods that contain added sugars often supply calories, but no essential nutrients and no dietary fiber. Sweetened foods and beverages can be replaced with those that are low in or have no added sugars. Sweetened beverages can be replaced with water and unsweetened beverages[3].

Consume more Healthful Foods and Nutrients

  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Each day, try to eat a variety of dark-green, red, and orange vegetables, along with beans and peas.
  • Make sure that at least half of all grain foods (breads, cereals, pasta, and so on) that you eat each day are made from whole grains.
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, which include milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages.
  • When making protein choices, choose protein foods that are lower in solid fat and Calories, such as lean cuts of beef or skinless poultry. Try to eat more fish and shellfish in place of traditional meat and poultry choices. Also choose eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Choose foods that provide an adequate level of dietary fiber as well as nutrients of concern in the American diet, including potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. These nutrients help us maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce our risks for certain diseases. Healthful foods that are good sources of these nutrients include fruits, vegetables, beans and peas, whole grains, and low-fat milk and milk products[1].
  • Follow Healthy Eating PatternsThere isn’t a healthy eating pattern that everyone should follow. The best recommendation made in Dietary Guidelines is designed to accommodate diverse cultural, ethnic, traditional, and personal preferences that still fit into your food budget. MyPlate.gov is free for everyone to help find a healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. MyPlate will focus on helping you make healthy food and beverage choices and include all five food groups. It’s about making small changes to create a healthier eating style.

    Overall, the Goals of the Dietary Guideline are to promote health, reduce the risk for chronic diseases and improve nutrition and physical activity.


[1] Abou-Samra, R., et al. 2011. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutrition Journal 2011, December 23(10):139.
[2] Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The science of nutrition. Boston: Pearson, 2014. Print.
[3] 2010 Dietary Guidelines. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2017