Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Gregory

What is your role here at Babb, Inc.? 

I am an Account Manager for Property & Casualty department.

 Where did you go to school? (High School, trade school, college, etc.)

I went to Bethel Park High School and then attended The Pennsylvania State University – Behrend campus.

 What’s the last good book you read?

The last book I read was “On the Road” by Jack Keroac, a great novel about travel, adventure, discovery, and the Beatnik/counter culture of the 1950s.

 Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

 A Pittsburgh food truck has a sandwich created in my honor.

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

The best part about working at Babb is my coworkers’ dynamic personalities.

 What Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?

Hufflepuff – people need to value loyalty & kindness more!

What or who is your spirit animal and why?

Ron Swanson (from the TV show Parks & Rec) for his blunt honesty.

What was the first concert you went to?

My first concert was to see the ultimate 90s ska band, No Doubt.

What 3 fictional characters best describe you and why?

Ron Weasley – because of the red hair

Charlie Bucket – because of his selfless nature

Atticus Finch – because of his honor and his ability to personify what being a role model is

If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

A dolphin because they are social, swim all day, and turn off half of their brain when sleeping. Plus echolocation and the ability and intelligence to do cool tricks are just added bonuses.

National Give Something Away Day

Tomorrow, July 15, we will be celebrating a wonderful, unsung holiday, National Give Something Away Day.  It’s a day that reminds us to give back to our communities and those in need.

There are many ways in which you can give back.  Whether you decide to pay it forward and pay for someone else’s meal or groceries, donate unused items you no longer use, donate blood, or just buy someone some flowers.  This is a great day that reminds us that we don’t necessarily need to spend money, or exorbitant amounts of money, to be able to give back.  Take the time to clean out the rooms in your homes, garages, storage lockers, etc. and see what items you have that would benefit someone else more.

Once you decide what you want to donate, where should you go?  The following list are just a few places where you can donate all of your unused goods.

Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh

There are Goodwill stores all over Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.  Donating your stuff is as easy as taking it to a drop-off center.  Not only do they accept clothing and home goods, but they will also accept books, computers, all types of automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.  All you have to do is ask if they will accept the item.

Vietnam Veterans of America

This organization makes the donation process extraordinarily easy.  They have trucks that will come and pick up your household items.  They will not pick up large furniture, however, smaller items like clothing, small appliances and furniture, etc., they will pick up.  All of your items go towards helping veterans of the Vietnam War.  Call to schedule a pick up and make sure your items are easily accessible.  You don’t even have to be home in order for them to pick up your goods.

Washington City Mission

Washington City Mission is passionate about providing clothing, shelter, and food to the homeless and those in need.  Located in Washington County, this mission is always happy to accept clothing, smaller home goods, furniture, and even automobiles.  The most in demand items however, are children’s clothing and winter coats.  There are several drop off locations to donate your stuff or you can call them to set up a home pick-up.

Free Ride!

Free Ride is committed to teaching people about bicycle repair and maintenance, and promoting bicycle use.  Located in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, they accept all types of bikes, parts, and accessories.  By recycling your bikes, old parts, and accessories, you are helping to keep them from sitting in landfills.  You can donate in two ways.  When the shop is open, Free Ride accepts all donations.  However, when the shop is closed, Construction Junction (see below) will accept all donations on their behalf.

 Dress For Success

Dress For Success’ focus is to empower women to achieve success and independence by providing support networks, professional clothing, and developmental lessons.  Their vision is to create a world “where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.”  How can you get involved?  First, you can donate your gently- used clothing which helps boost women’s confidence and get them set up to achieve success at interviews and future jobs.  Second, you can donate your money, which is used to finance great developmental programs for women who are striving to become financially independence.  Third, volunteer your time working with these women, planning events, teaching, inventory, picking up donations, etc.

Hopeline Cell Phone Donation

Hopeline collects old cell phones, accessories, chargers, and batteries in all conditions and from any service providers.  These phones are for survivors of domestic violence.  Many survivors are unable to use their old phones and so your unused phone will go towards helping these survivors get back on their feet.  There are a few ways to help.  You can donate your own unused, old phones at any Verizon Wireless retail store.  Or, you could host a phone drive, collecting phones from everyone in your office, at your gym, from friends and friends, etc.

Construction Junction

Did you just clean out your garage or shed and find a bunch of unused building materials that are wasting away?  Well, now there is a place to take those unused items.  Also located in Point Breeze, (point of fact:  Free Ride is located within Construction Junction) Construction Junction is a retail store that is committed to providing affordable building materials for low-income families and help protect the environment.  If you have large materials, they also have a free pick up service, all you have to do is call and set up a time to have your items picked up.

Light of Life

Located right down the street from Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, Light of Life is dedicated to providing a place for the hungry and homeless to be taken care of and learning how to turn their lives around.  They provide programs that are designed to equip those in need with the education, resources, and stability needed to gain employment and housing.  Light of Life provides a safe space for women and children escaping abuse and helps them get the counseling they need, and provides education and shelter.  They are also committed to helping people who are homeless because of mental illness.  They are always accepting clothing, food, and volunteers.

All of these organizations are committed to not only helping people in their times of greatest need, but also protecting the environment and education.  Don’t forget to celebrate National Give Something Away Day tomorrow, July 15!

Source:  https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-donate-items-in-pittsburgh-2707877

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.


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

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.

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Employee Spotlight: Ashleigh Sager

What is your role here at Babb, Inc.?

I was recently hired at Babb, Inc. as the HR Manager. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I am a sleep walker and sleep talker.

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

The best part about working at Babb is the focus on the overall wellness

What or who is your spirit animal and why?

A bird because they can see everything from up high, they get around quickly and they seem to have no agenda.  They do what they want.

What is your favorite place in the world?

The best in world is my house with my husband, Joe and my son, Blake Paul.

What have you recently binged on Netflix?

I recently got hooked on The Crown, which is a biographical drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The first season is focused on the period from her marriage to Prince Phillip to being crowned Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

What color crayon would you be and why?

I would be an orange crayon. It’s bright. It stands out. It’s more unique than most other colors.

If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

I would be one of my cat. They eat better than I do, sleep all day and get away with murder.