2020 has presented some unforeseen challenges, but it has also given our team an opportunity to slow down, pause, and reflect on the lessons we have learned, the things in life that matter the most to us, and how our personal core values align with our core values here at HAWK Advisers.

As insurance advisers, we engage every day with our personal, commercial and employee benefits customers. This year has been a year of change for our team, our day-to-day operations, and the businesses and communities we serve. We have all adapted and created solutions for situations we could have never anticipated.

As you look back at the past year, and all that you have overcome, we encourage you to reflect on the lessons that you have learned and how those lessons will serve you and foster growth in the coming New Year.

Here are the lessons that some of our team members have learned in the year 2020:

The value of human contact. In the insurance industry, meeting with our clients is key. We as an agency love the regular engagement that we have with our customers. Zoom is fine for the short-term, but we miss our clients and our interaction with them. Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings, hand-shakes and a smiling face! – Susan, Claims & Commercial Lines Specialist

The importance of community. Community matters more than ever in times like these. It’s been amazing to see the creativity and resilience of the local businesses around us. It’s been even more amazing to witness community members showing up for one another like never before. We are truly all in this together and the kindness that I have seen come out of 2020 has been truly remarkable. – Rebecca, Director of Marketing & Client Engagement

There is always something to be thankful for! It is easy to complain and throw a pity party about the circumstances – not being able to go to my favorite restaurant, having to wear a mask and everything being virtual. When in reality, if I simply change the way I look at the situation, there is always something good to come out of the “bad” or different. It’s human nature to be reluctant to change, but instead of resisting it, try embracing it, it’s not as bad as it may seem. – Hannah, Commercial Risk Adviser

A few months ago, when sharing the news of our soon to be born second grandchild, a friend said to me: “It kind of makes you think about where you want to spend your time.” This comment was quite thought-provoking. It was very rewarding for me to be able to spend so much time with my wife and youngest son. I really missed being around many of my other family members and friends (especially grandbaby #1). While virtual connections are helpful, they are no replacement to spending time with and around people. The events of 2020 have compelled me to try and put aside my worries and accept the fact that even when things appear to be spiraling out of control, there is nothing too big or too complicated for God. It may not be to my understanding or according to my timeframe, but He is in control. 2020 has been the year for me to really take to heart that my faith, my family and my friends are where I want to spend my time. – Rand, President

What can be said that hasn’t been said already – what a year! This year has disrupted much of the life we once knew and loosened our grip on the things once under some measure of our control. There has been no clear guidance, direction, or end in sight. For many us, we are grappling with hard truths, discomfort, and uncertainty. This is our present reality, but not our future hope. I can relate this to our business because we are normally one of the first calls placed when adversity has struck a family member or business owner. I consider it a privilege to stand in the gap for our clients when adversity has struck and celebrate with them in moments of triumph. We are all standing on uneven ground and I can’t remember a better time to reach out or lend a helping hand. It might just change how we reflect on 2020 and our outlook on 2021.  – Stephen, Executive Vice President

To remember and appreciate the happy moments! Even though 2020 was a rough year for all of us, I had a lot of really great moments this year.  – Devon, Employee Benefits Adviser

To appreciate the little things that we can so often take for granted! My generation never expected to face anything more difficult than keeping current with the new apps to load and updating our phone every year or two. Twenty years ago, I don’t think I would have dealt with 2020 well or learned much from it, I am glad to be able to appreciate the little things and keep a positive attitude. – Janet, Commercial Lines Account Manager

How to adapt. During COVID’s beginning, working remotely and solving technical problems was somewhat of a challenge, but we have all learned to adapt in some way this year. Going forward, I assume many of the ways work and business is handled will be changed forever. – Bill, Commercial Lines Account Executive

The power of positivity! Appreciate your loved ones and the people that you have in your life. Don’t ever take anything for granted. – Marie, Commercial Lines Account Manager

How to slow down! It’s important to spend more time with family, to be considerate of others and in times of difficulty, to trust God. – Lori, Administrative & Accounting Assistant

To make every effort to celebrate successes, whether big or small! It’s so important to build each other up and foster positivity. Empathy and patience go a long way! – Cheryl, Personal Lines Manager

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This is a quote by Charles Swindoll that I have continued to reflect upon this year – it continually reminds me of how much control I have over my attitude and mindset. When my college career came to an abrupt ending and I found job opportunities to be minimal at best, I was ultimately left with two options: wallow in the uncontrollable aspects of life or take the hand I have been dealt and play my best cards. As I have pushed myself into the latter, I have seen fear and angst begin to take a backseat to courage and perseverance. While I am certain new obstacles are bound to come my way in both the near and distant future, I am learning to replay Swindoll’s principle in my head and focus on the things that remain in my control. – Will, Intern

To enjoy life! You never know what life is going to throw at you, so it’s important to appreciate the time that you have with the people who mean the most to you. 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride, but we can all do our part to show compassion and understanding to one another. – Liz, Personal Lines Account Manager

2020 was a time where we all have reflected on the importance of little things in life. A time where we all wished for life to change back to the way it was, but were left with no choice other than to put your head down and strive for a better tomorrow. As we all have different takeaways, mine for this hectic year are to never settle, to always stay positive, and to never take what you have for granted. Lastly, while 2020 shaped the new ways of the world, that we are adapting to, I have found it is important to live everyday by three important words that Marty Smith wrote in his book, “kindness, effort, and passion.” – Jimmy, Commercial Risk Adviser

The biggest lesson that I have learned in 2020 is to make sure my family and friends know just how much they mean to me. This is something that I have really tired to teach my children, because we need to remember that time is valuable and spending it with our loved ones is so important. Continue to make every day a gift! – Kristina, Personal Lines Account Manager

How grateful I am for the team we have here at HAWK Advisers. Our team has performed admirably during this difficult time, and our reward has been the satisfaction in knowing that our customers are being helped during a very difficult and challenging year. – Sandy, Employee Benefits Manager