Momentous Donates to the Five Cities Fire Authority.

Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and Allianz/Fireman's Fund grant presentation to Five Cities Fire Authority, CA - Thursday, August 27 2015. $38,093 - $30K for Command Vehicle, $8,093 for Thermal Imaging Camera. Photos by Steve E Miller.

Momentous Insurance Brokerage and Allianz/Fireman’s Fund grant presentation to Five Cities Fire Authority, CA. Photo by Steve E Miller.

On Thursday, August 28th, Momentous Insurance Brokerage made a grant to the Five Cities Fire Authority in Arroyo Grande, CA. The donation will be used to purchase a new customized Ford Interceptor SUV that will serve as a mobile command center, and a 250 series IGS Infrasys thermal imaging camera.

Through Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, this grant is part of a nationwide philanthropic program, The Heritage Program, which allows independent insurance agencies and brokers, such as Momentous, to direct the donations to support local fire services.

Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and Allianz/Fireman's Fund grant presentation to Five Cities Fire Authority, CA - Thursday, August 27 2015. $38,093 - $30K for Command Vehicle, $8,093 for Thermal Imaging Camera. Photos by Steve E Miller.

A firefighter demonstrates the capabilities of the thermal imaging camera.

Jennifer Dantona, Senior Vice President of Momentous, was on hand to present the donation at a ceremony attended by the city council members, mayors and other local dignitaries. This is the second year in a row that Momentous had directed a grant toward the Five Cities Fire Department. Momentous specifically  chose a department where they could see the impact of their donation. With family ties to the community, and a knowledge that the Fire Authority could greatly benefit from the donation, Mrs. Dantona believed that Five Cities would be the perfect fit.

“We wanted to make a donation where it could make a serious difference, …not just a drop in the bucket.” And last year’s donation did make an impact. The Five Cities Fire Authority purchased equipment and another mobile command center that was used regularly. The Fire Authority related a specific incident where equipment purchased with Momentous funds made the difference in a rescue operation. “It was such a great experience…gratifying for us to see that,” said Mrs. Dantona.

The thermal imaging camera provides clear imaging up to 1000° C (1832°F) allowing fire fighters to see heat signatures through thick smoke or walls. Firefighters can then locate trapped persons, or identify fires within walls. Steve Lieberman, Fire Chief of the Five Cities Fire Authority, was reported saying, “We use the camera more often than you would think…quickly grabbing the TIC (thermal imaging camera) can help us determine that there is not a fire threat.”

The new mobile command center is a customized version of the Ford Explorer.  The command center is equipped with emergency lighting,  custom electronics, and features solar panels on the roof to maintain power to its batteries. It is also more fuel efficient than the Fire Authority’s current command vehicle.


Dizzy Feet Celebration of Dance Gala

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Shelly Harris, Cristina Zeleya, Liz Bodie and Mary Policky

On August 1 at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles the Dizzy Feet Foundation held its annual gala. Momentous Insurance Brokerage and our Make it Better Committee are proud donors of this organization, and Momentous employees Mary Policky, Liz Bodie, Shelly Harris and Cristina Zeleya were in attendance at the event.

The evening included phenomenal performances by Body Traffic, Joffrey Ballet dancers Fabrice Calmeis & Victoria Jaiani, Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer and many more.

George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn of West Side Story were honored with the Impact Award. Joe Tremaine received the Gene Kelly Legacy Award and Debbie Reynolds was honored with the Inspiration Award.

Artistic expression and personal achievement are an integral part of a child’s experience, but are often overlooked aid programs are created. To this end, Momentous is proud to support the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s efforts to increase dance education in the United States, specifically in low-income areas.

About Dizzy Feet Foundation

The Dizzy Feet Foundation is a celebrity-based non-profit organization, that was created in 2009 by producer Nigel Lythgoe and director Adam Shankman, among others. The goal of the organization is to support, improve, and increase access to dance education throughout the United States. The group’s mission is threefold:

  • To support the dance education programs of local community organizations, providing children in low-income areas the exposure to the lifelong benefits of dance.
  • To give scholarships to talented children who study at nationally regarded or accredited dance institutions.
  • To increase the quality of education in the United States of all dance styles, in conjunction with credentialing organizations.


Momentous Awarded in Safeco’s “Make More Happen” campaign

hands and heart_iStock_000030452612XLargeMomentous is pleased to announce that it  was selected for an award as part of Safeco’s “Make More Happen”campaign. As a result, Operation Gratitude will receive a $3,500 donation from
Safeco. The original award was for $3,000 and Momentous was able to secure an additional $500 through a public voting contest in Safeco’s “Make More Happen” contest.

This donation will help Operation Gratitude send care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene, handmade items, and personal letters of appreciation to New Recruits, Veterans, First responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed oversees.



About Operation Gratitude

Operation gratitude annually sends 150,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to New Recruits. Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors. Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas. Our mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of Active Duty and Veteran communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to the members of our Military. Each package contains donated product valued at $75-$100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than One Million Care packages.


Making Blankets for Children in Need

The Make It Better Committee delivering blankets to the My Stuff Bags Foundation

The committee delivering the blankets

This July, seventy Momentous employees took time out of their lunch hour to make blankets for the My Stuff Bags Foundation. My Stuff Bags provides small bags filled with books, toys and a blanket to children who have been rescued from abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Using a simple “no sew” design provided by My Stuff Bags, Momentous employees were able to make over 100 blankets. Preliminary work was done by the Make it Better Committee, who traveled to downtown Los Angeles to purchase the fabric. The committee also spent time preparing the fabric, and learning the process for making these blankets.

A few weeks later, members of the Make it Better Committee delivered the Blankets to My Stuff Bags. While there, they had an opportunity to see the bags that the blankets would go into and learn more about the important work that the My Stuff Bags Foundation does.


About the My Stuff Bags Foundation

An inside look at a duffel bag from the My Stuff Bags Foundation

An inside look at a duffel bag from the My Stuff Bags Foundation

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children in the United States must be rescued from abandonment, abuse or neglect. Often, these children are admitted into foster care or shelters with no personal belongings of their own. The My Stuff Bags Foundation exists to help thousands of these children by providing a bag of belongings that can give them a sense of comfort and stability.

The foundation provides duffel bags filled with things for the children entering these uncertain situations to call their own. There is a stuffed animal to hold onto, coloring books and crayons, toys to play with, and new clothes and toiletries. One of the most important items is a blanket just for them.

You can find out more about the My Stuff Bags Foundations online at



Congratulations to the 2015 Graduates of Exceptional Minds!

Momentous Full Page AdFor the second year, Momentous has had the privilege to sponsor the Exceptional Minds Industry Open House in Sherman Oaks. Exceptional Minds is a pioneer in providing vocational training in the fields of animation and visual effects and a model for similar vocational programs. Each student is empowered with the technical skills required to obtain employment in the visual effects industry and is adept in animation, graphic design, roto and cleanup, green screen keying, simple compositing, object removal, tracking mark removal, and end credit work. The day’s events included an opportunity for students, each on the Autism spectrum, to share their professional demeanor and expert reel with attendees. Momentous supporters Matthew Iacovone and Greg Jones attended the event to cheer on the graduates.

Each of the seven 2015 graduates had a few moments to share desires on what type of work he or she would love to do post-graduation to about 100 visual effects industry professionals. “Thank you to Exceptional Minds for giving me the skills necessary to do this, to start off my career,” said 2015 EM graduate Nicky Benoist, who will be starting his new job as visual effects artist with Mr. Wolf Studios the day after graduation.

Many EM graduates go on to work in the Exceptional Minds Studio, which provides visual effects and other digital animation work on a project basis. The Studio’s resume includes credits for American Hustle, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

“I will tell you what they have that other people don’t have: obsession over detail,” said Victoria Alonso, Marvel Studios’ Executive VP of Visual Effects and Post Production. Jamie Lee Curtis was on hand to present Alonso with the “Ed Asner Award,” which is presented to the school’s most important supporters.

More than 3.5 million Americans are living with an autism spectrum disorder, with one in 68 children now being diagnosed (increased from one in 88 just two years ago); more than 500,000 U.S. children impacted by the disorder will enter adulthood during this decade. Autism services cost U.S. citizens over $200 billion annually.

About Exceptional Minds

Exceptional Minds is a non-profit vocational center and working production studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. It was chartered in 2011 to provide the training necessary for creatively gifted individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders who may not otherwise be able to make the transition from high school to careers. Exceptional Minds offers technical proficiency and work readiness training that prepares students for careers in graphic arts, animation, web design, visual effects and rotoscoping. Exceptional Minds is both an instructional learning facility and a working studio with hands-on student involvement in production projects, many for the film industry.

About Momentous

Momentous Insurance Brokerage is a top 100 firm in the United States and is dedicated to providing the highest caliber of insurance and risk management consultation. We write all lines of insurance products including personal, commercial, professional, employee benefits, specialized entertainment risk, and more.  For more information, please visit

Mother’s Club Family Learning Center

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A graduate showing off his new backpack.

Earlier this year, Momentous proudly donated $1,500 to the Mother’s Club Family Learning Center.

 Mother’s Club Family Learning Center reaches out to isolated, impoverished parents with young children and provides then with practical skills, education, self-confidence, companionship, and most significantly, hope for a better future for themselves and for their families. At the same time, their children are provided with a safe, nurturing environment that promotes healthy growth and development, and builds strong, lasting bonds between parents and children.

The funds Momentous donated were used to purchase backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need. Along with the supplies, each bag contained a lunch box and a gift card toward their school uniform purchase. These bags were presented at the children’s preschool graduation ceremony in June.




This years graduates of Mother’s Club Family Learning Center!

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Backpacks filled with school supplies purchased with funds donated by Momentous.

About Mother’s Club Family Learning Center

Mother’s Club Family Learning Center is a non-profit organization that prepares families living in isolation and poverty to succeed in school and in life through two-generation learning programs. To fulfill our mission, we provide FREE social services and educational programs to low-income, at-risk families with children 0-5. In all programs, parents and children are on-site, engaged in their own comprehensive curricula. Programs successfully increase literacy levels, educational outcomes and the emotional well being of both generations. We currently serve 100 parents and 123 children each year.



Continuing Education

Kelly Scott

On June 5, at the Luxe Sunset Hotel, Momentous hosted a continuing education seminar for HR professionals on the topics of bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace, and the new sick leave law.  Conceived by Momentous benefits specialist Greg Eisenman, the event focused on important upcoming legislative changes that affect all businesses.  Over 30 HR professionals attended the event, receiving three HRCI credits toward their PHR/SPHR designations for their participation.

President and CEO Diane Brinson kicked off the event with an introduction about Momentous and then turned the floor over to Kelly Scott, a prestigious employment law attorney from Ervine Cohen & Jessup LLP.  Kelly’s presentations, “Understanding and Avoiding Bullying and Sexual Harassment” and “Stay Healthy: Avoiding Problems Under the New Sick Leave Law” were filled with current and relevant examples from case law, and were met with an overwhelmingly positive reception from attendees.  Between Kelly’s topics, a brief presentation was given from co-sponsor, Aaron Flewellen of EBA&M.  Aaron provided a basic overview of self-funded health insurance and its importance in the changing marketplace.

Greg Eisenman and Kelly Scott

Greg Eisenman and Kelly Scott

About Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP and Kelly Scott

For over 60 years, the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP (EC&J) has provided quality legal services to clients in the Los Angeles area. Located in Beverly Hills, the team prides itself on being available and responsive to fit the needs of each client. Kelly Scott is a partner of the firm, where he serves as the head of its Employment Law Department. He has over 25 years of experience in a multitude of employment law matters.



The Hope of the Valley Recuperative Care Center

Assistant Vice President Mary Policky and Hope of the Valley CEO and President Rev. Ken Craft

Assistant Vice President Mary Policky and
Hope of the Valley President and CEO Rev. Ken Craft

This month, Momentous proudly agreed to sponsor a bedroom at the Hope of the Valley Recuperative Care Center, which is currently under construction in Mission Hills. Designed to help transition homeless patients who have been discharged from area hospitals, the Center will be the first of its kind in the San Fernando Valley.

When most people are discharged from a hospital after an inpatient or emergency admission, they return home and take time to rest and recuperate back to full health. For those without this luxury, the Recuperative Care Center will serve as a temporary home where they can rest, be cared for and heal.

The Recuperative Care Center will provide a safe environment where patients will be monitored by medical staff and receive case management from social workers. The goal is to eventually discharge each individual from recuperative care, providing the resources to end their homelessness and get them into a permanent supportive housing solution.

The donation from Momentous will provide funds to cover an entire bedroom at the new facility. Along with sleeping quarters, the 16,000 sq. ft. building will include restrooms, showers, laundry, a kitchen and dining hall, computer room, medical clinic, physical therapy area and case manager offices.


The Insurance Professionals of Los Angeles 87th Awards Banquet

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Assistant Vice President Mary Policky

On May 20 2015 the Insurance Professionals of Los Angeles (IPLA) hosted their 87th Annual Awards Banquet at the Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills, California. Assistant Vice President of Momentous, Mary Policky, gave the keynote address, “The ABC’s and HCR’s of Employee Benefits.” The keynote gave a concise overview of the state of health insurance in the United States prior to the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, the issues that the act was meant to address, and the progress made since its adoption. Ms. Policky then gave an in depth explanation of the various policies and regulations which will become effective in 2015 and 2016.

After the presentation an attorney and member of IPLA commented, “I really thought I knew everything about Health Care Reform until tonight. There is so much information I didn’t know.”

Chief Financial Officer Mitula Patel

Chief Financial Officer Mitula Patel

Later in the evening, Momentous CFO Mitula Patel was honored with the President’s Award. This award is presented by the current President to an individual who goes above and beyond as a member of IPLA, and embodies a true representation of service and dedication to the organization.

About IPLA

The Insurance Professionals of Los Angeles (IPLA) is an organization consisting of professionals from a variety of related industries, including insurance, retail and wholesale, legal, and management, among others. IPLA is dedicated to providing education and professional development to its members, and strives to create an environment that facilitates networking and learning.




Corporate Volunteer Day at The Painted Turtle

Momentous Volunteers at The Painted Turtle Camp

On Saturday May 16, 2015, Momentous employees attended Corporate Volunteer Day at The Painted Turtle. Founded by Paul Newman, The Painted Turtle is a camp for children with serious medical conditions that operates completely free of charge. At the camp site in Lake Hughes, 14 Momentous volunteers helped landscape; clean and organize cabins and activity areas; create staff manuals for volunteer cabin counselors; and stuff turtle pillows for the campers.

This annual volunteer day is vital in ensuring that the camp site is ready for the campers’ arrival for the busy Summer Sessions. In 2015, The Painted Turtle plans to welcome over 2,900 campers, both on-site and at locations across the state. They also plan to serve 2,650 campers through outreach to 19 hospital sites and clinics, and through community events.

Volunteers spend the afternoon weeding the grounds around the cabins

Volunteers spend the afternoon weeding the grounds around the cabins

The Painted Turtle expressed their gratitude to the Momentous employees who support the camp. “Because of you, kids with a wide range of serious medical conditions are changed for the positive through an unforgettable experience,” said Blake Maher, The Painted Turtle’s Executive Director. “As a non-profit that operates at no cost to the campers they serve, The Painted Turtle can only provide an authentic recreational camp experience for the children who need it most through financial support and volunteers’ dedication.”