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

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

Mary Policky2 - Copy

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.”



Momentous Sponsors Victory for Victims 5K/10K

The Momentous Make It Better Committee sponsored the 2015 CATS Victory for Victims 5K/10K on April 19th at Lake Balboa Park. Twenty-five Momentous joggers (plus best friends Hans and Duke, the dogs) were on hand to participate in the 5K and 10K races. In addition to our sponsorship, Momentous was grateful to be a Guest of Honor at this year’s race for our continued support of the Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS). Mary Policky, Make It Better Committee Chairperson, was on-hand to receive the honor and articulate appreciation for the work done by CATS year-round. Momentous is also pleased to be represented in the top-finishers with Norma Angulo completing the 5K in a personal best time and finishing in 2nd Place in her age group (25-32 year olds). Congratulations, Norma!


Team Momentous poses for a photo before the race

Winnie Wong to Moderate PGA Panel

Winnie Wong

Winnie Wong

For the second straight year, Winnie Wong, Senior Vice President of Film & TV, will be hosting a panel at the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By Conference. Titled “How Not to Get Sued,” the panel, sponsored by Momentous, will take place on Saturday, May 30th at the historic Paramount lot in Hollywood. It will cover everything from copyrights to on-set safety, the expectation of unions and guilds, and cybercrime.

Wong will be joined by the following panelists:

Lisa Callif, Partner, Donaldson + Callif

Larry Karaszewski, Big Eyes, Ed Wood

Rachael Klein, 30 for 30: The Fab Five; 30 Days in May; Producer/Partner, Solaris Entertainment

Craig Vaughan, Founder & Managing Partner, Vaughan Capital Advisors

Winnie Wong has been an entertainment insurance broker since 1985 and specializes in independent features, television, reality, documentary and commercial films.  Winnie has represented a number of prestigious accounts such as MGM Studios, Universal Studios, and countless television, commercial and documentary production companies. She is completely dedicated to educating her clients, and has taught entertainment insurance courses for UCLA Extension, International Documentary Association (IDA) and Film Independent (FIND) and has participated on panels for American Film Market, WestDOC and Slamdance. She has written articles for various film publications, including Documentary magazine and Film Independent, and  authored a book titled, “Hollywood Studio Production Techniques” which was released in 2013.  Winnie is a board member of the established Women in Film organization and a member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Professional Advisory Network. In 2014, she was recognized by Risk & Insurance magazine as Power Broker in the entertainment insurance category.

About the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By Conference
The Produced By Conference is in its seventh year running and is a weekend showcase of panels, mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities for producers taking place May 30-31, 2015. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to network with established Academy Award-winning filmmakers and Emmy-winning producers, as well as up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

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

Momentous Sponsors PIHRA Legal Update

Greg Eisenman

Greg Eisenman

In January, Momentous served as Platinum Sponsor of the 2015 Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA) Annual Legal Update.  As part of this sponsorship, Employee Benefits expert Greg Eisenman, a PIHRA member since 2009, attended and hosted our exhibit booth at all three locations: Pasadena on January 13th, Riverside on January 15th, and Costa Mesa on January 22nd.  He had the opportunity to speak with attendees on a one-on-one basis about their current struggles and concerns with the benefits marketplace.  Greg also had the opportunity to address all 600+ attendees at the Pasadena event, speaking about hot topics in the benefits industry before introducing the key-note speaker, Kelly O. Scott.

The PIHRA (Professionals in Human Resources Association) Annual Legal Update series is the largest employment law seminar in California.  The annual event welcomes over 1,000 human resources professionals and business owners.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about all of the important changes taking place for the coming year that may affect businesses and their employees.

Momentous has enjoyed sponsoring this event for the past two years and plan to be a part of it for many years to come.  PIHRA serves as a vital resource for many of our current and future clients.  If you haven’t attended an event already, we highly recommend that you consider doing so in the future.

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

Is your company vulnerable to a data breach?

bigstockphoto_Internet_Security_990866Businesses face a growing number of threats to its data security, especially those who deal with sensitive information about customers or employees. Internally, businesses need to be on the lookout for employee error, misuse of mobile devices and other potential minefields. Externally, we face the threat of hacker attacks, vendor negligence and other risks.

Momentous Insurance Brokerage is pleased to share the following data protection tools to help you secure your business.


Data Risk Calculator

Assess your risk level in just a few minutes with the Data Risk Calculator. Answer a few short questions to get your Data Risk Score. This number will rate your company as being at low, medium or high risk of a data breach. After each question, you’ll receive a best practice tip on how to better protect your company’s sensitive data.

Data Expense Calculator

Do you know how much a data breach could cost your company? Use this Expense Calculator to find out. If a data breach occurs and personally identifiable information about your customers, patients or employees is compromised, your expenses may include legal services, forensic investigations, notification mailings, call center support, credit monitoring, and fraud remediation expenses. These are what we call 1st party damages – direct, additional expenses your business incurs and must pay because of the data breach. This calculator will help you determine an appropriate amount of insurance you may need to cover those expenses.

Congratulations to our Client Dale Gibson!


Dale Gibson and his team roping partner Shawn Parrott

By Christina DiSalvo

The Momentous Equine Division would like to take a moment to congratulate one of our clients.  We are proud of Dale Gibson and his team roping partner Shawn Parrott for their win on October 11th at the Paso Robles World Series Team Roping Qualifier.  Dale & Shawn took home the win in the #11 division.  Their fast time was 3 seconds faster than the 2nd place team, for a winning time of 37.04. For the non-team ropers out there, the division is determined by the total rating for both ropers and cannot equal more than the division number.  Each roper is ranked based on their skill level and competitive ability.   Dale is a #5 header (ropes the horns/head of the steer) and Shawn is a #6 heeler (ropes the legs of the steer).  Headers and Heelers are ranked from 1 – 10, 1 being more of a novice and a 10 being the highest rank.  To keep things interesting and competitive in the World Series of Team Roping, the divisions are set up as a sort of “handicap.”  It keeps a 10 ranked header from roping with a 10 ranked heeler. This is another win on the road to the 2014 World Series of Team Roping Finale in Las Vegas.  In December, Dale and Shawn will be competing again in the #11 division to take home a piece of the $8 million payoff.   Over 2,000 team ropers will be competing.

Dale Gibson wearing Team Momentous vest

Dale Gibson wearing Team Momentous vest

The first World Series of Team Roping (WSTR) Finale was held in Las Vegas in 2006.  Since then it has grown to be the largest and highest paid Team Roping event beating out the National Finals Rodeo.  The Cowboy Sports News called it “the richest and most prestigious showcase for the sport.”  Competitors come from all over the world to participate and have a chance at the large purse.   Last year, the WSTR came in as the 3rd richest international horse related event.  The top 2 spots were held by the Breeders Cup and the Dubai World Cup. Since 2012, the Momentous Equine Division have been a proud sponsor of Dale Gibson for the World Series of Team Roping Finale.  We believe in and support Dale in his passion and are glad we are able to provide the funds for the entry fees.  So, come the week of the 8th of December we will be “box side” and cheering the loudest for Dale and Shawn.