Skip to main content

A Look Back on Merchants’ 2022 United Way Campaign

Merchants’ Support for United Way

Philanthropy is an integral part of Merchants Insurance Group’s company culture. Throughout the year, Merchants participates in several community initiatives, such as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and Sunnking’s electronic recycling event to benefit Camp Good Days, to name a few! One of the largest ways Merchants colleagues give back each year is through our annual United Way campaign.

United Way’s Mission Statement:

United Way seeks to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.”

Merchants Insurance Group is proud to support the United Way and the incredible work they do in our local communities. Each fall, Merchants colleagues generously elect to contribute to the United Way through year-round e-pledges and other fundraising efforts, such as events at our corporate office. Colleagues’ contributions then benefit the United Way chapter in their respective region.

Colleagues at Merchants’ New England Regional Office visit the Boys and Girls Club to learn more about the organization and how their United Way contributions will help!

After returning to the office on a hybrid basis in March 2022, this year was Merchants’ first in-person campaign since 2019! At our corporate office, the campaign brought back familiar favorites such as Bingo lunch and the weeklong basket raffle. This year’s campaign introduced new fundraising events, too, like a Bills “tailgate” party in the parking lot!


United Way Kickoff

The 2022 United Way campaign officially began with a company kickoff event on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, hosted both in person for our Buffalo colleagues and virtually for our regional colleagues.

At the corporate office, Heather Quigley, Account Executive at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, spoke of the importance of United Way in each of our communities, and representatives from each of our regions shared some of the projects Merchants’ contributions would benefit.

E-Pledge Goals

Each year, Merchants Insurance Group sets campaign goals for colleague e-pledge participation for the upcoming year.

In 2022, there were three major categories of goals: monetary contributions for each office, 70% colleague participation percentage at each office, and incentives to increase individual e-pledge donations from the previous year.

To encourage e-pledge participation and thank colleagues for their generosity, the United Way committee raffled off prizes throughout the campaign, such as Amazon gift cards, PTO hours, and tickets to local shows and sporting events.

Once again, Merchants colleagues rose to the occasion, and we reached our e-pledge goals!

Corporate Colleague Events

In addition to e-pledge contributions, Merchants’ corporate office held several fundraising events for the United Way campaign throughout the months of October and November.

Merchants' United way committee smiles in front of Christmas tree with Charles Makey, President of Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants’ 2022-23 Corporate United Way Committee with Charles Makey, President of Merchants Insurance Group

Here’s a recap of this year’s campaign events with photos of the fun!


New Colleague Orientation

After two years operating remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 United Way campaign was our first back in the office. Between 2020 and 2022, we’ve had around 100 new colleagues join Merchants!

What better way to welcome new colleagues and introduce them to all the great things United Way does than with a New Colleague Orientation event?

Colleagues who have started since the pandemic began were invited to a happy hour event at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, across the street from our corporate headquarters.

Each attendee was given a drink ticket and the chance to mingle with colleagues, eat, learn more about United Way, and win MerchantsDise!

Special thanks to Heather Quigley, Trina Burruss, and Michael Weiner for joining us from the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County!

Bills Tailgate

Before the Bills vs. Chiefs game in October, corporate colleagues showed their team spirit at a “tailgate” fundraiser!

Decked out in their blue, white, and red, colleagues enjoyed lunch, games, and raffles on a nice (but windy!) October day.

Events included a 50/50 raffle, a raffle table full of Bills merchandise, football throwing competitions, cornhole, and a tailgate lunch of burgers and hotdogs.

The most coveted item was our grand prize: an autographed Stefon Diggs jersey. The #14 jersey raffle ticket sales helped bring our event total to over $2,000 toward the United Way campaign!

Let’s Go, Buff-a-lo!

Cheesy Chick Food Truck

On Wednesday, October 19th, colleagues enjoyed a visit from Cheesy Chick! The popular food truck parked outside the corporate office during lunchtime, serving up their fresh takes on grilled cheese and macaroni & cheese. Cheesy Chick donated 10% of all sales for the afternoon back to Merchants’ United Way campaign.

Say cheese!

Pizza & Bingo

BINGO! On Wednesday, November 9th, colleagues gathered in the first floor common area for pizza and a few rounds of BINGO to benefit the United Way campaign.

For $5, each participant got two bingo boards, with three chances to win in each game. Prizes included gift cards and MerchantsDise!

Basket Raffle

The 2022 United Way campaign marked the return of a Merchants corporate office favorite: Basket Raffle Week! Each department compiled a basket to donate to the raffle, and colleagues had a week to purchase and enter raffle tickets.

The grand prize was a Yeti cooler and tickets to the Buffalo Bills versus the Minnesota Vikings game at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, November 13, 2022.

The basket raffle was our most successful United Way campaign event, raising $3,781 in colleague contributions!

Books and Baked Goods Sale

The final event on this year’s United Way campaign calendar was a Book Fair & Baked Goods sale in the second-floor cafeteria. Colleagues perused books others had donated and purchased baked goods their coworkers had generously baked for the sale!

Thank you!

Between e-pledge participation, corporate events, and a company match, Merchants Insurance Group’s 2022 campaign raised $117,876.90 for the United Way. These contributions will make a big difference for our neighbors in need. Thank you to ALL colleagues for your participation and generosity!


2022 United Way Campaign Volunteers

Merchants’ successful United Way campaign wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and coordination of our volunteers.

Special thanks to…

  • Our United Way campaign chairs:
    • Chris Brown, Senior Corporate Claim Manager; Buffalo, New York
    • Rachel Reid, Lead Corporate Services Support Technician; Buffalo, New York
  • Our United Way regional committee leaders:
    • Diane McIntyre, Commercial Lines Underwriter III, & Vanessa Nove, Commercial Lines Underwriter I; Hauppauge, New York
    • Kevin Lasante, Regional Vice President & Christine Sylvain, Commercial Lines Underwriting Assistant II; Bedford, New Hampshire
      • Lisa Grajeda, Executive & Regional Office Support Specialist, provided support to the New England Regional Office’s campaign!
    • Lindsay Cotter, Senior Commercial Lines Underwriting Assistant, & Maritza Santiago, Associate Underwriter; Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
  • Our United Way committee at the corporate headquarters in Buffalo, New York:
    • Robert Ader, Special Investigative Unit Investigator II
    • Stacey Clause, Multi-Line Adjuster I
    • Erica Dalton, Marketing Supervisor
    • Patty Dobson, Supervisor, Central Services
    • Charlene Guadagno, Workers’ Compensation Claim Adjuster I
    • Aamna Hussain, Project Manager II, Information Technology
    • Erin Kennedy, Senior Underwriting Assistant
    • Ryann Kinyon, Workers’ Compensation Claim Adjuster II
    • Kelly Kompf, Product Manager II
    • Laurie Maniccia, Claims Compliance Representative
    • Nicole Mindemann, Personal Lines Underwriter I
    • Sherri Oliver, Product Specialist II
    • Jennifer Short, Multi-Line Adjuster I
    • Katherine Trautwein, Content Marketing Specialist
Merchants' Corporate United Way committee gives a thumbs up with company president Charles Makey in front of a Christmas tree at the Buffalo Club!

Corporate colleagues on the United Way committee celebrate a successful campaign at lunch with Charles Makey, President of Merchants Insurance Group!

Katherine Trautwein

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.