Reata Holdings, Inc. adds new account executive

jackys-press-releaseWe are excited to announce that Jacqueline Ayala has joined Reata Holdings, Inc. as an account executive for Cypress Premium Funding and Ironwood Brokers. Jacqueline brings years of insurance experience from working in both retail agencies and carriers as well. She started as a licensed property and casualty sales agent specializing in commercial lines and managing the personal lines department within an agency. She then made a transition into a territory sales manager position for both a personal lines carrier and MGA over a 4 year period. Adding Jacqueline to the Reata family of companies will expand our presence within the industry. With her outstanding work ethic and unique inside knowledge, we are confident that Jacqueline will stand out from her competitors.

Jacqueline is eager to establish herself as a Reata Holdings Account Executive and looks forward to a long, prosperous career.


mediationBy Jon S. Heim, attorney

In my 32 years of California litigation, the most important and beneficial change is the development of formal civil mediation.

When I started in 1982, alternative procedures for resolution of judicial disputes – “ADR” courts now call them – were few and limited.  In smaller cases, courts would often order or refer litigants to a summary, nonbinding arbitration for a few hours before a local lawyer.  That procedure was too superficial and uncertain.  As these arbitrations were not binding, anyone dissatisfied with the arbitrator’s ruling could simply wipe it out.  That didn’t solve much.

Back then courts themselves conducted settlement conferences, and courts still do.  However judicial settlement conferences have inherent limitations.  Courts generally do not have the judges or other resources for the patient probing and cajoling that is often required to achieve settlement after months or years of courtroom battle.  Equally important, judicial settlement conferences typically occur two to five weeks before trial, after the suit, its expenses and the emotions underlying it have been building for years.  Minds may be focused by looming trial dates, but by then wallets and emotions may be drained.

For the rest of the article, click on the September-October issue of Big Times Magazine.


handshakeWhy not start September off really doing something positive for your business? BIG wants you to indulge in America's two biggest pastimes: Baseball and Business. In the jam-packed one-day Minivention, slated for September 1st at Oakland Coliseum, you will be able to accomplish an entire weekend's worth of production in just a few hours.

"Many California- based associations are accused of a Southern California bias. Events are planned around the Los Angeles/Inland Empire/San Diego areas and Northern California members and supporters are forced to make a special trip to participate with their own trade group," said Jon Spaugy, BIG CEO. "BIG believes that every member should be able to stay at least semi-local to connect with colleagues and potential business partners."

The BIG Minivention event will feature over 50 vendors attending this year, ranging from standard to preferred insurance carriers, GA's, finance companies, technology companies and much more. This "one-stop shopping" tour will introduce participants to companies eager to do business with the successful insurance professionals that comprise the BIG member roster. Talk appointments, new markets, product innovations, or just hook up with current company reps to find out the latest news.

To read more, click on the BIG Times Magazine tab and check out the July August 2015 issue.



Despite all the warnings, we are still reading about child fatalities and near-fatalities from being trapped in cars on hot days. The saddest part is that these tragedies are preventable. It's not just kids being left in vehicles by their caregivers. We all know that youngsters are natural explorers and like to pretend. A vehicle provides a wealth of possibilities for fertile minds, but self-locking doors and trunk lids accidentally closed can quickly turn playtime into a nightmare.

Here are some appalling statistics from the website Kids and Cars ( Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2015 (as of 7/20/15) - 10; Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2014 - 32; and Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2013 - 44. These figures do not include close calls.

Here are some safety tips for parents, grandparents, and other caregivers:

- Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.

- Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It's a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.

- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop-off. Everyone involved in the care of your child should always be aware of their whereabouts.

- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages. Ask home visitors, child care providers and neighbors to do the same.

- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked. A child may lock the car doors after entering a vehicle on their own, but may not be able to unlock them.

- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

"It is never OK to leave kids or pets in a car -- even with the windows down,” says Christopher McStay, MD, an emergency room doctor and assistant professor of emergency medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Your car is a greenhouse and temperatures can get exceedingly hot in an exceedingly short period of time."