As CEO of American Family Insurance, I want us to be a great insurer – the most trusted and valued customer-driven insurance company.

But, as I’ve said before, we need to be more than that.

We also need to be a great place for agents and for employees. We need a strong and vibrant brand. We need to take a stand on issues that are important in our country. And we need to be a difference maker in our communities.

Each of these on its own is important. When we bring several of these elements together, the power of what we can produce is amazing!

That’s how I view the American Family Insurance Championship. This is a terrific event. But more importantly, through this event and other ways, we’re inspiring people and making a powerful difference. We’re using the event to successfully invest in our brand, provide meaningful recognition for high-producing agents, and deliver one of the can’t-miss events of the summer in Wisconsin.

At its core, the AmFam Championship is about community. And this story really sums up the impact. Last year, the executive director of a small nonprofit organization told me how overwhelmed she was at the impact of the AmFam Championship. It was important to her work, which has been supported by a $10,000 grant made possible by proceeds from our annual PGA TOUR Champions event.

Our exchange was emotional and inspiring, to say the least. I knew our event was much more than golf, but that sealed it for me.

As a reminder, proceeds from the tournament are donated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities.

In our first year, we raised nearly $1.1 million for charity – one of the highest totals ever for a first-year PGA TOUR Champions event, and another $1.6 million in year two. Our event also brings around $20 million to the local Madison economy, according to Tour officials. By the way, the event also generates millions for us in earned media and extensive regional and even national exposure through the web and social media.

It’s a pretty inspiring week for our company, our community and our people.

How we support our communities is inspiring, too. It’s more than just philanthropy. It’s the role our agents play in their communities – serving as trusted advisors for families, farmers, and small businesses … and giving back.

It’s also how we respond to catastrophes. Restoring customer lives makes a difference in the places where they live – and the way we do is part of our culture at American Family. Rebuilding homes and businesses has a ripple effect vital to people we serve – but also to their neighbors. We may not think of restoring dreams in this way, but it is our most important community service.

American Family’s sponsorship of Summerfest in Milwaukee is another inspiring example. Just last week, I saw first-hand how our investment is contributing to improved infrastructure AND creating a new music appreciation program targeted to under-privileged audiences.

When we do these things, it’s important to know we’re not just putting money into advertising or programs. We’re making an economic and philanthropic impact and investment in the communities where we live and work – and where our customers live and work.

In so many ways, our brand, our mission, and our work directly intersect with contributing to stronger communities. What an amazing privilege to deliver these type of benefits to our friends, families, and neighbors!

I’m proud of this work – big and small. But it’s important to note it is intentional and connected. It fits perfectly with our corporate responsibility strategy, which focuses on improving our communities, environment and people.

We want people to say, “This is a better community because American Family is part of it.”