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Centennial, CO 80112

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Featured Insurance Blog

From California Dreamer to Colorado Career-Woman

Introducing: Sharon Kalmes

Sharon Kalmes is our commercial account manager here at Avalue Insurance. She’s a seasoned insurance pro and our resident expert for commercial and personal lines. With over 40 years in the insurance game, Sharon brings four decades of experience and a prestigious CIC designation to our team.  

Originally hailing from California, Sharon lovingly refers to herself as a “semi-native”. She made the move to Colorado in February of 1985 after a job promotion, and she would soon meet her husband (a “true” Colorado native) and settle down in the Centennial state.

Being the policy guru that she is, Sharon stayed committed to the insurance industry. It was only a matter of time before she met Sarah Lampard, owner of Avalue Insurance. Sharon had initially interviewed with another agency, and the owner of that agency decided to get in touch with Sarah. Impressed by Sharon’s qualifications and experience, Sarah wasted no time and promptly called her in for an interview. The two instantly connected, and Sharon was hired on the spot.

As a beloved member of the Avalue family, Sharon is a dependable teammate — the kind of teammate who can hold down the fort for you while you’re on vacation! “When I first hired her, I left on my first vacation 10 days later,” says Sarah Lampard. “She told me not to bring my laptop with me on vacation, and that she could handle it. I will never forget that. She rocks!”

Sharon has been with us for 10 happy years. When asked what she loves most about Avalue Insurance, she happily proclaimed, “the working environment!” Sharon is a strong team member, and she values comradery above all else. Because of this, she feels right at home at Avalue Insurance — where teamwork is paramount and success is happily shared.  

Outside of Avalue, Sharon is an outdoor enthusiast, an avid golfer, and a pickleball aficionado. And when she’s not enjoying the great outdoors, you can find her cooking up a storm, always ready to master new recipes.

In Sharon Kalmes, we have not only found a top-notch commercial account manager, but also an amazing individual with a wealth of experiences and a zest for life. Her commitment to excellence is inspiring, and her adventurous spirit is infectious. Here’s to another 10 lovely years, Sharon!

Texan Charm, Colorado Spirit

Everyone, Meet Diane!

Meet Diane Engles, a Texan by birth, a Coloradan by choice, and a valued member of the Avalue Insurance family. Diane’s journey is one filled with passion, dedication, and a commitment to making a difference in both her professional and personal life.

Originally hailing from the bustling city of Houston, Texas, Diane’s roots run deep in the Lone Star State. Born and raised amidst the Texan hospitality and warm Southern charm, she carried these values with her when she embarked on a new chapter in Colorado in 1999.

Diane’s venture into the insurance world began in 2015, marking a career shift that would lead her to her current role as an account manager for personal insurance at Avalue Insurance. Her journey, however, is not just about numbers and policies; it’s about the people she serves and the impact she makes.

Before her insurance career, Diane wore many hats, including owning businesses a Sylvan Learning Center in Houston, Texas. Her administrative prowess shone through, but it was her desire for change that ultimately set her on her current path. That’s when she met Sarah Lampard, CEO and Founder of Avalue Insurance.

While searching online for a new insurance agency to collaborate with, it was Sarah’s website that caught her eye. It wasn’t just the services offered; it was the values that Sarah and Avalue Insurance embodied. Diane left a message, scheduled a phone call, and showed up to meet Sarah. The connection was immediate, and Sarah hired her on the spot. Today, Diane works as a personal insurance account manager.

Since she first started at Avalue Insurance in 2017, Diane has been an active part of the Avalue community, an exemplary worker, and an impressive green-thumb around the office. But Diane’s impact extends far beyond the insurance world. One of her most significant life accomplishments was embarking on a life-changing journey to Costa Rica in 2006. There, she lived for four years, immersing herself in the vibrant culture and giving back to the community through volunteer work. Her time in Costa Rica reflects her servant spirit, and her position at Avalue Insurance shows her ongoing commitment to people.

So, the next time you think about insurance, remember that it’s not just about policies and premiums—it’s about the people behind the scenes, like Diane Engles, who make it their mission to protect, serve, and empower. And if you’re ever in need of insurance guidance or a friendly face at Avalue Insurance, Diane will be there, ready to assist you with her Texan charm and Colorado spirit.

Introducing: Our Newest Avalue Team Member

Everyone, I’m excited to introduce you to someone:

Her name is Nicole Johnson, and she’s our newest account manager here at Avalue Insurance!  

Nicole is a proud Colorado native, a newly wedded wife, and an active community member. When she’s not wowing us here at the office, you can find Nicole spiking volleyballs on the court, coaching local high school teams, or gabbing with her hubby over some delicious boba tea.

Nicole has just over three and a half years of experience in the insurance industry, and she specializes primarily in personal lines insurance. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and her insurance expertise delights us on a daily basis. She’s an insurance-powerhouse, if ever I’ve seen one!


But Nicole isn’t just about policies and spreadsheets.

Just like all of us here at Avalue, she’s all about people. And it’s not just because she has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology! Nicole understands first-hand the value of community. Growing up as the fourth of six lively siblings, Nicole learned the value of togetherness at an early age. Best of all, she brings it with her to work every single day! Nicole has a natural knack for forging strong bonds with our clients and team members, making them feel right at home from the get-go.

“I really love the environment at Avalue,” says Nicole. “It’s super personable, and the things that matter most at Avalue are the things that matter most — if that makes sense!”

Yes, Nicole, it certainly does make sense! We’re excited to see that you share in our passion for helping people, and we’re honored to have you on our team!   

Welcome to Avalue Insurance, Nicole!

Who is Avalue Insurance?

First things first: we’re more than just policies.

Most people already know that Avalue Insurance is a team of independent insurance agents in Denver, Colorado. We’re on a mission to “humanize” insurance; our agents make insurance-shopping simpler, quicker, and a lot less stressful!

But before we’re insurance agents, we’re people. We’re residents of central Colorado — just like you — and we take our roles as “Colorado community members” very seriously. That’s why Avalue Insurance isn’t just another insurance agency in Centennial. We’re not just about numbers, claims, and policies.

We’re about people.

Avalue Insurance is committed to community betterment.

We all want to make the world a better place. But since that can be a pretty big job to take on all at once, we’ve decided to start somewhere a little closer to home: our local cities and neighborhoods. That’s why we’ve partnered with a variety of local causes and fundraising opportunities.  Feeding hungry families, fueling fundraisers, mentoring students, offering career guidance, building homes for those in need — we do it all.

Why? Because we can’t get enough of it!

At Avalue, we don’t just talk about caring – we show it. When we see a need, we’ll fill it. When there’s a problem, we’ll fix it. When someone needs a helping hand, we’ll give them two. Because we care about our Colorado community, and we’re passionate about protecting people’s peace-of-mind. So, whether it’s policies or charities, we’re here to help.   ‘

How you can help us make a difference.

Avalue Insurance is always looking for new ways to get involved. We just finished raising over $4,200 for Cross Purpose, and we’re already on the hunt for our next opportunity to give-back. But we can’t do it alone. We could use your support! Follow our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest Avalue news, and be the first to hear about our future fundraisers! You can show your support by making donations or just giving us some digital high-fives. Either way, we appreciate your support!

My 2023 RagBrai Experience (and Victory)

Well, guys, we did it!

The 2023 RagBrai in Iowa was a thrilling adventure that challenged me in ways I never imagined. It was a dream come true to tick this off my bucket list, but what made it even more special was the opportunity to ride for CrossPurpose and raise funds for their career development programs. With the help of my generous supporters, we raised over $4,106, making a real difference in the lives of Denver, Coloradans striving to break free from poverty.

The road to victory was a bumpy one.

The 7-day bike ride covered a total of 500 miles, with an elevation gain of over 16,549 feet. It was no easy feat, but I was grateful to be on an eBike, which made the journey a bit more manageable. However, as I soon found out, the ride was not without its challenges.

The record number of bikers on the roads made the ride crowded and a little unsafe, witnessing many accidents along the way. Early in the ride, lines for food, water, and porta-potties were long, but as the days went by, the crowds thinned, making the last few days more enjoyable.

On Friday, while camping in Coralville, we encountered extreme weather conditions with 100-mile-an-hour winds and tornado warnings. It was a frightening experience, but we quickly sought shelter in a cement underground parking garage of a medical center. Despite the chaos, the organizers and Iowa residents were well-prepared, ensuring everyone’s safety. The storm may have been challenging, but it also brought our group closer, supporting each other through the unexpected ordeal.

Turns out, the road to victory was also a beautiful one!

Throughout the journey, the beauty of Iowa’s rolling hills, endless rows of corn and soybeans, and the warm hospitality of its people captivated my heart. Farmers sitting in lawn chairs along the roads waved and cheered us on every 15 minutes, creating an incredible sense of community and camaraderie.

The towns we passed through were true gems, offering us refreshments, fun water activities to cool off, and endless support from locals. Every stop was a celebration, with food trucks, music bands, and cheering crowds, turning the bike ride into a memorable party.

The long-standing vendors along the route added to the excitement. I couldn’t resist indulging in some mouthwatering pork chops from the pink Mr. Pork Chop bus and savoring slushy lemonades to beat the summer heat. The Amish community’s homemade pies and ice cream were simply delightful, adding to the joy of the ride.

For me, this RagBrai will always be a memorable one.

And it’s not just because my body is *still* screaming at me from all that cycling. But the journey was a thrilling one, and I’ll never forget all the love and support I received. Because at the end of the day, that’s what kept me going!

As we bid farewell to Iowa, we carry with us the memories of an unforgettable journey filled with determination, camaraderie, and the joy of making a positive impact on our community through CrossPurpose. Collectively, we raised $26,080 for CrossPurpose. And thanks to you guys, I was the #1 fundraiser for CrossPurpose, raising a whopping $4,106! To all the kind-hearted supporters, donators, and fellow riders, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this experience possible. Together, we have created lasting change and empowered countless lives.

Until the next thrilling adventure, biker off – goodbye Iowa!

Join the Journey to End Poverty in Denver, Colorado

My heart shattered when I first saw it.

Over 300,000 people live in extreme poverty in Denver, Colorado” — a six-figure-stat that I never wanted to see. Mothers, fathers, siblings, children, neighbors, friends, and friends-of-friends — all 300,000 of them wake up each day in the vice grip of poverty. Many suffer in solitude, and with no one to support them, the path to escape must seem impossible. My heart burned for them, and I knew I wanted to join the fight to end poverty in Denver, Colorado.

That’s why I partnered with CrossPurpose.  

CrossPurpose is a non-profit organization that offers career guidance resources to our neighbors in need. This transformative career development program is a powerful weapon in the war against poverty, and it goes beyond your standard employment program. CrossPurpose equips Coloradans to enter meaningful careers, and it helps them build social and spiritual capital. This program promises to create lasting generational change in our beloved city.

As soon as I heard about CrossPurpose, I knew I had to get involved.

For years, I’ve enjoyed being an active community member in Colorado, and I love getting involved wherever I am needed. So, when I found CrossPurpose, I knew I had to contribute. Since partnering with CrossPurpose, I’ve spent much of my time as a mentor, walking alongside aspiring leaders in CrossPurpose’s career development program. I’ve had the priviledge of working with the awe-inspiring men and women of Denver, Colorado, cheering them on as they rise above their circumstances and reach their career goals. Witnessing their resilience has inspired me greatly, and I’ve made it my mission to support them a little more each day.

That’s where I need YOUR help.

In solidarity with their journey, I am pushing my own limits by training for CrossPurpose’s 500-mile bike ride in Iowa, known as the RagBrai. The bike ride is scheduled to take place July 23rd through July 29th. As I prepare for and petal my way through the RagBrai, I’ll be raising funds for CrossPurpose’s poverty-ending programs. My mission is to raise at least $5,000, and with your help, we can reach that goal together!

So, friends, I invite you to join me on this transformative journey! Petal by petal, dollar by dollar — we’ll creep closer towards a poverty-free city!

Here’s how you can help:

Join me in making a difference today by contributing to this cause! You can make a donation of any amount right here.  

$5,000 — that’s all we’ll need to make a difference in the lives of the 300,000. Show your support by making a donation today!

And to stay up to date with all of my upcoming Cross Purpose events, follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn!

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