By Kris Leonhardt
STEVENS POINT – As part of a newly established partnership, a delegation of Maui representatives recently visited and toured the Stevens Point area to engage in the culture and uniqueness of the community and further partnerships between the areas.
“That is what this week is all about, frankly, is talking about what we have in common and talking about what’s a little different, that can also become a learning experience to better the individual missions that enable staff to make things better in Maui or in Stevens Point,” explained Sentry Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO Pete McPartland during an Aug. 23 welcome ceremony.
“In 2016, Sentry reinvented its brand image, including our logo. And we’ve been quiet as a company as far as asserting our brand within the insurance industry. (We) came out with a new logo and brand messages about being intimate with our customers – most of whom are business owners – and people pay a lot of money for their insurance. We wanted to project it out into the world somehow, and there came along an opportunity to be considered to be a sponsor for a PGA golf tournament in Maui called the ‘Tournament of Champions.’
“ We recognized, frankly, immediately that that was a better golf tournament for us to attach ourselves to than any on the mainland, and we saw the potential immediately from a branding standpoint and from an opportunity to engage with our customer base.
“This turned out to be perfect and then some.
“What we didn’t see coming, however, was how close we would find ourselves becoming to the island of Maui and the people who live in Maui. We did not see that coming.”
McPartland said that the group soon found the desire to go “above and beyond” in how they were working with the community of Maui.
“So that really was the impetus for things to just spiral the last three or four years; now we’ve been able to connect the communities…,” he recalled.
That’s when the initiative, Connected Communities, was introduced.
Connected Communities serves to build on the commonalities of Stevens Point and Maui by connecting similar organizations for the mutual benefit of both communities.
In January, Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza and Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino formalized a connection between the communities through proclamation.
During the week of Aug. 22-26, Stevens Point and Sentry leaders welcomed a delegation of Maui partners as they visited the area to learn more about the community and culture.
Maui Chief of Staff Tyson Miyake talked about Sentry’s generosity to their community.
“Sentry has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable giving to Maui (nonprofits),” he stated.
“Maui and Stevens Point are small communities separated by thousands of miles of ocean and land, but we share common values, such as a focus on community service, education and youth, arts and culture, agriculture and land use.”
The Maui delegation also met with local civic organizations and took in some amenities of the area during their stay.
Tournament of Champions extension
On Aug. 23, McPartland also announced the extension of Sentry’s sponsorship for the Tournament of Champions.
“We are signing, today, a contract to extend our commitment to the Sentry Tournament of Champions through 2035,” McPartland said.
Sentry Insurance has served as title sponsor for the PGA tournament since 2018. This extends a 10-year partnership, announced in January 2020.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions will be held at The Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan. 2-8.