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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Salisbury, NC

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Salisbury, NC You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Salisbury, NC

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Salisbury, NC

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Salisbury, NC

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Salisbury, NC

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Salisbury, NC

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Salisbury, NC

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Salisbury, NC

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Salisbury, NC phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Salisbury, NC phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Salisbury, NC phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Salisbury, NC that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Salisbury, NC

Latest News in Salisbury, NC

Gildan Yarns files notice to permanently close one Rowan Co. facility

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Gildan Yarns has filed a WARN notice with the North Carolina Department of Commerce saying it would be permanently closing one of its facilities in Rowan County.In the notice, Human Resources Director Jim Powers wrote that the Salisbury 1 manufacturing plant is being closed “as part of Gildan’s plan to continue to balance production and inventory levels to drive an efficient and competitive manufacturing platform.”Powers wrote that employees of this plant are being offered the oppor...

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Gildan Yarns has filed a WARN notice with the North Carolina Department of Commerce saying it would be permanently closing one of its facilities in Rowan County.

In the notice, Human Resources Director Jim Powers wrote that the Salisbury 1 manufacturing plant is being closed “as part of Gildan’s plan to continue to balance production and inventory levels to drive an efficient and competitive manufacturing platform.”

Powers wrote that employees of this plant are being offered the opportunity to transfer to other area operations in Salisbury and Mocksville.

“In accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the City Manager of Salisbury NC, the Mayor of Salisbury NC, and the County Manager of Rowan County NC have all been notified of this plant closing. The affected employees are not represented by a labor union. Transfer rights do exist, and employees may apply for positions at other Gildan locations,” Powers wrote.

“We hate to hear when any company or industry is struggling. We especially hate it when it hits close to home. Our hearts certainly go out to the affected employees,” said Rowan County Commission Chairman Greg Edds. “We will be working with our education community, our Economic Development professionals, and the Chamber of Commerce to make sure that the affected employees are connected to new opportunities right here at home.

“While this news is not welcome, Rowan County is in a different position than it has been when these announcements have hit us in the past,” edds added. “Colliers recently reported that Rowan County has the largest amount of industrial construction underway in the entire Charlotte Region. Those projects mean new jobs and the new jobs we’ve been attracting have been extremely competitive from a wage and benefits perspective.”

“So while we’re certainly disappointed and concerned about our affected families, we’re grateful that new, quality opportunities are here,” Edds said. “Now we need to go to work to match the needs with the opportunities.”

The Rowan EDC provided he following statement:

The forthcoming closure of one of the two Gildan plants in Rowan County, affecting 258 workers, was brought to our attention this week via the WARN reports. The Rowan EDC, in unison with our community partners, is committed to supporting the displaced employees through this transition. With the plant expected to close its doors on December 8, we want to underscore the timeliness of the upcoming fall job fair, scheduled for November 4, as a pathway for workers seeking new employment opportunities. The Rowan EDC, Rowan County, and Granite Quarry are all committed to lending all their resources to assist Gildan in any way possible to assist them in remaining competitive and maintaining their presence in Rowan County.

According to the Department of Commerce, companies that have announced plans to either close a facility or conduct a mass personnel layoff are required to file with the state, under certain circumstances, a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification - commonly called a WARN notice.

WARN notices trigger the Rapid Response team into action, providing transition support for the people impacted by the action.

The WARN notice was filed on Tuesday. The closing date is listed as December 8.

In June, Gildan was awarded $312,000 in a business expansion grant from the Rowan EDC. At that time, Rowan County commissioners acknowledged the company’s positive impact on the local community, emphasizing their contribution to the well-being of Rowan County’s citizens, thanking Gildan Yarns for their choice to establish and operate their business within the county, highlighting their profitability and the mutual benefits derived from their presence.

Officials said today that the grant money was invested in the part of the facility that is not closing.

Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Life after the Secret Service. In Salisbury, NC.

OPINION AND COMMENTARYEditorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent from the work of our newsroom reporters.Not so long ago, Harry McLaughlin was jetting around the world, providing protection to U.S. presidents and their families and watching “The Nutcracker Suite” Russian ballet with President Clinton in the St. Petersburg theater where it was first performed 130 years ago.When I spoke with him one morning last week, though, he was in in the...

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

Editorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent from the work of our newsroom reporters.

Not so long ago, Harry McLaughlin was jetting around the world, providing protection to U.S. presidents and their families and watching “The Nutcracker Suite” Russian ballet with President Clinton in the St. Petersburg theater where it was first performed 130 years ago.

When I spoke with him one morning last week, though, he was in in the middle of coordinating deliveries to the family-owned grocery store he now runs in Salisbury.

How, I asked, trying not to sound too incredulous, did he go from being a member of the U.S. Secret Service to checking inventory and slicing souse meat for customers at McLaughlin’s Grocery?

“I was getting burned out,” he said. “The Secret Service is a younger man’s game. You’re on your feet 12 hours a day, on the road 270 days a year.”

While accompanying President George W. Bush to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, he said, “I worked 31 days straight, 12 hours a day. I didn’t mind when I was younger, but when you get older and have other commitments… I figured it was time to try something different, and I always wanted to run my own business. “Running the grocery store wasn’t my first choice,” he said, “but I saw the value of it.”

While traveling the country with the Secret Service, he said, he saw neighborhoods that once had rich traditions of African American entrepreneurship. “But they’re gone,” he said ruefully.

When his Uncle John McLaughlin called it quits on running the store that has been in the community near Livingstone College for 89 years and in the family for 65, he said he thought it was a good time to put his Business degree from Morehouse College to good use.

Was serving on the White House security detail as glamorous as it appears from the outside? “Yes,” he said without hesitation. “What makes it glamorous is the tremendous amount of responsibility. A lot of times, you’re on your own. You’re not only protecting the president and his family, but you have foreign dignitaries, whether it be Putin or the president of China” to look after.

After President Obama turned the keys to the White House over to President Trump in 2017, McLaughlin opted to turn in his shield, dark glasses and earpiece.

(OK, maybe I’ve been watching too many “Mission: Impossible” movies.)

“Just going through that whole election process kind of burned me out,” he said of his decision to exit government service.

He obviously didn’t stay burned out long, because two years ago he ran for a seat on the Salisbury City Council: enough voters were wild about Harry that he was elected to a two-year term. (An upcoming referendum could increase terms to four years.)

What, I asked, changed his mind so drastically about politics?

“I had worked at the grocery store for a few years and I saw some things that made me think this community was being left out,” he said. “Salisbury is a growing city and I wanted to give every citizen a chance to participate and have a say in what makes it great.

“Being in D.C., I had the chance to talk to political leaders, and I thought the experience and institutional knowledge I’ve gained” could be applied to what was happening in Salisbury, he said.

“The first year was like a roller coaster,” he said. “I was just trying to take in everything. It took a minute to get adjusted to the lingo and to how things got done.”

One of his priorities, he said, is ensuring that current Salisbury residents aren’t priced out of affordable housing by people fleeing higher home prices in Greensboro and Charlotte.

McLaughlin said he has not decided whether he will seek re-election.

If he doesn’t, chances are he’ll still be contributing to the city from behind the counter of his family’s store, which he calls a “living museum.”

If he does, who knows: he could conceivably end up in the White House in a different capacity. And he’ll already know where everything is.

Amtrak CEO discusses passenger rail expansion across NC

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - A wide expansion of passenger rail service across North Carolina could be on track soon if local leaders have their way.The North Carolina Mayors Coalition is asking the federal government for millions of transportation dollars to create 12 new passenger train routes, including one from Salisbury to Asheville that would link up with the existing Charlotte to Raleigh route.The CEO of Amtrak was in Salisbury on Wednesday to meet with local leaders from across the region. Stephen Gardner arrived by train a...

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - A wide expansion of passenger rail service across North Carolina could be on track soon if local leaders have their way.

The North Carolina Mayors Coalition is asking the federal government for millions of transportation dollars to create 12 new passenger train routes, including one from Salisbury to Asheville that would link up with the existing Charlotte to Raleigh route.

The CEO of Amtrak was in Salisbury on Wednesday to meet with local leaders from across the region. Stephen Gardner arrived by train at the Salisbury Depot, along with officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

NCDOT and many local municipalities across the state are hoping the federal government will approve a plan to establish 12 new passenger rail routes. Local mayors say it is a critical need.

“It affects economic development, it affects prosperity for the people who ride because it gives them a different mode of transportation,” said Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander. “And we’re all working together for the greater good. I use the Amtrak to get to Raleigh for a lot of my meetings because I can get there in two hours and I’m not exhausted from driving on the parking lot of 85.”

Alexander is part of Rail Response, an initiative of the North Carolina Metro Mayors Coalition. The group organized the event as state officials seek funding through the bipartisan federal infrastructure bill to explore improvements to intercity passenger rail.

The co-chairs of the Rail Response initiative are Susan Kluttz, former Salisbury mayor and former Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources and Nick Tennyson, former mayor of Durham and former Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Transportation. Both spoke at the Wednesday meeting in Salisbury.

The meeting in Salisbury was the fifth and final such meeting. The other meetings were held in locations across North Carolina.

The official applicant submitting the proposal is the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division.

“We realize the importance of this corridor. We know there is no intercity passenger rail that reaches western North Carolina, so there is a need,” said Ronald Lucas, manager of Planning and Development with NCDOT.

Gardner, the CEO of Amtrak, says other states are also making the same pitch, but admits North Carolina may have an advantage.

“We’ve got a great partnership here with North Carolina and we’re going to be a strong partner going forward with the state here to help implement their vision,” Gardner said. “It’s going to take time. Once there’s an opportunity to start planning and developing some of these new routes then we have to prioritize and focus in on which phases happen when. There’s a lot of work to make sure we’ve got great stations a railroad infrastructure that can reliably handle the train and work with our freight partners and we also need to make sure that we’ve got the fleet and other assets necessary, but there’s a good pathway.”

If approved, Amtrak passenger service would expand with 12 new routes and would travel as far west as Asheville and as far east as Wilmington. Tracks already in use would connect with Amtrak’s main line in Salisbury. Connections to cities like Washington DC, Atlanta, New York, and New Orleans would also be possible.

“It expands the opportunities for each of those small communities like Kannapolis to have a presence in Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Greensboro, and all the other places too,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant. “It’s a huge benefit for all of us in every single community.”

Former Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz has been working to expand passenger rail service for 14 years, but believes this is the best opportunity to state has.

“It’s critical. We really really need it for North Carolina. I’m very hopeful that they will all be approved and we’ll get this started,” Kluttz said. “We’re hoping for all 12, but whichever ones, we should find out November or December coming up. We think all 12 are critical for North Carolina.”

Officials say the federal government could approve or deny the entire plan, or approve selected routes. A decision is expected by December.

According to a resolution of support approved by the Salisbury City Council in July, the proposed rail service would cover roughly 139 miles. The estimated cost is $665 million and the annual operating cost would be between $7.3 million and $10.9 million.

Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Santa Claus comes to town: Smart Start Rowan Christmas event leaves guests with lasting memories

1 of 3SALISBURY — Christmas morning is a time for cheer, leisure and company, but Smart Start Rowan doesn’t think you should have to wait until Dec. 25 to start enjoying the holiday.The local nonprofit hosted the annual Breakfast with Santa event at Trinity Oaks on Saturday. It’s only the second year it has been at the retirement community.“Breakfast with Santa, historically, was at St. Johns (Lutheran Church), but a lot of things changed during COVID,” said Lorie Aldridge, director of marke...

1 of 3

SALISBURY — Christmas morning is a time for cheer, leisure and company, but Smart Start Rowan doesn’t think you should have to wait until Dec. 25 to start enjoying the holiday.

The local nonprofit hosted the annual Breakfast with Santa event at Trinity Oaks on Saturday. It’s only the second year it has been at the retirement community.

“Breakfast with Santa, historically, was at St. Johns (Lutheran Church), but a lot of things changed during COVID,” said Lorie Aldridge, director of marketing and sales at Trinity Oaks and board chair for Smart Start Rowan. “We decided that involving the Trinity Oaks retirement community would be a great venue because of the space and that it would allow the workshops for the children who come to visit.

“Last year was a big success. That is why we decided to do it here again.”

Upon entry at Trinity Oaks on Saturday, paw prints on the floor led visitors to the second story, where they were greeted by Smart Start Rowan volunteers and staff, who were wearing comfy pajamas in alignment with the event’s theme.

Awaiting the visitors was breakfast prepared by a Trinity Oaks chef.

“Our chef prepared a wonderful breakfast for the kids with French toast sticks and a sausage and egg casserole,” Aldridge said.

From there, visitors could go to the craft room, where they could create a craft ornament to be able to remember their time here. Still, the fun continued.

“The big thing is to visit with Santa,” Aldridge said. “I love being able to see the smiles on their faces and the sparkle in their eyes when they come in. It’s fun to watch the kids light up.”

Smart Start Rowan Director of Outreach and Development Denise Heinke said they expected to feed about 125 people on Saturday. That number represents an uptick from last year when they served about 80 people.

“It’s an annual event and it is so loved by the community and the families that we serve that we wanted to open it up for more people to come in and join us,” Heinke said. “We try to keep it somewhat intimate so the experience does not feel rushed and they can mingle around.”

Ultimately, the goal is to give them a pleasant experience and a lasting memory.

“It’s like Christmas morning in your jammies, walking around and being leisurely about it,” Heinke said. “We don’t want it to be overly crowded or too stimulating.

“The kids seem to really love it and the parents do, too.”

With a program format that seemed to work last year, Heinke said they were really just running it back on a larger scale.

“We did not reinvent the wheel this year,” Heinke said. “It’s just like what we did last year. We have extra hands helping which is always nice, but it’s running like a well-oiled machine for us.

I’m a list maker, so it’s just following that list and checking things twice.”

Smart Start Rowan Executive Director Amy Brown sang Trinity Oaks praises.

“Trinity Oaks is an amazing partner to work with,” Brown said. “They have the perfect layout. It’s nice to pair the children with the residents here so that they can enjoy each other.”

It wasn’t just Smart Start Rowan families getting in on the fun as Christmas joy was shared with the residents at Trinity Oaks as well.

“We have had a few residents come by already wanting to see Santa this morning,” Brown said. “So, we are happy to see their excitement and let them tap into it as well.”

Salisbury For All: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director discusses their strategic action plan

SALISBURY — After a year of effort, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Action Plan is finally complete and ready to begin implementation.DEI Director Anne Little presented this update to city council at their Nov. 21 meeting and highlighted the main goals that the plan encompasses: internal workplace equity; information, education, and training; talent acquisition, management, and retention; annual planning; awareness and support; leadership by example; procurement policies; and DEI staff core ...

SALISBURY — After a year of effort, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Action Plan is finally complete and ready to begin implementation.

DEI Director Anne Little presented this update to city council at their Nov. 21 meeting and highlighted the main goals that the plan encompasses: internal workplace equity; information, education, and training; talent acquisition, management, and retention; annual planning; awareness and support; leadership by example; procurement policies; and DEI staff core team.

Salisbury’s vision and mission for the DEI department is for them to represent and nurture equality throughout all aspects of the city and to take legitimate action towards achieving their goals. Little’s job is figuring out ways to do just that.

“It’s like a map, it is a guide for the steps that we need to take to start doing that,” Little said. “It is our starting point.”

The city collaborated with WPR Consulting, LLC, a North Carolina-based consulting firm, to devise this plan and they will also be hands on when it comes to enacting these policies.

Little describes the plan as fluid and they intend to change things as they see fit. As of now, DEI, along with WPR, will be looking at examining the city’s practices and policies and make adjustments accordingly. This can be something as simple as altering wording in the employee handbook or going as far as to revising how Salisbury undertakes certain actions.

City staff have already finished some of their training with the next round coming up shortly.

It is the DEI department’s intention to partner with other outside organizations such as local businesses and the Rowan Chamber’s Minority Business Council to establish fair representation. DEI has finalized a city staff survey on organizational culture with the intention of doing a separate demographic report of Salisbury.

“As we talk about doing programs, we need to know who we are and who we’re doing programs for and how we match up against the demographics of the community,” Little said.

DEI has a staff in place at the moment, but Little wants their core team to come about “organically” when working with other parties.

The strategic plan allows Little a better sense of what still needs to be done both internally and externally. For her, practices and policies, demographics, the next part of training, and internal employee resource groups are DEI’s “main, tangible priorities.”

The upcoming city council retreat in early 2024 is going to present an outline for what path Salisbury will follow for the year and Little is prepared for molding the strategic plan to what comes out of those discussions.

“The retreat will follow council’s priorities for the city and then I will be able to lay the template of the action plan on their priorities…As we go about meeting those priorities, we’re doing so with the mindset of DEI,” Little said.

Now that constructing the bulk of the strategic plan is over, the real fun can commence. Little says that if the strategic plan is done correctly, it will have a “positive impact on everyone.” Salisbury is projected to look completely different in a decade and the city realizes this by doing their best to make it a place where all people feel included.

“I’m excited that it’s done. From both a personal and professional vantage point, throughout the process of doing it, there’s a weightiness to it because it’s not enough, now that it’s done, we got some work to do. The weightiness for me is ensuring that we’re getting the work done, are making an impact, that we are doing what we said we wanted to do, and being who we wanted to be,” Little said.

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