Frees Advice: Business

Phone A Friend: Kristen McGee

“Phone A Friend” is a series that highlights friends and leaders of the Phoenixville community. Our phones have become part of our identities, so we got an inside look as to how these people utilize their phones in and out of the office. This week, Frees Insurance is highlighting Kristen McGee. Kristen is the Executive Director of Ann’s Heart in Phoenixville. Ann’s Heart’s mission is “to provide a place of welcome and human services for all Phoenixville people.”

Let’s Phone A Friend…

Tell us about yourself…
I am Executive Director of Ann’s Heart, a local 501 (c)(3) non-profit serving the Phoenixville area. My husband and I moved into Phoenixville about 6 years ago and fell in love with the community. I worked for 10 years in Marketing/Creative Services for a large medical company before deciding to make the switch to a non-profit last September. I have three children – 4, 2, and 6 months – so life in my house is a fun and crazy circus. I love the arts, this town, and all things silly. Fun fact – I used to be the University of Delaware’s mascot – YouDee – a 6’ tall fighting Blue Hen. Go HENS! I also spent two summers as a professional mascot traveling the country and one performing as the MC at Aberdeen Ironbirds stadium in Maryland. Needless to say – I love mascots! Some of my friends are still professional mascots for the NFL, NBA, and other professional organizations.

What is your most-used app?
Mail (lame right?!) or CNN (I’m a news junky)

Most essential app while traveling:
Google Maps or WAZE – I am constantly getting lost. If you ask my husband, I am also a TERRIBLE passenger/navigator.

Craziest place you ever lost or left your phone?
My daughter (2) likes to hide EVERYTHING. My phone has been found in the freezer, under the mattress in her room, and in the stomach of a few toys.
My most used app might actually be “Find my iPhone” or “TILE” – haha!

App you wish someone would invent?
It may exist – “Dinner Designer – Food for the Finicky Toddler”

Favorite new app?
WTForecast – Snarky weather app

Most recent Uber ride?
Brooklyn to NYC Grand Central – Visiting my best friend in Brooklyn for dinner.
Best part was the amazing AC hook up our driver had. He used a dryer vent (tin-foil like coil used for dryer venting) duct tapped to his dashboard and pumping the AC through it to the back seat. Classy.

Last app checked at night:
CNN or Instagram

Siri user?
Not me personally, but my son loves it. “Siri – show me a BIG, BIG, BIG anaconda snake!”

Cities listed on your weather app:
Phoenixville, PA, Cold Spring, NY, New York, NY, Mount Carmel, PA, Valley Forge, PA

Alarm settings:
5:15A (M-F), 5:35A (M-F), 3:28PM (W) – ???

App/Game you wish you could delete?
Facebook – but I need it for work. I get sooooo sucked down the rabbit hole.

Favorite Instagram user?
@themuppets – They aren’t mascots but I LOVE Jim Henson! Or @siobhan_bedford (local artist / awesome art!)

Favorite fitness app?
MapMyFitness for running.

Number of unread emails:
0 – Did I mention I’m addicted…

Favorite song right now:
Not a favorite song at the moment, but have been hooked on Stevie Wonder Radio on Pandora lately.

Best productivity app:
Google Drive

What’s your phone case?
Mermaid scales – only colorful cases so they can be found in the depths of a toy dinosaur’s belly or the diaper bag.

To learn more about Ann’s Heart, please click here.

Changes in Office Operations and Unlimited Vacation Time

I started working full time on June 4th 1984. My how things have changed since that time. We had manual typewriters, not fax machine, and no voice mail. I received one week’s vacation and no sick days. The office was open on Saturday mornings and we maintained evening hours.

 Fast forward almost 32 years and nothing is the same. We have very little paper in our office. Technology is used in every aspect of what we do. We I arrived, the office collectively spent over 200 hours of time handling the needs of clients. Today, the volume of business has grown by 300% and the collective time involved is 130 hours a week.


The latest trend in business? Unlimited vacation time. Many of the tech companies, like Netflix, and some mainstream companies like General Electric, have implemented unlimited vacation time. The expectation is that you meet your goals and in exchange there is no tracking of your time off.


“Our employees should be invested in the company’s and their best interest.” Says Hired’s co-founder, Misckiewicz. “They don’t want to be micro-managed, they want to be empowered. We think that talking time off is important….”


 Gone are the days of 9 to 5 office hours. Thoughts?

Home Office Liability Protection

Personal insurance typically excludes ANY business conducted at your residence. This means ALL business. What is a business? Black’s Law Dictionary defines “business” as “…that which occupied time, attention, and labor…for the purpose of livelihood or profit.”

In our conversations with clients, we find that many people do not consider their endeavors to be business. AVON, Basket sales, and collecting rents or signing leases in your home are all businesses by definition.

Frees Insurance has contacted all of our clients who have rental properties and requested that they contact us to review whether they are collecting rents at their homes or signing leases at their homes. If they do, there is a small change that can be made to extend the liability protection in the event a tenant gets hurt while on the residence premises.

Make sure that your insurance does what you need it to do when you need it to do it. Call your insurance professional to discuss this further. Need an insurance professional? Call us.

Fedex, and UPS and Clients, Oh, my!

We have been tryting to better define when a client faces a “home business” exposure. Personal insurance, like home coverage, condo coverage, or renters coverage, standardly excludes anything having to do with any sort of business for either liability or property coverage. This can cause real problems for people who work out of their homes. In our discussions with people, we have found that people don’t consider it a problem for coverage since they do not see clients at their house. Just because you don’t see clients doesn’t mean that you still don’t have a potential exposure and you could be without coverage.

There is a small “rider” or endorsement that you can add to your home, renters, or condo coverage that will extend the Personal Liability coverage from that policy to include the office exposure. So, when the UPS man trips over your garden hose, falls on the icy driveway, or gets bitten by your dog, there will be coverage.

These are challenging times. If you are working from home, or your job situation changes and you start working from home, be sure to call us, or your agent and advise them of this new exposure. Remember, your doctor doesn’t call to ask if you are sick. You need to be proactive when your insurance situations change.