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2023 Upper Crust Award Winners

Pie Insurance Announces Winners of 2023 Upper Crust Awards

  • Mother Compost honored as the $15,000 Grand Prize winner.
  • A Blessed Nest, Podshare and SOMO Lens are named 2023 Small Business Upper Crust finalists.
  • Winners of the inaugural Agents of the Year Upper Crust category are revealed.

November 28, 2023 – DENVER, CO – Pie Insurance (“Pie”), a leading insurtech company specializing in commercial insurance for small businesses, is proud to announce the winners of the company’s 2023 Upper Crust customer awards program. Launched in 2022, the awards program was created to honor Pie’s small business customers’ growth, innovation, tenacity, and ability to overcome challenges. The 2023 Upper Crust awards recognizes several small businesses and insurance agents who’ve excelled in their communities and showcased unwavering joy in their work.

“We received an extraordinary number of small business applicants this year, and extend our heartfelt congratulations to all of the winners of the 2023 Upper Crust awards,” said Dax Craig, president and co-founder of Pie. “These awards reflect the remarkable achievements of our customers who continue to remind us how valuable small businesses are to our economy, our communities and the work we do at Pie. Their inspiring stories have motivated us to ensure small businesses across the U.S. have the best year yet in 2024.”

Congratulations to the $15,000 grand prize Upper Crust winner and all of the 2023 finalists:

Grand Prize Winner: Mother Compost

  • Based in Upper Darby, PA, Mother Compost has been awarded the 2023 Upper Crust Small Business award for their exceptional commitment to sustainability and community involvement. Since they were founded in 2018, Mother Compost has not only rescued over 2 million pounds of food waste from local landfills but the women-owned and women-led team has also achieved significant milestones like partnering with local institutions, receiving civic awards, and expanding their operations, all while working hard to challenge their community to re-think their current trash paradigms. The $15,000 prize money will be dedicated to furthering Mother Compost’s impactful work, including increasing employee hours and sponsoring community organizations that promote sustainability, environmental stewardship and education efforts.

"We are incredibly grateful to be named the recipient of this year's Upper Crust award from Pie Insurance,” said Gwenn Nolan, founder and CEO of Mother Compost. “These funds will be used to further expand our food scrap recycling efforts. We appreciate Pie for their unwavering support of small businesses and their employees every day. By recognizing the efforts of small businesses with this generous award, Pie has made an immense impact on our mission."

The three Upper Crust award finalists are: 

  • A Blessed Nest, a residential foster care treatment program for girls ages 10-17, was recognized as a finalist for their extraordinary dedication to providing safe and nurturing group home care to girls in foster care, achieving international accreditation, expanding their services, and enriching the lives of the youth in their care.
  • Podshare, a shared housing network, was selected as a finalist for their remarkable decade-long commitment to affordable and communal accommodations, their successful navigation of city planning codes, and their dedication to expanding their unique housing network while actively supporting their local communities across California.
  • SOMO Lens, a premium ophthalmic lens manufacturer, was honored as a finalist for their unwavering commitment to excellence, quality and safety, employee welfare, innovation in their field, and community involvement. 

In addition, as part of the Upper Crust awards application process, small business owners were asked to nominate their insurance agent for Pie’s inaugural Agents of the Year Upper Crust award category. The Agents of the Year honorees were selected based on the critical value they bring to small businesses by going above and beyond to ensure their client’s insurance needs are met. 

Congratulations to the 2023 Agents of the Year Upper Crust winners:

  • Chris Graff from Maven Risk Management & Insurance Brokers was selected as a 2023 Agent of the Year winner for his exceptional dedication and support, going above and beyond to secure refunds and provide guidance, making him an invaluable asset to all of his clients.
  • Al Gutierrez from Speake Insurance was selected as a 2023 Agent of the Year winner for consistently going the extra mile to find the best, cost-effective solutions for clients, ensuring comprehensive protection for businesses who need it most.
  • Casey Blendinger of Automatic Data Processing Insurance Agency, Inc. (ADPIA) was selected as a 2023 Agent of the Year winner for her exceptional responsiveness, unwavering dedication to providing excellent customer service, and swiftly meeting the needs of her clients.

Learn more about the 2023 Upper Crust award winners and finalists on Pie’s website.

About Pie Insurance

Pie Insurance is leveraging technology to transform how small businesses buy and experience commercial insurance, with the goal of making it affordable and as easy as pie. Pie’s intense focus on granular, sophisticated pricing, and data-driven customer segmentation enables Pie to match price with risk accurately across a broad spectrum of small business types, which allows Pie to offer more affordable insurance to small business owners. Since 2017, Pie has received over $615M in funding and partnered with over 4,000 agencies nationwide.