Actor, Author J.R. Martinez and Assurant to Salute Inductees for Their Resilience During May 27 Ceremony

KANSAS CITY, MO, April 6, 2015 –  Strength. Courage. Perseverance. These are the three traits Assurant Employee Benefits recognizes in honorees chosen for the Perseverance Hall of Fame and that are exemplified in their ability to endure life’s challenges, overcome severe accidents, injuries or illnesses, and to help others in their personal comebacks.

During a ceremony on May 27, special guest, actor and author J.R. Martinez, a burn survivor who received the company’s Shining Star of Perseverance award in 2008, will help pay tribute to this year’s Perseverance Hall of Fame inductees. This year’s honorees are Charity Tillemann-Dick, double lung transplant survivor, and Deliece Hofen, breast cancer survivor and mother of a child with cancer. All were selected for their courageous comebacks and their unbreakable spirits, ability to rally support and inspire others on their journeys, and their ongoing efforts paying it forward as motivational speakers, hope givers and charity supporters.  

“We want people from coast to coast to hear the incredible stories of our Perseverance Hall of Fame inductees and how they used the experience for the good of others,” says Joe Sevcik, senior vice president of marketing at Assurant Employee Benefits. “Together, their motivational stories and our charitable grants to support organizations that encourage perseverance will help more people make big comebacks from illness or injury.”

The Perseverance Hall of Fame is sponsored by Assurant Employee Benefits, an employee benefits and services provider, as part of Project Perseverance. In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Assurant’s philanthropic organization, the Assurant Foundation, contributed $15,000 in grants to nonprofits selected by Martinez, Tillemann-Dick and Hofen.

Formerly known as the Shining Star of Perseverance award, Assurant developed the award in 2003 to honor those overcoming disability in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which Congress enacted in 1945 to raise awareness about disability employment issues. Past inductees include mountain climber Aron Ralston (2003), Senator Bob Dole (2004), Tourette’s patient Jeff Matovic (2006), Rwanda genocide survivor Gilbert Tuhabonye (2009), and Paralympic skier Chris Waddell (2010).

Tillemann-Dick and Hofen will be inducted at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, May 27 at 3 p.m. CT. Following the induction ceremony, opera soprano Tillemann-Dick will perform a concert featuring selections from her best-selling classical CD, American Grace. Complimentary tickets to the induction and concert are being offered to Kansas City business, civic, and arts community by Assurant Employee Benefits.

To learn more about Project Perseverance, visit Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis at


About the Assurant Foundation 
Assurant embraces a core set of enduring values: Common Sense, Common Decency, Uncommon Thinking and Uncommon Results. The approximately 17,500 employees of Assurant strive to provide superior service to customers and clients, while improving the quality of life in local communities where we live and work. The Assurant Foundation extends that commitment by providing financial assistance to designated nonprofit organizations that focus on health and wellness, homes and property or help in the hometowns where we operate.

About the Assurant Employee Benefits
Assurant Employee Benefits specializes in quality employee benefits and services, including long-term and short-term disability, life insurance, voluntary benefits such as cancer, critical illness and accident, dental coverage, and disability reinsurance management services. Assurant Employee Benefits is the brand name for insurance products underwritten by Union Security Insurance Company and for prepaid dental products provided by an affiliated prepaid dental company. In New York, insurance products are underwritten and prepaid products are provided by Union Security Life Insurance Company of New York, which is licensed in New York and has its principal place of business in Syracuse, New York.

Assurant Employee Benefits is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America, Latin America, Europe and other select worldwide markets. 

Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately 17,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. For more information on Assurant, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AssurantNews.


Media Contact:
Brenda Clevenger, 816.474.2625 or 816.501.6042
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