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For Taos Muncy, the comforts of his New Mexico home are hard to pass up.
Born, raised and still residing near Corona southeast of Albuquerque, Muncy is a ProRodeo cowboy who makes his living on the rodeo trail.
He‚Äôs a two-time world champion saddle bronc rider who has qualified seven times for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over the last eight years ‚Äď the only year he missed the finale in Las Vegas was because of an injury in 2008. Traveling the country in search of rodeo gold is his dream job, but being on the family ranch for an extended time is, too.
‚ÄúTime goes too fast, so you‚Äôve got to enjoy your family as much as possible,‚ÄĚ said Muncy, who lives on the ranch with his wife, Marissa, and their daughter, Marley, 3, not far from his parents, Blaine and Johnnie. ‚ÄúMy family‚Äôs pretty tight. That‚Äôs the one good thing about rodeoing; I might be gone for 10 days tops, but when I‚Äôm home, I‚Äôm with them.
‚ÄúIn rodeo, we‚Äôre all one big family. It‚Äôs a great lifestyle.‚ÄĚ
Muncy also is part of another team, ‚ÄúRiding for the Brand‚ÄĚ of Tate Branch Auto Group, which has dealerships in Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs. It‚Äôs a great New Mexico bond, which also includes other ProRodeo greats: eight-time world champion tie-down roper Roy ‚ÄúSuper Looper‚ÄĚ Cooper and two of his sons, Clif and Clint; team ropers Jake and Jim Ross Cooper; and steer roper Marty Jones ‚Äď all have ties to New Mexico.
‚ÄúTate is a big New Mexico rodeo fan, and that‚Äôs really neat,‚ÄĚ Muncy said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an awesome team to be part of.‚ÄĚ
He is ‚ÄúRiding for the Brand‚ÄĚ proudly. As the No. 4 bronc rider in the world standings, he‚Äôs off to a hot start to the 2015 season. His goal, as always, is to win his third world championship. In order to do that, though, he needs to finish the regular season among the top 15 to secure his eighth NFR qualification.
In Las Vegas, though, cowboys and cowgirls will battle for an unprecedented purse, with more than $26,000 paying out to go-round winners all 10 nights.
‚ÄúThe season‚Äôs going pretty danged good,‚ÄĚ said Muncy, who has earned more than $30,000 so far this season. ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt set the world on fire, but it seems like I‚Äôve been real consistent. I‚Äôve been placing and winning checks. As long as I‚Äôm making money, I‚Äôm happy.‚ÄĚ
Money is vital. In addition to paying bills and covering rodeo expenses, money also equals championship points. The contestants in each event who earn the most money at season‚Äôs end are crowned world champions.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm tickled,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúMy goal every year is to win the world (title), but if I stay in the top five all year, I‚Äôm really happy. I‚Äôd like a fighting chance when I get to the finals.‚ÄĚ
That‚Äôs the benefit of having great sponsorship agreements. In his association with Tate Branch Auto Group, Muncy has more than a relationship with a New Mexico business. He has a true partnership and, like anyone who uses the southeastern New Mexico auto group, can take advantage of all the incentives available.
‚ÄúTaos is a great champion and a great representative for New Mexico, and we‚Äôre excited to have him among our ‚ÄėRiding for the Brand‚Äô team,‚ÄĚ said Joby Houghtaling, the director of operations of the Tate Branch Auto Group. ‚ÄúHe can utilize Warranty Forever, a Tate Branch Auto Group exclusive warranty that covers the drive train of any vehicle purchased at one of our dealerships that has less than 75,000 miles.
‚ÄúWe are happy to be involved in rodeo, and we offer discounts to members of all the rodeo associations, whether they‚Äôre in the PRCA, the WPRA, college or whatever. We‚Äôre committed to rodeo and the cowboys and cowgirls in the sport.‚ÄĚ
That works great for any rodeo contestant, like Muncy. He‚Äôs spending time at home taking care of duties on the ranch that must be done. He returns to action Friday, May 1, at his ol‚Äô college stomping grounds in Guymon, Okla. He attended Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, just 10 miles from the Guymon rodeo arena.
In fact, he claimed the 2007 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc riding championship while part of the Panhandle State rodeo team. Later that year, he won his first PRCA world championship, becoming just the third cowboy in the history of the game to win a college title and the gold buckle in the same discipline in the same season, joining bull rider Matt Austin and all-around cowboy Ty Murray.
‚ÄúGuymon is pretty much a hometown rodeo for me, because Corona doesn‚Äôt have a ProRodeo and the closest ProRodeo to my hometown is two hours away,‚ÄĚ Muncy said. ‚ÄúI still get nervous when I ride there, because I know they‚Äôre all watching me ‚Ä¶ all those great cowboys I looked up to and wanted to be like.‚ÄĚ
The Oklahoma Panhandle has a grand history in the game, with 12 world championships earned by cowboys who have ties to the region once known as ‚ÄúNo Man‚Äôs Land.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúAll those guys helped me quite a bit,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI could ride broncs, but I wasn‚Äôt good enough to do it at this level until I got there and worked with those guys.‚ÄĚ
When he‚Äôs done with the Guymon rodeo, he‚Äôll return to Corona and handle the tasks around the ranch before committing to the big summer run. Now 27 years old, he understands the importance of taking care of business every time he prepares to ride.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt do a lot of extra stuff to stay in shape, but I try to stay active,‚ÄĚ Muncy said. ‚ÄúI stay plenty active when I‚Äôm around the place, because I‚Äôm usually running around here pretty good. If there‚Äôs stuff on my riding that I need to work on, I‚Äôll dang sure get on my spur board or get on practice horses to keep tuned up.
‚ÄúWhen we get to the summer run, especially over the Fourth of July, it helps me a lot when you‚Äôre getting on broncs every day. That‚Äôs when you feel the best. When you‚Äôre riding broncs, you‚Äôre using muscles you don‚Äôt ever use any other time.‚ÄĚ
It all adds up to him living a lifetime of dreams.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve wanted to be a cowboy as long as I can remember, since I was probably 2 or 3,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI figured out you could ride animals and get paid. I always thought it would be cool to get on broncs or bulls or calves or sheep. I played football and basketball and other stuff, but all I‚Äôve ever wanted to do was be a cowboy.‚ÄĚ
He‚Äôs pretty good at it.
(NewsUSA) - For the first time in modern history, America's workforce spans four generations. In this new era of multigenerational workers, a "one size fits all" approach to health insurance is a thing of the past.
The generational gap is as varied as it is immense. There are the young-adult Millennials, the middle-aged Gen Xers, Baby Boomers nearing retirement age and the Silent Generation in their 70s and beyond. Each group has vastly different health insurance needs.
Take, for example, Millennials. A recent Bankrate survey shows many prefer health plans with lower deductibles and higher premiums. Meanwhile, Pew Research reports that the Baby Boomer population is hyper-focused on long-term care coverage needs and how best to manage associated costs beyond Medicare.
This workforce shift is unprecedented and poses significant hurdles for businesses as they seek to provide affordable and appropriate health coverage options across employee lifespans. Both large and small group employers are impacted, though companies with 100 or fewer employees are more likely to feel the financial squeeze because there are fewer individuals to spread risk and defray costs.
Juggling vastly different insurance coverage needs can be quite difficult, especially for the more than 28 million small businesses employing nearly half of all U.S. workers. Affordable Care Act legislation adds further complexity as companies assess their group health plan options, or in some cases whether to offer them at all. So, what are employers to do?
In response, many are increasingly turning to private healthcare insurance exchange solutions as an effective answer to meet the diversity of benefit needs from Generation Me to Generation We.
"Private exchanges are marketplaces of health insurance and other related products," according to management consulting group Booz Allen. They offer access to multiple health plans in a single, unified program and are attractive because they enable workers to individually select the right coverage for their current life needs.
The private exchange platform provides an ideal bridge across generational divides. For example, a 22-year-old single female starting her first job out of college will likely want a different plan than the 59-year-old manager with a spouse, three children and plans to retire in the near future.
Employers are moving to these exchanges more quickly than forecasted, according to new data from consulting firm Accenture. The company estimates that some six million individuals signed up for workplace health coverage through private exchanges in 2014 alone, roughly two times the number expected. It's predicted that private exchange participation will exceed public exchange enrollments by 2018, if not sooner.
Much of this expansion is driven by the combination of health care reform and a workforce that now spans a 50-plus year spectrum.
"At the heart of the solution is access to choice," said Ron Goldstein, president and CEO of CHOICE Administrators, the nation's leader in developing and administering employee-choice health benefit programs and exchanges for employer groups. The company's exchanges include the country's first and only multicarrier private exchange, CaliforniaChoice, as well as CaliforniaChoice 51+ and Choice Builder, the nation's first ancillary exchange for dental, vision, chiropractic and other benefits.
"Smart business owners are teaming with their broker to identify and select a platform that enables their employees to design plans that best fit their lifecycle needs."
The age of the four-generation workforce has dawned. Owners and small businesses are wise to embrace the private exchange that technology employees have come to rely on, such as online enrollment, as they seek to cost-effectively address the needs of their workforce across all stages of their lives.
For more information about employee-choice health benefit programs and private health insurance exchanges, visit choiceadminexchanges.com.
BRIDGEPORT, Texas ‚Äď This community is tucked in north Texas is less than an hour‚Äôs drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
It‚Äôs home to about 6,100 people and one of the fastest growing events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Hundreds of the greatest cowboys and cowgirls make their way to this small Wise County city each May for the Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, at Sunset Retreat Arena, formerly the Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.
‚ÄúOur rodeo is special because we get more than 450 cowboys and cowgirls from all over the world who attend our rodeo,‚ÄĚ said Susan Miller, an eight-year member of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. ‚ÄúWe get world champions and National Finals Rodeo qualifiers that are part of our show, and they come back every single year.‚ÄĚ
That‚Äôs a tremendous benefit to the Bridgeport community. Contestants, their families and fans will flock to town for the two-day rodeo, eating at local restaurants, staying in hotels and utilizing fuel stops. In addition, it allows for an easy commute for a few elite cowboys and cowgirls.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs good for our local rodeo contestants, too,‚ÄĚ said David Turnbow, chairman of the rodeo committee, referring to numerous NFR qualifiers that live in Wise County, including three-time and reigning world champion tie-down roper Tuf Cooper; his father, eight-time titlist Roy Cooper; and Trevor Brazile, the 21-time gold buckle winner.
‚ÄúTrevor is just 20 minutes from his house. Besides that, we‚Äôre getting a lot of the other big-name contestants. It‚Äôs fun for the community to see that, too.‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs just one ingredient that makes the perfect stew for the local rodeo. There are many, including a work force of volunteers that strive to make each performance the best it can be.
‚ÄúWe work all year long,‚ÄĚ Miller said. ‚ÄúI believe the rodeo gets better every year. We are super proud of the rodeo, but we always know there is room for improvement. Each year after the rodeo ends, we have a meeting to discuss what we could do to make it better.
‚ÄúThat is our goal.‚ÄĚ
It‚Äôs showing. The Karl Klement Butterfield Stage Days Rodeo is a hot commodity, both for contestants and fans. From an amazing competition to a true family friendly entertainment package, there has been plenty of talk about the Bridgeport rodeo.
‚ÄúI believe it will be the most talked-about, successful PRCA rodeo for our size of community,‚ÄĚ Miller said. ‚ÄúI believe that one weekend per year will continue to be scheduled in many date books across the nation.‚ÄĚ