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February 07, 2013

Symetra Honors Two Bellevue Employees for Exemplary Community Service

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Symetra, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life insurance, announced that Kim Sawtelle and Sammy Tiengkhamsaly are the recipients of the company’s 2012 CEO Service Award. The annual award recognizes Symetra employees for exemplary community service.

Sawtelle and Tiengkhamsaly work in the Agency Services department at Symetra’s Bellevue, Wash. headquarters and serve on the Symetra Service Squad, the company’s employee volunteer team. As part of the award, Symetra will donate $1,000 to the nonprofit of each winner’s choice. Sawtelle is directing her award to the Sam Hicks Emergency Relief First Fund (S.H.E.R.I.F.F.), while Tiengkhamsaly has selected the Kindra Mylia Phengsavanh (KMP) Foundation, which will soon break ground on a new school in Laos.

“As active members of the Symetra Service Squad, Kim Sawtelle and Sammy Tiengkhamsaly are volunteers extraordinaire. Whether it’s rallying volunteers for a community event or fundraising for the company’s Adopt-A-Family holiday giving program, they are at the heart of Symetra’s community efforts,” said CEO Tom Marra, who selected Sawtelle and Tiengkhamsaly for the honor.

Among her many community service hours in 2012, Sawtelle organized a food drive for Hopelink food bank and made fleece blankets for the homeless as part of Symetra’s annual Week of Service. She also served as a floor co-captain for the Bellevue office’s holiday Adopt-A-Family activities and helped put together gift baskets for Imagine Housing moms, along with many other presents for kids. “I have always believed in the power of ‘paying it forward,’” said Sawtelle. “I feel like we get caught up in the day-to-day ‘stuff,’ not realizing how very lucky we are. That’s what makes me want to give back, whether through volunteer time, donations or word-of-mouth support.”

In 2012, Tiengkhamsaly served as a team captain for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Bellevue. She recruited volunteers and helped with registration at Youth Eastside Services’ “Invest in Youth” breakfast. As an Adopt-A-Family floor co-captain, she helped raise $1,000 for Olive Crest, and for the fourth consecutive year recruited volunteers for Global Volunteers’ annual fundraiser. “My family moved here from Laos when I was two years old, and my parents struggled with the language, cultural differences and finding a job to support my sister and me. They were very grateful for all of the help they received from the community,” said Tiengkhamsaly. “My mom always says, ‘You do good things, and good things will come back to you in return!’”

About Symetra
Symetra Financial Corporation (NYSE: SYA) is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Wash. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit

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Diana McSweeney
(425) 256-6167  

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