Meet Your Commercial Lines Team


Peter Richards

Pete began his insurance career with The Richards Group in 2002.  Prior to joining the agency, Pete was an Assistant Vice President with Hibernia Southcoast Capital, a New Orleans based investment bank.  He graduated from Williams College and earned his Master in Business Administration degree at Tulane University, majoring in Finance and Accounting. Pete is a Vice President of The Richards Group and leads the ongoing development of our risk management consulting capabilities as well as the use of technology and analytics to better serve our commercial clients. He has served on the Agents Council of many carriers, and was President of The Vermont Insurance Agents Association in 2016.  


Cathy Coonan

Cathy has over 30 years of insurance experience as a Risk Management Consultant, and is responsible for the management of large commercial clients in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  She holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and specializes in healthcare, not-for-profits, contractors and manufacturers. Cathy has extensive community involvement; currently she is Vice President of the Youth Services Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Directors at Holton Home and Bradley House, member of Brattleboro Rotary (where she served as Past President) and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital as an Incorporator and member of the Planning Committee. She is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro Country Club (Past President) and Building a Better Brattleboro.


Rick Manson

Rick joined The Richards Group in 1989 as a Commercial Lines Risk Management Consultant and holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and is a Certified Workers Comp Advisor (CWCA).  Rick works with large businesses in the tri-state area and specializes in educational institutions, as well as the hospitality industry and manufacturing sectors. In addition to being an active member of Brattleboro Rotary, Rick is also their past president.  Rick also serves as an Incorporator for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and New England Kurn Hattin Homes. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Brattleboro Country Club and Winston Prouty Center.  He graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. 


Dave Newell

Dave joined The Richards Group through the purchase of Wills Insurance in Bennington in 2016.   He is a Commercial Lines Risk Management Consultant with over 30 years of experience and is responsible for helping clients with the management of their property and casualty insurance.  He holds the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, graduated from Dickinson College and received his MA at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is currently a Trustee with the Bennington Free Library,  Southern Vermont College, and the Southwestern Vermont Healthcare Foundation and is also a member of Catamount Rotary.


Corey Mears

Corey joined The Richards Group when Wills Insurance was acquired in 2016.  A Commercial Lines Risk Management Consultant since 2012, Corey is responsible for the development of commercial clients in Vermont, Massachusetts and New York.  An involved member of the Bennington community, he is currently a volunteer with the Bennington Young Professionals, and is a past member of Catamount Rotary and the Battenkill Valley Health Community Development committee.  Corey graduated from Saint Michaels College with a degree in Accounting.


Merrick Counsell

Merrick joined The Richards Group in 2013 when his agency, Briggs Fowler Insurance in Manchester, Vermont was acquired by The Richards Group.  He is a Commercial Risk Management Consultant and has been a licensed Property & Casualty agent for over 30 years, with broad experience developing risk management solutions for Manchester area businesses.  Among his numerous civic activities, Merrick is currently a Board Member at Manchester Country Club.




Rob Pattison

Rob joined The Richards Group in 2004 after working at New York Life in Boston.  He is a Risk Management Consultant and is responsible for the development of commercial clients of all sizes.  Rob holds licenses in Property and Casualty and Life and Health in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.   After graduating from the University of Vermont, he had a successful run with AHL hockey.  Currently he is Co-President and a coach of the Brattleboro Hockey Association and also coaches his son in the Brattleboro Babe Ruth Baseball League.


Michael Yarosevich

Mike joined The Richards Group in 2016 as a Commercial Lines Risk Management Consultant in our Keene, New Hampshire office.  He comes to the agency with a background in operations and logistics and will focus on markets such as wholesale suppliers, transportation, manufacturers, contractors and restaurants.  Mike has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Castleton University and is an Ambassador for the Keene Chamber of Commerce.


Kathy Ballantine

Kathy has been with The Richards Group for over 40 years and is the Director of Operations.  As a key member of our management team, Kathy oversees the coordination and integration of agency acquisitions at The Richards Group.  This includes the acquired client base, the design of marketing strategy for the new acquisition and staffing and training branch personnel.

The Richards Group-Regina-Werner

Regina Werner

Regina joined The Richards Group in 1984.  She is the Commercial Lines Service Manager and oversees our service procedures across the organization.   She works closely with commercial clients in the Deerfield Valley area and specializes in the hospitality and construction industries.  She is active in the community and is currently on the board of Kids in the Country and is a member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary.  Born and raised in Vermont, Regina enjoys walking, swimming and snowshoeing.  She and her husband Rich, a self-employed Property Manager, live in East Dover. 


Shannon Prescott

Shannon joined The Richards Group in 2011 with a background in sales management and marketing. She is the Program Coordinator for our commercial clients.  Shannon works with the sales team to ensure all client goals on our Service Performance plans are being met and oversees the plan throughout the policy year. She also assists clients with compliance and safety program evaluation and implementation, helping them achieve compliance with OSHA, DOT and DOL regulations.  Shannon is a licensed P&C Producer, has her OSHA Compliance Certification, and is an OSHA Authorized Trainer for the construction industry.   Shannon is on the Executive Board of the United Way of Windham County and an active member of the Franklin County Young Professionals.

The Richards Group-Amber Brown

Amber Brown

Amber joined The Richards Group in 2004.  She is a licensed Property & Casualty agent and works closely with Cathy Coonan and their commercial clients, specializing in healthcare, contractors and manufacturers. Amber is currently pursuing her Accredited Customer Service Representative designation and the AINS23. She is a volunteer for the United Way of Windham County and participates every year in the Bowl for Kids Sake. Amber is a native Vermonter and enjoys camping and fishing with her family.   

The Richards Group-Julie Goodell

Julie Goodell

Julie came to The Richards Group in 2011 after 10 years with National Grange Mutual.  She works in our Bellow Falls office servicing clients throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Julie holds her Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) and Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designations.  Julie enjoys riding her horse and team tournament fishing with her husband Matt.

The-Richards-Group-Sarah Houle

Sarah Houle

Sarah came to The Richards Group as a Receptionist in 2013 and joined the commercial service staff in 2015.   She works primarily with Rick Manson on larger commercial accounts in the tri-state area. Currently Sarah is working towards her Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) designation. In her spare time Sarah enjoys riding her motorcycle and boating with her two Labs.  

The Richards Group-Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark

Jamie came to The Richards Group through an acquisition of Downey Insurance in 2013. She was a Personal Lines Account Manager before joining the Commercial Lines Department in 2015.   A licensed Property & Casualty agent, Jamie works with Rob Pattison cultivating and working with their clients to ensure all their insurance needs are met. Prior to her insurance career, Jamie was a Real Estate Broker for 11 years. She likes to volunteer at Townshend Elementary School and spend time with her 3 children.

The-Richards-Group-Peggy DeAngelis

Peggy DeAngelis

Peggy joined The Richards Group in 1996 after many years in banking. She heads up the Select Business Unit in Brattleboro and has a strong working knowledge of all types of small businesses. Peggy provides advisory services to small commercial employers and is an important resource regarding Workers Compensation coverage. She is active in the Brattleboro community and currently is on the Brattleboro Hockey Association Scholarship Committee and a Board Member of PLAYInc.   Peg enjoys hiking and biking and snow-shoeing with her husband John and their Golden Retriever.  

The-Richards-Group-Kyle Matulionis

Kyle Matulionis

Kyle joined The Richards Group in 2011 when his parents’ agency, Davis Insurance, was purchased. As a Select Business Unit Account Manager.  Kyle works with all types of small commercial clients. He holds the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) and Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designations. Kyle is Past President of the Ludlow Rotary Club and a member of the Okemo Valley and Springfield Chambers of Commerce. He is an avid skier and enjoys golf, biking and hiking in his spare time.  

Wendy Chase

Wendy Chase

Wendy joined The Richards Group in 2004 after over 25 years in the hospitality business. She heads up the Select Business Unit in the Wilmington office. A licensed Property &Casualty Agent, Wendy services a book of small commercial clients and is responsible for assisting her clients in the management of all their insurance needs. Wendy lives in Wilmington and enjoys vacationing with her husband Roland in her spare time.  


Joshua Phillips

Josh began his insurance career in January of 2017. Prior to joining The Richards Group in
Bennington, he had worked at a marine equipment manufacturing company holding several
positions including Industrial Sales Manager and Operations Manager. Josh works with the
Select Business clients in the Bennington/Manchester area focusing on individual contractors and small business owners.


Stephanie Lane

Stephanie began her insurance career with Wills Insurance in June of 2012 as a Personal Lines Account Manager and joined The Richards Group through an acquisition in 2016. She transitioned to Commercial Lines in July 2016 as an assistant to Corey Mears. Together they work mostly on large accounts including manufacturing and hospitality. Stephanie is a member of TRG Wellness Committee and supports the Bennington staff with healthy food choices and exercise. Prior to joining Wills Insurance, Stephanie worked for an oral surgeon in billing/credentialing.


Kate Mahar

Kate began her insurance career in 1994 with Nationwide Insurance. She took a leave of absence
while her three children were born and returned to the world of insurance part-time in 2000 at Wills Insurance.   She was a Personal Lines sales agent until 2017 when she joined the Commercial Lines team to work with David Newell.   As a native of Bennington, Kate has been very involved with the local schools and the community.