Sara Kermenski of The Richards Group Earns Certified Financial Planner Designation

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Sara Kermenski of The Richards Group has recently earned the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation.  She has worked at The Richards Group since 2011 and is responsible for advising employers with the management of their 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as helping their employees prepare for retirement.

“Sara has been a valuable member of our team for many years and earning the CFP® designation is a significant step in her continued efforts to add value for her clients,” commented Ben Taggard, VP of Wealth Management at The Richards Group.  “The CFP® coursework will supplement Sara’s knowledge and help in both her work with individuals and when consulting with employers regarding their retirement plans.  We’re proud of Sara for the effort she has put into her professional development and for this accomplishment”.

The CFP® marks identify those individuals who have met the rigorous experience and ethical requirements of the CFP Board, have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® Certification Examination covering the following areas:  the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.  CFP® professionals also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867.  The firm currently has over 115 employees and was named one of the “Best Places to Work in Vermont” in each of the past 3 years by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 

The Richards Group named Best Employee Benefits Firm in Vermont

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The 2018 Best of Business Award winners have been announced by Vermont Business Magazine and The Richards Group has won as Best Employee Benefits Firm. This awards program celebrates the best Vermont companies in business-to-business categories.


“We’re very proud to be named Vermont’s Best Employee Benefits Company,” said Tom Scull, Vice President of Employee Benefits at The Richards Group. “Many of the surveyed readers of VBM are clients and know first-hand how important employee benefits are to a company. To be named a stand-out business in our field of expertise, a business that provides best-class customer service, a business who is known for going above and beyond, and a team of experts who pay close attention to detail demonstrates our success. Congratulations to our team of employee benefits experts and thanks to our clients for the recognition.”

The Richards Group’s Employee Benefits and Human Resources practice employs a ‘360 Degree’ strategy that focuses on employee benefits in the broadest sense of the phrase. We provide unique attention designed to meet each individual client’s needs and understand the challenges that HR leaders balance between maintaining a healthy workforce and fiscal responsibility. To that end, we provide clients with plan design and budgeting strategies, wellness expertise, leadership and training, robust technologies and compliance insights. We take a holistic approach to ensuring you have a healthy, engaged and dynamic workforce.

The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867. The firm currently has over 115 employees and was named one of the “Best Places to Work in Vermont” in each of the past 3 years by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

The Richards Group to Acquire Centurion Insurance from Mascoma Bank

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The Richards Group is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire Centurion Insurance Group from Mascoma Bank. The transaction will be completed in April of 2018. The Centurion office will remain at its current location while The Richards Group’s Norwich branch office, which has served Upper Valley clients for the past 10 years, will consolidate operations into Centurion’s office space. 

“We feel fortunate that the leadership of Mascoma Bank decided The Richards Group was the best fit to serve the needs of their insurance clients going forward,” said Drew Richards, Vice President of The Richards Group. “We’re thrilled to be part of the vibrant community in Hanover and to deepen the commitment we’ve made to the Upper Valley over the past decade.” 

“We are very pleased to be partnering with The Richards Group on this transaction,” commented Clay Adams, President & CEO of Mascoma Bank. “Both our customers and the Centurion employees will be well served working with the breadth and depth of their product offerings and expertise. Like Mascoma Bank, The Richards Group has a deep commitment to their communities, which they have dependably served for three generations. This acquisition allows them to strengthen their connections and service to the Upper Valley.” 

“Having spent the better part of my life in the Hanover community, this acquisition means a great deal to me and I’m excited with how The Richards Group is now positioned in the Upper Valley,” added Tom Scull, Vice President of The Richards Group. “With our expertise, technologies and service models, we bring outstanding capabilities to our local clients in the commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits consulting and retirement plan advisory areas. Our scale gives us access to the type of valuable resources and best practices you would typically find in a national firm, which we deliver through our local, high touch service model – it’s the best of both worlds. We’re excited to demonstrate this to our new clients.” 

“We appreciate our collaboration with Mascoma,” continued Scull “and we look forward to working closely with them going forward. We welcome the talented Centurion team to The Richards Group and look forward to helping them continue the excellent work they have done for clients.” 

Centurion will begin operating under The Richards Group name in the Spring of 2018. 

The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867. The firm currently has over 115 employees and was named one of the “Best Places to Work in Vermont” in each of the past 3 years by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Mascoma Bank, a mutually owned bank established in 1899, is headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The Bank has $1.7 billion in assets, 340 employees, and 26 locations throughout the Connecticut River Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont. Mutually owned and not for sale, the Bank has no stockholders to please. They are committed to remaining independent and to re-investing profits into the community. The bank has been serving the banking needs of the local community for generations by offering a full range of personal and business accounts and services.

The Richards Group Named One of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Vermont

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The Richards Group was recently named one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Vermont, an award created by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, the Vermont Department of Labor, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Vermont State Council and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Vermont, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce and businesses.

“We’re proud to once again be acknowledged as one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont,” said Ben Taggard, VP of Wealth Management at The Richards Group.  “We have experienced strong growth, both organically and through acquisitions, and The Richards Group has created many new jobs throughout the region in recent years.  To be recognized speaks volumes about the culture that we all contribute to and the outstanding colleagues that we work with every day.”

“It’s valuable to have the survey and benchmarking data that this process provides,” added Peter Richards, VP of Commercial Insurance and Risk Management. “It shows where our strengths are as an employer and where we have opportunities to improve.  We know our success as a firm is based on our ability to attract and retain talented employees and this process provides good insight on how we can compete effectively in the job market.”

The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867.  TRG locations include Brattleboro, Bennington, Norwich, Middlebury, Rutland, Bellows Falls, Manchester, Burlington, Wilmington as well as Concord and Keene, NH.  For more information about the firm and our capabilities, please visit www.therichardsgrp.com.   

VRGA Endorses The Richards Group for Member Program

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The Vermont Retail and Grocers Association is pleased to announce it has partnered with The Richards Group to manage its commercial insurance program for VRGA members.

“The Richards Group has made the association a top priority throughout the past several years and understands what small businesses in Vermont need in regards to insurance, information, and best practices,” said Erin Sigrist, President of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association. “Our commercial insurance program is a key benefit for our members. We have hundreds of businesses throughout Vermont participating, so we look forward to working with The Richards Group as they bring their insurance expertise, technology and extensive knowledge of safety and risk management to VRGA members.”

“Over the years we have built some valuable industry knowledge and resources for industries including retail, grocery, breweries, wineries, and specialty foods manufacturers that we know will serve VRGA members well,” said Peter Richards, Vice President of Commercial Insurance and Risk Management at The Richards Group. “In today’s business environment, VRGA members need and deserve more than insurance coverage at a competitive price - they will benefit from capabilities such as OSHA compliance insights, workers compensation cost containment strategies and special Association coverage enhancements.”

VRGA, located in Montpelier, Vermont, is an association of merchants and trade partners united to promote the sustainable growth of our industry through the educational, economic and public policy needs of our members. Today, VRGA represents approximately 800 Vermont retail stores and 250 suppliers to the industry, including members of the Vermont Specialty Food Association, Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores and the Vermont Petroleum Association. The insurance program is extensive and provides members with coverages including property, liability, auto and workers compensation, along with the opportunity to earn back a dividend based on the Association’s experience. Past dividends have averaged 6% over the past 17 years and have been as high as 22%. For more information about VRGA, please visit www.vtrga.org.

The Richards Group, headquartered in Brattleboro, Vermont, has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867. The firm was named one of the 2017 “Best Places to Work in Vermont” by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

If you are a VRGA member, or may like to become a member, and want information about the VRGA commercial insurance program and its benefits, please contact Scott Olmstead or Shannon Prescott at (800) 222-6016.