VRGA Endorses The Richards Group for Member Program


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.

The Richards Group expands Human Resources and Leadership Development services – rehires Ross Gibson


July 2017 (Norwich, VT) - The Richards Group (TRG), a Vermont based professional services firm specializing in insurance, employee benefits and retirement plan consulting, is pleased to announce that Ross Gibson has rejoined the firm effective immediately. Ross will continue to build the Human Resources and Leadership Development Services capabilities of the firm as a key component of the Employee Benefits division. Ross previously worked for TRG but left briefly in 2016 to help establish a Human Resources function for a TRG client.

“I am very excited to have Ross back at TRG” stated Tom Scull Vice President, Employee Benefits. “As we continue to expand the service offerings to our clients, we increasingly have realized the need many of our clients have for human resources and management training support” Tom continued, adding “and Ross’ thirty plus years of senior level HR and training experience compliments the team exceptionally well”.

Ross will continue to work with clients in assisting in their leadership development and human resources offerings. Ross works directly with executives and leadership teams in delivering widely acknowledged training and development programs that are aimed at increasing leadership effectiveness. As Ross has stated many times “any organization is only as strong as its leaders”. Additionally, Ross consults on a variety of HR issues including retention strategies, succession planning, recruitment and many more.

Prior to having previously worked for TRG, Ross was Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources at World Learning, a global academic institution and Non-Governmental Organization with over 1,300 employees. Over the past 30 years working in the Human Resources field, Ross has held several senior level positions including Vice President, Learning and Organizational Development at Charles River Labs and Vice President, Human Resources at both American Superconductor and Cambridge Neuroscience, Inc. In addition, Ross is a certified facilitator in several of the award-winning and internationally recognized Franklin Covey courses including the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Ross is past president of the Northeast Human Resources Association and is currently an at-large member of the Vermont State HR Council. Locally in Brattleboro, Vermont, Ross is on the boards of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce and the Strolling of the Heifers as well as an active member of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Brattleboro. Ross can be reached at (802) 451-6445 and rgibson@therichardsgrp.com.

Established in 1867, The Richards Group is one of the region’s leading insurance, employee benefits and retirement plan advisory firms, serving over 15,000 clients in the tri-state area of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The company currently has eleven offices in Vermont and New Hampshire.

The Richards Group Expands Employee Benefits Practice – Hires Deb Loughlin


August 2017 (Burlington, VT) The Richards Groups is pleased to announce that
veteran Employee Benefits Consultant, Deb Loughlin, has joined The Richards Group
(TRG) team
. Loughlin has been in the industry for 20 years and held management positions in Vermont businesses for over 30 years. “We are excited to have Deb join our employee benefits team. She brings a breadth of industry knowledge, leadership experience, and a strong
reputation with local employer groups. She and I have long looked for an
opportunity to work together”, says Tom Scull, Vice President of Employee Benefits.

After many years working inside a family owned business, Deb co-founded The
Benefit Group of New England in 1997, merging it into a national firm in 2011. Her
roots are in her passion for the development of companies’ long-term benefit
strategies that support sustainable budgets and promote well employee cultures.

Early in her career, Deb developed a desire to support the health of Vermont
companies and spent time working with legislators, served on the board of
Associated Industries of Vermont as well as industry advisory boards. In the last
several years, Deb has dedicated time to the American Heart and Stroke Association;
now into her forth year working on the Go Red for Woman Executive Leadership
Team, two of which she acted as co-chair. Additionally, she is being honored with
the Chrystal Heart Award in early 2018 in appreciation.

Deb commented “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Tom and his
team; they have an incredible amount of talent and a culture that is very supportive
of each other and TRG clients. Tom and I have always had a synergy and it’s fantastic
to finally see that energy converge”.

Established in 1867, The Richards Group is the region’s leading insurance, employee
benefits and retirement plan services firms, serving over 15,000 clients in New
Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Florida. The firm currently has 12 offices
located in New England.

Deb will be based out of our Burlington office and can be reached at (802) 309-9650
or via email at dloughlin@therichardsgrp.com.

The Society of CIC honors thirty-year member, Monique Johnson


The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) recently recognized Monique Johnson, CIC of The Richards Group, Wilmington, Vermont with a certificate honoring her 30 years of faithful participation in advanced education. Monique earned the
designation through a series of rigorous examinations and has maintained her CIC designation by annual attendance at an approved CIC continuing education program.

“The professional dedication and commitment represented by Monique sets the standard within our industry,” said Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, President of the Society of CIC. “This thirty-year accomplishment signifies a career of active leadership in advanced education. Monique’s emphasis on professional development positively reflects on the insurance profession as a whole.”

The Society of CIC is a member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education
& Research. This not-for-profit organization serves over 133,000 participants annually
throughout all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Island, and Puerto Rico. The National Alliance
is comprised of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), Certified Risk
Managers (CRM), Certified Personal Risk Managers (CPRM), the Society of Certified
Insurance Service Representatives (CISR), Certified School Risk Managers (CSRM),
and The National Alliance Research Academy. Together, these programs offer a wide
variety of education, publications, and professional designation opportunities in the
insurance and risk management industries.

The Richards Group Joins The Northern United Agents Alliance


The Richards Group Joins Davis & Towle Insurance Group and Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency as Owner of Northern United Agents Alliance

Concord, N.H. – The Northern United Agents Alliance (NUAA) announced today that The Richards Group of Brattleboro, VT, is an owner of the NUAA. The Richards Group joins the Davis & Towle Insurance Group of Concord, NH, and Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency of Nashua, NH, at the ownership level of the aggregation.

A third-generation family business, The Richards Group has provided local Insurance, Employee Benefits and Retirement Plan solutions to clients throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since 1867. The firm employs roughly 120 professionals throughout its 11 offices and serves more than 20,000 clients.

 “We are thrilled to partner with such prominent agencies in the area that share our core values,” said Drew Richards, Vice President of The Richards Group. “We are eager to leverage this partnership to combine our resources, enhance our operations, and better serve our clients.” 

“It is with great excitement that we welcome The Richards Group as a NUAA owner,” said Marc Berube, President of Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency. “We are confident that together we will bring the NUAA to the next level as a stronger, more complete Northern New England aggregation.”

Headquartered in Concord, NH, the Northern United Agents Alliance is an alliance of independent insurance agents in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont dedicated to providing the highest level of client service through the group’s longstanding relationships with its insurance carrier partners.

The NUAA was formed in 2011 by four independent insurance agencies and has grown to include 14 agencies. 

Media Contact:
Alyssa Turcotte
Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency, LLC