Colchester’s Benefit Group merges with Digital Insurance of Atlanta

first_imgDigital Insurance Inc. (www.digitalinsurance.com(link is external)), the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies, has merged with The Benefit Group of New England LLC (BGNE), based in Colchester. The regional firm’s owners and all staff members will continue operating the company and clients will have access to more robust resources, sophisticated technology, price advantages and proprietary solutions available through Digital’s national platform.‘The new relationship with BGNE is part of our company’s continuing growth strategy to partner with leading agencies throughout the United States that have strong community roots,’ says Adam Bruckman, president and chief executive officer of Digital Insurance. ‘Digital gains experienced leaders with regional insights and relationships that cannot be easily replicated. At the same time, BGNE acquires resources and tools to help them prosper and better meet employer needs, particularly during this era of health care reform.’‘This partnership is the next step in our evolution and delivers tremendous advantages to our clients,’ says BGNE partner Deb Loughlin. ‘No other employee benefits agency in our region has the capabilities we now offer.’ New services include compliance assistance, in-depth communications and resources related to health care reform. In addition, employers benefit from access to a Customer Advocate Center which handles individual employee calls, an online Benefits Resource Center to assist with human resource issues and an online Wellness Management Center to help create a healthier workforce.‘The relationship with Digital also provides our firm with an optimal platform for continued growth,’ says BGNE partner Bob Gaydos. ‘We’ve been expanding into new municipalities in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York, and this accelerates our plans to open a new office in Fort Myers, Fla.’Founded in 1990 and based in Colchester, Vt., BGNE is a group insurance agency and employee benefits consulting firm serving more than 300 New England and northern New York employers. With an annual growth rate of 23 percent over the last decade, the firm has experienced tremendous success and has a reputation for its progressive approach to creating benefits strategic plans that deliver long-term advantages for employer groups.Digital is in an aggressive growth mode and pursuing four specific revenue strategies in the small and medium business market (SMB) during 2011:Agency Acquisition: Digital recruits a top-performing firm’s entire employee benefits portfolio and retains its personnel to deploy a local market solution. Agencies gain a cash infusion, while clients experience enhanced service.P&C Growth Acquisition: Digital acquires and manages the agency’s employee benefits segment, freeing the P&C firm to focus on core business and/or pursue strategic growth plans.Block Acquisition: Digital purchases a block of the agency’s employee benefits book — often smaller accounts. This arrangement enables firms to grow more profitable business, and clients benefit from a more advanced service platform.Digital also is pursuing partnerships in which the local agency retains its customers. Through a shared commission arrangement, Digital manages a specified portion — or all — of the employee benefits business. Firms working with the company in this capacity are interested in growth and gaining efficiencies to better service their more profitable clients.About Digital InsuranceDigital Insurance is the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies. The firm’s national footprint, technology, resources and benefits expertise help customers control costs and simplify the health care journey. Digital levels the playing field for employers and employees, delivering the same advantages experienced by large organizations. Respected for its industry leadership and responsive service by knowledgeable professionals, the privately owned company’s innovative solutions empower customers to navigate the complexities of health care reform and guide individuals to become better health care consumers. ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Insurance Inclast_img read more

June 8, 1989: When the Pirates blew a 10-0 lead, forcing announcer Jim Rooker to walk 327 miles

first_imgNot that he’d ever forget those nearly two weeks of walking, but he apparently took home a permanent souvenir.”I still have a left ankle that bothers me today because of that,” he told “Sports Talk.”That lesson again: Always think before you speak. Think before you speak, even in baseball, and even when something seems, well, unthinkable. Think before you speak, especially when you speak to hundreds of thousands of people for a living.Jim Rooker can tell you a fun story about that. It’s a lesson he learned on June 8, 1989 — the day the former Pirates broadcaster made a seemingly innocent (and safe) statement after the Buccos scored 10 runs in the top of the first against the Phillies in Philadelphia. “If we lose this game, I’ll walk back to Pittsburgh,” Rooker told partner John Sanders — and everyone listening on the radio.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNWell, despite Rooker’s 13 years as a big league pitcher, plus another nine years as a broadcaster to that point, he apparently forgot that baseball has a weird, sick sense of humor. Especially when a team has lost six straight.Pirates players remembered, though.”I looked at the umpires and I said, ‘Yeah, we finally got a lead,'” the Pirates’ Bobby Bonilla recalled later that season. “They said, ‘You finally got a lead in one game.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but, you know, it’s not over yet.'”Enter baseball’s twisted sense of humor. After the Pirates dropped 10 in the top of the first, the Phillies outscored them 15-1 the rest of the game. If you want more evidence of baseball’s sense of humor, the normally light-hitting Steve Jeltz, who didn’t even start the game and had two career homers at that point, belted two dingers that night — which ended up accounting for half his homers on the season.Jeltz’s first homer, a two-run shot, made it a 10-6 game. After Jeltz barreled that homer, the game itself seemed to be barreling toward an inevitable conclusion.”I could’ve told you then that there was a good chance we were going to lose that game,” then-Pirates manager Jim Leyland said later. “When you’re a manager, your gut usually tells you that something’s not right. It’s a freaky thing. You can usually feel it.”Well, Leyland’s gut was on point. From there, Jeltz hit his second homer, there were more hits, there was a run-scoring wild pitch and yada, yada, yada, the Phillies took the lead and eventually won 15-11. It was the Pirates’ seventh straight loss.Rather than brushing off his pledge to walk back to Pittsburgh as merely a throwaway line played for laughs, Rooker, 46 at the time, stayed true to his word, even making some public good out of it by turning the trek into a walk for charity. The event was dubbed “Rook’s Unintentional Walk,” with a sporting goods company donating hiking gear and four corporate sponsors underwriting the trip. Rooker and a friend took their first steps from Philadelphia on Oct. 5 and walked through the center field gate at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh at 12:52 p.m. on Oct. 17 — a walk of 327 miles. The pair averaged more than 24 miles a day, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.”I’m OK from the ankles up, but from the ankles down I feel like I’ve been stabbed with ice picks,” he told Sporting News after the walk.MORE: 10 single-season MLB feats we’ll never see againThere was good news, though: Rooker’s many steps ultimately raised around $100,000 for charity by some estimates, with money going to Children’s Hospitals of Pittsburgh and Bob Prince Charities. Still, it was an ordeal.”It’s something I would never do again,” he told SN later, “but the response of the people was absolutely tremendous.”Here’s a vintage MLB feature detailing the whole, silly affair.Years later, Rooker explained the thinking behind his “I’ll walk back to Pittsburgh proclamation.””In all the years I’ve been in baseball, I’ve never been on a team that’s been ahead by 10 runs and lost, or been behind by 10 runs and come back and win a game,” he told “Monday Night Sports Talk,” a Connecticut cable show, in 2013. “I didn’t say it thinking that it was going to be a challenge of any kind. I just thought it was a normal thing to say.”last_img read more