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

Designing Your Kitchen & Bathroom Without Being Too Trendy

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content by Alure Home ImprovementsMary Lotardo, custom kitchen and bathroom designer at Alure Home Improvements, offers her five tips for designing your kitchen and bathroom without being too trendy in a recent episode of Alure’s My5 Tips Series.You have to remember that home décor is a lot like fashion. But altering the look of your kitchen or bathroom is not as easy as putting on a new dress or changing your blouse. A classic look should last a while, perhaps as long as a decade. If you follow Mary’s tips, then you can easily give a new twist to the appearance of your kitchen or bathroom by adding a few touches that won’t break the bank but liven up a situation that maybe you’ve grown tired of.Here’s what she’s talking about:Tip No. 1: Use neutral colors. When you’re making your selections for a new color scheme, Mary says, “Try to use neutral colors for the large items in the room.”She suggests that in particular you use neutral colors for your kitchen cabinets or the bathroom vanity.“If you’re doing full-tile walls, you might want to pick a neutral color and then tie it in with some accents along the way,” Mary says.The most popular neutral colors for kitchens and bathrooms are white, beige, gray and sage. These colors make it easy and less expensive to update the overall look of the room because all you need to do to make a difference is just add some new accessories. Another advantage of using neutral colors is that it makes the kitchen or a bathroom look brighter and bigger, depending on the lighting arrangement.Tip No. 2: Bring in colors that you love.Mary proposes that you incorporate your favorite colors into the room’s new décor but use them in small touches. Let these hues be seen in your accent tiles, glass pendants, faucets and fixtures. Wait until you see how metal finishes such as brushed nickel, bronze or stainless steel can enhance the space and make it all come alive without becoming too dominant.“Use them in the room to bring in all the different colors that you love,” suggests Mary.Tip No. 3: Use natural-looking materials that are timeless.There are so many more possibilities in natural-looking materials than there used to be, thanks to innovations in technology. For example, Mary suggests using porcelain tiles that emulate limestone, slate or marble.“Even today quartz is made to look like granite,” says Mary. “And there are some beautiful looks out there with the textures and colors that you love.”It’s not all about granite and marble, but they are lovely indeed and durable, especially for countertops. Slate has a dull-matte finish that’s not flashy but works well in a neutral-color scheme. Plus slate is harder than marble and easy to keep clean with just soap and water. Soapstone, which comes quarried out of the ground in a natural gray color, has a softer surface than some other materials like granite but with soapstone you can sand away any scratches on the surface. Quartz is one of the most scratch-resistant materials available. It’s a great choice for countertops because it comes in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain.Click here for more information on Alure Home ImprovementsTip No. 4: Don’t be afraid of bringing in a ‘wow’ factor!“A lot of times using art deco accents or having a beautiful tile layout, those are the things that you love most in the project when the project is finished,” Mary says knowingly. “So don’t be afraid to try something a little bit different!”The great thing about using a neutral color scheme as the foundation for your design is that it doesn’t compete with any flourishes you may come up with. In fact, this backdrop encourages you to put something of yourself in the final look. Maybe you’ve got some vases that you treasure or window curtains with a design that delights your eyes. There’s no reason that a neutral-color kitchen or bathroom shouldn’t have as much pizzazz as a room blazing with hot colors.Tip No. 5: Use a professional designer.Doesn’t it make sense that when you redo a room like the kitchen or the bathroom, which get a lot of daily use, you want the best advice possible for the final creation?“You need somebody with experience who can take the colors and textures that you love and create a project that you’ll love for a life time,” says Mary.A professional designer can help you to better articulate what look you’re going for, and find out what appeals to you at a fundamental level. And a designer you trust can help you figure out how to make it all come true within a budget you can afford. Perhaps she’ll suggest soft hues like beige, khaki and rain-cloud gray for a calming atmosphere, or suggest richer neutral colors like chocolate brown or slate gray, or go in a different direction with subtle variations of white on white.There’s more to the palette of different neutral color schemes than you might think—and consulting a true professional designer, like Mary Lotardo at Alure Home Improvements, can get you inspired.last_img read more