We put our hearts into everything we do.

dogreatthingsSylvia Group is comprised of people who are your friends, your neighbors, your biggest supporters. We’re proud to be an integral member of the community, and we appreciate opportunities to volunteer and make a positive difference. It’s part of our agency’s mission statement, and it’s who we are as individuals.

Statewide leadership roles for members of the Sylvia Group team


The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women (MAIW) recently installed two members of the Sylvia Group staff as officers and appointed a third to a position as committee chair. Photographed outside the agency's Dartmouth offices are, clockwise from lower right: Sylvia Group Personal Lines Account Manager Zenaide Noia, MAIW President; Controller Heather Heffernan, MAIW Vice President; and Commercial Lines Underwriting Coordinator Annie Raposo, MAIW Public Relations Chair.

Founded in 1938, the MAIW is a nonprofit association that serves its members by providing professional education, an environment in which to build business alliances and the opportunity to make connections with people of differing career paths and levels of experience in the insurance and risk management industry.

 Supporting the Y and our model citizen


Sylvia Group once again was a $1,000 sponsor of the 12th annual Red Dress Fashion Show to benefit YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts’ Health and Wellness cardiovascular health program, and this year we had an additional reason to show our support: Our own Heather Heffernan was serving as one of the show’s models.

After completing her day job as agency Controller, Heather did a dazzling turn on the runway, earning cheers from her Sylvia Group colleagues and husband Jay, seen with her in the bottom right and bottom left photos.

The event took place Wednesday, February 25, at the Century House in Acushnet. For more on the event, visit the YWCA’s Facebook page and’s photo gallery.


Cheers to the Team Noah Foundation

The Team Noah Foundation held its third annual wine-tasting fundraiser and auction on February 13th at the United Fishermen Club in New Bedford, and a large group of Sylvia Group employees turned out to show their support.

In the left photo, Director of Client Services and Staff Development Marlene Kalisz, far right, and her husband, Mike, flanked a trio of friends enjoying the evening with them. At right, Account Executive Jill White and her husband, Andy, enjoyed the festivities.

Founded in honor of area resident Noah Fernandes, whose affliction with the mitochondrial disease MELAS leaves him unable to communicate, the Team Noah Foundation raises funds to aid local children and their families affected by medical and developmental disabilities.

For more information on the Team Noah Foundation, visit its website. For more photos from wine-tasting, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

Making Strides Against Cancer Walk

Sylvia Group employees Zenaide Noia, left, and Annie Raposo participated in the Making Strides Against Cancer Walk in Boston on October 5. They walked with the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women (MAIW) Bristol Chapter Team, which raised close to $2,500.


Lee National Denim Day

Denim Day logoSylvia Group’s Lu Lima organized co-workers to contribute $5 each for participation in Lee National Denim Day. Lu’s efforts raised $240 to support women’s cancer programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Schwartz Center for Children Walk

Sylvia Group employees Zenaide Noia and Jill White took a break during the Schwartz Center for Children’s 26th annual fundraising walk to pose with Bubbles the Blue Fish. The September 14 event, which took place around Fort Taber in New Bedford, was in support of children with special needs.


MA Association of Insurance Women

We are proud of our many Sylvia Group ladies who are part of MAIW (MA Association of Insurance Women) and want to congratulate those who have taken on leadership roles within the organization! Zenaide Noia is the Immediate Past Director and Nominating Officer, Heather Heffernan is Treasurer, Annie Raposo is the Public Relations Chairperson and Sandi Owens is the Scholarship Chairperson.


We're proud of our many Sylvia Group ladies who are part of MAIW (MA Association of Insurance Women) and want to congratulate those who have taken on leadership roles within the organization! Zenaide Noia is the Immediate Past Director and Nominating Officer, Heather Heffernan is Treasurer, Annie Raposo is the Public Relations Chairperson and Sandi Owens is the Scholarship Chairperson.

Dartmouth YMCA’s ‘Sharing the Harvest’ Community Farm

Sylvia Group Employees, Kathy Fuller and Jo Ann Tavares, were happy to participate in Live United Week and the National Day of Caring by volunteering at the Dartmouth YMCA’s ‘Sharing the Harvest’ Community Farm.


Sylvia Group employees Kathy Fuller and Jo Ann Tavares were happy to participate in the 2014 Live United Week and the National Day of Caring by volunteering at the Dartmouth YMCA’s ‘Sharing the Harvest’ Community Farm.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Members of the Sylvia Group leadership team rose to the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and raised $1,400! Extra points awarded for doing so in full business dress! And this was no quick ice mix and dump – the water had been chilling on ice for a good five hours. Getting doused are, from left, Vice President Ray Armstrong, President/CEO Maureen Armstrong and Vice President John Beauregard, who organized the challenge.

Where to find us next:

Our employees volunteer their time for many community groups, events and organizations, some of which include:

  • American Cancer Society
  • Bishop Stang High School
  • Bristol Community College
  • Buttonwood Park Zoological Society
  • Buzzards Bay Coalition
  • Community Fund of Southeastern Mass.
  • Dartmouth Youth Activities Association
  • Dick Melloni Youth Foundation
  • Downtown New Bedford, Inc.
  • Fairhaven Improvement Association
  • Feast of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Friendship Tables
  • Girl Scouts
  • Junior Achievement
  • Leadership SouthCoast
  • Market Ministries
  • Miss New Bedford Scholarship Program
  • Nativity Preparatory School
  • New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Nemasket Group
  • New Bedford Jaycees
  • Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport
  • Rebuilding Together
  • S.M.I.L.E.S. Program
  • Southcoast Health
  • Summerfest
  • United Way of Greater New Bedford
  • Wareham Community Associates
  • Westport Youth Soccer
  • W.H.A.L.E.
  • Women’s Fund
  • Y.W.C.A.

We share your sense of responsibility to better the community and help the region grow and succeed. There are many other organizations, including school, youth and church groups for which we volunteer. Join us – find something you care about and get involved. The result: A better world!



  • “When I needed assistance with my business insurance program, Jill White immediately responded – and, even more important, she listened. She understood the challenges I had with my former agent, and she and the Sylvia Group team designed a program specific to my restaurant’s needs. I’m confident that with Jill’s expertise and personal attention, Fay’s is in good hands. That gives me the peace of mind to focus on what my family and I do best: serve delicious food and provide great customer service while running a successful business.”

    – Evelyn Bettencourt, Owner, Fay's Restaurant and Knotty Pine Fine New England Catering

  • “Thanks to John Beauregard and the professionals at Sylvia Group, our MassMEDIC membership has paid immediate dividends. Through the BIO Business Solutions® program, Primo Medical received a significant premium reduction on our Professional Liability policy. In addition, utilizing Chubb as our insurance provider and Sylvia Group as our broker, we’re confident that we have business partners who truly understand our insurance needs, provide outstanding loss control services and continue to work with us to lower our total cost of risk.”

    – Christopher LaPlante, Chief Financial Officer, Primo Medical Group

  • “I love your staff. Since we moved over to Sylvia Group for our insurance what is it, maybe three or four weeks? I have had more communication and attention from them than I had for the what, seven or eight years? with my former agency! You have a great team.”

    – Pat Cassan, Ocean Explorium

  • “You have to have somebody like Judy Besse working with you. She’s very detail-oriented and patient. I’d be lost in a quagmire of laws, rules, regulations… I want somebody on my team as I have with Judy.”

    - Paula Gendreau, Business Manager, Greater New Bedford Regional Voc-Tech High School

  • “I want to thank you for this incredible resource (ThinkHR). We will be accessing it frequently and appreciate Sylvia Group making this available to Advanced Eye Centers.”

    Paul C. Abrantes, Executive Director, Advanced Eye Centers

  • “I so appreciate Julie Jennings' help with Medicare planning. It is a relief to be able to consult with a knowledgeable professional on insurance issues. I have no idea how people do this without such help.”

    – Chris Black, Personal Insurance client

  • "Working with Judy Besse can be pretty interesting because she sets the bar so high. And because she’s putting the customer first, she’s willing to put choices on the table that a lot of brokers just aren’t going to consider because they don’t want to take the haircut."

    – Ed Belt, CEO, Primarily Care, Inc.

  • “Working with Sylvia Group over recent years has taken our insurance issues from 'groans and moans' to 'no problem.' Rose Lopes, our Account Manager, is one of the most responsive people I have ever worked with. She responds immediately to questions or special requests. It is such a pleasure to work with Rose, who does whatever it takes to find a solution to our needs. We are very pleased… She always has our interests in mind.”

    – Lynne Foley, Director of Human Resources, Five Star Companies, Inc.

  • “Judy Besse and Sylvia Group do a wonderful job. Judy’s skills, knowledge of the (benefits) industry and manner of presenting complicated things in an easy-to-understand fashion are unparalleled.”

    - Tom Riley, M.P.A., Executive Director, Better Community Living

  • “We wanted to enhance our employee benefits offering, but we didn’t have the time or expertise to explore the myriad of options. Judy Besse consulted with us and provided detailed information that made a complex choice easy, enabling us to maximize our ROI. And she managed the entire process right through to implementation – including employee communication, enrollment and carrier accountability.”

    – Tom Donaruma, Director of HR, Brahmin Leather Works

  • "Sylvia Group is by far the best insurance agency I have ever dealt with, both personally and in my business. They provide customer support that is not found in other agencies. For example, they take a personal interest in their clients, calls are always taken or returned immediately, and during reviews suggestions are made to offer the most cost effective and comprehensive coverage. When claims occur, they have always been there to facilitate the process. It has truly been a pleasure to have them represent me in my insurance needs."

    - William N. Whelan, Chairman, Whelan Associates LLC

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