President and CEO
As the Super Bowl champion Patriots regularly remind us, maintaining a winning team requires occasional transitions, facilitated by sound decision-making. In what has been a year of transitions for Sylvia Group, we've brought on new personnel who continue to produce winning results for our clients.
The newest members of the Sylvia Group team are Chief Operating Officer David Madara, Personal Insurance Account Executive Matthew Boyle and Employee Benefits Account Manager Allyson Larue. Here's a bit more about them and their roles at our agency:
A career insurance broker and manager, David succeeds Beth Sylvia Caldwell, who will remain with the agency until transitioning to her husband's architectural firm this summer.
David comes to us from southern New Jersey, where he worked for several Philadelphia-area agencies, earned designation as an Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI), and achieved certification as both a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS).
It was going to take a special person to replace Beth as COO, and we found that person in David Madara. David brings to us a wealth of insurance knowledge in the areas of risk assessment and identification, insurance coverage design, sales and client service, product development and team leadership, as well as other areas of agency operations. We're excited to welcome David to our team.
And David's excited about joining us.
"With my insurance agency career having started in my family's third generation agency in New Jersey, joining the Sylvia team brings me back to my roots, where a deep appreciation for and relationship with local clients is paramount," he said. "Maureen's community heritage and the team of client-serving professionals that surround me here are what drew me as a next career and life step. Our family looks forward to deepening our existing community roots here on the SouthCoast, where we have been active for the past fifteen years."
While his roots are in South Jersey, David also has strong ties to New England. His wife, Lisa, is a Seekonk, MA, native, and the couple are longtime owners of vacation property in nearby Westport, which they are preparing to make their permanent home. In addition, the couple's older daughter works in Boston and lives in Medford, while their younger daughter will enter Boston University in the fall.
Currently working part-time in advance of moving his family to Westport, David will head Sylvia Group's Insurance Division on a full-time basis by July 1.
As a boy growing up in Massachusetts, Matthew Boyle was a fan of “Schoolhouse Rock!,” the series that used cartoons and music to educate kids on topics including grammar, math, science and history. Many of the lessons of “Schoolhouse Rock!” stayed with him, as did the series’ underlying message: “Knowledge is power.”
That’s the philosophy Matt has adopted in his work with clients to protect themselves, their family and their assets with customized insurance programs. In his view, the better a client understands risks and the coverages available to protect against them, the better protected that client will be.
A licensed insurance producer and Certified Insurance Service Representative, Matt is passionate about informing and educating his clients on the coverage they should consider and the products they ultimately purchase. Whether the need is homeowners insurance, auto insurance or specialized coverage such as boat and watercraft insurance, he’s committed to designing customized programs that protect his clients and their assets.
Matt appreciates meeting and working with new people on a regular basis, and with 15 years’ experience in personal insurance, the last eight as a successful sales executive, he enjoys sharing his expertise. As an independent agent working with the accomplished team at Sylvia Group, he’s able to offer clients options and resources unavailable through most other agencies and direct sellers.
A graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Marietta College with a B.S. in history, Matt worked nationally and internationally as a software trainer on military bases before entering the insurance industry. Prior to becoming an independent agent, he worked as a customer service representative for Liberty Mutual Insurance. He joined Sylvia Group in March.
The most recent addition to the Sylvia Group team, Allyson joined us in April with almost 10 years' experience as a benefits professional. She is licensed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as a Health, Accident & Sickness Insurance Producer.
In her role as Account Manager, Allyson uses her depth of knowledge and high level of efficiency to help clients administer their employee benefits programs.
"Allyson is very bright. She can analyze and implement a benefits solution very quickly," said Rosemarie Lopes, a Sylvia Group owner and manager of our Financial Services and Benefits department. "It's taken her no time to make an impact here as an asset to our team and our clients."
After beginning her career as a real estate paralegal, Allyson entered the benefits field as an implementation analyst with Benefit Concepts of East Providence. She advanced to a client service adviser position in the Norwood, MA, offices of human resources giant Mercer, and rose to the level of senior account manager with the Hilb Group of Warwick, RI, before joining Sylvia Group.
A lifelong Fall River resident, Allyson is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running and working out.
We already enjoy working with Allyson, Matt and David, and we're sure you will, as well. They're great additions to our winning team.
About Maureen Sylvia Armstrong and Sylvia Group
For more than three decades, Maureen Sylvia Armstrong has served her clients and her community, distinguishing herself as a recognized business and civic leader on Massachusetts' SouthCoast. From the time Maureen entered the agency founded by her grandfather in 1950, Sylvia Group has grown from a staff of 10 employees to a team of almost 50 highly trained professionals providing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning solutions to businesses and individuals throughout the SouthCoast and beyond. A graduate of Boston College’s Carrol School of Management with degrees in finance and marketing, Maureen has been honored by the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Person of the Year, by SouthCoast Media Group as Woman of the Year and by Bristol Community College as a Benevolent Entrepreneur.
Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a third-generation, locally owned agency known for our commitment to our clients and our community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in New Bedford, MA, in 1950, headquartered in neighboring Dartmouth, and serving businesses and individuals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified as a Woman Owned Business Enterprise with the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence.