In a career spanning three decades, Maureen Sylvia Armstrong has been an established business and civic leader in Southeastern Massachusetts. It’s a reflection of Maureen’s vision, dedication and inexhaustible drive that Sylvia Group’s reputation for expertise and superior customer service in insurance, employee benefits and financial planning is matched only by its widely recognized commitment to the community of SouthCoast and beyond.
From the time Maureen entered the agency founded by her grandfather, Louis G. Sylvia Sr., and built by her father, Vincent P. Sylvia Sr., Sylvia Group has grown from a staff of 10 employees to a team of more than 50 highly trained professionals, earning the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agencies’ Five Star Designation for all-around excellence an unprecedented six times.
Sylvia Group’s President and CEO from 1998-2019, Maureen continues to head the agency as Managing Partner. Influential in the insurance industry and in the SouthCoast community, she has served on the advisory boards of the Acadia Insurance Company, The Hanover Insurance Group and Plymouth Rock Assurance Company. She is also a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Greater New Bedford.
Her talent for bringing together people of different skills and backgrounds to achieve common objectives has earned Maureen appointments to multiple corporate and civic boards and committees, including the Southcoast Health Systems Board of Directors, for which she chairs the Strategic Planning and Benefits committees; the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society Board of Directors; the Southcoast Development Partnership; and the President’s Advisory Council of Bishop Stang High School.
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 (1996), by SouthCoast Media Group as Woman of the Year (2008) and by Bristol Community College as Benevolent Entrepreneur (2012).
“I come in contact with many insurance brokers in the course of my practice – even more so with the advent of the Affordable Care Act requirements. Some are ill-prepared or still in denial. Others call me from the car on the way to a client meeting asking for a summary of the ACA in ten minutes. On the flip side of this coin is the Sylvia Group agency. Their clients are very fortunate to have a broker who is knowledgeable about employee benefit matters. The fact that Sylvia Group invited me, an ERISA lawyer, to conduct a live client seminar on the new ACA employer information reporting requirements indicates to me that they are engaged in the process and they care about their clients.”
– RICHARD A. SZCZEBAK, Esq., RAS Law, P.C.
“By giving, advocating and volunteering, Sylvia Group has proven they are dedicated to our community. Whether they are volunteering at one of our Day of Caring events or working with us to provide affordable health insurance and benefits to our employees, Sylvia Group does whatever they can do to make a difference for United Way of Greater New Bedford. The team at Sylvia Group is a trusted group of dedicated professionals, and we thoroughly enjoy working with them.”
– MICHELLE N. HANTMAN, President and CEO, United Way of Greater New Bedford
“Sylvia Group is very responsive to our ever-changing needs. Jill White provided us with wonderful support when we moved our child-care program location. She ensured that our coverage was seamless and that it met all of our program, licensing and funding needs. Sylvia Group always assists us immediately when we have questions and/or requests. We know we are in good hands and that they have the best interest of our YWCA participants in mind. It's a pleasure to work with the staff of Sylvia Group; they are truly customer-focused.”
– GAIL FORTES, Executive Director, YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts
“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
"Getting the right insurance to guard against risks is absolutely critical for nonprofits, as well as other businesses; dealing with a costly claim could force a nonprofit to shut down permanently. Going with the Sylvia Group, we made the right decision and have never looked back. They have a thorough knowledge of nonprofits, where risks can oftentimes be more complex. They have gotten to know our mix of services, evaluated our insurance needs and designed an insurance program around our specific insurance coverage needs — allowing us, on a tight budget, to purchase the right amount and type of insurance at the best value. Sylvia Group staff have built strong, personalized helping relationships with our staff. I can sleep at night knowing they make sure that our insurance policies are adequate to cover our risk exposures. I have recommended, without hesitation, the Sylvia Group to my colleagues working in both the nonprofit and for-profit arenas."
- MARIA A. ROSARIO, Executive Director, NorthStar Learning Centers, Inc.
“Sylvia Group is an attentive, professional and knowledgeable insurance agency. They are familiar with the ever-changing rules and regulations when it comes to independent, nonprofit schools., and John Beauregard always goes above and beyond for Friends Academy. Whether it is something small, like registering a new school vehicle, or something bigger, like filing a claim after our greenhouse was destroyed by a hurricane, he treats every question and every claim with utmost importance. Sylvia Group is invested in our program as well; John sponsors and participates in our yearly golf tournament. Sylvia Group is an exceptional insurance company that I would recommend to all my cohorts.”
– KATHERINE FURTADO, Chief Financial Officer, Friends Academy
“The Sylvia Group team provides a multitude of services in all aspects of employee benefits. The team's dedication to their clientele is apparent through their willingness to provide trainings in your office, at their business and through valuable webinar resources. They are readily available to answer questions and help with any issues that may arise. CMHS, Inc. appreciates the relationship that we have enjoyed with the Sylvia Group throughout the years.”
– JOHN WINTERHALTER, President, Comprehensive Mental Health Systems, Inc.
“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 love your staff. In the first three or four weeks after we moved over to Sylvia Group for our insurance, I have had more communication and attention from them than I had in the seven or eight years we were with our former agency! You have a great team.”
– PAT CASSAN, Ocean Explorium
“I just wanted to take the time to recognize what a remarkable job Danielle Andre is doing. I cannot thank her enough for her time, her kindness and her willingness to make sure I’m comfortable with all the necessary changes that occurred from an insurance standpoint. As a whole, every Sylvia Group staff member has been friendly and knowledgeable, but Danielle has certainly gone above and beyond for me.”
– SHANNON S., Personal Insurance client
“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 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.
“Sylvia Group is an attentive, professional and knowledgeable insurance agency. They are familiar with the ever-changing rules and regulations when it comes to independent, nonprofit schools, and John Beauregard always goes above and beyond for Friends Academy. Whether it is something small, like registering a new school vehicle, or something bigger, like filing a claim after our greenhouse was destroyed by a hurricane, he treats every question and every claim with utmost importance. Sylvia Group is an exceptional insurance agency that I would recommend to all my cohorts.” - KATHERINE FURTADO, Chief Financial Officer, Friends Academy
"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