We make a difference for our clients and our community.

We believe in being contributing members of the communities we serve. Through our Generous Community Giving program, GCG advisors and staff participate in community service activities. Each month a team from GCG selects and participates in a worthy local charitable project.

Our culture rewards teamwork. Whether we are working for you, or helping in our communities, we do it together.

Manning beach and boat for the Buzzards Bay Coalition

For the second year in a row, the Sylvia Group nephew-uncle tandem of Andrew Armstrong, left, and Vin Sylvia took part in the Buzzards Bay Swim to benefit the 2019 Buzzards Bay Coalition. On June 22 Andrew returned in his role as kayak guide for one of the event’s swimmers. Vin, a swimmer in 2018, this year worked as a starting area volunteer.

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Raising funds by dressing down

Sylvia Group’s newly formed HEART (Helping Everyone Achieve Results Together) Beat Committee this year introduced dress-down days as a monthly activity to highlight our support for our nonprofit clients. In January, we showed our support not only for our favorite football team but also for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County by paying a fee to dress in Patriots attire, with proceeds going to the CAC. In February, we wore red in support of the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts‘ Heart Health Awareness campaign. (Sylvia Group also sponsored the YWCA’s Red Dress Fashion Show for heart health.) In March, we wore blue in recognition of World Water Day (above) and donated our dress-down fees to the Buzzards Bay Coalition, whose primary mission is to combat water pollution along the SouthCoast and its surrounding areas. With April being Autism Awareness Month, staffers wore colors of the spectrum and contributed to Better Community Living, which does so much for people with developmental disabilities. 

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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.

Packaging Thanksgiving meals as United Way Hunger Heroes

Sylvia Group Partner Andrew Armstrong and his fiancée, Kalie Marion, were among the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Heroes volunteers who assembled more than 1,000 Thanksgiving meal packages for local families at New Bedford’s Keith Middle School on Sunday, November 22, 2020. Kalie, Andrew and other members of the Sylvia Group team also contributed food for the packages, donating through an in-office drive and through online contributions.

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Rotch-Jones-Duff House has a special place in our hearts

Valentine’s Day 2020 was also a dress-down day at Sylvia Group, with team members wearing red or pink and making a donation to New Bedford’s Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum. Participants included: front, from left, Ray Armstrong, Heather Heffernan and Kathleen Fuller; back, from left, Kelsey Martins, Zenaide Noia, Karen Sylvia, Maureen Armstrong, Lubelia Lima, JoAnn Tavares, Jessica Bussiere, Paula Gomes and Denise Rego.

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State organization honors Heffernan as Member of the Year

Heather Heffernan has held several titles since joining the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women (MAIW) in 2013: Chapter Secretary, Chapter Treasurer, State Treasurer …

Last week she added a new one: MAIW Member of the Year.

According to the organization, the award recognizes outstanding representation of the “MAIW spirit through mentoring, good works, loyalty, encouragement, support and fellowship.”

A member of the Sylvia Group team since 2012 and now our Director of Finance, Heather is known for many qualities — energy, financial acumen and personal generosity ranking high among them — but spirit might be first and foremost. Hard-working and unfailingly cheerful, she’s the consummate team player at an agency where teamwork is among our hallmarks, and her enthusiasm is contagious. In other words, she’s the type of teammate who makes everyone around her better. Her colleagues in the MAIW obviously feel the same way.

A member of the Bristol Chapter of the MAIW since 2013, Heather served as Chapter Secretary in 2013-14 before becoming Chapter Treasurer the following year. She has been Treasurer of the state organization since 2016.

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Senior Partner Lopes aiding MA efforts to lower health care costs

Rosemarie Lopes has spent years helping to lower health insurance costs for businesses and their staffs — as both an executive with Sylvia Group and a broker/advisor working with other organizations. Now she’s lending her insights to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as a member of an advisory group appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

Since the council’s formation in January 2020, Rose has served on the state’s Merged Market Advisory Council, established through an executive order from Baker to study the Massachusetts’ “unique merged health insurance market structure, which blends individual and small group coverage segments with the intention of increasing and stabilizing its risk pool to provide greater access to affordable health insurance coverage.”

The council is due to issue its report to Baker, including independent actuarial analysis and recommendations, by April 30, 2020.

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On a roll for Buttonwood Park Zoo

Members of the Sylvia Group Sailfish team who took part in the third annual Fish Bowl to benefit Buttonwood Park Zoo included, from left, intern Ian Dumas, Customer Relations Specialist Lori Dumas, Accounting and Systems Specialist Kelsey Martins and Personal Insurance Account Manager Zee Noia. The event took place on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at Wonder Bowl in New Bedford.

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Ugly Christmas sweater day helps beautify and preserve historic New Bedford

For our final dress-down day of 2019, we donned ugly Christmas sweaters and donated to the New Bedford Preservation Society. Founded in 1974, the society works to protect property and landscapes of historical and architectural significance to New Bedford. It also publishes brochures, hosts house and walking tours, posts historical markers and conducts the Re-Leaf Program, which aims to return residential streets to their tree-lined glory.

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Santa’s helpers for the Servpro Toy Drive

When Servpro of Dartmouth / New Bedford invited Sylvia Group to participate in its holiday toy drive for the the Women’s Center, we happily accepted. On Monday, Dec. 16, Servpro Sales & Marketing Representative Ana De Araujo visited our office to pick up the toys we collected, some of which are seen here with Ana, left, and Sylvia Group President/CEO Maureen Sylvia Armstrong. We again thank our friends at Servpro of Dartmouth/New Bedford for making us a partner in the drive, and we thank all the members of our team who contributed.

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Helping the United Way provide Thanksgiving meals

Sylvia Group Director of Marketing and Communications Vin Sylvia and his wife, Mary, were fortunate enough to secure two coveted spots in the United Way of Greater New Bedford‘s annual Hunger Heroes program. Mary and Vin spent the afternoon of Nov. 23 assembling food packages for area families’ Thanksgiving meal. All told, the Hunger Heroes assembled 1,000 packages, which the United Way then distributed — many along with turkeys — before the holiday.

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Stocking up the YWCA’s new residential and childcare facility

Congratulations to YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts Executive Director Gail Fortes and the Y’s staff and clients on the organization’s new women’s residential and children’s daycare center adjoining its historic main building in downtown New Bedford. Gail, at center in top photo, provided Sylvia Group Account Executive Andrew Armstrong, left, and President/CEO Maureen Sylvia Armstrong with a guided tour of the new building after they delivered eight laundry baskets — one for each residential unit in the building — full of goods for the residents and children, all donated by Sylvia Group employees. In bottom photo, some of those employees — attired in the YWCA’s colors of orange, black and white for the agency’s monthly dress-down day — are seen with their donations.

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Annual blood drive aims to save lives

For the fifth straight year, Account Manager JoAnn Tavares, at right in left photo, organized the Sylvia Group Blood Drive. On October 29, the American Red Cross collected 26 pints of blood from 24 donors. We’d like to thank our staff, our guest donors and the Red Cross team who collected our donations. In addition to organizing the drive, Jo Ann, seen with friend and colleague Kathy Fuller, donated blood and signed in other donors. At right, Solange Perry, foreground, and Ray Armstrong, back, also were among the donors.

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