Best Agency to Work For – East

By | October 7, 2013

At Mackoul, Sharing Successes and Overcoming Adversities

At Mackoul & Associates, every success is celebrated together with its staff. And during times of need, everyone comes together and supports one another, as witnessed during last year’s Superstorm Sandy.

The New York-headquartered agency has 30 employees, with approximately $5.5 million in revenues and $32 million in property/casualty premium volume. The agency, whose main office in Island Park, N.Y., was submerged in over 6 feet of water when Sandy landed, is now getting ready to move back into its newly renovated building.

Mackoul & Associates, which specializes in insurance for co-ops, condominiums and apartment buildings, invests in its employees and strives to help them grow, reimbursing all expenses for their professional development.

“We promote education. We encourage and take care of our staff to go get their brokers license and pursue professional development,” says Sally Dolce, the chief operating officer.

“I was sent to school to receive my P/C license. I was paid for the work time I missed, as well as my schooling and licensing fees,” one employee said. “When my one-year anniversary hit, I was given a review and a raise, and a gift card congratulating me. I don’t know any other agency that would be so generous and supportive.”

From team-building activities and expenses-paid outings to volunteer programs, the agency provides constant opportunities to create a supportive workplace. And as the agency meets its company-wide new business and retention goals, employees also receive bonuses and different perks — such as paid vacations for the entire staff.

“Every year if we grow a certain amount, we take the staff away on a five-day vacation,” says Mackoul & Associates’ President Edward J. Mackoul, whose father, CEO Robert E. Mackoul, founded the agency in 1987. “We made our goal last year, so we took the staff away this past Labor Day, closed the office, and took all the eligible employees who were with us last year on a cruise out of New York to Canada for five days and four nights.”

The firm also offers generous employee benefits such as a corporate match to the 401k plan, medical and dental, long-term disability and life benefits, as well as flexible work schedules. “I have a 2-year-old son at home and have been able to work from home two days a week. This has been a tremendous help to me. I don’t mind working late hours or attending after-hours work functions because I love what I do,” one staff member said. “Mackoul truly appreciates the staff and shows it on a daily basis.”

In the immediate days after Sandy last year, the agency was able to get back up and running within a day and a half at a temporary location to assist its clients. “After a storm, an insurance agency phones are ringing off the hook. The managers of Mackoul & Associates were able to get us in a remote office and back to work, so we could properly assist our insureds with their claims,” an employee said.

The management took care to speak with each staff member and “asked if there was anything they could do to help us during the hectic time,” one staff member recalled. “I really felt that despite the fact that the office was underwater, the well-being of the staff was the owner’s No. 1 concern.”

“Our bosses kept their heads high throughout the whole process, even though they had lost so much personally as well,” one staff member said. “Many employees lost a lot as well, and management was there to help them. We are a family. We all work together and have been through a lot together.”

President Mackoul says he credits his staff’s dedication for the firm’s swift recovery following Sandy. “We always try to give back to them, and they give back to us. That was the case during Sandy – they gave back to us no matter what was going on in their lives,” he said. “Our employees are our biggest asset.”

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Insurance Journal West October 7, 2013
October 7, 2013
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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