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Articles for the ‘Agency News’ Category

He recently became a dad and he’s New Empire Group’s ‘Underwriter of the Year’. Find out what else you don’t know about Dan!

Name: Daniel Breen, ACSR

Position/Title: CondoPak Program Underwriter

A dynamic underwriter, Daniel Breen has over 15 years of experience in insurance and risk management. He first joined New Empire Group in 2011 as a Commercial Umbrella Underwriter and rapidly excelled, distinguishing himself as one of the lead underwriters in New Empire Group. Prior to joining New Empire Group, Dan worked for a national program manager in Pennsylvania, where he was influential in their growth. Dan’s experience and background in underwriting risks for accident, health, property, casualty, and commercial umbrella insurance provided a strong foundation for his role as CondoPak Program Underwriter – where he specializes in providing insurance brokers with package solutions for Condominiums and Cooperatives for our exclusive CondoPak program. Dan recently completed his ACSR designation and was named ‘Underwriter of the Year’ in 2017.

Dan is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a degree in Business Marketing. He resides in Long Beach, NY with his wife and his 6-month-old son. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoys working out and watching the Mets, Islanders, Knicks, and Buffalo Bills.

NEG: What do you enjoy most about working for New Empire Group?
Dan: I’ve always been a people person and I really enjoy the daily interaction with management, co-workers, our carriers and brokers.
NEG: What have you gained from working at New Empire Group?
Dan: A greater knowledge of property and casualty insurance. My previous background was on the life and health side so it was a change for me to learn how to underwrite the many types of commercial real estate exposures.
NEG: What three words would you use to describe New Empire Group?
Dan: Friendly, Knowledgeable, and Trustworthy.
NEG: What is your motto or personal mantra?
Dan: To enjoy life to the fullest by doing whatever makes you happiest and by being yourself.
NEG: What do you do in your spare time?
Dan: I enjoy walking the boardwalk and taking kickboxing classes.
NEG: You’re happiest when?
Dan: I’m spending time with my son. I enjoy watching him grow and learn new things every day.

For any questions regarding our CondoPak Program, or if you just want to say “Hi”, contact Daniel Breen at!

She’s smart and fearless. Find out what else you don’t know about Dena!

Official Title: Commercial Umbrella New Business Underwriter

Dena Driscoll is an Umbrella Underwriter who joined New Empire Group in 2012 as an Underwriting Associate. Prior to joining New Empire Group she worked at Clear Channel Communications as an Executive Assistant and Customer Service Representative for five years. During her employment at Clear Channel, Dena was recognized and awarded for her exemplary customer service with several awards fueled by compliments from satisfied customers. Her hard work and determination quickly paid off as she was promoted to the Umbrella Underwriter position within one year of joining New Empire Group.  In 2015, Dena was awarded “Employee of the Year” at New Empire Group for her outstanding service, dedication and contributions to the success of the organization.

Dena was raised in Lynbrook, NY. She is a graduate of Malverne HS and gained an Associate’s Degree in Office Technologies from Business Informatics Center. Dena is married and resides with her husband and two sons on Long Island. She enjoys getting together with family and friends as much as she can, and has even taken up bowling with her husband in their spare time.

What is your role at New Empire Group?
I am a New Business Umbrella Underwriter.

What have you gained from working at New Empire Group?
Insurance knowledge. I did not come from an insurance background before working for New Empire Group. The training and guidance I have received from New Empire Group has set me up for success.

What is your favorite part about working for New Empire Group?
Those who I work for and with. We have a superior management team and staff at New Empire Group, who make me look forward to coming to work every day.

What would be the title of your autobiography?
Memoirs of an Eternal Optimist.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?
Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven!

For any questions regarding our Commercial Umbrella Program, or if you just want to say “Hi”, contact Dena at!

kenneth-paganini_2949Meet New Empire Group’s newest addition to our Underwriting Team, Kenneth Paganini!

Ken joined New Empire Group in 2016 as a Commercial Umbrella Underwriter. He is a graduate of Marist College holding a Degree in Business/Finance. Kenneth brings over 12 years of Passenger Transportation and Property + Casualty Insurance experience to New Empire Group.  Kenneth was innovative in executing new strategies to bring profits to his previous organization and plans on bringing that same initiative to his new position at New Empire Group.  In his spare time, Kenneth enjoys participating in the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, going to the gym and meditating.

What do you like most about working at New Empire Group? I like the opportunity for growth that NEG offers. There are many incentives to further one’s career with full support of the management team here. This type of support and confidence is something I find rare not only in this profession but in today’s world. NEG truly wants you to succeed and in return for succeeding the whole team improves.  Allowing the opportunity for growth provides me with the confidence that is essential for success. I am able to focus on the job at hand knowing that my future is being taken care of as well. It’s a truly amazing feeling to go to work not just for a company but for yourself. In addition, having an office near the beach is a blessing.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? What I enjoy most is the opportunity to work and learn from everyone in the company.  I would be lost without the support, direction and enthusiasm of my co-workers. I appreciate each and every sacrifice they are dealing with during my learning curve; it is humbling to say the least. They are great people, teachers and mentors.  As a new employee with the support, direction and enthusiasm of my co-workers I hope to learn my role so I can be an effective contributing teammate.

What is your Motto or Personal Mantra? Mind body soul.  I think it is important to consistently find a balance between one’s mind, body and soul.  Positive thinking evokes more energy, initiative and happiness. Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body but I believe it is also the basis of dynamic creative intellectual thinking. Furthermore, food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. Put your heart mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the key to success.

What are your top 3 life highlights?

  • Being chosen as Godfather to my nephew – a privilege I aspire to live up to. 
  • Owning my own home for 8 years.
  • Lifting about 2.5 times my body weight in any exercise consistently for about a half hour.


She’s funny and has a smile that will light up a room! Find out what else you don’t know about Anne Marie.

Official Title: Agency Accounting

Bio: Anne Marie joined the accounting department of New Empire Group in 2013, reporting to the controller, after managing the finances of a New York City restaurant. She is a graduate of Hunter College, receiving a Bachelor Degree in Media and Communications. She was also involved in the Hunter Theater Company. Anne Marie is engaged and her spare time is spent with her fiancé and two lovable dogs.

What is your favorite part about working for New Empire Group?
Honestly I love everyone I work with. My bosses are wonderful and my coworkers are great. It is so nice to work in such a friendly environment. 

How has New Empire Group helped you in your career development?
Well I have certainly learned a whole lot! Prior to working at NEG I was a server at a popular restaurant where I handled the end of night financials and also covered the unit accountants position while she was out on maternity leave. When I started here I was familiar with some accounting procedures but NEG has greatly broadened my accounting knowledge especially since this is a completely different field from a restaurant. I have definitely come a long way from when I first started here part time. I now run the accounts payable side in our accounting department and I truly am loving it. 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
I would definitely have to say my trip to Italy when I was 16. I went with three of my girlfriends and my one girlfriend’s parents. We were there for two weeks and it was just such an amazing experience. It was so beautiful and we met some incredible people who we still keep in touch with to this day. A few even visited us in New York City over the past couple of years and will be visiting this upcoming summer. 

What is your favorite movie and book?
My favorite movie is tied between Footloose & Dirty Dancing. Deciding which is my favorite book is tough also. The two series that I could not put down were The Hunger Games and The Divergent Series so I will have to call a tie on that too 🙂


She’s smart, passionate, and driven. Find out what else you don’t know about Lina!

Official Title: Professional Liability Program Underwriter

Bio: Lina Gallego joined New Empire Group in 2009 and is currently the program underwriter for our Property Managers Professional Liability Program. Her role in the firm until 2011 was the assistant to the President where she gained experience in most phases of the company leading to her promotion to her current position. Prior to her employment in New Empire Group, Lina worked for five years as a mortgage underwriter at a regional mortgage lender, and then as a property manager and leasing agent for a major property management firm in the Los Angeles area. She was recognized consistently as one of the leading agents in the company during her three years on the West Coast. Lina brings that drive and focus to her current program underwriter position. As a member of the New Empire Group “Sunshine Committee” and the charitable organization “Project Challenge”. Lina gives back to the less fortunate in her local community by her involvement in these worthy endeavors.

What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with New Empire Group?
To expand my breadth of knowledge, to network, and to keep up with the ever-changing trends. 

How do you balance your career at New Empire Group and your family?
I think that if you approach both with the same dedication, a healthy balance is a natural result. 

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love to read, watch documentaries, bike ride and kick box. 

What is one thing you cannot live without?
I cannot live without faith.

For any questions regarding our Property Managers E&O Program, contact Lina at!